Monday, February 27, 2012
In the spring last year when I was doing an appearance at a Denver event, I made a side-trip to Boulder and just by accident ran across the Boulder Film Fest offices. I decided to stop in and met the two lovely directors of the Fest, Robin and Cathy Beebe. They invited me to return to the festival in February, so I took them up on their offer, so long as I could stay at the Boulderado Hotel!
So Sandrine and I arrived at the beautiful historic Boulderado Hotel (circa 1909). I showed "Adventures in Plymptoons" to great audience applause, and also did a Master Class.
But the highlight was meeting William Macy -- I attended his "Conversation", very witty and informative. He said that he told the Coen Brothers that if he didn't get the part of Jerry Lundegaard in "Fargo", he would shoot their dog. Wow, and I thought animation was tough!
Another great evening was seeing the film "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" by the Duplass Brothers, starring Jason Segal, Ed Helms, and Susan Sarandon. Catch it when it opens, it's one of the funniest films of the year.
I give the Boulder Festival an "A" because of the great programming, beautiful location, and the kindness of the whole staff.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The next month I was at the Stuttgart Festival, where I got to meet the coordinator and co-creator of "Books", William Joyce. You may know him as the creator of "Robots" for Blue Sky, Roli Poli Oli, and Disney's "Meet the Robinsons". Again, the short film was a huge success (In fact, we programmed it for the Annecy Plus Festival in June). We bonded over great art and cartoons. He showed me his sketchbook and I was blown away!
He and Brandon invited me down to the Moonbot Studios in animation mecca Shreveport, Louisiana. Along the way, their short got nominated for an Oscar, so I was amazed when they found time to bring me down there to do a showing in the middle of their Oscar campaign.
I got a tour of the very beautiful studio, met most of the 35 employees, and marveled at the beautiful artwork hanging on the wall for their new projects. I was salivating like crazy.
Then I perused their huge library and became even more jealous – giant expensive books on Winsor McCay, Maxfield Parrish, and the king N.C. Wyeth.
The whole environment of the place just looks like an adult playground. I was invited to show my resurrection of Winsor McCay's "The Flying House". I first showed the original, silent, 1921 version, followed by the modern updated version. Being that "Bill" Joyce is a total McCay freak, the film went over very well.
Later that night I did a master class at the beautiful Robinson Cinema (No relation to "Meet the Robinsons"!) where I showed my latest shorts.
The next day, Sandrine and I were invited to their historic Mardi Gras Parade. They had to close down a major freeway because the parade has gotten so big. I've never seen so many 4x4 pickups before. The highlight was the Moonbot Studio's own personal float, one of the biggest of the procession. Unfortunately it was so cold that we had to leave halfway through the parade with our strings of beads (it was too cold for flashing boobs.)
So watch the Academy Awards on Feb. 26th to see if Brandon and Bill Joyce get to go on stage and receive their golden statuette – good luck guys!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I posted an entry about Scale last year, and Ron Mueck illustrates the power of scale well. I wanted to catch up with Ron and see what he's been up to, so I "liked" his facebook page, and found some images that I've never seen. Enjoy
Monday, February 13, 2012
As most of you know, we just had the world premiere of Winsor McCay's "The Flying House" on Feb 8th at the prestigious Society of Illustrators.
Mark Forman Productions, Corp.
It was a gala affair, lots of fans of Mr. McCay – Anelle Miller introduced me, and I introduced the Dean of Animation History Howard Beckerman, who discussed the history of Winsor McCay. Then, we screened the original version of the Flying House (silent, of course). Then I brough on stage Biljana Labovic (the producer) and Judy and Celeste, the two interns most responsible for cleaning the original files of the film. It took them two years of digital cleaning!
I then brought up Adam Rackoff, who was responsible for organizing the Kickstarter campaign that was instrumental in raising the funds for the short film's ressurection. We had a terrific Q&A after – everyone seemed fascinated by Winsor McCay and the project.
Later we all retired upstairs for food and drinks, with more dicussion of "The Flying House". As I write this, Lisa Labracio is putting together a deluxe DVD of the whole project, including both versions of the film, interviews with film scholars such as Jerry Beck and Leonard Maltin, plus a very cool documentary by Shorts International. It should be completed by this spring, so watch for an announcement coming soon.
Thanks for your time!