I have some very sad news to report. One of my animation heroes passed away last month.
I remember when I was at college at Portland State, I went to the local Portland Film Festival and they had a program of animated shorts. One of the films was particularly interesting, it was called "The Do-It-Yourself Cartoon Kit", by Bob Godfrey of England.
It was one of the funniest, most clever films I'd ever seen. And what was really amazing was that it wasn't made by a big studio - it was done by this Bob guy on his own. "Wow," I thought, "it's possible to make animated films outside of the studio system? That's unbelievable!"
The technique of the film was collage - a style that would later be used in "Frankfilm" by Frank Morris and also by Terry Gilliam in the great Monty Python TV series.
Years later, when I started going to the Annecy Animation Festival, I had the opportunity to meet my hero, Bob - and he was a very kind yet profane guy. He seemed to like my films, and we began a sort of mutual admiration society.
Of course, he went on to make other great animated films such as "Great" and "Instant Sex", but I'll always remember the first time I saw my first indie animated film by the great Bob Godfrey.