Monday, January 18, 2016

Society of Illustrators

When I first moved to New York City, back in 1970, one of my holiest of shrines was the 100-year-old Society of Illustrators - there I could see all of my heroes: A.B. Frost, Winsor McCay, N.C. Wyeth, Milton Glaser, Norman Rockwell and others.

As my career moved from illustration to animation, I discovered that the great Society of Illustrators' annual show included what they called "sequential art", and that included animation.

So, for the past few years, I've been able to enter the prestigious Society's Annual Exhibition with my cartoons.  Well, this year my film "The Loneliest Stoplight" won the very rare gold prize - and of course I attended the packed awards ceremony. (I had to wait in a long line to enter...)

I gave a very short but heartfelt speech, then we all retired upstairs for food and drink.  It was there I got to hang out with my contemporaries - Victor Juhasz, Tim O'Brien, Anelle Miller (the director of the Society), Joe Ciardiello, and John Cuneo.  What a fun night!

I'm so happy that the Society recognizes good art in animation.  I've always felt that my success as an animator is due in large part to my 15 years spent as an illustrator.

Thank you, Society of Illustrators!

--Bill P.

                               At the party following the Society of Illustrators awards, with
                              Tim O'Brien, John Cuneo and my producer, Wendy Cong Zhao

Monday, January 11, 2016

"Revengeance" update

After three months of working on commercial jobs in order to pay some bills, I'm finally able to concentrate on completing the artwork and animation for my next feature film, "Revengeance". 

From an excellent script by my buddy Jim Lujan, the film has been in production at my studio for almost two years now.  And as I'm nearing completion, I feel I'm really getting a grasp of the story and characters.  In fact, at this point, I'm using the light box less and less, and just drawing freehand. 

It's almost experimental how I'm distorting and bending the characters.  And that's what makes it so much fun.  It's like jazz - I'm free-flowing the animation straight from my imagination. 

I'm about 2/3 of the way through the script, and I figure I have about 300 shots left to draw.  If I can animate 7 shots a day, I'll be able to finish the animation by the end of February, and hopefully have something to show the festivals by June. 

Keep your fingers crossed -

Here's some sample art from the film, I hope you enjoy it.  Please send me your comments.

--Bill P.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Animation Respect

I usually don't reprint press articles, but I found this one in Hollywood Reporter in December and I thought it was particularly interesting. 

However, two points Tim Gray failed to bring up are the extreme prejudice against animation that deals with adult topics, and secondly, why should animation be relegated to its status as a minor art form when the year's Top 10 box office grossers usually includes 3 or 4 animated features?

It seems like audiences have no problem loving animation, while the Hollywood establishment just doesn't get it. 

Anyway, please let me know what you think of this article.  Thanks!