Friday, July 1, 2011

Annecy Animation Festival - Part 1

It's simply the greatest festival on earth for many reasons: the beautiful location, great films, super food, and the best audience anywhere. I've been coming to Annecy since 1985 and I've only missed one festival; I hope to continue attending every year.

This year I arrived late because of a stupid screw-up with my passport that forced me to get an emergency passport the day after my planned departure. But fortunately I arrived in time for the premier of Alexia Anastasio's wonderful documentary about me called "Adventures in Plymptoons". It was a big crowd and they seemed to love it, and no one complained about the nude scenes of me in the mud (spoiler alert).

I was very busy at the festival – lots of events – but I was able to see one feature film "The Cat and The Rabbi". I have some complaints about the film. It was hard to "read" the character because the gestures were almost invisible against the bright backgrounds (that’s going to be a big drawback when it appears on T.V.). Also the story was more of a lecture on Jewish history. I felt like I was being talked down to. And also all the Arabian characters were stereotypically evil. I did however like the character and background design.

One of the sponsors of my appearance in Annecy was a startup festival off short called "Annecy Off". It's an outlet for young animators from around the world to get their films shown. I was the special guest so I did a master class and a lot of publicity to help promote the event. I created some art for their program and I wish them continued success with their events. Their staff Thibault, Bernont and Antoine treated me very well and I had a great time.

Later that night I attended the opening night party of MIFA (the market part of the festival). It was there that I got to catch up with a lot of old friends in the biz – Will Vinton, Pez, Mark Shapiro of Laika Studios, Spike (of Spike and Mike) and Tom Moore.

And I met some new friends – Michael Callaghan of the fantastic new Road Runner series in 3.D. and "Curious George" the feature.

And I got to meet the great Leslie Iwerks the creator of the wonderful book and documentary about her legendary grandfather Ub Iwerks. She was there to show her two newer documentaries about Pixar and ILM, both of which sadly I missed. She had some fantastic inside dirt on the big Hollywood animation studios.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Scribble Junkies and perhaps I'll divulge the hot gossip.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds wonderful. Love Annecy. Thanks for sharing the photos and report for those of us who couldn't make it this year.

    Bill, just a quick note: it's Matthew O'Callaghan (not "Michael Callaghan ") who is the director on the CG Coyote & Roadrunner shorts.