Friday, January 27, 2017

Signe Baumane's "My Love Affair With Marriage"

As some of you may already know, the great animator Signe Baumane started off her meteoric rise in the New York animation world by working at my studio.  So no doubt, I'm a bit prejudiced towards her films.

But I just saw her Kickstarter pitch for her new film and was knocked out!  Her follow-up to her amazing film "Rocks in My Pockets" will be called "My Love Affair With Marriage". 

The animation clip is terrific and her description of the film seems like it's the perfect concept for an animated film.  And I think the time is right for a film about relationships told from a strong female perspective.

Signe has been married twice, and she's always been completely honest (to me, anyway) in her analysis of men and sexual relations - so I have no doubt this film will be quite outrageous.  And Signe did a lot of research about what chemical and biological changes take place in the human body when we fall in and out of love. 

She plans on hiring a number of celebrities for the voices, so in order to pay for them, she's decided to turn to Kickstarter - which is a great idea, since Hollywood doesn't have the balls to support an honest, sexually frank animated film made by a woman -

So I'm encouraging all my fans and friends to help support Signe in her quest to animate this exposé into the murky world of male-female passions -

I, for one, will donate and I hope you do too, because you'll be supporting an independent film that will be a piece of art, with a story that definitely needs to be seen by the world.

You can find her Kickstarter campaign at the link below, or search Kickstarter for "My Love Affair With Marriage".

Thanks for your support,

Bill Plympton

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 2017 update

This is to update you all on my current projects -

The Plympton Animation School is moving along well - we have some very talented students in the live class, and they have some great ideas for short films.  A lot of people are taking the same course over the internet, and I'm very excited about seeing their finished projects in a few weeks.  I hope we can put them all together on a DVD. 

I'm also now finishing my next Simpsons couch gag, which is called "The Artiste".  I think it's one of the funniest I've done, it's very crazy. 

We're waiting to hear from a couple of prominent film festivals right now that are close to announcing their schedules, I can't really say which ones - but we're hoping that one or two of them will select "Revengeance", and then we can announce the U.S. festival premiere.  Please stay tuned!  

Once my office manager has finished doing some year-end accounting for 2016, he's going to concentrate on getting some of the Kickstarter rewards from the "Revengeance" campaign sent out.  I know, we said we'd get things sent out in December 2016, but after the art sale and setting up the animation classes, we're running a little late. We're trying to catch up.

And then, Jim Lujan and I are working together on a script for a new feature film, called "Slide".  It's about a mythical country-western singer who travels the land, saving good people from bad people - and it takes place in a beautiful forest that hearkens back to my childhood.  I think it's going to be a very funny and crazy film, as usual.  I'll show you some of the concept art here -

I hope you'll like it! 

Bill P.

John Singer Sargent Women..

Sargent had a way of conveying the beauty and power of the female.. Starting with one of my favorite paintings of all time, Portrait of Madame X..

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Films for 2017

Every year, about this time, I hurriedly try to catch up with all of the great films that were released during the year - this year, it's because I was so busy trying to finish "Revengeance" and some new shorts.

So now I get up at 5:30 am every day, to watch a film in the morning, then late at night, before bed, I watch a feature.  Since I've been doing this for the last two months, I've had a few revelations. 

All the media people are talking about just three films that seem to be the leading contenders for the Oscars this year.  They are:

"La La Land" - a throwback to the Astaire/Rogers musicals of the 1930's, except that as clever as the film may be, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone can't sing and can't dance (at least, not as well as Astaire and Rogers...)

"Moonlight" - a film about a young boy growing up in the ghetto and dealing with his homosexuality.  A very nice film, but nothing very ground-breaking.

and "Manchester By the Sea", with Casey Affleck, directed by Kenneth Lonergan, which in my mind, is completely overrated.  It's a one-note ode to tragedy.  If you like films where everyone is depressed, then this film is for you - I couldn't wait for it to end.

But, on the other hand, I discovered some real gems that got lost in the big money/big publicity race for the Oscars -

"Hunt for the Wilderpeople" - a modest comedy from New Zealand - directed by Taika Waititi and starring Sam Neill.  A very small adventure film, full of deadpan and wacky comedy.

"The Jungle Book", directed by Jon Favreau, is a marvelous re-telling of the classic Rudyard Kipling story, using the full power of CG.

Along the same lines is "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", directed by David Yates, based on a story from J.K. Rowling.  Although it's set in a quite different environment from "Jungle Book", it still celebrates the magical, fantasy potential of computer animation, but with a great helping of humor.  Eddie Redmayne is perfect in this.

"American Pastoral", from a book by Philip Roth, is directed by, and stars, Ewan McGregor - a very sad and illuminating tale about the rebellious 1960's - it wasn't in theaters very long, but it's a real gem.

"Miss Sloane", starring Jessica Chastain, is a razor-sharp analysis of big business and the glass ceiling that awaits ambitious women -

"Elle", directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Isabelle Huppert, is such a wild mix of emotions: horror, violence, drama, comedy, I never knew what to expect next.  A pure delight.

"Love & Friendship", directed by Whit Stillman, starring Kate Beckinsale, is a marvelously droll comedy of manners among the rich in 18th century England. 

"Christine", directed by Craig Shilowich and starring Rebecca Hall, is a humorous re-telling of the story of the infamous Tampa Bay news reporter who shot herself on air in mid-broadcast.  An excellent look at the early days of TV news, with super acting and direction.

And lastly, a real classic Hollywood-type film, "Allied", directed by Bob Zemeckis, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.  First of all, I love World War II films, they've got the perfect setting for conflict.  Add some romance and some spies with a heart-wrenching ending, and I'm hooked.

Now, I hate it when people bring up films that no one else has seen, and claim that they're the best films ever.  And since it's hard to see some of these films, of course, it's difficult to argue back.  And it may seem like I've selected mostly obscure, limited-release movies.  But with access to the internet now, a lot of these films are watchable - so please check out my list of films, I think you'll like them as much as I did.

Happy New Year,

Bill P.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Plympton Animation University - last call!

As many of you may know, during January and February I'm holding a class for anyone who wants to learn the fine art of traditional animation. The classes will be held in my animation studio in the Chelsea area of Manhattan, and for those who can't make it, we'll be holding an online version of the course at a discounted rate.

We still have a few slots open for the in-person classes at the studio, so if you're at all interested in becoming part of the 2017 student body, please sign up as soon as you can. 

I look forward to meeting my students at the first class on Monday, January 9, 6 pm.  If you need more details about the class, please see the earlier blog post, or e-mail us at:

Keep drawing -

Bill Plympton