Friday, April 30, 2021

Odds and Ends

Sorry for the long delay between postings - but I've been trying to finish the animation for this new short film in time for the trio of "primo" festival deadlines: Toronto, Venice and Telluride.  I'd tell you the name of the film but unfortunately we haven't been able to land on the best title yet. 

So, dear readers, I ask you to help us out.  If you can think of a cool name within the next week (deadline May 7) for a pandemic-based animated short, then I'll send you a piece of original art from the film, which is currently titled "Demi NYC".  The story is about a young woman working in New York who learns about the contagious virus that is floating around her city.  At night, she dreams of a red wave taking over the city and killing everything in its path.  After a family member is killed by the virus, she turns to her boyfriend, Omar, for support.  Please send me any ideas for titles as soon as possible!

image from "Demi NYC" (working title)

image from "Demi NYC" (working title)

Did anyone watch the Oscars on Monday?  I watched until 9:30, when they announced the animation winners.  "Soul" won for Best Animated Feature, and I'm happy for my friend Pete Docter, but I must admit there have been better Pixar films.  I voted for the hilarious "A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon".  

PIXAR's "Soul", the winner for Best Animated Feature

Aardman's "Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon", my favorite

As for the Best Animated Short award the winner was "If Anything Happens I Love You".  I liked this film, it was very heart-wrenching after all the student shootings in America, but for me I loved "Yes-People" more. 

"If Anything Happens I Love You"


But I do believe the Academy handled the pandemic very well.  It must have been weird shuttling all the nominated filmmakers in and out of the train station during the short commercials.  Although I could have used a little less political grandstanding and it would have been nice to have an MC or host.  Maybe Dr. Fauci?  

And some other news, this documentary, "The Brainwashing of My Dad", directed by Jen Senko, which I made some animation for, is now nominated for a Webby Award!  My "Trump Bites" series (a co-production with 110th Street Films) won a Webby two years ago, and now something I worked on is nominated again!  This one's nominated in the category of public service/activism, because it's all about how right-wing media spread a bunch of lies over the last few years, and how this changed public opinions, especially in older people.  

If you can take a few minutes to vote for this project and help us win a Webby, I'd really appreciate it.  Here's the link to vote:

I think you might have to register with the site to vote, but if you could take the time to do that, it would mean a lot!  Voting is open until May 6.  Thanks!

--Bill P. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

New Short Film - Demi NYC

As you may have already heard, or maybe not, I've started a new short film.  I was sent a script by the New England writer, Dan Leonard, about the coronavirus pandemic.  I don't usually do political shorts, but this script was a wonderful story, full of visual ideas that I could really have fun with.  Plus, I've never really done a serious film before and I wanted a change of pace.  

Right now, the temporary title is "Demi NYC", but we're considering different titles right now.  Last week, Dan and his wife, Lorena, came to visit my studio and I showed them how I make the animation.  So I'm happy to present to you all that demonstration, and also to alert you that they're about to run a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for production of the short.  I hope you all can help support the new short, it's going to be one of my best films!  Please check it out on Vimeo here -

--Bill P.