Monday, August 23, 2021

Oregon visit & screenings of "Demi's Panic"

A week ago I returned from our annual vacation trip to Oregon. We went to the beautiful Oregon coast and stopped by historic Seaside.  This as about as close to Coney Island as Oregon gets. 

Lucas in front of the Lewis & Clark statue in Seaside OR

They have a statue there, commemorating the end of Lewis and Clark's famous expedition.  As I did some exploring of my own throughout Seaside, down one shopping street I discovered a shop called "Universal Video".  Yes, a video store still in operation!

I entered with the happy excitement that I might discover a large animation section that may even include a bunch of my films.  It was a large, cavernous shop, filled with large racks of DVDs and video-cassettes.  But it was a bit sad, because the VHS packages had all turned blue from aging.  They must have been 30 years old!  And the owner/operator had THOUSANDS of video cassettes, and of course he also had thousands of DVDs.  Now, Seaside, as a resort, gets a lot of tourists who stay at the town's many hotels - and as you probably know, it often rains in Oregon, especially on the coast. 

In fact, I believe the Oregon coast has fewer sunny days that any other area in the U.S., so you might expect a lot of "Hey, kids, let's rent a movie at Universal Video!" Except now the hotels all have PPV or streaming options for kids movies.  Also, I was said to discover that the large animation section offered very little animation for adults, even animé was missing from the tall shelves.  So... no Plymptoons in Seaside, I guess.

I chatted with the owner for a while, he seemed a bit bored - no other customers while I was in the store.  But he was very positive about the future of his video store - though it felt to me like a recreation of a Blockbuster Video that was frozen in time.  

However, there is a wonderful video store located in Portland, OR, called "Movie Madness", that is just as large, but also FILLED with customers.  Why?  Because it's well-stocked with hard-to-find movies, rare anime, and TV shows, like all the episodes of "Twin Peaks".  And they have the entire library of this animator named Bill Plympton!

So, if you're ever on the beautiful Oregon coast, please stop by Universal Video and rent a bunch of DVDs, help make this store owner's dreams come true.  

We've got some festival screenings to announce for "Demi's Panic", the new animated short I directed. about the pandemic, written by Danny Leonard and produced by Lorena Hernández Leonard, with music composed by Daniel Jimenez Afanador.  

The festival premiere will take place at the World Festival of Animated Film in Varna, Bulgaria, which runs September 8-12, 2021.  We're trying to get more details about the screening now, the country of Bulgaria is going through a transitional phase at the government levels, and they're also being hit with the Delta variant of COVID right now, so this may not be an in-person festival, it may be remote - but what better way to screen a film ABOUT the pandemic?  Please check out their web-site for more details:

Next, the film will screen at the Indie-AniFest in Seoul, South Korea, September 9-14.  I'm scheduled to do a MasterClass at this festival, which will take place over Zoom, I believe, on September 11.  Then on September 12, the festival will screen a program of my short films, including "Demi's Panic", along with "Your Face", "How to Kiss", "Guard Dog", "Cop Dog", "The Fan and the Flower", "Santa: The Fascist Years", and "The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger".  You can check out the whole festival line-up at:

Then more big news, "Demi's Panic" is an Official Selection at the HollyShorts Film Festival, which takes place in Hollywood, CA - September 23 to October 1 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and also streaming on the Bitpix platform.  This is an Academy qualifying festival, and I'm so excited to have one of my films screened there!  We're waiting to hear more details about the screening dates and times, but you can check out the festival selections here:

That's all the news for now, but that's some great news!  Now here's this installment's cartoon:


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