Friday, July 14, 2023

"Slide" update, "Elemental", "Indiana Jones" and Summer Art Sale

Once again, I want to thank you all for your patience.   I believe I've finally finished with my animation for "Slide" and now I move on to finish the editing and the sound, which I delegate to my crack team of post-production geniuses.

So, now I have a little more time to concentrate on some new projects, and also take a little summer vacation break in Oregon.  I got used to going up there every year after San Diego Comic-Con, so even though I stopped going out to SDCC in 2018 (it just wasn't profitable any more, once we factored in travel costs, shipping and the rising cost of just having a booth) I still try to make it back to Oregon for a week each summer.  The next exciting part will come this fall when I can begin another tour of the international film festival circuit and show "Slide" to the waiting world.  

It's taken me seven years to finish this damn film.  The delay was caused by the COVID pandemic.  The cinemas closed, universities and film studios closed down so my touring and master class fees disappeared and I had to take on commercial work - music videos, ads, documentaries and even illustration work.  Well, now that the virus has abated I can finally get out there and make appearances again.

All the people who have seen the rough cuts say it's my best film.  It's very different from my other features, the artwork is reminiscent of my illustration style, which is a ballpoint pen and colored-pencil mizture.  In fact the look is very impressionistic, which is rare among today's digitally animated films.  So it kind of has the look of a Van Gogh painting.

"Slide" premiered at the Annecy Animation Festival, but as a work-in-progress, so I had to open each packed screening with a disclaimer that the film was not yet finished.  Surprisingly, the audiences all loved the film and encouraged me to finish it soon.

We're now entering other festivals and searching for distribution and we hope that the film will get some good reviews and pick up some great sales. 

I just saw "Elemental", the new Pixar animated feature, and I was disappointed.  On my all-time Pixar list this film is hovering near the bottom, along with "Lightyear".  

The story starts off very slowly and picks up some momentum at the end.  I think the script needed a few rewrites - it also needed the genius of John Lasseter and Joe Ranft.  They need to get their stories back up to the quality level of their earlier films.  And in a film about the elements, what the hell happened to Earth and Air?  I give it a B-.

I was also excited to see the new Indiana Jones film, "The Dial of Destiny", which I loved.  The recreation of Harrison Ford as a younger version - was magnificent.  What does this mean for the future?  Actors don't need plastic surgery any more - nor do they need make-up artists.  It's a bold new future!

In my mind, the most satisfying of all the film mega-franchises is Indiana Jones - more than James Bond, Jurassic Park or Mission: Impossible.  I could watch "Raiders of the Lost Ark" every day and never get bored!

We're working now on a web-site to promote "Slide", and we're going to be selling original drawings from the film, made by my own hand, there.  Keep an eye out for that.  In the meantime, we've still got our Summer Art Sale going on, led by my intrepid office manager, John H., who's been working with my fans and customers to get them the art they want to collect from my films.  John's a collector himself (comic books and "Star Wars" autographs) so he gets it.  

John noticed that a few people were asking about buying matching frames from my Oscar-nominated short "Your Face" and also from the Simpsons couch gag "Homer's Face", which is a tribute, Homer sings the same song and his face goes through most of the same crazy contortions.  So he went through all the art that's left from both films (which isn't much at this point) and he found a bunch of matching frames.  

Check these out - these matches are still available, you can buy a pair of drawings for just $600 plus postage.  ($300 for the "Your Face" drawing, and $300 for the "Simpsons" drawing)

We have a few more sets than this, so if you're interested please e-mail John at and he can show you more of what we have available.  You can also still get signed art from my other films, like "How to Kiss" and "25 Ways to Quit Smoking" for $200 each, and from ANY other Plympton film ("The Tune", "I Married a Strange Person", "Mutant Aliens", "Guard Dog", "Guide Dog", "One of Those Days", "Plympmania", you name it...) for just $100 each if you want to choose the art.

Or there's still the "Director's Pick" from those films for $50 if you don't mind letting ME choose the art for you. ("Your Face" and any "Simpsons" art is ineligible for the Director's Pick).  Just e-mail if you want to get in on the Summer Art Sale, while summer lasts!  

These art sales have been extremely helpful in keeping my studio up and running while I've been rushing to get "Slide" finished.  We still have to pay off all the post-production expenses, so if you can buy some art and help me out, I would greatly appreciate it!  Or if you're looking to get a tax break before the fiscal year is over, you can still make a donation through Filmmakers Collaborative at this link:

I know it's been a while - hey, I've been busy with "Slide" - but here's a new gag cartoon - 

Stay cool, 

Bill P.

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