One of my favorite places in town is the beautifully restored Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, run by the wonderful American Cinematheque. It’s generally a great place to see rare, obscure, and underrated live action films, but this weekend the Cinematheque is hosting a program by AniMazing Spotlight, an excellent two-day program on animated short film creation.
AniMazing Spotlight is a “Festival and Feedback” program launched a year ago and exclusively dedicated to supporting and promoting animated shorts. I haven’t seen this program advertised anywhere, and wouldn’t have know about it if I hadn’t gone to the Egyptian last Friday for the Cinematheque’s 50th anniversary program on The Twilight Zone.
Here’s the program for Saturday, Nov. 7:
Animation Careers: Four hourlong lectures with leading animation experts:
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM: A Crash Course on Character Animation – Eric Goldberg.
Eric Goldberg is an award-winning animator and director whose magic has graced such classics as Disney’s ALADDIN, POCAHONTAS and HERCULES. He’ll dazzle and entertain the audience with a live version of his recent book Character Animation Crash Course.
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Commercial Television Spots: Shortest Shorts – Bob Kurtz.
Bob Kurtz, head of the envelope-bursting Kurtz & Friends, will reveal some of the lesser-known techniques needed to work in TV spots and movie title production, including how to break into the field and how to survive and experiment.
3:45 PM – 4:45 PM: The Incestuous History of Technology & Animation – Bill Kroyer.
With a solid career in traditional television and commercial animation, Bill Kroyer is more frequently thought of these days as one of the world’s leading authorities on computer animation and graphics. He will show clips from some of the films he’s worked on over the years, many of which have come out of Rhythm & Hues, a company he helped create.
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: The Importance of Story in Animated Shorts – Jim Capobianco.
The award-winning story artist from Pixar (FINDING NEMO, MONSTERS, INC.) will emphasize the importance of having a captivating story to go with your fascinating animation techniques.
Saturday, November 7 – 8:00 PM
Voting Screening of All Nominated Shorts: Screening of all nominees for Best of Festival, Student Short, First Film, Foreign Short, Story, Humor, Character Design, Overall Design, Animation Techniques, Non-Verbal Communication, Non-Narrative Animation and Comment on Issues of Our Times, plus honorable mentions.
Not enough for you? Then there’s the Sunday program, Looking Back and Looking Ahead:
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM: The Making of the Latest Pixar Short – Peter Sohn.
Animator/story artist Peter Sohn directed his first short film, “Partly Cloudy,” at Pixar Animation Studios. He will give our audience a first-hand look behind the scenes.
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Short History of Animated Shorts – Tom Sito / Mark Kausler.
Tom Sito is an animator and author of Drawing the Line: Animation Unions From Bosco to Bart Simpson. Mark Kausler is an animator, collector and historian who has worked on YELLOW SUBMARINE, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and THE LION KING as well as his own award-winning animation IT’S THE CAT. Together they will examine the history of animated short films, illustrated with rare shorts from Kausler’s collection.
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM: How MTV Rocked the Animation World – Yvette Kaplan / John Andrews.
This screening will include MTV audience favorites, oddities and new upstarts. Yvette Kaplan was supervising director of MTV series “Beavis and Butt-Head” series and co-director of the feature BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD DO AMERICA. In the 1990s, John Andrews ran MTV Animation and produced shows including “Beavis and Butt-Head,” “Daria” and “Aeon Flux.” Since 1998 he has been executive producer/creative director of ka-chew!, the commercial production arm of Klasky Csupo.
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Awards Presentations: Top 3 Quarterly Winners and Categories.
All this for a $25 general pass ($20 for students/seniors), or you can pay for individual programs. There’s only one thing that sucks about all this — I’ll be out of town for the next week.