An­necy 2017 Adds Two New Shorts Com­pe­ti­tions

Animation Magazine - - Frame- By- Frame - By Mau­reen Fur­niss By Ben Mitchell [CRC Press, $50]

Three of the out-of-com­pe­ti­tion pro­grams will be re­placed at the 2017 An­necy fes­ti­val by two new com­pe­ti­tion sec­tions: Young Au­di­ence and Per­spec­tives.

The Young Au­di­ence com­pe­ti­tion will of­fer a new prize, with the win­ner de­cided by a Ju­nior Jury.

Per­spec­tives is fo­cused on help­ing new cre­atives, emerg­ing films and those pro­duced in col­lab­o­ra­tion or of­fer­ing a sin­gu­lar per­spec­tive on the world we live in and the state of an­i­ma­tion. This award will be ju­ried by three art stu­dents who will pro­vide a con­tem­po­rary point of view on the two pro­grams in this sec­tion. The Dam Keeper

Usu­ally, when we say a par­ent and child are sim­i­lar, we mean it as a good thing. But some­times, as in this short film from Spain, there are draw­backs as well. Alike is about a fa­ther-son duo — the son wants to play and have fun, while the fa­ther works con­stantly and tries to in­spire a sim­i­lar se­ri­ous­ness in his son. The res­o­lu­tion of this con­flict is clever and real.

What is your oc­cu­pa­tion? Lara — I am the founder of Pepe School Land, an an­i­ma­tion school based in Barcelona. Usu­ally I com­bine the classes with cre­at­ing tools for an­i­ma­tion and mak­ing an­i­ma­tion shorts. Mén­dez — I stud­ied at Daniel’s school some years ago. Right now, I’m work­ing as an­i­ma­tor on a fea­ture film at Ilion An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios.

Where did the idea for the short come from and why did you de­cide to tell the story in an­i­ma­tion? Mén­dez — The idea comes from Dani’s own ex­pe­ri­ences as a fa­ther. He told me about the pos­si­bil­ity of work­ing hand by hand di­rect­ing a short film about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween a fa­ther and his son. The idea of be­ing able to get in­volved in a per­sonal project ex­cited me.

How long did it take to fin­ish the movie?: From the white page to the fi­nal DCP, we have in­vested around five years of our life in Alike. The script and the pre­pro­duc­tion took us two years of work. Then we needed three ad­di­tional years to an­i­mate, ren­der­ing and com­posit­ing.

What tools did you use?: Mén­dez — We mainly used open­source tools like Blender.

Has your film been shown pub­licly? If so, where?: Alike has been shown in more than 254 film fes­ti­vals world­wide.

Has your film won any awards? We have won the Goya Span­ish Aca­demic Award in 2016 and has been nom­i­nated for Car­toon d’Or. It has gath­ered more than 50 in­ter­na­tional awards.

What are your fu­ture an­i­ma­tion plans?: Mén­dez — I need to un­wind from the ef­fort of in­vest­ing such a big amount of time in a per­sonal project. I would like to keep learn­ing while work­ing in a big stu­dio to be able to ap­ply that knowl­edge to fur­ther per­sonal projects. Lara — I have a cou­ple new ideas for short films in mind, but right now I am work­ing on de­vel­op­ing new an­i­ma­tion tools with the idea of us­ing them in new projects, of course. [

Ho-ho-hold on to your credit scores, kids. ’Tis the sea­son to go shop­ping, so we’ve made a list and checked it twice to make sure it’s noth­ing but new must-have items for an­i­ma­tion afi­ciona­dos. [Thames & Hud­son, $82 list | $55 Kin­dle] CalArts Ex­per­i­men­tal An­i­ma­tion pro­gram di­rec­tor Mau­reen Fur­niss has crafted an es­sen­tial, com­pre­hen­sive over­view of this per­va­sive field for both stu­dents and the public. After strug­gling through years of teach­ing without find­ing one an­i­ma­tion his­tory book that cov­ered ev­ery­thing she wanted to present, Fur­niss has used her own ex­ten­sive data­base of lec­ture notes to cre­ate this one. From 17th cen­tury magic lantern shows to the rise of CGI, A New His­tory of An­i­ma­tion tells the story of an­i­ma­tion’s tech­ni­cal and artis­tic evo­lu­tion. Read­ers will be in­tro­duced to prac­tices span­ning the in­dus­trial to the indie, in an ar­ray of tech­niques and orig­i­nat­ing from all cor­ners of the globe — an­a­lyzed and placed within his­tor­i­cal con­texts by a prac­ticed in­struc­tor. By Ray Poin­ter [McFar­land & Co, $40] The Art of Archer By Neal Hol­man [Dey Street Books, $30] The Art of Moana By Jes­sica Julius & Mag­gie Malone [Chron­i­cle Books, $40] The Best Amer­i­can Comics 2016 Edited by Roz Chast [Houghton Mif­flin Har­court, $25] Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Mon­sters [In­sight Edi­tions, $30] In­de­pen­dent An­i­ma­tion: De­vel­op­ing, Pro­duc­ing and Dis­tribut­ing Your An­i­mated Films The Poké­mon Cook­book: Easy & Fun Recipes By Maki Kudo [VIZ Me­dia, $15] Steven Uni­verse: The An­swer By Re­becca Su­gar [Car­toon Net­work Books, $10]

Artist Model: Male & Fe­male Durable plas­tic fig­ures at 1/6 scale with fa­cial fea­tures and ex­pres­sive hands (and nip­ples?) for de­tailed draw­ing stud­ies. [Sideshow Col­lectibles, $30 ea.] da Vinci miniMaker En­try-level, com­pact 3D printer, plus ac­cess to de­sign soft­ware and ed­u­ca­tional re­sources. [XYZprint­ing, $250] Dis­ney Tsum Tsum Count­down to Christ­mas Ad­vent Cal­en­dar 31 piece set of the most fes­tive lit­tle stack­able dar­lings, ever. [Jakks Pa­cific, $40] Ma­guss Wand Phys­i­cal ac­ces­sory for up­com­ing AR mo­bile game that’ll ful­fill your wiz­ard­ing dreams; grants early Beta ac­cess! [Indiegogo InDe­mand, $59] Minecraft Stop-Mo­tion Movie Cre­ator Turn game-au­then­tic fig­ures, back­grounds and props into orig­i­nal an­i­ma­tions with a free mo­bile app. [Mat­tel, $35] Talk­ing Red 11” Find­ing Dory Hank 17” [Dis­ney Store, $20] Kung Fu Panda itty bit­tys Po & Ti­gress LE [Hall­, $7 ea.] Moana Talk­ing Pua & Hei­hei Set [Dis­ney Store, $30] Sausage Party Barry the Hot Dog [Li­censed 2 Play, $11] The Se­cret Life of Pets In­ter­ac­tive Cute & Crazy Snow­ball [Toys ‘R’ Us, $50] Trolls Hug ‘N Plush Guy Di­a­mond 18” [Toys ‘R’ Us, $15] Zootopia Ele-Fin­nick with SFX [Wal­mart, $33] NES Clas­sic Edi­tion Por­ta­ble plug-and-play sys­tem loaded with 30 clas­sic 8-bit games. Hard to find, but worth it. [Nin­tendo, $60] OGOBILD with An­i­mateIt! Kid-friendly, stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion stu­dio kit in­clud­ing cam­era, de­vel­oped with Aard­man an­i­ma­tors. Build, cre­ate and share! [OGOS­port, $65] Poké­mon Z-Ring Wear­able ac­ces­sory that un­locks awe­some “Z-Moves” in Poké­mon Sun and Moon with light-up crys­tals. [TOMY, $30] Scooby-Doo! POP! An­i­ma­tion Col­lect Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shag ‘n’ Scoob — plus Gemini Col­lectibles’ ex­clu­sive flocked Scooby — and go solve some mys­ter­ies. [Funko, $10-18] Yo-kai Watch Model Zero Project short char­ac­ter an­i­ma­tions, play tribe songs, sum­mon­ing sounds and Yo-kai names. Rec­og­nizes 100-plus medals (in­cludes two). [Has­bro, $30] Loot Crate be­fore for its Marvel and Anime sub­scrip­tions, but they keep adding cool new col­lab­o­ra­tions like the San­rio “Small Gift” sub ($35/box) and South Park Spe­cial Edi­tion Crate ($70, ma­ture con­tent). Nerd Block is another geeky gift­ing op­tion, of­fer­ing themed subs, in­clud­ing one for ju­niors, and the Stan Lee Lim­ited Edi­tion Block ($50, ships Jan. 13). And Crate­joy has op­tions for ev­ery pos­si­ble in­ter­est — we’re cov­et­ing Anime Bento ($35/mo.), Pa­per Street Books and Comics ($27/two mos.) and Charm with Me Club ($20/ mo.), a fash­ion­able box of fan­dom-in­spired, Pan­dora-com­pat­i­ble baubles.

The his­tory of an­i­ma­tion is as wide-rang­ing as the medium is lim­it­less, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to find teach­ing ma­te­ri­als that cover the topic in any kind of co­he­sive or com­pre­hen­sive way. That is, at least in part, what mo­ti­vated Mau­reen Fur­niss, di­rec­tor of Cal Arts’ ex­per­i­men­tal an­i­ma­tion pro­gram and the in­struc­tor of its an­i­ma­tion his­tory class, to co­a­lesce as much of the medium’s story as pos­si­ble into the text­book A New His­tory of An­i­ma­tion, pub­lished in Septem­ber by Thames & Hud­son.

Fur­niss’ se­ri­ous in­ter­est in an­i­ma­tion dates back to a some­what ran­dom in­ci­dent while a grad­u­ate stu­dent at San Diego State Univer­sity. “I was lis­ten­ing to the ra­dio sta­tion and I won some tick­ets to the La Jolla Mu­seum of Comtem­po­rary Art and at that time they showed the Spike & Mike trav­el­ing fes­ti­vals,” she says. “I went down there and brought a friend and I couldn’t be­lieve it. I had al­ways en­joyed an­i­ma­tion, but when I saw it, I thought that is what I want to do.”

But she found her­self more at­tracted to teach­ing and writ­ing about an­i­ma­tion than mak­ing it her­self. That led her to USC and his­to­rian Wil­liam Moritz, who taught an­i­ma­tion his­tory at CalArts prior to Fur­niss’ join­ing the school’s staff in 2005. “I had ac­tu­ally taught for Bill when he was sick, just for one se­mes­ter,” she says. “Even­tu­ally he was no longer able to teach and they did a search and I got the po­si­tion, so I’ve been here fol­low­ing in my men­tor’s foot­steps for 11 years.”

She says her mo­ti­va­tion for writ­ing the book was to cover the full breadth and depth of the in­dus­try and not just the well-trav­eled ter­rain of the works of ma­jor Amer­i­can stu­dios.

“I like to think about an­i­ma­tion his­tory as a re­ally broad thing, not just big stu­dios or not just the­atri­cal types of things, but also TV and a lot of the ar­eas that don’t get writ­ten about very of­ten,” she says. “I felt like there was so much an­i­ma­tion his­tory that wasn’t be­ing doc­u­mented and I felt like I was in a good po­si­tion to put it up there.”

At first, Fur­niss says the idea was to put this his­tory on­line for her stu­dents, un­til she men- tioned it to the pub­lisher of her pre­vi­ous book and they thought it would work as a text­book.

Start­ing with her class notes, the writ­ing took about three years, with the em­pha­sis switch­ing from writ­ing to re­vis­ing near the end of the project.

Some of the big­gest chal­lenges were hav­ing to de­cide what works to in­clude and what to omit, as well as how to han­dle newly de­vel­op­ing ar­eas of an art form that is grow­ing by leaps and bounds, both cre­atively and tech­no­log­i­cally, all over the world. That’s one rea­son why in­ter­na­tional an­i­ma­tion gets more at­ten­tion in her book, espe­cially with so many stu­dents com­ing to study an­i­ma­tion at CalArts from abroad.

“I al­ways feel re­ally bad only fo­cus­ing on Amer­i­can stuff be­cause it gives the im­pres­sion there’s noth­ing worth­while in their own coun­tries’ pro­duc­tion his­tory, and that’s far from the truth in most cases,” she says. “And the realm of TV an­i­ma­tion gets over­looked and so many of our stu­dents are work­ing in that realm. The whole per­cep­tion of TV has shifted a lot and the books don’t nec­es­sar­ily re­flect that.”

And the re­sponse from stu­dents is very pos­i­tive, Fur­niss says. “Not ev­ery­thing is go­ing to ap­peal to ev­ery stu­dent, ob­vi­ously, but when they do find some­thing they like, they tend to dig deep,” she says. “Some­times it’s the ran­dom piece that you don’t know is go­ing to be the turn­ing point for some­body, but they look at it and say, ‘I want to do some­thing like that in my own work.’ Years later they’ll come back and say, we watched Harry Smith or we watched Bob Clam­pett, or Nor­man McLaren, and I hadn’t seen it be­fore and it made me want to do what I do now. It’s a pretty cool feel­ing, ac­tu­ally.” [

17To­day’s discs: Long Way North, LEGO Nexo Knights: Book of Mon­sters, LEGO Juras­sic World: The In­domi­nus Escape, Fairy Tail: Col­lec­tion Six BD, Thomas & Friends: Up, Up & Away!

CalArts’ Mau­reen Fur­niss cast a wide net in chron­i­cling the art­form’s ori­gins and evo­lu­tion for the text­book

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