Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SoDak Animation Festival

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the SoDak Animation Festival in South Dakota, which screened Board to Death! Being there as an filmmaker instead of just a viewer was pretty awesome: I got to stand on stage and answer audience questions about my movie, I met a bunch of other cool animators, someone gave me a dog, and I even got a name badge to wear around my neck—and my name was spelled correctly on this one, automatically making SoDak a better festival than Ottawa.

Speaking of Ottawa, I did have a great time illustrating that visual journey about my time there last year. Maybe I'll do the same for my South Dakota trip when I get a chance. This visual journey will probably be much less focused on food, since I didn't eat anything as delicious as a beavertail, or as horrifying as poutine.

Anyway, getting to see Board to Death on a big screen was exciting. And people asked me lots of good questions about how I made the cuts from different takes look seamless (hours of Photoshop), how much planning ahead I did (other than a storyboard, rough animatic, and some 5-second-long test shots, not much), and whether any of the rubber bands ever broke while filming (no, and I am still thankful).

At the festival, I did get to meet a bunch of other awesome people and see their awesome animations. Joy Vaccese and Noelle Melody won the Golden Cowbell with Place Stamp Here. I can't seem to find the entire movie online, but here's their trailer:

I also met Dylan Hayes, who made Playing For Keeeps. As far as I can tell, the video's not online, but it even looks pretty cool as a screenshot:

Giles Timm was there with a couple of shorts, including a music video called Chasm. Once again, I can't find an embeddable version of it, but here's one of his other movies, Dead All Along:

Finally, I also met Greg Bro, creator of A Cock Tale. And whoa, that video is actually online in it's entirety, so I can actually include it! Hurray for embeddable video:

Of course there were lots of other great shorts too, and as always happens at festivals, I'm now inspired to try out a whole bunch of new techniques and styles. I missed David Chai speaking about animation on Thursday night, but we did get to talk briefly afterwards. And thanks a lot to Cable Hardin and Dev Narang for helping me out with being in South Dakota.

Anyway, now that Board to Death has officially played at an animation festival, I can start plastering those very austere and important-looking "film festival wreathes" all over it! You know, where it says "official selection" between a pair of leaves that look like parentheses. Yeah, those things. Exciting stuff.

In a few weeks, the short will be playing at CutOut Fest in Mexico. I hope people enjoy it! I won't be able to make it down there—luckily, that just means that I won't have to adopt another giant dog and then abandon it when I become terrified of smuggling it on an airplane.

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