DOCUMENTS – Paul Anderson, Secretary/Director of Documents
Over the past year, Animation Resources has seen significant growth. By now the organization has established visibility within all of the major animation studios in the area. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we have continued to live up to our mission statement, serving both our local and international membership communities with invaluable resources. Throughout this period of steady growth, the Board of Directors has met regularly, kept accurate minutes, and kept up with all necessary paperwork and legal filings to ensure continued stability and success as we continue to expand our reach, both online through our website and social media and in person through networking events and screenings.
TREASURY – JoJo Baptista, Treasurer
As new members continue to enroll and renew their dues, the funds available for Animation Resources are growing steadily. This aids towards the establishment of new projects. The website, server space, and day to day operations of the organization are all currently self sustaining, due to the generosity of our members and valued donors. We are forecasting a gradual but steady increase in our membership rolls, and as the support increases, we will be able to offer more and more services to the worldwide animation community.
MEMBERSHIP- Taber Dunipace Director of Membership
Since establishing ourself as a membership supported non-profit organization at the beginning of last your, we’ve managed to reach our projected goal of 100 members in our first year of operation. During that time my primary duties have included welcoming new members and communicating with them using Facebook and email. In addition, I’ve spent some of my time interacting with members directly both online and in person at our live events, acting as an ambassador for the organization.
My plans for the coming year primarily concern the recruitment of new members. I plan to step up outreach to existing schools and creative organizations, and continue the outreach established in our February membership drive. I also plan to author more articles for the archive website on the topic of learning and practice habits. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to reach membership population of approximately 300 by the end of next year, and to hopefully retain as many repeat members as possible by continuing to provide them with excellent membership benefits and services for their dues.
ADVISORY BOARD- Michael Woodside, Liason to the Advisory Board
During our first year, we at Animation Resources have been accomplishing great things with our screenings, website and animation archive project. My main responsibility was to inform the Advisory Board of all of the information and events Animation Resources has offered to its membership and to report any of their expert feedback to our Board of Directors.
For the next year, I plan on taking all that we have learned from this past year and presenting it to our Advisory Board for their invaluable advice. I hope to gain their insight on how we can constantly improve our message and outreach methods. I also hope to find more professionals who would be interested in supporting Animation Resources with their advice and feedback.
EVENTS / PUBLICITY- David Hofmann, Director of Communications
As Director of Communications for Animation Resources, this has been a learning year for me. I successfully built a relationship with the director of programming at the American Cinemateque, leading to our first large scale screening this last spring. I have continued to be in contact with them to plan additional events during the coming the year. Of course, we also plan to continue having smaller scale screenings, networking parties and events right here in what we call the Animation Resources Clubhouse. To spread the word about our organization, I have also been working on getting Animation Resources into local conventions. We had our first networking party following CTN in November of last year. It was a great way for Animation Resources to introduce our organization to our target audience. Plans are in place for a presence at WonderCon this year to introduce our goals and mission statement to an even larger audience of prospective artists.
As for the goals for coming year, I would like to do more events with the American Cinemateque. I hope to connect with more conventions that we can use to get our name out there and recruit more members. I also would like to to do some non-screening events that allow us to show off our archive collection. One of my ideas is to create a liason with art galleries to make fine art prints available from the remarkable treasures in our collection.
TECHNOLOGY- Eric Jiang, Director of Technology
This year our website was refitted with WordPress plugins to allow special members only downloads by our former Director of Technology, Alex Vassilev. Our immediate goals for the future involve updating the online store and building two automated email lists, one for the general public, and one for Animation Resources Members.
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE- Stephen Worth
When ASIFA-Hollywood and ASIFA-International informed us that they would no longer be able to sponsor our digital archive, our project was in peril of ending for good. But the volunteers who had benefitted from the Animation Archive (and had gone on to careers in the animation business because of it!) rallied behind the project and helped establish the 501(c)(3) non-profit status that was required to continue it. That took nearly two years of submitting forms and waiting for responses. But we were finally granted a charter two years ago. It took us another year to re-establish our web presence, gain visibility in social media, build the technical infrastructure to take dues and organize membership data online, and create benefits of membership that justified the membership dues. In the beginning of 2015, we were finally ready to start soliciting memberships, and I am proud to say that we have reached our initial goal of 100 members in our first year of operation. The membership dues for our first year were used to cover the legal fees involved in establishing the non-profit status, and to back up and upgrade the data servers which were at risk of hard drive crashes. That has now been accomplished, but it was a big job, because our disk arrays contain about 75 TB of data.
In the coming next few years, we have very big plans. We have never thought small around here! When I first started with ASIFA around 30 years ago, the intent of the organization was to create a network of small animation groups all over the world, which would exchange ideas and share their films. The idea was to encourage the communication of creative people all over the world. Of course, 30 years ago, the internet didn’t exist, so creating that kind of network was very difficult. ASIFA focused on creating festivals and events in various locations that were designed to draw the artists to them. But now we live in a different world, and just like Bill Scott envisioned an Animateque long before the digital technology existed to create it, ASIFA envisioned a worldwide community of animators before the online technology existed to be able to pull it off. With the help of enthusiastic support from young artists with much more technical savvy than old goats like myself, I hope to be able to finally bring this noble idea to reality. I would like to establish satellite Abimation Creative League groups all over the world, linked by the internet to share screenings, artwork, information and educational seminars. The first step towards accomplishing this, which we hope to put into operation by the Fall, is to establish a video podcasting system capable of live streaming our events, as well as sharing lectures, seminars and drawing classes across the internet to the worldwide animation community.
If I can digress into a story here for a moment… One of my most vivid memories of running the Animation Archive in Burbank was when I received a telephone call from the State Department letting me know that some dignitaries from Kazakhstan would like to pay a visit the archive. I had no idea why they chose my little project, but I let them know they would be welcome. They arrived with an entourage of government officials and interpreters, speaking no English at all. I showed them what we were doing, and explained our project, stopping after each and every sentence for the translator. They nodded with serious expressions and long beards… but I had no idea if they actually understood what I was saying. When I finished my nickel tour, we sat down and I asked the interpreter to translate for them so they could tell me about themselves. They explained that they were puppet animators and followed the website every day. It meant a lot for them to have access to the information that I was sharing with the world. They asked me why I did it. I wasn’t expecting that particular question, but I replied, “It takes a lot of energy and I have very little money to work with, but I have to do it… I love the art of animation.” The translator told them what I had said and they broke into big smiles and shook my hand. They said that it was the same for them. Since Russia had pulled out of their region, there was no money for puppet animation in Kazakhstan, but their art and tradition demanded that they continue it. Those of us in animation around the world really aren’t all that different.
The next goal for our organization after establishing a worldwide internet umbrella organization is to take our archive project to the world. Currently, we have over 150,000 high resolution images, 1,000 artists’ biographies and 7,000 digitized animated films. All of these treasures are housed in a database, which is keyword searchable like Google. The goal I have had from the beginning for this project is to get this database online for the reference of our members. We intend to house the material in a cloud server, and serve the database itself from our website. Storing this much information online is very costly, and obviously with 100 members, we are a long way from even being able to pay the server bills for such a mammoth undertaking. But I believe if we take it one step at a time, ultimately, we will reach our goal. With the support of our loyal members, and the unflagging energy and dedication of our incredible volunteers, I think we will achieve all of our goals much sooner than we think.
Nicholas John Pozega (Accepted by Paul Anderson)
Our organization wouldn’t exist without the faithful support and hard work of our volunteers. This year, four volunteers stood out because of their skills, dedication and accomplishments. James Sanders, Beatrice Guo and Benny Mercader tirelessly digitized and catalogued tens of thousands of images, and organized and processed our video collection for inclusion in the Archive Database. Nicholas John Pozega curated an invaluable Flickr gallery of animation reference and promoted our presence in social media. The Board of Directors of Animation Resources expresses our appreciation to these remarkable volunteers and thanks them for their wonderful work.
Special thanks to our good friend Antran Manoogian for manning the iPhone to capture these reports on video!