February 23rd, 2018

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Meta: Animation Resources’ Goals and Projects

Animation Resources is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving the worldwide animation community. Through our various online and in-person projects, we educate and inspire professional animators, cartoonists, illustrators and students. If you are a creative person in animation or an allied field, you should be a member of Animation Resources!

The Goals of Animation Resources

  • To support and encourage animation education
  • To support the preservation and critical evaluation of animation history
  • To recognize the achievement of excellence in the art of animation
  • To increase public awareness of animation
  • To act as a liaison to encourage the free exchange of ideas within the animation community
  • To encourage journalism documenting current trends and activities in animation
  • To encourage the social interaction of professional and non-professional animation enthusiasts
  • To encourage the development and expression of all forms of animation

Animation Resources’ Projects

ANIMATION ARCHIVE PROJECT

We are in the process of developing a database of material designed to educate and inspire artists working in the fields of animation, cartooning and illustration. Included in the collection are hundreds of thousands of high resolution scans of rare artwork and instructional material related to the subject, as well as thousands of digitized animated films and biographical data on great artists. All of this information is combined in a database where the collection can be sorted and searched in an incredibly flexible manner. Currently, the collection occupies dozens of hard drives and measures in the terabytes, but our eventual goal is to be able to house it on cloud servers and make the information available over the internet. More About the Animation Archive Project

ANIMATION CREATIVE LEAGUE

The Creative League currently meets once a month for networking, informal discussion, screenings, friendly critique of work in progress, and guest speakers. The topics of the meetings cover the full spectrum of creativity- music, art, cartooning, dance, filmmaking, animation, comedy and drama. The purpose is to inspire and empower independent animation creators and build a community of independent artists in the Los Angeles area. More About the Animation Creative League

PODCASTING PROJECT

Animation Resources has embarked on an exciting podcasting project to expand our services to the worldwide animation community. We live stream our events to Facebook and present a wide range of interviews, lectures and screenings from our headquarters in Los Angeles. Our intent is to use state of the art technology to encourage communication between Animation Creative League chapters in other cities. More About the Animation Resources Podcasting Project

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 9:12 am

February 22nd, 2018

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Grim Natwick Teaches Us How To Think Like An Animator

Animation Resources

One thing I’ve noticed among certain young animators is a tendency to focus exclusively on things that directly apply to whatever project they’re currently working on. Referencing art in a different style or from a different period in time can sometimes be seen by them as a distraction, or worse yet, irrelevant to their work as an artist. This is a very bad habit to get into, because it builds a box around an artists’ creativity. After a few years, this focus settles into a form of tunnel-vision. At Animation Resources, our primary purpose is to help artists “think outside the box”.

There have been a few people I’ve met in my life who saw the big picture clearly. Grim Natwick was one of them. He had an incredibly broad view of animation, which isn’t surprising because his career in animation spanned nearly seven decades! Grim was a storyteller, and even though his long convoluted stories jumped across decades and diverse subjects like the cow jumping over the moon, his thought process was like a laser beam focused on the essence of what it means to be an artist.

Here is a video of Grim speaking with Reg Hartt in Toronto in the early 80s. In this interview he discusses a wide range of subjects, from fine art to illustration- at one point he digresses all the way to Indonesian shadow puppets- but every bit of it directly applies to his life as an animator. And it directly applies to your life as an animator too.


GRIM NATWICK INTERVIEW 1982
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CEYYLr9tRU

When I was in college, I looked Grim up in the phone book and visited him at his apartment in Santa Monica. I aspired to work in animation and I wanted to learn how animators think. I couldn’t have had a better person to learn from. I would sit on Grim’s front porch and ask him questions. Then the stories would unfold in front of me, giving me an overview of what the artform was all about, and most importantly, insight into what it could be.

It’s 30 years later now, but I still think about the things Grim talked about. Grim never put himself in a stylistic box. He worked in every style from the early silent Mutt & Jeff cartoons, to the surreal Fleischer style, to anatomically precise Disney style, to loud and raucous Lantz style, to the graphically innovative UPA style. Grim never stopped learning. He set aside an hour a day for self study and continued this practice well into his 90s.

Young animators sometimes look at what we are doing at Animation Resources and think to themselves, “That’s old stuff. It doesn’t apply to me.” Professional animators sometimes look at it and say to themselves, “I’m a professional now. I’m not in school any more. I don’t need to study.” Grim Natwick never thought that way. He saw the interrelationships between different styles and forms of art. He credited his studies for keeping him relevant in the business long after his contemporaries had moved on or retired. Grim lived and breathed animation. He had a passion for it and he could put that passion into words.

When I discovered this video interview yesterday, I realized how much of what Grim planted in me has developed into what Animation Resources has become today. Grim’s approach to his art is a shining example for all of us to follow. Whether you’re a student or a pro, exploring and learning and discovering new things should be a part of your daily life. Animation Resources wants to help you do that.

February is the best time to join Animation Resources. During Member Appreciation Month, we’re pulling out all the stops to share some of our greatest treasures with our members. Throughout the year, we’ll be offering up incredible, thought provoking material that can change the way you think and help you grow as an artist. If you are a creative person, you should be a member of Animation Resources.

For a rundown of all the perks of Animation Resources membership, see… http://animationresources.org/wannabeamember/

JOIN Animation Resources today!
https://animationresources.org/membership/levels/

The world of animaton owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Reg Hartt for sharing this incredible video with us.

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 10:21 am

February 21st, 2018

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REFPACK020: Rare Silent Films By Animator/Comic Charlie Bowers


REFPACK 020
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January-February 2018

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Every other month, members of Animation Resources are given access to an exclusive Members Only Reference Pack. These downloadable files are high resolution e-books on a variety of educational subjects and rare cartoons from the collection of Animation Resources in DVD quality. Our current Reference Pack has just been released. If you are a member, click through the link to access the MEMBERS ONLY DOWNLOAD PAGE. If you aren’t a member yet, please JOIN ANIMATION RESOURCES. It’s well worth it.

DVD QUALITY VIDEO:
Charlie Bowers

Two Films By Charlie Bowers
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He Done His Best (1926) / A Wild Roomer (1926)

What do you get if you take the imagination of a great animator and cross it with the mind of a brilliant slapstick comedian? The answer is… Charlie Bowers. Almost forgotten today and rarely mentioned in histories of silent comedy, in his day Bowers was a successful and well known film maker, a peer of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd.

Bowers started his career as a cartoonist for Raoul Barré on the Mutt & Jeff cartoons. But he was a gifted performer as well as being a cartoonist, and in the mid 1920s he starred in a series of silent live action comedies. These shorts are unique because they employ animation to create eye-popping fantastic effects. The French surrealist André Breton spoke very highly of these films. We are happy to be able to share two of these shorts with you… “He Done His Best” and “A Wild Roomer”, both from 1926. Bowers performs in these shorts as a “regular fella” much like Keaton and Lloyd, but the slapstick isn’t the thing that distinguishes these shorts. I think you’ll be amazed by the inventiveness of the mechanical effects and stop motion animation.

REFPACK020: Charlie Bowers Silents
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MP4 Video File / 47:28 / 845 MB Download


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Charlie Bowers
Charlie BowersCharlie Bowers
Charlie Bowers
Charlie Bowers
Charlie Bowers


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JOIN TODAY To Access Members Only Content


Not A Member Yet? Want A Free Sample?

Check out this SAMPLE REFERENCE PACK! It will give you a taste of what Animation Resources members get to download every other month!

Sample RefPack

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 10:13 am