Archive for the ‘meta’ Category

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Meta: Why Do We Need An Animation Archive?

Why An Animation Archive

Several people have emailed me to ask for copies of the speech I gave at the ASIFA Lion King Reunion event back in 2004 where I announced the establishment of the Animation Archive project. This event was a long time ago, but the points are still relevant today. Please feel free to print it out and share it with your friends.


Hello… My name is Steve Worth and my passion is the art of hand drawn animation.

For the past ten or fifteen years, I’ve been a member of the Board of Directors of ASIFA-Hollywood, and I’m currently serving as the Director of the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Project.

Before we get started, I’d like to give you a little background on the archive project, and let you know how it relates to the panel discussion you’re about to hear tonight. Most of all, I’d like to share with you why this particular project is so important… perhaps more important now than at any other time in the history of animation.

Sir Isaac Newton was quoted as saying, “If I have seen further, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.” It’s all too easy to become so involved with what we’re doing “here and now”, that we forget what came before us. Los Angeles is often spoken of as “a town with no history”. Compared with cities like Athens, London or Paris, that may seem to be the case. But in its short period of existence, Los Angeles was the place that nurtured and developed one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, the art of cinema… and most importantly to the people gathered together in this room tonight, the art of animated filmmaking.

This sketch was given to me by an artist who knew that I was interested in the history of animation…

Cartoonist

He found it in the trash dumpster at FilmRoman, obviously thrown out when someone cleared his desk. The animator that gave this to me had no idea who this was. No one else he showed it to at the studio knew either. In fact, 99.9% of the general public wouldn’t even recognize his name, much less his image.

This is a self caricature of Ub Iwerks, the man who designed and animated Mickey Mouse… The man who invented process photography, enabling live action and animation to co-exist side by side… The man who revolutionized the industry with the invention of the multiplane camera and animation xerography. There are few people in the history of animation who have done more for us as animators than Ub Iwerks did. Yet his picture ended up in a trash can… completely unrecognized… at one of the most important TV animation studios in town. I’m not picking on FilmRoman when I point this out. The same could have happened at any studio, even the one this man made billions of dollars for over the years.

Think about that for a second and let it soak in.

How can we as artists “see further” like Isaac Newton if our collective memory is so short, we don’t even recognize the pioneers who made everything we do possible? This is the sort of shortsightedness that’s led to stories in the press announcing that hand drawn animation is obsolete. Hand drawn animation is no more replaceable by computer graphics than drawing and painting are replaced by photography. Cartooning is an irreplaceable artform, not an expendable technique.

Tonight, we’re here to honor the creative achievements of a team of artists who pulled together to make one of the most successful hand drawn animated films of all time. I would bet that just about all of us here tonight have pretty much the same question on our minds… How can the art of hand drawn animation return to the creative peak it enjoyed just a few short years ago?

Again, I’m going to give you a second to think about that question and let it soak in.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about that question. It’s time for me to build something that ASIFA-Hollywood’s founders, Bill Scott, June Foray and Bill Littlejohn envisioned as a goal for our organization nearly forty years ago… a museum, library and archive devoted to the art of animation… an institution dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting those broad shoulders we all stand upon.

Why An Animation Archive

The first step in achieving this goal is the establishment of something the founders of ASIFA could never have imagined… a “virtual archive”… A computer database containing hundreds of thousands of digital files representing animation drawings, model sheets, pencil tests, background paintings, book and magazine illustrations, cartoons, voice over reels, interviews, information and movies… all searchable by keyword. In short, the ultimate artist’s clip file. We all know that the major studios in town maintain their own archives to preserve the documents related to their particular productions, this digital archive will be unique, because it will be dedicated to documenting and serving the people who actually make animated films… the artists. We is in an unique position to be able to pull together a wide range of material for its archive… a much broader scope than any corporate archive could ever hope to encompass.

Tonight, the Animation Archive is just a concept with only a few presentation boards here to represent it… but next time we gather together for an event like this, you’ll see equipment and material on display… a functioning archive, instead of just presentation boards.

We realize that this is a lean time for animators. Money is tight. But we aren’t asking for a great deal from any one person. What we are asking for is for the animation community to pull together to do something of great value for the artform. ASIFA has always been all about recognizing the achievements of individuals… whether through its screenings, events like this, or the Annie Awards. The Animation Archive will be no different. It will be a resource that documents the history of people like Ub Iwerks, and the people who will be speaking to you in a few moments. Best of all, the archive will provide inspiration and education to a new generation of animators, acting as the shoulders for them to stand upon. This is *exactly* the sort of project that will prove conclusively to the world that hand drawn animation isn’t dead.

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Note: In 2011, ASIFA-Hollywood decided it was unable to continue to sponsor the Animation Archive. The volunteers of the Animation Archive pulled together and created Animation Resources, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to continue work on the project. Many thanks to the members of ASiFA-Hollywood and its President, Antran Manoogian for helping to get the project off the ground and onto a firm footing as its own organization.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

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



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Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Meta: Animation Resources’ Goals and Projects

gpals

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

projects

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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Monday, February 25th, 2019

The Officers, Board and Committees of Animation Resources


THE OFFICERS AND BOARD
OF ANIMATION RESOURCES


STEPHEN WORTH
President
sworth@animationresources.org

Stephen Worth has worked as an animation producer for over thirty years. He is the recipient of three Annie Awards, including the June Foray Lifetime Achievement Award for Benevolent Service to the Art of Animation. His credits include Alvin & the Chipmunks, Cool World, Yogi Bear, Ren & Stimpy, Bravest Warriors and Bee & Puppycat. He is a well known figure in the Hollywood animation community, having produced the first animated cartoon series created exclusively for the internet, as an authority on vintage animation art, and as the person responsible for establishing the Animation Archive, a digital reference library that serves animation professionals and students, as well as cartoonists and illustrators.

Stephen oversees the day to day operation of Animation Resources, and is chairman of the committee that oversees the Animation Archive.

TABER DUNIPACE
Vice President
tdunipace@animationresources.org

Taber Dunipace is a southern California freelance artist and educator specializing in 3D art and animation. For the last five years, he has taught a wide range of digital arts subjects, including character animation, digital painting, game development, and Flash animation. He also frequently does freelance work for both commercial animation and mobile games. He is currently teaching at Mt. San Antonio College and Riverside Community College, Norco.

As Vice President, Taber represents Animation Resources to the membership and communicates with the Executive Board in order to receive their invaluable guidance for the future growth of our organization.

PAUL ANDERSON
Secretary
panderson@animationresources.org

Originally from Minnesota, Paul arrived in Southern California in 2006, with dreams of someday entering the animation industry. Unexpectedly, he soon found a niche working on the production side. Currently, he can be found working on coordinating the production of a traditionally animated TV series, but also has experience in helping to produce CG content, stereoscopic 3D, live action, flash animation, and enhanced ebooks. He continues to develop his own art, both in classes at the Animation Guild, and in his own projects.

Paul is responsible for taking meeting minutes, cataloging and coordinating records, and distributing material to the rest of the board.

JOSEPH BAPTISTA
Treasurer
jbaptista@animationresources.org

Joseph “JoJo” Baptista is an animator from San Diego, California. He has worked for John Kricfalusi, Ralph Bakshi, Cartoon Network, Wild Brain and Frederator Studios as an animator, designer and storyboard artist. When JoJo was in college, he volunteered and studied at Animation Resources, where he found its treasures were invaluable. He has much to thank Animation Resources for helping him break into the animation industry, and feels that it is important for him to help others as the head of the Education Committee.

Joseph oversees the financial operations of Animation Resources, as well as chairing the Education Committee.

Mike AmatoMIKE AMATO
Director of Technology
mamato@animationresources.org

Surviving in LA as a New Jersey transplant, Mike Amato is currently part of a college training cohort for marketing and promotion production, where he does work at an editor, graphic designer and voice actor. He has done stereo 3D compositing on films such as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.” He also works on his own art, and is very passionate about the history of animation and art preservation.

Mike is responsible for maintaining the Animation Resources digital archive, and is constantly adding new amazing artwork and films to its already immense collection.

DAVID HOFMANN
Director of Communications
dhofmann@animationresources.org

David Edward Hofmann, also known as Pez, has worked in the animation industry since 2006. At a very young age he developed a love of classic animation, leading to a career in 2D based Television Animation in Los Angeles. David has worked with Cartoon Network (Stan Bayou), Wild Brain (Umigo), HBO’s “The Ricky Gervais Show”, Nickelodeon’s “Breadwinners” and Warner Bros’ new Bugs Bunny series “Wabbit”. David also passionately supports the preservation of classic works, so future artists can advance the art of animation for years to come.

David Hofmann serves as the Director of communications. He is responsible for representing Animation Resources to the worldwide animation community.


ADVISORY BOARD


RALPH BAKSHI

Ralph Bakshi is an American director of animated and live-action films. In the 1970s, he established an alternative to mainstream animation through independent and adult-oriented productions. Between 1972 and 1992, he directed nine theatrically released feature films, including “Heavy Traffic”, “Wizards”, “American Pop”, “Lord of the Rings” and “Fritz the Cat”, which upon release was the highest grossing animated feature to date. He has been involved in numerous television projects as director, writer, producer and animator.  He created and directed the “Mighty Heroes” TV show and produced “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse”, among others. Currently, he is living in New Mexico, drawing, painting and animating a personal film, “Last Days of Coney Island”. Link: RalphBaksi.com

DAVID CHAI

Award winning filmmaker David Chai, brings artistic excellence and technical know how to every project that he is involved in. David has been animating for over 14 years, on productions ranging from from educational software, animation for television and video, commercial advertising, to independent films. He is currently an Associate Professor of Animation and Illustration at San Jose State University in California. Link: House of Chai

SHERM COHEN

Sherm Cohen has helped bring to life some of the biggest animation hits of the past twenty years: His storyboarding, writing and directing credits include SpongeBob SquarePants, Hey Arnold, Disney’s Phineas & Ferb, Fish Hooks, and Kick Buttowski (for which he received an Emmy nomination). Sherm is the creator of  “Storyboard Secrets”, a comprehensive university-level video course at http://StoryboardSecrets.com

WILL FINN

Will Finn is an animation director and animator. His work includes films by Disney and Don Bluth, such as The Secret of NIMH, Oliver & Company, and Pocahontas. His characters include Laverne (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Iago (Aladdin), and Cogsworth (Beauty and the Beast). Finn co-wrote and co-directed the 2004 film Home on the Range and did voice acting in Chicken Little. In 2006, Finn directed the computer animated short Hammy’s Boomerang Adventure, a spin-off of Over the Hedge. And in 2014, he directed Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return. Link: Will Finn Blog

J. J. SEDELMAIER

As the director and creative force of J. J. Sedelmaier Productions, J. J. Sedelmaier oversees everything that is produced by the studio. He is known in the industry as an all-around expert on the history of film and cartoons, animation, graphic design and illustration. His forte is translating print/illustration into film, and over the years has collaborated with many of the country’s foremost illustrators and artists, including David Levine, Al Hirschfeld, Garry Trudeau, Alex Ross, Don Martin, Neal Adams, Douglas Fraser, Gary Baseman, and many others. His unique abilities have contributed, over the years, to the studio’s extraordinarily diverse and entertaining collection of work. Link: J. J. Sedelmaier Productions

STEVE STANCHFIELD

Steve Stanchfield is an award winning character animator, educator, animation director and animation historian. His experience includes working for many of the major animation studios on projects that include television shows, commercials, educational programming, original short films, interactive games and feature animation. He is the co-owner of Thunderbean Animation, a studio based in Ann Arbor, Michigan that produces animation as well as compilations of classic animation on DVD. Link: Thunderbean Animation

MIKE VAN EATON

Mike Van Eaton is the owner and gallery director of Van Eaton Galleries, a full service animation art gallery and resource center featuring production artwork, limited editions, sculpture, videos, and books. He has hosted many special events in the Los Angeles area, and his gallery is the a hub for the animation community. His gallery represents both established and up and coming artists, as well as a wide array of vintage artwork from all the major studios. Link: Van Eaton Galleries


COMMITTEES


ARCHIVE COMMITTEE:
Stephen Worth (Chair) sworth@animationresources.org
James Sanders
Benny Mercader
Graham Porter

ANIMATION CREATIVE LEAGUE:
Taber Dunipace (Chair) tdunnipace@animationresources.org
Stephen Worth

EDUCATION COMMITTEE:
Joseph Baptista (Chair) jbaptista@animationresources.org

PUBLCITY COMMITTEE:
David Hofmann (Chair) dhofmann@animationresources.org
Nicholas Pozega

EVENTS COMMITTEE:
David Hofmann (Chair) dhofmann@animationresources.org
Stephen Worth

WEBSITE COMMITTEE:
Alex Vassilev (Chair) avassilev@animationresources.org
Stephen Worth, Nicholas Porzega

Animation Resources Board

The Board of Directors of Animation Resources browses through the precious reference material donated to our digital library by Advisory Board Member Ralph Bakshi. Standing L to R: Stephen Worth (President), Taber Dunipace (Membership), David Hofmann (Public Relations), JoJo Baptista (Treasurer), Seated L to R: Sherm Cohen (Advisory Board), Paul Anderson (Secretary), Michael Woodside (Vice President).

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