|Me on the left with This Way Up director Alan Smith.|
written by Rick Farmiloe
I was lucky enough to be included in part of the Oscar Showcase tour this year. Every year the nominees for animated short films are given a tour and luncheon at some of the animation studios here in the Los Angeles area. The organizer of these celebrations, Ron Diamond, invited me to join them at DreamWorks on the last day of the tour. Ron and I are on the Executive Committee of the Short Films/Animation Branch of the Academy, and see scores of animated shorts every year. There is always a wide range of styles and ideas presented in various mediums. It’s always interesting to see which ones will make the final cut for the Oscar nominations. This year the field was exceptionally strong, with every film being quite unique and different from the rest. Meeting the filmmakers and hearing about their thought process and methods of getting it on the screen was extremely interesting and inspiring.
Everyone gathered outside the Campanile Building where the theater is located. There would be a screening for the DreamWorks staff, then a question and answer period with the filmmakers afterwards. It was fun to meet the filmmakers beforehand and mingle around a bit. The director of PRESTO, Doug Sweetland, could not attend this day, unfortunately. This was the last of the tour stops, so they were very friendly with each other by this point. There seemed to be a common bond, regardless of language or background. They were joined together by a love and passion for filmmaking and animation. There was absolutely no competitive vibe among them. They were just all together as filmmakers, celebrating the animated art form. Jeffrey Katzenberg showed, and greeted everyone very warmly, making everyone associated with this tour feel extremely welcome. Jeffrey is one of animation’s biggest fans and supporters.
Categories : Personal Musings, People, Tour Destinations, DreamWorks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Lavatory Lovestory, La Maison en Petits Cubes, Oktapodi, This Way Up, Oscar Tour 2009