Its ASIFA-East screening time.
I've avoided the awards evening for the past couple years. I just don't see the value in rewarding mediocrity.
The interesting nights are the "competition" screenings, in which 3 plus action packed hours of animation are crammed in.
The student night is the best. Or my favorite, at any rate.
I look for different things in a student film than I would in a "professional" piece. They are, by their nature, works in progress. Occassionally there will be an otherworldly result like Son of Satan, but usually there are just hints and moments of something.
There were a number of solid little films, the best clearly being Stephen Neary's Chicken Cowboy. Other strong efforts include Shih-Ting Hung's Viola: The Travelling Rooms of a Little Giant (which was too elegant and trickfilmy for ASIFA's notoriously boorish cartoon-crude crowd), Paris Maroidis' Divers (another bit of elegance this time in full CG. Not amazing animation, but a nice little film and a strong piece in a medium that takes years longer than drawn animation to offer a respectable show), and Erin Filson's Milk Run (a lot of strong graphic ideas, well executed in a smartly told story).
The only two moments of elegance, unfortunately, were the CG and motion graphics pieces mentioned above. I hope to spot at least a fleeting bit of animation panache in these student shows, but almost all of the drawn films were told through cuts, tracebacks and bad cycles. Some people have mastered moments of dynamic trickery but show no understanding of fundamentals.
Here are some of my notes:
SM (stop motion) decent models/gimmacks lousy editing
cartoon, a little sloppy, ugly w/ moments
decent AE (AfterEffects) production not much ani. (mation)
AE some (production) value, terrible animation
should be cut better weak design/draught(ing)/ani.
clever, fun ideas, poor fundamentals
drawn, can't animate characters, but ok
See any trends?
Anyway the real reason to go to these events is to hang out with Fran Krause afterwards.
(we laid waste to some chips)