Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ottawa International Animation Festival - Day Four

This is the tough day. A lot of screenings after a week of screenings, they really start to become work.

Another well-attended meet the filmmakers. This was well run too.

Someone else in the audience also noted the male-dominance of the previous evening (hard not to notice when 20 dudes are sitting on stage with 2 women).

Paul Fierlinger showcased his storytelling ability by recounting the first recording session which did not go well.

The same space then hosted David Levy's panel on pitching.

The house filled up even more.

The theme was similar to David panel a few months ago in New York, but this was a little crisper. Two of the guests- Linda Simensky and Heather Kenyan -were also more familiar with the network side. Eric Homan from Frederator was the third participant. His inclusion is particularly interesting since David's book recounts an unpleasant experience he had developing for Fredorator. It drives home the truth that in business and art people will disagree, but they can remain respectful colleagues.

Fran Krause rounded out the panel, and recounted advice Linda Simensky gave to him years ago- at some point one five year old is going to try to convince another five year old on the playground to watch your show. How will they do it?

The following session was the one I most wanted to attend, Joseph Gilland's discussion of effects animation in conjunction with his book.

Lethergy and a crowds -it was sooooo crowded -forced me to skip to the talk. But I have the book and I'm looking forward to reading it. I also encouraged him to do a talk in New York, hopefully that can happen in the next few months.

So lunch then.

Ran into a few people including Christy Karacas, Will Krause and Lisa Jones from Cartoon Network. We went into the candy store. Christy and I both got a bunch of Cyndi Lauper trading cards from 1985.


Solid work. Nothing outstanding, nothing rotten.

I will say that one thing bugged me. In Bruce Alcock's "Darfur Drawings" PSA (and I'll interject that I think he's a terrific filmmaker), the piece is narrated in first person by the child who presumably drew the art. We find out in the end he's dead. I realize it's supposed to be shocking and sad, but it's a logical disconnect that alienates the audience when they should be brought in.

FEATURE FILM: Life Without Gabriella Ferri

The programming here did the film a great injustice. We all know that Priit Parn's work can demand a special sort of attention.

This screening opened with a short film, noted nowhere in the program and entirely unannounced, which was also dense and obscure. But not Priit Parn. The result, to me, was terminally confounding.

A film sets up your expectations in the first few minutes, if you are tricked by the filmmaker or the projectionist it's difficult to recover. There's no trust on the part of the audience. Not announcing the preceding film did a great injustice to the feature.
This is one I'll have to find on DVD to appreciate.


The crowd favorite -rightfully -was Cordell Barker's "Runaway".

Perfectly timed, perfectly executed.

Marv Newland's "Postalolio" in which he painted on postcards sent from around the world (mostly Hawaii and Vancouver, it seemed) and shot them as animation. Clever.

Also, lovely was Bruce Alcock's "Vive La Rose", although one guy loved it too much as he kept shouting "Bravo!" It was good, but not that good. Several other films had been worth screaming at, but not this.

The new Wallace & Gromit was a big letdown. It seemed careless. Some things didn't even make sense.

But what every wants to know about, surely is the party.

It was OK.


Xeth Feinberg said...

Since I can't be there, thanks for the Ottawa updates (and the thoughtful blog overall)... I've read a bunch of it today.

roconnor said...

It was a fun time. Next year!

Tiny Orchestra said...

Yeah. Thanks Richard.

FuelaFire said...

Oh Richard, I hope that you'll give another look at Priit Parn's "Life Without Gabriella Ferri." I found it so exciting, engaging, and one of the most heartfelt works I've seen him do in a long time. I understood it perfectly. But of course, I feel right at home with experimental vocabularies. This film seems like a return to his "Luncheon on the Grass," which is an exquisite film in conception and execution. I was elated when I left the screening, and my students and friends were equally thrilled and engaged. If nothing else, who could resist that deliciously sensual kitchen mating dance!