PRSA Winner

Animator's Journal, Events


Tonight my coworkers and I attended the 50th Annual PRSA awards. For those who don’t know, each chapter of Public Relations Society of America hosts a nice banquet every year for the Gold Pick Awards, which honors excellence in PR. We won two Silver Picks and a Gold Pick this year for our member magazine and for press releases related to our Spring Impressionism exhibition, respectively.

The dinner was more low key than I expected but chilling with my cohorts outside of the office is always fun and really, you can’t say no to free food (baked chicken – YUM). And it’s nice to be honored for doing a great job.

So kudos to us. Hoo-rah!

Brad Meltzer Book Signing

Animator's Journal, Events

Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a book signing featuring #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Brad Meltzer at Tattered Cover Highland Ranch.

And let me tell you, Brad is no wallflower. A whitty guy to be sure, he entertained the crowds with ancedotes about his life, previous books, comic book writing career and even the outfit he wore, starting off the evening by saying that only a loser would wear the same outfit as the photo in the book jacket of his current novel, The Book of Lies.

I purchased a copy of his graphic novel, Identity Crisis, and he even signed it “For Angela, My Hero.” How cool is that? Pretty cool. If he’s ever in your town buy a book and say hi, you won’t regret it.

He also promoted an awesome charity to save the house where Superman was created –Ordinary People Change the World. Check it out and donate to save a great piece of Americana.

Panel Discussions: Do’s and Don’ts of the Art of the Question

Animator's Journal, Events

So I attend many a panel discussion every year in my quest to learn more about the tv/film/animation/comic industry, and it never ceases to amaze me how badly folks in the audience ask questions. I’m not talking about nervousness, for even the most nervous has asked a compelling question. And indeed, most people are able to get their thoughts across well enough for the interviewee to answer well. But many people use it as a platform to tell their sob story about the woes of failing in the industry, or about their life in general, leading many a moderator to ask what the actual question IS within the jangled mess of jargon spewing from the attendee’s mouth.

So for you, my dear readers, I present:

A PRIMER ON ASKING THE QUESTION

DO:

1. State your name and your profession.
2. Ask one to two questions MAX that are clearly worded well enough for you to say them before you get up to the mike.
3. Give the responder time to answer the question without arguing, cajoling or looking like you’re about to break down.
4. Thank them for their time.

DON’T:

1. Tell them your life story and about how hard it is to break into the industry and the rotten luck you’ve received for the past 1, 2, 10 years. They’ve already gone through their own tales of woe and made it, they don’t care about your gripes and it makes you look desperate.
2. Think out your question as you attempt to ask them, turning it into a jumbled mess.
3. Ask them to hire you, give them your resume, hire their friend, ask why they haven’t agreed to meet with them, etc. It scares them and makes you look like a stalker.
4. Ask them 5 questions in a row that could be answered with a brief conversation with them AFTER the Q&A.
5. Ask them a question that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, why the state of the world is so terrible to them, etc. (Again, see Don’t #1)

Remember – they are there to help you, so present yourself in as confident, professional manner as possible. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll look fabulous.

© 2007 Angela Entzminger

Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting Hosts Second Annual Careers in Television Event

Animator's Journal, Events

April 28, 2007 – New York City – Apollo Theater

Students and tv/film production hopefuls stood in line at 9 a.m. this morning to attend the
City of New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting second annual Careers in Television Event. Film Office Commissioner Katherine Oliver moderated the program. The esteemed panelists included Darlise Blount, associate producer of BET’s “106 & Park;” Melanie Byrd, production manager of the Food Network; Richard Martin, founder and president of Drum Television Network, Inc., David Puente, creator and anchor of EXCLUSIVA for ABC News Now and Yvette Vega, executive producer for PBS’ “Charlie Rose.”

The show kicked off with an intimate interview with Sway, creator and co-host of “The Wake Up Show” billed on their website as “the most listened to hip-hop radio show on the planet.” Sway and co-creator/partner King Tech started their program from Sway’s room in his mom’s house in Oakland, CA. 11 years later he and Tech continue to host the groundbreaking program, but is also a part of the MTV News Team.

Like many of the aspiring artists in the audience, Sway started from humble beginnings. The youngest of three in a single parent home, Sway did everything he could to see that his dream of giving a voice to the underground hip hop masses would become a reality. Washing dishes, making deliveries for UPS, delivering shrimp, breakdancing for cash on Pier 39, none of these jobs were beneath the talented young man who aspired to be the next Run from Run DMC and Russell Simmons.

With the money he and Tech saved, they took classes in marketing, business and manufacturing and put out their own independent records. They then advanced to radio. When I asked Sway how he got the word out – mind you, this was the late 80s, early 90s before the explosion of viral video and myspace – his answer was grassroots. In other words, guerrilla marketing.
They had from the start loyal listeners who tuned in every week to hear them play the music the mainstream wouldn’t touch. Those loyal few told their friends, and the word of mouth campaign began. They created a street team to diseminate information. When artists came to town to appear on their show, they offered to drive them around – took them to hotspots, clubs, concerts, where they could promote their latest albums and themselves. And most important – they were authentic, their genuine selves wherever they went. And they slapped their logo on everything they handed out. These were the tools Sway and Tech used to go from Sway’s momma’s house to the big time.

It was MTV that courted Sway – three times – before the creator/producer decided to give them a shot. And only if he could stay true to himself. They wanted him, he said, because “The Wakeup Show” was “the ear of the streets.” They gave him freedom because he could come to the table with leverage. He had the audience and the artists they wanted. And MTV was openminded enough to see where hip hop was truly coming from.

Along the way, Sway learned many skills, among them: learning people’s sense of humor and learning how to relate to people on every level. He also learned to be aggressive, confident and non-confrontational, at first, then be yourself once you have gained credibility and have proven that you have something to offer. He immersed himself in culture, reading up to four newspapers a day, watching the news, reading books both fiction and nonfiction. Keeping his mind open gave him the confidence, and believing in his own self worth enabled him to deal with various people at all levels, because he says, being a black man with confidence is tough in the corporate world. People are instantly afraid of you and speak to you differently, so you have to show people that you can work with them, that you are someone they can trust.

“The more you educate yourself, the better equipped you’ll be because you’ll know how to react,” said Sway.

After a brief intermission Ms. Oliver began the second part of the program by bringing out the panelists for a discussion on how they achieved success in their careers. Ms. Oliver first asked each panelist to describe “their typical day,” and the answer for all of them was that in the world of television, there is no typical day. Case in point for Ms. Vega – Monday morning the crew received a call from the White House, requesting for Charlie Rose to interview the President the next day. The interview happened, but not before the team flew Charlie from Las Vegas back to New York, researched everything the President spoke about in the last nine months and made sure that their best production team members were there for the shoot.

What everyone agreed on is the need to do research on your field.
“Learn everything you can about what you’re doing and someone will notice,” said Ms. Vega.

The other key is being willing to put in the work.
“People think Generation Y doesn’t want to work 12 hour days,” said Puente. ” Prove otherwise – prove you’re willing to work.” The willingness to work often separates the wheat from the chaff. Many of the panelists started out doing the menial jobs that all up and comers out of college hate – the unpaid production assistant aka gopher positions. But showing up early, staying late, and showing initiative is what gets you noticed, said Ms. Byrd. Some of the other skills required for making it and staying within the industry are being dependable, responsible, on point and being able to and willing to communicate with people. When asked what one should do to break into the industry, and if there is ever an age limit, the panelists responded that one is never too old to be an intern. There will be people younger than you that know less that are your boss, and you may have to “carry around the screwdriver” according to Mr. Martin, in other words, look like you are busy so people think you are, but there is always a way.

“Whatever you choose to do, you need to be passionate about it,” said Ms. Byrd. “Many a false move is made by standing still.” In other words, don’t just stay there and expect something to happen. Make it happen.

© 2007 Angela Entzminger

Upcoming Events

Animator's Journal, Events


TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL Presents:

The Animated World of John Canemaker

Directed By: John Canemaker

Continuing Tribeca’s celebration of New York-based independent animators, this program features the work of John Canemaker, a preeminent animation teacher, filmmaker, author and historian, who won an Oscar® for his animated short The Moon and the Son in 2006. A selection of short films spanning Canemaker’s career will be shown including Confessions of a Stardreamer, Bridgehampton, The Wizard’s Son, Otto Messmer and Felix the Cat, The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation, and Bottom’s Dream.

Films Provided courtesy of Milestone Film & Video.
Continuing Tribeca’s celebration of New York-based independent animators, this program features a selection from the career work of preeminent filmmaker, author, teacher and historian John Canemaker. Called “animation’s ambassador at large [who] has brought animation’s unsung heroes into the limelight, expanded the parameters of the medium, and inspire[d] those who are embarking on careers in the industry,” Canemaker here displays his talent in continuing the tradition of two-dimensional, handdrawn animation techniques. Canemaker pays homage to the work of such pioneer animators as Otto Messmer, the unsung hero behind the creation of the Felix character, in his documentary Otto Messmer and Felix the Cat. Canemaker’s distinct animation style begins with a strong storyline, drawn from a variety of sources of inspiration: real life (Confessions of a Stardreamer), classic Shakespearean literature (Bottom’s Dream) and fairy tales (The Wizard’s Son). In each of these films, Canemaker imbues his animated characters with personality (a precept inherited from Messmer), which the artist then augments with painterly, abstract techniques. In Bridgehampton, Canemaker creates a colorful, impressionistic view of nature over the course of the seasons. The animation techniques that Canemaker foregrounds in his films—including cels, line drawing, cutout animation, the use of marker pens and painting—allows this artist-animator to instill his work with deeper human and emotional resonance. Nowhere is this more evident than in Canemaker’s Academy Award®-winning, autobiographical film about a dialogue with his father, The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation. In this film, Canemaker magically transforms still photographs and home movies into animated flights of fancy, creating a deeply moving, emotionally honest exposé of his own complex relationship with his father over the course of their intertwined lives.
—Jon Gartenberg

Cast & Credits

Directed By: John Canemaker

Confessions of a Stardreamer :
John Canemaker

Bridgehampton :
John Canemaker

The Wizard’s Son :
John Canemaker

Otto Messmer and Felix the Cat :
John Canemaker

The Moon and the Son: An Imagine Conversation :
John Canemaker

Bottom’s Dream :
John Canemaker

For tickets log onto: http://www.tribecafilmfestival.org/tixSYS/2007/filmguide/title-detail.php

Women in Animation May 23rd Meeting

Animator's Journal, Events
Women in Animation will present a panel of story editors and writers at their next meeting 
at Little Airplane Productions.

The awesome panel will include:

Jeff Borkin from "Little Einsteins"
Kristin Martin from "Nate the Great"
Adam Peltzman from "Backyardigans"
Melinda Richards from "Wonder Pets"

There will be a Q&A session at the end where the audience can (as always) pick the guests' creative brains.

The vitals:

When: Wednesday, May 23rd
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00
Place: Little Airplane Productions at 207 Front St.,
2nd FL

See you there.

Women in Animation Present: Tanya Young

Animator's Journal, Events

Wednesday night Women in Animation hosted their monthly meeting with special guest speaker Tanya Young, director of programming for The-N, Nickelodeon Networks teen-focused cable channel. Tanya enlightened the diverse crowd of newcomers and veteran filmmakers, musicians and animators with how shows get on the air.

Quick answer? It’s not easy!

A myriad of focus group testing, meetings and pitches go into developing a show worthy of the stations demographic- the 17-year-old girl.

We also learned how The-N finds out what’s cool and what’s not – they go to where the teens are, trolling through MySpace to find the latest up-and-coming band, allowing teens to blog and create avatars on the-n.com, focus groups, and just keeping their eyes and ears open for the latest big thing.

It’s pitching season right now, so all of you out there interested in the teen demographic can check out The-N and see if you’ve got what it takes to create your very own show. Word to the wise- check out their web site, watch their programming, make it fun, fresh, edgy, sexy and relevant, and think of how your pilot can spawn 100 episodes.

Good luck!

The Animation Show!

Animator's Journal, Events

Fans of animation cheered Friday night as the Animation Show returned to New York City.
Held at Roseland Ballroom, the event featured special guest and 2 time Oscar Award nominee Bill Plympton. Bill gave a sneak peak pencil test of his latest feature, “Idiots and Angels” which will debut in 2008.
Following a round of trivia and a brief documentary chronicling the creation of the Animation Show (which prior to Mike Judge’s involvement, featured cartoons solely created by Bill and his partner in crime Don Hertzfeldt) the show began with a hilarious opening remarks segment by that genius of witt Butt-Head, of “Beavis & Butt-Head” fame, followed by several excellent shorts. On the lineup this year:

Rabbit, directed by Run Wrake

Dick and Jane for grown-ups in this hilarious dark comedy about two children who find an idol within a rabbit, and how their greed results in deadly results.

City Paradise – Ottawa winner directed by Gaelle Denis

A young woman from Tokyo moves to London and experiences a heady tripp in her local neighborhood pool.

Everything Will Be Okay – directed by Ron Hertzfeldt

A man slowly loses his mind and all sense of reality in this hilarious take on everyday activities.

Collision – directed by Max Hattler

What war would look like if done using Lite Brite and Magna Doodle.

Nine – directed by Shane Acker

A sci-fi masterpiece that is rumored to be turned into a feature film by Tim Burton.

No Room for Gerold – directed by Daniel Nocke

Four animal roommates decide who will go and who will stay in this reality TV-like short film from France.

Guide Dog – directed by Bill Plymption

Everyone’s favorite hapless mutt returns – this time trying out his new gig as a guide for the blind.

Eaux Forte – directed by Remi Chaye

A man’s world is turned upside down when a flood ravages his city.

Overtime – directed oury Atlan

A poignant homage to Jim Henson as hundreds of Kermit-like puppets deal with their creator’s death.

Game Over – directed by PES

Atari classics are remade in this fabulous short.

Dreams and Desires – directed by Joanna Quinn

Ms. Quinn shows that her talent extends far beyond “Charmin” ads in this hilarious short about a women who dreams of becoming a filmmaker, and uses her sister’s wedding to experiment with her art.

Every film on the line-up entertained the audience, who laughed and hollered during the entire proceedings. After the film, Vic the MC presented trivia questions for prizes, including a boxed DVD set of the Animation Show Vols. 1 -2. DVDs, posters and t-shirts are available online at www.animationshow.com.

And as always, they except submissions year around, so for all of you filmmakers out there, send your shorts to:

11684 Ventura Blvd. #778
Studio City, CA 91604

The Animation Show Returns!

Animator's Journal, Events


Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt Present – The Animation Show 3

The Animation Show – a place of wonder and magic where awesome shorts converge for two nights of spectacular adventure, romance, wonder and horror!

This year, you have TWO, that’s right, TWO nights to see this fabulous program:

Choose either:

Thursday January 25th at 8 PM

OR

Friday January 26th at 6:30 AND 9 PM

Tickets are ONLY $12.50 and can be purchased online at www.roselandballroom.com
Or give them a ring at (202) 317-7171

And Bill Plympton, he of “Guide Dog”, “Guard Dog” and “Mutant Aliens” will be in attendance for BOTH nights.

Roseland Ballroom
239 W 52nd St.
(bet. 8th Ave. & Broadway)
NYC

www.animationshow.com/NewYorkNY3

BE THERE!!!