February 2011 archives

you are here [x]: Scarlet Star Studios > the Scarlet Letters > February 2011
<< before January 2011
after >> March 2011

February 16, 2011

founding the nw animation festival

by sven at 7:09 pm

Big announcement... I'm founding a new film fest: the Northwest Animation Festival!

call for submissions

I hope all my animator friends will consider making a submission. It's very open. Films may come from anywhere in the world. You may submit films made at any time during your life. And you are free to simultaneously show your work online or at other festivals.

All types of animation are welcome: hand-drawn, computer-generated, stop-motion, etc. If there are adequate submissions, I'd very much like to program shorts blocks dedicated to each of the different methods.

The festival will take place on the weekend of June 3-4-5 in Portland, Oregon. However, the project is bigger than just this. Plans are in progress for a "Best of the NW Animation Fest" traveling show that will tour the region.

If you don't have something that you want to submit this year, then please help out by passing the word on to others.

Thank you in advance for your support!

posted by sven | permalink | categories: nw animation festival

February 9, 2011

"mutate" wins at openlens film fest

by sven at 3:37 pm


My short film Mutate just won an award at the OpenLens Film Fest!

There were three prizes: Best of Show worth $500, Honorable Mention worth $200, and Audience Choice worth $100. I was very pleased to walk home with the second place Honorable Mention.

auditorium before show

On January 29 I made the 2-hour drive down to Eugene... Which was a bit of a mind-bender, given that I was still in the middle of managing 9 shows for PDX Playwrights at the Fertile Ground Fest just then.

The auditorium, owned by the University of Oregon, was quite nice. Just over a hundred seats -- and good cushy ones, for a change!

during the show

Now in its seventh year, the organizers are trying to grow this fest from a local happening to a state-wide event. This was their first time expanding the call for submissions. There were a few technical difficulties during the show, involving a DVD that didn't want to play and a film shown at the wrong aspect ratio... But that's just part of festival life, I think. I enjoyed it and hope to attend again.

me being all proud & stuff

posted by sven | permalink | categories: exhibits & events

February 6, 2011

lipton brisk eminem superbowl commercial

by sven at 10:30 pm

click to see video on YouTube

I helped out on a SuperBowl commercial: an ad for Lipton Brisk Tea, featuring Eminem. Big time!

I built the 8" tall armature for one of two Eminem puppets.

the armature I built

This ad was produced by the San Francisco-based company, Mekanism. Misha Klein directed animation, and Tirsh Hunter was in charge of puppet fab. One puppet was already in progress; my job was to duplicate the original armature, designed by Merrick Cheney.

Understand, Merrick is the living GOD of armature makers. Films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline... If you need impossibly small, strong, and precise armatures, he's the gold standard. I was thrilled and terrified to try working in his footsteps.

Merrick was able to supply the hinges, which was an enormous help. Due to time constraints, Lionel Ivan Orozco made hands (lots of hands). I understand that Ron Cole did the inner workings of the head. Stepblock joints, swivels, body blocks, assembly... That's all me.

The project took me 16 very sleepless days/nights. My speed, accuracy, and design work all just took enormous strides forward.

But during that time, everything else ceased to exist. I got the armature sent off on December 24... Huge thanks to Gretchin, without whom Christmas would hardly have happened at all!

posted by sven | permalink | categories: exhibits & events, stopmo