Since offering myself up to be the screening coordinator for ASIFA-Atlanta, I knew that our annual screening of local animation talent, ROLL YER OWN, was in dire need of a tune-up. Chapter president Joe Peery and I, along with several of the board members, had met early on to discuss the issues that were at hand regarding this screening. First of all, what was originally intended as a way of finding out what our fellow animator buddies were working on, slowly became this bloated, over 2 hours-long butt-numb-a-thon, testing the wills of the mightiest of cinema-goers. Everything AND the kitchen sink were included: student work, independent work-in-progress stuff, the latest studio work, demo tapes, even tapes of class assignments from local animation courses featuring many various versions of walk cycles, lip synch tests, you name it. So we decided to split up the content: student/indie work showcased at ROLL YER OWN, and studio/professional work to be showcased at a later screening -- now dubbed BLOWIN' SMOKE.
When we first sent out the call for entries in January, I had no clue what to expect. Because of the tight turnaround, I was sure that we were not going to get enough content for a decent screening. Sure enough, several weeks passed and not one entry had fallen into my lap yet. Cue sweat beads at the top of my brow. Then suddenly, I got in contact with several people locally as well as at SCAD in Savannah and bit by bit the entries started to come in. By the time I had left for my speaking engagement in Indianapolis, I felt that we had a pretty decent show lined up. But you just never know about these things as others might feel differently than you regarding content. I can't lie and say that there wasn't a slight tinge of concern in my gut by the time I got back to prepare for the evening.
SO -- the screening went off without a hitch! Well, save for a few video glitches, but that's to be expected. We had a great turnout at The Red Chair, with three large screens showcasing some original, unique, quirky, loveable, fun, goofy, strange, insightful, genuine local animation. The screening by and large was not at all dull or meandering, even when we offered all the present animators to come up and offer a brief Q&A afterwards. Usually this sort of thing tends to be long and drawn out, but this session was brief and educational, to say the least. It helps when the animators tend to be shy.
I want to thank Shannon of SCAD in Savannah for providing us with some wonderful student submissions, and I want to thank each and every single animator who submitted their work for all of us to enjoy that evening. If it wasn't for you guys, the show couldn't have been the success that it was. Extra thanks to Joel Trussell for making the trip all the way from Knoxville to show his Viking-kickin' "War Photographer." The fact that he travelled that far just to show his stuff meant a great deal to me. You da man, Joel. You're welcome back anytime.
By the end of it all, I have to say that I was very proud to be a part of the animation community in this town. I really was. In fact, it inspired me to start thinking about doing something for next year's ROLL YER OWN. We'll just have to wait and see now, won't we?
Next ASIFA-Atlanta screening is a joint venture with Image Film & Video: the first ever ANIMATION FILM SLAM. If you're willing to have an audience give their unbridled opinions about your short film as it's playing, then by all means enter your work. Thick skin is required. The event is Monday, March 6th, at 7:30pm, at The EARL in East Atlanta. The event is FREE for ASIFA and Image members, $5 for non-members. For more info, go HERE and scroll down a bit. You'll find the following:
Interested in your short film winning a slot in this year’s Atlanta Film Festival? Don’t miss out on IMAGE Film & Video’s first ever “ANIMATION shorts slam,” where the audience is open for rowdy debate and our peanut gallery of expert critics gets the final word by banging the “gong”. If interested in screening, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday, March 3rd to get on the advanced screening wait-list. Then it’s as simple as bringing your animation short to the Earl the night of the big extravaganza for all the world to cheer or jeer… and possibly win an automatic slot in our popular “Animation Extravaganza” line-up in the upcoming Atlanta Film Festival! VHS only, 15 minutes or less, please.
Hope to see you there!