NOTE: Photos were to accompany this post. Stay tuned.
Yes, yes, lots of smoke blown Monday night! And all of it was impressive. What a great surprise to see such a large turnout for BLOWN' SMOKE! Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. When one of the Five Spot guys called me earlier in the day, asking me how many people I was expecting to show up, I seriously had no clue. I just threw out a number: "Umm...40? 50?" Little did I know that we had over 70 people crowd the art-filled walls of this cozy Little Five Points bar/restaurant! Probably more. Amazing. Simply amazing. Thank you all for showing your bright, shiny and (for the most part) hairy faces.
Here's how it went down:
ASIFA-Atlanta President and adoring "idiot figurehead", (his choice of words, not mine) Joe Peery, opened up the night with some ASIFA announcements and then introduced the Turner Studios commercial montage. A nice compliation of strong visual concepts mixed with Cartoon Network characters.
Then, since Robert Pope and John Ryan couldn't make it for the screening, I went ahead and introduced Dagnabit!'s demo reel. It was interesting for me to watch their reel because there was some Click 3X spots that I had worked on back in the day. Brought back some old ghosts. (In case you didn't know, I worked with both Robert and John at Click before Primal.)
Next, I introduced Primal Screen's reel. Doug (my boss) had it set up to make it look like our DVD demo reel complete with interactive menus and all, but really it was just a movie. All I had to do was push "play" and let the movie run. It gave a chance for the viewers to see how our DVD menus animate as well as see some of our recent work.
Craig Hartin then came up to introduce Radical Axis and their two reels: first the Commercial reel and then the Episodes reel. (Nice package design for both discs, by the way by Eric Garlinghouse.) Radical has been busy lately working on a number of [adult swim] shows, as well as the new Comedy Central animated series, Freak Show. This is comedian David Cross's venture, which you know will be outlandish. And from what little we saw, it didn't disappoint.
The next studio was 70/30, with Neil Holman and Mack Williams there to introduce an episode of the new show, Fisky Dingo. Fitting right in with the rest of the [adult swim] block, there's little animation done, but most of the humor is based on the writing, voice talent, and timing. The visuals are not bad, and I do have to say that there is some potential with the show. It got a great response from the crowd.
Turner Studios bookended the night with an episode of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, called "Incredible Hippo." Very funny stuff with some nice Flash animation. Lead animator, Steve Vitale, came up to introduce it, and believe me, he and the rest of The Birdcage are doing some great animation over there at Turner.
Afterwards, the lights were brought up, some [adult swim] shows were thrown on the screen, and everyone just hung out and chatted, talked, drank some more beer. My hope was that many connections were made Monday night, and if not, well, that's fine by me. Many have come up to me to tell me that they had a great time and that is really what it's all about.
Thanks for showing up to make it a memorable night, and here's to many more Smoke Blowin' evenings!