PLATFORM is right around the corner and I'm so excited I could just poop. Did I just say "poop"? Sorry. Ava's doing the "poopie"-talk thing right now. Can't go anywhere without her substituting the p-word into every single sentence she utters. And it's not just "poop" but all its variants: "poo", "poopie", "pooter", etc. It drives me and Andrea crazy at times, however... I have to say it's kinda cute to hear her come up with some very creative sentences. But I digress....

Okay, focus, Ward -- PLATFORM. It's coming. Next week. Starting Monday night, in fact. I'll be involved with the festival to a certain degree -- I'll be on two panels. My panels are:

1. Attack of the Blog: Meet the Bloggers on Wednesday, June 27th at 11:30am. Winningstad Theatre. Moderated by Dan Sarto of AWN. Looks to be an interesting panel. Please attend. It'll be right before the big Picnic.

2. Tribute to Hanna Barbera, Saturday, June 30th. NW Film Center: Whitsell Auditorium. I'll be on the panel along with Michael Ouweleen of Cartoon Network and professional artist Kenny Scharf. Really? They must've been slummin' when they asked me to be a panelist for this one. I'll be pinching myself every chance I get. It'll be moderated by Jerry Beck. Okay, I'll do it.

Here's a rundown of various screenings, events and panels that either I'll be checking out or would be imperative you attend.

I'll be checking out the first competition: Program 1 at 7:30pm. Films of note: Oscar-winner The Danish Poet, Run Wrake's Rabbit, and Coca Cola "Rivalries," directed by Mark Gustafson, fellow LAIKA director.

Parties are a mainstay for festivals, so right after the first screening will be the Opening Party at 9pm.

Later on, Bill Plympton and Joanna Priestley will be hosting a late-night screening, "Comedy vs. Art" at Brunish Hall.

I'm shooting for Program 2, at 11am. It's the Family Program, so I'm looking forward to taking the kids along to this one. One thing I hated about going to Ottawa each year was that I could never take my kids to see the Children's Programming screening since they were hundreds of miles away. Now I have a great opportunity to expose my children to some wonderful animation, outside the usual TV mind-melting stuff they catch on the regular. (Spongebob is okay in my book, though. Word.) Oh, and the Children's Dance Party sounds like a cute idea. Might stick around for that. Might not. Depends.

Design Daze: Mid-Century Modern Design (screening): I'll be first in line for this one, folks. Hosted by Cartoon Brewer, Amid Amidi, at 4pm.

TEKKON KINKREET at 7pm. Looks promising.

Schedule conflict for me at 9pm:
Competition 3 is showing at the same time as Aurally Visual (Part 1 of 2), hosted by Tom Knott. I've seen some of the films both screenings, so it's a matter of what am I in the mood for that night. It's nice to have choices, but man! What choices! I do have to say this: If you're thinking about seeing Comp 3 that night, please consider the alternative: "Bastard Wants to Hit Me" directed by, Aaron Sorenson and Courtney Booker, is hilarious and wonderfully animated (and I'm not just saying that because Aaron's office is two down from mine at LAIKA). Also, "El Kabong Rides Again" is stunning, "The Curse of The Voodoo Child" is probably Steve Woloshen's best (what that guy does with scratched film is nothing short of amazing), and everyone should see Nick Cross's "The Waif of Persephone" if only for the backgrounds alone (the animation is great, too, of course). But really, the main reason to go to the Aurally Visual screening is to see animator extraordinaire, Mark Kausler's "It's The Cat." Old school rules, baby.

My good pal Pat Smith is hosting the interestingly titled, "Cartoons from HELL!" at 11pm. Apparently it's the witching hour. Shorts from JJ Villard, Bill Plympton, Don Hertzfeldt, David Chai and others.

Other items of interest for Tuesday:

Best of Pictoplasma at 10am.
Trademarked: Copyright in the Age of New Media panel at 11:30am. (Rick Prelinger of Prelinger Archives will be one of the panelists.)
Renegades of Animation panel at 2:30pm.

Oh, and be sure to check out Meet the Animators each day of the festival, at 9:45am. Get to meet some of the creators of films that were in the competition screening the previous night.

Busy day for me.

First off, it's the Attack of the Blog panel that I'll be on. 11:30am.

Then, the Platform Festival Picnic will be a must to attend. It runs from 12:30 to 4pm and is sponsored by some company you might know of: LAIKA. The picnic at Ottawa was always a fun event -- it was great to finally meet some of the animators and filmmakers that you've heard about for so long. The same will be said for Platform's as well. Word of advice: keep checking those name tags. You never know who you'll bump into!

Right after the Picnic, I'm headed to the Winningstad Theatre to check out the 2nd part to Amid's Design Daze presentation. This time, Amid will talk about master designer Tom Oreb. 4:30pm.

At 7pm is the Program 4 competition. Again, a scheduling conflict because of the 2nd part to Tom Knott's Aurally Visual program will be on at the same time. Check out the listing for each of the screenings and see what they have to offer. There'll be something for everyone, that's for sure.

Later on at 9pm is The Animation Show: Special Edition screening, presented by Don Hertzfeldt. Always an interesting evening to be had if Don's the host. Not sure if I'm going to this one. I might need to rest my weary, 38 year-old bones. Even later is the Drinking and Drawing party, hosted by Frederator. Drink up, johnny!

Items of note for Wednesday:

Open Screenings at 7:30pm. If you got something to show, bring it! They'll play it. It better be good, though. Or else I'll talk bad about it on Drawn! the next day. No, really. I will.

At 9pm will be the Portland Animation Showcase, at the NW Film Center: Whitsell Theatre. Portland's got it goin' on, y'all. Some LAIKA folk will be representin': Mike Wellins, Mark Gustafson, Aaron Sorenson, Eric Wiese and Henry Selick.

Thursday is an easier day for me (after all, I still gotta work). I'd love to check out the 11:30am screening of Competition Program 7 (TV for Children), and be able to take the kids, but we'll see.

Aardman Animation looks to be an interesting presentation. That's in the Newmark Theatre at 2pm. Right after it (at 4pm) is the Pixar Presentation, presented by Gary Rydstrom. Two events showcasing the work of two stellar animation studios. Not to be missed.

Even though my day is iffy, I definitely will be checking out the Competition Program 5 at 7pm.

After that is a special event: Animation Inside Out, a walking tour of animated installations throughout the Pearl District. It's juried, so that means they're not kidding around.

Other items of note for Thursday:

Love it or loathe it, there'll be a special presentation on Adult Swim, featuring the core group of guys who head it up. Here's a little bit of trivia for ya: Did you know that I did some compositing for the pilot episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force? Yeah, I did. Funny, huh? No, I didn't put that on my resumé. Some things are better left unsaid.

Panels heavy on the biz side of things:
Job or No Job: How to Get a Job at 11:30am.
Giving Good Portfolio at 2:30pm.
Deal or No Deal at 4:30pm.

Competition Program 6 will be screening at 4pm today. I'll check that one out.

Items worth checking out for Friday:

Aaron Simpson will be the moderator for Flashers Convention, a panel discussion on Flash animation. 11am.

Sita Sings The Blues at 2pm is a screening and presentation of filmmaker Nina Paley. Should be worth checking out if you're an indie filmmaker.

At 2:30, Jerry Beck hosts a panel of artists and animators talking about the art and life of Basil Wolverton.

There's a repeat screening of the Competition Program 7 (TV for Kids) at 9:30am this morning. But at the same time is Creature Comforts with Aardman. Right after that is Aardman: Soft Clay, Hard Work, & Lucky Breaks with Peter Lord. 11:30am.

Smith & Foulkes: Stylish but Silly is a presentation of the work of London animation duo Alan Smith & Adam Foulkes (from Nexus Productions). These guys got mad skills. Screening at 11:30am. Worth a look.

At 2pm is An Afternoon with Henry Selick. He'll be showing some of his past work and maybe even give us a glimpse of what he's currently working on: CORALINE. If I go to this, I'll have to leave early in order to be on the panel for:

Tribute To Hanna Barbera at 4pm. Yikes! I'm slightly nervous about this. Wish me luck!

Later on is the Awards Ceremony at 8pm and then the Closing Party at 9:30 until late. Should be fun!

On Sunday they'll have a Best of PLATFORM sceening for all those people who were into CliffNotes back in the day. Cheaters! Actually, it'll probably be a great screening, you know?

In case you're wondering, here are some links that might benefit you better than what I have written here in regards to the PLATFORM schedule:
Schedule by day.
Schedule by venue.

There ya go! I know that my PLATFORM cup runneth over here, but I thought that it would make it easier for some of you who are wondering what to check out for the festival. The festival organizers have made sure that PLATFORM will be one unique experience for all festial goers. From the students, independent filmmakers to the studios and professionals, this looks to be one fantastic show.

And it's right in my backyard. I couldn't be happier.


  1. Man thanks for posting this!

    Unfortunately i wont be getting into Portland till Thursday afternoon, but i'll definetly make the best of my time at the fest.

    Thanks again!

  2. Isn't child development fun? My daughter is 3.5 and is at the stage where body noises are hilarious (to quote my wife: "Farts are funny!" Of course, having me (a 10-year-old in a 44-year-old body) for a father doesn't help matters any!

    Regardless, this is not nearly as funny (at least in my opinion) when compared to the personal information she liked to share freely with total strangers about our new kitten, Nixie Knox (from Dr. Seuss' ABC's) last winter:

    "Nixie's got worms in she's butt!"

    How can you not laugh at that?

  3. Now I would pay money to see a Dr. Seuss book with THAT for a title!

  4. oh i am *so*, *so* jealous of the hannah barbera. you have no idea. i grew up loving those cartoons and being from cincy like your wife, kings island was a dream.

    i hope you treasured every moment of it ya lucky guy!