Shot in the dark: hand-crafted animated shorts from around the world

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Jul 132016
 

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Come celebrate the re-launch of the Haptic Animation Amplifier website by watching a selection of animated short films from around the world. Curator Tess Martin is visiting from the Netherlands and bringing with her a charming program of animated shorts seen at film festivals, or discovered during her monthly animation discussion event she runs in Rotterdam called Manifest: Animation Show & Tell.

On August 8, 7PM, at the Grand Illusion Cinema, she will present the work of her non-profit Haptic Animation Amplifier, show off its revamped website (which now includes profiles on PNW animators, a timeline of animation in our region, and other useful info), and she will introduce you to inspiring independent animated shorts from Poland, Italy, France, Canada, Hungary and more. These films are innovative either in their technique, storytelling approach, or artistic point of view. They are sure to generate discussion and inspiration for the animator and animation fan alike.
This event is FREE to attend and was supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture.

Website announcement, Facebook event.

Rendezvous in a bar after the event!

Our favorite stop-motion films

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Jan 112016
 
Still from Anomalisa

Still from Anomalisa

Anomalisa opens in Seattle on January 15th (find it at AMC Pacific Place). This Charlie Kaufman-penned film has been hotly anticipated by film and animation fans alike, since it’s the screenwriter’s first foray into frame by frame puppet manipulation. Its release made us think about what are OUR favorite stop-motion films? Here is a sampling:

Sihanouk Mariona (freelance animator – who also worked for a short time on Anomalisa!) picks Birdhouse, by Rich Zim:

“Birdhouse, by Rich Zim, has been one of my favorites since i first saw it in college.  It’s one of those wonderful combos of both abstract and narrative that absorbs you into its surreal world right away. Through the relationship of a regular guy and his new friend, we explore the ups and downs of friendship, dependency, loneliness and the freedom of release. Basically, the life span of most relationships.  I think we can all find something to relate to in this short film, whether it’s from the characters, the story, or the wacky environment. A strong piece, Birdhouse is definitely worth seeing and including in any animation curriculum.”

Devin Ensz
(freelance animator) picks Food by Jan Svankmajer:

“My favorite stop motion film is “Food” by Jan Svankmajer.  I love Svankmajer’s radical and disruptive treatment of the human body through it’s relation to food.  Svankmajer is something of an animation terrorist.  Combining pixilation and claymation, Svankmajer offers a devastating critique of capitalist values while documenting the collapse of the communist system and it’s discontents.  His animation is always surprising and completely original, and there is literally nothing like it.”

Webster Crowell (animator/director, look out for his live action/animation combo webseries Rocketmen) picks The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle by David Russo:

“A lot of modern stop-motion is too clean, the motion and the models are so tidy they could just as easily be CG without the bother of building all the stuff. David Russo is a filmmaker who knew better, his films are energetic and impatient, he’s a director who gets why our eyes are drawn to stuttering images. His feature film (The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle) is a project that wouldn’t function in lesser hands, and the animation/time lapse opening titles are stupefying.”

Stewart McCullough (animator/photographer) picks Street of Crocodiles by The Brothers Quay:

“I’ve always been attracted to stop motion animation, however this was the film that opened my mind to its more mature and meaningful potential. I love the symbolic, surreal, and dreamlike quality of the worlds that the Brothers Quay create. The setting, the music, the animation style, and the mystery surrounding the main character in Street of Crocodiles drew me in deeply. Their cinematic approach is always satisfying to me.”


Clyde Petersen
(animator/director, currently locked in a basement producing his first feature length animation Torrey Pines) picks Jellyfish Eyes by Takashi Murakami:

 “Jellyfish Eyes is a magical, intense film about life post-tsunami & nuclear meltdown in modern day Japan. Combining live-action with drawn animation, a few giant muppet-style shaggy puppets and some psychedelic wave footage, Murakami creates an incredible story from the point of view of teenagers and youth, forced to grow up too fast. Jellyfish Eyes was just released on DVD in the USA.”

Tess Martin
(animator/founder of Haptic Animation Amplifier) picks Wallace and Gromit’s A Grand Day Out by Aardman:

“I tend to prefer flat animation techniques, like paper cut-outs or paint-on-glass, but when I do see stop-motion with puppets, I like to be able to tell that it’s stop-motion, I want to see the finger tips, the jitters. Aardman’s 1989 short film, A Grand Day Out, the first of the Wallace and Gromit series, has fingerprints a plenty, a simple yet joyful story, and adorable British-isms that fill the characters with personality. This would be followed by Wallace and Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers (1993) and and A Close Shave (1995), as well as their ground breaking interview-based Creature Comforts (also 1989).”

SEAT success at Short Run

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Nov 122015
 

The Seattle Experimental Animation Team was happy to take part in the Short Run Comix & Arts Festival on Halloween in Seattle. We set up a tent, showed films inside and had a great time. Special thanks to James Webber for spearheading this year’s endeavor. Until next year!

Setting up the tent. Photo by James Webber.

Setting up the tent. Photo by James Webber.

Setting up the table. Photo by James Webber.

Setting up the table. Photo by James Webber.

The Short Run hall. Photo by Alex Stonehill/Short Run.

The Short Run hall. Photo by Alex Stonehill/Short Run.

Attendees waiting in line. Photo by Alex Stonehill/Short Run.

Attendees waiting in line. Photo by Alex Stonehill/Short Run.

Seattle animator and graphic novelist Bruce Bickford at his table. Photo by Alex Stonehill/Short Run.

Seattle animator and graphic novelist Bruce Bickford at his table. Photo by Alex Stonehill/Short Run.

SHORT RUN 2015

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Oct 272015
 

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Comics and animation go together like peanut butter & jelly, am I right or am I right. Which is why SEAT has always had an animation tent at the SHORT RUN Comix & Arts Festival. We are going to have a mixture of animations from SEAT members, SHORT RUN exhibitors and an excerpt from Bruce Bickford’s Cas’l, plus Jim Woodring’s 3D slides, about 80 minutes of visual delights! We also have a late additional to the program, a collection of visual poetries called WRIT LARGE curated by FICTILIS, that runs about 30 minutes. Did I mention the festival is free!

Showtimes:

11 AM : SEAT Members’ Shorts

NOON : Exhibitors’ Shorts

12:30 : WRIT LARGE

1:00 : Bruce Bickford’s CAS’L’ (6 min. excerpt)

1:30 : Jim Woodring’s 3D Slides

2:00 : SEAT Members’ Shorts

3:00 : Exhibitors’ Shorts

3:30 : WRIT LARGE

4:00 : Bruce Bickford’s CAS’L’ (6 min. excerpt)

4:30 : Jim Woodring’s 3D Slides

5:00 : SEAT Members’ Shorts

5:30 : Coldbrew Collective’s Horror Film Video-Mix

We will see you there.

Check out Boundary Crossings in Portland – August 7th

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Jul 312015
 

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Boundary Crossings is a two-week intensive animation course that happens every summer at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland. It’s aimed at working professionals and graduate and under-graduate students interested in a hands-on exploration of animated installation as a medium and a site for investigation of moving image interdisciplinary practice.

This year’s closing exhibition will be on August 7th, one night only!

Identity and Space: No Road Map

PNCA Mediatheque  511 NW Broadway
Friday August 7, 2015  6:30pm

“Space and time are at the heart of animation. With the proliferation of digital technologies animation expands from the notion of 2-D screen and increasingly impacts public spaces and events – malls, bars, galleries, architecture and live performance.  Space can be, as this workshop proposes, a starting point, inspiring a reflection on issues of private and public from the sphere of the personal ideas of place and community.

Boundary Crossings 2015 concludes on Friday August 7th with a showcase of animated installations created over the two week institute.”

Stop Motion Animation Clinic in Olympia

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May 042015
 

Member Mari Ichimasu and the team from her current stop motion animation project “Sanpomichi” are hosting an event called “Stop-motion animation Clinic” in Olympia on Mother’s day. Bring your mom!

5 / 10 (sunday) 3pm Free @ Voyeur Cafe, Olympia WA

They will be showing the teaser trailer for Sanpomichi, give “how to” and “how we do” presentations.  Sets, props and puppets will all be on display for hands on learning.

FB event page
Sanpomichi

 

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Upcoming animation at the NW Film Forum!

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Mar 112015
 

The NW Film Forum on Capitol Hill has always had interesting programming, but more so recently with all the animation stuff they’ve been bringing in! Here are some cool looking things you might want to check out:

First and foremost is the grandmaster of indie animation himself, Bill Plympton will be visiting and giving a workshop on April 15th called Being An Indie Artist. He will also be screening his newest independently produced feature film Cheatin’ April 15-21. Not to be missed!

Cheatin’ Trailer from Bill Plympton on Vimeo.

The cinema is also showing The King and the Mocking Bird, a recently re-released French animated feature from 1979. This film has a crazy history akin to Roger Williams’ The Thief and the Cobbler, what with it being started originally in 1947, but not finished for three more decades. This is screening March 19-23. That’s next week!

Kelly Sears is a Denver, CO based filmmaker who specializes in collage animation and plays with documentary, recycled cinema and critical fiction. She is giving a workshop on April 19th called Get Up and Stop Down, where participants will help make animated segments that will eventually be combined with the clips made by the workshop in Portland that Kelly is leading on this same trip, resulting in a collaborative film. Sounds cool! A retrospective of her work is also screening that day at 4:30PM.

Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise from Rooftop Films on Vimeo.

Also at the Film Forum that might be of interest is the ByDesign program April 10-14, which always has cool films that explore the intersection of design and moving image. Filmmaker Roger Beebe is visiting and giving a Distressed Film Workshop on March 29th which sounds awesome, as well as screening a selection of his Multi-Projector Experiments (on 16MM) on March 28th that sound pretty unique.  If you want more 16MM, there is actually a program called Sweet 16 (Millimeter) on April 18th where they are screening rare 16mm films by Seattle filmmakers including our very own Webster Crowell.

And finally the Henry Art Gallery is throwing a party called the Arty Party on April 19th that will include a screening of the Best of the Fest of the Children’s Film Festival, which ran at the NW Film Forum in January. This selection includes a number of cool international shorts for kids from Germany, France, Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Japan!

A very cool selection, and that’s only for March and April!

Feb 162015
 

The Seattle Experimental Animation Team has been working really hard that last few days on our new gallery show at the Archer Gallery in Clark College in Vancouver, WA, outside Portland, OR. The show is called Sequestered Together: The Dangerous and Lonely World of Animation and the opening is tomorrow, February 17th!

The show is an elaborate collection of short films, music videos, giant spinnable zoetropes and making-of detritus (still frames from drawn animations, puppets, sketches, etc.) from Seattle animators. Represented animators are: Clyde Petersen, Stefan Gruber, Britta Johnson, Webster Crowell, Neely Goniodsky, Ian Obermuller, Devin Ensz, Komari Ichimasu, Joe Garber, Salise Hughes, Sarah Jane Lapp, Chris Looney and Tess Martin.

The opening is Tuesday, February 17th, 5PM-8PM and at 5:30PM a guided walk by some of the animators will take place. The show is up until March 14th! Here is the Facebook event. What a great opportunity for the Portland area animators to mingle with the Seattle animators!

And check out this post from the Phoenix, the Clark College Literary & Art Journal, about the show.

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Feb 132015
 

Back in April 2013 we premiered our second collective film at Zeitgeist Coffee in Pioneer Square – this one was based on the 1960 Little Shop of Horrors! It’s finally made its way online. Enjoy this animated re-interpretation by, in order: Eric Ostrowski, Tess Martin, Charlie Daugherty, Timothy Firth, Tim Miller, Stefan Gruber & Aaron Wendel, Clyde Petersen and Salise Hughes.

The Little Shop of Animated Horrors from SEAT on Vimeo.

Britta Johnson in the back room…

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Feb 052015
 

SEAT animator Britta Johnson has work up in “In the Absence Of…,’ a group show at Greg Kucera gallery in Seattle. The show goes through February 14th; this Saturday there’s a performance/art talk which will include music by Nat Evans and John Teske and discussion with other artists (including Britta) in the show. More info below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/432918390195248/?pnref=story

 

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