Categories
Animation

Behind the Screens

I’ve written and talked about the Sweaty Eyeballs animation festival/screenings extensively. It’s always an inspiration, and I’m grateful to have it in my home town of Baltimore. And I am very very happy to be a part of this fantastic show!

There are over 3 hours of reels running in the gallery, and art from some great independent animators.

From the Goucher website:

February 11–March 27, 2022

Featuring:
Adam Davies with Leili Tavallaei & Nick McKernan
Albert Birney
Cassie Shao
Christopher Rutledge
Corrie Francis Parks
Eric Dyer
Erinn Hagerty & Adam Savje
Evan Tedlock
Gina Kamentsky
Ismael Sanz-Pena
Jim Doran
John C. Kelley
Karen Yaskinsky
Lynn Tomlinson
Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter
Stephanie Williams
Tynesha Foreman
Zoe Friedman

Curated by Phil Davis with Alex Ebstein

Goucher College is pleased to present Sweaty Eyeballs Animation – Behind the Screensin Silber Gallery, on view from February 11 through March 27, 2022. Behind the Screenspresents animation highlights from the Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival, exhibited alongside additional artworks and process ephemera that provide a window into each of the artists’ unique approach to the medium. The animations range from documentary and narrative to the visually abstract. They span digital and analog, with examples of stop motion, rotoscoping, hand-painted, hand-drawn, clay, collage, puppetry, and zoetrope animation.

Founded by Phil Davis in 2012 as a series of one-night-only events, Sweaty Eyeballs has been a consistent platform for and champion of animation in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2019, Sweaty Eyeballs became a full-scale animation festival, hosted at the Parkway Theater.

In this gallery exhibition, artists who’ve participated in various iterations of Sweaty Eyeballs spill beyond the monitors to reveal their frame sequences and material experimentations. Others present drawings, collages, sculpture, filmstrips, and their preparatory notes. Behind the Screenscelebrates the extensive work that makes up and supports animation in a survey of style and format.

Phil Davis is an animator, avid musician, cartoon watcher, and professor of animation and film at Towson University. His animations and music videos have been featured in festivals internationally. He is currently working on an animated documentary short about the town of Millinocket, ME, and incidents surrounding a fatal paper mill accident.

Update 3/17/2022

We had a screening and artist talk this evening. I got to see Brood X and A Job as the Moon projected in the theater space. An interesting artist talk followed.

There were a lot of insightful comments. I’ll share a few of my top favorites here. Lynn Tomlinson, when asked if she had any advice for students, said:

  1. Don’t wait until the end to think about sound. Sound is at least 50% of the finished work and so very important
  2. If your process allows, film the beginning and end of the film first. People are always tired and/or rushing at the end, and it can show.

Phil Davis commented that being an animator is a lot like being a god – you can to create and control everything in your film. He was speaking about and to experimental animators, and that’s very true. My advice for the students was this:

  1. Finish something. Just finish it.
  2. Don’t sweat mistakes, embrace them. They can lead to new pathways.

In the beginning, I had so many ideas and things to cram in a single story, but once I got started, I figured out that either it wasn’t going to work, or I couldn’t actually do whatever it was, or something else made more sense. Being fluid helps.

Categories
Animation

Sweaty Eyeballs 2021

In 2015, I attended a Sweaty Eyeballs invitational screening at the Brown Center at MICA. If I were a religious person, I would probably say it was like a religious experience. Alas, I am not, but I will describe it as an important night for me – I left feeling inspired and full of wonder. My glass was full. I had just started graduate school, and this night was like a big, welcoming door that swung open for me.

It was a fantastic night – sitting in an actual theater and watching programming one doesn’t often see in actual theaters. I was moved. I loved it. I wanted to be a part of it.

@sweatyeyeballsanimation is a 7-day juried festival of the world’s most boundary-pushing, mind-blowing animation, and this year you can watch from anywhere in the world! Sweaty Eyeballs is hybrid for 2021 and will offer both online streaming AND in-person screenings at the historic SNF Parkway Theatre in Station North Arts + Entertainment District theater in Baltimore, MD. Follow @sweatyeyeballsanimation for ticketing and pass updates and programming news. 

I am so happy, therefore, to say The Benefits of Radiation will be screened at the SNF Parkway Theatre, for the first time in an actual theater. I love this film, and I am happy for it to be included.

UPDATE

It was a wonderful evening. I’ve never seen one of my film shown in a theater before, and I loved how it turned out. The Parkway Theater has such character, too.

I wanted to sit in the back – I always like to sit in the back – to hear and see what happens.

In this last photo, the animators who were present were called up to the stage for a very short Q&A and to say “hi.” I’m standing on the left, next to my friend Lynn Tomlinson.

Categories
Animation

A Window of Opportunity

Three of my animations are looping in the front window of Maryland Art Place this week. I’ve been really looking forward to doing some public projection pieces. I’m very grateful for this window of opportunity!

photo courtesy of Melissa Penley Cormier
photo courtesy of Melissa Penley Cormier
photo courtesy of Melissa Penley Cormier

Categories
Animation

Supernova Silent Screen

Re-Generation 6th annual supernova digital animation festival.

I am very fortunate to have been included in the Supernova Silent Screen festival hosted by the Denver Digerati in, well, Denver. I made a specially cropped version of Brood X just for this festival. And then added music and some other scenes, which is the version I’ve linked to in this sentence.

Brood X will be shown on screen 6. From their website:

A brand new screen in 2021, the 15th and Champa location is a super high pixel pitch, non-standard format that is close to street level, making it highly visible to anyone passing by. Denver Digerati is very excited to inaugurate this dynamic LED as part of our Silent Screen program in 2021.

https://denverdigerati.org/silent-screen-2021
Silent Screen September 18th, noon -8PM, downtown Denver.

I won’t make it out there to see this in person, but the organizers were kind enough to send some pics and footage of this week’s screen test.

An LED screen showing a giant raccoon looking at cicada people.
An LED screen showing black birds looking at cicada people.

I’m very grateful to be a part of this! I hope someone in Denver gets a kick out of this video.