Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TAIS 2010 AniJam: Aquarium

This past Thursday was the Toronto Animated Image Society's 2010 AniJam--an evening of animation from Toronto animators and animators from around the world. Every year, a new topic is selected and animators world-wide submit ten-second films. This year was 'water.' The following film is my entry, a spoof on the aquarium screen saver from the days of the Macintosh Plus.

I know I've mentioned it before, but last Thursday night was a perfect example of why I make the four-to-six hour drive to and from Toronto every couple of months. It's all about the community. Where else can you attend an animation screening and discuss concepts for pixilation films with an animation professor from Sheridan College, attend an art show and have a conversation about how the rich history of Eastern European puppetry affects stop-motion animation with an animator from Prague, and then have a roundtable discussion on animated film at a Chinese restaurant with renowned animators like Madi Piller and Patrick Jenkins, all in the same night?

I'm told by my friends that Toronto is a tough city to succeed in (due in no small part to the huge number of talented people there), but the community is one of those added perks that must really make the effort worth it. I'm doubly blessed that, not only do the Canadians tolerate my regular visits, but that over the past ten years I've been discovering the animation community here in Michigan through our local chapter of ASIFA. Animation, especially independent animation, is such a solitary pursuit. Communities like TAIS and ASIFA provide more benefits than just networking for business and learning new skills. Sometimes its just refreshing to be among like-minded people who understand your quirky vision of reality, can sympathize with the long hours you spend trying to breathe life into the inanimate, and understand all the inside jokes culled from hours of watching animated film from around the world.