A few years ago, a group of DreamWorks artists banded together to create Scrambled Ink, an indie comic anthology that was eventually published by Dark Horse Comics. This summer, DreamWorks is releasing Moonshine: Brewed on the Dark Side of the DreamWorks Moon, which marks the first time that an animation studio has officially sanctioned an ‘art of’ book featuring the personal work of its artists. From the book description:
From forty-five talented and prolific DreamWorks Studio art directors, character designers, production designers and visual development artists . . . Moonshine features artwork that is made during the precious little time of day when the contributors are not working on stunning upcoming movies such as Puss in Boots, Shrek Forever After, The Croods, Kung Fu Panda 2, Oobermind, Guardians, Scared Shrekless and Kung Fu Panda Holiday.
The trend of studio artists self-publishing comic anthologies is nothing new. During the past few years, we’ve seen a couple volumes of Out of Picture from Blue Sky folks, What is Torch Tiger? and Who is Rocket Johnson? from Disney artists, and The Ancient Book of Sex and Science and The Ancient Book of Myth and War out of Pixar. But those were all published by the artists themselves, and didn’t have funding from their studios like Moonshine. Gotta hand it to Jeffrey Katzenberg on this one. It’s a savvy move on his part to encourage the personal creativity of his staffers beyond the creative confines of film production, and to bring their independent works under the umbrella of his studio. (It should be noted that Katzenberg provided a blurb for the back cover of the earlier book Scrambled Ink). I would be very curious, however, to find out what the terms of the deal are for the artists participating in the book: does the artwork in the book become studio property or do the artists retain copyright over their personal ideas as they do in all of these other indie book projects?
As you may have gathered from yesterday’s post, Yuri Norstein is currently in the US. He’ll be making appearances in other cities besides LA too. Let us know if you know of any other dates besides the ones below:
SAN FRANCISCO Sunday, February 7: Balboa Theater (3630 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA). Tickets are $25. The event will be a fundraiser to support Yuri Norstein’s animation studio in Moscow. If you can’t afford the screening, there is an artist reception beforehand that only costs $7. Ticket purchases can be made at the Porto Franco Art Parlor website.
OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON Wednesday, February 10: The Evergreen State College, Communications Building, Recital Hall in Olympia Washington. Ticket prices are $10 regular admission, $8 seniors, $5 students. More information at the Evergreen State College website.
NEW YORK Monday, February 15: School of Visual Arts Theater (333 W. 23rd Street, between 8th/9th Ave.) This event is billed only as a Q&A so be aware that there may not be a screening. No price is indicated so I’m also assuming it’s free. More info at the ASIFA-East website.
After nine weeks in wide release, Disney’s Princess and the Frog limped across the $100 million mark last weekend. It generated $757,000 at the North American box office for a grand total that now stands at $100,309,000. Somehow I have the feeling there won’t be a lot of people uncorking the champagne in Burbank today.
Heads up, Angelenos. The USC School of Cinematic Arts invites you (or anyone who can get to USC this Friday) to participate in a retrospective evening and conversation with legendary Russian animator Yuri Norstein. The admission is free. The event begins at 7:00pm on Friday, February 5th, 2010 in the Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall. The conversation with Norstein will be led by Ukranian animator Igor Kovalyov (Milch, The Rugrats Movie, Hen His Wife, etc.). Norstein will also present a preview of his feature-length film adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s Overcoat. The evening will conclude with a dessert reception in front of the theater.
To RSVP and for more information check the USC Cinematic Arts website. Below is one of Norstein’s classic films, Hedgehog In the Fog (1976):