NY DISPATCH #3

I’m back from NY. The last week of the trip was unbelievably nuts, including a final stretch of 36 hours without sleep. Upon arrival in LA, I was so jetlagged that I somehow managed to lock myself out of my apartment within minutes of getting home, and then had to call a locksmith to bust open my lock. The ultimate purpose of this trip, sleep-deprivation and all, was to gather research and artwork for my forthcoming book on Fifties animation design and in that respect the trip was a resounding success. There’s going to be some jaw-droppingly gorgeous animation art in this book and I can’t wait to share it with everybody. Mark your calenders folks – Spring 2006, Chronicle Books.

The NYC trip as a whole was an immensely enjoyable experience. The city has a vibe unlike anything I’ve experienced in LA and I was also quite impressed by the city’s thriving indie animation scene, which has enjoyed a major resurgence in the past few years. Here’s some of the highlights from my last few days in NYC: Breakfast with Mike Sporn and John Dilworth, two guys with an amazing knowledge of film that far surpasses mine. Coffee with Emily Hubley, daughter of John and Faith Hubley, not to mention a talented filmmaker in her own right (a retrospective of her work screens at Ocularis tomorrow evening). Breakfast with Ryan Sias, who did the boards and designs for the animated segment in BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE and also boarded on the upcoming Blue Sky feature ROBOTS. Check out his comics at RyanSias.com. Also, got some cool CDs and vinyl from Ryan’s brother who runs the up-and-coming record label Music Related. Met Eric Costello, creator of the indispensable Warner Bros. Cartoon Companion and had another fine meal with current Brew guest blogger Harry McCracken, who just happened to be visiting NY on business.

Visited with Pat Smith and friends (Olivia Ward and Tony Curanaj). Pat showed me his just completed film HANDSHAKE, an impressively animated dialogue-less short which recently won at the Northampton Film Festival. Also saw a terrific screening of NY indie animation at The Tank, which featured the premiere of Signe Baumane’s latest film, the laugh-out loud funny THE DENTIST. Met Jeremiah Dickey, PES and Sarah Phelps, among others. Huge props to Mike Sporn, John Canemaker and Mark Newgarden, as well as Carol and Ray Favata, Vincent Cafarelli and Candy Kugel. The last week would have been impossible without all of your kind help. I’ll definitely be back in NYC sooner than later. And now back to regular updates…