Don Bluth Productions
IE # 89
Member # 2512
I can’t even pronounce the name of the volcano in Iceland that spit ash into the air and stopped all the air traffic in Europe for five days. I was there when it happened. I was stranded in Milan, Italy for almost a week with several thousand other travelers. Stranded is probably the wrong word. I enjoyed every minute of it. RAI Television was holding their 14th annual cartoon festival “Cartoons on the Bay” in Rapallo and Gary and I had been invited there to receive the prestigious Pulcinella award for achievement in the world of animation. Of course it was a great ego booster for both of us, what with all the fabulous cuisine, wonderful accolades, and that moonlight yacht cruise to Portofino for dinner. But that’s not what really caught my attention. I was riveted by the enthusiasm displayed by the young hopefuls who attended the festival; artists who were trying so desperately to find a way to make their living doing what they love to do, draw and animate.
Finally the festival ended, and all the locals went home. I went to Milan to wait it out, hoping the volcano had run its course and I could finally book a flight back to the States. The thought that continued to haunt my brain during this time was this, “what can I do to help get the 2D engine running again.” Of course there are 2D commercials; they will always be there, but that is not where the money is. We need 2D animated movies to exist alongside the CG genre movies.
The best that I can offer right now is to teach the 2D animation principles through drawing in a Master Class so that when the door reopens to the traditional world of animation, there will be several qualified artisans. I am all geared up to teach such a class here in Scottsdale on July 5th – July 9th 2010. The numbers of students that have signed up for it makes me think there is hope for the future. If any of you have enthusiasm for this opportunity, there are still a few seats open.