Raymond Scott, fave of Bart Simpson, in REDCAT music tribute
Few cultural aficionados today recognize Raymond Scott's name. But if you've ever watched a Looney Tunes cartoon, or an episode of "The Ren & Stimpy Show," or "The Simpsons," you've likely heard some of his antic, polyrhythmically perverse, one-of-a-kind music. Read story
CalArts animation alums gross $26 billion at the box office
Want to make a buck in the animation biz? How about 26 billion bucks? According to the California Institute of the Arts, you can start by enrolling there, for directors who graduated from the institution’s animation programs have generated $26.4 billion in worldwide box-office grosses since 1985. Read story
Photo of Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and John Lasseter on a visit back to CalArts in the 1995. They are pointing to the number of room A113, the room where they and other animation luminaries honed their craft as students. (California Institute of the Arts)
How do colleges measure the success of their graduates?
Here's one way: tally up how well their movies do at the box office.
That's the novel approach being taken by the California Institute of the Arts, the Valencia institution founded by Walt Disney and his brother Roy.
This pilot for a pre-school pitch by Cameron Baity and Benny Zelkowicz (aka Cam and Benny) – about a little girl getting into trouble with her stuffed monster friend, Galoot – is a combination of traditional stop mo, drawn, CG, and even some rock-salt animation for the snow elements. It’s slick, professional and very, very cute.
The pair are CalArts graduates who have gone on to professional careers in stop-mo (Baity directs Morel Orel, Zelkowicz animates on Robot Chicken). Together, for a change of pace, they decided to “try to make something sunny and kid friendly.” Whether they sell the series or not, this test piece is a quite a charmer. Watch video
Every election, candidates stress that the future of the country is at stake. Could it be true this time?
Character is destiny, said the Greek philosopher Heraclites—a romantic, maybe, since the implication is that sooner or later the good guy wins. It’s probably a character flaw on my part, indicative of smugness, to assume this maxim will be tested tomorrow on Election Day in terms of both the two presidential candidates running and the country itself. Such an assumption implies that the good guy’s identity is evident. This may not be the first time in our lives when a national election is about nothing less than the meaning of America. More than 1968 or 1932, however, the views and values of both sides are so distinctly different that what’s unsettling isn’t each side believing the other represents the forces of darkness and that the future of the country is at stake; everybody believes these things during a heated campaign. What’s unsettling is that, for once, these things may be true. This is what makes tomorrow such a dreadful crossroads and what makes after tomorrow such an inevitably daunting path. Read story
Michael Asher (1943–2012): Parting Words and Unfinished Work
Early in the afternoon of Wednesday, October 17, I got a call from a friend and fellow alumnus of CalArts with the news that Michael Asher had passed away. I set down the phone and quickly scanned the obituaries in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. And then that sinking feeling set in. I had not been in contact with Michael for some years, but in the nature of a death both expected and untimely (I was aware he was in poor health), I was not prepared for how the news hit me. I was overcome by a wave of remorse: remorse born of a guilty conscience, of kindnesses not paid and obligations unmet; a remorse too late now for any remedy. Read Story
Nickelodeon Announces It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! Special
LOS ANGELES – Nickelodeon celebrates the holidays with its first full-length stop-motion animated special, It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!, premiering on Nickelodeon Sunday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT), following its CBS television premiere (11/23). It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! was inspired by the classic Rankin/Bass specials (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town) and the popular SpongeBob song released in 2009, “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas),”co-written by Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob) and Andy Paley. The half-hour special features John Goodman as Santa Claus. Read story
Reconversão (Reconversion)--a Study of Eduardo Souto de Moura at REDCAT on Nov. 19
On November 19, REDCAT will show a documentary by Thom Andersen called Reconversão (Reconversion), which examines 17 works by 2011 Pritzker Prize winner Eduardo Souto de Moura. REDCAT describes the film by recalling the filmmaker’s influences as well as the architect’s ideas: “Echoing Dziga Vertov’s concepts and Eadweard Muybridge’s techniques (shooting only one or two frames per second), Andersen masterfully brings forward what makes Souto de Moura an original: the incorporation of the passing of time into architectural designs, positing them within a history fraught with class struggle and societal changes, in a continuum with ruins—from which they may originate, and to which they will return—and with nature—which they frame, and by which they are framed.” Read story
Katsuhiro Otomo at Platform International Animation Festival
California Institute of the Arts' downtown center for the contemporary arts, a section of the famous Walt Disney Concert Hall known as REDCAT, was the setting for a sold-out evening with manga artist and director Katsuhiro Otomo, as part of a new annual animation and art festival entitled Platform. The night would be his first public appearance in North America in 15 years, and the school would be presenting Otomo with the first ever Platform Lifetime Achievement Award. Read story