Category Archives: news

Events

Last weekend the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens hosted several screenings and signings with the talented and hard working Bill Plympton.

Saturday and Sunday, 6/4 and 6/5, they’ll be presenting the remarkable Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Earlier this year that same institutional showed Martha Colburn‘s latest installation.

Martha will be given a program at 8 PM on Saturday at Anthology Film Archives.

This will include live accompaniment of piano and percussion and more.  The percussionist also plays with the neo-skiffle combo “Deerhoof” who, I understand, the kids like.

And if moving pictures are too much for you (and who can blame you, not me, for sure) – R. Sikoryak will bring his oft-imitated, inimitable Carousel to The Brick Theater in Brooklyn at 9 PM on Saturday.

This appears to be part of something called “The Comic Book Theater Festival”.  The website doesn’t give a direct html link to the page but it’s an easy click from their home page.

And tonight (with rebroadcasts this week) PBS’ Need To Know will air our “Ant and Grasshopper” film we made with Roz Chast for the second time.

Check local listings!

Horn Tooting: An Elevating Adornment

Here’s a brief roundup of some reviews for “Carol Channing: Larger Than Life”.

The film had it’s premiere at The Tribeca Film Festival, placing third in the Audience Award and then went off to HotDocs in Toronto.

Variety says “The work by Asterisk Animation is an adornment, but somehow elevates the production.”
Michael Musto in the Voice
Playbill
A few pictures with Ms. Channing at the her first screening and a review which calls our animation “One particularly brilliant highlight”
NY Press
NYC Cultural Review
Indiewire
A Canadian take from HotDocs.
DVD Talk which says “the bridging animations (adapted from Al Hirschfeld’s drawings) are marvelous”.

Pillows, Movies, Books

Received an email the other day from our pal Phil Marden about his newest creative out: illustrated pillows.  http://www.pilloporto.com/

If you want your child to grow up with great taste, if you want your pet to behave like a pet -you can do no better than these.

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This Tuesday, April 5, at 7:00 PM, The Korean Cultural Society presents What is not Romance? at the Tribeca Cinema on Canal Street.

This was a feature film produced by students of the Korean Film Academy.

Admission is free.
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I wasn’t too surprised to see there was a Focal Press book dedicated to Rotoscoping.  I was surprised to find it was actually pretty interesting and informative -though that may say more about me than the book.

Benjamin Bratt’s Rotoscoping: Techniques and tools for the Aspiring Artist is pretty much a theory book on cutting out live action images from motion pictures.  There’s a little history, very little on software platforms and a lot on how to approach rotoscoping.
It’s a process which most artists in animation will have to broach at some point in their career, maybe for a paycheck, maybe to execute an idea of your own.
It may not be worth the price tag for the many tips you won’t believe you didn’t think of yourself, but it’s definitely worth flipping through at the library.  And if you’re thinking of a career in effects it’s likely a volume for the bookshelf.

Double Feature in the Future

Monday, February 7th, two documentaries we’ve worked on will make their US broadcast debuts.

At 9:00 on WLIW (channel 21 in the NYC area and Long Island) will premiere “Cab Calloway: Sketches”. 

This picture was directed by Gail Levin and edited (and largely produced) out of our space.  We created the opening titles, the graphics package (lower thirds, etc) and an animated sequence in which a hand drawn Cab dances with an Alvin Ailey dancer.

The film was sponsored by European producers, ARTE leading the way, and created to air as part of a 25th anniversary broadcast of “The Blues Brothers”.

Follow that up at 10:00 with a horse of a different color when National Geographic broadcasts “How To Build A Beating Heart” as part of their Explorer series.

This marks the second National Geographic program we’ve worked with Director Mark Manucci.  They are always great fun -for this we got to morph fetus arms into adult arms, project intestines on the leotard clad bodies of unsuspecting actors, a dozen or so animated shots and learn all about the exciting future of body part growing.

Secondhand News

Turns out we’ve been using our Twitter feed as a newsline: www.twitter.com/asteriskpix.

Most of it is non-Asterisk animation stuff.  Here are a few stories from the past few days.

BLAKE EDWARDS PASSES 

Blake Edwards, of course, wrote and directed the Pink Panther films.  In what has become a rare show of good faith towards fellow creators, he allowed the copyright of the Pink Panther character to reside with DePatie-Freling.  As a result, an independent studio was able to flourish.

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SATOSHI KON SHOW AT LINCOLN CENTER

Without question  the saddest passing of the year was Satoshi Kon.  It’s impossible to quantify the loss to film and animation in particular.

The Walter Reade theater will be showing “Perfect Blue” and “Paprika” on Wednesday, 12/22 at 6:30 and 8:15.

I wish “Tokyo Godfathers” was also showing, but we should be thankful the best venue in Manhattan (one small step up from the MoMA) has smarts enough to commemorate this great artist.

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Coincidental to this screening, my pal Lou Underwood shared this link comparing “Black Swan” to Kon’s “Perfect Blue”.
I haven’t seen Aronofsky’s film, but it’s just another example of what a great talent was lost to us.
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On an Asterisk note.  The Buddha will begin it’s second run on PBS Wednesday 12/22.  All of you who can’t make it to “Paprika” should tune in.
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Variety is reporting on a new stop-motion feature on an old idea.  It’s news, I guess.

Odds. Ends.

Tonight is the last night for Geoff Marslett’s “Mars” in DUMBO.

CLICK HERE for info.

Whatever your plans are -change them.  Go to this instead.  Unless you’re already planning to go, then don’t change your plans.

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Our pal Doug Vitarelli just finished a website for kids www.whereisolifant.com about a dinosaur that lives in Central Park.
It’s fun interactive site, even if you’re older than the target audience.

On a futurist academic note, site like this are the leading edge of a new form of storytelling.  They mix traditional storybook material -words and drawings -but add time through animation and the non-linear reading experience.
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Sam Henderson was in town for some comic book thing.

He stayed on our couch.  He could purchase a party loft on Fifth Avenue if everyone bought one of his works of art for a loved one for Christmas.

BUY HERE.

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We’re hard at work on Gail Levin’s “Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides” for American Masters.

PBS has put a trailer clip up on their site.

Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

The show premieres on January 12, 2012.   It should be good.

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Folks in Germany get the opportunity to see our pal Martha Colburn in a big show.
Kunsthalle info HERE.