Dec 12, 2003
Volume 1, Number 6
International Web Site:
ASIFA/Colorado Volunteers and Board
Dan A. Seely
Treasurer and Business Manager
Liaison to Post-Secondary Students and Scribe
Emissary to Secondary Education
Vice President of Marketing
Vice President of Allied Fields
Director of Communications
News Letter Editor
“ASIFA – Colorado was established in 2001 as a non-profit corporation devoted to cultivating and promoting the art, craft and profession of Animation.
Together, our membership and Board of Directors are developing a far-reaching range of programs and special events to meet the following goals:
Ø Stimulate discussion among professional and non-professional animation enthusiasts about concepts and technologies evolving in the industry.
Ø Increase the visibility of Colorado Region animation companies available to serve the growing demand for commercial animation productions across the nation and around the world.
Ø Establish a tradition of local, public events including seminars, panel discussions, special screenings, festivals and workshops devoted to more broadly acquainting the population with the power, diversity, and application of animation in all media.
Ø Increase the connections between animation education programs and professionals in the industry.
Ø Enrich the experience of animation students by bringing the diversity of the international animation scene to their doorstep.”
To join ASIFA-Colorado:
go to http:/www.asifa-colorado.org
or send a check; $30 for Students, $55 for Professionals (payable to ASIFA-Colorado) to:
6585 W. 62nd Place
Arvada, CO 80003
include your Name, Address, and phone number. Student include a photocopied id.
To find out more about the Animator's Workshop Group (AWG) for children contact:
To contribute or volunteer contact:
Comments, questions, articles and suggestions are always welcome. Reply-To: email@example.com
· Ed Hooks was here. Animation students and professionals who attended Ed Hooks' 3 day Master Class Acting for Animators in Denver from October 9 through 11 are still floating on air! Mr. Hooks covered all of the principles presented in his book Acting for Animators, now in its second printing. Topics included movement and body language, power centers, Laban movement theory, the works of Paul Ekman, and using psychological gesture in animated characters. For analysis, Mr. Hooks brought with him exciting demo reels from the Ringling School of Design in Florida as well as from animators around the world. Thanks to Central Vectors Productions & Events working together with ASIFA-Colorado for bringing Mr. Hooks to Denver. Thanks also to RMCAD, Denver School of the Arts and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance who provided venues for the event. For those of you who missed out, look for announcements of Ed Hooks return to Denver next year. He was very impressed with the animators he had the opportunity to work with in Denver!
· Might Fudge - Mighty Fudge came a calling and they brought their adult animation with them! Mighty Fudge presented to ASIFA Colorado folks on Wednesday, October 29th at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. The makers of Dressy Bessy's music videos and Saturday Morning Cartoons for Adults gave us a peek at the process of making these animations.
· ASIFA International has a new board.
New ASIFA President - NOUREDDIN
· During the most recent local board meeting there was discussion about our current projects. The ASIFA Reel was discussed - look for a Call for Entries coming soon - this will only be open to ASIFA members and a great place to display your work! The ASIFA Colorado Animation Festival is looking for a July 2005 date. And the Children's workshop will kick of on Dec. 13th, 2003 to be completed in May of 2004 and displayed at Hiroshima Animation Festival 2004. The board went over the web page and had a list of changes to be made in the coming months. The grant situation was also discussed, and the board hopes to pursue this so that they may promote animation in the Colorado region more powerfully.
· December 10th, 2003
SIGGRAPH - Electronic Theatre
Join us for the 2nd part of the eTheatre, this time we'll show the Computer Animation Festival excerpts which gets shown during the entire length of SIGGRAPH.
At the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design Theater,
NEW LOCATION - 1600 Pierce St. Lakewood, CO 80214
· January 28th, 2004
TO BE ANNOUNCED
GAMING STUDENT CAN WIN $25,000!
Taiwan International Animation Festival
Anifest 2004 Trebon
Cartoons on the Bay 2004
· 33rd International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Holland, January 21 - February 1, 2004
3D FESTIVAL 2004: EUROPE'S LEADING VFX EVENT.
Dan Seely is the President of ASIFA-Colorado and also
owner-operator of Pixel Kitchen. He has been working in computer animation almost since its start in
Ed: What got
you starting in animation?
Dan: I have been doing animation of some sort since my first Super 8 mm animated film in the late 1970’s. I have been doing CGI since I first got access to a graphics computer in 1984 at GW Hannaways & Assoc here in Boulder. That was a DEC PDP 11 running UNIX and a Raster Tech frame buffer. Of course everything changed in 1985 when Silicon Graphics Inc (SGI) shipped an IRIS 1400 workstation to Boulder. This was the start of interactive 3D computer graphics and was the defining moment for my animation career. 3D had my name on it all the way. I was in love.
Dan: I came to Colorado in the early spring of 1984 just after the great Christmas blizzard. I didn’t experience it, but everyone was still talking about it.
Ed: When I first came to town, no one but
Computer Image was using computers to make animation. Computer gear was prohibitively
expensive. I eventually landed a job as an animator at Z Axis in Aurora Colorado. They had a
Bosch FGS 4000, a ½ million dollar 3d animation TV production system. I got to run that in
1986-7. Today we can have computers which are hundreds of times faster and hundreds of times
cheaper. Software has become hundreds of times more complex and capable. One of the first animation jobs I had here in Denver was as a freelance cell painter for two
of the local cell animation houses, Celluloid Studios and Stan Philips Productions. There was
also a third traditional animation company then, Graphics in Motion. They are all gone now as
well as Computer Image which was mentioned earlier.
I started Pixel Kitchen with Ken Seaverns in 1990. At the time I was running
the computer visualization department at Design Workshop Inc. I was working in
their Denver office. They had a unique understanding of the tools early on in
the game and were trying to develop the technology to support the
Ed: How has Pixel Kitchen been getting through these hard times?
Dan: Barely. This down turn in
animation production has been worse than during the first Bush war in 1990.
Dan: I am studying for my Masters in Sculpture at CU
here in Boulder. I am doing some virtual sculpture. I am studying how to put fine art back
is frustrating. I can judge the state of LA animation by the number and
caliber of people calling for work in the Colorado market. There is a flow of
people who get tired of the grind of Hollywood and expect to relocate to
Denver and have access to the same caliper and frequency of the work they
left. But all in all the decision to not go to LA in the early 90’s was a
good one as living in Colorado is worth the frustrations of our smaller
Dan: More of our local animation
production companies working together to raise the level of professionalism especially in the
That’s right! On
Well, that’s what
happens when you’ve got a President looking for campaign financing, a lot of
greedy corporations, and a pre-treed Sonny Bono.
They come up with a bill to extend copyrights for another 20 years.
Gee, who’s going to benefit from that? Hmmm…
You know maybe they are
right, though. Maybe Walt Disney
and Ub Iwerks originally fought over whether or not to create Mickey.
Maybe they were saying, “Hey, why should we bother creating a mouse
character that everyone will love if in 75 short years he won’t be ours
anymore?” Yeah, I can picture
the debate now.
“We don’t want our
mouse to fall into Public Domain in 75 years, we don’t want him to ever fall
into Public Domain.”
“Ooh, I get chills just
thinking about it.”
“I mean then he’d
have to hang around with the likes of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
“Yeah, and Pinocchio,
“I mean, we can’t
have our 75 year old baby out there in that wilderness.”
“And what about those,
seven little guys – oh, they just freak me out.”
“Created by the Grimm
Brothers, no less!”
“Let’s not even
bother to create a mouse character.”
“You know, I don’t
feel like I could put him through any of that either.”
It’s somewhat ironic that a corporation
that borrowed so much from the public domain now doesn’t want to contribute
to it. And they not only borrowed,
they depended on it! Let’s see,
Jungle Book was released one year after Kipling’s copyrights expired.
Now I’m only guessing here, but knowing how long it takes Disney to
release a film they were probably well on their way into the animation before
the copyright expired. And then
there’s pretty much everything else they created
– Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Tarzan, this list goes on and includes
much of what Disney animated - because Disney always wanted a proven story.
Who cares by whom it was written.
Borrowing is needed in the
creative world. We take ideas and
build on them. That’s what we
do! Even Shakespeare got his idea for Romeo and Juliet from a poem written
about 40 years prior. And that led
to Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.
If we didn’t build on the past we would still be making stick figures
in caves, albeit different ones. Heck,
Steamboat Willie was a parody of Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr. – and had
the same music!
So, in 1998 Sonny Bono and a
bunch of corporations with 6.3 million dollars decided to get the Copyright
Term Extension Act (CTEA) passed. This
adds 20 years to every copyright. And so now nothing will be falling into
Public Domain until 2019. That
means there’s no fresh meat on which to build.
Nothing with which to get creative. And Disney just makes more money on
the deal – of course, that’s not to say they wouldn’t have kept making
money anyway. They’d have every
right as everyone else to make another Mickey movie or TV show or whatever.
Then in 2002, this guy, Eric
Eldred – after 4 years of fighting to get into court – finally gets into
the courts only to get shot down. Eric
was concerned because he’s had a website that publishes public domain
writings that might otherwise go unread. The
CTEA not only allowed Disney to keep copyright but it also makes some Robert
Frost poems inaccessible for the next 20 years.
Eric had hoped to put these poems on his website for all to read.
Well, at this
point the only thing we can do is sign a petition and hope for the best.
And guess what! It just so
happens that one such petition exists. Check
Think about it and then sign it – you owe it to yourself!
Of course, you may care that something you create will fall into Public
Domain only 50 short years after you die instead of 70 years after with the
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