David Crane describes what the Los Angeles chapter of the International Animated Film Association, ASIFA-Hollywood, has to offer animation enthusiasts.
Animation is a crucial part of media today. Resources of all kinds need to be readily accessible to students, businesses, artists and writers, among others. Access to a variety of animation information is now available through many means, from the good old library method of research, to the vast Internet which probably brought you here today.
The International Animated Film Society,* ASIFA_Hollywood is a California non-profit organization established over twenty years ago. Dedicated to the advancement of the art of animation, this organization is home to both professionals and fans. We are also open to anyone else who we can help reach their animation-related goals and needs. With nearly 1,500 members around the world, this Los Angeles based chapter of ASIFA strives to achieve the following goals:
Support and encourage animation education; Support the preservation and evaluation of animation history; Recognize achievements of excellence in the art and field of animation; Increase the public awareness of animation; Act as a liaison to encourage the free exchange of ideas within the animation community; Encourage journalism documenting current trends and activities in animation; Encourage the social interaction of professional and non-professional animation enthusiasts; Encourage the development and expression of all forms of animation.
To fulfill these goals, ASIFA-Hollywood sponsors the following programs and projects:
Animation Preservation Project
Prior to 1950, motion pictures were printed on unstable, flammable nitrate film stock that decomposed over time, placing many films by Ub Iwerks, Max Fleischer, Walter Lantz and George Pal (et. al.) in danger of being lost forever. Through the Animation Preservation Project, ASIFA-Hollywood seeks out and rescues endangered cartoons, and raises funds to preserve them on safety film stock.
The Stephen Bosustow and Art Babbitt Education Endowment Funds were established in memory of two of animation's greatest figures. Both the Bosustow and Babbitt endowments were created to fund programs in support of animation education. Currently, these funds are used to provide financial awards to qualified high-school students pursuing career studies in the field of animation.
ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archives
The Archives act as a repository for the papers, production materials, publications and artwork of animation artists, organizations and studios, making them available to scholars, journalists and filmmakers. Currently, the archive acts as a repository for preservational purposes. Not all materials are available to the public but included in the collection are: animation reference books, standard production materials like timing sheets, scripts and affordable cels for sale. Most of the cels are from television commercials and shows. Commercials from the 1950s, as well as Snap, Crackle, and Pop and Tony the Tiger can be found, as can cels from Scooby Doo, The Lone Ranger and television specials. Most of the cels are from the `60s through the `80s. Since then it has been harder and harder to find cels, as electronic ink and paint have become more popular. Our "animation art store" is open from 10:00 to 6:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Anyone can come by and go through the boxes of cels, but should call first to make sure our staff is in the office. All of our cels have been generously donated by production companies and the profits from their sale support ASIFA-Hollywood's efforts.
Animation Opportunities Expo
ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Job Fair and Learning Series allows aspiring creative and support people to visit nearly all of the studios in one location. Companies set up booths at which they display future projects and recruit artists, while prospective employees meet valuable contacts and receive portfolio reviews. The Expo also features workshops, seminars and panel discussions on the various roles and opportunities within the field.
The Animation Center is a multi-purpose facility used for receptions, screenings and classes. It also features exhibit space and serves as ASIFA-Hollywood's headquarters. Expansion plans include a museum of animation history, a research library, additional space for seminars and workshops, and a permanent screening room. Events taking place at the Center include: Life Drawing Workshops, featuring a live model twice a week; Big Screenings, eclectic collections of rarely-seen cartoons; `An Evening With,' a series of programs focusing on the varying tasks and talents in animation production (presented by Tom Sito), as well as periodic special screenings, animation garage sales, seminars, tributes to animation pioneers, etc.
The Annie Awards
Since 1972, ASIFA-Hollywood has hosted an annual awards ceremony in order to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the art of animation. Originally designed to honor a few legendary veterans of the field, the 25th Annual Annie Awards are scheduled to include almost 30 categories in competition. These will be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on November 16th, 1997. Awards include the classic Winsor McCay Award and the recently added June Foray Award, as well as Certificates of Merit.
This Annual animation convention features a wide array of animation artwork, videos, publications and collectibles for purchase. Other activities include artwork exhibits, personal appearances by veteran animators, live stage shows hosted by famous voice artists, informational displays, costumed characters, and other animation-related entertainment. AniFest!, occurring annually for more than two decades, has become the largest and longest-running festival of its kind in the world.
InBetweener and Calendar
The monthly newsletter of ASIFA-Hollywood (The Calendar) features information about upcoming events and up-to-date news and schedules. Our quarterly publication (The InBetweener) offers coverage of our organization's functions and programs, as well as articles and interviews.
We invite you to join the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, and to participate in the various activities that we have to offer. For more information you may write us at 725 S. Victory Blvd., Burbank, CA 91502 USA. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to explore the ASIFA-Hollywood web site, and we'll see you in animation!
*ASIFA is the French Acronym for "Association Internationale du Film D'Animation," an organization founded in 1957 in France by a group of professional animators and chartered by UNESCO in 1960 to encourage the art of animation and further international understanding and goodwill through the animation medium. Today, there are nearly thirty chapters around the world.
Dave Crane is Coordinator of the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Center. He has assisted ASIFA with publications and other projects since 1981.
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