The Animation Pimp: Myths and Legends
Is it true that you don’t like certain schools?
Rod Kark, French Lick, Indiana, USA
You’re giving me too much credit. Do you think I’ve got a notebook, a black list of schools and animators in it? That’s paranoid thinking. Again, it comes back to what I said earlier… has your school had success at the other major animation festivals? If not, why are you unloading on us? Yes, I know that I’m more visible and accessible than most Artistic Directors, but still, why are you blaming me when no other festival recognized your film either?
Also, despite a constant reminder that the OIAF is among the most difficult festivals to get accepted into (this year we’re almost at 2400 submissions. Maybe 130-150 will be selected for competition and showcase screenings. That means only 6% of the submissions will be accepted.) Good films are rejected all the time. It’s an unfair process and frankly, I loath the idea of films – or any art – having to compete against each other.
So, no I do not like or dislike certain schools. Yes, some schools (RISD, Cal Arts, RCA) might appear in competition more than others, but, hey, that’s cause they’re making solid films.
And again, remember, I’m not making these calls alone. There are 2-3 other voices that have input over what gets selected.
I love all of humanity.
Slimy little bastards.
Is it true that you run the OIAF?
Neil Kelly, Why, Arizona, USA
Dear Ms. Kelly
What a strange name you have? It’s very close to that of someone I work with. Interesting.
Nope. Little known fact. We farm out all the administration, budgeting, hiring, sponsorship and programming work to Malaysian transvestite baseball players and their he/she spouses. When they finish the work, we slip a fin into their undies and set them up with Icelandic businessmen.
Why do you do these bizarre opening speeches? I remember one year you went on stage with a neckbrace and read some poems that a cop wrote. Another year you read a speech that was about a banana festival I was confused. Most people are confused and don’t understand. Other hates it and you.
Sol Bernsome, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu, New Zealand
I took over the OIAF in 1996. I gave the standard, generic speech, as did various officials and politicians. I repeated this again – to a lesser degree – in 1998. By 2000, I just felt that we had to change things. Every festival has the same tedious opening. Usually a steady stream of politicians and animation folks go up and give these long-winded cliché speeches. NO ONE likes to sit and listen to them (suspect that very few officials like to write and read them!). NO ONE believes a single word that is read. They’re little more than hollow, raw-raw ‘win one for the gipper’ pep talks.
I thought it would be fun to play around with it. I’ve brought in a bit of Andy Kaufman influence and over the years really just made fun of traditional opening nights. Often these ‘performances’ are absurd, confusing and meaningless… and I guess that’s kind of the point. The standard openings are, at their core, meaningless as well, so I am essentially mocking them. I also want to give the OIAF a lighter tone. We’re always considered a fun, informal event. I like to keep things light and absurd and fun because, well, life is rather silly. We don’t need to get all fancy and formal while speaking nothings to the audience.
Sure, some people don’t like what I do occasionally, but that’s okay. I can live with that and so can you. Why people get bent out of shape about my stage presence is beyond me. I figure these are people who walk through the doors fully armed a hate-on for me, so it doesn’t really matter what I do. They’ll still be pissed off.
Why didn’t my film get in?
Randy Hatchett-Gash, Poopoo, Hawaii, USA
Dear Mr. Hatchett-Gash,
There were rumours in Annecy this year that: you were dead; you left the OIAF; that you were in jail; turned to a life of bestiality; taken up with some needy nuns; became a meth drug lord. Are any of these true?
Phyllis Piehole, St. Marys Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel Near to the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave, Wales.
Dear Widow Piehole,
Yes, all of them.
What’s with the “that’s what she said” stuff? It’s easy and lame. Why don’t you try something harder?
Gerty Mustaine, Fucking, Austria
That’s what she said.
(Merci à Dan Sarto from Whiskey Dick Mountain, Washington State, USA.)