The Infinite Animator, Remastered: iotaCenter and The Adam K. Beckett Project
In the DVD collection is an interview with the late Jules Engel about Beckett. Engel remembers Beckett as eager to work, recalling that Beckett had shown up ready to shoot a month before the school had officially opened. “He would go into the Oxberry room at 8 in the morning, and come out at 10 at night,” remembers Beckett’s former teacher. He speaks of a passionate drive that would keep Beckett working for days at a time, and of the almost obsessive need he had to complete his films. Certainly, he says, Beckett could be considered influential at the time, as he was making work unlike anything that had been seen before. In order to remain influential to future generations, “he has to be seen,” Engel states emphatically. While major museums keep the Old Masters alive by displaying their work, it is access to viewing films that keep artists like Beckett present in today’s animation world. A collection such as the one iotaCenter has put together begins to service that need. Adam K. Beckett: Infinite Animator both celebrates Beckett's achievements, and provides future generations of animators and scholars with access to his unique, inspirational work.
A heartfelt thanks to Larry Cuba and Paul Shephred at the iotaCenter for answering additional questions and providing photographs, and to the entire team for their hard work on the Beckett project. Read more about their conservation efforts, and other iota projects, at http://www.iotacenter.org.
You can purchase the Adam K. Beckett: Complete Works 1970-1979 dvd at http://www.iotacenter.org/store/videos/beckett_dvd.
Zoe Chevat is a Los Angeles-based animator, graphic artist, sculptor, and author of both academic and fictional work. Originally from northern New Jersey, she graduated from Bennington College and is currently an MFA candidate in Experimental Animation at CalArts. She has worked on music videos and shorts for AfterEd TV, UnBroiled Inc., and Ariel Hart/DeMille Productions, as well as the anthological Today's Forecast, which debuted at the Internationale Kurzfilmtage, Oberhausen, Germany. A proud cinephile, she has been blogging about gender and film/video media for female geek-oriented newsblog The Mary Sue, and has been a recurring guest on a new podcast series for Anime News Network, entitled "Chicks on Anime."
Most of her critical writing is concerned with the portrayal of sexuality and gender in genre work, with a particular focus on trope subversion for fun and profit. She provides a ground-level insider's view on the new generation of animation fans and creators, with an eye to negotiating that tricky space between high and low art…or at least to rattling some cages along the way. For more rants, spewings, and inky scribbles, follow along at http://www.zoechevat.com.