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Ottawa 2011 – I Feel So Old

The Animator’s Picnic is inspired event programming – stop all proceedings, go to a park, eat, drink, see and be seen. On this unseasonably beautiful Autumn day, as I gaze out on the crowd of young animators, I can’t help but think…I feel so old. Nothing like a large gathering of energetic young hipsters, free from the burdens of metabolic decline and hearing loss, to remind you just what a sorry-ass geez you are. The crowd gets younger, the walk to the Bytowne Cinema gets longer and no amount of Advil or Scotch can change that. Sometimes I wonder, if I start talking to a young female animation student, am I perceived as someone who has something useful to say, or just a perve? Can one be both?

A fine display of design and carving skills. The rest are posers. Except the guy with the pumpkin speedo.

By Dan Sarto

The Animator’s Picnic is inspired event programming – stop all proceedings, go to a park, eat, drink, see and be seen.  Find old friends, meet new friends.  On this unseasonably beautiful Autumn day, as I gaze out on the crowd of young animators, the future of our industry, I can’t help but think…I feel so old. Nothing like a large gathering of energetic young hipsters, free from the burdens of metabolic decline and hearing loss, to remind you just what a sorry-ass geez you are.  The crowd gets younger, the walk to the Bytowne Cinema gets longer and no amount of Advil or Scotch can change that.  Sometimes I wonder, if I start talking to a young female animation student, am I perceived as someone who has something useful to say, or just a perve?  Can one be both?

Check out a selection of pictures from this year’s picnic and pumpkin carving contest…

NFB producer Marcy Page with famous tenor saxophonist Tom Knott.

Linda Beck and Mike Overbeck. Mike's last name is almost the same as my grandfather's last name, Averbook. Not that you or anyone else cares. Linda's last name is almost the same as a German beer I llike to drink. That, some may care about.

Steve Subotnick and Sharon Katz.

The hardest working man in animation, Gary Schwartz, and Cartoon Network's Brooke Keesling.

Georges Schwizgebel, Claude Cloutier, Gil Alkabetz and Matti Kutt. Talent with a capital T.

Jan Pinkava, me, new NFB head Roddy McManus and soon retired NFB head David Verrall. Minus me, also Talent with a capital T.

Liesja Kraii and Richard O'Connor don't take kindly to talk about the Phillies going down in the playoffs. Tom Knott is Canadian so what does he know about baseball. Or any sport for that matter besides beer drinking.

Brooke Keesling and Dutch mime Leery van Mutsenmaakster watch two storyboard artists fight over the last cupcake.

Koji Yamamura. More amazing talent.

Alan Foreman, Joel Frenzer, AKA, The Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum. Just so you know, none of this equipment actually has any batteries.

The assembled pumpkin carving contest entrants.

The festival's first pumpkin speedo. From here, he's off to bum smokes in front of the Beer Store.

Don't you have homework to go do? Shouldn't you be studying for the SATs?

Yet another questionable entry.

Nice use of gourd remnants.

I guess slow and steady doesn't win the pumpkin carving contest.

I think this was the winner. It's a zoetrope. You look inside and you can see several hours of your life you'll never get back. The nice person in me says, "You're all winners, every one of you." But I'm not a nice person.

My daughter Becky's tiny new kitten, AJ, asleep inside an afghan on my desk. Every photo essay needs a picture of a kitten.