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Creative Blogs

Creative Problem Solving Pt 1: Discovering originality and Value

By Robin King | Friday, October 22, 2010 at 5:09pm

Creativity is at the core of our personal and collective evolution – whether as individuals or as teams and creative ability is well understood, can be clearly explained. Everyone is capable of creative effort given well-designed training, experiential exercises and reflective practice.

Blogs

Ottawa Day 2: Jan Pinkava is Utterly Charming and It's Really Cold

By Dan Sarto | Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 11:35pm

The highlight of my second day in Ottawa was finding a working ATM. But the “treat” of the day was sitting in on an intimate discussion with former Oscar-winning Pixar and current Laika writer/director Jan Pinkava. Friendly, engaging, entertaining and brilliant – utterly charming. Made me feel like audience extra at a taping of “Regis and Kelly.” And it’s really, really cold here.

Blogs

PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW (1971) (***)

There are so many elements of this film that make it cult. It's a high school sex comedy that is pitch black. The director is BARBARELLA auteur Roger Vadim and the writer/producer is STAR TREK creator Gene Roddenberry. The star is Rock Hudson as the football coach who beds his underage female students on a daily basis. Come on you can't write irony better than that.

Hudson is Tiger McDrew, a local hero who just has women fawning over him when he walks into a room. In between sleeping with every hot girl in the school and spending time with his wife (Barbara Leigh, JUNIOR BONNER) and daughter, he takes forever-young football team manager Ponce de Leon Harper (John David Carson, THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN) under his wing. The boy has a problem; he has a constant erection. Especially in the class of new teacher Miss Betty Smith (Angie Dickinson, RIO BRAVO). So all Tiger needs to do to get the older woman to teach Ponce the sexual ropes is to ask. Oh yeah, the pretty co-heads are turning up dead.

Blogs

Ottawa Day 1: Please Move Out of My Way!

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 11:20pm

Is it just me, or do Canadians like to congregate and talk hockey while blocking the entrance to every elevator, hallway, doorway and turnstile in the vicinity? It seemed every single path I took yesterday was impeded by some throng completely oblivious to those trying to navigate past them. Oh, plus I saw some good films!

Blogs

Blu-ray: PLEASE GIVE (2010)

Read my review of PLEASE GIVE.

This indie comedy was shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm. This gives the picture a softer look overall. This quality carries over to this 1080p transfer. For a Blu-ray the detail is not robust. The color balance is natural and the film grain is consistent with the source material. When it comes to the soundtrack, this isn't a title to show off the sound system with. The soundscape is heavily weighted to the front speakers. Dialogue stands out from the nicely balanced music and sound effects. Presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless, the soundtrack is what might expect from an indie comedy.

Blogs

Ottawa - And then things got ugly

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 11:01am

I met with Linda Simensky, the Vice-President for Children’s Programming at PBS. We had strawberries and tea as she graciously shared her 20-years experience on the international scene in public broadcasting, what produced locally stays local and what gets to go international. (More about that later). But things got ugly when I asked her to define “edutainment”. Here was her response:

Blogs

Ottawa – Time for Moose and Animation

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 5:43am

It's a two hour train ride from Montreal, Canada's cosmopolitan capital to Ottawa, the national capital. Forget the stock images of the Parliament buildings, the Mounties, or the concrete barriers in front of the block long US embassy. What makes Ottawa unique are the furry critters. There are more beavers, squirrels, bunnies and ground hogs than in any urban capital on the planet. Not to mention the moose!

Special Blogs

Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum (podcast) x 19

This week's eponymous episode retraces another retro return to the LA recordings featuring Alan inexplicably conversing through Skype and Joel inexpertly wrangling the pre-show mic check. Special guest and expert sperm whale impressionist Scott Aukerman then stops by to discuss the art of writing the sequel of an animated feature before the original is written, the power of star-powered voice-acting, Toy Story 4, why FFAF is his favorite podcast, and how to narrate a picture book.

Blogs

PLEASE GIVE (2010) (***1/2)

Nicole Holofcener, who made the wonderful WALKING & TALKING and LOVELY & AMAZING, is a writer who understands people and knows precisely how to show an audience these people. Particularly she knows how to write women characters. They act like women and more importantly they feel like women. And by that I mean they feel a range of emotions.

Kate (Catherine Keener, LOVELY & AMAZING) and her husband Alex (Oliver Platt, DIGGSTOWN) run a vintage furniture shop in New York City. They buy their product from the children of the recently deceased. Kate feels guilty for everything. She’s the kind of person who looks for homeless people to give money to. They have bought the apartment of the old woman Andra (Ann Morgan Guilbert, GRUMPIER OLD MEN) next door, giving her the right to stay there until she passes.

Blogs

BE THERE! Corfu Animation Festival: 7-10 April 2011 - Corfu, Greece

Winter isn’t here yet but we all know that it’s on its way so a trip to the beautiful Ionian island of Corfu, Greece in April might just be what you will need in a few months to recover from the grey dulldrums.  My friend Vassilis Kroustallis e-mailed me that the BE THERE! Animation Festival has put out a call for animation for the inaugural festival 7 -10 April, 2011.

There are two main competition sections:

Short Films that have been completed after 1/1/09 regardless of their country of origin, and

Graduation Films made as a graduation project after 1/1/09.  This category is open to all students regardless of where you went to school.

There is no entrance fee for submission.  You can read all of the regulations and download the entry form at:

Blogs

SAN FRANCISCO FILM SOCIETY ANIMATION FESTIVAL - November 11 through 14, 2010

Living in Europe I feel so fortunate to be able to see the best of the best of the new animations and I often wonder why these films are not shown in the United States on a regular basis.  When I looked at the San Francisco Film Society's list of films for their upcoming animation festival, November 11 through 14 at Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema, I was delighted to see some top notch films on the list.

Theodore Usher's films are always complex and challenging and Lipsett Diaries is certainly no exception. The short film is in the form of a private journal evoking Canadian film maker Arthur Lipsett's tormented life, from a childhood marked by loneliness to his suicide in 1986 at the age of 49.  Theodore's haunting images are complemented by the script written by Chris Robinson, author of a number of books about animators and Director of the Ottawa International Film Festival.

Disney Blogs

Interesting Insights from Disney’s Chairman Ross

By Dan Sarto | Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:19pm

Disney chairman Rich Ross’ first year at the helm has been a busy one. There’s a telling article by Michael Bodey in today’s online edition of The Australian that caught my attention. There are a couple comments Ross made during his recent trip to Australia that are of particular interest. One involves what he did say and one involves what he didn’t say.

Blogs

None Of Us Were Drafted

By Dan Sarto | Monday, October 18, 2010 at 3:25pm

So here I am in Ottawa, and the film I submitted this year to the festival was rejected. Not only this year but none of my films have made competition here. Not only that, but I'm blogging on the festival and my blogs are really positive. So I'm thinking, maybe I should put in some heavy doses of criticism so the folks at the OIAF won't think I'm kissing their royal Canadian asses. But I don't care if they think that. Let them. I'll blog what I want.

Blogs

Job Fear Factor

By Lisa Kaye | Monday, October 18, 2010 at 3:03pm

The fears you face whether you are currently employed or desperately seeking a new position, need to be embraced and you need to boldly stare down your enemy for who and what it is. Identifying and coping with your job fear factors are a way for you to kick fear in the teeth before it takes a bite out of your ambition and your self-confidence.

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