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Ottawa 2010 - Just the right note with Lou

By Dan Sarto | Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 9:44am

I spoke with Lou Pomanti to get his take on music for animation. Lou Pomanti is an award-winning, performer, arranger, and producer. He’s a keyboard wizard, and worked with Blood Sweat and Tears, James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, and Michael Buble. He even was the arranger for the finalists for the Hockey Night in Canada Anthem Challenge, which, in Canada, is pretty much the national anthem.

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Ottawa Day 3: Faces, Places, Pumpkin Carving and Snow

By Dan Sarto | Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 6:02am

Take a quick glance at some of the people I met up with yesterday while stumbling around the annual Animator's Picnic and later, while trying to get warm at the Arts Court cafe and Aniboutique. Old friends, new friends, a pretty uninspired procession of eviscerated gourds. Oh, and have I told you, it's cold here? Aye?

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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!

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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.

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Please Touch at the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery

By Dan Sarto | Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 2:21pm

The 2010 SIGGRAPH Art Gallery has done away with the old phrase “look but don’t touch.”

The 14 juried pieces exhibited this year absolutely require human interaction with a focus on haptics (touch). Richard Elaver from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne has taken the cross disciplinary theme of Leonardo and applied it to the selection process for the exhibits on display. Leonardo is a journal that has a philosophy of combining science, technology and art. Leonardo can be explored at www.leonardo.info.

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Highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2010 Electronic Theatre

By Dan Sarto | Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 12:05am

At the end of the two hour presentation my viewing partner kept muttering to me about “sensory overload” as we shuffled out the door. It’s one of the dangers of today’s world. The big Hollywood movie was well represented by The Last Airbender, Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland, 2012 and Avatar. The digital work on these films is, of course, excellent but overwrought compared to the smaller films and shorts. Simple stories told using the computer took the day.

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Emerging from SIGGRAPH's Emerging Technology

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 4:11pm

Preston Smith began with SIGGRAPH as a volunteer 15 years ago and is the current Chair of the Emerging Technologies section. Preston is a network administrator. When he graduated from college, he thought seriously about getting involved in CG. The more he watched what the kids in this industry were doing with technology, the more he became interested in supporting that technology. Today, Preston is the Linux administrator at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research. He supports the fMRI, or function Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine.

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Pixar's Jim Morris Keynotes SIGGRAPH 2010

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 4:02pm

Jim Morris, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Production at Pixar Animation Studios has over 23 years experience as a producer and production executive in the motion picture industry. He came to the 37th Annual SIGGRAPH, his 20th time in attendance, with a message.

Jim posed the rhetorical question, “Who comes to SIGGRAPH?” It is the people who, at some point early in life, watched a movie that lit a spark in them. For Jim, it was stop animation in some of the older movies like Jason and the Argonauts.

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SIGGRAPH 2010 Day 1 –Tron Looks Awesome, SIGGRAPH Dailies Jammed, Morris’ Keynote Hits Home

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 10:29am

My SIGGRAPH Day 1 was actually the 3rd day of the entire event, the first day of the main exhibits. Either I’m getting old (which I am) or it’s just getting harder and harder to focus and keep track of people I’ve met, sessions I’ve attended, screenings I’ve sat through. Despite 20 pages of notes and a handful of photos, I’m still trying to make proper account of my day before starting all over again today. Here goes nothing…

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Annecy 2010: Celebrating 50 Years

By Dan Sarto | Friday, July 2, 2010 at 4:49pm

I took the train to Annecy full of excitement and great expectations for the 50th Anniversary of the festival. According to the festival press release, they were expecting 6,700 participants from 66 countries, 1,647 companies crowding into MIFA, 300 journalists and 230 international buyers. For a festival to pull off such a grand event with minimum problems would be a miracle indeed. When people tried to get tickets for events, however, it felt like there were twice as many people in attendance.

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17th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film

By Dan Sarto | Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 11:31am

The 17th edition of the International Trickfilm Festival of Animated Film, May 4 through 9 in Stuttgart, Germany was definitely bigger and better than ever. The only problem I had was that there was so much to see and do that I had to make some difficult choices.

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Get Video Sneak Peeks from FMX

AWNtv has posted sneak peeks of the interviews and attractions of day one through four of FMX 2010. Hear words of wisdom and impressions of the event from industry superstars like Marc Weigert, Volker Engel, Tim Sarnoff, Bruno Velazquez, David Schaub, Bruce W. Smith, Hendrickson, John Bruno, Stuart Sumida, Ben Grossman, David Sproxton, Mohen Leo, Victoria Alonso and Ed Hooks.

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