This year's Northern California tour includes Pixar, PDI/Dreamworks, Lucas Animation, The Walt Disney Family Museum and an evening with ASIFA San Francisco. Nominees on hand are Patrick Doyon and Marc Bertrand, the director and producer of Sunday/Dimanche; directors William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg and producer Lampton Enochs of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore; and Bonnie Thompson, the producer of Wild Life, a film by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis. They have traveled from Shreveport, Louisiana, Montreal and Ontario Canada.
AWN Oscar Tour Travelogue
Every year for many years now, on the Saturday before the Oscars, DreamWorks Animation hosts a fantastic brunch at the famous Campanile. A lively mix of executives and creative riff-raff, the crowd feasted on delectable comfort food, boozing it up while speculating who the winners and losers would be the following evening. Many noteables were in attendance. Check out some of the festivities.
No Oscar Tour would be complete without the famous Nominee Cake! As the 2011 Tour winds down, so do the nominees and assorted guests, at least for one evening. Held again this year at Ron's house, the party was fun, intimate and warm, despite the rainy weather outside. And of course, we all got sugared-up feasting on the nominated films - literally!
The final day of the 2011 Oscar tour was the busiest of all – morning at the Disney ARL, lunch, 2 screenings and several tours throughout the afternoon, followed by the AWN-Acme Oscar party Friday evening. You could sense the animators were getting a bit antsy, greeting the same questions with the same answers for the umpteenth time, their smiling faces showing traces of exhaustion and anxiety as they silently counted down to the Oscars on Sunday. No rest for the weary however as things really were just getting started.
The third day of the LA Oscar tour actually began with a morning stop at CAA in Century City before a small gathering of agents and producers in their lavish screening room.
One of the highlights of the week was a morning spent at Disney's Animation Research Library (ARL). Housed in the non-descript former feature animation studio, the library houses more than 65 million pieces of animation art representing over 80 years of work from Walt Disney Animation. If you love animation, or have any sense of animation history, then the Disney ARL is a little slice of heaven. Actually, it's the whole pie.
Every year for more than a decade we’ve toured DreamWorks’ expansive Glendale campus with either the Animation Show of Shows, our Oscar Showcase tour, or both. We’re always greeted with open arms and we’re always shown tasty morsels of upcoming films – last year, for example, Simon Otto showed us 20 minutes of How To Train Your Dragon well before it was released. This year did not disappoint.
The Los Angeles leg of the tour picked up on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Sony. Jakob Schuh and Max Lang were back for the second round; while Bastien Dubois, the director of Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage, his producer Ron Dyens, and Michael Rose and Martin Pope, the producers of The Gruffalo, joined them for the first time.
If it’s Friday, it must be Pixar. And as most would attest, a visit to Pixar is pretty special. In no particular order, we met John Lasseter, crawled around the infamous Love Lounge, drank Scotch with Andrew Gordon in the Lucky 7 Lounge, met up with Oscar-winner Ralph Eggleston and his mending broken finger, had lunch with Roger Gould, screened the nominated films for 235+ staff, saw concept art, original models and other visual goodies from several films and talked to Bob Peterson. And, we bought Girl Scout cookies in the Pixar lobby. Quite the day indeed.
Tippett Studio is a well-known cg studio that specializes in feature film visual effects and creature animation. Legendary founder Phil Tippett is the creative force behind some of the most iconic animated creatures and characters in cinematic history. Our second day ended with a screening and highly anticipated tour of their main production facilities. We were not disappointed.
Day 2 of our tour started exactly as Day 1 ended – everyone sleeping snugly in their rooms at the Skywalker Ranch Inn. Soon, we'd be off in the pouring ran in search of PDI...Dan Sarto continues the northern California leg of the 2011 AWN Oscar Tour with a trip to PDI/DreamWorks and a funky nameless Berkeley cafe.
Like intrepid but warmly dressed explorers venturing into mysterious but GPS-identified territory, our group set forth into the crisp morning air in search of our first tour stop, the new Walt Disney Family Museum. We caught a break – the rain had stopped, at least for a few hours, leaving behind a beautiful sunny sky. We weren't so lucky later in the day - we were pounded by rain and hail.
In a couple hours we’re off to the Disney Museum and then over to Skywalker Ranch for the rest of the day and evening. It’s funny – in all the years we’ve been doing this annual tour and get-together with the animated short nominees, this is the first year I’ve gone on the northern California leg. One thing or another has always kept me in LA. I’m excited, though my room is freezing. I should drag this room heater back home – it would make a great air conditioner for my office.
AWN would like to congratulate all the animation and visual effects Oscar nominees. This is the place for exclusive coverage of AWN Oscar Tour, where the nominees for Best Animated Short tour studios in Los Angeles and the Bay area. Hear from the filmmakers about their Oscar-nominated work right here. For now find out the facts about all the animated nominees at the AWN Oscar Showcase.
Now with the crazy award season over, AWN offers readers a chance to catch up with all the adventures of the animation nominees. Watch interviews with the nominees and a who's who of the animation community as part of AWN's Oscar Showcase videoblog! New episodes will be posting weekly. Check them out on AWNtv.
Check out the pics from AWN/Acme Filmworks party. A gathering of the who's who of the animation community.
DreamWorks had a full day for the Oscar nominees when they came to visit. Here are their adventures in pictures.
In L.A., the nominees visted agencies ICM, CAA and William Morris. Here is their visits in pictures.
On the first day of the Los Angeles leg of the Oscar Showcase tour, the nominees had a chance to see the famed MGM backlot and the new Sony studios. Here are a collection of pics from the day.
"We're almost there." I don't remember which nominee said it, but it was very fitting, given that Walt Disney Animation Studios was the last stop yesterday on the L.A. leg. Of course, "Almost There," from The Princess and the Frog, summarizes the hopes and dreams of all the nominees. So, it was also very fitting that Princess and the Frog directors Ron Clements and John Musker were on hand to view the shorts and meet with the nominees.
The AWN Oscar Showcase tour stops at agency CAA where the filmmakers talk animation with agents and "Napoleon Dynamite" star and fellow animator Jon Heder.