Academy to Celebrate Animator Adam Beckett
Influential animator and visual effects artist Adam Beckett will be celebrated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a special program entitled "Infinite Animation: The Work of Adam Beckett," on Monday, August 17, at 8 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. The evening will include a screening of "Life in the Atom," a short film that Beckett left unfinished when he died at the age of 29. Presented by the Academy's Science and Technology Council and hosted by visual effects artist Richard Winn Taylor and Beckett biographer Pamela Turner, the program also will feature screenings of six more of Beckett's films and an onstage panel discussion with his colleagues and friends. Scheduled guests include Oscar-winning visual effects artists David Berry and Richard Edlund, animator Chris Cassady, and filmmakers Beth Block, Roberta Friedman and Pat O'Neill. The films to be screened are "Dear Janice" (1972), "Heavy-Light" (1973), "Evolution of the Red Star" (1973), "Flesh Flows" (1974), "Sausage City" (1974) and "Kitsch in Synch" (1975), all of which have been recently restored by the Academy Film Archive and the iotaCenter. Beckett (1950-1979) was well known for his unique use of the optical printer in conjunction with the animation stand. His technical achievements can be seen in his highly experimental art films as well as such commercial films as "Star Wars" (1977), for which he was recruited to head the rotoscope and animation department, and the horror film "Piranha" (1978), on which he worked as an animator. Beckett completed the films to be screened while he was still a student in Jules Engel's then-newly-formed experimental animation program at the California Institute of the Arts. His work, which has been described as "a masterful visual universe," had a great impact on his peers and won awards at numerous film festivals. In 1974, Beckett started his own studio, Infinite Animation, which he continued to run while simultaneously pursuing his MFA and teaching at CalArts. Tragically, he died in a fire in 1979. This program is presented in conjunction with the iotaCenter. Tickets to "Infinite Animation: The Work of Adam Beckett" are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets are available for purchase by mail, at the Academy box office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or online at www.oscars.org. Doors open one hour prior to the event. All seating is unreserved. The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.