From September 19 - 24, 2000, participants at this year's Ottawa International Animation Festival were treated to a well rounded program that mixed light and fluffy humorous work right alongside more serious and provocative pieces. Several thousand animators, industry professionals, educators, students and fans converged on the lovely Canadian capital's National Arts Center for five days of workshops, panel discussions, product demonstrations and, of course, animation screenings. Festival director Chris Robinson kept the nightly competition screening crowds entertained with his unusual selection of off the cuff remarks and anecdotes. Some of the most prominent names in animation were there, including the legendary Gene Deitch, René Jodoin, Piotr Dumala, Wendy Tilby, Marv Newland, Bill Plympton, Jerry Beck, Chris Landreth, Pritt Parn, Igor Kovalyov, Paul Fierlinger, Jan Lenica and naturally, Heather "That Blond Lady" Kenyon. Festival registration also entitled each participant to ample amounts of wild-eyed revelry that lasted way into the wee hours of each morning. Eager throngs of festival-goers imbibed oddly named spirits like "Ketel One" while rubbing elbows and swapping opinions about the most depressing Eastern European animated film ever made. Fred Armstrong from Animatus Studios kept many of us well lubricated with his nightly home-brewed "Derf Beer" Viking-themed receptions. The AWN sponsored closing party concluded the festival in fine form, though a few seasoned festival veterans managed to crawl back to the festival's Chez Ani lounge for a last round of cigarettes and beer (or if you were sitting with the Russians just straight vodka).
AWN has put together a photo gallery of this year's Ottawa Animation Festival. In addition to photos shot by AWN staff, animation instructor Gary Schwartz chronicled much of the festival with his vintage 1950s 3D camera. Like the Viewmasters we fondly remember from our youth, these 3D pictures don't just capture a scene, they bring it to life.
There is one caveat to viewing the 3D gallery: please be prepared to pull all the muscles in the side of your head. Instructions are provided below on how to "free view" the 3D pictures. Free view is the term used to view 3D pictures without the use of 3D glasses. It takes a little bit of effort to get it the first time, but once you figure it out the first one, the rest are easy.
Viewing Note: In order to free view these stereoscopic images in 3D, one should use the cross-eyed viewing method. Focus your left eye on the right photo and your right eye on the left photo. The white crossbars directly underneath each image are provided for your assistance. Focus on aligning the two opposing crossbars to form a single crossbar and a third image should appear in the middlethis is the 3D "stereo" image. By focusing with crossed eyes you are creating a third fused image. Remember the game we all played as kids where you take your two index fingers and point them at one another, staring with crossed-eyes until one "finger sausage" appears in the middle without a gap? Same principal -- only applied to pictures of an animation festival!
Gary Schwartz is an award-winning filmmaker, who has held faculty positions at CalArts, USC, AFI, UCLA Extension and others. Through his company Single Frame Films, he has produced, designed and directed animation for Disney, Fox Television, Sesame Street, MTV and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Schwartz is based in Los Angeles and conducts animation workshops throughout the United States and beyond. He can also free view the following images in 3D from across the room and when only half trying. He's the master!