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Editor's Notebook

Thank goodness for independents

Heather Kenyon

Oh how boring the world would be without independents; those that can wrangle the funding to create their true vision, without the clouds of commerce. While such short films can be incomprehensible to some viewers, they can represent great insight to others, or be just plain fun. Isnt it delightful that Ladislaw Starewicz had a fascination for entomology and animation? His films, with their fantastic bug worlds, are so unique and special. A Starewicz film, could only be done by Starewicz, and we are all richer for a peek inside his minds eye. Simon Pummell is the same only he offers a look inside the human psyche that is both thought-provoking and sometimes disturbing. While the moving image is a powerful entertainment tool, independents who use animation to prod us to take a deeper look at ourselves or society are under estimated and definitely under funded and rewarded.

However, with the coming of the Internet and its easy to use creation tools, independents are getting a break. A computer on ones desk now represents a 24 hour a day film festival where people can log on and view all types of short films. Plus, one no longer needs an entire production studio or staff to create films a few tools and the clever application of those tools should do the trick. However, these advantages offer new challenges to Web distributors and tool manufacturers. Lets keep our fingers crossed that distributors like AtomFilms and Shockwave carry a wide array of films and do a good job at appealing to a mass audience. This will draw people to watch more short films and different ones; ones they might never have been exposed to before. On the tools side, lets keep pushing tool creators to conceive new products that are easy to use and offer new innovations to artists. Technology is wonderful, but not if one is too intimidated to use it. With these two structures in place, short films could enter a new Renaissance. Independents could produce their works on small budgets and have a distribution mechanism that would actually work, delivering their message to the people.

Finally, Id like to welcome a new member to our editorial team, Editorial Administrator Elizabeth Shin. Coming to us from the LA Weekly, Elizabeth is going to become crucial to the magazine with her excellent writing, organizational and language skills. Rick DeMott remains as Associate Editor but will be working exclusively on writing news and creating new features for the site, which are soon to be unveiled and are part of our continuing drive to provide more and better animation information.

Until Next Time,