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The Beaufort Kaleidoscope

We had a wonderful time this past weekend at the BEAUFORT KALEIDOSCOPE in beautiful, historic Beaufort, South Carolina. EVERYTHING was incredible - the people, the films, the receptions, the hospitality - everything.

I had entered the festival with our film OUR WORLD. A wonderful film, IDEA DEVELOPMENT by Dane Webster won the Animation category. IDEA was a very clever film that had very good story, visuals and a wonderful soundtrack. The animated films displayed an awesome range of techniques with CG, experimental drawn on film/after effects and 2D animation. One had to feel good being in the company with such works.

The Festival began with a red carpet reception for the filmmakers and dignitaries at the Beaufort Inn. We met so many people that night including live-action director, T.K. (Tom) Reilly and his lovely wife Ellen.

There was an open bar in a room with Low Country delights especially the fresh local shrimp and crab cakes. There was also a dessert room, thats right...a dessert room.

This is the best reception I have EVER been attended. The folks in Beaufort were welcoming and warm!

Friday the films rolled! The animated films program screened four times each on Friday and Saturday in the Beaufort County Arts Council performance space. I have to say, it looked really good to see and hear OUR WORLD up there on bigger screen. I hung around for the 1:00 pm and 4:pm screenings.

A view of the Lady's Island Cinema

Enter the Film Festival


Then I jetted across the bridge over to Lady's Island Cinema to watch the last half of FLY BOYS, a very slick indie film starring Tom Sizemore and Stephan Baldwin. The acting was very good and some of the action sequences were breath-taking.

All of the live-action feature, docs, shorts and student films were screened at the Lady's island Cinema.

I also caught RIVER WAYS a documentary film about the salmon breeding grounds and water control on the Snake River.

After a dinner brake at Plums in town I was back across the river to watch an 8:45 PM screening of BOBBY DOGS a wonderful feel good indie feature film written and directed by T.K. Reilly. I really enjoyed the feel of the film, the visual approach was fresh and the story, acting and directing was great! BOBBY DOGS was definitely my favorite of the Festival.

The Prince of Tides House, the scene of Friday night's merriment

BOBBY DOGS was over around 11:00 pm, and the evening was not over...THE BIG CHILL PARTY was next on the agenda. THE BIG CHILL was shot in Beaufort twenty five years ago. So to celebrate a party themed after the film was held at the PRINCE OF TIDES house which overlooks the water. The party had been in progress since 9:00 pm- so it was winding down by then...but it was still very lively!

We ended up having a 40 minute tour of this historic house from the owners Gwen and Scott. The entire house so incredible...the lower level was built in the 1700's!

The Old Point Inn - a great place to stay in Beautfort - note the EYEBROW window on the 3rd floor

Inside the Old Point Inn

Yours trulyafter a workout in my room

The view from the skylight in my room

Fortunately, the B and B where I stood, the Old Point Inn was around the corner and right next store. Not a drinker, I was still very grateful to be so close to my bed after such a long fruitful day.

The next morning, we were treated to a huge breakfast which I gobbled down and was off to teach a 2 hour animation workshop.

One half of the space  set-up for the animation workshop

The Beaufort County Arts Council was a perfect place for the workshop. We did a bouncing ball on a flipbook and then turn the balls into faces and some folks added hair, arms, legs and other appendages. I shared some of the pencil drawings from my sequences of OUR WORLD and then, did a basic demo about character design. Everyone had fun and learned a bit more about the art form.

While at festival, I met a kindred spirit in T.K. Reilly. Tom is really into his art form and also sports. I really enjoyed hearing his stories about the making of his films, his ideas, history... and talking b-ball, football and running.

That afternoon, I took a bit of a break from the Festival to rest-up for the Awards Dinner which was held out at Habersham- a planned community on the banks of the Broad River in Beaufort County. Again, they literally rolled out the red carpet! The folks in Beaufort know how to do an event! Local restaurants and cafes showcased their cuisine. There was a wine tasting room, a refreshment room, a jazz trio...again, only the word amazing can truly describe the event.

During the evening's festivities I hung with Tom, and his wife Ellen and their daughter.

The Reilly's at the awards dinner

While talking to another couple, I discovered that producer Jody Schiesser and his wife Sarah, live only about 7 doors away from me. Jody and his film partners had a film, THE STREET CLEANER entered in the short film competition.

Ron Tucker-right and J.W. Rone -left announce the awards

J.W. Rone emceed the evenin and it was lively, quirky and a really fun. The night ended with more food, coffee and J.W. playing a wicked harmonica with the band.

It was a great weekend! I have to thank Liz Mitchell, J.W. Rone, Christine Hipp, J.W.'s wife Jennie, Ron Tucker and everyone at the Film Council, the Arts Council and Habersham for their hard work, dedication and positive approach at time when the weather did not cooperate.

The Beaufort Kaleidoscope was really amazing!!!