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2KJ Update

"2KJ" is the name of an animated millennium project currently in production.

The project was conceived in December of 1998 as an independent film. The storyboard was sketched out in Orlando. In January of 1999, the film's locale moved to Savannah ,Georgia. I accepted the very first Artist in Residency at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). I was to teach one animation class and work on the projects of my choice. I had wanted to produce, direct and animate a millennium project which involved other animation artists - kind of like the "Anijam" project produced by Marv Newland (of International Rocketship in Vancouver).

I have always gravitated towards these kinds of projects. While teaching in Ireland in the early 90's, I put together an animated project, through the Northern Ireland Film Council that involved art students from the North and South of Ireland. The film's name is ANIMAGIC and it debuted at the Cinemagic Festival in Belfast.

While head of animation at the Disney Institute, we produced one of the CHILDREN's RIGHTS spots for UNICEF. During the production, we involved over 400 guests in the production of the spot. Our spot just screened in Annecy as a part of the package of UNICEF's initiative.

During my tenure at SCAD, I was contacted by the school's Classical Animation Society (CAS). Matt Schumway (Pres) and Lamont Wayne (VP) and several other members were hungry for more animation instruction. This hunger reminded me of own my college days at Art Center where I was very fortunate to meet up with folks like Chuck Jones, June Foray, Ward Kimball and Benny Washam. So we devised a loose schedule of animation seminars and masterclasses which became VERY popular at SCAD.

Still, "2KJ" remained the focus of my stay. I decided to create the opening of the film and then treat the other segments as individual portions of the project. In order to link the segments together a transition device had to be incorporated into the structure of "2KJ".

While I was storyboarding another film, a character named Henri emerged. Henri is a French Art student with only 6 long green hairs. He is also clueless, over-enthusiastic, good natured and bumbles most everything he attempts. In the case of the opening for "2KJ", Henri would attempt to create a world. He would then exit and leave the world. All the other segments of the film would begin with that world and end with the world in the same place. The film would be structured like an animated relay. Each segment of the film is suppose to answer the question, "What's in your world?"

Early as my Residency at SCAD developed, I was approached by a grad student (Curt Butler) and two interns (Jason LaVicky and Luke Johnston) from the Sequential Art Department who wanted in on "2KJ" as part of an independent study project.

From there, "2KJ" has snowballed to where it is now - a ten minute film which involves the best of the student animation from my SCA classes and independent projects.

The 90 second opening is completed. Without revealing too much of it's content, Henri enters, creates the world and leaves.

During the production of the film, sometimes very fortunate things occur. In the case of "2KJ", because the world has to be placed back into original position for the next segment that follows. No one can destroy the world - which means if a segment is about violence or pollution or some historic event it has to be resolved -find a solution) to whatever challenge appears for the world. I like the positive aspect it lends the film.

My Residency in Savannah was very successful. So much so, it was extended another 10 weeks. The students were terrific, the school very supportive of my efforts, and the city of Savannah is a lovely place to live.

Currently, I am back in Orlando. Animation has begun on another three segments. The project will continue through the year 2000 and will be popping up at a film festival near you.

That's all for now; more on "2KJ" and my other projects next month.

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