About Me

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starting with stop-motion Legos™ back in 1980-something, Adam has been drawing and animating ever since. He has worked on sets for live-action production, in multiple animation studios performing animation and motion graphics production, one video game company as a level designer, and one marketing agency as a multimedia consultant for pharma-client driven productions, sales pitches, and new business. Graduated Mason Gross School of Visual Arts (New Brunswick NJ, 1998), BFA Film/Video and School of Visual Arts (NYC, 2005) BFA Character Animation. He has been around the academic and professional environments of film and animation production for roughly 14 years and has been assisting and/or directing dozens of projects. Whether it for others or himself, Adam is a "creative" with a background allows him to be an artist as well as a detailed oriented professional. Film and animation festivals of his work have been screened in: The BeFilm Underground, Animation Block Party, Worldfest Houston, Red Stick International, Miami International, Red Bank International, Tel Aviv Animation Festival, ASIFA-East awards show, and Animayo.

Friday, May 15, 2009

20 years of the Dusty Animation Festival part 2.5

On Monday, I posted a short bit about the SVA Dusty Animation screening. Over this week, the animators hooked me up with links to their films, sites, and other stuff.
Check out the following post of this blog. Pictures, filmmaker site/blog links, and (most awesome of all) links to the films they made! Thanks for sharing this stuff! Good luck, God's speed, and all that jazz:)

Monday, May 11, 2009

20 years of the Dusty Animation Festival part 2

Following up to last Thursday's Dusty animation festival, I reached out to a bunch of the filmmakers to let everyone know what a great job they all did...and they did:) Every one of the 45 deserves EXTREME credit for their films either complete or incomplete as they were. An audience that doesn't know animation won't understand an incomplete production as easily as someone like me; an animator that practically lived in the animation wing of SVA and slept on the radiator next to the computer lab. Believe me when I say that even if your film wasn't complete, don't be too hard on yourself....but for the love of crumb-cake, FINISH YOUR FILMS or I'll find you, cook you, and eat you! The list below is my top 10 by title order in the dusty guide:

The Grape and the Carrot (2:00) by Kee Yeon Lee
Clovered (4:00) by Nicole So
Durian Season (3:30) by Shelley Low
Fantastic Plastic (10:00!) by Lev Polyakov
Juxtaposed (5:30) by Alexander Wager
Metromorphosis (3:00) by Mikhail Shraga
Metal Boot (4:00) by Paul Villeco
The Mouse Reaper (3:00) by Eunkyu Kim
Singles (3:00) by Rebecca Sugar
The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! (5:00) by Jake Armstrong

Each one of these films had extraordinary offerings that went above and beyond in my opinion. I felt these deserved a little extra congrats not only for having them completed, but also because they had things to offer the larger picture of ANIMATION.
Great stories, design, and execution are examples of the merit, but more importantly they did things in their projects that I feel would potentially get a non-believer interested in the medium, and that's a wonderful thing! Animation needs visionaries and this list of mine is not exclusive to only these 10 though it looks that way.

I wanted to include close friends of mine, but the larger issue with this list (which I considered limiting to 5 people) is that there is more to animation than a 10 minute film (Lev you are a maniac!). I would have been just as happy with a tight 30 second project if the rules of SVA allowed such a short duration. As a whole, these are my top picks and when you see what they did, you may understand why. Hopefully you do and if anyone disagrees, tough titty. I've been rejected plenty of times in many a place, but it doesn't discourage me from continuance. Now that everybody is out of school, I'll be curious to see how many have the time, strength, and ambition to continue with personal work which I know all too well is a challenge that deserves credit. Everybody is going to have different objectives with their education and I hope that every animator uses their skills for the greater good. Good luck animators! You remind me why I love this stuff and that's what I love about you!

Singles by Rebecca Sugar

The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9 by Jake Armstrong

Juxtaposed by Alexander Wager

Metromorphosis by Mikhail Shraga

The Mouse Reaper by Eunkyu Kim

The Carrot and the Purple Ball by Kee Yeon Lee

Fantastic Plastic by Lev Polyakov

Clovered by Nicole So

Durian Season by Shelley Low

Metal Boot by Paul Villeco

Friday, May 8, 2009

20 years of the Dusty Animation Festival

Since last Wednesday, 4.29, I've seen 63 films from the BeFilm Underground Film Festival, 27 from the ASIFA-East's 40th Awards night, and tonight came back from The School of Visual Arts' 20th Dusty Film & Animation Festival having seen 45 animations. That's 135. I'm a tad blind, but all good times:)

At the NEW SVA Theater located between 8th & 9th Ave on 23rd Street,
Reeves Leehman, Chairman of the SVA Film & Animation department declared that this was the largest number of films for an SVA animation screening ever. I may have misheard that, but I would believe it. 45 animated films in a row with only a 10 minute break after the first 2 hours. The show started around 715pm and went on until around 1045pm. Sooooo many films. So many of them so good! Some of the filmmakers I've known for years and it feels so good to have seen their work on the big screen! I need to see some of these films again and soon, so I hope that I can get some links to post to the world in the next post I do here so you too can see them.

Some of the films were sadly incomplete (animatic boards, uncolored animation, unfinished post production). As a thesis advisor, I can see myself getting a tad miffed if one of my students didn't finish their production on time. It reflects on the advisor and I can understand the frustration that comes with that. That said, because I've been there.....making a film in and of itself is not easy when you've got a world of hell and academics all around you. While I would very much like to see every film 100% complete, I give huge amounts of credit to every animator who had a film tonight. The crack of a deadline with an advisor's whip can be deadly and I know that I had more than a few panic attacks at the zero hour when the Dusty deadline was upon me.

If there's any one lesson I learned from the pressure of the festival deadline is that it's not a terrible idea to get helpers, slaves, interns, and (heaven forbid) pay some people to get the job done if you can afford it. This is a student screening, so I expect lots of different approaches to everything and the class of 2009 delivered big time!

I am genuinely a bit blind from the last week of films in combination with tonight at the Dustys. I'll need the weekend to recover, I will continue with some good highlights if I can. Lots and lots of talent was evident in almost everything I saw tonight. Seeing a show like this makes me feel good that so many people care so much about animation. I hope wherever the animators go, they take that love with them into everything they do:)

See the complete list for Thursday 5.7 at the bottom of the page

Saturday, May 2, 2009

BeFilm is Ass-Kickery!! - part 2

Sorry I'm so late with this. I'm not that late am I? well...
I love the BeFilm Underground Film Festival, and yes, I would marry it if it were possible:) This is how a film festival should be done in my book. Wish I thought of it first. doh! Seriously, the festival curators: Laurence Asseraf & and Dimitris Anthos have been so incredible this entire week. They should get an all expenses paid vacation to someplace good when this is all said and done with.

That Hand Film (my little opus which is in every post of this blog) is premiered Saturday 5/2 among the ranks of some amazing films. It is truly an honor to be a part of the venue of the final night which if last year was any indication, is the most populated night of all of the nights! This was all followed by an open bar for 2 hours at a place called Little Nikki's which wraps up the year of celebration. Most of the filmmakers were there, and I got to shake the hands of some of them that I didn't have a chance to meet on other nights.

Top pick highlights for Friday 5/1:
RED RABBIT(animation)DIR: Egmont Mayer
VANDALEN(narrative)DIR: Simon Steuri
CU@ED's(narrative)DIR: Casey Stangl

Top pick highlights for Saturday 5/2:
DESCENDANTS(animation)DIR: Helko Van Der Scher
GERMANS IN THE WOODS(animation)DIR: The Rauch Brothers
DOWNLOVE 3D(narrative/experimental)DIR: Euripides Laskarides

There was one film that played Friday that deserves a big honorable mention for production:

ANIMATED AMERICAN(animation/narrative)DIR: Joe Haidar

As a production, this film was top notch combining a "roger-rabbit-esque" technique with live action and animation. Very seamlesss and very very well done. This film was a short story about how 2d traditional animated characters are affected by the economic standards of animation today. A very deliberate approach implying that 2d pencil paper animation is gone the way of the dodo in favor of faster and cheaper and theroreticaly better mediums like CG. What I didn't like about this film is that as much as I support the theroy of keeping 2d alive....this film felt like a cry for help. I cannot think of a faster way to make 2d animation look stupid than to joke about how low to the ground it may be. I still believe in pencil and paper animation as do a lot of animators including Bill Plympton, Pat Smith, and Signe Baumane to name a few...and they do pretty well last time I checked for good reason.

Good storytelling will save ANYTHING. Since I'm discussing ANIMATED AMERICAN, I want it said that this film was uber uber well done as a production. Great acting. Great Animation! It's an interesting concept surely, but the approach I feel punches 2d in the stomach and I wish they didn't tell this story. One cannot bully their way into the hearts of an audience through force.....literally, and that's what this film tried to do with it's 2d characters. I love 2d and so do a lot of other people I know who work very hard to make it possible....myself included. What makes it sell is a hybrid of both good craft and acting which was top drawer. Admittedly, 2d animators have to work a little harder and upgrade the tricks that they know so they can be applied to get an audience interested as an art...but if you have a kick-ass story, in my experiences, it doesn't matter if your film is crude animation like a South Park episode. People will love it if it's well conceived, and that is what will get people into things.

That about wraps it up for BeFilm this year. I look forward to the next year and I hope that more of my friends join then. Well done BeFilm! Thanks for everything and I'll see you next year!

Friday, May 1, 2009

BeFilm is Ass-Kickery!!

While I couldn't attend night #1 of the BeFilm Underground Film Festival, I did attend the last two nights and let me just say...BeFilm is flipping awesome!! The festival curators: Laurence Asseraf and Dimitris Athos are tireless and incredible!!! So far, I've gotten something good out of almost every film I've seen which have time ranges from as little as 1 minute up to 20 (I think that's the max). The 20 minute films don't feel like 20 at all and the small bites of projects are a wonderful spectrum of both live action and the latest animation in the 2nd and 3rd dimension. I even got to see a hush-hush screening that I am unable to comment or describe, but believe me when I say this: BeFilm goes out of their way to put on a good show and you would be a fool not to join us if you love short films and animation.

It's hard to say the highlights because everything is a highlight. No joke!
But, the top ones that really stuck with me were:

MOTHER'S DAY (animation)DIR: David Lobser
THIS WAY UP (animation)DIR: Smith & Foulkes
BOHEMIBOT (narrative)DIR: Brendan Bellomo

Thursday 4/30:
BROTHERS IN ARMS (animation)DIR: Elliot Cowan
DIVERS(animation)DIR: Paris Mavroidis
REMEMBER MY NAME (narrative)DIR: Bo Duffy

BeFilm goes on tonight and tomorrow night and I will definitely be there. Check out the schedule. And, if you want to see the festival premiere of That Hand Film, you gotta come to this:)