Friday, January 31, 2014

The Upcoming Annie Awards

                                   The evening of February 1st is the 41st Annual Annie Awards!

The Annies are the highest honor in animation, and in regard to the exciting awards, I'll be sharing an interview I had with the vice president of the IAFS (the organization that puts on the awards), Jerry Beck.

What do you do in the animation industry?
I’m not an animator. I’m a writer about animation, with books published. I’ve worked as a distributer, producer, and executive. I helped start the blog Cartoon Brew, and have two other cartoon blogs, Animation Scoop and Cartoon Research.

How did you get into the animation industry?

I loved cartoons, and wanted to be a cartoonist. I went to SVA (School of Visual Arts) in the 1970s. It was very hard to get into animation back then, you had to either be a veteran (animator) or amazingly good. I met Leonard Maltin and took his course. We became friends and I slowly got into animation by distribution. I helped bring Japanese animation (anime) to wider audiences and helped create animation magazine. 

What was the first Annie awards you attended?

My first Annies was in the late 1980s. I met famous animation people in New York, and hooked up with the IAFS (International Animated Film Society) branch in LA. The Annie awards are their big thing. The Annies recognized the animators. Back then, it was a small banquet. I remember going to those banquets. I was at the meetings when we changed the awards before the Oscars.

 The Annies have gotten bigger in recent years, do you think they will continue to grow?

I hope so. I have been advocating for 10 years now that we have a second ceremony. We don’t have enough time. We add and subtract categories each year. I see a second ceremony now. The Oscars do that, it isn’t televised. It’s kind of a banquet at the moment, and it’s growing. A lot of people say we need to recognize the voice actors more. I think it’s more for the artists. We already have a few awards for voice actors and they tend to be part of the ceremony. I think we have room to grow.

Are all aspects of animation well-represented at the Annies?

Fairly well yes, the key positions for making a film or TV show, Editors want in now, they have a sophisticated job, with lots of control over the style. We took a vote, and we have a category for them now. We really recognize the artists not recognized elsewhere, the “hand artists”.

With visual effects gaining more prominence in live action films, how do you think this will change the relationship between the two mediums (live action and animation)?

What I see happening, the reality is, there’s more animation in feature films than live action. Animation (VFX) is a strong part of Hollywood and live action. In the old days, there were cartoons and effects animation. I see, well, a return to a world with the two things, the cartoon and the live action. It will be like it used to be, we’re evolving back to that. I like that. It’s a mish-mash. Hollywood wants to control animation, I want the artists to control it. More cartoony, less photorealistic. I like cartoony as opposed to photorealistic. If people are told it’s a live action film, they think it’s a live action film. (regardless of how much is animation/VFX) It’s going to become 2 separate worlds. VFX isn’t my thing. We do it at the Annies, and the visual effects society has its own awards. We shy away from it.

No comments :

Post a Comment