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August 15th, 2008

SIGGRAPH 2008 wraps tonight. It was a lot of fun. Not as crowded as the Comicons are, but pretty interesting folks and topics.

The usual endless booths of Motion Capture demos with dancers in rubber suits with wires stuffed up their bums jumping around. Usually there is one or two really cool things to see. Last year it was the i-phone glass touch-screen the size of a coffee table. But I didn't see anything that unique this year. Perhaps I missed it.

I gave a talk and critiqued work at the FJORG! competition. Much bigger than last year. Lots of energy and excitement. Congratulations to Team Grojf, comprised of Jacob Patrick, John Nguyen, and Kevin Rucker, were chosen the winner for their film The Red Truck. The teams The Mexicutioners and The Fjantastic Fjorgers tied for second place, with Honorable Mentions awarded to teams Mouthful of Cookies and Trikings. These teams will all receive trophies and prizes. I expect the films will be up on U-Tube soon. The 2007 ones are there.

FJORG is an Iron-Chef like student competition for animators.
The winners were chosen from a field of 16 three-member teams that are given 32 straight hours to create character-driven film. This under extreme pressure, Lectures, distractions, Dragon Dancers, Mimes, and big crazy Vikings yelling Fjorg!!! at all hours. On Monday a horde of chanting, hairy-assed Vikings from Fjorg ran over to the Virtual Rome reconstruct and tried to sack it. Just like the Good Old Days!

all of us Fjorging last year in San Diego

Congratulations to Festival organizer Pat Beckman-Wells, Becky Wibel, Arno Kroner and all the team for another successful competition. Thanks also to Dreamworks, Disney and all the other sponsors. For such a crazy little idea, it's really grown in stature and adds a new level of energy to the halls.

On Weds, I chaired the Animation Mentor Salute to Frank & Ollie. That was a nice time,about 600 plus people attended the show. Andreas Deja did his overhead projector analysis of Frank & Ollies drawings. Randy Cartwright and Don Hahn had some fun anecdotes about them. Ted Thomas brought some fun outtakes of F&O flubbing lines and clowning spontaneously. It's still hard to fathom they are no longer around. I guess part of the process of aging, is you keep the voices of those no longer here, fresh within your mind. It's become quite a chorus up there. But they were all of a generation, the Golden Agers of Hollywood. We shall not see their like again.

Went to a few parties and caught up with old friends. Making a lot of contacts for my next book. Saw my old Taiwanese company Digimax, and saw what they were up to. Very happy to note that the short I directed for them, ADVENTURES IN THE NPM, won the Grand Prix at the Tokyo International Anime Festival.
That was a thrill for us all.
I apologize to all my SVA alumni I missed the West Coast alumni bash at the Hotel Figueroa the other night. I was too worn out and was under the weather. What a wus!

Hope to see you at SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans.