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Adam Beckett tribute
August 18th, 2009

Spent a nice night at the Motion Picture Academy, attending a show honoring animator Adam Beckett(1950-1979) He was a CalArts student of Jules Engel, who made personal films like Flesh Flows and Evolution of the Red Star, while he worked on George Lucas first Star Wars. Beckett died tragically in a fire at age 29. Larry Cuba said had he lived, he would have been an important artist in animation today.

So the audience was a mix of avant-garde and MP Visual Effects artists. Got to see old friends like Sarah Petty, Chris Cassady, Lois & Stewart Fox, John Van Vliet and Sari Guinness.

One highlight was 16mm home movies of the workrooms on Valjean in Van Nuys, where young artists were creating the effects for the first Star Wars. This was back when no one dreamed of something called ILM or knew where San Rafael was.

The films took me back to the first time I saw many of these at ASIFA*East meetings in the early 1970s. They held them at the old Phoenix School in Manhattan. Dick Rauh and Mike Sporn ran the projector. Tissa David kept a running commentary. We'd get together and greet each other " You got a job?" " Nope..., you?" " Nope.."