Saturday, April 25, 2020

ASIFA Notes on IAD Chapter Group Project

Meeting Morning of 25 April 2020 10am EST (US) - It’s Midnight in Australia and tomorrow already down under!

Present on Zoom this morning: Trent Ellis, Sabine Zipci, Saraswathi “Vani”Balgam, Jim Middleton, Deanna Morse, Dimitra Anastasia, Brad Yarhouse, ASIFA Central President, IAD coordinator, meeting moderator

Brad provided a prologue to the meeting stating that IAD 2020 represents a huge opportunity in this environment of self-containment to celebrate and share our strengths and examine our weaknesses and how to rise above them.

Introductions followed

Brad’s report on IAD 2019 - his report is going to be ready soon and will be shared after some other chapter reports make it in (ie Germany).  The overall attendance was up considerably over IAD 2018, both in viewers and participation.  The photos of the global events provide an inspiration to other animators and aspirants. 
The report will also show that Iran had significant participation, holding picnics and an “animation walk” among area businesses, all running animation examples.  Not a “bar crawl” but a “cartoon crawl!” (Jim note), Madeira in Portugal had a first-time celebration, and even in the chapterless Kharthaum of Sudan there was enthusiastic observation of the IAD.
“The richness of what goes on around the world” was demonstrated in 2019's IAD.

The Two-Minute Chapter Clip - Brad suggested the Yeats-inspired term for “Spirit of the World,” namely SPIRITUS MUNDI, as the name for the international participation project.  With 15 chapters willing to participate (5 represented in today’s meeting), it should represent a cumulative 30 minute project.
Due to CoVid’s societal challenges, the logistics are going to be a challenge this time around.  And this particular project will represent one of three projects currently running in parallel:

- Spiritus Mundi
- The ASIFA 60th anniversary celebration (Deanna and Anastasia working on specifics)
- The IAD curated collection of international animation

The upper limit of 2 minutes was to keep the final project manageable.  Less can be fine.

Deanna mentioned the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s recent live streaming as a one-time access, to maintain the sense of an ongoing festival.

There was enthusiasm for the curated IAD films and the ASIFA chapter project, with the following challenges being discussed

IAD Films in General
1. Rights and permissions to the work for broadcast/streaming purposes
2. Duration of the on-line presence
3. Deadlines

ASIFA Chapter project - what common themes of humanity can be explored that represent the region for the particular chapter
3. Interlinking the sequences of the chapter project
4. Use of music
– each chapter will make its own soundtrack for their portion; the assembly will have some appropriately vetted music, either public domain or specially composed, with appropriate rights cleared for usage
5. Titles and credit for participation
– do we want to do a Facebook “live” contribution on the day of IAD
6. Deadlines

Overall, on submission of films, permission sign off should be performed at that point.

Is there a useful connection with UNESCO for promotion or inclusion of “Spiritus Mundi” in their online information (it has been a while - 10 years?- since UNESCO made mention of ASIFA in its reports).

Brad expressed concern regarding global access - can China see this?  Other suggestions included Vimeo, Film Freeway, a Zoom “festival,” note - Film freeway may have deferral of bandwidth expense if it is a “non-profit” putting together the program.

Music scoring - keep each chapter’s sound a chapter-based inclusion.  This will add an international feel to the entire piece with regional variations.  Keep international copyrights on music in consideration.

Brad thought each piece could come with a brief comment by the head of each chapter. Language?

Options discussed on screening types for IAD showing
1. Marathon running over a period of days - downside, you don’t have the interaction or feedback, and the viewer doesn’t get to “know” the contributor
2. Short running time over a period - three weeks would be about right for that, and then pull down the shows
3. Perhaps break films up by category, if the submissions suggest a trend - perhaps a “family friendly” section in case things get rowdy?
4. There needs to be some way of getting viewer feedback to the creator(s).  When logging in to register the entries, is there a template that can be used?  Can this “catalog” link to the creator’s website?  Bio?  Picture?

A final thought - rather than make a huge, centralized curated event, let each chapter create its own packet of films, which can then be parceled out over a few weeks beginning the end of October.  October 28th would be the day for running the Spiritus Mundi piece at 30 minutes, which would then be sent out to the individual chapters for their respective use.  Four times during that day, the ASIFA chapters could do a FB or public zoom presence to chat up the profession, the process, and the joys of animation!

The meeting reluctantly dissolved about noon.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

More Flash Fun

640 frames built in Flash CS5, exported as jpgs, placed into Sony Vegas 15 at 1 frame each, rendered out at 24fps in 1920 x 1080.  Then this version brought back in, edited for timing, rendered again, then brought in on two layers, the lower one being over-exposed to white, executing a cross-fade at the end for a transition into the next scene.  No sound.  For reference, earlier versions are in animated gif format on an earlier post.

Here 'tis so runs about 20 seconds
(c) 2020 Animating Apothecary - a "work in progress"

Monday, April 13, 2020


2020 Animating Apothecary

About the Smithfield Meat Plant Closure - an observation

Regarding the Smithfield meat and CoVid issue --  I am intrigued at the WH Group (formerly the Shuanghui Group) and its base in Hong Kong, along with its January 31 affiliation with PR firm  MWWPR agency.

The MWWPR website promotes this interesting aspect of their public relations: "Issues and Crisis Management" - with the following description that seems too prescient for coincidence

"When the stakes are highest, we’re at our best. It is more important than ever to be prepared with the tools and resources to manage the situation quickly and effectively to limit any potential damage to your brand and your reputation. And in this crisis-driven marketplace, there is no substitute for our experience, our pace and our integrated multi-stakeholder strategies. On call 24/7, senior crisis experts combine streamlined crisis planning, our proprietary Crisis Action Protocol (CAP), and advanced data and technology with critical media contacts, third-party advocates and other vital stakeholders."

Note the "third-party advocates"  - or,  "They are possibly the key people who could leap to the defence of the project or company." (Managing a Crisis, authors Tom Curtin,Daniel Hayman,Naomi Husein)

The CoVid reports from Smithfield began last week.  The plant closure came over the weekend.  The PR firm was engaged January 31 of this year, by the WH Group centered in Hong Kong.  On January 25 (6 days before), the Hong Kong government declared the viral outbreak as an "emergency." (Wikipedia)

Aluminum hat time - did the WH Group see this coming two months ago?  Or at least, did they take it seriously enough to enlist a PR group with connections to "third-party advocates?"

In any case, it's a 4-5% hit to our meat supply and perhaps a good time to adjust to the flavor of Protose, Wham, and Tuno.

A Slice of Life During the Great Quarantine - a quick post

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Yes, We ARE getting sick from all that winning....

The Trumpster Fire Continues....

Fixing Things from Flash 5.5 Days

Not example a "fix," more of a "restore."
The original Flash 5.5 files had become unstable - mainly a font issue - so this was reworked into a collection of about 2000 jpegs and then re-edited in a contemporary video editor, rather than rely on the space hogging (and poor resolution) files within the Flash software itself.  Not sure it's worth all the effort, but it's one less thing on the bucket list, and there is "time" these days....

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Evolving Project Test GIFs

(c) 2020 Animating Apothecary
A later iteration.... (c) 2020 Animating Apothecary

And still more.... (c) 2020 Animating Apothecary

...and to the end of the initial assembly... (c) 2020 Animating Apothecary

Monster mouth test (c) 2020 Animating Apothecary

Mouth and foreground assembly test (c) 2020 Animating Apothecary

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Virtual Wandering - another animation test

OK, this is version 2 - for the first one (further below), I had the background/foreground moving in the wrong direction!  Dyslexics of the world UNTIE!
(c) 2020 Animating Apothecary

(c) 2020 Animating Apothecary, just to show I can claim ownership of my errors, too!