Oct. 26: 13th Annual Animation Show of Shows

Acme Filmworks & AWN.com presents 13th Annual Animation Show of Shows curated and presented by Ron Diamond.

Featuring nine award winning and notable animated short films culled from the worlds leading 2011 animation festivals.

Ron Diamond has been involved in the world of animation for more than thirty years. He operated his own distribution company, Max Media, for six years, and later co-produced several Expanded Entertainment animation compilations, including the 20th, 21st and 22nd International Tournees of Animation, The Animation Celebration, The Second Animation Celebration and The Computer Animation Show. In 1990 Diamond founded animation production house Acme Filmworks to produce commissioned works by animators exploring unusual techniques and modes of storytelling. Acme’s directional roster is a who’s who of international independent animation, including Michael Dudok De Wit, Chris Hinton, Aleksandra Korejwo, Raimund Krumme, Caroline Leaf, Bill Plympton, Gianluigi Toccafondo, Peter Chung, David Wasson and Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis.

Diamond has produced award-winning campaigns for Levi’s Women’s Jeans, Weight Watchers, Hilton Hotels, Charmin, AT&T and United Airlines amongst hundreds of commercials produced at Acme.  Diamond produced the Academy Award nominated short film Nibbles (2003) by Chris Hinton, two shots films for Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project with Janet Perlman and Jeremy Clapin, and the animated feature film Drawn From Memory (1995), directed by Paul Fierlinger, which was the first feature-length animated documentary to be featured on PBS’s American Playhouse. He was also the executive producer of Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show (2004), a 12 episode series for the WB Network. In 2010, Diamond worked with Ridley Scott to revisit the animation techniques employed by Gianluigi Toccafondo at Acme in the realization of the Scott Free Logo for Toccafondo’s new production of the main title sequence for Scott’s “Robin Hood.” Diamond also produced Michal Socha’s evocative main title sequence for the miniseries “Pillar of the Earth.” Diamond has lectured at leading animation schools in France, England, and the U.S., and has served as a juror and guest speaker at numerous film events including the New York Film Festival, the London Advertising Awards, the Clios, and film festivals in Ottawa, Brussels, Holland Animation Film Festival, Anima Mundi, Annecy, Hiroshima, Cinanima, Stuttgart, Anifest in the Czech Republic and Zagreb.

Diamond travels to multiple film festivals and universities annually to discover talented animators. Many animator’s first opportunity was through Diamond effort at Acme and in his annual touring program, the Animation Show of Shows, now in it’s 13th edition. Diamond is also co-founded and President of AWN.com. Diamond lives in the Los Angeles Area with his wife and two daughters, two cats and a dog.

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34 comments on “Oct. 26: 13th Annual Animation Show of Shows

  1. This week´s seminar provided us with an interesting overview of what is happening in animation today. From the cgi-ventures of Pixar to a drawn directly on film short. What really stuck out in my mind was the fact how little pleasure I get from watching the puppet-like aesthetic of cgi films compared to the 2-d one of other films. I found particular joy in watching the film that takes place in Africa for I felt that film, more than any other tonight expressed the joy in creating images and as a result it was the one I got the most pleasure from watching. I am biased of course, I really love drawing and know much more of that technique than of modeling, I just wish that with 3-d cgi in general, artists would strive to be more stylish and creative rather than copy the gravity bound puppet aesthetic they seem so found of.

    Another thing that I noticed was how little the stereoscopic technique added to the experience, if anything it draws more attention to the flatness of the images than enhance them, I personally can’t wait until this fad fades away.

    Overall this was a great evening, mostly due to the fact that there was a good balance of films that I disliked as well as films that I loved, it kept my mind racing the entire time as well as strengthening my beliefs of what I want to do and don´t do. Informative Q and A too.

  2. Ruthie says:

    I was so inspired by the work I saw at tonight’s Show of Shows. I came into the room trying to focus on and learn from the technical qualities of what I was about to see, but starting off with the Pixar short, I had a hard time not getting lost in these films. They remind me of what someone mentioned about the Tim Burton puppets we saw earlier this week at LACMA– You don’t see the seams unless they are part of the character. In these films, you don’t see the seams unless they are part of the design or the narrative. For example, the animals on the mobile in the German 3D piece are perfect for CG because they are toy-like. I really admire when any creative finds a way to look past a limitation of the medium and turn it into an asset. It made me think of how Pixar likewise embraced the limitations of CG with Toy Story. Also, the characters and story are so bizarre and cute that they completely stole my attention.

    Another example of invisible seams was combination of media in the Argentinian story about the man and woman at the lightbulb factory was so incorporated into the tale (props for making a sheet of paper that interacts like a smartphone then sticking it in his ear!). I didn’t even notice that there was any drawn animation until the Q +A. I did feel that the Pixar short, which was of course irresistible, fresh, charming, and iconic, was detracted from only the slightest bit by the 3D, mostly in the beginning sequence where my focus went to the water line instead of the characters, and the boat looked a bit like its floating in a bathtub.

    The Canadian short film ‘Wild Life’ was also so stunning in its execution that I didn’t fully consider the use of mixed media until discussing with a classmate afterwards. I am looking forward to looking at each one of these again, and hopefully next year I will be getting closer to work of this quality myself.

  3. Ron Diamond is a preacher on a mission to take animation to the people, using a bible called “The Show of Shows”.

    He reminded me of artists like Emile Cohl or Winsor McKay; going from town to town astonishing audiences with impressive and diverse works of animation. The pieces are not made by himself, he is searching for what’s new and compelling in the world right now and compiling it on memory volumes available to wider audiences. It is a laudable mission that has a glamorous atmosphere around it.

    He was a great guest to the seminar. Generous and committed to the pieces he was showing and the authors behind them. He is one of the few panelists that have tried to challenged the public to speak and generate a debate on what he was showing. A thing that may not happen if showing your own work. This was one of the most interesting sessions because of that.

    He knows how the short film circuit works and It makes me very happy to see there are people like him supporting the hard and sometimes ungrateful labor of producing independent short films.

    On the other hand, Juan Pablo Zaramella is a genius animator and everybody should know his work.
    http://www.zaramella.com.ar/

  4. Tristan Dyer says:

    So far this semester seminar has leaned toward things that are related to animation, and how they affect it. Until this week. It was such a great relief to show up watch some awesome, varied animations for an evening. Ron Diamond’s passion for the medium of animation and the level of dedication that he puts into compiling this show each is very apparent. This was evident when the projectionist thought that he would change the order of the films due to technical issues. Mr. Diamond was not having it, not even for two frames. After the program was over I thought about what it might have been like if the order was changed, my conclusion was that it would not have been good at all. It would have seemed like a slapped together group of cool shorts, not the organized event that it was.

  5. No wonder “Luminaris” received 30 awards. What a great idea! Juan Pablo’s recommendation was for me the best part of the evening. When asked what advice he would give animation students, responded: “start with simple projects.”

    I have a lot of appreciation for Mr. Ron Diamond. In all honesty, I really envy his job. I think what he does is incredible and inspiring. My favorite animation piece of the night was one by Miguel Ribeiro titled “Journey to Cape Verde.” In addition to a very strong narrative, I thought the transitions were impeccable. One transition in particular stood out to me; when the protagonist is climbing a black mountain. His hand turns into the mountain as he continues climbing. I thought this was a very clever way to drive home an overarching theme throughout the shorts entirety. Better said, the hand melting into the mountain gives the viewer a sense that he is becoming more grounded and in sync with nature and the human connection. On the same token, I valued the integrity of plot in the film. Perhaps this is because I have always wanted to do it myself. A character takes a sixty day long walk in Cape Verde devoid of all electronic devices, watches, or plans for what to do next –only the bare essentials. “The more I walk,” says the main character (paraphrased) “with ground and roots underneath my feet, the stronger connection I feel with my environment. When I stop the more distant I feel.” I think this movie made me want to have that feeling.

  6. Jay Kim says:

    The ASOS is a visual buffet of foods which are made up of ingredients that are both common yet foreign to our optical taste buds. Although the mediums remain standard, the creativity in how the films are showcased is always a delightful surprise to our palettes. For example the first three films were all CG stereoscopic but each piece had a unique impression: La Luna was cute+quaint with subtle usage of 3D, Mobile was goofy+suspenseful with erratic 3D, and Path of Hate was driving+malicious with aggressive 3D. It was a delight to see these three films one after another because it allowed me to pick apart the ways in which I enjoy the stereoscopic feature and the ways I dont.

  7. Amy Ketchum says:

    I really looked forward to the Animation Show of Shows this year having seen the wonderful set of films Ron Diamond presented last year. Once again I was not disappointed. I enjoyed seeing how various styles of animation achieved success in different ways. From the stark look of Schlaf to the rich textures of Wild Life, to the CG slickness of the Pixar short, each film excelled at different aspects of animation and gave me ideas as to how I can also prop up my strengths and develop my own work.

  8. Javier Barboza says:

    The Show of show was grate as always. It had a unique line up to it. I enjoyed watching Wild Life, and Journey to Cape Verde. This venue is fantastic to view films that have only been seen by a few, The introduction of 3d has not made films better just a new way to see films, story and content is always essential, 3d is not going to make a film a film.

  9. I was very impressed with this year’s show of shows. I actually had a pretty good ride from start to finish. Among the stereo 3d films, I enjoyed the clearcut storytelling and themes in the first short, the vibrant colors playful attitude on the second to the exhilaration and amazing camera work/ micheal baysiveness of the third. The experience reminded me of how I felt during the flight sequences of How To Train Your Dragon. I respected Ron’s insistence on the order of the program and I think changing it would have seriously altered my viewing experience. What’s most effective for me is the range of films that I experienced and the opportunity to take in work that may not be what I expect to enjoy but can still benefit from experiencing. Overall, it was an awesome experience. My only complaint was that I’m going to have to wait another year until I can get a copy… See you next year, Ron!

  10. Joseph Yeh says:

    Coming up with the perfect story and vision is hard, but realizing it is even harder. Is there really any film or work of art that is considered finished or have these great animators created masterpieces? But I wonder… among all these animators, which ones can still find flaws or make make improvements with their work.

    I love shorts because they are easy to absorb, ambitious, and often true to the creators intentions. This work has so much potential to expand the possibilities of animation and display deep meaning. Furthermore, the varying styles and themes are evidence to openness to all kinds of creativity and diversity.

  11. Robert Calcagno says:

    It seems more appropriate to review the film piece by piece rather than as a whole; the show had a really versatile collection of short films and it’d be hard to talk about one without mentioning the other.

    La Luna, an unreleased Pixar short, was simple, sweet, but strangely casual compared to the studio’s other shorts. Pixar has shown more experimentation and freedom in their humor and animation in their shorts be it Presto, Day & Night, Partly Cloudy, or Your Friend The Rat and something like this, while beautiful, seems somewhat…beneath them.

    The short Mobile is, at the very least, the funniest thing to come out of Germany that I’ve ever seen. It’s charming, quirky, energetic, and certainly amusing. It knows it’s a cartoon and tries to be the funnest cartoon it can be.

    Paths of Hate, as far as an action animated film goes, was phenomenal in its pacing, comic book-esque cel-shading, cinematography, the sheer kinetic energy of the film was incredible. The way it used just the trails of the airplanes to fill the environment and later using that image-motif as blood-vessels was really inspired. It was ridiculous, especially in the end, but that’s the power of it…admittedly though, that pop-metal song in the end kinda took you out of what was a really powerful ending.

    Schlaf was…odd. I couldn’t imagine it going any further with that sound design; but considering the entire short is based around it, I’m not really sure what to think of it.

    Wild Life’s imagery was very attractive and accomplished the feeling of a painting in motion quite successfully. The cinematography did a good job of visualizing the overhead theme of isolation; fortunately, it doesn’t bog itself down due to some cavalier British wit and sensibility.

    As far as pixellation goes, Luminaris was one of the most impressive I’ve seen, especially since it uses not only a three-dimensional environment but incorporating natural lighting to such precision it still blows my mind how they were able to accomplish it so seamlessly.

    Romance tried to do more with the concept of a motion painting than Wild Life, although its lack of a central storyline caused it to be more of a struggle to get through. It literally cycles back onto itself three times without much of a resolution. The artistry though reminds me a lot of the surreal perspective and architecture of Chirico.

    Journey to Cape Verde had the most distinct art-style and its animation was traditional yet incredibly fluid. It accomplished creating its own world and its own style of movement and expression; pure animation.

    The Flying Books was charming but was rather sugary and drippy at a certain point…yes, I know, books are awesome you don’t have to cram it down my throat. The Buster Keaton-esque movements of the main character were done nicely; however, I was more intrigued that it was created by a Louisianan animation studio IN Louisiana…certainly something to consider.

  12. Lisa Chung says:

    “Journey to Cape Verde” was definitely one of my favorite animations from the shows of show. The graphic style, limited watercolor wash backgrounds and ink technique created a unique look and experience. Even his transitions were really well done. For example, in the scene where the main character is getting sea sick, we see the inside of his stomach churning which eventually becomes the crashing waves in the sea. However, the thing that made the film so charming to me was the fact that this animation was a recollection of an actual trip (at least that’s how it appeared to be). The inserts of actual sketches (made during his trip) tells me that these events really happened. I just thought it was wonderful how the animator thought out the technique, story and usage of his sketches. It was the exact kind of animation I would love to create as a way to document my travels. Thanks Ron for bringing and sharing all these amazing animations with us.

  13. Simo Liu says:

    I was so inspired by this week’s seminar. Many different kinds of animations had impressed a lot. We saw some 3d animations, stop motion as well as some animations made by fine arts materials. Everyone is so great and has its own characteristic feature. I really like the one called “Luminaris”. It is so fantastic and romantic. I cannot imagine the lamp bulb has such super power and it really makes sense. It was so beautiful. And Pixar’s work “La Luna” is also excellent. The style of this work is a little innocent, fantastic and fairy tale which I always love this kind of. Pixar’s works never disappointed me. Its works always have fresh blood and always inspire me a lot. Such as the Pixar’s last year’s short work, “day& night” , which uses the traditional 2d drawing but with a strong distinctive idea. It is really amazing. And the work “Journey to Cape Verde” also impressed me a lot. It used the watercolor to make the pictures. I also like the way the director mixed some sketches into it.

    Thanks for the Animation Show of Shows which had given me a wonderful moment and sumptuous visual feast.

  14. Rachel Jaffe says:

    Ranging from the fueled-by-rage (and death metal) cine-contortions of “Paths of Hate” to the sugarcoated concupiscence and Playskool palette of “Mobile,” this year’s Animation Show of Shows — organized by the sempiternally venerable Ron Diamond — was, on the whole, considerably more entertaining (at least in my highly partisan opinion) than last year’s set of offerings (with the possible exception of “Luis”). The stylized abstractions of “Romance,” the bleakly textured landscape of “Wild Life,” and rich narrativization of “Journey to Cape Verde” rendered these three titles (along with the other films that had been shown, of course) equally memorable — and, of course, the surprise presence of animator Juan Pablo Zaramella accentuated “Luminaris” with a retrospective charm. Thanks, Juan Pablo (and Ron)!

  15. Di Gu says:

    Totally impressed by this year’s show of shows and excited that I can enjoy every year. At beginning , I thought most animation showed would be 3D work, but so many amazing animations with varies technologies. What a show! Not only Pixar, Dream Work, because in China, I just thought most American works are 3D.
    The one I was really attracted is Journey to Cape Verde, deeply loved. I like the way he convey the whole story, distinguish styles and colorful scenes, which truly pull me to his journey. The combination of different styles has a drama rhythm, even the plot is flat. Also the animation is fluent, kind of weird, but full of the fascinate factors. I think it’s a really big inspiration for my Production 1.

  16. Emily Chung says:

    The Animation Show of Shows from last week was totally blowing my mind. I really enjoy the show. It was good to have this opportunity to see those fantastic animations from all over the world and I like them all. But I personally like Journey to Cape Verde the best. I like the art style and the color from that animation. Another short animation I like will be the Flying book. It is a really pretty animation, but I like it because of his story. I am not sure I got the story right or not but I do know this animation is really touch my heart and I like it very much.

  17. Lanzhu Jian says:

    The animtaion show is totally blow up mind. I love the Wild life, The journey to cape verde and The path of hate. they are so well made and the animation include so much emotions and so much meaning deep behind them. The wild life showed me the artistic apply in character design ,texture and colour. The cape Verde to me more like a personal journey. I admire the way the director tell the story and use all the pictures from his sketch book. It bring more intimary emotions and short the distance between audience and the character. I almost feel that the animation and the character took me in this journey as well. The path of hate is such a master piece of work, I really impressed by the 3D technology and the outstanding photography. It is so complicated to me, all those movement and the montage of crazy shots. At the end , it also brings some philosophy questions for us to think, that is, why we are wasting our life in the hatred, which in the end we were just doing it as it is the only thing worth to do in the life. But what it is for? All the movies are intelligent and amazing that night. I really appreciate Mr. Ron brought us so many fantastic animation and we had a chance to see the thinking and the view of other top artist in the world. To us, it is a huge help in our study. And it is also a motivation to motivate us to make our animation that one day some other people will watch it and share their feelings. Even more, We become the energy motive them.

  18. As usual, my experience of the Show of Shows was mixed. I think Diamond plans his program to elicit such a reaction. The diversity of the work is such that it seems difficult at times to include it all under one heading, that is however, the wonderful thing about animation. Overall, I enjoyed the show. I didn’t find anything especially thought provoking or difficult to deal with. It was an enjoyable show. The mixed response I had, was because some work was more enjoyable than others.

    I had seen a lot of press and hyperbole leading up to the Show of Shows about “Paths of Hate.” I must admit I was a bit disappointed with the final film. I had resisted watching the online versions knowing I would be seeing it soon on the big screen. The problem I had with the work was not some failing of the large screen format. It was, that it seemed as if two different films were crammed together. It functioned much the same way “8mm” did, another film I anticipated recently. It seemed as if two stories were being told, and they distracted from one another instead of reinforcing one another. I did however, greatly appreciate the aesthetic approach taken by the filmmaker.

    As far as the other films of the night went I had little or no expectations regarding them. My experiences ranged from great to acceptable. Overall, I enjoyed the work, but did not find anything particularly challenging. It seemed it was a bit more commercial show of shows this year, not that that caries with it any sort of negative connotation, just an observation on my part.

  19. Louis Morton says:

    I agree with many of the previous poster Jordan’s observations, the best word I think that describes this Show of Shows is enjoyable. Aside from the films themselves, I found Mr. Diamond’s insistence on the order of the films, as well as his comments afterward of the value of viewing these films on a large screen to be very important. Like a musician would consider the order of songs on a well constructed album, it is clear Mr. Diamond puts great thought into the order of the films. The energy of the earlier films carried over into the slower films later and everything flowed quite nicely. I really appreciate this aspect of the Show of Shows, it can be a bit challenging to watch so many short films in a row, and the programming choices truly help.
    As far as the films, it’s interesting to think of them in the context of Mr. Halls lecture on sound the previous week. If I remember correctly the majority had absolutely no dialogue so sound and music carried the film. While this worked successfully in most of the films, for whatever reason my two favorites, The Wild Life and Journey to Camp Verde, contained the most dialogue. I thought these two films were very unique and engaging in quirky and different ways. After so many wordless films it was refreshing to watch how dialogue and animation worked so well together in these two. Overall a very enjoyable evening!

  20. Larry Lai says:

    It is lucky for us to see many award-winning animations. We explore many kinds of materials or skills of delivering a sequence of images. We are also inspired by the stories presented by those animators. The one I like most was Journey to Cape Verde. The topic is good, which reflects the modern people’s mind of escaping the hustling and bustling life. It is not only a journey to somewhere but to a place you can refresh yourself. I like the way the animator presents his story. It is kind of monologue; so to speak, it seems that he talks to himself but actually he is having conversation with the audience. Furthermore, the narration is poetic and not too straightforward. That echoes the topic of reflecting ourselves. The journey is full of uncertainty and paradox. That’s the reason for this journey–to find what we are unsure now. As to the image, the design is simple but powerful! We can clearly feel the character’s emotion and their intention. No matter what design style the animator use, a good animation lies in the story and the characters can be read reasonably in the animation world.

  21. LaMar Ford says:

    Last week was a great surprise. I couldn’t believe the amount of great shorts produced around the world. Ron Diamond created a great presentation of different animation shorts ranging from fully render CG films to a scratch on films. Each films have their own charming qualities.

    I love the beautiful cinematography and cinematic feel of Pixar’s “La Luna”. I enjoyed the playfulness and the broad humor of “Moblie”. “Paths of Hate” displayed the best use of stereoscopic 3D. “Luminaris” was charming and imaginative, I was impressed with the pixellation animation technique.

    It’s a shame that there is now real market for animated shorts. The shorts can lead to new animation styles and story ideas, and they can inspire future filmmakers.

  22. Eric Tortora Pato says:

    Man, this year was great! it was a really strong year in my opinion. My favorite of the films was probably Viagem a Cabo Verde, but being Portuguese myself, I think the film definitely had a strong handicap going up against me (in it’s favor, that is). I loved the style of it, the humor, the energy and quiet passion and drive it had to it. I think it’s interesting, as I mentioned during the class, to contrast it with Wild Life. In many ways, these are complimentary films, dynamic in their similarities and differences. Both could be described as painterly films, highlighting traditional media in their design, about a young man’s journey to the former colonial “wilderness” of his some what faded or fading homeland, and although both have frequent turns towards comedy, in the end, they are dramatic pieces, emblematic of certain parts of the cultures in which their protagonists originate. However, it is the contrast that evolves from these similar set ups that truly begins to make their uniqueness and strengths shine all the more for being brought together in the program. The lead of Wild Life, despite being ostensibly a self styled frontiersman and settler, never makes any real efforts to learn the ways of his new home, or to do much more then enjoy himself in a lazy malaise, rooted to a single place, his life a pale, tragicomedy joke compared to the letters he sends home. Cabo Verde’s protagonist, ostensibly a tourist, on the other hand, makes great effort to get to know the people he meets, befriending many, and entering their lives even as he journeys forward to his next destination in his constantly evolving journey, a fact which brings him joy as he records intimately the feelings and lessons he gains. The former remains unknown, despite his gift of gab, where as the latter becomes a close friend of his viewers as he comments more minimally, often stopping more than anything else to listen. Even in their looks, though both painterly, we see the Wild Life world in jarring cartoony oils, seemingly vibrating in the stillness, and Cabo Verde looking aptly like the journal of our guiding protagonist come to life, bleeding and gentle inks and watercolors allowing one world to flow into the next in a continuous journey forward. I’m so glad both these films were in, and although I loved many of the others as well (particularly Luminares(spelling?) and Mobile, both comedic gold) the interplay of these two stands out to me as the defining moment of this year’s show.

  23. On Wednesday evening, Ron Diamond screened a collection of animated works for this year’s Animation Show of Shows. Followed by Q&A session with the director of the Argentinian pixilation film, Luminaris. The program showcased films from a diversity of production techniques: scratch on film, 3D, steroescopic, hand drawn flash, pixilation, etc. Although the method was different between film, each piece in the collection had a strong emphasis on visual design.

  24. Miguel Jiron says:

    It is such a great treat to have the Show of Shows come to USC every year. Like last year, I found this year’s Show of Shows to be very inspiring and energizing. Not only does it start setting off ideas and new ways of thinking about the creative process, it’s amazing to see all the students talking about the work afterwards. Talking about why someone liked a piece, why someone didn’t, how something is working and not working is a vital part of any artistic graduate program. The fact that the Show of Shows does this alone is worthy to celebrate. I loved “Wildlife” as an example of animation that doesn’t easily fit into typical “animation genres.” It was a personal story, yet it was also a comedy as well as a western. The film occupied an interesting tone between these three descriptions, and the fact that it was gorgeous and technically amazing helps too. The chance to see these wonderful independent animations is rare anywhere, even in Los Angeles. It is always a pleasure to have Ron Diamond cherrypick this year’s most interesting animations, and this year was no exception.

  25. Yang Liu says:

    it was an amazing event and was great to meet Ron. I enjoyed so much all the films he selected and each of those films has its own artistic choice and strong style. I especially like the first three films. Those three are the most visually exciting and linear in terms of storytelling. It is also interesting to see the the other artists who had totally different approach. I love the film “wild life”, as its style seems very simple and flat, but the content is extremely deep. All the artists in the show have different type of tastes and they tell the story very differently, and I learned so much and was inspired by many moments in their pieces. The animation show of shows is one of the most exciting event for all the animators and I should thank Ron for organizing these for us.

  26. Dan Wilson says:

    My favorite film last week was the first one. It was cute and had a light sense of humor. Although it was the typical Pixar visual style — it did nothing new or too exciting — it was still pleasing to watch. The stars felt just how the looked because of the sound they used. It’s too bad they used the dad from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

    I’m always confused about how stereoscopic 3D is supposed to work. It never seems to produce an effect worth watching for me, so I don’t know if I’m sitting in the wrong place, or it’s just worthless. In the Show of Shows, if I remember right, all the stereo films were already 3D/ CG, so it’s just a matter of rendering from two cameras. If stereo 3D were really worthwhile, I believe we’d be seeing more 2D and experimental films making deliberate (e.g. not a converted Disney film from the 90s) use of the effect.

  27. Ryan Gillis says:

    Last week’s event was a great treat. I liked being in the room with undergrads and third years, it was a pleasant movie going experience, and the collection of films was impressively varied. Diamond is a fascinating guy. He has an unbelievable belief in animation, but isn’t an animator himself. I think he’s probably the first person I’ve met or heard of since starting grad school that is SO involved in the animation community, without being an animator themselves.
    It’s wonderful to see some so confident and passionate about our medium that he’s kind of builds his life around it. There aren’t many other ways the work he showed us would be seen on the big screen, so I appreciated the show very much.

  28. Andrew Malek says:

    Seeing Ron Diamond’s Animation Show of Shows was the best collection of shorts I have seen in quite a while. I left the theater that night bubbling with inspiration and in awe of the great animation happening all over the world. I was quite impressed with Ron’s taste in films and how the program moved seamlessly between different styles and budgets; the only common thread being the tremendous quality of each work. In addition I appreciated Ron’s sequencing of the films and how the tone of each film played very well against the next. In particular I liked how “Schlaf” played after “Paths of Hate,” by playing a minimal film after a piece that causes sensory overload I was able to appreciate the particular qualities of each film more.

    Overall I think my favorite work was “Wild Time,” which had a tremendous story and was combined with a beautiful animation style, it was a perfect film. I can’t wait to see what we see next year, and to buy copies of the films we saw.

  29. Cecilia De Jesus says:

    I’m so grateful for the Animation Show of Shows makes its way to USC every year. It is not only a treat, but an honor to have the chance to see these different animation shorts from across the globe and from the very best festivals. I really appreciate how Ron Diamond makes it his job to choose these great shorts and show them to not only the public, but to animation students. It’s almost like he is saying, “LOOK, this is what is possible in animation and this is what people (sometimes even peer students) are doing right now!”

    The ASOS is always a great wake up call and source of inspiration. Even though some may be stronger or more appealing to some than others, the wide variety of films is a good thing. Where else can you see a Pixar short alongside a scratch on film short? Thanks to Ron Diamond and everyone involved for bringing these wonderful films to our campus!

  30. Brandon Lake says:

    The Show of Shows is always a yearly must see event for me. I love being able to see shorts that are making their way around the world circuit and being able to see what types of ideas and styles are being worked on these days. This year’s showcase was a far more enjoyable one than last year in my opinion. There was a playful nature with many of the pieces that left me excited to go and animate myself. My favorite would have to be Luminaris. Pixilation is always a fun medium when done correctly and when listening to the director talk about his piece, it can be seen that it was done out of love for the art. The same goes for the pieces Wild Life and Journey to Carpe Verde. In the end, it was yet another brilliantly curated showing by Ron Diamond.

  31. Linda Jules says:

    I really enjoyed this year’s animation show of shows. It is such a treasure to have an opportunity to see the show in its entirety right here at USC. I thought the selection showed a wide array of animation techniques, artists and story styles. I am not sure if I totally agree that the pieces were “challenging”. Instead I thought that the selection gave us a wide variety of subject matter to consider in animation. By having the shorts played in an unexpected manner–comedy followed by drama, etc., I felt like we got a more satisfying show than if they were played according to genre.

    Thank you for a nicely organized and entertaining show!

  32. Chen Huang says:

    My favourite animation in the show is called wild life….I like the color, the layouts and the tone….. It is so perfect and I think could be a perfect visual expression example for animations and films…
    Every frame in that piece is a beautiful painting..and the advanced colour tone attracts me a lot … …

  33. A.W. Gammill says:

    The Show of Shows this year was so strong. “Wild LIfe” was humorous and powerful all at once. “Paths of Hate” was amazing to experience; beautifully designed, skillfully executed, and just wickedly unbalanced in its handling (in particular, the soundtrack), but who cares when it was that cool to look at? “Fiesta Brava” was stuck in my head for a solid week. “Luminaris” by Juan Pablo Zaramella was just wonderful. It was funny and fun to look at. “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” was really touching and so ambitious. I would love to see this, and many of the other shorts, again.

    The studio films fell short, as usual, but so it goes. Not to mention the stereoscopic films made my eyeballs almost fall out of my head. I can’t wait for stereoscopic films to disappear as they have in the past. They hurt to look at and happily embrace the idea the spectacle is enough to convince foolish audiences to go spend money. This is all just my opinion, but my eyeballs agree with me.

    I always appreciate how much work Ron Diamond puts into arranging the films he puts into the Show. I also appreciate the variety of films. This year was a little bit lacking in variety as 3D films dominated, but since Mr. Diamond does this every year, I believe he is allowed to have years were he weights things one way or the other. The Show of Shows is the highlight to every seminar and I look forward to seeing it for many years to come, even when I’m no longer lucky enough to see it at the SCA theater, which is a pretty cool theater.

  34. The animation Show of Shows, as many others have remarked, was fantastic as usual. I especially appreciated Journey to Cape Verde, which beautifully utilized the materiality of paint and paper to tell a story and create environments. The fluidity and unexpected quality of movement in this piece was refreshing and engaging.

    I was also interested to hear Ron Diamond’s thoughts on programming. For example, it was a nice learning experience to consider where you put your most challenging film; as well as consider how programming is similar to designing the rhythm of a film.

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