Twice Oscar nominated super star independent animator Bill Plympton has joined the Burbank International Film Festival in a spectacular way. Bill Plympton will be honored with the Festival’s “Pioneer in Theatrical Animation Award.” Given his illustrious history of directing 56 titles and receiving two Oscar nominations this is an industry recognition that is richly deserved. But Bill himself will also be bestowing for the first time the exclusive “Bill Plympton Award for Indie Animation.” Bill will also present his “Master Class” to a group of eager animators. And he will participate in the Burbank International Film Festival’s animation panel. And if this isn’t enough September 15th will be the Los Angeles area premiere of the Alexia Anastasio documentary: “Adventures in Plymptoons.”
Currently Bill Plympton is on a publicity tour for his spectacular new book: “Independently Animated: Bill Plympton” an in depth look at the amazing professional life and art of Bill Plympton. So far he has sold out at every venue on his tour. For more information on this great big beautiful book please visit: http://www.plymptoons.com/. I recently caught up with Bill at a book signing at the House of Secrets in Burbank, California. Frankly I have never seen such an obviously energized crowd at a book signing. There was some real magic in the air. Also on hand was Kari Irwin, Teen Ambassador for the Burbank International Film Festival who interviewed Bill Plympton. You may watch that interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu-bKAL8Sdk&feature=mh_lolz&list=HL1312127983
One of the things that most impressed me about Bill Plympton was not so much the fact that he walked away from a seven figure offer from Disney Corporation to animate Aladdin but rather his statement made in the course of his interview with Kari. Responding to a question about hand drawing his images Bill said: “I like to get up at six in the morning and I draw until sometimes ten at night.” He went on to explain how thoroughly he enjoys doing that. It became immediately clear to me that Bill Plympton is one of those rare people who has spent his life pursuing his passion. For all too many a sixteen hour “work” day would be sheer pain. But that is because they aren’t pursuing their passion, they are doing their job. Big difference.
It may also explain the near universal love of Bill Plympton in the animation world. We met up with Bill again at a local restaurant/bar for a kind of small after party. It started out with maybe a half dozen in attendance, very low key. By the time I left the group had grown to near thirty mostly professional animators from Burbank’s many studios. This was largely spontaneous caused by text messages and tweets I believe.
I asked Bill which of his many works did he himself most enjoy. His answer was the overwhelmingly multi award winning “Idiots & Angels. “ You can watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaDvCEL8Dyk.
The inclusion of Bill Plympton has elevated the overall pizzazz of the Burbank International Film Festival and not just for animators. Other major celebrities have also now been attached to the event, people such as super SciFi/Horror film producer Roger Corman and teen heart throb Corbin Bleu to name but two. There is no doubt but that the 2011 Burbank International Film Festival is going to be the best yet. It runs from September 15th through the 18th. I will be writing more as it gets closer to the date but to get all the information in a timely manner go to their website at: http://www.burbankfilmfestival.org.
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