Saturday, June 27, 2009
Special Studio Guest: DJ DYER
Artist and Animator, DJ Dyer, has been involved in her animation project Wanted for the past year. I've marveled at her keen model building skills and her mastery with fabrication detail and scale. I was delighted she'd be willing to make time for a visit to Halfland on her trip down to Los Angeles from British Columbia this week. She's got a ton of fun things planned for her solo expedition from the woods to the jungle.
When people are excited about Halfland, I get excited to have them stop by. It's usually a good reality check for me to make metal note of where I am in the production and where I want to go and why. I showed DJ the set and the finished props, showed and telled the types of puppet armatures and materials I knew of, ran down what was next for the landscape. I filled her in on the essential coolness of knowing Mike Brent. We even had a mini film festival where we screened and discussed Ron Cole's masterpiece, In the Fall of Gravity, and were awestruck by the incredibly animatable puppets Nick Hilligoss sent over for the Underwater scene in the film.
What surprised me was how much I loved DJ's main characters that she brought with her, Jed and his sidekick Tito. I'm not generally a teddy person but these were so soft and lovable I could see why they already have a huge following. (At one point, Jed had nearly 3,000 friends on a certain social network and was receiving bags of fan letters and gifts of handmade clothing!)
Another wonderful unexpected turn for me was the depth and substance of my conversation about art and animation with DJ. We are the same age and spoke about specific influences in our upbringing that may have prompted stop motion to be such a consuming passion for us. We discussed the difficulties of trying to explain to perhaps more practical people that our films are our art and don't require any measure of success to fulfill their purpose. How the Art World and the world of Art Education have nothing to offer us at this point. We both know What We Are Doing, even if it's wrong. I found the conversation to be extremely galvanizing and supportive.
What a nice surprise to find another kindred spirit and friend in this world. DJ, You are welcome here again anytime. And in the meantime... I very much support what you are doing from here.