Sunday, February 19, 2012

FESTIVAL REPORT: Master Animation Class with Bill Plmypton

Bill Plympton with BCM reporter Kaiti Williamson at the Boulder Public Library. [Photo by Beth Kovacs]
By Mary Rususky
BIFF DigiComm Commando 

One of the great animators, a multiple Oscar nominee and Cannes honoree, Bill Plympton, held a master animation class Saturday during BIFF. He's made his career as an independent filmmaker and spent the morning showing his new films, demoing his drawing techniques, and sharing his personal story.

Bill's wacky, surrealist, goofball humor had him drawing from an early age. "When I realized I wanted to be an animator is the moment when people started laughing at my film en masse. It was the most magical feeling I could think of, I just glowed. I felt like I was at home, and I wondered, why did I wait so long?"

He said it is now an incredibly fortunate time to become an animator and encouraged young people to begin now. We are in a Renaissance, he stated, entering the second Golden Age of animation, with gaming, commercials, television and Internet offering countless opportunities for expression.

Bill shared with the class the Plympton Dogma of animated film success, which is 1) make it short, 2) make it cheap and 3) make it funny. Wacky films that make people laugh are films people want to see and buy. He's used social media to enhance his Oscar-nominated short "Guard Dog," including illustrations from hundreds of fans in the final version.

He's been happy that he's made the decision to remain independent, as he loves doing wacky films on his own terms. "Everything I draw, I want to, that's why I'm here."

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