Friday, March 31, 2017

Catching up...

After the studio move, I'm still catching up on what's been going on in the last few weeks -

I went to a wonderful festival, FICAM, in Meknes, Morocco that was run by Mohamed Beyoud.  It all takes place in the Institute Francais estate (Morocco used to be a French territory) and screening hall.  It's located in a very fertile forest, with Arabic tents located everywhere, with a wonderful large central tent where we ate all of our meals.  The audiences were terrific, lots of fans with a great appreciation for and knowledge of animation.

                                                       with Alexis Hunot at FICAM

Plus, there was a preponderance of great animators there - Michael Dudok De Wit ("The Red Turtle"), Michel Ocelot ("Kirikou"), Ann Marie Fleming ("Window Horses", "La vie en Rosie"), Claude Barras ("My Life as a Zucchini"), Jean-Francois Laguionie ("Louise in Winter") and the great David Silverman,  who was a complete rock star there because he directed "The Simpsons Movie".

                                                    with David Silverman in Morocco!

We were never able to just sit and talk without a line forming to get sketches of Bart or Homer - yes, "The Simpsons" is an international phenomenon.  So if you have a new film next year, definitely enter it into FICAM, and try to go - it's a lovely festival and they have the most succulent oranges I've ever eaten.

Next item, I've just finished my newest "Dog" film, called "Cop Dog", and I believe it's my best one.  Fans have been bugging me for years for another sequel to "Guard Dog" and "Guide Dog", so I came up with what I think is a very funny story.  It's going to premiere at the Florida Film Festival in April, and you should be seeing it soon at other film festivals.  Watch for it, you'll love it!

Also, I've decided to start a Patreon account, so my fans can follow up on the studio's new projects.  We'll be deciding on the rewards soon - that's always a critical decision because if it's something to mail, it's a big chore and if it's something people can download that's so much easier, but maybe not as valued.  So I have to figure out something that's cool but also easy to send.

And finally, I don't know if you saw it, but my most recent "Couch Gag" for "The Simpsons" premiered a couple of weeks ago, to universal applause and acclaim, and if you missed it, you can see it on Twitter here:

I love working for "The Simpsons" - they're all great guys and the shows are seen all over the world!  Weird...

So those are my excuses for the delay in my Scribble Junkies posts.  I promise to be a good boy and post a weekly or bi-weekly report.  Thanks for your attention.

--Bill Plympton

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We've moved!!

I suppose you're all wondering where I've been lately - I haven't posted in a while.  Not to worry, I'm back - I've been too busy with a number of projects, which I'll post about in a couple of days.

But first, I decided to move my office - my landlord increased my rent by $2000, which I can't afford, so I had to find a new location - and as usual it was a tough chore.  But I finally found something I can handle, even though it's a little smaller than the space I was in on 27th St. for 10 (or was it 11?) years. 

                                                 Packing up the old studio on 27th St.

So last Thursday we made the big move.  My friend Signe turned me on to these Russian movers out of Brooklyn that she used when she moved her studio last year...  The day came, and a lot of people showed up to help pack everything up, while the Russians started moving the desks, tables and file cabinets.  Everything seemed to be going well, and we even stopped for a pizza break - but when the freight elevator shut down for a lunch break, that set us behind a bit.

It looked like there was no way we were going to finish in time - because the freight elevator in the new building was scheduled to shut down at 5 pm, and there was still a truckload of furniture and merchandise that needed to be loaded in.  Meanwhile, the Russians were thinking that the best way around this was to take the truck full of my office furniture back to Brooklyn and put everything into storage until Saturday - then suddenly they were talking about finishing the job on Monday. 

Somehow, my office manager, John Holderried, was able to convince the movers to stay on track and finish the job, which saved the day.  Then he magically got them access to the freight elevator in the new building for another couple hours, so the rest of the stuff could be loaded in.  And he and Wendy stayed late to tell the movers where to put everything, so it all could be done in one day, which was a minor miracle.  

                               The new space on 30th St., waiting for the rest of the furniture

All the order we had in the old studio is completely gone, now we're trying to get our computers, merchandise and files back in some kind of order - not an easy task.  Plus the new studio is chock-a-block with mysterious boxes without labels and we just don't know what's what.

                                                   We don't even know where to start!

Anyway, here is our new studio address - 151 West 30th St., Suite 405, New York NY 10001.  We're trying to get the old phone number moved over to the new studio - but right now, there's no phone or decent internet - so if you need to reach us, please call us on our cell phones! 

We'll be back to regular business really soon!

--Bill Plympton

Friday, March 3, 2017

Loose Ends

I've got a few bits of scattered news this week -

My Plympton Animation University course is coming to an end.  The students have done terrific work - it's been really fun to watch their films come together.  Next week we'll have some kind of class film festival, and I'm excited to see all of the (semi-)finished films.

I also just found out that the newest "Couch Gag" I created for "The Simpsons" is scheduled to premiere on (probably) the March 12 episode.  So please keep an eye out for that.  This will be my FIFTH couch gag, and I don't think any other guest animator has done more than 1 or 2.

There are actually two endings to this short piece, one suggested by Mr. Matt Groening himself, and the other one by me - it's a pretty cool spot, so check it out and let me know what you think. They told me one ending will be for TV and the other is for the internet - and I'm curious to see the kind of sound they added to it.

Finally, congratulations to Signe Baumane and Sturgis Warner, who reached their Kickstarter goal of $126,000 for their new animated feature "My Love Affair With Marriage".  Their campaign was very successful in the final week, and they even exceeded their goal, raising over $132,000 - I thought maybe they were crazy to set the mark so high, but they did it!  Hooray!!

Also, speaking about crowdfunding, my brilliant animator friend Alex Budovsky showed my the first 20 seconds of his new short film, "Breezin' Along with the Brooklyn Breeze", and it looks like it will be the best thing he's ever done.  He's got an IndieGogo campaign, please check it out and support it if you can.  It's going to be a fantastic film!  Please follow this link:


Bill Plympton

Images from "Breezin' Along With the Brooklyn Breeze":