Just returned back from the ASIFA-East 'Panel on the State of New York Independent Animation', as reported before. The panel started off with an introduction of the 5 animators, and the host, Amid Amidi. From there the audience was shown a 10 minute reel, consisting of 2 minutes for each artist, each showcasing a finished piece or work in progress. I wish we got to see more, but this wasn't a film screening, it was a discussion.
Anways, the whole even lasted about an hour and 45 minutes, so a great deal of info was covered. A lot of the beginning was Amid asking each of the artists about their films, about the funding, the inspiration, the hardness and length of the work; it was all really informative for any amateur to hear what these professionals had to say. Then we went into Q&A . A lot of questions were asked and answered, and was interesting to hear not only what people had to say, but also how these different professional, independent animators have different takes on how to go about the business.
Lucky me, I got to have the second to last question of the night. As someone who has been creating characters and stories my whole life, and almost only showing it to myself, the thought always comes across of how others will react to my work, especially with censorship. So I asked the panel, "When trying to release an independent film, do you still have to deal with censorship and the ratings boards?". To my surprise, no, not really. As Bill Plympton said to me, (paraphrasing here) 'to release your work it doesn't need the ratings board, in fact that just raises the cost'. He also mentioned that his only instance of censorship was that Blockbuster cut a sex scene from one of his films. For me, hearing that from Plympton of all people, was a sigh of relief, because it gave me a better insight of where I can take my work.
All in all, I can say the panel was a really great experience for any up and coming animator, not looking to go into the Disney norm. If I can get a video version of the event (it was all filmed), I'll be sure to post it here.