Tuesday, December 8, 2009

After Thoughts: An Evening with John R. Dilworth

Here's a surprise, I went to an event without informing you nice readers before hand ... whoops! As with last year, ASIFA-East (Association Internationale du Film d'Animation's New York division) holds a few events, usually Q&A sessions (see NY Independent Animation and Superjail!), nearby and with the proper qualification (cough, tuition) I can attend such events.

But unlike the previous ASIFA-East run events, this wasn't a Q&A with John R. Dilworth, known by most people as the creator of Cartoon Network's once hit series, Courage the Cowardly Dog. Instead Mr. Dilworth, or Dilly as he likes to be called, presented those in attendance with a bunch of clips of his work (both new and old), and had a few guest speakers say some words regarding him and his various projects.

Guest speakers included Howard Beckerman (animator, now professor at the School of Visual Arts), Michael Sporn, Fred Seibert, Marty Grabstein (voice of Courage), and two of Dilworth's long-time sound designers. Bill Plympton was in the crowd, but apparently had nothing to say. Otherwise, all was interesting, especially Dilworth himself, who's much stranger in person than you could guess from watching his animation.

As for films shown, we got to see a clip of Dilly's thesis film from SVA, The Dirdy Birdy, The Mousochist, Noodles and Nedd, Life In Transition, and his new film Rinky Dink, which he made while in Spain (yes, if you're wondering where John Dilworth has been all this time, it was Spain). Unlike his previous work, Rinky Dink was animation in both stop-motion with clay/puppets, and Flash, so it offered a different, but still familiar style for his film repertoire. Also shown was a film Dilworth made under a pseudonym, Pierre Delarue, titled The Return of Sergeant Pecker, warning, NSFW. But, for those that didn't come, you can watch tiny versions of most of John's films (no Rinky Dink or Sergeant Pecker) at his site , StretchFilms.com

To end the night, John played the Oscar nominated, original Courage the Cowardly Dog short, The Chicken from Outer Space. After which, Marty Grabstein and a person in a giant Courage fur-suit came out, and Mr. Grabstein spoke about creating Courage's unique voice. So, lucky for you I got a some photographs and a video of Courage's classic scream, LIVE!

Overall, a very fun and enjoyable evening, but I really want to start playing Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks!!!

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