Commentary 02 Feb 2013 02:42 am

Some things

He’s Alive!

- I thought I’d make the small announcement to say that POE‘s alive. Having completed my presentation for HBO, I’ve put all energies back into completing the opening and trailer for my li’l feature. The brilliantly talented, Matt Clinton is back with us working on the sequence, and we hope to be able to go directly into production once that trailer is done.

We still have a couple of storyboards to work and another couple to rework. With that we’ll complete an animatic of the whole. It’s going to be a fun ride, and I’m glad to be back with Matt on board.

By the way, the artwork at top is sort of a new logo for the film.


Splog’s Alive!

- For the past couple of days, I was playing with/fighting with/working with the enormously helpful Matt Clinton to get my Splog back. And then at 1am on Saturday, Hostgator became more of a host and less of a gator and they told me they made a mistake. The problem that was created was THEIR fault, not mine. They put things back together again, but I feel like Humpty Dumpty, sitting on the wall but knowing that my shell is cracked. I gotta get outta this place and find a new webhost.

Since lights were out most of yesterday, this post is going to sit tight through Sunday (though I’ll probably add some stuff to it). So because it hasn’t changed on Sunday doesn’t mean we’re down again. It feels good to be back.


The Dick Williams Tribute

- As was noted on Cartoon Brew, this past week, there will be several programs at the downtown YTribeca celebrating some of the more famous work of Richard Williams.

On Wed, Feb 27th, at 7:30 pm there will be a screening of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. This marks the 25th anniversary of the ground breaking feature which took the combination of live action and animation to a new level. Tarring character actor, Bob Hoskins, the film features almost every character ever created for motion pictures, from Bugs Bunny to Mickey Mouse to Betty Boop.

On Thurs, Feb 28th, celebrating the upcoming 80th Birthday of Richard Williams (March 19th), there will be a retrospective of some of Dick’s best short animated films, commercials and sequences. This program is called The Little Island and More. This will conclude with his first theatrical short, The Little Island (1958), which gained immediate success for the young animator. I was asked to host this program, and I couldn’t be prouder than to do so. I’ll also be excited to see some of the commercials on the big screen again. here are many beauties among thee, and, not yet knowing the list of films, I’m hoping some of my favorite gems are among them.

On Friday, Feb 29th, at 7:30 pm there will be a program featuring Persistence of Vision, Kevin Schreck’s documentary about the making of Williams’ long-in-production feature, The Cobbler and the Thief. This film will be followed by a Q&A between director, Schreck and Amid Amidi. I’m really looking forward to seeng this. Having not yet see the doc, I’m hoping some information will be revealed for me.

I felt very torn when Dick’s feature was ripped from him by the insurance bond company. I remember going to the reworked film they patched together to complete the movie. Tissa David and I sat side-by-side sinking into our seats as some of the most glorious animation ever done skipped by alongside some of the worst animation we’d seen. (The princess’ opening song is one of the most dreadful sequences ever done.) I will definitely be present for that showing.

I’ll, of course, write more about this before the event. For now, I would order tickets if I were you; it’ll probably sell out soon.
Go to

Dates: Wed, Feb 27th, 7:30 pm, Thu, Feb 28, 7:30 pm, and Fri, Feb 28th, 7:30 pm

Venue: 92YTribeca Screening Room
Location: 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St

Price: from $12.00


Rocks In My Pockets – Kickstarter continues

- “Rocks In My Pockets” is Signe Baumane’s feature in-production.
She’s mid-way through a Kickstarter campaign, raising money to finish the film. She needs help.

This week she sent out a mass email saying:
“We have only a limited time left, and we would love for you to join our efforts.”

If you would like to be the first to see the film when it is done, please pledge $10
and get a password protected link to the film.

If you would like to have a hand made animation drawing from “Rocks”,
you can pledge $75 and the drawing along with the password protected link is yours!

A rare treat – animation cells from “Dentist” – is on the rewards list, too.
Who is making films on cells anymore? This is an historic gift.

You could also be part of our small team in other ways:
- ‘LIKE’ “Rocks In My Pockets” Facebook page?

- Promote the link to our Kickstarter campaign to your Facebook friends

We are excited to welcome you to our small “Rocks” family!


PS if you are curious how other people feel about this project, please check out
the video testimonials of 15 test audience members we compiled into 3 minute video.

As I wrote in the past, I’ve seen a rough cut of the film, and I love what I’ve seen so far. The combination of 3D backgrounds with textured 2D animation works excellently well and is an inspired decision. The best part about this film is that it’s about something. It’s not just funny for the sake of being funny. I wholeheartedly support what she’s doing and recommend strongly that you look into it and support it in any way that you can.

To prove how much I like Signe’s work so far, I’m in one of her videos. Me and Bill Plympton. We were born just days apart, Bill and I, and now were just minutes apart in this video telling you how great we both think Signe is. Actually, I was prepared for the worst, and I don’t think I did too badly. Shifty eyes, but otherwise OK. This week, I’ll give you the link. Next week I’ll put the video on my blog.
Here’s the link.
the link.
the link.


Hitler à la Glass

- The Perfect American is a Phillip Glass opera of the book by Peter Stephan Jungk which opened in Madrid this past week. It found its way to a review in the NYTimes by Zachary Woolfe. Many of Glass’ operas have been biographical sketches of some well known personality. This production doesn’t make it seem like there a Glass gem buried here. ‘s review includes many lines such as “a pleasure to listen to but dull as drama” which make one inclined to isten to the recording and skip the production which was, “Archetypal and specific, good and bad, Disney is, in other words, an ideal operatic character. But Mr. Jungk’s tight, strange novel has been transformed into a slack, mild pageant with an alluring soundtrack.”

“The opera is a score in search of a story. Dantine has gone from narrator to bit player; the tension between him and Disney, Old World and New, has vanished without being replaced by another drama. The book’s most ___ Time is running out for Walt Disney.
“striking set pieces . . . (Sounds like
some of the later animated features.)

“Dantine has sought out Disney’s family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, from Salvador Dalí to Peter Ustinov, reconstructing a bizarre narrative of Disney’s illness and death.”

Let’s just say that even though I’m a fan of Phillip Glass’ work, I’m not going to rush to Europe to see this production (which is headed for London to open there.)

Mike Barrier has brought a lot of attention to the piece protecting the memory of Walt. Apparently the book includes a connection between Disney and Hitler just prior to WWII. It certainly never happened, but neither did a conversation between Disney and the audio-animatronic Lincoln that Disney built for the World’s Fair. There’s a lot of other fantasy in there, apparently, and I’ve come to expect such things of Mr. Glass in his operas.

By the way, no mention is made of Hitler in this review.


Kahrs- In case you haven’t noticed it, John Kahrs, the director of Paperman – the Disney animated short which is among the five Oscar nominees this year – has a little piece published in today’s NYTimes.

They ask him for some of his likes and dislikes, (actually, it may only be his likes) and he shares them with us. This is one of those cute little pieces that money buys. Disney advertises so many dollars in the Times, and the Times pays off with so many pure puff pieces. It was my fortune to get some big time space back when Woman of the Year was on Broadway.The producer bought some ads, and my animation was as puff as they could go for the cover of the Weekend Section of the Times.

I somehow doubt that some of the poorer animators nominated this year, might get their likes or dislikes printed in the NY Times. Minkyu Lee and Timothy Reckart what favorite books are you reading these days?



- The lincoln Center Gallery is hosting an exhibit of drawings by Spanish animator, Diego Agudo Pinilla. His short animated film, , premiered last Friday and will be shown again on Monday Feb. 04 at 8:30pm. His film is part of a program called Dance on Camera, program 1.

The gallery is on 25 Central Park West at 62nd Street
Gallery Hours
Friday February 1- Monday February 4
1:00pm – 8:00pm
Tuesday February 5
1:00pm -6:00pm

Take a look; it’s rare for animation art to go on display at Lincoln Center and usually worth catching when it does.

3 Responses to “Some things”

  1. on 02 Feb 2013 at 9:53 pm 1.Shane (Fighting Seraph) said …

    I was wondering what went wrong with your site Mr. Sporn, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of my favorite films.

  2. on 03 Feb 2013 at 5:09 am 2.Stephen Macquignon said …

    Welcome BACK! Good luck with Poe

  3. on 03 Feb 2013 at 5:40 pm 3.Scott said …

    Good luck with Poe. Looking forward to Williams’ short films on the biggish screen, although I had my full of the mess that is roger rabbit when it first came out.

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