Sunday, February 15, 2009

Struck GOLD in Nevada!!!!!+

Hey guys,

Were back from our awesome trip to Nevada .

The Dam Short Film Festival. And We WON!!!!!!!!! BEST ANIMATION!!!!!

Isnt this INSANE!! We are completely floored by this whole experiance. What an amazeing trip it was.

We arrived friday afternoon{I took friday off} in Las Vegas looking out the Airplane window at the Las Vegas strip. We didnt expect to bee so close....weve never been to Las Vegas Before.
......So .....We got to our rental car and off to Boulder city Nevada....about 25-30 minuets from the airport. We arrive to our hotel Hacienda Casino {We won a free room for a couple of nights in a raffle the festival was offering} checked in and bounced on the beds happy to arrive. After settleing....we saw signs all over the place for Hoover Damm. We thought wed check it out at some point during the weekend but we needed to check in first.

After takeing a wrong turn out of the hotel....fate took over and took us right to the dam....just a few miles down the road...Ha! ....... I always wanted to see how it looks in real life so we just rolled with it. We approached this massive marvel of Humanness...and they we constructing a New HUGE Bridge to gap the canyon for the future. It was just as amazeing seeing this thing as it was to see the dam. We got out the car and marveled at both, took some pics, Hugged for warmth and off to the Fest.
{Back on Track}...... since the fest kicked off Wednesday...we needed to check in and pick up our filmakers passes /swag bag. I never knew this term till recently. It means bag of goodies from the festivals. Shirts , hats , pins , stuff like that. We then grabbed a bite to eat across the street across from the theatre and created a plan for the days film viewings.
This town is very small and super Quaint....very comfortable and feels like its a billion miles from Las Vegas. Into the Theatre we go....our first viewings were International Drama. This was a fun block and had some great cinematography and fun little stories. The block lasted only 1.5 hours and then we got an Hour break...before comedy.

This was the really cool part. The other festivals we went to were all back to back ....and didnt leave you muchtime to digest what you just took in. DAM was incredibly well run...and our best experiance so far in the festival world. These people did and excellent job.

Having the breaks between watching the films made all the difference in the world. Me and Shel could talk about likes and dislikes of the films....where some succeeded and others failed.{very educational}

Then we would jump back into another block of films.

The comedys were up next...This is so far always one of my favorites { we saw many fun films } but the one that burned into my head and made me laugh out LOUD Several times . In fact I acted out the movie for Aedon as a bed time story tonight and had her laughing her little 6 year old head off.

Its Titled - The Early Nineties-
This film was basically a guy telling stories from when he was a little he acted them out playing his mother and himself. The backgrounds were drawings and it was shot at an extreme perspective makeing it more funny and tweaked for our enjoyment and illusion of makeing him look like a kid.

It was very clever and the stories were hysterical!! I loved it!!

The comedy block was only an Hour...short and very sweet! So we went to the local candy store for some Chocolate wierd thingy for shel and some malted milk balls for myself....yummm!!

After some more walking and talking we decided to go to Las Vegas!! We have a list of things we want to do in our life and going to Las Vegas was one of the lines on the list we go!! We didnt plan on it but it all made perfect sence. Driveing down the strip was very cool.....although I was driveing so I couldnt see as good as I would have liked. The place sure is fun to look at. We decide to try and catch a show? who knows right?

We park at one of the Monte Carlo and go for a walk.....we hear you can get same day tickets at the giant coke we head over. It closed so we try and get tickets but none are showing untill tomorrow....DANGIT. Shel wanted to see the big casinos inside so we walk inside the MGM.....neato. They had 2 live tigers in a big glass cage with their handlers playing ball. We really wanted to see a Magic show but had lost all hope.....UNTILL.....A GIANT FACE POSTER OF David Copperfield!! Ha! we saw that it was open and asked about show times.

They had a 10 oclock show.....SWEET!!! I love magic and saw David copperfiled for my 8th birthday. I was really excited. Ontop of that....some people just returned their front row center tickets. So we pounced on them. Front row CENTER.....MAGIC!! I was dorkin out bigtime.

We felt super lucky and excited to see the show. Shel always felt David coperfield was corny and silly so she wasnt excited to see him perform...but she thought it was a cool turn of events.

We eat and then run over to the theatre. We take our seats and The show begins. He appears out of nowhere sitting on a motercycle....We were so close we could see his hairplugs Ha!

it was awesome!! He did a GREAT Show and Shel ended up likeing it even more than me in the end. She couldnt stop talking about it. He isnt as Flashy as he used to be as a younger magician and it was cooler. After the show we went back to the hotel for our first Las Vegas 99cent breakfast. What a deal!! We talked some more....enjoyed our time Alone.
{SAturday} was day 2 of films and our major involvement day. I was on a filmakers panel at 11 am. I dragged myself out of bed and we made our way to the festival base. There were 5 other filmakers there besides myself. I was the only animator it was definatly different approaches and techniques.The moderator....had lots of questions for us and I felt a little out of place at first but I quickly warmed up and brought animations unique processes to the table for education and entertainment. Shel said I got off track once but I did good. I felt good about it and we left for the ANIMATION BLOCK starting at 12:00.

As we entered the building I felt a bit nervous but not horribly. There were easily 200+ people at every showing we had been too. This one had kids as well as adults which was refreshing.

As the films started .....The audiance was already more open to laughing which made me happy for the energy in the house. There were 10 films in total and 3 of them were studio projects with many helping hands.....In other words stiff competition.

There was a film from Ireland called {Granny O Grimm's Sleeping Bueaty} Old grand ma tells a scarry version of sleeping bueaty to her granddaughter.This film was pretty fun and had some nice 2d elements in the mix of cg animation. It was out of Ireland.
There was the Oscar Nominee {This Way up} from the UK - This film was really good and I thought was going to take the victory. It was fun,clever...and Pretty big in scope.There was also {Sebastians VooDoo} This film was up for an Annie Award this year....and we competed against it at Festivus as well. I enjoyed this CG film and it was fun to watch again.So we were the Last film of the Block - GLD Starts.....the audiance isnt too audible but it definately Involved....thay have giggles here and there and I feel they like the character. Then the BIG moment hits.....BAMM....

It hits the audiance and this is my favorite part of watching with a fresh audiance. They feel it FEEL it. I get goosebumps every time. The film goes on and its working. It ends the audiance claps loudly and appreciatively. AWESOME!!! That was really

at the end of each block they call up the filmakers present...In this case it was just me and Shel. We walked to the podium and were given a mic. We said thanks for watchin and do you have any questions. Its always slow at first due to shyness and such....So I kick off some information about the film. What we did - how long it took......what stopmotion is - how we came together as a filmakeing team and what new direction our life has taken from doing this together.

This is when questions started rolling in. Where did the story come from? what kind of dog is Gerald? How did you stay focused? How did you balance life family? The audiance enjoyed our talking and we were greeted with many thanks and "That was very enjoyable" comments.

One of the coolest things that struck me....was an older man came up to meand Shel {Older than my dad }He said he had to tell us how much he enjoyed the film as well as the Talk we gave at the end. It was super informative and it really touched him how we work together and have our children so seeped in Love and Art. I was moved by this statement and appreciate it when people can look past my outer looks and see the common Human inside.

It was fun and we met some cool people at the festival from Art institute of Las Vegas. The guy running the festival{Lee Lanier} was an ex Feature film animator and was super cool to connect with. I had no idea he was an animator when we got there. He enjoyed the film and we felt proud to be involved.

I gave a quick video interview for a student at Art Institute Of Las Vegas....Tips on the Animation industry. Its hard times out there at the moment but there are alot of facets of animation to choose from.

So at this point we were introduced to the Chip voteing system. We had been steping over the corral ropes to get out after every show......not realizeing that there was a reason behind the ropes. VOTEING!!! Dooogh. We see that there is a box with the film titles attached and viewers drop chips in the films they liked best. WOW! I had no idea it worked like that.

We went to grab lunch again....and realized ...we have a chance?? a chance to ?? way.

We really tried to no even go there...but I felt a real energy in the theatre that was attached to our film. I felt we DEFINATELY Had a shot. At least for 1rst runner up.

Well we tried to put it out of our head and enjoyed the Documentary block- then the Drama- Love and Romance Block- They were both fun.... after a fun romp out side to get our beans out we got ready for the Awards GALA. We were to be picked up by a limo and Driven to a RED Carpet Theatre entrance. This ofcourse includes PAPARAZI And news crews doing funny little interviews. It was Funny -fun and scary getting out of the limo....but its a great story to tell and an experiance had.

We entered the Theatre connected with some filmakers and the awards began! They had Miss Boulder City there to hand out the trophys as well as the 1rst runner up cirtificates. They also had a Local Radio guy doing all of the Announceing. We were about the 4th catagory and I was a bit nervous.........

....The runner up for Best Animation is.....{Granny O Grimm's Sleeping Bueaty}!! clap clap clap

.....The winner of Best Animation is................Right hand grasping shels knee.......................................Geralds Last Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yes...............WOW!
Up we go ....Holding hands to accept the Award for Best Animation.....WOW....lots of claps and Loud cheer. People really liked it guys!! WOW....Im trippin out. Were trippin out. How is this possible. That film was up for an OSCAR....

We graciously accept the bueatifull award and say thanks to all the people. I say getting this award will make my boys think their dads not as crazy for staying up all night for 3 years. The audiance laughs and I squeeze my wifey half as much as I want to.Shel thanks them and we walk back to our chairs in a dream state.

DREAM stuff couldnt write how fortunate we have been on this ride so far.

We are looking forward to returning next year with another film.

over and out!



Nofby said...

Fantastic! Thats terrific you won another award, it must have been a great night. Well done!

Kudos to you both!

Jared said...

Great job man you sure deserved it!

Sven Bonnichsen said...

Congratulations! Hm... I wonder what it would take to get you an Oscar nomination?

emmyymme said...

I love reading your descriptions, so vivid! Congratulations, very well deserved!

Shelley Noble said...

Justin, your sweet blog posts are always so touching to read. It's completely obvious what a truly good man you are, through and through.

Little bit teary-eyed now.

I usually don't care much for awards, but reading your and Shel's reports of pure delight and affirmation at winning these festivals makes me appreciate how strengthening they can be to a new movie company on the scene.

I loved all the exciting tales of your and Shel's adventures in Vegas but my favorite line has to be: "...The audience laughs and I squeeze my wifey half as much as I want to."

That's you guys in a nutshell, exuberant and delighting in life.

Kevin Harman said...

Just to echo Shelly's comments, you really take the time to share the richness of the experiences related to your film and it makes all the difference! Congratulations!

CraftCadet said...

Thats fantastic, you guys are having a ball and its great to hear about it. congratulations you obviously deserve it.

Ryan McCulloch said...

So amazing and inspiring!!!! You guys are rocking the world, nobody knows what hit them!

Robert Litton said...

David Copperfield has hair plugs?!?

jriggity said...

Thanks guys!! Im so freakin in awe of the victorys.

[Sven]- ha! not a chance man...Im telling you were not that good of a film...Im really glad we are liked though. HAPPY co-Director!

{Emmyyemme}- Im glad you enjoyed the read...I went right to bed after posting proof read.

I was afraid it was going to be silly to post sucha ...a mind explosion.

{Herself}- awww...thanks for the support...the victorys really do act as a symbol that we are makeing a film that the audiances respond too. It means so much that all this hard work is accessable to an audiance.

{Kevin}again... Im really glad you guys wernt bored by the long post.


jriggity said...

{Robert} yes- LOTS of Hairplugs!


Hello, I'm Jed Bramwell said...


Ethan said...

Amazing! Great job you guys-

mefull said...

Wow, wow, and WOW!

More congrads! - what a great story. You guys are on a roll!

It has got to be such a rush to feel other people reacting to your short. What a thrill.

Ken A. Priebe said... guys are the best!

Woolly Monster said...

I'm itching to see GLD even more now! Do you know if it's going to be shown at any UK festivals yet?

Joel Brinkerhoff said...

Yeeeaaahhh baby!!!! Well Done!

rich johnson said...

Sounds like a trip that was meant to be taken. :) Congrats on the award!

John Pierro said...


NM said...

I wish i had been able to hear your talk after the movie, i'm sure your answers would have been very helpful and motivating to me and my husband. I'm REALLY glad i found this blog, and will continue to watch it. Congrats on the Award, i'm sure you deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Your film is really amazing a lot of people! I can't wait till it comes out on DVD, I wanna pre-order it.

Hermanos Encinas said...

Congratullation friends!!!!!

stephanie said...

Oh my, how exciting!!! Congratulations!

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