Tag Archives: Design Week

A Short(s) Thank You


Posted on by

The sold out crowd filtering in ahead of the show
Andy Cunial with the photobomb while waiting in the long line

Thanks to all involved for making our Design Week short film program a memorable and raving success. Such an undertaking was the combined effort of quite a few people, so let the shout outs begin!

First and foremost, thanks to my fellow “curators” in bringing the program together. Zak Margolis and Rose Bond sent over PNCA’s best, and Meredith James, Stephen Lee, and Linda Di Trapani did the same on behalf of their department at PSU. Sophya Vidal and Jamal Qutub dug deep into the archives and pulled the best from years of their Homebrew and AEPDX events, respectively.

Tim Williams at Oregon Film helped link us to a couple of key pieces we otherwise wouldn’t have turned up. I’d also like to recognize Melony Beaird at OMSI for her efforts organizing the films (and wrangling the sold out crowd!) and for being a sounding board for every element of the show, as we hijacked a “Reel Science” night for the cause.

Zak Margolis and Rose Bond

On that note, I said it during the show and I’ll say it again – OMSI is such a staunch supporter of Portland animation, and I want to recognize the venue’s role in these events. That screen! With a sold out crowd, it can’t be beat, and reminds us how powerful a story shared at that scale can be. In the days where so much content is absorbed on phones or tablet screens, nights like these have an increased potentcy. I shared a story about how an eye opening animation event at OMSI in 2006 – a similar shorts program + screening of LAIKA’s Moongirl – during my first visit to Portland showed me what the animation community here was made of, and highlighted some of the independent work going on within the city that might otherwise go unsung. I hope that when we look back, this night of shorts holds a place as a landmark event.

Jotham Porzio

I’d like to thank all of the filmmakers for coming out and supporting their films, and each other. At one point, a show of hands revealed about half of the audience were animators or involved in animation. It was great to see a wide spectrum of work, from studio efforts like Armor del Amor from HouseSpecial, and the gorgeous Two Balloons, to completely solo efforts that really offered a look into the auteur’s soul.

Two Balloons puppets

Zak Margolis put it so eloquently when he introduced A Rat’s Life, and spoke about it being a personal achievement where the intersection of technology and accessibility have resulted in a time where a single artist/animator can achieve their short film vision as never before possible. The technical hurdles and other excuses are melting away and no longer a limiting factor. A Rat’s Life stands as a sketch and snapshot of Zak’s mental state and artistic skills as he made that film.

Across all of the films screened, the other common denominator was Portland. Rose Bond spoke about the effect that Portland has on the students that walk through her door, and how it shapes the stories they tell. I think that applies universally to all of us at all levels, where there’s some sort of wave physics at play here; we all (subconsciously) push each other to create at such a high level. These forces + the filmmaking support available here merges together in an additive way.

Two Balloons Presentation

Lastly (but not leastly), a big thanks to YOU for spending your night with us and enduring a long program of shorts, in the name of animation! I will definitely work to keep future programs down to a more digestible max of 1.5-2 hours or less, and I think doing it up big this year clears the backlog and paves the way for a tighter lineup going forward. On that note – what more can I say but “keep it up, Portland!” We hope to wind it up again and make the Portland Animated Shorts (!) Showcase a yearly event. Hit me up if you have something to show, as next year starts now. Until then!

Portland Animated Shorts! Showcase April 10 @ OMSI


Posted on by

Coming soon to an Empirical Theater near you… it’s the Portland “Animated Shorts!” Showcase. By us, for us. In what we hope becomes a Design Week tradition, this meticulously curated program is so packed with local animation talent that I’m having a hard time holding back the comic book interjections. Justice is only served with a Whoosh… Pow… Surprise… BLAM!

Two Balloons (dir. Mark C. Smith – trailer) headlines this special night, screening in luscious 4k with 7.1 surround on the 40 ft Empirical screen. With presentation and Q&A to follow.

Also very excited about the Animate Everything/AEPDX Retrospective being collected by Jamal Qutub. A necessary reflection spanning 5 years of invitational animation collaboration from the best & brightest in the area.

And there is so, so much more. Straight from the artists and studios within our great city. Watch this space for the full run-of-show (below) as it develops, and get your tickets now, as this promises to sell out. Definitely the makings of a very special night of animation that you won’t want to miss.

The pertinent details:
Portland Animated Shorts! Showcase – PAS!S
Wednesday April 10, 6:30-9:30pm
The Emprical Theater at OMSI
Tickets $6. ($7 for non-members) Parking: Free
Buy tickets

All ages are admitted but please note that this is an adult/PG-13 show and not meant for young children; nudity, adult themes and light swearing.

A portion of the proceeds benefit the newly formed Portland SIGGRAPH chapter, harnessing our collective VFX, 3D, and Animation energy into events and community. More info coming soon! Sign up to the VFX/PDX newsletter for the latest updates.

Thanks to OMSI for support on several levels, and to Jamal Qutub, Sophya Vidal, Meredith James, Stephen Lee, Laura Di Trapani, Rose Bond and Zak Margolis for helping to assemble this grand cast. Don’t pass on PAS(!)S folks… it comes but once a year…


PROGRAM (Updated April 10)

Two Balloons (dir. Mark C. Smith) with presentation + Q&A following

A Rat’s Life (dir. Zak Margolis)

Armor Del Amor (dir. Kirk Kelley/HouseSpecial)

Raven & Crow (dir. Jotham Porzio)

Nowheres Wolf – teaser/preview (dir. Suzanne Moulton)

Tidal Wave (dir. Lee Hardcastle/Portugal, The Man) *music video
Featuring work from W+K / Joint Editorial

Animate Everything: An AEPDX Retrospective (curator: Jamal Qutub)
Featuring: Ben Luce, Emily Skaer, PMurphy, MacGregor Campbell, Cindy Sullivan, Jamal Qutub, Alex Miller, Brian Smith, Blain Klitzke, Carlos Enciso, Daniel Moreno, Meg Hunt, Devin Gustafson, Neil Hilken, Greg Browe, Jared Hundley, Deepsky, Kim Daley, Alex Bernard, Yahira Hernandez

The Homebrew (curator: Sophya Vidal)
Featuring: Joanna Priestley, Adam Taylor, Temris Ridge, Paul De Silva, Mike Smith, John Summerson, Andy Cunial, Julia Gross, Jill Mackesey, Emily Myers, Jin Pharn, Jason Ptaszek, Gary Hogue, Celeste Leipham, Temris Ridge, Ben Chapin, Ruby Lambie, Taylor Lane, Lee Alailima-Rose, Nick Berzl, Allyson Willsey, Danie Townsley, Sam Arneson, Madison Russell, Sophya Vidal, Alex Miller, KJ Murr, Nathan Younger, Neisje Morrell, Rob Bekuhrs, Kelly Jensvold, Josh Skull Dixon

PSU / Student Selections
Featuring: Elisa Hung, Bailey Collins, Elena Kim, Nick Boxwell, Lei Domingo, Asya Volk, Ashmon Jibben, and Michael Richardson.

PNCA / Student Selections
Featuring: Sarah Hickey, Ran Sheng

Annual Design Week Animation Challenge + Demo Reel Review – DRAEMS @ Ziba 4/24


Posted on by

Spring is in the air, and it means it’s almost that time again!  Our annual Design Week blowout is live, and the ticket link now active.

This year’s animation challenge is yet another brainchild of Jamal Qutub – DRAEMS.   Take a closer look, think of our favorite motion design tool After Effects and I’m sure you’ll make the draemy connection.  Details on the theme or to get signed up as a participant are over at aepdx.org

This year’s demo reel review promises to be our best yet and there’s no better time to polish up your reel and enter it to be reviewed by our expert panel of judges, not only for golden feedback but also great prizes.

This year’s judges include (in no particular order):
Saira and Nicholas Weigel, power couple extraordinaire.  She the Head of Motion at W+K and he a Creative Director primarily at his company !hatKe!
Joel Stewart, Creative Director at his own Foil
Daniel Short, Compositor at large and reigning champion of last year’s Reel Review VFX category
Michael Miller, Owner/Operator/VFX Supervisor at 9iFX

This year’s MC is Motion Designer Jarrod Allen.

Prizes include:
VFX – a license of Blackmagic Design Fusion Studio + a copy of Neat Video’s denoise plugin (a must have!)
3D – a 1 year license of  SideFX Houdini Indie 16
Motion – a license of Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite
All category winners receive a 3 month subscription to Lynda/LinkedIn Learning.
1 Audience winner, voted live, will receive a 1 year subscription.
…and more to come!

To enter the demo reel review, submit your information here.  Please, only fresh reels from the last year.

This year’s reel review will be kept on a strict program schedule so we can’t guarantee all reels will be screened or commented on, but we guarantee a silent email of judge feedback on any/all reels submitted.  You must be PDX-metro based to enter.  You do not need to be present to win.

VFX/PDX + AEPDX + 3DPDX present
Animation Challenge (DRAEMS) + Reel Review 2017
Ziba Design (Auditorium)
810 NW Marshall St
Portland, OR 97209
April 24, 2017  – 6:30/doors to 9:30pm

Get your tickets now before this sells out!

Sponsored by  / Ziba / Toolfarm / Adobe / 3DV
Side FX / Blackmagic Design / Neat Video / Red Giant
(poster design by Jamal Qutub)

1 2