Welcome to the "Grampa Kevorkian" official blog. Here you will be able to view the teaser and learn a little more about this film that is so special to me. - Claire

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Atlanta Shorts!

Hi everyone!

Sorry I haven't posted any news in a while.  The holiday season is such a busy time of year and I haven't had as much time to update the blog.  That said, I have some great news!  Grampa Kevorkian will air on Atlanta Shorts next weekend, Dec. 18/19th, Saturday night at 1 am, Sunday night at midnight on PBA 30.  The bad news it will be in the Atlanta area only, but if you'll be in town please tune in!  Check out the link for more on Atlanta Shorts.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Savannah Film Festival

Hello Everyone!  This past weekend I took a trip with Carlos to the Savannah Film Festival to see my film screen and to participate in an animation panel.  It was a fantastic experience.  Not only was the panel great, but I got to met a lot of interesting people including animators, directors, and producers.  We even partied with the likes of Sir Ian McKellen and ate breakfast with James Cromwell and Isabella Rossellini! I also got to see some great films including student live action and animated films from around the country, and Danny Boyl's new gut wrenching movie 127 Hours.  The whole experience was great but perhaps my favorite part was meeting other animation students and young people who told me they really liked my film.  It was extremely moving to hear my peers say they appreciate my work.  Unfortunately, I didn't take as many pictures as I should have but here are a few highlights from the festival.  Enjoy!

Thursday I arrived in Savannah and immediately went to participate in a panel called Animation - The Short Story about how to produce a short film while working a full time job.

My fellow panel members Tom Gasek (of Aardman fame), Jim Capobianco (Pixar), and Charles deCosta (SCAD professor and Animator)

Savannah College of Art and Design Department head Jeremy Moorshead moderated.

Tom's film Off-Line and Jim's film Leonardo were both in the professional short animation section of the festival.

On the panel, I was able to speak from a student's perspective and give advice on how to complete a thesis project.

Jim Capobianco giving some words of wisdom from his experience of making the short Leonardo over 10 years.

I also had the privilege of being the only lady on the panel.  You can do it, too, ladies!

A packed room full of animation students listening to us speak. (Photo thanks to Tyler Kupferer)

Thursday night we went to the evening reception held after the festival events each day.  Sir Ian McKellen showed up and gladly hung out and talked to a throng of fans.  We stalked and took cell phone pics from a safe distance.

Our friend Dustin Grella (Animator/Director of the award winning Prayers for Peace) wasn't as shy!

The table in Marshall House with postcards for films in the competition.  You can spot mine all the way over to the left second from the bottom. (Photo thanks to Tyler Kupferer)

Friday we did a bit of sight seeing in Savannah.  Saturday morning it was time for my film!  Here we are getting ready to go.

The marquee at the Trustees Theater where my film was being screened.

Anxiously waiting for my Dad to show up.

Yay, my Dad made it! Now waiting for the screening to start.

After the screening all the attending filmmakers stood up for a Q&A.

There were about eight of us in attendance so I tried to keep it short.

Getting lunch afterwards at a burger place.

Carlos and I at the awards ceremony on Saturday.  I didn't win, but it was a thrill just to be there.  All the filmmakers got to sit in the very front VIP style!

Dusty and I at the last party.  It was fantastic to meet so many other amazing animators.

The closing party was the best of the week! And yes, they had girls dancing in the back of pickup trucks indoors.  Go figure.

That was my trip to the Savannah Film Festival!  It was such a fun time I'm sad it's over.  Now to get out there and get my film in some more!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Animation - The Short Story Panel

Thursday I'm so excited to be heading down to Savannah to take part in the Savannah Film Festival!  I'm anticipating all the screenings, workshops, panels and parties.  My film which screened this morning will have an additional screening on Saturday at 11:30am at the Trustees Theater.  Apart from seeing my film on the big screen, I'm most excited about taking part in a panel called Animation - The Short Story (details below).  Not only am I honored to participate as a panel member, the other animators on the panel have hugely impressive resume's from Pixar, Disney, Ardman, Big Idea, and more!  How did I end up on such an impressive panel?  I feel like I'll want to ask just as many questions as the audience members.  So, if you are in Savannah, please swing by and see the panel then stay for the screenings and festivities!

(Click to see larger image.)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Geronimo Projects Interview

In anticipation of the Savannah Film Festival happening this week in Savannah, GA, I was interviewed by a fantastic blog called Geronimo Projects.  If you are in Savannah this week check out my film on Monday or Saturday.  I will also be on a panel about making animated shorts on Thursday, see ya there!

Geronimo Projects interview by Alex Getz

Claire Almon

Claire Almon is another artist who will be screening her work in the Savannah Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow, October 30th. Claire’s animated short, Grampa Kevorkian, will show in the Lucas Theatre on Monday November 1st, at 9:30 am, and again in the Trustees Theatre on Saturday November 6th at 11:30 am.

How did you first become interested in animation?
Claire Almon
 : This may sound cliché, but I have wanted to be an animator as long as I can remember. My mother is an artist so from an early age I was encouraged to draw and create. Watching hours of Disney movies and Warner Bros. cartoons, I think I just decided that was for me.

Talk a little bit about your short film, Grampa Kevorkian.
 : Grampa Kevorkian is an homage to my maternal grandfather who passed away 3 years ago this November. We always had a mutual adoration for each other as I was growing up. He was basically the best grandfather you could ever ask for (although I may be a bit biased.) I think everyone has a figure like that in their life who they look up to so I thought it would be a great subject for film.

Your work has a very unique visual style, how did you develop this? Who or what served as inspiration for it?
 : Developing a look for Grampa Kevorkian I drew from a few different influences. I loved the idea of pen and ink wash because it is so fluid, like a visual metaphor for memory. Also, black and white evokes a sense of nostalgia. The illustrative style itself was based on the type of loose drawings I make when I’m absent-mindedly sketching, but I definitely had Caroline Leaf’s The Street at the back of my mind during the whole process.

Grampa Kevorkian is a short film, with a run time of just under two minutes. What are some challenges you faced in constructing a narrative during a relatively small time frame?
 : Well, I approached the film as if I was making a poem about my grandfather rather than writing a novel or short story. Instead of giving a play-by-play of our experiences together, I focused on describing what it felt like to know him as a child with imagery. With animation you can get a lot of information in a little amount of time because of the freedom of the medium. You don’t have to stick to realism; characters and objects can morph and change into anything you want. This creates a lot of exciting possibilities for how you tell a story, be it short or long.

You will be screening Grampa Kevorkian at the Savannah Film Festival. Are there any other films you are especially excited to see in the Festival?
 : Yes, I would love to see Black Swan by Darren Aronovsky, The Illusionist by Sylvian Chomet, and of course all the other short animations.

What does the future hold for Claire Almon?
 : Well, I hope to continue making my own animated shorts. It’s a ton of work but it’s extremely gratifying to have complete creative control over your own films. Commercially, I’m really interested in doing visual development for feature animation. My BFA is in illustration and my MFA animation, so I consider painting my first love and it’s great to combine it with animation. Whatever it is I just want to keep trying to reach my full potential as an artist.

What’s on your playlist? Who are you listening to most currently?
 : That is a tough question, a little bit of everything from the In The Heights Soundtrack (I just saw it on Broadway), to The Black Skulls, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, and The Beatles. Although I have to admit that I Whip My Hair Back and Forth was in my head the whole day after I heard it on Youtube.

Grampa Kevorkian’s official blog.
Claire Almon’s sketch blog.
Blog for Claire’s next short, 3 Magicians

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Interview About Grampa Kevorkian!

The SCAD Connector (the Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta student newspaper) is featuring an interview with me and the other student directors included in the Savannah Film Festival.  Check it out!

Just click the picture below to go to the interview.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Good News! Red Stick International Animation Festival!

Hi everyone!  I found out yesterday afternoon that Grampa Kevorkian has been selected for the Red Stick International Animation Festival in next month!  The festival takes place from November 10-13 in Baton Rouge, LA.  I'm still waiting on info about specific screening dates and times for my film, but I will keep you posted.

In other news, you may have noticed a re-vamped a few things on my blog.  You can now find the teaser, visual development art, screening dates, and more at the top of the page.  If you look to  the right as you scroll down you will see all the lovely laurels of the film festivals Grampa Kevorkian has screened in so far.  I've also added a "like" button to the right so you can be a Grampa Kevorkian fan on Facebook!  I guess that's it for now.  Check back soon to find out the dates for Red Stick.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Facebook Page!

Hi everyone.  Just wanted to let you know that Grampa Kevorkian now has a Facebook page.  "Like" it to get news, festival updates, pics etc.  Click the image below to go to the page.

Monday, October 4, 2010

SCADanimate! 2010

So a couple of weekends ago Grampa Kevorkian was included in the Savannah College of Art and Design's animation showcase, scadAnimate! 2010.  This was a huge honor although I wasn't able to attend (I actually didn't know about it until the week after it screened).  Here's part of the write up from the SCAD website :

“SCADanimate! is the sixth annual showcase of short animated films made by the students of SCAD," said Jeremy Moorshead, chair of the SCAD animation department. “These 20 films represent the best animated shorts of the year, highlighting the imagination and diversity of animated storytelling from SCAD's Savannah and Atlanta locations. Many of these films will go on to win awards at national and international film festivals. See them here first!”

Monday, September 27, 2010

Grampa Kevorkian Upcoming Screenings

Saturday October 2, 2010
Apollon Theater - Syros, Greece

Thursday October 28, 2010
Facets Cinema - Chicago, IL USA

Saturday November 6, 2010
Location To Be Announced- Savannah, GA USA

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ReAnimania and Animafrik

I found out yesterday that Grampa Kevorkian was just screened in two international festivals!  Last month it screened in Ghana as part of their Animafrik animation festival and also in Armenian in the ReAnimania International Animation Film Festival of Yerevan.  I'm so excited that my film was part of both.  Unfortunately, I didn't find out about them until after because they were submitted by the Savannah College of Art and Design on my behalf.  I'm especially, thrilled that my film was screened in Armenia because my Grampa is Armenian and I know he would have been so happy to have his film represented there.  Here is the page from the ReAnimania program featuring my film!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chicago International Children's Film Festival Dates!

This year's 27th annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival will be happening from October 22 to the 31st.  If you are going to be in Chicago you can see Grampa Kevorkian Thursday October 28th at 9:45am at Facets Cinema.  This is a great event to take your kids too!  Hope you come out and see it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Exciting News! Grampa Kevorkian Screening in Chicago!

I just got word that Grampa Kevorkian will be screening at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival in October!  This is extra special because Chicago is my Grampa's home town and I still have a lot of family there.  More details to come as I get them.  Also, stay tuned for more details on when Grampa Kevorkian will screen at the Savannah Film Festival.

Monday, August 9, 2010

This Just In: The Savannah Film Festival!!!

I just got the news that Grampa Kevorkian will be screening at the Savannah Film Festival this fall!  I'm very excited to be a part of this great festival in beautiful Savannah.  More details to come, so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

San Diego International Children's Film Festival Screening Time and Date

Grampa Kevorkian will be screen at the San Diego International Children's Film Festival!
It will be screening August 7th as part of Program #9 at the Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park from 10:30am -11:30am.  Please come out and see it with your kids!

Friday, July 2, 2010

San Diego International Children's Film Festival

 I'm so pleased to announce that Grampa Kevorkian will screen at the San Diego International Children's Film Festival!  I'm so excited that my film is going to be part of a festival especially for Children.  It will screen during the weekend of August 7-8th at the Museum of Photographic Arts.  When I get specifics about exact dates and screening times I'll let you know!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SkyFest Trophy!

Here is my trophy for coming in Second Place in Animation at SkyFest Film and Script Festival! Pretty handsome, right?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just Announced! Reno Film Festival Screening!

I just received notice that Grampa Kevorkian will be part of the official selection at the Reno Film Festival June 13-20 in Reno, Nevada.  It is one of three finalists in the Family Animation category!  The screening will be Sunday June 13th starting at 2:30pm.  I'll post more details as I get them so check back often!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Great News!!!

I just found out that I won second place in the SkyFest Film & Script Festival in Ashville, North Carolina!  This is great news on the heals of my screening at the Atlanta Film Festival!  I'm glad so many people are enjoying my film.  More updates coming soon so stay tuned!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Atlanta Film Festival Screening Pics

Here are some pictures from the screening of Grampa Kevorkian at the Atlanta Film Festival!