Monday, September 24, 2007

Off to the Taiwan International Animation Festival!

I'm madly scrambling to prepare for my trip to Taipei, Taiwan to attend the Taiwan International Animation Festival starting this week. They will be screening my film, "What Are You Anyways?" I am leaving to Taiwan Sept. 25th and returning on October the 7th. I was fortunate to acquire funding for the trip through the Canada Council for Arts Media Travel Grant which helps cover the cost of flights and accomodations. While I am there, my schedule has become pretty hectic filled with delivering guest lectures at Taiwan universities, attending screenings, question and answer periods, gala parties, special film events, animation studio tours, and participating in panel discussions.

Here is a look at my Taiwan schedule so far:

Date Time Event Place
September 27 05:55 Arrive Taipei
September 28 17:30 Opening Film First Theater of Shin Kong
September 29 11:00 Exhibition Opening Huashan Culture Park
September 30 10:30 Educational Panel HuaShan Culture Park
October 1 09:30 Guest Lecture Shi Hsin University, Dept. of Film Study
October 1 10:20 WAYA screening Second Theater of Shin Kong
October 2 18:30 Award Ceremony First Theater of Shin Kong
October 3 09:30 Guest Lecture Chung Li City, Dept. of English Literature
October 3 14:45 Guest Lecture Tainan University of the Arts, Graduate Institute of Animation
October 4 10:00 Guest Lecture National Taiwan U. of Arts, Animation Dept.
October 4 18:40 WAYA screening Second Theater of Shin Kong
October 4 20:20 QA Second Theater of Shin Kong
October 6 18:00 Closing Film First Theater in Shin Kong
October 7 16:15 Leave Taipei

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yellow Sticky Notes

I've just completed editing the animation for my next animated film, Yellow Sticky Notes. Yellow Sticky Notes is an experimental classical animated film with an interesting subtle narrative. 2300 drawings were animated straight ahead on 4x6 inch yellow sticky notes with nothing but a black ink pen. The film looks at my self reflection of major world events through the use of animation meditation. The film blends image, text and music to create a social commentary through animation. I realized that over the last nine years I have been so busy trying to accomplish my daily "to do" lists written on sticky notes that I was ignoring the world around me. So nine years later, I decided to self reflect on events like 911, the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, etc. by animating on the same sticky notes that caused me to ignore them. The film is 6 minutes long. All that is left to do is send it to Boston where Genevieve Vincent will be creating the film's musical score. I am hoping to have the film completed by October 2007.

After realizing that yellow sticky note “to do” lists were consuming his life, filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns decided to visually self-reflect on his filmmaking journey by animating on the same sticky notes that caused him to ignore major world events for the last nine years. Animation meditation is blended with image, text, and an original musical score by Genevieve Vincent through the creation of a classically animated experimental film that was drawn straight ahead with only a black ink pen on over 2300 yellow sticky notes.

(copyright 2007 Jeff Chiba Stearns)

Canadian Awards for Animated and Electronic Arts

In September 2006, I took home the award for Best Animated Short Subject for my film, “What Are You Anyways?” at the first annual Canadian Awards for Electronic and Animated Arts (CAEAA). The awards show, described as the Oscars of the Canadian video game and animation industry, was hosted by actor William Shatner of Star Trek fame on Thursday night, September 14th, at the world class River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond, BC. Awards were presented in 37 categories in three sectors of the Electronic and Animated Arts industry: talent development (New Media and Animation Art Schools), animation, and video game development. Each winner was presentedwith an Elan – a statuette similar to an Oscar but constructed of a majestic man and a woman resembling Greek gods holding up the world.

I attended the event with faculty from the Centre for Arts and Technology Kelowna where I instructs classical hand drawn animation courses. The evening was complete with red carpet, limousines, and Hollywood treatment. The Gala event, with over 700 guests, was similar to the Golden Globe Awards with an Oscar-like glitzy reception and black-tie dinner at one of the best new theatres in North America with industry sponsors participating in the development of the show and celebrity guest presenters.

It is expected that the Canadian Awards for the Electronic and Animated Arts will become the standard by which Canada and the rest of the World recognizes the amazing talent and product that this country is delivering to an enormous and ever-growing market.