here’s to foggy mornings and dusty fingers #dustystudio

3:25pm on Saturday 18th March 2017

the studio’s new toy 📽#dustystudio

3:24pm on Saturday 18th March 2017

The Museum of Modern Art will be screening a selection of 11 of the Animation Hotline videos as part of the Doc Fortnight screening series on Friday, February 17 @ 5:30PM and Saturday, February 18 @ 7:00PM.  Tickets available online at:

5:44pm on Wednesday 15th February 2017
2:12am on Saturday 4th February 2017

Animation Hotline is screening at MoMA on February 17th and 18th.  Tickets go on sale February 3rd.

11:18pm on Friday 3rd February 2017

200th Animation Hotline! NYC Problems

It’s true!  Back in February 2011, I called up two of my favorite English professors, Bob Pope and Jerry Martien, and asked them to leave messages on my answering machine so that I could animate them.  Then I posted those animations and the phone number for people to call and leave their own message.  Now five years and thousands of voice-mails later, not to mention thousands of hours of animating, we’ve (and I say we’ve because it isn’t just me working on theses anymore, it’s the whole Dusty Studio team) created our 200th animation.  

I wanted to take a minute to say thanks to all the people who have helped make a project like this happen and for the opportunity that it’s allowed for me to communicate to the world in some strange way (I’ll admit I’m a bit of an introvert).  There are honestly too many people to thank here, they would start playing the talking-too-long music from the Oscars.

4:34pm on Tuesday 10th January 2017

Got one of these delivered to @dusty_studio today. Going to turn it into an Animation Hotline message deposit booth (working title). (at Dusty Studio)

2:39pm on Wednesday 24th August 2016

Drew Grella is spending the summer deep in the middle of Washington.  Hopefully he will come back and work on some projects this year.  Last spring he worked on Flying High.

6:05pm on Monday 22nd August 2016

Animation Hotline: Serena (#199)

This one is really strange because I know a Serena and she is from Vancouver, BC but I also know Serena and this isn’t her or her voice at all.  She’s married to my close friend Gary, who is a native New Yorker (born on the island native New Yorker) and they are both moving out to Los Angeles in a few days.  I’m going to miss them but I’m also excited about them have a new adventure.  Life is so strange like this, we meet people, sometimes we get close and become friends, and then those friends move somewhere else and we find new friends.  Gary and I hung out as little street rats when we were younger.  Gary and I were sharing a studio when I was trying to come up with the Animation Hotline.  He left a few messages and I know that I’ve animated at least two of them (“Eat at Joe’s” and “To Do”  He also did the music for Glimpse and all of my earliest animations.   Plus we went to Sundance made live animations.  Oh my goodness gracious Gary, we’ve done a lot.  You and your family will be missed.  

If anyone else is reading this, you too should call and leave a message so that I can animate your life and you will be missed when you move away.  In the US or Canada call toll free +1 212-683-2490.  In Germany it is also free to call +49 40-7976-9147!  Oh yeah, the next animation is NUMBER 200!

3:42pm on Thursday 11th August 2016

Animation Hotline: Lonely Birthday (#198)

“I feel like the more and more I participate in social media the less social my real world life actually gets,” he said writing his blog post.  I live in New York City with about twenty million other people, but somehow there are entire days that go by without me have a real interaction with another human.  I mean, I’ll talk to the guy at the deli or I’ll hold the door for someone leaving the building but sitting down for a cup of coffee or a face to face conversation simply don’t happen.  I had a conversation with my friend Tony last night driving home from a going away party in a park.  We are both in our forties, unmarried, no kids and he said that he pretty happy and comfortable with being alone for most of the day, but the times that it gets uncomfortable is when he is going to sleep, waking up or eating a meal.

We have made 198 Animation Hotline videos so we are closing in on 200.  If you haven’t called yet, please give us a call.  If you’ve called a thousand times, please give us a call.  We want to animate your story.  

+1 212-683-2490

Director: Dustin Grella
Illustrator: Seamoon Kim

5:14pm on Monday 8th August 2016

Animation Hotline: Glasses (#197)

My dad had glasses and whenever you bumped them he would get really upset because they were those really heavy glasses and they made his nose really sensitive.  So I related glasses with discomfort.  When I was in high school my friend got glasses with just glass in them, no corrective lenses.  I couldn’t understand it.  I’m still not certain I do even now.  

We’ve been making Animation Hotline videos now for over five years and we are almost at #200!  When I say we, I mean me and my team, but I also mean you, the people who have been leaving the messages.  The project is only as good as the messages you leave.  That being said, I’m looking for new messages, so if you have a story please call, +1 212-683-2490 or if you are in Germany +49 40-7976-9147.

5:26pm on Thursday 4th August 2016

Hey!  Ho!  New Animation Hotline today, and what could be more transcendent than Andy Warhol eating a hamburger on a Monday morning?!  The second part was this hand game that my Grandma used to play with me, but when I tried to explain it nobody in the studio had heard of it before.  "This is the church, this is the steeple, open the doors and see all the people.“  

I spent the weekend organizing files and found out that we have created 196 Animation Hotline stories.  I knew it was a bunch, but I didn’t know that it was that many.  We are currently in production mode, so if you have a story, please call.  Maybe we will use your story for the big #200!  Call!  212-683-2490 or if you are calling from Germany, +49 40 7976 9147!

5:24pm on Thursday 4th August 2016

Sept. 15-18, 2016

A FREE four day event! Its open to the public, and on a first-come, first-served basis. All you have to do is reserve your seat for the event you would like to attend.

5:12pm on Thursday 4th August 2016

What a day for a daydream
What a day for a daydreamin’ boy
And I’m lost in a daydream
Dreamin’ ‘bout my bundle of joy
-The Lovin’ Spoonful

7:06pm on Wednesday 27th July 2016

“Hummingbird’s Wings” will be screened at the High Coast International Film Festival in Nordingrå, Sweden July 21-24 2016!

7:24pm on Tuesday 5th July 2016

“Love Ain’t Enough” & “Spinners” will be screened at this year’s 6th annual Supertoon International Animation Festival in Šibenik, Croatia July 24- 29, 2016!

3:21pm on Tuesday 5th July 2016

Animation Hotline, will be at Indie Street Film Festival in Red Bank Middle School, NJ!

Screening will be held on Thursday July 7th @ 6:00 PM as part of the Life is Animated Program.

3:10pm on Tuesday 5th July 2016

German public television is in German.

3:40am on Saturday 2nd July 2016

Feather art project for upcoming #animationhotline

3:58pm on Thursday 30th June 2016

Hey everybody! It’s summer time again and we have a little extra time and energy to start making new Animation Hotline videos. My brother Drew, Drew Grella, came out and stayed with me for a month, he’s an illustrator so he drew most of this one. I think I know who left this message also (Brenda), I think I can recognize her voice, but maybe I’ll let her chime in and let me know if it’s her.

Because we are starting new animations we will also need new voicemail messages. So please call in and leave a little story, a poem, thought, memory, or any kind of message that is shorter than a minute and we will choose one as often as possible to try to animate. Thanks for participating! :)

US   +1 212-683-2490
Germany  +49 40 7976 9147

3:38pm on Wednesday 29th June 2016
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