Mobile Animation Station
We are converting a mid-sized decommissioned school bus into a mobile animation station. The inside will be a bit of a tiny house, but the outside will be covered with chalkboards so that we can animate while traveling. it’s still a bit in the concept phase right now, but so far the idea is to travel to different locations and host exhibitions, animation workshops, master classes, film and music festival events and just some good old fashioned analog good times.
We have started reaching out to some museums, universities, film and music festivals and animation events for stops along the route. Generally speaking, summer of 2024 will be the northern states, fall 2024 will be moving south along the west coast, winter 2025 will be in the southern states and potentially Guatemala, and the spring will be moving north along the east coast. This is still very much in the planning stages, so if you’d like us to make a stop along the route, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
some ideas . . .
Magic Lantern Shows
The animation bus can have an inflatable room built off of the side of it (or we can simply present it outside if it is dark enough) where at night, we would host a magic lantern show. Magic lantern shows (around 1743 until the early 1900s) were the predecessor to animation and used glass-painted slides projected on a wall with narrations. Melissa Ferrari (see work samples) has many magic lantern shows already created, although for the festival we would like to create a new magic lantern show based on a Robert Hunter or Alan Ginsberg poem, including projection, narration, and potentially soundscape.
Host a basic or intermediate workshop for students raging from upper grammar school, middle school or high school. Workshop will be held outside and animation techniques will be taught on the side of the bus. Students will learn some of the principles of animation (squash and stretch, etc.) and learn Stop Motion Studio, software that is available for the phone or iPads for extremely low costs, so that they can then take what they learned and start working on their own animations at home.
Animation Master Classes
More advanced students of animation can participate in a master class or portfolio review. Dustin Grella has been creating chalkboard animations for almost two decades and can has experienced just about every issues that there is to overcome in the craft. The class will discuss camera, lighting and production issues, or can focus on specific projects that the students are working on. A potential portfolio review for both commercial and creative projects can provide critical feedback for animators who are ready to transition out of a university setting.
Animation Mural Events
Illustrators will create a chalkboard mural during the course of your event. The process will be recorded using a time lapse camera that will then be used for social media or promotional purposes. A professional illustrator will work with your team to discuss the concept and emotion of the event and will perform the illustration live for guest to watch or interact with.
Animation Hotline is an ongoing series of over 200 micro-animations, using crowd-sourced voicemail messages for audio content. This project has been featured at Sundance, screened at the Museum of Modern Art, and premiered in the New York Times (see press below). In this iteration of the project, we would have a phone booth attached to the back of the Animation Bus or potentially a series of phone booths scattered throughout the festival (see below) where festival participants could watch previously created animations and possibly get inspired to leave their own message. These messages could even start getting sourced before the festival (ie. telling stories about their adventures coming to the festival, or what their favorite performance act will be) but could definitely take place during the festival, telling stories about their experiences there, or anything else they want to leave a message about. These messages would then get animated on the side of the Animation Bus (see above) during the course of the festival. Logistical note: participants don’t need to leave a message at the phone booth, there would also be a unique phone number for the festival hotline messages.
Vintage Phone Booths/Mini Movie Theaters
We have been up cycling vintage phone booths and making them into little, one or two-person movie theaters. The person can sit inside, close the door and watch a video screen installed in the phone booth. These could also be scattered throughout the festival and connected to a wireless network, where we can control the content on the screens. So technically it could be entertaining videos, scattered with festival information playing on a loop. The phones can be pre-programmed to record Animation Hotline (see above) voicemails, or they can be used to play the audio of the video screen through the handset’s phone speaker.
Currently, they have been 1940s phone booths, but because this would be an outdoor venue, we could either build large-scale beach umbrellas over the booth or use booths that were built for outdoor, sidewalk use. The outdoor versions would have to be custom-built for the festival.
This large-scale open-air installation would use a crystal-like cluster of giant kaleidoscopes for participants to lay under and look up into the sky. The Kaleidoscopes would be built out of reflective stainless steel and would branch out in multiple directions, using the clouds as the catalyst for generating the imagery inside the triangular tubes. They would range from 2′ to 5′ and would be clustered together so that people could walk through and look out multiple scopes or simply lay down underneath and enjoy one scope. The canopy of kaleidoscopes would be raised to about 8′ in the air by steel structural supports so that participants could easily interact with the piece. Doug Meyer (see below), who is one of the artists working to build the steel structures in the Animation Bus (see above), would be able to design the Sky Kaleidoscope so that this could remain a permeant installation for Electric Forest.