Archive for May, 2008

Don’t just be entertained…Study It

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Animators rely on authenticity to create reality for their projects, according to Pixar’s Dylan Brown. Brown, who is the supervising animation specialist for films such as Ratatouille, visited Syracuse and gave a brief talk about new technologies at the Most Museum last week (as part of the Syracuse Film Festival). He was joined on this panel by Pixar post production supervisor Cynthia Slavens.

Brown urged the students in attendance to take advantage of their personal passions as well as pursue the goal of a traditional education. We [at Pixar] “ask why, not just how,” when it comes to examining possibilities, he said.

Slavens, a 1988 Fayetteville-Manlius graduate, gave illustrated examples of “fixes” she’s done to edit, translate and neutralize films for DVD and international audiences.

Both animators, armed with Mac Notebooks for their presentations, said they considered themselves fortunate to work in an industry that marries the disciplines of art and science every day.

The Legend of Henry C Mercer

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Mercer Tiles

I was fortunate to take some interior photographs for a client this Spring. The interior featured a fireplace that was adorned with tile work by Henry Chapman Mercer. Mercer was an archeologist and  very talented artisan. There’s a museum featuring his work located in a town not too far from where I grew up in Pennsylvania.

Totally Trombone

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

The difference between professionals and non-professoinals, according to trombonist and composer Michael Davis, is that even pros sometimes play out of tune, they just don’t stay there. Players  learn to “listen, evaluate and adjust,” he said. These were some of his comments during a clinic he held recently at the Hotel Syracuse’s Imperial Ballroom before his evening performance. His gig closed the season for the Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation Winter/Spring concert series.

Davis, who has worked with the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra and rap artist Jay-Z, played with high schoolers Noah Kellman (piano) of MPH, Kevin Mixon, Jr. (drums) of West Genesee High, Chad Lefkowitz (sax) of Horseheads High and Jared Mulcahy (bass) of Skaneateles High during the teach-in, and told them to exaggerate articulation to make their ensamble more effective. Davis said his next stop was Des Monies, Iowa where he was particpate in the Band Masters Concert Series.