Besides running Law2sm, I have a private practice focused on intellectual property in art, music, and entertainment. I enjoy working with creative clients in these industries and helping them reach their dreams. You can find more information on that area of my legal practice at www.dgonzalezesq.com.
This year I was a sponsor of the Savannah International Animation Festival 2012 (http://www.savannahinternationalanimationfestival.com/), which was presented by the Animation Hall of Fame (http://animationhalloffame.org) April 13-14, 2012. The Hall of Fame and the Festival are the brainchildren of Nancy and Hal Miles, two animation professionals and aficionados whose passion is to preserve the rich history and treasures of this expressive art form.
This was the third year the Festival has been offered. On one level it works as a competition. Animators submit their animated shorts in one of ten categories (including web animation, experimental animation, traditional animation, etc.). A distinguished panel of judges evaluates the pieces and rate them giving a numeric ranking based on various criteria, including technical quality, with a high of 500 points.
The Festival then becomes a showcase for the finalists. This year there were over 120 submissions from 21 countries. The 54 finalists that were screened represented a truly global pool of animation talent – from Canada, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Switzerland, Sudan, France, the USA, Germany and more. From these, the ten winners were selected, who were announced, along with the audience favorite, at an Awards Dinner at The Lady and Sons, or better known as “Paula Deen’s Restaurant (http://www.ladyandsons.com/). Who won? Best of Show was “Cadaver” by Jonah Ansell, USA (http://vimeo.com/32140907). The audience favorite was “The Jockstrap Riders” by Mark Nelson (http://savannahinternationalanimationfestival.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=160). However, a special shout out to one of my favorites “Fisher” by Yoram Benz (http://oneeyedrobot.com/). Check the SIAF website for all the winners in the next couple of weeks.
The Festival also served as a mini-animation conference – offering 14 educational panels, workshops and guest presentations including: Joan Vogelesang, CEO of Toon Boom Animation (http://beta.toonboom.com/), Michael Jantze, animation director at Jantze Studios (http://www.thenorm.com/studio/), Cheryl Cabrera and her University of Central Florida animation students (http://svad.cah.ucf.edu/students/degrees/BFA-Art-Emerging-Media-Track-Character-Animation/), and a special Southeast Women in Animation Panel (http://savannahinternationalanimationfestival.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=178) among others.
I had a lot of fun being a member of the Women in Animation Panel on Friday, learning from and sharing with the other distinguished women on the panel our experiences in the Animation Industry from a woman’s perspective. On Saturday I presented a special session on “Protect Your Characters! Essential Law for Animators.” This session focused on a number of legal rights animators have in their work including copyrights and the Visual Artists Rights Act. Using real cases as its basis the session illustrated some d’s and don’ts for animators to consider as they create their work and decide what to do next – pitch, license, promote on the Internet, merchandise, submit to festivals, etc. A professor from the nearby Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD) made it mandatory for her students to attend. Afterwards the students thanked her and a couple even said it changed their lives. Not bad for talking about Kung Fu Panda® and Mickey Mouse®!
This was a wonderful event to be part of and I look forward to next year. But more importantly Nancy and Hal’s vision for the Animation Hall of Fame is an important one. Animation art has not always been conceived to have intrinsic value – but more as a throwaway. The work the Miles are doing to preserve this art form and showcase it to the world is inspiring, difficult, and truly a labor of love. YOU can be part of making this a reality. A donation in any amount can make a big difference. So join me as I support the Animation Hall of Fame, the Savannah International Film Festival, and the upcoming generations of animation artists. (http://animationhalloffame.org/Donations.html).
To request a copy of the handout send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Request for SIAF Handout” in the subject line.