The Gardener


After an 8 hour flight home from the UK last night, I had big plans for sleeping.  But then my friend James had an extra ticket for The Tallest Man on Earth at Webster Hall.  Oh, the sacrifice.

The Tallest Man on Earth, Webster Hall - Sept. 27 2010

It was a great show and by our second shot of Jameson, he played “The Gardener.”  This is always the highlight for me, the tippy top favorite of my many favorite songs of his.

I made the trip across the big blue ocean for the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival.  Joy, James and I worked on a music video, Golem, for The Maladies and it’s screening in the Animation Program this weekend.

We were also asked to make the Festival Signal Film again.  Keep reading to find out how we made it:

There were two rules to making the film.

One – it had to be based on the 2010 poster by Portia Munson, which was created using flowers from Munson’s Catskill garden.

2010 Woodstock Film Festival Poster by Portia Munson

Second rule – the film had to be done using pixilation.

I was still in England so Joy and James called me on video chat to discuss.  As James explained their concept, I could see Joy in the background, putting on too much makeup and wearing a funny costume.  They said they would handle the live action while I animated the flowers which I’d send to them to put to music.

We got started.  Joy and James dressed up as mime gardeners, a fairy and a rooster and took about 2,000 pictures of each other in their backyard.  I watched classic Sesame Street stop motion for inspiration and spent hours digitally cutting out 105 flowers and 1 insect from the poster.  I think I counted about 340 flowers in total but I could be wrong because I got dizzy.

You can imagine my excitement when they sent me a link to the finished movie.  Their part was so fun and well done for two animators who work almost exclusively in hand drawn and computer animation.  The live action seamlessly melts into my dancing flowers to The Tallest Man on Earth’s “The Gardener.”

We’ve been making the Woodstock Signal Films for three years now – here’s 2008 which Joy and I did together and here’s 2009, which we made with James and Arthur Metcalf.

There are going to be a few signal films in the festival this year for variety, two others were created by Aaron Hughes and Ivan Joy.  I can’t wait to see what they came up with!


Wedding Inspiration – Eileen and Andrew

posted by on 09.21.2010, under Fashion, Weddings

I thought I’d share some photos from my grandparents’ wedding, February 13th, 1949.

Here’s my grandma getting herself ready.  She did her own hair and makeup and rented her dress.  Lately it’s starting to hit me how the wedding is one day and I’ll be wearing the dress for less than 8 hours of it.  I did not inherit her practicality.

Eileen and Andrew Scoppetti, Feb. 13th, 1949.  I love this photo, just look at how happy they are.  My grandpa has this blown up and framed in his house.  It always makes me smile.

The bridesmaids are wearing wedding gowns WITH veils.  I had no idea they did this in the 40s.

I know people don’t do this anymore, but I kind of love the embarrassing, staged photos from weddings of the past.  My parents have the same one in their album from 1975.  I’m not even sure I’m doing a garter toss, but for fun I might make my photographer throw this shot in our line up.  Oh tradition, how you sneak up on me.

My grandparents were married for 57 years before my grandma passed away, but even after all those years of marriage, they would look at each other like this.  They would hold hands when they were shopping and steal kisses when no one was looking.  Yes, they would bicker and argue, their arguments were hilarious, but they were always lighthearted.  They were best friends.  With my own wedding less than two months away, I hope that we are lucky enough to be as happy together as they were.


Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival Trailer

posted by on 09.16.2010, under Animation, Film, Film Festivals, Independent

Just got back from the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival!

martha's vineyard film festival animators

noelle vaccese, peter ahern, joy vaccese, james buran, signe baumane, bill plympton and sandrine flament

Being the happy little procrastinators you know and love, we of course finished creating the animated trailer just hours before leaving for the festival and here it is…

Curating the Animation Screening was so much fun. Noelle and I picked the best of the submissions, including Bill Plympton’s “The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger,” three episodes from Signe Baumane’s “The Teat Beat of Sex,” Peter Ahern’s “Down to the Bone,” our new music video for The Maladies, a collaboration with James Buran called “Golem,” and many more!  The show was last Saturday night and it was bad ass!  In the following video, there’s a few clips from the our “animation spectacular!” as well as interviews with the famous Bill Plympton and your’s truly squared.

Catch the whole interview at


Character Designs

posted by on 09.02.2010, under Animation, Film Festivals, Sketchbook

Hello again!

Yay it’s my faaaaaaaaaavorite time of year! Noey and I have been making it a habit to animate film festival bumpers such as these oldies-but-goodies, and this year we’ve been asked to animate another one for the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival.

Here are some rough character designs!

martha's vineyard international film fest bumper

Which one should we choose? All suggestions are welcome! We’re leaning towards the last one in the first row – obviously because of the giant disproportions. Cracks me up.