everybody’s kickin it back

posted by on 07.09.2011, under Animation, Film, Film Festivals, Independent

Still from "The First Time CeeCee Did Acid" by Noelle Melody

Odds are the show is probably your basic dumb shit . But then you sort of think well maybe it’s beyond dumb, maybe it’s a ra-tard. Maybe it’s something really cool that you don’t even know about. And uh, and you started feeling like you definitely wanna be a part of it.

I’ve got to celebrate this teaser for the show, created by Taylor Armstrong.

Showcasing our submissions of half-cocked short-shorts, we promise you’ll be disturbed and/or left in great dismay.

It’s all happening at Glasslands this Wednesday, July 13th at 8pm — come experience some dumb shit AND drink a cold beer at the same time.


The Making of Place Stamp Here

posted by on 06.01.2011, under Animation, Film, Film Festivals, Independent

It’s a trailer!  Watch, if you please.

Sometimes, films aren’t planned. Place Stamp Here was an accident. Shhh, a happy accident, darling.

“I realized that sometimes my favorite part of my job is that my chair swivels, so maybe I need to more actively pursue other, more creative, more lovely projects.” – Kelly Sharp

And then Kelly sent us her charming script.

When she talks, Kelly goes off on these tangents that are wonderful and natural and so insisting that she narrate the script exactly how she’d described it to us in an email, we moved forward with our take on how to tell the story visually…

To the storyboards.

place stamp here storyboards

Cute … we could’ve drawn the whole film that way. But at the same time  1.) I sort of loved finishing a film in such a timely fashion and  2.) I really loved using the actual trinkets and the things we’ve all collected on all of our travels. Which also made the process unique and interesting. And amazing!

The music really tied the film together — composed by Jasmin Way, Carter Logan and Hannah Rawe of The Chandeliers with Zach Knox on piano.

It was so fun to collaborate and we’re so lucky to be surrounded by such creative types. We all thought of it like this — maybe we’re broke and maybe didn’t plan on making another film … but it’s festival season which equals fun. Motivation!

We used different techniques like shooting the stop-motion elements, combining traditional animation with cut-outs, watercolor, photographs. It’s um, a cornucopia of mixed media.

But OK, my favorite part was making coffee-stained paper for the backgrounds.

Mmmmm coffee makes anything possible.


Workin it at Charleston International Film Fest ’11

posted by on 05.25.2011, under Animation, Film, Film Festivals, Independent

Joy and I are the proud parents of this year's festival poster

We’ve been attending the Charleston International Film Festival since it was born in 2008 { see recap from 2008 and 2010 } and it gets better and better every year.  The weather was perfect for bike rides to screenings, enjoying yummy summer drinks, watching great films and staying up super late only to do it all again the next day.  This festival is fun in the sun.  Some highlights!

the lovely Tina McCard and Kelly Sharp { who wrote the script to our film }

2 for 1 margaritas for bike gangs

Jameson + margaritas at Taco Boy

iced coffees at our new favorite Charleston spot, KUDU

AND we won Best Animation for our little film Place Stamp Here.  This made us smile as the films in the Animation Block were amazing and to be chosen as the best among them is surprising and wonderful.

Place Stamp Here wins the Best Animation Audience Award

Thanks Charleston!  Work it baby.


the dumbest sh*t i ever saw

posted by on 04.27.2011, under Animation, Art, Film, Film Festivals, Independent

hello children!  mickey with steve buscemeyes has an important announcement:

brought to you by metcalf loves you and twins are weird.

don’t let this fall through your crack!  for more information on the deadline and rules (that’s right, we made RULES damnit) go to our Dumb Sh*t tumblr.  it has the bokeh!


Sleep is optional.

posted by on 04.06.2011, under Animation, Art, Film, Film Festivals, Independent

Sometimes, when Joy and I are supposed to be working on a million other things, we make a film instead.

This inevitably leads to a string of sleepless nights fueled by pots of coffee and takeout.  Our friends think we’re crazy and our mom calls to make sure we’re not dead, but it’s really fun when it pays off.

One of our Festival Bumpers, (the one for the Martha’s Vineyard Film Fest 2010) is up for an award at the ASIFA East Festival on May 1st!

And our brand new film, Place Stamp Here – which we made with the fantastic Kelly Sharp – will be screening at the Charleston International Film Festival on May 19th.

Sleep is optional.


Remember that Peculiar Parade thing?

posted by on 03.26.2011, under Animation, Art, Film, Film Festivals, Independent

The Peculiar Picture Parade Joy and I put together at 92YTribeca last night couldn’t have been more fun.  The theater is small which makes for a really chill screening with the nearest and dearest.

Look at all the pretty faces

Joy and I surprised everyone with a film we did just for the Parade called “Place Stamp Here.”  It’s based on a short story by Kelly Sharp and the three of us made the film in about a month.  The music was done by The Chandeliers with Zach Knox on piano.

Thanks again to Brett W. Thompson for making the event flyer.

Brett Thompson rocks

There was a fantastic audience reaction from each film.  Our Q+A session with the filmmakers covered animation, crunch berries, sex and death.

Jessica Polaniecki, Brett Thompson, Dusty Grella, Signe Baumane and Kelly Sharp

Joy Vaccese, Lori Samsel, Katie Cropper and Noëlla Borie

Please enjoy the Signal Film by Taylor Armstorng – it is a 25 second documentary about how Joy and I put this lil animation show together.

And that’s how the magic happens boys and girls.

Here is the list of films in the screening:

One Minute Puberty by Alexander Gellner

Snack Track by Lori Samsel

Matter Fisher by David Prosser

Nosy Bear by Fran Krause

The Face Shop by Noëlla Borie

Sugar by Katie Cropper

The Backwater Gospel by The Animation Workshop – Bo Mathorne Schou-Nielsen

Place Stamp Here by Joy Vaccese, Noelle Melody and Kelly Sharp

Boobatry by Leah Shore

Masks by Patrick Smith

Letterbox by Dusty Grella

Animation Hotline Series by Dusty Grella

My Mother’s Coat by Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits

Animated GIF by Josh Burgraff

Fluidtoons Part 1 by Brett W. Thompson

Guard Dog Global Jam by Bill Plympton

To Have and To Hold by Jessica Polaniecki

Matatoro by Mauro Carraro

Excerpt from Rocks in My Pocket (Suicide) by Signe Baumane

Fluidtoons Part 2 by Brett W. Thompson

Thanks to all the filmmakers and friends who made it out.  Christina at 92Y invited us back anytime, so hopefully we will do this again soon.


Wedding Inspiration – Darbie and Justin

posted by on 12.02.2010, under Fashion, Film Festivals, Weddings

A Summer Camp Wedding in Hueguenot, NY – 09.12.09

I love DIY weddings where all of your creative friends and family get together to make the day really unique and special.

I got a chance to hang out with Darbie and Justin last October at the Woodstock Film Festival; James, Arthur, Joy and I had worked on 2009 Signal Film and Justin had starred in Harmony and Me, a wonderfully funny film about a broken heart, directed by Bob Byington.

from the left: Darbie, Justin, Me, Joy, James

Darbie and Justin are also in one of my favorite bands, Bishop Allen.  If you haven’t heard their music, go get their albums and your life will be happy.

At the festival we could tell they had just gotten married because Justin kept playing with his wedding band.  Boys are so cute when they get their new hardware aren’t they?  Darbie told us a little bit about their recent summer camp wedding and my heart was captured.

A year later, on their anniversary, Darbie posted a link to the wedding photos on her blog, field guide 35 and described their day.  I asked her if she wouldn’t mind me sharing them here and she was delighted:

“The whole thing was a real DIY family affair. I handmade all of the invitations, table numbers, seating cards, maps of the campgrounds, and boutonnieres for the boys.

My dad made all of the signs and hand-built the chuppah out of branches from the backyard. My mom sewed the tablecloths and a zillion feet of pennant flag bunting. Both of our families got together to decorate the dining hall with all kinds of lights and lanterns and more tissue paper decorations than imaginable.

My wedding dress (a stunning 1920’s beaded beauty) was from my mom’s best friend Susie.

Our friends and bandmates played the ceremony music (Chapel of Love, Sea of Love, and Then he kissed me — on marimba, ukulele, glockenspiel, guitar, drums, alto horn, and kazoos. SO BEST.)

My friend Frankie (aka Kid America) deejayed.

And Justin’s friend Ryan took all the photos. Even the priest was a friend of Justin’s family.

And this was our wedding song:

This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies

And if I do say so myself…I think it HAS been our year.”

Now go to the slideshow and see all of the lovely photos.

PS!  Darbie’s blog, field guide 35, is a fantastic read on cooking, inspiration and arts & crafts.


Woodstock Film Festival 2010

posted by on 10.09.2010, under Art, Film, Film Festivals, Independent, Music Videos, Random

Every year the Woodstock Film Festival gets better and better.   Last week we attended the 2010 festival with some seriously cool highlights.

1. From the left, my fiance flew to NY from England that morning to surprise me.  BONUS!

2. The Woodstock 2010 Festival trailer Joy, James and I created was a huge hit and got a great response from the audience.  Click here to watch and see how it was made.

3. Saw a brilliant film called “Don’t Quit Your Daydream,” produced by John Loar and Adrian Grenier.  It’s about a band, The Good Listeners (Nathan Khyber & Clark Stiles) as they road trip through America recording their third album.  Go out and buy it immediately and while you are at it, check out their other albums.

4. The Animation Screening was sold out BOTH days!  The psychedelic and sexy films were very well received by the hippies.  In the photo from the left: Signe Baumane, Peter Ahern, James Buran, Bill Plympton, Noelle Vaccese, Joy Vaccese and Dustin Grella.

5. We saw Luke Matheny, director of a short called, “God of Love.”  It’s a great film we caught at the Martha’s Vineyard festival a few weeks ago.

6. We recognized Nathan and Clark from the Good Listeners at the after party. They are really cool guys and got us on the guest list for a show they were playing at Levon Helm’s Barn.

7. Concert at Levon Helm’s.  It was a rad experience, The Good Listeners opened and played a mind-blowing show and Levon Helm’s Band was incredible.

8.  We had to leave to get to the Awards ceremony.  Got there late to find that Peter won Honorable Mention for his animated short, Down to the Bone. He wasn’t there to accept his award because we were at the coolest concert ever.  Congrats anyway, Peter!

9. Oh yeah!  And Keanu Reeves won the Best Actor Award.  WHOA!

To see more photos of the Woodstock Film Festival 2010, click here.


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!


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 plumtv.com