Famous local animators to topline April Midwest Animators Conference

Famous regional stars of regional animated films and commercials will highlight the 2004 Midwest Animators Conference April 23-24 at the Double Trees Guest Suites in Downers Grove.

Don’t let the ambiguous topic titles turn you off. Speakers on those subjects are some of the most authoritative and productive visual artists in the business.

The conference kicks off Saturday, April 24 with Deanne Morse, animator and professor at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University and producer of 30-plus videos and films, giving “an international animation festival perspective.” (See what we mean about ambiguous?) Calabash’s Ed Newmann and Monica Kendall follow with a presentation of their company’s short films.

In the afternoon, speakers are:

Ron Fleischer is one of eight experts speaking at the April ASIFA conference.

Ron Fleischer speaks on “Technology’s influence on animation and animators.” He’s StarToons former animation director and production manager on “Tiny Toons” and “Powerpuff Girls,” and current Columbia College animation instructor.

“Building a business and not just a concept” is Patricia Lindsay’s topic. She’s former Treehouse Productions founder and now CEO of Star Farm Productions, an independent entertainment company that launched the “Edgar & Ellen” property and has started work on a TV series and feature film.

J. Michael Spooner’s subject is “Visual development for animated films.” The 25-year veteran with Disney, Warner Bros. and Dreamworks moved to Chicago in 199 as VP/visual development and artist education with the late, great Big Ideas Productions on “VeggieTales” and the feature “Jonah.” He is the owner of Spoonerville Animation Design.

Post-dinner speaker is animator, filmmaker and performance artist Chris Sullivan on “Animation as independent feature: The production of ?Consuming Spirits'” the title of his animated feature.

Sponsors are the 11-year old Midwest chapter of the international ASIFA, CATNAP, ITOONS and Women in Animation.

Fees until March 1 are $50/general, $40/members, $35/students, seniors. Add $5 thereafter. Register online at www.asifaconference.org. Those interested in sponsorship or donations should call conference coordinator David Daruszka at 773/233-8788 or Email asifaconference@aol.com.