An Unplanned Exciting Weekend / by Jaz Malone


I was too tired on Friday to do any First Friday activities, so I figured I'd just dork out and peruse the ActionScript texts at Borders. While there, I noticed a sign for a book signing/Q&A with Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, the directors of the animated feature "My Dog Tulip." I stuck around a bit with the three other interested people (unfortunate that there weren't more people there, really). We bombarded the couple with questions, and one guy even started a small argument about the importance of Disney in the history of animation. I got a couple of posters signed, and told them I'd see their film again on Saturday.

For those who don't know, Paul and Sandra Fierlinger were the animators behind Sesame Street's "Teeny Little Super Guy," which was probably my favorite TV short as a child. There are a few miniseries that I remember as well, but I'd watch that one over and over again, regardless of the episode.



I mean, these guys are my heroes. I enjoyed their new film, but I LOVE Teeny Little Super Guy.

They used stop-motion/replacement animation for the episodes, and filmed inside of their own home (and they still live there! How cool!). For their new film, "My Dog Tulip," they used a French program called TVP. TVP allows artists to animate digitally drawn images frame-by-frame; it's completely paperless, without any need for scanners or downshooters. I still like the feel of paper and pencil, but I might try it out one day.

I went to the film screening on Saturday, and again, stuck around for the Q&A afterward. They talked about what it took to create their past works, and explained a bit about their upcoming project. They explained that they don't take interns or assistants, but I gave them my card anyway. I kept leaving and coming back to talk to them...about three times...when I woke up this morning, I realized how creepy that was. Whatever. This has happened with other professional animators I've met; when I find out they were the geniuses behind works I love, I geek out, ask them tons of questions, and pick their brains of as much animation info as possible. That's not always a bad thing, though. :)

If you can, check out the new film. I believe it's still playing at the Ritz Theater on 4th St.