The Millionaires Club

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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gathering funds for the Archive

In the past week I have been very frustrated that I can't volunteer at the ASIFA Animation Archive on Saturdays. So I figure the next best thing I can do is donate to the archive. I began picking up all the loose change I witness, mostly at the movie theater I work at. Surprisingly this has been very effective, and I have gathered over 12 dollars in one week in loose change alone. I am also going to begin asking for small donations ($.50-$10) from my family and friends, and taking a small percent out of my paychecks. I am hoping to become a Project Hero, and if I collect enough funds quickly enough, maybe a Project Angel.

I recommend everyone who reads this or supports the Archive to start doing the same. If you don't feel like taking any money from your paychecks, just start to gather loose change, it really starts to accumulate quickly. Being charitable and preserving animation is the best thing one can do.

For the Archive!

Max Ward

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I learned more from ASIFA than I did from art class

It's true too. And I am not just talking about the $100,000 animation drawing course(, but it is included. I volunteered at the ASIFA Hollywood Animation Archive on September 9th, 2006, and the experience has made me more confident in my future and ability as an animation artist.
The resources ASIFA provides is mind-blowing, and the people involved in the project are amazing people. The exhibit that was up the day I was there was Disney and Fleischer art. I'm not going to put any pictures of the exhibits that I photographed to make my point. Because no photo, scanned image, or even the films these drawings appeared in can do justice to the original pencil drawings that ASIFA has. When I freeze frame cartoons and try to draw them, I used to not be able to understand why my drawing didn't look like the one on the screen. I had the design and proportions correct, but it just did not look the way it does on the screen. The more and more I did this, the less confident I became. But, when I went to ASIFA and saw the pre-cleaned up drawings that were used for animation, I saw that those drawings didn't look too different from mine. It boosted my confidence in my art abilities, knowing that my drawings don't look too different from the professional who drew them. The Disney and Fleischer art taught me a lot, and I wanted to see more drawings. If we all support ASIFA, we can all see more drawings, a lot more drawings.
Many animation artists support ASIFA and from time to time visit the archive in Hollywood. By supporting ASIFA, you are putting yourself in the same group as the professionals. According to the book "Your career in Animation" by David Levy, the animation industry is all about making connections. The day I went to ASIFA I made great connections. I now have connections with industry folks such as Stephen Worth, Eddie Fitzgerald, and John Kricfalusi, and other connections with aspiring animation artists that I met at the archive. They are valuable connections that have made me feel more confident in the future. I would love to go back to make more connections, with professional and/or aspiring artists.
I have wanted to do a blog about my feelings after volunteering at the archive. The $100,000 animation course, seeing the original art, and the valuable connections have all been generously given to me for free, and that is the whole goal of the archive. Supporting the archive will bring even more experiences and resources to us for free. I plan on donating money in the future because I am in debt for what the archive has brought to me. I hope everyone else will do the same.
If I don't win the contest, I'm fine with that. It's not why I made this blog. I hope Steve Worth can use this to help promote the archive and I hope it works.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Saturday In L.A.- SUPPORT ASIFA

Friday through Sunday, I spent the weekend in L.A. for my first time. But the only important day was Saturday. On Saturday, I volunteered at the ASISA Hollywood Animation Archive. I walked in about 45 minutes early and introduced myself to Steve Worth, one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Steve then told me he has more than enough volutneers enough volunteers, meaning I don't have to do any actually volunteer work, and he took me on a tour of the archive. He explained what the archive has, what the archive wants to do with all their material, and how they are going to reach their goal. I can't express how important it is to volunteer at the archive to make this mission possible.

After a little while of browsing the Disney, Fleischer and Spumco art, I hear the door open, and then a familiar laugh. I hear Steve call out, "Hey Eddie!" Every volunteer bolted out of their chair for their chance to meet this big-shot cartoonist. Being the great guy he is, Eddie recognized all of us from our comments on his blog. When I mentioned to Eddie that I was only 17 years old and from Pittsburgh and that I came out to L.A. to support ASIFA, he couldn't believe it. He told me I was on the right track, and hearing that from one of my favorite cartoonists is something I'll never forget. Eddie came to archive to draw Milt Gross Sunday comics from reference. As I expected, Eddie told us alot of theories and stories. He has tons of great stories about his experiences in animation studios and his adventures with Bob Clampett. Eddie also gave me alot of good drawing/cartooning advice.

I'm behind Eddie.

After talking to Steve and Eddie for a few hours, the phone rings, so Steve gets up and answers it. When Steve walks back out, he tells everyone "We are all invited to John K's house after this." It took awhile for it to really sink in, but I was actually invited to John K's house, creator of Ren & Stimpy. After the shift ended, we all drove up to John K's house. Art F. gave me a ride there and when I walked I started looking for John. Well, at first I accidently looked right past him. Once he noticed me and everyone else he shook my hand and asked me "Hey, are you Art?" I replied, "No I'm Max Ward." he nodded and greeted everyone else, the hard part was over. I noticed a few other people there, Kali Fontecchio and Marlo Meekins. I introduced myself to Kali but never was introduced to Marlo. Everyone was drinking and very loose, but I couldn't drink, being a minor. I felt embarassed having to ask John for a non-acoholic drink. When he found out I was 17 years old, he began questioning me. First thing he asked me was "What's your name again?" I told him "Max Ward," and he replied "Oh oh! Yeah you post on my blog and have sent me a few letters before, right?" I was relieved knowing I haven't gone unnoticed. John was very open and inviting the whole night, but I resisted very hard to ask him questions about animation or ask him to draw me a picture. Every question he was asked though, he replied with a good answer, even though he sounded like he has said that answers a million times before. He gave me and Art F. drawing tips and to keep it up if we wanted to work for him one day.

I later found out it was John's birthday. We had cake and everything.

I unfortunatly left early because I was the only one getting picked up by my parents. I shook hands with Steve, John, and Eddie on the way out. All of them telling me it was nice to meet me, which really means a lot. I'm back in Pittsburgh now, but I want to come back to L.A. and voluntter at the archive. Everyone in the Burbank area should be volunteering at ASIFA. I did and I ended up at John K's house! Hope to be back in L.A. soon.

Max Ward

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tommorow I will be in L.A.

Hopefully my trip is as good as theirs.

First time in LA. I'll be there from 9/8/06 till 9/10/06. I will be volunteering at the ASIFA Animation Archive on 9/9/06 from 5pm-9pm. I'll take alot of pictures and hopefully meet some cool people, like Hollywood-bigshot cartoonists (As seen below). Until Next week...

Max Ward