Students interested in pursuing a career in animation production were recently treated to a presentation by Ron Diamond, an experienced producer in the animation film industry. Diamond, who founded the Los Angeles-based animated film studio Acme Filmworks, presented a curated selection of his favorite 11 animated shorts of the past year in his 12th annual “Animation Show of Shows.”
When it comes to short animated film, Diamond is an expert, working in the field for more than 30 years. His company is an Academy Award-nominated studio that has produced short animated films and commercials for 20 years. He said his goal at Acme is to work with animators who are looking to experiment and explore new avenues of practice and style in animation. Currently, his company creates animated ads for United Airlines, Charmin, and Hilton Hotels.
“A lot of these films are incredibly small and only distributed through film festivals. I think it is really important for these incredible works to be seen by larger audiences and for animators and aspiring animators to see the amazing things being accomplished. This show allows that to happen, and I’m so glad I could bring it to Emerson.”
In the showcase, Diamond features his favorite films from big and small production companies that use a wide range of animation techniques. He presents them to major animation studios in order to inspire their animators and expose their production crews to less mainstream approaches to animation.
“A lot of these films are incredibly small and only distributed through film festivals,” explained Diamond. “I think it is really important for these incredible works to be seen by larger audiences and for animators and aspiring animators to see the amazing things being accomplished. This show allows that to happen, and I’m so glad I could bring it to Emerson.”
This year’s selection of short films includes works from the United States, Poland, Chile, France, Germany, and Australia. The films incorporated a wide range of animation methods, including hand-drawn, 3D computer graphics, stop-animation, and photography. The films featured a variety of subjects, including a Warner Brothers production of Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner as well as smaller production companies creatively exploring domestic abuse and the perils of shopping.
“I like to select the widest variety of films for my show each year,” said Diamond. “I rarely go for the most commercially friendly piece. I want to showcase works that will spark interest and impress everyone in the audience. Not everyone will necessarily like every film, but there’s enough range that at least one film will satisfy everyone’s palette.”