Billy Collins Reads Animated Poetry for TED and NPR

Proud to have been Poet Laureate, America’s most accessible poet, Billy Collins, reads poems from his Nine Horses collection in this animated talk for TED – Every Day Moments Caught in Time. Using five of the twelve animated poems New York agency JWT commissioned for their client, Sundance Channel, as his backdrop, Mr. Collins strides the stage in his usual comfortable down home way and charms the crowd to their feet with his wry suggestive tone.

When you get a poem [in a public place], it happens to you so suddenly that you don’t have time to deploy your anti-poetry deflector shields that were installed in high school.

~ Billy Collins: Everyday Moments, Caught in Time.

If you are even an occasional listener to NPR his is a voice you will recognize immediately and if you are not do yourself a favor and watch and listen to these poems – and you will see why Billy Collins has been credited with the accolade of bringing poetry to the masses.

TODAY, was one of the twelve Billy Collins poems chosen by JWT to be animated. Unharnessed from the usual client restraint the agency gave full unfettered creative freedom to their appointed animation studios. We count ourselves fortunate to be amongst them. In many ways the project was a watershed moment for us at Little Fluffy Clouds – it gave us the chance to do things differently – see for yourself.

You can see the entertaining Mr. Collins’ TED talk here: http://bit.ly/GW2C5m and see all the animated poems in the line-up here: Billy Collins Action Poetry. Listen to NPR’s TED Radio Hour here: http://n.pr/Npfer7. A treat for the ears, a feast for the eyes.

 

Chicago Public Radio features TODAY on Mission Amy KR’s blog

At Little Fluffy Clouds we’re always thrilled when one of our more cerebral projects is plucked from the archives, dusted off and given some national attention. So, we were more than pleased when our animated, Billy Collins poem, TODAY, was featured by Chicago Public Radio as part of their poetry awareness month. The former poet laureate was interviewed and read some of his favorite poems from the collection, Nine Horses.

This tiny nugget of literary appreciation came courtesy of Chicago blogger and WBEZ radio host, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Her program and associated blog, Mission Amy KR, is brought to you from the same folks that bring you, This American Life. Here’s what Amy had to say:

Just when I thought Billy Collins’ poetry couldn’t possibly get any better, this comes along. I’d rather not taint your experience with unnecessary intros and blabbing. So here, just enjoy: Billy Collins Action Poetry (And let me know if you were able to stop at one, or if you simply had to watch them all.)

So, thanks Amy for the mention – we’re in some stellar company there! You can read her blog, see all the animated poems and support the station right here:

http://bit.ly/mINv65. Go ahead fund the arts but first watch this!

 

Ian Lumsden UK Animation Blog – In Praise of Barack Obama

I like reading blogs as much as writing one myself. In fact I often neglect mine in favour of reading others. So, imagine how great it felt when I checked in on fellow Brit, Ian Lumsden’s, intricate animation blog and found our piece, TODAY, there – In Praise of Barack Obama. Here’s an excerpt from what Ian had to say.

“It seems appropriate on a grey day here when such little light as exists is cast by events across the Atlantic. The words resonate with hope and the CGI piece is beautifully crafted by the design team, co-founders, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. Quintessentially American rural landscape on a perfect Spring day, butterflies, canary let out of its cage, splinters of light, flowers and a young couple squinting in the bright sunlight: the piece unfolds and matches the rich voice of the narrator and lyrical beauty of the poem. Lovely and uplifting.”

Thanks Ian for discovering our work and pairing us with this breathtaking moment in history.

Check out Ian Lumsden’s wonderful blog and even more wonderfully animated films at: http://www.animationblog.org/

Un Reve Français the 9th Elektra International Digital Arts Festival

I am an unabashed Francophile. SO imagine how happy I was to hear that our short film, TODAY, was being featured not only at Festival NEMO in Paris but also at the 9th Elektra International Digital Arts Festival in Montreal. Deux Reve Français – if I may make make so free with the Franglaise.

The mandate of ACREQ is to forge links between electronic music and other visual media. Here at Elektra you can immerse yourself in the latest aesthetic currents in artistic practice with new technologies at their core. The Elektra refuses to be restrained by the boundaries created by many so schools and styles in our field. It is their mission to promote only the highest quality work. Robotics, digital imagery and music come together. Added to this fertile mix is a genuine desire to attract a wider audience, to democratize and make this culture more accessible – while also satisfying the specialists in attendance with more specific interests.

This high-calibre Montreal-based cultural initiative, presents artists and works of art that align the latest electronic music and visual creations derived from new technologies (animation, installation and robotics). Elektra unites creative media like music, video, cinema, design, gaming and audio or interactive installation with the latest digital technologies. Artists from all disciplines – composition, performance, dance, visual arts et al all with a common interest in artistic applications of new technologies – uniting visual with sound. Elektra not only welcomes artists from all over the world, the festival also features local talents, helping make Montreal the North American meeting place for digital arts. Our best wishes for a successful festival! We only wish we could be there.

Elektra 9e Edition International Digital Arts Festival Mai 7 – 11, Montreal, Quebec. Enjoy the blog and the live festival site at: http://www.elektramontreal.ca/

Passion in Paris for LFC’s TODAY a la Festival NEMO

Could anything make your heart race more than Paris in the spring? Try animation + Paris + spring + being on the same bill of fare with director, Peter Greenaway. And while I’m at it, try being part of a festival that invites controversy by taking a stand against the lowest common denominator and openly stating that they will show only the best of the highest quality. Now add a true egalitarian splash by opening the festival up to all for free. Viva La France! Viva Festival NEMO!

Festival NEMO takes place in Paris and Issey-les-Moulineaux, France. Here you can see the best of French and International cinema and animation. For their 10th anniversary year, selections were purposefully chosen to give a lasting memory of what is most precious to cineastes – beautiful work of extraordinary quality, shown in optimal conditions. Festival Directeur, Gilles Alverez, states with passionate sentiments indeed, that:

“This is NEMO’s answer to the crumbling values of our art form by social networking sites like Facebook and the generalization of You Tube.”

NEMO showcases multimedia presentations and animations along with music videos and documentaries on such luminaries as Scott Walker, The Smiths, Sigur Ros, Holy Etienne, Daniel Johnston, John Cage, and Phillip Glass. Catch audio visual performances from Pageantry + Transforma, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Quayola, Adriaan Lokman, Otolab, Mikomikona, Mylicon and Scanner + TeZ as part of the Cinema Vivant!  A feast for the senses – let your passion rule.

TODAY screens as part of the Panorama International playing in Paris on Sun. April 12th at Axes Biarritz Salle de cinema and in Issey-les-Moulineaux, on Wed. April 18th at Le Cube.

Festival NEMO – Le Rendez-Vous Multimedia D’Arcadi. Panorama International des Nouvelles Images Experimentales, Cinema et Animations Innovants. April 10 – April 20.

TODAY Screens at Landmark as part of SFIAF

The San Francisco Film Society describes animation as being:

“Currently one of the most fertile, creative and productive forms in cinema and television… animation occupies a unique point between artistic, experimental, commercial and industrial media, ranging from the latest visual FX-based arthouse films to family-friendly cartoons.”

Such is the clarion call to join the San Francisco International Animation Festival, and us, in a lively and surprising animation celebration screening at San Francisco’s Landmark Theater.

TODAY, a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with JWT NYC as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series, was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animated poem written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, who narrates the piece.

Little Fluffy Clouds Sundance short, TODAY, screens  as part of the festival’s, Makers Dozen. This lively festival can be seen at the Embarcadero Center Cinema in San Francisco.

www.sffs.org for details.

LFC’s TODAY twinkles under the stars at the Coyote Film Festival

The Coyote Film Festival is Lake County, California’s “only voice for independent film”. This small festival-that-could, shows main features, short films, and animations, one weekend a month from June through September.

Enjoy a unique cultural experience under the stars at the beautiful Langtry Estate and Vineyards, once the home of the renowned Guenoc Winery. Lake County is approximately 2 hours north east of San Francisco, home of the Mayacama mountain range, abundant natural hot springs, bountiful wineries and rocking music festivals.

TODAY, a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with JWT NYC as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series, was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds‘ creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animated poem. It is taken from the, Nine Horses, collection written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Mr.Collins narrates his poem. It screens in rotation nightly throughout the festival.

See: www.EcoArtsofLakeCounty.org.

Anima Mundi chooses Little Fluffy Clouds TODAY

Translated from the Portuguese and literally meaning, Soul of the World, Anima Mundi, is South America’s largest and most vibrant international animation festival. For more than two decades the truly wonderful organizers of this popular event have brought cartoons and animations, that appeal to both adults and children alike, to the screens of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

More than just a festival, Anima Mundi, is a truly unique event that attracts over 100,000 people to see the best of films and videos from around the world. Anima Mundi offers courses throughout the year, with free animation workshops, lectures, special exhibitions and an internet-based competition during the run of the festival.

TODAY, a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with JWT/NYC as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series, was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animation of the poem written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, who narrates the piece.

www.animamundi.com

Oooh la la! Annecy picks Little Fluffy Clouds TODAY.

Today

Famous as one of the most beautiful locations in all of France, and home of the most prestigious of all European film festivals, Annecy, has selected Little Fluffy CloudsTODAY – for competition.

The Sundance Channel promotional film, commissioned in association with JWT NYC as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series, was directed by the Little Fluffy Clouds creative team of, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. TODAY was chosen from among almost 2000 films entered from 63 participating countries.

The poem of the animated film is taken from the Nine Horses collection written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, who narrates the piece. TODAY appears in official competition with 19 other advertising or promotional films. In total 225 films will be shown at this week long MIFA and festival on the lake, running through June.

 

Kalamazoo Festival chooses LFC’s – TODAY

Today

The Kalamazoo Animation Festival International is the premiere animation festival of the mid-west. Among the top twenty of all animation festivals their aim is to encourage and showcase animation artists and to bring Kalamazoo into national focus as an animation locale.

TODAY, a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with JWT/NYC as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series, was directed by the Little Fluffy Clouds creative team of, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animated poem written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, who narrates the piece.

This year’s KAFI will be the biggest and most well supported yet so, TODAY, will find itself in the company of many animation luminaries worldwide.