ASIFA Central Retreat 2020 Information

We are so excited about our online retreat this year, amazing guest speakers, cool innovative online events, talks and opportunity to work collaboratively! This is where we will post information about how to virtually meet along with our schedule and various other important pieces of information.

For safety this year, we are moving our annual animators retreat to online. We see this as an opportunity rather than a problem. In that regard, all events this year are free and include some amazing guest speakers and workshops!  

Guest speakers include Disney Storyboard artist James Suhr, Independent feature film director Nina Paley, and Independent feature film director Chris Sullivan!

Workshops include a stop-motion animation project that will be sent to you through the U.S. Postal System (until supplies run out) to animate during the workshops! We also will be doing a Zoom pixilation animation for the first time in history!! 

For educators, animation producers, and curious peeps we have added a round table discussion on remote production pipelines and a workshop on using and finding public domain music. More stuff to be announced! 


  • 7:00 PM EST Welcome! From President R. Brad Yarhouse
    • (Use All Zoom Event Login)

  • 7:15 PM EST Let’s order Pizza together and enjoy an evening of exploring the world of storyboards with Disney Storyboard artist James Suhr* Introduction and Moderator: R. Brad Yarhouse
    • (Use All Zoom Event Login)


  • 10:00-12:00 EST Saturday morning cartoons selected by Charles Wilson.  
    • (Use Streaming Event Link)

  • 1:00-2:30 EST (7) Saturday Lighting Rounds 5 minutes + 5 QA
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      • Deanna Morse: ASIFA, Celebrating 60th Anniversary in Lockdown
      • Christine Veras: Reanimating the History of the Zoetrope
      • Steve Leeper: Laser Cutter Animation
      • Brad Yarhouse: A look at International Animation Day
      • Jim Middleton: Public Domain Sound Resources
      • Josh Harrell: Multiplane Cameras: A Royal Pane in the Glass

  • 2:30-3:00 EST Coffee Meet and Greet
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  • 3:00-4:30 EST  Breakout Schedule
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      • Ani-Mail Papercut stop-motion session with Chris Sagovac NOTE: We are out of our supply kits, if you sign up for this you will need to supply your own materials to animate.
      • Zoom pixilation! with Steve Leeper & Christine Veras
      • Technical how-to Demo: How to Create a 3D WorldA beginners guide to accessing the production pipeline within Maya with Julie Goldstein.

  • 4:30-5:00 EST Coffee Meet and Greet
    • (Use Zoom Coffee Meet & Greet Login)

  • 5:00-6:30 EST Dinner Break

  • 6:30-7:30 EST Show & Tell from breakout sessions and this year’s ASIFA Central 2 minute short debut, part of the 60th anniversary of ASIFA international!
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  • 7:30 EST Guest Filmmaker Nina Paley** showing her most recent feature, “Seder Masochism” with Q&A to follow.  Introduction by James Middleton. Q&A led by Julie Goldstein.
    • (Use Streaming Event Link)


  • 12:00 EST  Member Board Election Discussion (Zoom available only to paid members of ASIFA Central)

  • 2:00 – 2:30 EST Public Domain Music by Jim Middleton 
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  • 2:30 – 3:00 EST Coffee Meet and Greet
    • (Use Zoom Coffee Meet & Greet Login)

  • 3:00 – 4:00 EST Guest Filmmaker Chris Sullivan*** showing the making of his most recent feature “Orbit of Minor Satellites”. Introduction and Moderator: Julie Goldstein.
    • (Use All Zoom Event Login)

RSVP is now closed

About our Guest Speakers:

*James Suhr is a Los Angeles based artist, currently working as a storyboard artist for Walt Disney Television Animation. In addition, he has also worked for DreamWorks TV Animation, Nickelodeon, Illumination, and many others. His credits include (but are not limited to) Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, Despicable Me, TrollHunters, 3-Below, and Monsters At Work. Good Sir James is a BFA graduate in Illustration from Kendall College of Art and Design and has also attended the Animation Workshop at UCLA.

**Nina Paley is an American cartoonist, animator and free culture activist. She was the artist and often the writer of the comic strips Nina’s Adventures and Fluff, but most of her recent work has been in animation.[1] She is perhaps best known for creating the animated feature film Sita Sings the Blues, based on the Ramayana, with parallels to her personal life. In 2018, she completed her second animated feature, Seder-Masochism, a retelling of the Book of Exodus as patriarchy emerging from goddess worship.(Wikipedia)

***Chris Sullivan is a creator, writer, director, lead animator, and sound designer. His previous animated films include Master of Ceremonies, Landscape with The Fall of Icarus, and Consuming Spirits. His latest feature is The Orbit of Minor Satellites.

About Our Panelists:

# Gary Schwartz Artist-Animator-Educator  

“Magic inspires my art; the something that comes from nothing.”

Gary Schwartz is an Academy Award nominated filmmaker, award winning animator, director, artist & educator.  Mr. Schwartz conducts intensive hands-on Kinetic Visual Storytelling Animation workshops in elementary, middle, high school, under-graduate, graduate, post-graduate, professional training, film festivals, museums, summer camps, community centers, N.G.O.’s, prisons & psychiatric hospitals national & internationally in an environment of creativity, imagination & self-expression conducts intensive hands-on Kinetic Visual Storytelling Animation Workshops . Through his company, Single Frame Films, Gary produced, designed & directed animation for Disney, Sesame Street, MTV, Fox Television, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and others.  Mr. Schwartz was a Lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design.  His kinetic cinema sculptures, installations & films have been exhibited in major museums & galleries internationally.

## Josh Harrell Born and raised in Ypsilanti, MI, Joshua Harrell earned his BA in Studio Art with focuses in video and drawing from Sewanee:The University of the South, (Sewanee TN), and his MFA in Film, Video, and Computer Animation from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television, John Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts, (Los Angeles CA).

As an artist, Joshua is interested in the nexus between physical/tactile artmaking and digital tools; his work lingers in the spaces between figurative and abstract imagery, and his thoughts flit between images of his psychological substrata and visual music. 

Joshua currently lives in Detroit, MI, where he is an Associate Professor of Entertainment Arts (Animation) at the College for Creative Studies.

### Doug Hudson, Kansas City Art Institute

Doug Hudson has been making experimental music and film since the mid-80s, teaching since 2000. Most notably, he designed and founded the award-winning Animation department for the Kansas City Art Institute in 2004. Currently, he teaches full time and is Chair of Animation at KCAI. 

His graduates work throughout the industry and have earned many honors and distinctions, including a Student Academy Award in 2010. Additionally, many have gone on to earn graduate degrees from top colleges, including Cal Arts, USC, and UCLA.

Hudson earned a M.F.A. in Experimental Animation from Cal Arts in 2000 (under the mentorship of Jules Engel, Suzan Pitt, William Moritz, Raimund Krumme, and Maureen Selwood) and a B.F.A. in Animation from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1997 (under the mentorship of Sheila Sofian, David Fain, Lowell Boston, and Peter Rose). At Warner Brothers Online in Los Angeles (2000-2001), he was a member of the first team of animators to bring the iconic Looney Tunes characters to the internet via a series of original Flash-based webtoons as well as animating for the DC Comics series, Gotham Girls and Lobo

*** We welcome all animators regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or political views.  Our stated mission as an organization is to Promote cultural understanding through the Art of Animation.  The personal views of our speakers do not represent the views of our members or those of ASIFA. ***