Will Vinton Honored at Portland Film Festival

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Will Vinton

When the Portland Film Festival decided to honor Will Vinton with a lifetime achievement award for innovations in filmmaking, it wasn’t to add yet another paperweight to Vinton’s bulging trophy case.
After all, the world-renowned Claymation pioneer has already collected the highest honors in film (one Oscar/ four nominations), television (eight primetime Emmys) and advertising (multiple Clios and Ad Age wins), along with a lifetime achievement award from LAFF and literally scores of prizes from top film festivals around the world.
Through the process of creating, developing and producing hundreds of films and thousands of commercials, Vinton and his teams popularized 3-D stop motion animation at a time when 95% of commercial animation was 2-D and ushered in a new age where animation has become a medium of adult entertainment.
While Vinton’s indelible characters have become a fixture in American pop-culture history, it seemed time to recognize these achievements and the technical breakthroughs that made them possible as Vinton and his creative teams continually pushed stop-motion animation to its limits. Among them were the frame grabber (which allows filmmakers to see what has been previously shot for jitter-free movement), stop-motion hardware and software to allow a single camera to shoot 3-D animation, and their methods for reference filming that imbues animated characters with uncanny realism.
“When I realized that 2015 marked the 40th anniversary of the Academy Award for “Closed Mondays” and the 30th anniversary of “The Adventures of Mark Twain”— both milestones in animation history—I felt it was time to acknowledge not only the influence that the California Raisins, the Noid, Dinosaurs “Herb & Rex,” M&M’s “Red & Yellow” and The PJs’ Thurgood Stubbs had on my generation, but to congratulate Will for doing it all in Portland, Oregon—instead of Hollywood, California,” says Portland film festival founder and Executive Director Joshua Leake. “Thanks to Will Vinton, Portland is not just a world mecca for gifted animators today, it’s the coolest place on the planet to make movies.”
The public is invited to join the Portland Film Festival for a special tribute to Will Vinton that includes screenings of his “The Adventures of Mark Twain” and “Closed Mondays” on Thursday, September 3, 2015, at 4 pm at the Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209. Tickets are $10, and can be ordered online at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/lifetime-achievement-tribute-to-will-vinton-adventures-of-mark-twain-screening-tickets-18253609036

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The Portland Film Festival returns to the Rose City on September 1-7, 2015, for a weeklong celebration of movies and the people who make them. Film fans will find plenty to feast on with ZOMBIE DAY (a free live event featuring over two thousand festivalgoers as extras in the short film, “Zombie Day Apocalypse,” to establish a new Guinness Book World Record), WILL VINTON TRIBUTE (Portland’s Academy Award-winning stop motion pioneer will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation in Filmmaking), WENDY FROUD TRIBUTE (the acclaimed creature sculptor and puppet maker will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, including for her work as a fabricator on Yoda for “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”), OVER 70 WORKSHOPS led by top industry pros, AFTER PARTIES WITH LIVE MUSICAL PERFORMANCES, and a chance to meet and network with OVER 350 VISITING FILMMAKERS!

The nonprofit Portland Film Festival was founded by filmmaker and Executive Director Josh Leake in 2013, and is made possible by the generous donation of time and skills by over 300 volunteers each year. Last year alone the festival drew 23,000 ticket holders, 240 visiting filmmakers (many of them from outside the U.S.) and 1200 industry members – making it one of Oregon’s most popular cultural events. Zombie Day was recently featured in Entertainment Weekly and the festival has been named one of the most “creative in the world” by Moviemaker Magazine.

Visit www.portlandfilmfestival.com for more information and to purchase passes and tickets.