Stop-motion panels reveal the methods of the greats


It takes a lot of hard work to create an animated film, just ask any one of the many industry professionals who will be taking part in the third annual Gumby Fest discussion panels being hosted at Citrus College from Sept.18 to Sept.20.
There will be 15 panels which will feature some of the best stop-motion artists in the world.
Stop-motion artists from studios such as Disney, Sony, Warner Bros., Hasbro, NBC, Mattel, ABC, Jim Henson Studios and Cartoon Network will discuss an array of topics such as women in animation and 3D printing for stop-motion.
The panelists will describe what happens behind-the-scenes in an art studio and how their work impacts their lives.
Greg Wyatt, who has been a moderator for previous Gumby Fest panels said “Last year all the panelists stuck around after their panels to meet their fans one-on-one and answer further questions.”
Wyatt said that panels give fans a chance to interact with the people whose work has enriched their lives.
Margaret Meyer, a costume designer from the movie “Coraline,” will speak on the “Women In Animation” panel.
Kelli Bixler, founder of award-winning stop-motion animation studio “Bix Pix Entertainment”, will talk about how she began creating characters by hand  for popular studio companies in the “Running an Animation Studio” panel.
Ron Dexter, who has been filming commercials, documentaries and TV shows for more than 30 years will be featured in the  “Cultivating a Creative Environment” panel.
The “What It Takes To Be An Artist” panel will feature Dalton Grant Jr., a storyboard artist who has worked on movies such as “Cars” and “Shrek.”
The “State of Art-What’s Next?” panel will speculate the future of stop-motion animation.
Tom Hittle, a stop-motion animator and creator of “The Jay Clay Trilogy”, will be speaking about how he worked on films such as “The Adventures of Gumby” and  “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Citrus College art professor, Dyane Duffy, coordinated the discussion panels that will be featured during the event. She described the discussion panels as an amazing learning opportunity that will offer viewers the chance to meet people that will show how animation films are made.
Cathie Lou Parker, Gumby Fest 2015 marketing manager, encourages everyone to go speculate the process it takes to create a film in an animation studio.
“Not only is Gumby Fest a great family event,” said Parker. “It is a wonderful educational opportunity.”
Wyatt said that smaller festivals like Gumby Fest give fans the opportunity to meet panelists and ask them questions.
“The festival will help promote the school, encourage the use of stop-motion as an art form, and celebrate the legacy of Art Clokey and Gumby,” said Wyatt.
“This could help establish Citrus as a center of attraction for the arts in Southern California, and Gumby Fest as a limelight for stop-motion animation on the West Coast.”
There is a variety of moderators that will range from Citrus College instructors to students.
Dennis Camargo II, a journalism major and president of GSA, will be moderating the “The Nightmare Before Christmas” panel.
“I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to moderate this panel because ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ is one of my favorite films,” Camargo said. “I really appreciate the cinematography and art form.”
Wyatt thinks that there is no better community in which to have the Gumby Fest since Gumby originated here.
“I personally believe that every community has something special and unique about it, and while both Glendora and Azusa have plenty of distinct features about them, no other community on Earth can lay claim to the original Clokey Studios,” Wyatt said.

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