Eats for Endorsement

An ongoing feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me dinner. Today’s entry: Ross Kiester!


I met Ross Kiester at the Platform Animation Festival in Portland, OR, where his two brilliant and charming teenage daughters impressed me with their impeccable taste (they’re fans of the Stork). Last week Ross was in New York doing…well, all kinds of things. For not only is he a mathematician into discreet global grids, but he’s also a turtle conservationist. The latter is how he knows Eric Goode of the Maritime Hotel – turns out he’s a turtle conservationist too. Those turtle conservationists form a tight community, which is why fellow turtle conservationist Maurice Rodrigues is the manager of the Maritime’s various enterprises, including Matsuri, where we enjoyed a lavish and delicious Japanese meal followed by French fusion pastries. My oh my that was tasty. Also joining were Ross’ niece and her husband, both accomplished graphic designers. Conversation focused on Basque cuisine, Japanese cuisine, alcohol (for once I wasn’t the only person at the table who just doesn’t like the taste), West vs. East Coasts, and of course, turtles. On that subject I was surely the most ignorant person there, but I did suggest a three-word name for their organization – the Global Turtle Initiative.

These cheesy flash photos don’t do anyone justice, alas.

Maurice: yes to turtles, no to booze.

Would YOU like to be featured in Eats for Endorsement? Then buy me dinner. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.


Why Film?

Ms. Laaw-yuhr asks a good question: why go through the trouble and expense of putting Sita Sings the Blues on 35mm film?

1. The most prestigious and important film festivals still show only film, not video. The next deadline for the first of these is Berlin, November 1st. If Sita is accepted, she’ll have to be on film by the end of January.

There’s been a huge proliferation of film festivals in recent years, and many do screen video and DVD. But the “big five” (Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Toronto and Sundance) retain a strong preference – if not outright requirement – for film.

2. Professional distributors prefer film, and I hope to attract a distributor.

3. The digital projectors in mainstream theaters use a proprietary codec, as deigned by the Motion Picture Association. Obtaining the license for that codec is expensive.

4. Art houses, the likeliest theatrical destination for “Sita,” seldom have the fancy new digital systems anyway, relying instead on inferior tape and DVD projectors, or good ol’ gorgeous film.

5. Film looks great. And I have designed the entire production with film in mind as the final destination. Everything is 24 frames per second, at a film-worthy resolution.

6. Film is a universal platform that works around the world. Video standards differ from region to region, and digital projection technologies are ephemeral. Since “Sita” is likely to be seen overseas in a variety of countries, including many places that can’t afford the latest digital systems, film is the best vehicle for her.

7. Add your own reason in the comments.


I’m Cheap and Easy

Today I did a google blogsearch on my name (no, I’m not ashamed) and look what came up:

Not just a monster, a bargain monster. This may be my only five-star review.

Get me with no regrets. Beware of invalid information about me, there’s plenty out there.

Quality the me, conveniently located.

(I had a link to the squatter-site that generated this crap, but it’s since been replaced by sex ads.)


15 people, $2K each?

thermometer.jpgMy current plan involves persuading 15 people to lend me $2,000 each. A mere $2K buys a credit of your choice, and I’ll pay you back as soon as the movie gets money (before I pay back myself). How does that sound? I’m also trying to arrange a screening (on DVD) in New York so all you moneybags can see what you’re supporting. Any venues out there want to help? Actually if anyone out there wants to organize a fundraising screening in another city, that’d be great too. I’m shooting for November or December. Talk to me, baby!


Snake Wrangler

Speaking of raising $30,000, anyone who invests can have a credit of their choice in the film! Director, Writer and Animator are all taken, but there are so many more:

Best Boy
Key Grip
Location Scout
Sita’s Gowns by
Set Dresser
Animal Trainer
Third Unit Supervisor
Grand Poobah
Executive Poobah
Associate Poobah
Stunt Double

…and so many more. Buy your credit today!