Peabody Award Winners and Animation Software Designer Talk Animation Techniques

Peabody Award-winning independent animators Paul and Sandra Fierlinger and software developer Fabrice Debarge of France’s TVPaint will give an on-campus talk about animation on Tuesday, March 13, at 4:15 p.m. in Stokes 102 that promises to feature a screening of the Fierlinger’s work-in-progress, Slocum a Man at Sea With Himself.

Depending on your age, you may have a different entry-point to the work of animator Paul Fierlinger. Viewers of Sesame Street in the 1980s may remember Fierlinger’s recurring segment “Teeny Little Super Guy.” Younger audiences may know him from the late ’90s Nickelodeon animation interstitials, “Amby and Dexter,” that he made with his wife Sandra. And of course still others may know him from one of the hundreds of films his AR&T Associates animation house have made. Among them: the Academy Award-nominated It’s so Nice to Have a Wolf Around the House, the Peabody Award-winning Still Life With Animated Dogs and My Dog Tulip (for which the Fierlingers were the subject of a 2010 New York Times profile).

A scene from the Fierlinger's My Dog Tulip, which is based on a 1956 memoir by J. R. Ackerley.

Regardless of which of the Main Line-based artist’s projects is your favorite, you won’t want to miss the talk that he and his wife (who has been his longtime collaborator, painter, assistant animator and production manager) will give on campus on Tuesday, March 13, at 4:15 p.m. in Stokes 102. The afternoon’s animation discussion will also include remarks by software developer Fabrice Debarge of France’s TVPaint, who has installed his company’s 2D, bitmap-based digital animation software package in many schools around the world, including Gobelins (France), CalArts (California) and Geidai (Japan). Also, the Feirlingers will screen their current work-in-progress, Slocum a Man at Sea With Himself, a film about Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail around the world by himself.

The event, which promises to educate aspiring animators as well as fans of the genre, was organized by Jon Appel ’12, whose senior thesis project is a feature-length animated film. “Thanks to The Student Arts Fund, Haverford is now equipped with TVPaint software and a digital drawing tablet, which are the only materials necessary to produce a feature length animated film, such as the Fierlingers’ Slocum,” says Appel. “This is very exciting and accessible technology for anyone interested in drawing or animation.”