The 2007 Annie Awards Adventure! Part I
For those who have never attended the Annie Awards, they are essentially the Oscars of the American Animation Industry. When we learned that our friend Giancarlo Volpe and one of his collegues had been nominated for awards in their respective disciplines this year, we at ASN knew we had to be there to support them! So we arranged a pilgrimage. East (New Jersey) and West (Washington), North (Chicago) and South (LA) were represented. Our excitement as we planned this out was palpable.
The trip began for Fledgling and I on Thursday, Feb 8th. Living on the I-5 corridor, we chose to drive the 1000 miles to Burbank. We arrived in LA on friday, Feb 9th and picked up Acastus and Savitri from the airport. That evening we enjoyed time catching up on things with our good friends and making sure we knew where everything was.
Saturday, Feb 10th was spent collecting folks. Avatar_Mom and her husband arrived and immediately began enjoying California in style- by renting a rag-top Mustang! Karalora and her sister, being local, arranged for us to meet for lunch at the IHOP. This was to become a theme for the weekend. The afternoon was spent at the La Brea Tar Pits where we learned all about BLUB!
Sunday, Feb 11th was the big day. We collected once again at IHOP to make sure we knew when and where to meet. Then we broke up to get ready in our own fashions. The event was to be held at the Alex Theater in Glendale, a multi-purpose performing arts theater often used for awards events such as the Annies. The pre-event reception allowed us time to get our bearings and enjoy the spectacle as the attendees and nominees collected. Clearly some studios were very excited to be there, as witnessed by the arrival of characters from Open Season. It was a great crowd.
Once in the theater, we found our seats to be well placed. We were in the front of the balcony, with unobstructed views of the stage, with the acceptance podium on our side. Like the Oscars, the event was emcee'd by a distinguished host, in this case Tom Kenny, well known as the voice of Spongebob Squarepants, but for Teen Titans fans always beloved as the voice of The Amazing Mumbo. To see Mumbo as the Master of Ceremonies was a wonderful thing for Titan's fans to behold. For the next two hours, he was indeed the Master of our Fate.
Also like the Oscars, the awards were in a particular order culminating with the best Director and Best Show/Movie. As the awards built up, we got to see some wonderful artists get recognised. Among them, of course, was Yu Jae Myung, awarded for his character design of Toph. Yu Jae's friend and colleague, Oh Seung Hyun, was incredibly clever providing Yu Jae a way to speak for himself at his acceptance even though he was in Korea during the awards. Yes, the lips on this drawing did move!
After much fretting the moment arrived. The envelope for Best Director of an Animated Television Production was opened and...Giancarlo Volpe won for his work on the second season episode, "The Drill"! Needless to say, we were extremely happy about this and let out the cheers we've since been recognised for. Giancarlo took to the podium and presented a great acceptance speech, ending with his thanks to online fandom for our support of the show!
After the ceremony itself, we collected together in the lobby of the Alex Theater and gave our congratulations to the staff in attendance, including Andrew Huebner, Dao Le, Miken Lee Wong, as well as the award winners. Mike and Bryan called from Korea during this time and gave their own heartfelt congratulations to the winners as well. Even long-distance, they're a great creative team supporting their crew. Next came dinner in a tent behind the theater. As mentioned elsewhere, the food was nothing spectacular, but the company was fantastic. Eventually dinner started winding down and we all agreed we needed to hit the hay because great things were yet to come. With the morning would come a tour of Nick Animation Studios compliments of Giancarlo and the staff of Avatar: The Last Airbender!
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