Candy, alone (sort of…)
So without either Rick or Marilyn who had changed careers, I started animating without staff support. And although it was supposed to have been my last work, I found that I enjoyed the "zen" of animating alone. Without the pressures of running a studio, I enjoyed drawing again! There were stories I had to leave out of “I, Candy”— 22 minutes was long enough!— so I started “Miracle on Central Park West”.
Leon Joosen, who became a friend from the AMPAS New York screenings, came to work at Buzzco’s space. There was plenty of room for him to spread out his own work (this space had once held about a dozen employees at its start) and I was glad for the company. I saw that he was excellent in making papier-maché sculptures. Since my script for Miracle on Central Park West required backgrounds on the sidewalks of the NYC’s Upper West Side, I thought it’d be so much fun to create small-scale buildings that, when photographed, would become the backgrounds for my characters. We raided my recycle bin for boxes and cartons which magically became brownstones, apartment buildings and synagogues.
I went to my cinematographer friend John Donnelly to shoot it. He had a digital camera set-up to shoot my 3-dimensional buildings. I knew the length of each scene from my storyboard but John’s experience with lighting, camera angles and lenses added so much more! So not exactly alone (I had some great voice talent as well), I made another film— doing all the drawings myself!
It was completed in February 2020 at the onset of Covid restrictions stopping in-person screenings or even seeing other people!
I took to the isolation to start another film, A Tale of Two Weddings, another story that didn’t make it into I, Candy. It describes a weekend when I attended two different family events, 72 hours and 6,000 miles apart. Again, I loved having a project to keep me occupied and I finished the drawings at the beginning of 2021. When I tried booking the final mix, it was scheduled multiple times and cancelled by outbreaks of covid. I finally completed it in March of 2022— and instead of entering it into festivals, it'll be available here!
In the meantime, Lanny’s dear friend, Broadway producer, Jamie DeRoy, asked me to help her make a music video. I thought I’d make a limited animation which should have taken only about a month. When she said she wanted to enter it in film festivals, I decided I’d do it all the way…and it’s gotten into more festivals than my latest personal films! Then, a documentary friend of hers asked me to create an animated introduction and other scenes for a documentary whose subject I found interesting. And Jamie came back with a second music video Daddy's Girl, finished in August 2022, is making its way through film festivals!
And animation schools still ask me to speak to their classes— and what is clear is that I’m not ready to stop!