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October 19, 2005

Tippett @ eDIT 8 Festival in Frankfurt, Germany

At this years eDIT 8 Filmmaker's Festival in Frankfurt, Germany, Phil Tippett was:

"highlighted with the awarding of eDIT’s highest honor: Festival Honors, which where bestowed this year on animation pioneer Phil Tippett and distinguished actor Armin Mueller Stahl. Festival Honors were presented at a gala celebration on the evening of opening day. Attendees received a red carpet welcome and champagne reception during which opening remarks were made by aforementioned minister oaf arts and science Udo Corts."

See Also: Questions to Phil Tippett - Festival Honors

Good Stuff.

'He is currently developing several new directing projects, and Tippett Studio remains busy.'

Festival Honors

Attendees then moved into the theater, where the ceremony began with a welcome from Prime Minister Koch, followed by a choreography by Germany’s William Foresythe.

Then Festival Honors were bestowed on Phil Tippett, the award-winning visual effects supervisor, animation pioneer, director and founder of Tippett Studio, which produces animation and visual effects for feature and commercial projects. Tippett has earned two Academy Awards — for the visual effects on Return of the Jedi and Jurassic Park — and two Emmys during a career that has spanned more than 25 years. The audience was taken through a recap of Tippett’s career through a series of clips of his work, including The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Robocop, Jurassic Park and Starship Troopers.

Tippett’s direction began at the age of seven when he first watched visual effects legend Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion classic, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad.

In a truly emotional moment during the Festival Honors presentation, Harryhausen appeared in a surprise video clip during which he congratulated Tippett on receiving Festival Honors. The clip concluded with one of the memorable stop motion skeletons that battled in Harryhausen’s Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts, who also “offered congratulations,” generating cheers from the packed theater.
A surprised Tippett was visibly moved to get this message from his mentor. In accepting the award, he simply said, “It was Ray whose Seventh Voyage of Sinbad sent me on this life in cinema nearly 50 years ago, on the way to receiving this great honor.” (Afterwards, Tippett said the message from Harryhausen was “the pinnacle… for me it was going to the full route, it was really moving.”)

As part of their recognition, Tippett and Mueller-Stahl each received a place of honor on the Wall of Fame, a permanent installation in the foyer of the German Film Museum in Frankfurt, which represents the Festival Honors awarded annually by eDIT. This marks the first time that an animator and actor have been honored. In the display, they join previous prizewinners director Peter Greenaway, the cinematographers Michael Ballhaus, ASC and Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC; visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren, ASC; editor Tom Rolf, ACE; production designer Dante Ferretti and legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

The actual display features items donated by the awardees as symbolic of their work, which are exhibited in glass cases on concrete columns. The two new columns were unveiled at the museum in conjunction with the eDIT Festival.

Later, a special eDIT session featured Tippett in a conversation with a fellow Academy Award winner, Chris Landreth, who was honored with an Oscar earlier this year for the animated short Ryan.

During this session, Landreth walked the famed animator through his inspirations, career highlights and screening of Tippett’s film work, as well as those of his inspirations, such as the aforementioned Sinbad. Landreth emphasized Tippett’s unique role in vfx’s history, through his “survivability from stop motion to digital.”
Discussion included Tippett’s start at George Lucas’s ILM, where he developed the animation technique known as Go-Motion in 1982 and earned his first Academy Award nomination for Dragonslayer. In 1983, he began work on The Return of the Jedi, for which he received his first Oscar.

Tippett Studio was founded in 1984 when Tippett left ILM to create a 10-minute experimental film called Prehistoric Beast. The realism of the dinosaurs led to his work on the 1985 CBS animated documentary Dinosaur!, for which Tippett Studio won its first Emmy.

Tippett explained that based on his dinosaur experience, he was contacted by Steven Spielberg in 1991 and asked to supervise the dinosaur animation for Jurassic Park. It was this project that was responsible for Tippett Studio’s transition from stop-motion to computer-generated animation and for which Tippett earned his second Oscar.

More recently, the animator took an interest in directing. A few years ago, he partnered with longtime associate, writer Ed Neumeier (with whom he worked on Starship Troopers and Robocop); the two wrote the story for Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, which Tippett directed. He is currently developing several new directing projects, and Tippett Studio remains busy.

Looking ahead, Tippett said he believes that “visual effects will just fall into the nomenclature of filmmaking.” And when asked about techniques he will use going forward, he said that he expects to be working in an all-digital realm, although he would return to stop motion “if it was appropriate in the context of a film.”



Posted by dschnee at October 19, 2005 10:27 AM