Teresa Drilling Speaks in Seattle
by Elliot Rosenstein, Summer 2002
Event took place on June, 2002, at 911 Media Arts Centre, Seattle
I enjoyed the informative article about Teresa Drilling, which appeared in the last ASIFA
newsletter, before attending her discussion in Seattle. Though I always welcome the
opportunity to read about animators who I admire, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity
to see the work, have the animator comment on it, and have the chance to ask questions.
Teresa talked about her start in animation at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Though she majored in painting, she had a friend, Robin Crist, did a couple of shorts together. The first was done with a G.I. Joe dolls, which she later found was common to many stop-motion animators. After that early success she and Robin animated a retelling of Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat.” This was picked up by HBO. She presented the short, which though primitive, compared to her later work, was charming and showed the creativity and inventiveness that she would later use at Will Vinton Studios.
One of the first projects she worked on for Vinton’s was a pair of skating walruses for “A Claymation Christmas Special.” She showed this short, and explained some of the techniques. The ice was a metal table with a large electro-magnet below. The walrus’s skates were metal. The magnet was turned off when the models need to be moved, but when the magnet was on, the models would remain fixed anywhere on the table.
Teresa showed her reel for her work at Vinton’s, and her work on “Chicken Run.” I am new to the animation world; so I found her presentation, color for her work, black and white for other people’s work, and interesting and useful way of showing continuity of a given piece while highlighting her contribution.
Her presentation included “Cecille the Ball” for Sesame Street, an idea she developed as a fast solution for their short production cycle. Teresa also showed some of the models she had sculpted and animated, and she demonstrated some replacement animation techniques.
I look forward to seeing the work she will be producing from her own Studio.