Thursday, February 08, 2007

Southern Circuit tour day four - Karl Staven

Southern Circuit tour day four. Clemson, South Carolina. Why is it that the smaller the airport the tighter the security? Leaving Lynchburg I had to place the one piece of luggage I was checking in on a metal table where a security guard opened up the suitcase, poked around for a bit, and then swiped a round piece of cloth/paper around all four sides before depositing it in a machine that would tell him if I was carrying plastic explosives. They were equally as excited by my carry-on bag, also wiping it down and testing for potential nuclear hazardous waste.

No problems getting to Greenville, SC once the plane arrived (all flights in the south seem to need to stop at either Charlotte, NC or Atlanta, GA – Charlotte seems to be this tour’s central distribution point).

Amy picked me up at my hotel at 6 and her partner drove us both over to the lone sushi restaurant in the college mix of tanning salons, pizza joints, and sub shops. We were joined by Clemson colleagues and conversed and ate until 10 minutes before my presentation. Nice folks, all. We scooted over to the venue.

Whoa, look at the all the folks in the audience here. This is the largest crowd yet. Of course this is the largest college so far on the tour, Clemson has 17 thousand students and at least some of them decided not to attend tonight’s basketball game.

Tonight’s presentation appeared to go relatively smoothly. Only a couple of folks walked out during the screening, the student projectionist was able to move through the dvd menu in a timely manner, and Amy did a standup job running the lights to illuminate me as I blathered inbetween each film.

At a local bar afterwards (Nicks, I believe), I found myself talking mostly to David Donar. David is a teacher in the digital production arts MFA program at Clemson. Our immediate connection, however, is that we were both included on a publicly released animation compilation distributed by Manga Entertainment under the title of General Chaos: Uncensored Animation. This was Manga’s attempt to tap into the Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted revenue stream and it didn’t pan out. Neither of our films fall into the fart/sex/mutilate category, yet that is where the company chose to place us.

Tomorrow it looks like I’ll visit David’s class before driving over to Columbia. Thanks, Amy, for your kind hospitality and support before, during and after the screening.