Sunday, September 25, 2011

Interview with Award Winners at Burbank International Film Festival 2011 Animation Section “Supa Pirate Booty Hunt -Music Saves Lives PSA”

Dahveed Kolodny-Nagy – Director, Animator, Character designer, Co-author
Steve Sievers- Co-creator, Writer also the Voice- over of 'Daniel the Turtle' in the series

Burbank Film Festival Award Winners – in the following categories:-
Best Writing (Animation/Original)
Best Voice Acting -Spike Spencer
Best Character Design
Best Production Design
Best Art Direction
Best Sound Editing (Animation)
for episode Nurse Boobies Please

Burbank International Film Festival September 15th -18th 2011

Interview by Jasmina Nevada

-Where did you get this concept from to write 'Supa Pirate Booty Hunt?

(Steve)....It started off as a skit in 2004 on a college radio show, pirates, turtles, super heroes & music. Kind of combined it all and then this concept was born. I moved out here and I teamed up with Dahveed and he cleverly came up with the name Supa Pirate Booty Hunt

(Dahveed)..I wanted to come up with something catchy that people would remember and basically the name says it all 'Supa Pirate Booty Hunt'..... it is pirate hunting booty of all kinds, treasure & ladies. One writes from what you there may be some characters in here that may be ex-girlfriends of Steve and an ex-room mate of mine. The main character is based on the glam rocker who always hits on the ladies a little and pretty easy to start a fight and doesn't have much to back it up.

-Are you saying then that you used the traits from your friends personalities to develop characters?

(Dahveed) Yes, defintely our friends and ourselves as well.
(Steve) And our life experiences we have thrown in here or stuff we loved growing up. I had a turtle and I just loved turtles... the pirate has to have a sidekick so I said how about a turtle?

(Dahveed)The main character, the one thing we both really love about him is that he never gives up. In the 1st episode he has a shark biting him on the crotch, but still goes to the bar and hits on all the ladies. So that is the kind of lesson which we try to aspire to is that - don't give up pursuing your goal and don't let anything stand in your way

-Is this the first film festival you have entered these animations films into?

Actually it was the 2nd, we were in ITV Fest just last month.
Film festivals are a lot of fun

-Which film festivals would you like to enter for the future?

Sundance Film Festival, we will be there... in one way or another
We did an Emmy Gifting suite for Music Saves Lives. They will have a suite at Sundance so we will still have our animation playing there and the stars will come in and check it out.

-So it will be great promotion for you at Sundance?

(Steve)..Yeah I have never been to Sundance, Dahveed has told me so much about it so I will find a way to get there...

(Dahveed).There is Sundance, Slamdance, Tromadance, Slamdunk etc a whole bunch of festivals and Hollyshorts etc.. and then just enter all of them and see what sticks

-You both seem like you are very good 'buddies' and how long have you been friends you seem to have a very nice rapport between each other? I am curious to translate that on....

(Dahveed)We grew up around the same area on the East Coast DC, Virginia, Maryland, we didn't know each other back then. A mutual friend introduced us, it was like a 'blind date' we were very apprehensive of each other because we both had very bad experiences with other partners in animation projects before.

(Steve) Dahveed was my 4th animator on this project and I almost gave up and then my friend told me about him and said that he knew that you guys will get along great. It's true and we both love this project. We push each other to promote and animate and get it out there and it is great to see all the hard work we put into it come to life. Now I will and have seen it on the big screen at the Burbank Film Festival

-After this what is next in the pipeline? Is there something that you are working on together now?

(Steve) We have a Kickstarter campaign that we are working on for an animated PSA for Music Saves Lives and I have guest starring Dave Mustaine of the band Megadeth. We are open up to our fans and if you want to be part of the animations you can help contribute and be rewarded by being in the cartoon. Dahveed is going to draw you in there.

(Dahveed) I do caricatures of people all the time and I did include a couple of people from real life in the current episode.

(Dahveed) It is incredible as we do this just for the love of doing it really just love the stories but then we were contacted by Russell of Music Saves Lives. We were trying to reach this demographic the young adults, college kids and trying to get them to donate blood. He said that your series and your project would be perfect to reach them and get the message across that is why we are doing the whole music saves lives PSA's and the first one had the band 3OH!3 and Steve said the next one has Dave Mustaine of Megadeth.

(Steve) We actually turned our animated PSA into a comic (shown to me) that was given out on every day in the 'Vans Warped Tour' daily for two months in the whole of North America

-Is there a website that one could find all of this?

Cartoons and all our information at:

(Steve) Please come out to any events or conventions that we do and if we have any more comics left we will continue giving them out and the message is to get people to donate blood.

(Dahveed) That's the one thing I would say anyone who is a film maker and /or Animator. One has to be shameless in their self promotion and it is one thing that Steve and I do in a big way. Obviously you can't see this but we dress up as our characters .. photo of Steve in the turtle costume with the playboy bunny and myself in the pirate outfit there. Our first fan tattoo this girl got the pirate tattooed on her back leg. Of course once you have you first fan tattoo you have your commitment to do something with those characters

-What message would you like to pass on to the young and upcoming animators at the moment ?

Keep at it, you have to have the heart and desire you can't just make something and expect to be an overnight sensation. Put it out on UTube and hope that everyone is going to find it, you really have to work for it. We started from scratch and we went to every networking event, every convention, any concert where we could give out postcards and spread the word about it. It has slowly been growing over these years and Music Saves Lives, Burbank Film Festival noticed and so many things are happening so we have to keep that train rolling.

Also I think speak from your own heart and don't try to copy other people and do what you think will be popular or hot it , as it will come off kinda weak. If you do want to make it you will have to go all the way to the finish line....

-So it sounds like passion , destiny and relentless work is the key...

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Thank you for your time

* Special thanks and appreciation from Jasmina Nevada to Brandon Scott Kurtz, Fatima Grate - Burbank International Film Festival, also to Dahveed-Kolodny-Nagy & Steve Sievers for the wonderful invite to enjoy the festival*

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