Let's talk with Perry Edwards about Nicktoons' Animation Film Festival

Interview by Dee-Marie

Perry Edwards [Perry6], has won several awards on Renderosity, among them; the inside-cover of the Renderosity [printed] Magazine [issue 8], a third place in the Animation Celebration Grand Opening Contest, and first place in the Renderosity Holiday Contest [animation division]. Now he has tossed his animation hat into the big arena, by not only entering the Nextoons: The Nicktoons Film Festival, but, having his film chosen as one of the festivals finalists.

Nextoons: The Nicktoons Film Festival was founded in 2004, to showcase the talents of international animation film artists. Films featured in the festival are animations that are 10 minutes [or under] in length. This is the second showing of the first animation film festival on a digital network.

Films can be viewed August 21, through August 28th. The Grand Prize winner and the Producers' Choice winner will be announced during the televised screening of the final episode of Nextoons: The Nicktoons Film Festival 2005, scheduled for August 28, 2005. Perry's entry, A Short Visit to Toy Town, will be showcased on Friday, August 26th.

As a long time admirer of Perry's images [both graphics and animations], I was eager to sit down with him to get the details of his Nextoons adventures.

Perry, everyone on Renderosity is excited about the news of your entry being nominated for the Film Festival, can you give us a sneak-peak as to A Short Visit to Toy Town's content?

I could but then the entire Renderosity community would be put under surveillance by Homeland Security (sorry, only kidding ... only the Renderosity STAFF would be under surveillance).

Wow, I had no idea that the security was that tight on Nicktoons. After checking with the rest of the staff, we "jointly" decided to throw caution to the wind and take our chances with the Cartoon-Feds. So ... how about a preview of your entry?

The 2-minute film shows a typical day in a motorized toy town where things don't always run as smoothly as they should. As this would be shown on Nicktoons, I wanted to keep it suitable for all ages. I won't give away the little twist at the end. Here are a couple of shots from the film.


A Short Visit To Toy Town © Perry Edwards [Perry6]
Screening #6/Film #3 - Airs on Nicktoons on August 26 at midnight (EST)


[Description: It's a typical day in motorized Toy Town where things don't always run as smoothly as they should. Perry Edwards says he was inspired to make Toy Town after he heard one of the many adventures his sister Anna had while walking her dog. Edwards teaches animation and design at The School of Advertising Art in Dayton, Ohio where he also serves as senior computer director.]

Yes, I know, it's a typical question, but ... enquiring artistic-minds want to know ... what's your preferred software for animating?

All the animation was created in my favorite program, Cinema4D. (Can I use this spot to say hello to the Cinema4D community? Oh, and I can't forget the Photography community! Hello!) I edited the sound in iMovie and did final editing in QuickTime Pro. (Can I also say "Hi" to my sister?)

Hmmm, as a newbie to the spotlight, I can only assume that you do not know about the "rules-of-Hi" ? Officially there is only one "shout-out" allowed per interview [noted in the interview manual under: The Football Hi-Mom Rule - chapter V, page 22], so, sorry, no.

No ... ok, never mind.

Now, on to the hard-hitting questions; from concept to completion, how long did it take you to create your film?

The original idea came from some adventures my sister had while walking her dog. I created a very short, rough film based on this (it took about 3 days). I liked the look of it and wanted to do more with it, so I started over (tossing out all the adult-oriented humor).

I worked on the final version for about a month. The first 3 weeks, I was busy teaching, and could only spare a few hours, here and there. The final week I spent almost every waking hour on the computer and only stopped because I had to get it in the mail to meet the deadline (if it weren't for the deadline, I probably would still be working on it).


A Short Visit To Toy Town © Perry Edwards [Perry6]


You had to be very excited when you received notice that your film was chosen from over 400 entries, to be included in the final cut of 50, to be showcased on the Film Festival week. Was that moment an unexpected "dream come true," or did you have a "feeling" that your film would make the cut when you entered the festival?

I was really shocked when I got the news. I knew I wasn't following any of the "rules" for today's "typical" Flash-based cartoons or "standard" character animation. Because my characters move in a very simple way, I was sure that my film would get noticed - I just figured they'd say, "Hey! No Fair! This guy cheated!"

I started creating films for my sister about three years ago (She always has these funny stories that I then animate). I'd also use these animations to teach the basics to my students. I always thought of it as just a hobby and then I started entering the Renderosity animation contests (I like the contests because it gives me a deadline).

Your animations are uniquely whimsical, and it is easy to see why your entries have consistently placed in the winning circle of the Renderosity animation contests. Will this be the first time that one of your films has been featured on television?

Yes - although you may have seen ME on a recent COPS episode, but I'm not sure, as I was drunk (only kidding, I've never been seen drunk on TV - I think). To set the record straight, for the younger readers - I do not condone drinking (at least until you're old enough to have really good reasons to drink).

[laughter] Perry, what words of wisdom would you like to share with our readers in regards to creating award-winning animations?

I honestly don't feel like there is much I can tell the Renderosity artists. I'm always learning from, and being inspired by them. Every time I visit the galleries (especially the Cinema4D gallery). I'm blown away by the talent there - but, Dee-Marie, as the other staff members warned me, that I had better give you straight answers if I don't want to bring out your mean side (only kidding, the other staff members weren't talking about your mean side - or at least they didn't share it with me). I think I forgot the question.

[More laughter] I believe the question was - "Words of wisdom - do you have any?"

Oh yeah - my words of wisdom would be: take your idea, give it every minute you can spare, have fun working on it, push yourself even when you're sick of it and then MAIL IT IN! Then, forget about it and start working on something new. Oh, and spend time on the Renderosity forums. It's amazing the knowledge that is being passed around there (my biggest regret is that I don't have more time to participate in the forums).

On behalf of the Renderosity community, I would like to express how proud we all are of your accomplishment, and that we will be glued to the television on Friday night to view your film, and on Sunday the 28th for the awards show!

Thank you. I'm excited to see it on television, and I really feel like I'm SHARING this accomplishment with a great, supportive community. (Now, can I say hello to my sister Anna? And Michael? And Fluffy?)

Ok, Perry, I guess we can bend the rules for you this one time.

[waves to sister Anna, Michael, and Fluffy] Oh, Dee-Marie, was this going to be on the front page or back with the Farm Reports and Hog Prices?

Oh, I promise we will feature you on Renderosity's Front Page News. Just don't forget about us when you accept your first Academy Award for Animations!

Congratulations again Perry, and thank you so much for sharing your talent with us ...
See you in the movies!

Special Note: If Nextoons: Nicktoons Film Festival is not available in your area, you can still view all the entries from the following link.

We invite you to visit the following:

  • Perry's Wacky Online World
  • Perry's Renderosity Art Gallery
  • Nextoons: The Nicktoons Film Festival
  • 2005 Festival Schedule
  • Nicktoons Home Page
  • Viewers Choice Online Voting starts Aug. 22. During the festival week from 8/22 to 8/28, screenings are open for voting on the date they air on Nicktoons only. Missed a day of voting? Don't worry! All screenings will reopen for voting starting 8/29 at 12AM.
    "Lets Talk" with Dee-Marie
    is a monthly featured column
    by Dee-Marie:
    Senior Staff Writer, and Managing Editor of
    Renderosity's Front Page News
  • August 22, 2005