Interview With John Dilworth – Producer, Director and Animator

He’s funny, blunt, and has a bit of a problem accepting the rules of society. Award-winning animator John Dilworth, creates unique films, which encourage viewers to embrace silliness. With successes such as “Noodles and Ned” and “Courage the Cowardly Dog” in his background, Dilworth has already proven that he’s got what it takes to entertain viewers, and he continues to make people laugh all over the globe with his new films. You can catch several of the in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Dilworth tells us what he does and how he does it:CP: Could you please give me a brief background of your filmmaking experience?JD: My filmmaking experience began during my university studies in NYC attending the School of Visual Arts. My aspiration was to become a famous animator and make animated films that would be admired. I started drawing intuitively. This is where it all went wrong for me. Right from the start, I should have focused more on the art of storytelling. I would have been more satisfied with my animated films. However, I was ambitious and established a resolve to do the best I was capable of. I sought out any kind of work in animation from production to animating and eventually to directing. This was a tough journey without thrills; I suffer from judgment and do not sit well with criticism. I get through it with a suspicion of tranquility. I was solicitous to influential people, eyeballing hope through favor and talent. Strategies of self-interest are essential to an artist.CP: When you create a film, are you doing it for yourself or your viewers or both?JD: Audience considerations have often been secondary to my intentions in art. However, when I am with corporate contract, I employ a more discriminating effort to prioritize.CP: What do you want viewers to get from your films?JD: I would be content with knowing that viewers felt in their sixth sense that it is okay to be silly and still be engaged in “life.” Silliness is not immaturity. The way I see it, reality is loaded with enough serious stuff to put you in a morgue. One test of an individual is in how one reacts to the surplus stuff of responsibility, obligation, duty. Travel deep into the nonsense and silliness I say. With our obsession with respectability and refinement, where have the “unaffected moments” gone? What happened to our “expressive imperfections?” Can we not pay our monthly bills and add a funny drawing on the check? Being silly does not mean we are swinging out of orbit, rather it is more an earthiness of intention, deliberately purposeful play designed to abstract our “reality.” How’s that for cocktail party philosophy?CP: Your films are really wacky and push the boundaries of what parents deem acceptable for their children, what is your philosophy on film content for children?JD: Thank you. Your question makes me think of the pursuit of Shakespeare, to mold a human being, to become an “individual.” Parents are the custodians of the future of human character. I share with them the same concerns for admirable human qualities: virtue, courage and devotion to the good of all. My characters are obsessed with the pursuit of love as a defining element of their character and this element is not a harmful one. Love is the pressing on the boundaries towards human achievements in aesthetics, morality, spirituality and of the mind’s capacity to expand. Love is a funny thing.CP: What is one of the craziest experiences you have had in your job so far?JD: I was demonstrating to audiences how to do the Noodles & Nedd dance from the film, “Noodles & Nedd” wearing a space suit. It was one of those impossible to predict questions from children. I was returning from “pitching” a cartoon show to an executive wearing the suit and didn’t have time to change.CP: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career choice?JD: The laughter from audiences. I recall attending a film festival in Bilbao, Spain. My film, “The Dirdy Birdy,” was the last film to screen. I cannot sit through a screening of my own animation. I break out itching myself with my feet. Anxiety puts me in a head lock. I left the auditorium to sit outside alone. Then the audience begins to laugh and laugh and laugh. I was sitting in a empty corridor with laughter bouncing off the walls from invisible lungs. This was something special, a natural moment, authentic like young love, and as impermanent as light.CP: How did you get involved with KIDS FIRST!?JD: As a filmmaker, sending your films to festivals is a requisite to getting your art seen. I sent one of my films to Ranny Levy some time ago and found a sincere supporter over the years.CP: What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?JD: Not every night is filled with song, not every day blooming with spring. To keep sane, I rely on my irrational reactions of cartoon behavior, and I am the most sane individual I know.More information about

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