As a filmmaker, and actually as pretty much everything I do, I consider myself a craftsman rather than an artist. The distinction-- to me anyway-- is that a craftsman creates something that serves a primary purpose of utility, while an artist creates art for the sake of the art alone. It's perhaps a simplistic view that tends toward black-and-white distinctions in a world of shades of gray, but within my little creative world, it suits me.
Tonight's festival pointed this out to me in spades. The animations that were actually purposed to tell a story were the ones that I liked, while the animations that were done just for the art came off as pretentious crap.
There was a lot of pretentious crap.
Don't get me rong, there was some really good stuff in there. Flurry is pushing the awesome category, coming really close to Pixar/Dreamworks quality character animation.
To me, filmmaking is a way of telling a story. Even a documentary should have some sort of storyline. An animation that just has amorphous shapes moving across the screen is the emotional equivalent of watching a Lava Lamp: at certain times it can be nice, but it has no meaning.
And that wasn't the worst one. Oy.