Emily Hubley On Her Work and Legacy in Animation

Posted by: Kevin Coyle

Moore’s upcoming Women in Animation Film Festival is proud to feature some of the most influential artists working today. One of the featured artists, Emily Hubley, will screen films by her mother and animation pioneer, Faith Hubley. Faith directed the Academy Award winning shorts: Moonbirds, The Hole, A Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Double feature; as well as the Oscar-nominated Windy Day, Of Men and Demons, Voyage to Next and A Doonesbury Special.

Emily has quite the impressive resume as well. Hubley’s films are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Department of Film and she was in the first class of Annenberg film fellows named by the Sundance Institute.

In the digital age of everything, Hubley’s process seems to hold more gravitas because of its hand drawn appeal. Her films explore human emotions and they way they affect the worlds within and around us. We were lucky enough to ask Emily a few questions before she heads to the festival. Enjoy!

You have been surrounded by the world of animation your whole life – can you imagine being involved in anything else? If so, what would it be?

I never intended to be an animator – and my college film instructor who suggested I animate my stories/essays, would not likely have done so if it weren’t for his familiarity with my parents’ work. I had intended to become a writer – maybe I would have done that without the film/visual aspect.

A lot of your animated films explore personal moments; therefore does the ability to collaborate with your family make this process harder, easier or BOTH?

I’ve always enjoyed working with members of my family. So far, I haven’t encountered an issue that made the process thorny or uncomfortable. I’ve also enjoyed collaborating with people outside my family.

You will be discussing your family’s legacy at Moore’s Women in Animation Film Festival.  Is there a part of the story that is often left out that you feel the need to tell?

I feel that Faith’s work has been somewhat ignored in the past decade. I am working on a couple of projects that will hopefully spotlight her animated films and her interesting life!

Most of your work that I have seen is hand drawn. What are your thoughts on the current state of animation and where it is heading?

I like being able to sense the human and personal artist behind a given film – or any piece of art for that matter. I’m afraid I don’t pay much attention to the 3D features; they’re clearly not made for my ilk. There are, thankfully, enough ways for me to see current work by individual animators, on-line, at festivals, etc. I’ve always felt a huge divide between the personal work and that of the commercial industry, and don’t understand when they are considered to be in the same category.

Any words of encouragement for young female animators hoping to make a name for themselves?

I visited some college students last week and they asked very direct questions about my “career” choices – did I have regrets etc. We had an interesting discussion about ambition, being true to one’s artistic self, the value of a comfort zone, the pros and cons of collaboration, taking risks and stagnating. The truth is that there is no blueprint that works for everyone, and that each individual must train her/his self to know when to push and when to breathe. There are so many ways to succeed in this field, and it’s also tough. Artists need to be nimble, bold and aware, to build connections and support one another.

For more info on the March 23-26, 2017, Women in Animation Film Festival click here

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