A little something from South Africa today: animator Mike Scott (previously on Cartoon Brew) made this music video for Goldfish’s song “Get Busy Living.” It’s a treat to see someone advocate a purely digital illustration style and not use software to mimic a traditional animation look. His creative use of limited animation techniques and superb color are also worthy of mention.
He explained to us his process and ideas behind this one-man production:
Got a thick pad and drew out shots for each scene. Put that into an animatic in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, and then got busy with Photoshop. Drew it all in Photoshop CS4 with mostly a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet and a little bit of a Cintiq 12 WX. I then animated all the image layers in Anime Studio Pro 7, and composited with Final Cut Express 4 HD.
In short, Goldfish wanted to have a story where their luggage goes on an epic adventure. They’ve done really well for themselves, often flying out to Ibiza to play sets there, and other world destinations, so I figure they’ve spent a lot of time around airports. Often their gear gets a little ‘handled’ during transport, so they had the idea of their luggage living this alternate life that they don’t know about. So when your bag goes missing, what REALLY happens to it?
They had the idea for a while and we exchanged notes quite a bit, figured the bag would mission off all over the place and ‘get busy living’, meet a girl bag and have this epic romance ha ha. Had a lot of fun with the video, worked on it in the beginning stages whilst I was in London to attend a buddy’s wedding, a bunch of storyboarding whilst I walked around Edinburgh for Edinbugh Festival, and did the rest at home in Plettenberg Bay in South Africa.
Would you rather watch a creaky stop motion cartoon from nearly fifty years ago or a splashy computer animated cartoon from today? Audiences were faced with that decision on Tuesday night when CBS programmed the venerable Rankin/Bass special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer against DreamWorks’ Shrek the Halls and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on ABC.
Rudolph soundly drubbed its competition with 11.3 million viewers and was the second highest-rated program on network TV during the entire night trailing only Fox’s Glee.Shrek the Halls meanwhile delivered 7.4 million viewers and Grinch 6.9 million viewers. Rudolph had a ratings gain from 2009, whereas bothÂ Shrek and Grinch had significant year-to-year rating declines. Everybody say it with me: audiences don’t watch animation for technique; it’s about how much they love your characters and story.
Cartoonist Ryan Estrada has always dreamt of making his own animated feature. Well, he’s finally going to do it. This month. And he’ll be done with it in 31 days. The complete movie will debut on-line on January 1st. He’s currently set up his studio in a Costa Rican jungle and has made a light box out of a baking tray. In other words, he’s ready to create. There’s an entertaining Tumblr blog to accompany the project. Good luck, Ryan!
So far, this year Cartoon Brew has had visitors from 215 countries or territories. As is to be expected, the United States comprises the largest percentage of our readership (64%) and the top five countries account for 82% of our traffic. Other countries in the top five, like Canada, UK and Spain, have each generated hundreds of thousands of visits in 2010. Our US readership reaches well into the millions. (The biggest surprise for us is Spain, where our readership has dramatically expanded in the second half of 2010. The Spanish cities that deliver the most visitors are, in order, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla and Bilbao.)
Below is a list of countries that have recorded at least 1,000 visits so far in 2010. Continue reading →
With 2010 drawing to a close, I thought it might be fun to check our stats and find out which studios and schools have driven the most traffic to Cartoon Brew between January and November 2010. We published a similar study of reader traffic for a shorter period of time in early 2009. Since that time, our traffic has skyrocketed, and there have been a lot of shake-ups in the rankings.
Whereas in early 2009, Pixar was the studio network that visited Cartoon Brew most, today it is Disney, followed by DreamWorks. Viacom and Turner have also jumped ahead of Pixar in the number of their visits. All five of these companies have recorded visits in the tens of thousands, as has Blue Sky Studios. The schools that visit us the most are CalArts, Savannah College of Art and Design and Ringling. I limited the list below to entertainment and media companies that have generated at least 1,000 visits in 2010.
See the full list of companies and schools after the jump, along with more analysis of the numbers. Continue reading →
Flicks: How the Movies Began is an interactive 12-page book published by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2001. The designer of the book, Arnold Schwartzman, was the former design director of Saul Bass and Associates. Someone should republish it for a wider audience.
This visually striking video for WOOM‘s “The Hunt,” loosely retelling the myth of Persephone, was animated entirely with natural materials. Directors are Phillip Niemeyer and Dan Forbes of Brooklyn-based Double Triple. This page about the video includes some photos documenting the production.
Worked on by:
Disney’s Tangled bulldozed its way past analysts’ expectations earning a FINAL $48.9 million over the weekend, and boosting its five-day Thanksgiving holiday total to a towering $68.7 million. Disney’s first CG princess cartoon was a couple hundred thousand dollars shy of Harry Potter’s first place box office finish, however, its three-day total still ranks as the biggest opening ever for a feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. Some more figures from Box Office Mojo: Continue reading →
David Bornstein wrote a fascinating profile in the NY Times about Julia Borbolla, a Mexican child psychologist who has developed a series of animated characters called Antenas that interact with abused, disabled and sick children. The digital characters are brought to life by a psychologist in an adjoining room. Another great example of the ever-growing uses for animated content in the new century:
Antenas characters have been used to assist children who are experiencing a range of difficulties. Therapists in Tacubaya use them in pre- and post-operative therapy and burn rehabilitation. In Morelia, one character, Bompi, is employed to assist children with disabilities. (Bompi says that all humans have disabilities because they don’t have antennas.) The program is being used to provide emotional support to children with heart disease and cancer, teach children how to protect themselves from potential abuse, and, at the government’s request, learn about children’s experiences in public day care centers. In a pilot project being conducted by the Pediatric Hospital of Iztapalapa in conjunction with four government agencies, children’s interactions with another character are carefully being reviewed as potential legal evidence in cases of violence or abuse.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and writer/director/producer Jerry Zucker present “Where Do We Go from Here?” on Thursday, December 2, at 8 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater (8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills). The event follows along the lines of many topics we’ve been discussing on Cartoon Brew lately:
“Where Do We Go from Here?” will examine topics ranging from artificial intelligence to performance capture, 3D and non-traditional theatrical venues. Joining Zucker will be Council member and production designer Alex McDowell (Watchmen, Minority Report), immersive art and entertainment expert Ed Lantz, neuroscientist Eric Haseltine and transmedia storytelling expert Jordan Weisman.
Tickets for the event are affordable as most Academy events are: $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with ID. Purchase tickets at the Academy box office (8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or online. Doors open at 7 pm.