I haven’t seen UP yet, mostly owing to the fact that there aren’t any local theaters showing it in a regular non-eye pain inducing theatrical version. The good news is that if I wait until August, I can check out the GoodTimes Home Video version called What’s Up: Balloon to the Rescue. As long as it’s got a flying house, an old man and a kid, I’ll be happy.
Awesome news from The Hollywood Reporter: Monster Safari, a project created by the boys at LA-based Screen Novelties–Mark Caballero, Chris Finnegan and Seamus Walsh–is being turned into a stop-motion feature by the Jim Henson Co. Craig Zobel and Matt Chapman, creators of Homestarrunner.com, are scripting the feature. According to THR, the story “revolves around what happens when the Earth’s monsters come out of hiding and a pair of bumbling crypto-zoologists spring into action to save them from a ruthless big-game hunter.”
I’m really excited about this! It’s rare to see stop-motion animation that is as cartoony, energetic, and fun as what they do at Screen Noveltiess, and their cartoons are never anything less than super appealing and entertaining. I can’t wait to see them show off their stuff in a full-length film.
Check out some images posted on their blog from the original Monster Safari short. Below is one of the studio’s earliest shorts, Mysterious Mose, made in 1999:
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NY is putting on a major retrospective about Tim Burton’s career this fall. It will run from November 22, 2009 through April 26, 2010. There is a page about the show on MoMA’s website, which includes the following information:
Following the current of his visual imagination from his earliest childhood drawing through his mature work, the exhibition presents artwork generated during the conception and production of his films, and highlights a number of unrealized projects and never-before-seen pieces, as well as student art, his earliest non-professional films, and examples of his work as a storyteller and graphic artist for non-film projects. The opposing themes of adolescence and adulthood, and the elements of sentiment, cynicism, and humor inform his work in a variety of mediums–drawings, paintings, storyboards, digital and moving-image formats, puppets and maquettes, props, costumes, ephemera, sketchbooks, and cartoons.
In conjunction with the show, MoMA is publishing a 64-page catalog that can be pre-ordered from Amazon. The images in this post are taken from a promotional item from the book. Tim Burton’s official website advertises that a new book called The Art of Tim Burton will soon be released that is 400 pages and has over 1000 illustrations. This appears to be a different book from the MoMA catalog.
More Burton images from the MoMA book after the jump.
MGMT released a new music video tonight for their song “Kids” (directed by Ray Tintori). There’s only about a minute of animation in the video, but it’s one damn solid and creative minute. The animation was directed by Superjail co-creator Christy Karacas, and the animators on the piece were Karacas, Lizzi Akana and Henry Thurlow. The animation on the last shot is nuts! I want to frame-by-frame all that trippy goodness.
Why is it that the trailers for videogames excite me more than the trailers for any animated feature? Case in point is this trailer for The Last Guardian, a new PS3 title that was previewed at E3. The game is created by Fumito Ueda (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus). Brew reader B. Bolander, who sent me the link, writes: “Everything you see in that trailer–the griffin, the boy–has been animated. Fumito Ueda, the creator of the game and an ex-animator himself, doesn’t do motion capture. Every flick of an ear had to be done by hand, or at least by mouse.” There is more info about the game, including quotes from Ueda, in this article on 1UP.com
The word genius is thrown around so loosely and frequently nowadays that it’s hard to discern who might actually be worthy of the distinction. David Daniels is, and his animation technique–Stratacut–is mind-boggling and beyond words. Yesterday, The Art of the Title Sequence posted an interview with David Daniels that is pure gold. In addition to the interview, there are hi-res examples of his animation, and most amazingly, a series of video demos documenting his Stratacut technique. Whether you’re already familiar with Daniels’ work or not, prepare to be blown away.
The actual game play in the forthcoming game, The Beatles Rock Band, isn’t that impressive to me, but the game’s just-released trailer is beautiful and visually exciting. It was made at Passion Pictures with the Gorillaz crew aboard, including director Pete Candeland and animator Robert Valley. Backgrounds are by Alberto Mielgo. If anybody has full credits, please share.
UPDATE: Download a hi-res version of the commercial HERE!
Nashville-based animator Chris Johnson created this piece. The story behind it is sweet:
“It is inspired by Yuri Norstein, Lotte Reiniger, The Science of Sleep, and many other things, but more than anything by the girl I am going to marry and our special relationship. There is plenty of symbolism in the short, but the theme I’m getting to is where one’s heart is. She lives in Mexico which is far from where I live in Tennessee, and I’d go to the moon to get her.”
Sadly, I’m still waiting for somebody to create a cartoon about how special I am.
I swear, Pixar isn’t paying us to post all these news items about their film products, but frankly, it’d be kind of nice if they did. Tomorrow afternoon between 2-5pm, Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra will be hosting a lecture with Ronnie del Carmen, who was story supervisor and lead story artist on UP. In addition to discussing his work on the film, del Carmen will be signing copies of The Art of UP as well as the tie-in storybook that he illustrated called My Name is Dug, and a new personal book, There You Are. Admission is FREE. More details on the Gallery Nucleus website.
A tribute site dedicated to the chairs in The Incredibles. There are worse things one could do with their time…like writing a blogpost about a guy who created a tribute site to the chairs in The Incredibles.
In this economy, any work is better than none, but as I pointed out last week, there are some offers you may want to think twice about. Here’s a good one that popped up on Craigslist:
Animator needed for tv pilot episode!
Seeking Animator to create 15 second animation to illustrate a point for a personal development TV pilot episode. Pay is low, however if show is picked up there is chance for future work, and credits off course…
I am an awesome person to work with, young/ hip /entrepreneur!
Send email with links or samples of work.
Thanks! Email email@example.com
Exposure and joy guaranteed.
I did a little research on the email address, and it turns out the person commissioning this is a masseuse, which gives potentially new meaning to her guarantee of exposure and joy.
I love seeing examples of animation from around the world, especially from regions that have developing animation scenes. This is the trailer for a stylish short film from Santiago, Chile-based Plano Visual. The directors of Lalen, Estar Muriendo are Felipe Montecinos E., Mariana Contreras and Constanza Wette.
Among the many benefits of living on the East Coast is that it’s a fairly close haul up to the Ottawa International Animation Festival, at least relative to when I lived on the West Coast. It can be a cheap trip too if planned right. NY filmmaker Fran Krause (recently interviewed on the Brew) encourages his students to attend every year, and he thinks it’s such a professionally valuable event that he puts together a guide for his students on how to experience the festival on a budget. This year he’s decided to share his Ottawa guide with the entire world, and he has good advice for anybody who needs to travel up there frugally. (A word of caution though: I heard some folks got bedbugs at the “jail” hostel last year. Personally I’d go with the hotel-split option. Just make sure to reserve early.)
Check out this self-produced mini-doc by writer Matt Zoller Seitz about Peanuts director Bill Melendez – covering his artistic roots, his directorial style, and his influence on the films of Wes Anderson. The juxtaposition of Melendez’s art between Hitchcock’s and Kubrick’s presents a fresh and exciting way of looking at animation in a filmic context. Bonus points to Matt who writes in the YouTube comments that he used my book Cartoon Modern as a resource when preparing this film.