Seattle-based Drew Christie made this folksy watercolor music video for “Empress of the North”, a song by the Moondoggies. Conceptually, the video narrative doesn’t quite gel with the music, but I appreciate its Americana mood.
This live-action Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner fan film defies expectations and replaces the cartoon characters with human versions. It’s a faithful yet fresh take on Chuck Jones’s creations. The short was shot in Moab, Utah, and SoftImage XSI and After Effects were used.
(Via Dangerous Minds; thanks Brandon Lyon)
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.
(Thanks, Mark Caballero)
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!
Yesterday, we looked at which studios and schools send the most traffic to Cartoon Brew. Today, we’re going to look at which countries visit Cartoon Brew most often.
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.
This video mashup by Nick Tierce of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times + Tron is pure win!
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.
Sydney, Australia-based Kapow Pictures wrapped a series of five spots for the Financial Review. The handsome Catch Me If You Can-styled spots were created in After Effects.
Client: The Financial Review
Agency: Brand Central
Production Company: Kapow Pictures
Director: Mark Gravas
See the other four commercials in the campaign after the jump.
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,
(Thanks, Philip Hunt)
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:
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.
Filmmaker Fran Krause writes, “I found this guy in Syracuse over the holiday. Do you recognize him? It looks like it’s from the 1930s but I’ve never seen the character before.”
I have no idea what it is either though it looks more like some underground comix Gilbert Shelton-ish creation than anything from the Thirties. If anybody knows who this is, let us know!
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.
London-based animation director Uli Meyer created this sample animation of the St. Trinian’s schoolgirls and showed it to their creator, ninety-year-old illustration and cartooning legend Ronald Searle. It’s one of the finest attempts I’ve ever seen at animating Searle’s idiosyncratic drawing style. Not only does the drawing and inking perfectly evoke Searle, the animation is fun and vivacious, pushing Searle’s style to an entirely new level that I’ve never seen in other interpretations of his work.
A crew of all-stars brought the piece to life: it was boarded by Meyer and Matt Jones, animated by Sandro Cleuzo and Boris Hiestand, and hand-inked by Meyer with immaculate precision onto frosted cels.
Uli has a blog post describing the production process in detail. Somebody let these guys loose on their own hand-drawn feature or short, Searle-related or not. I NEED to see more of this!
Here’s something that’ll jolt you out of any post-Thanksgiving Day lethargy: a creepy and suspenseful trailer for O ApÃ³stolo (The Apostle). The 3-D stop motion feature from northern Spain is directed and written by Fernando Cortizo. Animation director is Peggy Arel (Edison and Leo), head of the puppet department is John Craney (The Lord of the Rings), VFX supervisor is Colin Miller (Coraline), and Philip Glass composed the film’s main theme.
According to ION Cinema, the story is rooted in the “folklore, traditions and history of the north of Spain” and “revolves around an ex-con who arrives to a deserted town looking for a hidden treasure, but what he will find is a coven of dead elderlies looking for souls to trade with the reaper itself.”
Th film will be released in Spain next year, and Variety reports that it’ll also appear “on more than 1,000 screens across Latin America next year, with an emphasis placed on Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela.” As is often the case with animated features that skew mature, there’s no US distributor, though hopefully that will change. Another interesting bit about the production is that the filmmakers crowd-funded US$147,000 of the film’s US$9.6 million budget. Despite being a small portion of the overall budget, I’ve never heard of more money being raised via crowd funding for an animated project. A list of hundreds of donors is posted on their website.
More behind-the-scenes artwork and info about O ApÃ³stolo can be found on the film’s official website OApostolo.com.
Glitch is a Flash-based massively-multiplayer online game launching in early 2011. The creators explain that, “It takes place inside the minds of eleven peculiarly imaginative Giants. You choose how to grow and shape the world: building and developing, learning new skills, collaborating or competing with everyone else in one enormous, ever-changing, persistent world.”
The game, which sports some distinctive graphics, is developed by Vancouver and San Francisco-based Tiny Speck, which is run by Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield. The NY Times published an article earlier this week about Butterfield, and reports that his fledgling company has raised $6.5 million to create on-line games.
There are some genuinely laugh out loud moments in the Nostalgia Critic’s NSFW review of Richard William’s The Thief and the Cobbler.
A blind person could tell the difference between the forged animation artwork being sold by Pittsburgh-area Gallery on Baum and the genuine article. Some of the forgeries on eBay, however, are more carefully produced and thus more difficult to distinguish from the original artwork. One seller on eBay, Hkleiman, has been selling what appear to be forged pieces of animation art for at least the past year. [UPDATE – Sept. 29, 2011 : Since I originally wrote this post, I have spoken to both HKleiman and multiple other reputable people in the animation art community who know Hkleiman. It turns out that he has a long history in animation art and is a well respected seller. He has since amended some of his eBay descriptions and stopped selling these particular pieces in question. Although there are countless disreputable sellers on eBay, HKleiman is not among them and one of the good guys.]
“I believe we’ll outperform The Princess and the Frog,” says Disney worldwide theatrical distribution chief Chuck Viane. “The question is, are we Bolt? Are we Enchanted? Or are we something bigger?”
Tangled opens today in a crowded holiday frame led by the latest Harry Potter film. The Wrap wrote about the film’s box office prospects and says earning projections are in the $40 million range for the five-day Thanksgiving holiday. Share your predictions in the comments below for the FIVE-DAY holiday gross. The person who comes closest to the final total will win something courtesy of Cartoon Brew. Don’t guess the same number as somebody else otherwise the first person who guessed the number will win. (NOTE: We’re locking the predictions on Thursday night.)
UPDATE: Many Brew readers are predicting $60 million and above. You may be right. According to Deadline, anonymous sources are saying that Tangled is opening “much bigger than expected. Double the 5-day estimates of $35M to $40M.”
You know what would be interesting. If someone took ALL of the legitimate estimates in our comments and found the average. How closely would the collective response of Brew readers match the final box office total. If anybody wants to do this after we close the poll tomorrow night, let me know.
Still from “Why Can’t We Walk Straight
In terms of opportunities and amount of work available, there is no better time to be working as an animator than today. More new avenues for animated content are springing up than ever before. For decades, the choices were straightforward: TV, features, commercials, music videos, and shorts. Today those limited number of options have been upended as every form of media and creative practice is somehow incorporating animation into its sphere, from news programs to architecture.
A message from the employees of Pixar:
This comment by CLaarkamp1287 on YouTube sums it up better than I could:
“For Pixar to do this kind of video takes major balls on their part. As a film company thatï»¿ is associated with being family-friendly, it is so often construed that homosexuality is a threat to family values, and here comes Pixar to completely dismiss that ridiculous myth. Awesome job, Pixar. Clearly, movies aren’t the only thing you excel at.”