Production artist Nicolas Marlet will be among those taking part in an artist panel at Alhambra’s Gallery Nucleus on Sunday March 28th, talking about and showing some of their work from Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon. Other artists in attendance will be: Alessandro Carloni (Head of Story), Pierre Olivier Vincent (Art Director) and Simon Otto (Head of Animation).
This event is free and its highly recommended you arrive early – seating is limited. The panel will begin at 3pm. For more information please check the Gallery Nucleus website.
Elk Hair Caddis is another mini-masterpiece from those crazy kids at Denmark’s Animation Workshop: Peter Smith, Alice Holme, Anders Brogaarde and Magnus Moller.
Peter Smith told us:
One of the goals with this piece of animation was to explore some of the boundaries of the 3D media, and how close we could bring it to a 2D feel in terms of broadness and flexibility. One of the very important inspirations that made us think along these lines was the work of the Swedish company Meindbender. Particularly the short Football vs. Rabbit was a very helpful source of inspiration. For the animation we used Maya and Blender (Anisculpt) and for comp we used Fusion.
Chris Meledandri and his Universal-based Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me) have acquired the rights to Charles Addams famous cartoon family for Tim Burton to direct as a stop-mo 3D feature film. Michael Fleming at Deadline Hollywood has the scoop.
The article also outlines Universal’s future animated feature release plans: the April 1, 2011 release of I Hop with Russell Brand voicing the Easter Bunny; the Ricky Gervais creation Flanimals coming later 2011. Planned for 2012 is Where’s Waldo and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
One more plug for Craig Yoe’s Milt Gross book (it deserves it) now that you can order it on Amazon (for $29.19). Craig searched high and low for unseen Gross art to illustrate his 40-page introduction. I told him I had an unpublished Gross sketch given to me by Bob Clampett, but unfortunately I could not find it in time for inclusion in the book. I just found it yesterday.
So here it is – Gross caricatures Clampett (and himself?), with Clampett as a director yelling “Cut!”. Gross asks “With what?” What is Gross about to eat? A sausage covered with ketchup? A drippy eclair? It’s autographed to “Battling” Bob Clampett – what does that refer to? Lots to read into here. Enjoy!
Film collector Tom Stathes is quickly becoming the expert and archivist of cinema’s silent cartoon history. Check out his website and blog, buy his home-made DVDs and attend his local New York area Cartoon Carnivals (the next one is this Saturday, March 20th). Good stuff!
This week on Stu’s Show, the one and only Stan Freberg will be live and in-studio, along with comedy writer/producer Mark Evanier, who will co-host. They’ll cover as much of Stan’s illustrious career as they can, including his years doing cartoon voiceover work at Warner Brothers in the 1940s and 50s, partnering with Daws Butler to write and perform Bob Clampett’s Time For Beany, recording some of the greatest comedy records of all time, and opening an advertising agency responsible for producing the most hilarious and innovative commercials to ever hit the TV airwaves. The show airs live on your computer, 4:00 p.m. PT/7:00 p.m. ET, with rebroadcasts daily at the same time. Listen to it HERE!
Next week, (live on March 24th) Brewmaster Jerry Beck will join Stu to discuss classic animation and take phone calls. I’ll remind you about this again next week.
Silly Science (released May 1960). Director Seymour Kneitel. Animation: I. Klein, Irving Dressler. Story: Carl Meyer, Jack Mercer. Scenics: Robert Owen. Music: Winston Sharples.
Silly Science is a somewhat forgettable Paramount Modern Madcap cartoon from 1960 featuring numerous spot gags about “space-age living”. However, its worth another a look due to its rather accurate predictions of a telephone-video combo (Skype), a pint-sized flat vacuum cleaner (Roomba), and wide-screen drive by movies (I’m still waiting for this). Disney buffs will note an unauthorized appearance by Baby Weems at the 30 second mark.
This cartoon also made use of subtle cut-out animation techniques. This is cited in Eli Levitan’s long-out-of-print book Animation Techniques and Commercial Film Production (1962). The process is described on three pages which I’ve posted below (click thumbnails to enlarge each page). This is how it was done before Flash. Paramount made even better use of cut-outs in another short released later that year, Bouncing Benny.
Hayley Morris is a director and animator at Curious Pictures in NYC. Her short stop-motion animation Undone won best animated short at Slamdance 2009. Hayley joined Curious in June 2008 after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design. Undone, her senior film project, is a tribute to her grandfather who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Today, Joe Ranft would have been fifty years old. Disney director John Musker created this storyboard tribute to the late Pixar and Disney storyman. It was originally shown at Ranft’s memorial celebration on September 17, 2005.
Joe was one of the prime creative people behind PIXAR and a major contributor to Toy Story, a Bug’s Life, Cars. Joe was tragically killed in an automobile accident 5 years ago. This is a visualization of anecdotes I heard about my friend and colleague Joe.”
Filmmaker David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en, Benjamin Button, etc.), who began his career working for Lucasfilm in special effects (Return of the Jedi) and on the animated film Twice Upon A Time, is setting up a new eight-or-nine part Heavy Metal animated feature. Besides himself, he’s enlisted James Cameron (Avatar), Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Carribean) and Zack Snyder (300) each to direct a segment – with other big-name directors to be announced. Deadline Hollywood says TMNT creator (and Heavy Metal publisher) Kevin Eastman and Blur Studios’ Tim Miller may also be attached. Should be interesting to see how this comes together…