John Canemaker tells us of a search for a 3-D Computer Animation Teacher at NEW YORK UNIVERSITY Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film & Television:
The Department of Undergraduate Film & Television seeks to fill a full-time faculty position in 3D computer animation for the 2005/2006 academic year. Position is available at the junior or senior level – tenure track or on a one-year visiting basis for a senior faculty applicant or for a professional in the industry.Qualifications: 3-D computer animator with solid professional experience, preferably in features, television and/or commercial production; an in-depth knowledge of MAYA is a must and a working knowledge of a range of 2-D and 3-D computer animation software and applications as well as solid teaching experience at the university level. Applicants must know the animation process from storyboard to post-production in traditional and computer animation and multimedia.Duties include teaching five undergraduate-level courses per year, student advisement, and participation in departmental and school-wide committees. On-going professional work while teaching is encouraged and expected.Salary to be negotiated & excellent benefits package. Please send letter stating your qualifications, curriculum vitae, and list of 3 references by December 15, 2004 to: Undergraduate Film & Television Search Committee, Attn: Wendy Kaplan, Administrative Director, Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, 721 Broadway, Room 1102, New York, NY 10003 (fax 212/995-4062, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finalists will be asked to submit creative portfolio. NYU encourages applications from women and minorities.
Mo-CrapThis isn’t so much a review than it is a rant.I saw THE POLAR EXPRESS today, and my immediate take is: It’s awful. The INCREDIBLES is so much better a film in every way, I can’t wait to see it a third time. It’s like a new song that get’s stuck in your head and you just have to hear it again.Not so THE POLAR EXPRESS. It never grabbed me. I waited. I gave it chance. But I just couldn’t get past those fake looking “people”: the kids, the conductor, the elves. It’s funny, all the artificial enviroments – props, the train – all of that looked photo real. All of the things that were real (the mo-cap actors) looked fake.As I was watching the film, I kept thinking about how this could have worked for me – and I came up with two solutions. The first, I would’ve placed real actors in a CG world (ala SKY CAPTAIN). It might’ve been a truly breathtaking adventure that way. My other idea would have been to have the opening five minutes and closing five minutes shot on real sets with real actors, in live action. The real boy goes to sleep at the begining and wakes up at the end. The film is his dream – they say so several times in the film, as is. The CG/mo-cap would’ve worked for me as a visualization of a dream.Some people won’t have a problem with this film. People in my audience, when it was over, were talking about how much they loved it. I may be in the minority here – but I thought the whole thing was a waste of major talent. Tom Hanks is a great actor, Zemeckis has made many films I really admire, Sony Imageworks can do amazing work – but this is an experiment gone terribly wrong. Don’t waste your time.
I can’t think of anything sweeter than watching Zemeckis and Hanks fall flat on their faces with the absolutely pathetic opening of POLAR EXPRESS. The film, which cost well north of $250 million to produce and market, couldn’t muster better than a $23.5 million weekend, a financial performance almost as decrepit as the film’s visuals. Hopefully now that they’ve been taught, Bobby and Tommy will crawl back onto their live-action sets and halt this make-believe fantasy that they’re animation producers. Leave animation to the people who have actually bothered to learn the craft and who have dedicated their lives to the art form – artists like Brad Bird, whose INCREDIBLES managed to pull in another $51 million in its second weekend. Just for laughs, here’s an encore presentation of Zemeckis’ delusional appraisal of his animation skills: “I think when you see [POLAR EXPRESS], you’ll realize it’s absolutely nothing like an animated movie. You’ll see such subtlety in the performance of these characters that you would have to have the genius-of-all-genius animators. In my opinion, there’s no animation in the world that could have created it.”
Harald Siepermann points out an interesting European commercial recently created for Evian called “Waterboy.” The simple, yet effective, spot was designed and directed by the Paris-based design team Soandsau (Sophie Deiss and Jean-Christophe Saurel) and can be viewed HERE.
The man who talked for “the talking magpies” has passed away. Comedian and comic actor Dayton Allen has died. He was a mainstay at the Terrytoons studio who, in addition to Heckle & Jeckle, voiced Astronut, James Hound, Lariat Sam and my favorite of his, Deputy Dawg. He also voiced Professor Weirdo, Fearless Fly and Flukey Luke on The Milton The Monster Show for Hal Seegar. Mark Evanier has a fuller obit on his site.
From the AP: An image of Popeye sits in an exhibit dedicated to the cartoon character at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York Saturday, Nov. 13, 2004. The museum unveiled a retrospective Saturday featuring rarities and collectibles from the cartoon hero’s career as Popeye celebrates his 75th birthday this year. Click here for the full story from the Associated Press.
In the world of online auctions, it’s practically impossible to compete with eBay–but for cartoon and comics fans, Heritage Comics does, with a series of ongoing auctions that includes an amazing array of high-quality stuff. Their site is well-done, and they publish glossy catalogs for some of the auctions that are a treat to peruse whether or not you actually bid on anything.
Up at the moment are scads of terrific vintage animation posters, including ones for Felix, Dinky Doodle, Flip the Frog, Oswald, Krazy Kat, and (drool!) Scrappy shorts. (If you’ve got a spare $45,000 or so, you can get in on the bidding for an original poster for MICKEY’S NIGHTMARE.)
Wonderful stuff–drop by the Heritage site and take a peek.
With those 99Â¢ Store dvds of Van Beuren’s TOM & JERRY flying off the shelves, interest in this early talkie cartoon duo has never been higher. To the rescue come David Gerstein and Pietro Shakarian with a brand new website devoted to the underappreciated rubber-hose pair.Hosted by Cartoon Research.com, this new Van Beuren Tom & Jerry page is an illustrated filmography, loaded with good information and fun images. David and Pietro are still fine tuning the site and will be adding a few final pieces to the filmography within the next few weeks – but it’s officially open to the public as of today. Good work, guys!
Mike Mallory dropped us this note:
Ed Kemmer, star of “Space Patrol” on TV and the cheesy sci-fi film “The Spider”, has died at 84. What’s not as well known is that he acted out Prince Phillip in the live action study footage film made for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.”
Crusader Rabbit TV syndication salesmen have a drink and blow off a little steam (circa 1957). Click on image for larger picture.
(Image courtesy of TheImaginaryWorld.com)
Here’s something exciting. Joe Horne is producing new Flash episodes of THE ADVENTURES OF STEVIE & ZOYA. It seems only appropriate to post this while I’m in New York, since Joe is a native NY’er and School of Visual Arts grad, not to mention that the cartoon is set in a futuristic New Yorx, NY. The original STEVIE & ZOYA interstitials appeared on MTV in the late-’80s, the network’s first animated serial. These new episodes don’t look anything like the old ones, but Horne has always been a visual experimenter. His personal projects – MTV’s THE SPECIALISTS (for LIQUID TELEVISION), ESPERANTO FAMILY (for MTV Europe) and the “El Hombre” segments from PEEWEE’S PLAYHOUSE – all have highly distinctive styling. The new STEVIE & ZOYA are no exception and it’s some of the funkiest Web animation I’ve seen in a long time. Guerilla Flash cartooning one could call it – raw and immediate – Joe creates each episode in under a week, making them during his spare time in the evenings; during the days he’s working on Bill Kopp’s Tom & Jerry revamp at WB.
Understanding the production process of these shorts helps explain the unique visual results. Each episode is like an animated improvisation. After deciding the rough plot and action of each short, Horne creates a list of characters, props and backgrounds he needs for the episode. He then plugs the required items into Google’s photo search engine and finds all the artwork (i.e. photos) on the Internet. These photos are then combined with his own artwork. It is a Webcartoon in the truest sense; the cartoons would be impossible to produce without the images he finds online. To add that extra personal touch, Joe also creates the soundtracks himself in Acid.
He’s produced five episodes to date, but plans to make quite a few more. According to Horne, the impetus to create new episodes of STEVIE & ZOYA was quite spontaneous: “Glen Murakami walked up to me one day and said, ‘You should make some more of those Stevie and Zoya cartoons, Joe.’” And so he did. Thank you, Glen. At the moment, the cartoons are only being emailed to friends, but if anybody wants to post the Flash shorts on their site for free, Joe told me he’s down with the idea of sharing them with a larger audience. Drop me a line and I’ll hook you up with him.
I’m a big fan of what I call “mystery art”–stuff that’s entertaining in part because it’s confusing. This piece of original art I happen to own fits the bill. I know it’s of an alligator. And I know it’s stamped “Return to Dave Tendlar,” though I don’t know why. What production, or studio, is it from? And did Tendlar actually draw it, or did he simply wish that it be returned to him? And if the latter, why?
I feel some sort of weird remorse every time I look at it, because clearly, Dave Tendar wanted it back, badly enough to stamp it with a request to that effect in two places–and he apparently didn’t get it. And given that he’s no longer with us, it’s too late to do anything about it.
Anyhow, I’m puzzled by this piece, but I think it has quite a bit of personality, and without knowing what film it’s from, I’m going to guess that this sketch is more exuberant and pleasing than the finished film it was prepared for.
Anyone out there have any guesses or solid information on the story behind the sketch? E-mail me if you do.
Brew reader Tim Stevens sent in this cool letterhead (from a letter from Blanc to Tim’s grandfather). Thanks for sharing, Tim!
Brew readers who live in the New York metropolitan area, may want to attend this special classic cartoon screening next Monday night.The Academy Theater at Lighthouse International is screening a weekly showcase of Oscar nominated films entitled, “MONDAY NIGHTS WITH OSCAR”. This Monday, the screening will be focused on cartoons that either won or have been nominated for the Academy Award, in a program entitled “OSCARS AND ANIMATION”. Animator Michael Sporn will be hosting this special evening.The screening starts at 7:30pm. Doors Open at 7pm. Tickets $5, $ 3 for students. For more info call Call 1-888-778-7575 or check the Academy websiteNovember 15, 2004
Academy Theater at Lighthouse International
111 E 59th St
New York, NY(Thanks to Nelson Hughes for the link)
Heads up! This Saturday, Brewmaster Jerry Beck will be heard as a guest on a radio show based in New Orleans, which will be broadcast on the internet live and archived on their website. On November 13th at 1 pm Central Time (that’s 2pm on the East coast and 11am on the west) I’ll be on the second hour of “Movie Talk with David DuBos” on WGSO AM 990 (aka Biz Radio), to discuss Looney Tunes! Tune in and Toon in!