French animation studio BIBO Films is working on a new CG short called French Roast directed by Fabrice O. Joubert and with character designs by Nico Marlet. The short has a production blog–written in French but with lots of pics. The studio is also wrapping up its first feature–A Monster in Paris–directed by company founder Bibo Bergeron (co-director of Shark Tale and The Road to El Dorado).
Now that you can buy a copy of my Pink Panther Guide for as little as 24Â¢ on Amazon, MGM Home Entertainment is including it with The Pink Panther Ultimate Collection a DVD collection of allalmost all Panther live action features and animated shorts owned by United Artists (MGM). This does not include Return of The Pink Panther with those gorgeous Richard Williams opening titles. However, among the 18 dvds are more Inspector, Roland and Ratfink and Ant and Aardvark cartoons than you’ll ever need. Oh, and I as I’ve mentioned, they’re throwing in a copy of my Ultimate Pink Panther book. The Pink Panther Ultimate Collection will cost $199.98 and will go on sale November 25th. More details are posted here.
Don Hertzfeldt has just completed his latest short, I Am So Proud of You. It’s his longest work to date, and to celebrate he’s going on a 16-city US tour this fall. During these events, he’ll screen the new short, as well as show some of his older films and speak with audiences. Below is the list of cities he’ll be appearing in. More details on his site BitterFilms.com.
I’m still at Cinecon watching movies. Picked up a few nice stills and lobby cards in the dealers room. Here is something I got cheap: an incredibly ugly Spanish movie poster for Beaver Valley and some Disney cartoons, with the strangest drawings of Mickey, Donald and Goofy… err, Pluto, ever seen on studio approved publicity. I both love it and hate it. And that giant realistic beaver hovering above them doesn’t help. Click on thumbnail below to see larger image of the piece.
“Too Art for TV” has put out a call for entries for its 2008 edition. The yearly New York art show, founded by Liz Artinian (the color supervisor on The Venture Bros.), is “designed to promote and encourage the fine arts in the animation industry.”
All types of art media are accepted for consideration, and 25-35 artists will be selected for the exhibition. According to the submission site, “All applicants are selected by committee this year. Our committee members are artists in the industry who have been pre-invited to help with the show. This year’s committee members (so far) are Kelly Denato, Todd Lown, Christy Karacas, Jared Deal, and Justin Simonich.”
The deadline to submit an application is September 5. The exhibition will take place in November at the Erebuni Gallery Space in Williamsburg.
Here’s news that’s sure to please a lot of folks. Pendleton Ward‘s quirky Adventure Time short has been picked up for a full-series commitment by Cartoon Network, according to this Animation Guild story. The cartoon was originally produced for Nickelodeon’s Random! Cartoons, the as-yet-unaired (I think) shorts series produced by Fred Seibert.
As a refresher, here’s the original Adventure Time short:
As we head into the long holiday weekend, I thought it’d be nice to take a moment and share some inspiring images I’ve run across this week. Most of the artists represented below work in animation, though a couple work in consumer products at Disney.
Lou Romano offers a sneak peak from a personal animated short he’s currently working on that’s based on the poem “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe.
Quick sketches by Will Finn of his two young sons.
Stephane Kardos is sketching on his iPhone(!) here and here.
Great production and development artwork throughout Luc Desmarchelier’s blog (make sure to browse the archives). He even makes films like Road to El Dorado and Spirit look enticing which is no cakewalk.
This piece by Matt Cruickshank is one of the single best pieces of stylized illustration I’ve seen in a long time. The inventiveness and playfulness is matched only by the sophistication of color, pattern and composition. Certain parts of it remind me of Stuart Davis too.
I don’t think there’s any animation fan left online who’s not aware of the Totoro Forest Project taking place next month at Pixar and the Cartoon Art Museum, but I have to link to the project’s blog, which is filled with quality work like the piece above by Mike Lee.
If you are wondering where I am this weekend – I’m hanging out all day and night at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, attending the annual Cinecon convention. Cinecon is essentially a non-stop schedule of screenings of classic Hollywood films – from 1914 through the mid-50s, new restorations of mostly obscure films, projected in 35mm, from 9am to midnight for four days. Highlights include several films with Shemp Howard, the final chapters of The Iron Claw, and the rare Krazy Kat cartoon, Southern Exposure. Complete schedule here.
Also on the program, a rare theatrical showing of Crazy House, Olsen and Johnson’s zany follow-up to Hellzapoppin’. Someone posted the first five minutes of this film on You Tube. Check it out and you’ll have an idea of how bizarre this film is. And what kind of films I’ll be seeing this weekend.
A kid in Boston, Robbie, took just over 3000 digital photos in three days documenting his life in and around the city, and then compiled them into the animated film below. The life he documents is hardly extraordinary (lots and lots of public transport), and yet the film manages to evoke an emotional reaction by offering an intimate glimpse into one guy’s personal life. If not necessarily an original idea, it’s still a well done experimental film.
Pooh plays the role of Gulliver, Mickey has hung himself, Superman is a painter, and a cellphone has been kidnapped by the Grinch. These are some of the images in “It’s always six o’clock,” a gallery exhibition by Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG. Similar to Toy Story, the show offers an interesting new way of looking at everyday toys and dolls. Exhibition photos are here.
Some happy news to report today. The Mass Animation project that we mentioned here last week released a new set of details today on their Facebook page. Notably among those details is that every artist whose work is used for the short will be compensated financially. Granted that the project is still structured like a contest and there’s a chance that the work you create won’t be used in the film (hence no compensation), but at least the artists whose work wins approval will receive something for their effort. Exploring new production models based on online collaboration is a worthy cause as long as it’s not done on the backs of artists, and I’m glad that we can now show some support behind a contest like Mass Animation.
AICN recently posted the above two images as part of a preview of Disney’s Bolt. So, as I understand the animation process at Disney, here is how you translate a board drawing into a final CG film frame:
1. Remove all the funny shapes in the character design and turn the character into a nondescript blob.
2. Take out any asymmetry (like the angles on the arms) and even out the pose.
3. Tone down the funny expressions.
4. Just in case there is any appeal still left in the CG model, add flat lighting and excessive texturing so the characters and background mesh into an indistinguishable dark muck.
5. Repeat this process until you have blown $150 million dollars.
Join us tonight for Cartoon Dump, our monthly live comedy and cartoons showcase in Hollywood. We will have two guest comedians performing within our show tonight: Andy Kindler (above left) and Jim Turner (above right). So join Andy, Jim, Moodsy, Compost Brite, Officer Pete, Dumpster Diver Dan, Cue Card Goddess and me, Jerry Beck, tonight Tuesday, August 26th at 8 PM, for an evening of hilarious comedy, demented songs, and really, really crappy cartoons.