Question for my fellow historians: When was the last time you saw a letter from Paul Terry or Fred Quimby? Today is your lucky day! Animation collector Martin Almeyra has been sharing with me some material from his collection of cartoon correspondence, and I thought these pieces were particularly delightful. First (click thumbnails below to enlarge) is a letter from Walter Lantz (Universal), who apparently didn’t approve the hideous cover to Gerald and Danny Peary’s 1980 book, The American Animated Cartoon (at left, click cover to enlarge). Next is note from Fred Quimby on his MGM stationary – note the cute images of Tom & Jerry at the bottom – to MGM musical director Johnny Green. Finally, a Paul Terry letter to radio broadcaster Mary Margaret McBride displaying more wit than any ten (make that twenty) Terrytoons combined! Is he coming on to her?
A few details on the production from Matthias:
We had 3-4 weeks for each of them and were working with a small team (in fact just myself for most of it) in the London based studio Beakus. The production process was all-digital using After Effects, Flash, Photoshop and a tiny bit of Maya.
Cbeebies provided us with the edited voice recordings of the kids and gave me pretty much free reign over how I interpreted their narrative. They were really a perfect client and got on board with my direction from an early stage. Working for preschool kids meant an emphasis on characterisation and bold, colourful designs, which were definitely part-inspired by Mary Blair. I wanted to create the impression of discovering the world with child’s eyes and frame everything from a low angle, so you’re in with the flowers and rabbits.
Full credits after the jump:
Hyundai created this ‘live’ performance piece to promote their 2012 Accent. They suspended a real car sideways against a building wall, and a real human walks into the car, but everything else is projected animation. The piece debuted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last February, and is scheduled to be shown at the New York International Auto Show beginning this weekend.
Some have described it as projection mapping, and indeed, it does appear to be showing on three separate surfaces, but there’s not a whole lot of mapping since the projection is onto flat surfaces. Regardless of how it’s described, it’s a novel site-specific installation, and it would be interesting to see more companies explore advertising in this direction.
This video gives some clues about how the show was installed:
(Thank, Mike Rauch)
Walt Disney WorldÂ® Resort in Florida wraps up the EpcotÂ® International Flower & Garden Festival May 13 — 15 with a celebration of Pixar’s 25th anniversary. It’s a great opportunity for guests to immerse themselves in the world of Pixar films and their characters.
Special Pixar Meet and Greets
And the Pixar fun will continue throughout World Showcase, where characters from Toy Story, Ratatouille and A Bug’s Life wait to greet guests in three areas of Epcot:
- Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story at Mission: SPACE
- Mater from Cars and Cars 2 at Test Track
- Living Coral Stiltwalkers at The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Crush at Turtle Talk with Crush
- Woody, Jessie and Bullseye from Toy Story at the American Adventure
- Flick, Atta, Gypsy Moth and stilt walking Slim from A Bug’s Life at the Art of Living Garden
- Remy and Emile from Ratatouille at France
- Mr. & Mrs. Incredible and FroZone from The Incredibles
- Lotso from Toy Story 3
- Mike, Sully, Boo and Smitty from Monster’s Inc.
- Carl, Russell and Dug from Up
Pixar Celebration Headquarters
World Showplace (located between the Canada and United Kingdom pavilion), will serve as the celebration headquarters. Inside, families can enjoy meet and greets with characters from The Incredibles, Toy Story 3, Monsters, Inc. and Up, and browse a photo gallery that calls out some of Pixar’s best Easter Eggs from past films. There also will be an art gallery that displays the creative work that went in to Pixar films.
A special speaker series featuring talks by OscarÂ®-nominated Pixar producer Jonas Rivera, OscarÂ®-winning composer composer Michael Giacchino and Cars Franchise Guardian Jay Ward will also take place at World Showplace.
Daily Speaker Series Schedule
- Noon: Jay Ward
- 2:00 PM: Jonas Rivera
- 4:00 PM: Michael Giacchino
- 6:00 PM: Special Presentation by Jay Ward, Jonas Rivera and Michael Giacchino
ADC Licensing, a venture capital firm, specializing in the financing of original animation content, has announced plans to launch the twenty-four hour kids’ online network, Toon Goggles. This unique online channel which is scheduled to launch towards the beginning of June will introduce millions of kids to professionally produced original cartoons, animated trailers, clips and pilots. Toon Goggles strictly pre-screens all animated content to be parent friendly and age appropriate.
In the day and age of the digital world taking precedence over traditional media, Toon Goggles allows animators and rights holders to showcase their exciting new cartoons in front of their most important demographic – KIDS. Children will love the fact that Toon Goggles allows them to stream unlimited hours of parent-friendly cartoons, create their own network and share their favorite shows with friends by email. In addition, Toon Goggles has taken the future of the Internet into account and has developed this portal in an HTML5 framework, which allows viewers to stream content on all existing mobile platforms such as the iPhone, iPad, Android, Personal Computers, and Internet ready televisions; making the channel, “TOTALLY, MOBILEY, GLOBALLY.”
The analytic data generated by Toon Goggles has never been offered before to network executives or content rights holders. Due to strict COPPA compliance, children’s information is unidentified. With Toon Goggles the web channel can provide information regarding how many kids watch a particular show per day, how long they watched, initial feedback, what country they’re from and more – data vital to animation studios and right holders to gain attention from major networks.
“Toon Goggles was created after we presented a cartoon that placed in the top twenty most viewed cartoons by network executives for two years in a row at MIP Junior,” says ADC Licensing CEO, Ira Warren. “After realizing how difficult it was to get network attention, we decided to create a web channel that puts cartoons in front of kids first.”
“My job was to come up with a site that is innovative, parent-friendly and vibrant,” states Stephen Hodge, EVP of New Media at ADC Licensing. “Our technical team succeeded and there’s nothing like it on the Internet today.”
Toon Goggles is not only interested in newly created content, but is ready to accept cartoon shows that are several years old. Successful cartoons in one country can be targeted specifically to territories where it does not conflict with their current broadcast agreements. With a second life, animators and rights holders have the ability to renew financial interest in unfinished projects thanks to ADC Licensing.
Currently, Toon Goggles offers cartoons produced in English and Spanish with plans to expand with cartoons in other languages.
On the heels of the 50th anniversary of the first man traveling into space, Space Race announced today its release of two additional action packed, entertaining and educational webisodes: Sun and Mercury & Venus. Directed by Emmy award-winning director Mark Risley, the family-friendly fact-based shows hosted by “Gary Galaxy” (played by Meyer deLeeuw) combine high-quality animation reminiscent of Disney/PIXAR’s Cars with humor and education to teach children about science, adventure and what’s important about each of the Space Race characters. April 29th, the same day space shuttle Endeavor is scheduled to launch, Space Race will release its final two webisodes: Asteroid Belt and Jupiter.
“Space and spaceship-themed characters are under-represented in an entertainment world filled with planes, trains and automobiles,” says Richard Schweiger, CEO and executive producer of Space Race. “Many families have written thanking us not only for producing a kid-friendly series focusing on space education, travel and racing, but for the interactive website that reinforces the webisodes’ messages through fun and entertaining learning tools.” Schweiger says theÂ release of the episodes will unlock new levels within the Space Race Trivia Game. “Developed by our partners Snakblox.com, the trivia and 3D Space Race game are among the most popular activities on the site.”
For more information about Space Race, please visit www.spaceracekids.com or email [email protected]. Follow Space Race on Facebook and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/spaceracekids and @SpaceRaceKids.
This two-day course offers adult Voice-over Actors everything they need to know to break into the Animation Voice-over Industry. The workshop covers audition etiquette; mic-technique; how to make your own Demo; how to market yourself; HOW TO CREATE ORIGINAL CARTOON CHARACTERS; and how to make your Agents ‘love you’. You’ll receive an exclusive Contact List and a rough CD of your work in class. The course takes place in a state-of-the-art recording studio and is limited to 10 participants for maximum microphone time. It’s $490 for the two days and returning grads are welcome back for a ‘toon-up’! WARNING: This class is creative, exhilarating and highly addictive!
“All levels welcome in this 2-Day, 10-hour workshop, where you will learn everything you need to break into the Animation Voice-over Industry. While it does not guarantee employment, you will be totally knowledgeable of your next steps in this niche market, where you can only ‘make it’ if you are brilliant. In this workshop you will learn that it’s EASY to be ‘brilliant’. You will learn how to make your own Demo that is compatible to Los Angeles standards. This workshop will not leave you hanging! It will point you towards your next steps and leave you with Stevie’s personalÂ contact list that she uses when casting animation projects, as a ‘Voice Director’. You will learn how to approach a union voice-over agent/job and you will also learn how to ‘feed yourself’ with non-union work until then. If you are a ‘Pro’ already, this workshop will improve your relationship with your existing agent because you will make their job easier. As you learn how to experience this ‘big medium’ without ‘OVERacting’, you will gain the confidence you need in order to stop ‘holding back’, in your auditions. Essentially, you will learn all that you need to learn to break into the business.I will give you the tools and it will be up to you to use them.”
Date: Sundays, May 15 & 22, 2011
Time: 10am to 3pm
Age: 15 years +
Location: Wanted Studios, Toronto
Cost: $490 plus 5% tax
Date: Saturday & Sunday, July 9 & 10, 2011
Time: 10am to 3pm
Age: 15 years +
Location: Bear Studios, Vancouver
Cost: $490 plus 5% tax
Date: Sundays, October 16 & 23, 2011
Time: 10am to 3pm
Age: 15 years +
Location: Edge Studios, Manhattan
Cost: $490 plus 5% tax
The USC School of Cinematic Arts has re-imagined and revamped its annual First Look Festival by uniting four separate divisions under the umbrella of one multi-platform festival. The Festival is set for May 2-5 at the Directors Guild of America.
For the first time, the First Look Festival will showcase original works from students in the Film Production, Animation/Digital Arts and Interactive Media Divisions. Each of the individual divisions will host its own exhibition over the course of three evenings during the festival to and celebrate the achievements of select students.
Kicking off the festival is the annual First Pitch event that brings together students in the writing program and industry professionals in a bona fide ‘pitch’ session.
The Festival Highlights:
Â· First Pitch on May 2 will provide a forum for graduating M.F.A. and B.F.A. screenwriting students to solicit or “pitch” their film and television scripts to participating members of the industry’s top production companies, management firms and agencies. This event is closed to the public.
Â· First Film on May 3 will present short films from six finalists in the SCA film production program; the films will be selected at the end of a two-day screening series at USC preceding the event.
Â· Adobe First Frame will showcase works from students in the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts on May 4.
Â· First Move will offer original works from students in the Interactive Media Division’s inaugural event on Friday, May 5.
Regarding First Look’s inaugural presentation, SCA Dean Elizabeth Daley says, “As always, I’m eager to see and experience the work of our remarkable young women and men. We have made the festival a true collaborative event, which mirrors the interdisciplinary efforts of our students from across the school.”
The website of director and animator Mike Smith — RealMikeSmith.com — is a model for how an artist’s website should function. It’s an easy-to-navigate site packed with rare films, storyboards, line tests, commercials and music videos dating back to his earliest days, and materials from unproduced projects. I spent half an hour on the site and didn’t even come close to scratching the surface of everything that’s posted. Of course, it also helps that Mike has produced some excellent work throughout his career that’s well worth a view.
NBC’s sitcom Community loves animation. They recently did a full length stop-mo Christmas episode, and this past week’s 2D end tag was done by Justin Roiland and Myke Chilian (unfortunately they were non-union so they didn’t get any credit):
The differences between production design for animation and live action will be explored in detail during the first installment of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ series Evolution or Revolution? Production Design in the 21st Century, on Monday, April 25, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.
Production Design in the 21st Century will be hosted by two of the Academy’s Art Directors Branch governors, production designer Jim Bissell (300, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) and set decorator Rosemary Brandenburg (Unstoppable, Public Enemies).Â Special guests for the first evening will be production designers Kathy Altieri (How to Train Your Dragon, Over the Hedge”), Scott Chambliss (Salt, Star Trek), Harley Jessup (Ratatouille, Monsters, Inc.) and Lilly Kilvert (Valkyrie, The Last Samurai), as well as set decorator Karen O’Hara (Alice in Wonderland, Disney’s A Christmas Carol).Â The session will feature film clips and open discussion between the evening’s special guests and members of the audience.
The schedule for subsequent sessions is as follows, with all participants subject to availability:
May 2 – Memorable Images: Production Designers and Set Decorators Choose Their Favorites.
Production designers can create powerful images that embed themselves into the collective cultural consciousness.Â The panel will give examples of those unforgettable instances when dramatic design surges from a support role to the forefront of the storytelling process.
- William Creber, production designer (The Poseidon Adventure, 1972; Planet of the Apes, 1968)
- Jack Fisk, production designer (There Will Be Blood, The New World)
- Alex McDowell, production designer (Watchmen, Fight Club)
- Beth Rubino, set decorator (It’s Complicated, American Gangster)
May 9 – Set Decoration and the Design Collaboration.
Production designers and set decorators discuss their collaborative process.
- Jim Bissell, production designer, and Jan Pascale, set decorator (Leatherheads, Good Night, and Good Luck)
- Lauri Gaffin, set decorator (Iron Man, The Pursuit of Happyness)
- Alex McDowell, production designer, and Anne Kuljian, set decorator (The Terminal, Minority Report)
- Jeannine Oppewall, production designer, and Jay Hart, set decorator (Pleasantville, L.A. Confidential)
- Victor J. Zolfo, set decorator (The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
May 16Â - The Criteria for Good Production Design. Production designers and set decorators discuss what they look for in their peers’ work as hallmarks of great creative design.
- Jim Erickson, set decorator (Watchmen, There Will Be Blood)
- Alex McDowell, production designer (Watchmen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
- Jeannine Oppewall, production designer (The Good Shepherd, Seabiscuit)
Registration for the entire series is $40 for the general public and $30 for Academy members and students with a valid ID.Â Admission for individual evenings, if available, is $10 at the door.Â Tickets may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, by mail, or in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the session when the doors open at 6 p.m.Â The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood.Â For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.
Emmy Award-winning PBS KIDS GO! series, The Electric Company, will re-launch its third season May 2 with an all new transmedia story, The Adventures of The Electric Company on Prankster Planet. Airing in a new segment at the end of the TV series and a new area of the website, this transmedia story engages and immerses participants in an experience through multiple forms of media, each element making a unique contribution to the story. Produced by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, The Electric Company uses this formula to transport viewers from the television show to the website and back again, putting kids in the middle of the adventure, side-by-side with The Electric Company.
The entire transmedia experience includes 12 new two-minute animated segments, 12 multi-level online quests, 60 mini-games, an avatar creator, a rewards system to encourage repeat play and a magazine. Coming early summer, there will also be a progress tracker online for parents and teachers to follow kids learning online.
Appearing at the end of each of the episodes in season three, Prankster Planet stars Electric Company members Jessica and Marcus as comic book heroes in a 12-part animated adventure. Their mission? Get to Prankster Planet ASAP and stop the pranksters from stealing all the words from earth!
Jessica and Marcus discover the pranksters are using Manny’s latest gadget — the Wordsuckeruppernator — to suck up all the words on earth, giving them total word domination. Upon arrival, they learn that the only way to turn off the gadget is to find the 13 buttons that Manny has hidden all over the planet. As they get close to each button, the pranksters try to prevent them from reaching their goal. The heroes need help! They turn to the viewer and shout “Hey You GUUUUUYYS!” Then, the narrator steps in asking the kids to go online and help!
“Bringing the characters into an action adventure story and gaming world that invites kids to participate is a natural progression of The Electric Company,” says Karen Fowler, Executive Producer and Vice President. “Watching children quickly take to this new section proves that we need to keep challenging ourselves to push the boundaries of media and education to serve the needs of kids in a way that reflects the world they live in.”
Each animated episode ends in a cliffhanger — offering a direct hand-off from story to game. This seamless transition is one of the signature elements that define the transmedia invention.
Online, the viewer now enters the story in the scene where the animation ended. The player boards a virtual spaceship, creates an avatar and heads to Prankster Planet! There are 12 levels of interactive game play, each level matching each of the animations. The playful, interactive games build math literacy by reinforcing and testing kids’ knowledge of word meanings like ‘graph,’ ‘measure,’ ‘scale’ and ‘prove;’ and math concepts like coin value, telling time and skip counting. The player must complete all the levels to triumph over the pranksters and save the Earth’s words. When all 12 missions are complete, the player becomes an official member of The Electric Company!
“Creating the online universe of Prankster Planet allowed us the opportunity to give kids an incredibly immersive experience – empowering them to become active participants,” adds Erica Branch-Ridley, Supervising Producer of online for The Electric Company. “The depth, however, does not stop there. Children are asked to play a role in this world that is integrally connected with the math literacy curriculum of these episodes.”
The Lost Guide to Prankster Planet magazine completes the learning experience by extending the math concepts and vocabulary featured online and in the animated TV segments – offering yet another resource to parents, kids and teachers. The magazine, distributed to PBS and other Electric Company partners, will contain secret Prankster Planet information that the reader can use to collect hidden words and save the world from becoming wordless!
The Adventures of The Electric Company on Prankster Planet will air at the end of each of The Electric Company broadcast episodes everyday starting May 2. The online adventure will go live that same day at PBSKIDSGO.org/electriccompany.
The Electric Company and “Prankster Planet” are part of Ready To Learn, a joint initiative of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS, and funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Ready To Learn is a national initiative focused on using public media content to improve math and literacy skills of children ages two to eight, especially those from low-income families.
Excerpted from full press release:
Aaron Sorkin, Allison Anders and June Foray will be among those honored at this year’s Festival of New Creative Work presented by UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television (TFT)Â . The annual week-long festival showcases and screens the works of TFT’s emerging artists, and honors the work of the entertainment industry’s brightest and most respected. Honorees are chosen by students voting within their particular discipline. The festival begins Friday, June 3 and runs through Thursday, June 9, 2011.
At Animation Prom night, legendary voice-over actress June Foray will be presented the Outstanding Contribution in Animation Award, also known as The Crystal Anvil Award. Foray’s celebrated career is a part of Hollywood history. Most known for voicing the role of Rocky the Flying Squirrel in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Foray also played the voice of Lucifer in Disney’s Cinderella, plus scores of popular and classic characters. Students will also be awarded for their work in animation that night, June 4th, as well.