A Very Special episode of “Cartoon Dump”

Will Compost Brite reject Moodsy The Clinically Depressed Owl for her new love, Mighty Mister Titan? This coming Monday, Cartoon Dump is back with a “very special” season-finale cliffhanger episode!

Joining us in this month are guest comedians Susan Burke, Emily Maya Mills and Lizzy Cooperman; plus the ukulele stylings of Thessaly Lerner, The Ukalady! And of course, the crappiest cartoons in the history of crappy cartoons!

Showtime is 8pm Monday night, September 24th, at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood California (4773 Hollywood Blvd; two blocks west of Vermont), and tickets can be purchased at the door or online here. Join our FaceBook Event page for more information and updates. Be there!

(Artwork at top of this post by Thom Foolery)

Daffy Duck Shoes

Aren’t these attractive? Almost everyday some rare oddball piece of vintage cartoon memorabilia or ephemera shows up on Facebook or in my email box. It never seems to end… and each piece raises more questions than answers. Case in point: this pair of Daffy Duck slippers (above) and the super-cool off-model shoe box (below).

Warners art mega collector Eric Calande sent me these images – the latest additions to his superb Looney Tunes collection. I’m guessing it’s from the late 1940′s or early 1950′s – as Charlie Dog is featured as one of the characters and he didn’t appear until 1947. Man, Bugs Bunny looks like he’s eaten too many carrots. And the Daffy slippers – they’re despicable (but I want ‘em)!

marblemedia Partners with Surprise Bag

Toronto, ON – Award-winning Canadian content creation company marblemedia announced it is partnering with LA-based prime time Emmy nominee Executive Producer, Writer and Director Frank Saperstein (The Ren & Stimpy Show, Pee-wee’s Playhouse) and Surprise Bag Inc., to develop new animated comedy projects in the Kids and Scripted arena.

“We have such a strong history working with Frank on projects like TELETOON’s The Dating Guy,” said Matt Hornburg, Co-CEO and Executive Producer, marblemedia. “This is a natural step in deepening our collaborative relationship with an eye to accelerating marble’s production and distribution animated pipeline.”

“marblemedia’s progressive thinking, steady growth and existing infrastructure in production, digital media and distribution coupled with Surprise Bag’s global contacts, industry experience and creative acumen allows for a perfect synergy between the two companies,” said Frank Saperstein.

A prominent figure in the children, animation and family genres, Saperstein has worked on hundreds of episodes of television, pilots, feature films, short film and digital content. Prior to launching his own company, Surprise Bag Inc., Saperstein served as Senior Vice President at media powerhouse Entertainment One Group.

marblemedia’s Mik Perlus, Head of Development, Kids and Scripted, and Frank Saperstein, Owner and Executive Producer, Surprise Bag Inc., will be attending and taking meetings this week at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.


Studio 100 and Little Airplane to Produce “Bumba”

Benelux / New York – Belgian’s leading family entertainment group Studio 100 and Little Airplane Productions, producers of hit shows such as The Wonder Pets and Small Potatoes today announced plans to develop and co-produce a new animated pre-school series based on the hugely successful puppet-based television show, Bumba.

A hit since 2005, and recognized as the #1 pre-school brand in the Benelux, Bumba will be re-designed for the international market by Little Airplane and will include an educational curriculum that helps preschoolers develop Problem Solving Skills.  The new series will be executive produced by Emmy Award-winner Josh Selig and will be produced entirely in his New York-based studio, Little Airplane Productions.

Redeveloped as a stylized, digital 2-D educational series, Bumba (52 x 11 mins) is a show about a lovable clown and his extraordinary circus.  Each episode will explore a theme such as Vehicles, Music, Seasons, or Exercise and there will be educational content built into each episode to support a child’s understanding of the episode’s theme.  The shows will be accompanied by richly scored original music under the direction of Little Airplane’s Emmy Award-winning music department.

The new Bumba episodes will be told entirely through action and movement, and will be supported by live music and playful sound effects in the great tradition of the European Circus.  Because the new series will not contain dialogue or narration, there will be no need for any dubbing of any kind on the series.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with our friends at Studio 100 to bring Bumba to an international audience,” said Josh Selig, President of Little Airplane Productions.  “It’s one of the funniest shows I have ever seen and I know the preschoolers will love it!”

Hans Bourlon, CEO of Studio 100 added, “It’s a great privilege to be working with Josh Selig and Little Airplane Productions on what has proven to be one of our most successful pre-school brands.  With their unrivaled expertise and commitment to kids’ entertainment, I am confident that Bumba’s career change into animation will be remarkable.”

Call For Entries: AniFest 2013

Starting from 20th September, AniFest 2013 accepts films made after 1st January 2011. Final deadline for submissions is 20th December. AniFest 2013 will take place from 26th April till 1st May 2013. You can submit films in following categories:

International Competition of Feature-length Animated Films 

International Competition of Student Animated Films

International Competition of Non-narrative and Experimental Animation

International Competition of Short Animated Films
• up to 5 Minutes in Length
• from 5 to 15 Minutes in Length
• from 15 to 60 Minutes in Length

International Competition of TV creations, music videos and commissioned videos

• Animated Television Films and Series category
• Animated Commercials and Jingles category
• Animated Music Videos category

International Competition of Animated Films Made by Children

• up to 12 years of age
• from 12 to 15 years of age

Please note in your diary that deadline for submission is 20th December, the day before the end of the world.

You can find online submission form http://registrace.anifest.cz/entryform/en/submission.aspx There´s no entry fee.

Festival statute and regulations HERE, some answers regarding technical specifications of the films you can find HERE.

First AniFest was held in 2002; since then it grew from a local film event to a big festival with international competition, outstanding focuses, retrospectives and lectures. This year, eleventh edition of AniFest was held in North Bohemian spa cities Teplice and Duchcov. There were more than 1600 films submissions from 67 countries; more than 20 000 visitors enjoyed the main topic of the festival, Magic of Film Puppet, which was chosen to celebrate Jiří Trnka’s birth anniversary. Barry Purves, Michel Ocelot, Will Vinton, Paul Wells, Ian Mackinnon, Igor Kovaljov, Giannalberto Bendazzi, Michaela Pavlátová or Jiří Barta are only few of great names you could have met there. For better idea of AniFest’s last edition, please check this.

Don Hertzfeldt Qualifies “It’s Such A Beautiful Day” For Oscar Consideration

Heads up! Animator Don Hertzfedlt (Rejected) is publicly screening his first feature this week at The Cinefamily (at the Silent Movie Theatre) in Hollywood.

This special engagement of It’s Such A Beautiful Day – a feature-length combination of his magnificent “Bill” trilogy of short films – will qualify the 70 minute film for Academy Award consideration. Screenings begin tonight at 10:30pm – and will play through Monday (each subsequent night at 10pm, except Sunday at 9:30pm). Tickets and info here.

Hertzfedlt has already begun self-distribution of the film and will be bringing it to Portland, Dallas, New York City (Oct. 5th at the IFC CEnter), Tucson and Chicago, among other cities, in the next few months. Complete list of theatres and dates is posted on Don’s Bitter Films website. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect:

Game Trailer: “Armello”

I know nothing of games, but this debut project from Australian development collective, League of Geeks, looks pretty neat. Or at least the trailer is cool. Armello is a digital card & board game “of swashbuckling, character-based high adventure, set in a fairy-tale animal kingdom” and should be released in 2013.

League of Geeks collaborated with Melbourne-based 12 Field to bring this beautiful trailer to life.

New “Looney Tunes” Movie from Chipmunk Actress

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed a new Looney Tunes movie is in development at Warner Bros., and it will be written by Jenny Slate, a one-season Saturday Night Live performer who most recently appeared on screen in Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked (see clip embed below). Slate has voiced characaters on Bob’s Burgers and was Ted’s mom in The Lorax. She also co-wrote and voiced the viral stop-motion short Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.

Like Alvin, the Looney Tunes feature is being planned as a mix of live-action and CGI. Harry Potter producer David Heyman, as well as Jeffery’s son David Katzenberg (MTV’s The Hard Times of RJ Berger) and his creative partner Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows, Beetlejuice 2) are set to produce.

Image at top from recent CG Looney Tunes shorts – which you can now see online.
(Thanks, Liam Scanlan)

Call For Entries: The Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart (ITFS)

There’s a reason to celebrate in 2013: The Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart (ITFS) will take place for the 20th time! And in its anniversary edition, too, the festival will offer a platform to directors and production companies to present their films as well as a chance to fans of animated film to watch animated short and feature films, to meet well-known filmmakers and young talents, and participate in numerous workshops, informational events and presentations for six days.

Since its foundation in 1982, the festival has developed into an essential event within the field of animated film in Germany and is regarded as one of the biggest and most important festivals for animated film around the world. Around 80,000 viewers and approximately 2,500 accredited people attended the festival last year. Both professionals and friends of animated film appreciate the quality and up-to-date programs as well as the unique atmosphere at Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz. They come to Stuttgart to gain information, to educate themselves and to establish contacts. The high-profile conference FMX will take place in parallel to ITFS. With the Animation Production Day (APD) – held in cooperation with FMX and organized by Michael Schmetz Mediaconsult – the festival offers an additional marketing platform for the animation sector.

Artistic animation films and the support of young talent represent the core of the festival. The various competition programs are endowed with prize money of more than 65,000 Euros in total.

As of September 18, 2012, filmmakers are invited to submit films produced after October 01, 2011 to one of the Festival’s following competition categories:
International Competition (Short film competition)
AniMovie (Feature-length film competition)
Young Animation (Student film competition)
Tricks for Kids – shorts and series (Competition for short films and TV series for children)
Cartoons for Teens (Competition for short films, series, animes, machinimas and cut scenes from computer games)

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 01, 2012

Information on the terms and conditions, the competition categories and the awards can be found on the Festival’s homepage.

Entry forms for the Animated Com Award will be submitted October 15, 2012, for the Live Animation Competition Crazy Horse Session – 48 h Animation Jam November 01, 2012.

More information on ITFS 2013

Hornet and Blinkink Join Forces

We are delighted to announce that Hornet and UK production company Blinkink are forming a transatlantic alliance that brings together some of the most visually inventive talent from around the globe. Conceived as a true reciprocation of talent from each company, the new relationship will bolster both houses existing rosters to be amongst the most creative director-focused mixed media and animation production companies in the U.S. and Europe.

Emphasizing collaboration, the intent is to create something original and more potent than typical representation. This partnership will seek out and create work that is relentlessly innovative and compelling within the world of advertising and beyond. Each brand will continue to support and invest in their artists in order to open up new opportunities across commercials, short films, music videos and long form content for TV and Film. This shared commitment to nurturing and developing new talent is what makes the pair perfect allies.

“Many companies have their guard up when it comes to representation,” offered Michael Feder, Hornet partner. “They want to protect their brand and hold the best work on their side. In doing so, they limit the potential for the greatest possible outcome. Hornet has always been about letting creativity flourish. That’s why this partnership makes so much sense. Both creative forces will work together, share ideas, and play off one another to broaden the creative potential for our clients.”

Exclusively available in the USA through Hornet will be the full Blinkink roster of directors including Noah Harris, Simon Willows, Joseph Mann, Elliot Dear and Sumo Science.

Joining the Blinkink roster through Hornet will be established directors like Peter Sluszka, Guilherme Marcondes, Yves Geleyn, and Dan & Jason as well as breaking but already acclaimed talents like Julia Pott and Mikey Please.

In celebration of this new partnership, the two brands have specially designed limited edition signed prints from Julia Pott and the Layzell Bros. To be a part of a small give-away, visit Hornet on Facebook or Twitter for info.

“Saving Mr. Banks” Begins Production In Los Angeles

Los Angeles, Calif., September 19, 2012—Disney began production today on Saving Mr. Banks, the account of Walt Disney’s twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to P.L. Travers’ popular novel, Mary Poppins, and the testy partnership the upbeat filmmaker develops with the uptight author during the project’s pre-production in 1961.

Two-time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) will essay the role of the legendary Disney (the first time the entrepreneur has ever been depicted in a dramatic film) alongside fellow double Oscar®-winner Emma Thompson (Howard’s End, Sense and Sensibility) in the role of the prickly novelist. Before actually signing away the book’s rights, Travers’ demands for contractual script and character control circumvent not only Disney’s vision for the film adaptation, but also those of the creative team of screenwriter Don DaGradi and sibling composers Richard and Robert Sherman, whose original score and song (Chim-Chim-Cher-ee) would go on to win Oscars® at the 1965 ceremonies (the film won five awards of its thirteen nominations).

When Travers travels from London to Hollywood in 1961 to finally discuss Disney’s desire to bring her beloved character to the motion picture screen (a quest he began in the 1940s as a promise to his two daughters), Disney meets a prim, uncompromising sexagenarian not only suspect of the impresario’s concept for the film, but a woman struggling with her own past. During her stay in California, Travers’ reflects back on her childhood in 1906 Australia, a trying time for her family which not only molded her aspirations to write, but one that also inspired the characters in her 1934 book.

None more so than the one person whom she loved and admired more than any other—her caring father, Travers Goff, a tormented banker who, before his untimely death that same year, instills the youngster with both affection and enlightenment (and would be the muse for the story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks, the sole character that the famous nanny comes to aide). While reluctant to grant Disney the film rights, Travers comes to realize that the acclaimed Hollywood storyteller has his own motives for wanting to make the film—which, like the author, hints at the relationship he shared with his own father in the early 20th Century Midwest.

Colin Farrell (Minority Report, otal Recall) co-stars as Travers’ doting dad, Goff, along with British actress Ruth Wilson (the forthcoming films The Lone Ranger and Anna Karenina) as his long-suffering wife, Margaret; Oscar® and Emmy® nominee Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under, Hilary and Jackie, The Rookie) as Margaret’s sister, Aunt Ellie (who inspired the title character of Travers’ novel); and a screen newcomer—11-year-old Aussie native Annie Buckley as the young, blossoming writer, nicknamed “Ginty” in the flashback sequences.

The cast also includes Emmy® winner Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, The Cabin in the Woods) as screenwriter Don DaGradi; Jason Schwartzman ( Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom) and B.J. Novak (NBC’s The Office, Inglourious Basterds) as the songwriting Sherman Brothers (Richard and Robert, respectively); Oscar® nominee and Emmy winner Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man, HBO’s John Adams) as Ralph, the kindly limousine driver who escorts Travers during her two-week stay in Hollywood; and multi-Emmy winner Kathy Baker (Picket Fences, Edward Scissorhands) as Tommie, one of Disney’s trusted studio associates.

Saving Mr. Banks, will be directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, The Rookie) based on a screenplay by Kelly Marcel (creator of FOX-TV’s Terra Nova), from a story by Sue Smith (Brides of Christ, Bastard Boys) and Kelly Marcel. The film is being produced by Alison Owen of Ruby Films (the Oscar®-nominated Elizabeth, HBO’s Emmy®-winning Temple Grandin), Ian Collie of Essential Media (the Aussie TV documentary The Shadow of Mary Poppins, DirecTV’s Rake) and longtime Hancock collaborator Philip Steuer (The Rookie, The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy). The film’s executive producers are Ruby Films’ Paul Trijbits (Lay the Favorite, Jane Eyre), Hopscotch Features’ Andrew Mason (The Matrix trilogy, Dark City) and Troy Lum (Mao’s Last Dancer, I, Frankenstein) and BBC Films’ Christine Langan (Oscar® nominee for The Queen, We Need to Talk About Kevin).

Hancock’s filmmaking team includes a trio of artists with whom he worked on his 2009 Best Picture Oscar® nominee, The Blind Side—two-time Oscar® nominated production designer Michael Corenblith (How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Apollo 13), Emmy®-winning costume designer Daniel Orlandi (HBO’s Game Change, Frost/Nixon) and film editor Mark Livolsi, A.C.E. (Wedding Crashers, The Devil Wears Prada). Hancock also reunites with Academy Award®-nominated cinematographer John Schwartzman (Seabiscuit, Pearl Harbor), with whom he first worked on his inspiring 2002 sports drama, The Rookie.

Saving Mr. Banks, will film entirely in the Los Angeles area, with key locations to include Disneyland in Anaheim and the Disney Studios in Burbank. Filming will conclude around Thanksgiving, 2012, with no specific 2013 release date yet set.

DreamWorks Animation to Announce Third Quarter 2012 Results and Host Earnings Conference Call

GLENDALE, Calif., Sept. 19, 2012 – DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that the Company’s third quarter results will be released on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, after the market close.

DreamWorks Animation will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the results on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. (ET). Investors can access the call by dialing (800) 230-1059 in the U.S. and (612) 234-9960 internationally and identifying “DreamWorks Animation Earnings” to the operator. The call will also be available via live webcast at www.dreamworksanimation.com.

A replay of the conference call will be available shortly after the call ends on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. To access the replay, dial (800) 475-6701 in the U.S. and (320) 365-3844 internationally and enter 260584 as the conference ID number. Both the earnings release and archived webcast will be available on the Company’s website at www.dreamworksanimation.com.

Animated Film Screenings Highlight Penn Conference, “Enchanted Drawing II: Animation Across the Discipline”

From Paleolithic cave paintings to the latest wave of 3D motion pictures, animation has captured our imagination by bringing objects to virtual life for thousands of years.

On Sept. 21-22, scholars and animation producers will meet at the University of Pennsylvania for a collaborative conference, “Enchanted Drawing II: Animation Across the Disciplines.”

The conference, presented through the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Program in Contemporary Art, is free and open to the public.  It will be held at two venues. Discussion sessions will take place at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. on Penn’s campus. Films being discussed by participants will be screened in the Ibrahim Theater of International House, nearby at 37th and Chestnut streets.

“Enchanted Drawing II” picks up where last spring’s “Enchanted Drawing I” left off in Berlin, exploring topics emerging from animation history.

“It is great to have this international collaboration be more than a one-off thing and to have the chance to deepen into a conversation with a whole new set of wonderful interlocutors,” says Karen Beckman, Jaffe Professor of Film Studies in Penn’s history of art department in the School of Arts and Sciences. “I haven’t met many of the participants before, and imagine I’m going to learn an immense amount.”

Beckman organized the conference with Erna Fiorentini of Institut für Kunst-und Bildgeschichte (IKB) der Humboldt-Universit“t zu Berlin and Oliver Gaycken of the University of Maryland.

“Enchanted Drawing II” will feature the work of scholars and practitioners from across disciplines, in the fields of cinema and media studies, art history, the history of science, animation design, science, gaming, engineering, medicine and journalism.  Sessions will include talks on digital and data-driven animation, the science of animation, transmediality, 3D animation, videogames and more.

Beckman, a film and feminist theory scholar, has organized and participated in a number of lectures in recent years. Immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, she coordinated a series of events focused on artistic and literary responses to terrorism in America.

Last fall, she organized “Animate Art!” a series of ICA talks by visiting artist-animators. The series drew large crowds including students from Beckman’s graduate seminar on animation, undergraduates, fine-arts students and the general public.  She says she hopes some of them come back to continue the conversation.

“The emerging conversation makes clear how important it is for contemporary people to be visually literate, to understand how thinking occurs through making and reading all kinds of images, including animated ones,” Beckman says.

Conference attendees touring ICA galleries will see the new exhibition “Jeremy Deller: Joy in People.”

Beckman, who is working on a book, Animation and the Contemporary Art of War, says she couldn’t be happier that the conference will be held in the same space as the Deller show.  She grew up in the United Kingdom during the 1980s dancing “badly” to the Manchester music that Deller celebrates in his work.

The show will include a reconstruction of the Manchester café Valerie’s Snack Bar, where ICA visitors will be able to enjoy “a nice cuppa tea, the answer to everything in England: death, conference stress, etc!” Beckman says.

The full conference program and information on registration, which is encouraged but not required, is at http://www.arthistory.upenn.edu/enchanted_drawing/screenings.html.

The Looney Tunes Show Season Two Premieres Oct. 3 on Cartoon Network

THE GANG’S ALL HERE! The Looney Tunes Show Returns For a Hilarious Second Season
Season Two Premieres Wednesday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network

The fun continues in season two of The Looney Tunes Show, a modern, animated half-hour comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation. Screen icons Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are still living together on a suburban cul-de-sac and our favorite mismatched roommates hit the ground laughing, along with beloved Looney Tunes characters from the first season, including Porky, Lola, Speedy, Tina and many more.

Bugs is as brazen, sarcastic and ahead-of-the-game as ever and Daffy, despite his narcissistic, sociopathic and paranoid tendencies, is still Bugs’ best friend and permanent houseguest. With their larger-than-life personalities (and egos), this suburban-dwelling duo offers an irreverent and comical take on our modern world, introducing a whole new realm of possibilities for humor and fun. This season, find out what happens when Bugs becomes addicted to Porky’s buttery catering, or when Gossamer turns into a frog after Lola mistakes the Witch’s spell book for a bedtime story. And can Daffy, Lola and Foghorn Leghorn help the town find their holiday spirit during a Christmas heat wave? Special guest stars lending their voices this season include Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids), Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids) and Jim Rash (Community). The laughs continue in the looniest neighborhood on television, along with all-new Merrie Melodies, original songs and music videos featuring your favorite Looney Tunes characters.

CartoonNetwork.com will host a game based on one of last season’s favorite Merrie Melodies. In Daffy Duck’s Behold the Wizard!, help Daffy reach Celestia, the guardian of infinite power. Along the way, he’ll have to use his wizardly abilities to collect magical items and defeat monstrous creatures while navigating an ever-shifting environment of rising and sinking platforms. Behold the Wizard! launches on October 1.

“Snail Trail” by Philipp Artus

Today is bittersweet because we are presenting the final film in our 2012 Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival. But we are delighted that this film is an extraordinarily unique achievement in computer animation.

Snail Trail comes to us from Germany, where it was made by Philipp Artus at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. The film draws an ingenious link between two disparate things: the spiral of a snail shell and the concept of exponential acceleration (don’t worry, we had to look up the latter one too).

Mere description fails to do this film justice though. Snail Trail is an intensely visceral experience. Excitement and surprise abound in every frame, even as the film celebrates the mathematical order of the universe. The snail’s dynamic evolution in mobililty is eloquently expressed through a luminescent line that curls and stretches across the screen. Artus achieved the fading trail of images by projecting his computer animation with lasers onto a phosphorescent material.

The totality of Artus’s vision is startlingly beautiful. Snail Trail, quite simply, uses computer animation in ways that we have not seen before, and the results are astounding.

Click HERE to read an interview with the filmmaker Philipp Artus.

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

CBTV STUDENT FEST: “Snail Trail” by Philipp Artus

Today is bittersweet because we are presenting the final film in our 2012 Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival. But we are delighted that this film is an extraordinarily unique achievement in computer animation.

Snail Trail comes to us from Germany, where it was made by Philipp Artus at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. The film draws an ingenious link between two disparate things: the spiral of a snail shell and the concept of exponential acceleration (don’t worry, we had to look up the latter one too).

Mere description fails to do this film justice though. Snail Trail is an intensely visceral experience. Excitement and surprise abound in every frame, even as the film celebrates the mathematical order of the universe. The snail’s dynamic evolution in mobililty is eloquently expressed through a luminescent line that curls and stretches across the screen. Artus achieved the fading trail of images by projecting his computer animation with lasers onto a phosphorescent material.

The totality of Artus’s vision is startlingly beautiful. Snail Trail, quite simply, uses computer animation in ways that we have not seen before, and the results are astounding.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Philipp Artus:

In the animation a snail invents the wheel and goes through a cultural evolution to finally get back to its origin. The basic idea of the work is inspired by processes of exponential acceleration, which can be observed at different levels. Thus, the evolution of life proceeds at an extremely slow pace for more than 3 billion years, until it suddenly seems to explode in the Cambrian period. The tools of human beings progress relatively little during the Stone Age until there comes a rapid cultural development during the Holocene. Nowadays, a similar acceleration process is generated by the exchange of information through the Internet. From this perspective, the exponential spiral on a snail shell may almost appear like a miraculous wink of nature.

I rigged and animated the character in 3ds Max. Then I projected the animation with a laser on a phosphorescent material and recorded it frame by frame with Dragon Stop Motion. Finally, I did the post production with After Effects. It was a very time consuming process, but I like the unique style that it creates. It looks somehow digital but has also the feeling of a hand-drawn animation.

The animation is based on a laser sculpture, which has a somehow purer and darker feeling than the film. For me the challenge was to find the right tone for the film, to make it into something else than a mere copy of the laser installation. It took me some time to realize that I had to free my mind from the original character and to give space to an evolution. Finally, the film turned out much brighter and more colorful than I had imagined in the beginning.

In the animation the snail goes through various metamorphoses. Working on the project was quite a similar experience: in the beginning I just wanted to do a normal animation with a snail. Through experimentation I then discovered the phosphorescent light trails, which add a unique sense of time to the animation. Later I had the idea to project the laser onto a 360° cylinder, so that the audience would have to walk around to follow the course of the snail. Finally, I created the film version, which again turned into something completely different from what I had originally in mind. Thus, the snail taught me the lesson to be fluid, to leave space for the evolution of your creations. Or as Bruce Lee puts it: “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless – like water…”

My inspirations come from being in nature, observing animals and the way they move. The drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, Alberto Giacometti and M. C. Escher have also inspired me. As a kid I played video games a lot, which probably had an unconscious influence. I also used to do a lot of skateboarding and I love surfing – which might be an inspiration for the motion. The sound was influenced by various musicians, ranging from classical ambient drones to electronic post-dubstep beats. Aditionally, I had a very creative collaboration with the Portuguese musician Madalena Graça. Finally, the Vimeo community and the rapid change of our world through the digital era have also inspired my work.

Philipp Artus’s website

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

“The Renter” by Jason Carpenter

I’ve been a fan of Jason Carpenter’s haunting student film, The Renter, since I first saw it – when it was nominated for an Annie Award in 2010. Amid interviewed Carpenter about the film back then and it has since gone on to great acclaim at festivals around the world, winning prizes at Ottawa and Anima Mundi. Finally, it’s online and we are especially proud that Jason allowed Cartoon Brew to be the first to post it.

“Electronics At Work” (1943) by Famous Studios

Here’s a rarity: an industrial film from 1943 with animation by Paramount’s Famous Studios. We’ve long known of several non-theatrical industrial and educational films from Fleischer Studios – and it is known that its later incarnation, Famous Studios, did television commercials in addition to its annual output of Paramount’s theatrical entertainment cartoons. But examples of the studios supplemental commercial work have been incredibly difficult to locate.

To be sure, the animation here isn’t particularly exciting. In fact, it will probably bore most of our readers – but fascinate a fanatic few (like me). It’s essentially a live action film, extolling the virtues of vacuum tubes during wartime, containing several animated inserts that demonstrate electronic current flow. Dull? Yes, but it’s another piece of the puzzle – and I’m damn glad its been uncovered. Produced by Westinghouse, here’s Electronics At Work(1943):

(Thanks, Ken Layton)

In Philly: Enchanted Drawing Animation Conference

If you like to watch cartoon characters bash each other over the noggin and hand each other sticks of dynamite, this is probably not the conference for you. This Friday and Saturday (Sept. 21-22), the University of Pennsylvania will host an animation conference called Enchanted Drawings II: Animation Across the Disciplines. The two-day conference will take place in Philadelphia at the Institute of Contemporary Art (118 S. 36th Street). The event is FREE and open to the public.

The conference, organized by Karen Beckman, Erna Fiorentini and Oliver Gaycken, will explore the convergence of animation with other disciplines. Some of our smart Brew readers will surely enjoy this, but frankly, I’m intimidated just reading the titles of the lectures: “Rough and Smooth: Toward a Rhetoric of Animated Scientific Images,” “The Animation of Evanescence: Camouflage in Motion,” “Algorithmic Aesthetics vs. Punk De’collage: From Animation to Live Performance,” “Graphic Engines: Videogame Animation as Transmedia Bridge,” and “Inside and Outside the Toon Body: Challenging Somatic Integrity through Animation History.”

New Visual Studio Alma Mater Launches

Los Angeles, CA — ALMA MATER, a boutique visual studio specializing in design, live-action and animation, has launched in Los Angeles. Founded by Imaginary Forces alumni Brian Mah, Kathy Kelehan, and James Anderson, the principal trio conceived ALMA MATER as a place to pursue selective creative opportunities across all media disciplines and platforms, in a fun and collaborative environment.

“The education and experience that we gained with such a broad range of opportunities at Imaginary Forces, and the strong design tradition of that studio, has led us to this new stage in our careers,” explains Director Brian Mah of the company’s namesake. “We’ve now combined our strengths in a focused way in which all three of us can contribute equally and bring something unique to the company.”

As a director-driven studio specializing in commercials, ALMA MATER’s creative manifesto for live-action production and fully-CG work (or a hybrid of the two) includes: conceptual thinking with a strong sense of graphic, beautifully composed cinematography; seamless integration of sophisticated 2D & 3D animation; and elegant, iconic use of typography and graphic branding.

Intentionally small but nimble, ALMA MATER is strategically positioned to adapt to the ever-changing commercial landscape. Executive Producer Kathy Kelehan says the company’s holistic approach to the creative process enables them to offer custom methodologies to achieve the best result. “We specialize in design-driven projects, and our live-action and post capabilities enable us to offer a variety of options for creative problem-solving.”

“We value being able to provide a high level of focused attention and visual execution to each collaboration,” Kelehan continues. “Our scale allows us to maintain a more direct dialogue with our clients, while enabling us to thoughtfully craft the details of each endeavor.”

ALMA MATER has already rolled out a number of projects, including a launch spot for the BAUER RE-AKT microsite via branding and interactive agency Mode. The creative brief was two-fold: showcase the innovations in materials, construction and design that BAUER’s new hockey helmet line offers to reduce head injuries; and draw in the hockey consumers by highlighting the aesthetics of the design.

“We were extremely excited to work with ALMA MATER because they’re masters at their craft,” remarks John Pietrafesa, Creative Director/Partner of MODE. “They have a tremendous ability to take an idea and transform it into an experience. We needed someone who could help us tell the story of the helmet’s revolutionary technology in a dramatic and believable way. The collaborative experience was fantastic. One of the most impressive aspects of the process was how effectively ALMA MATER was able to work under an extremely tight timeline and how much they kept us involved in the process every step of the way.”

BAUER RE-AKT’s armor-like qualities inspired the visual concept of the narrative. Co-directed by Mah and ALMA MATER VFX & Animation Supervisor James Anderson, the duo utilized CG to depict the helmet’s design and development, as the armor manifests itself in dynamic 3D.

“We wanted the piece to be cinematic rather than make it too diagrammatic or information-based, so we steered away from using text or typography, and leaned on the armor metaphor,” says Anderson. “We spent a lot of time dissecting the forms, details, and materials in the helmet, brainstorming the various ways the helmet could construct itself with force and precision.”

To set the epic tone of the piece, Mode also turned to ALMA MATER to helm the editorial style, sound design, and musical score.

“The entire process was very fluid,” concludes Mah. “Our interactions with the agency and client were very constructive and insightful, and they gave us a lot of freedom to define the overall tone of the piece. They were extremely helpful in directing us towards the innovative technologies that make this helmet unique, while allowing us to establish the most interesting compositions and angles to showcase them.”

ALMA MATER also recently completed work for ad agencies Euro RSCG & Grey, and contributed to the highly touted Project Imaginat10n campaign for Canon featuring legendary director Ron Howard.

Stardust Delivers Animated Campaign for Corona

Los Angeles, CA — Bi-coastal production company Stardust recently delivered a 10-spot campaign from Corona promoting their sweepstakes to send several lucky fans on a trip to a prime football destination. Stardust was recruited for the project via agency Pereira & O’Dell to develop a package of fast-paced, high-energy animated shorts in a contemporary hand-drawn comic style.

The campaign celebrates the start of the football season and features over eleven minutes of original animation that echo the film’s humor and the signature rapid-fire delivery of narrator Jon Gruden. Each of the ten spots is just over one minute long, and extols the football cred of cities that include: Chicago, Dallas, Green Bay, Knoxville, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and New Orleans, all of which are destinations in Corona’s “Find Your Beach For the Game” sweepstakes. The spots debuted last week on Facebook, YouTube and via an online media buy.

“Working with Stardust was truly a creative collaboration,” said Kathy Zembera, Interactive Producer, Pereira & O’Dell. “We loved what they brought to the table visually and stylistically, playing up the humor in the voiceover and developing a clean, sophisticated animation style that is perfect for the target audience that we’re reaching out to with this campaign.”

A team of five illustrators and six animators led by Stardust Senior Designer and AD Bill Bak spent 2 months developing the style, look and characters for this project working off of scripts developed by the agency, and created the animation to match the voiceovers from Jon Gruden which had been recorded in advance.

Stardust’s Managing Director Dexton Deboree said, “The series was an opportunity for the whole team at Stardust to experiment with tools of illustration, comedy and character design. Our team was champing at the bit to show off their varied skill sets and talents and this project allowed us to do just that. Working with Pereira & O’Dell and Corona was a true pleasure.”

Stardust’s founder and CD, Jake Banks added “I’m proud of the team for once again showing how vast their talents are and stepping up to a new challenge and delivering so successfully.”

There was no live action shoot for this campaign, however the team did reference photographs and footage from NFL games and of Jon Gruden to help guide the animation and characters. The loose illustrative style of the animation was achieved using a combination of hand drawn flash-based cell animation, finished in Adobe After Effects, together with Autodesk Maya for the character animation.

Opus Animation Studio to Open In Winnipeg

Winnipeg, MB – Opus Visual Effects and Buffalo Gal Pictures announced the opening of an animation studio in Winnipeg, called Opus Animation.

Opus Animation has already begun hiring animators for its first project – a feature film called Emma’s Wings:  A Bella Sara Tale. A co-production between Winnipeg’s Buffalo Gal Pictures Inc., Winnipeg’s Opus Visual Effects, and Entremedia Digital Films Inc. from Toronto, Emma’s Wings:  A Bella Sara Tale is the first movie based on Bella Sara, the popular brand and virtual fantasy world of horses that originated in Denmark. The 3D feature movie will be released in 2013. It is the first animated feature being produced in Winnipeg.

“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Entremedia to make this movie in Manitoba, and be able to expand our animation industry,” says Phyllis Laing, president of Buffalo Gal Pictures and Opus Visual Effects. “The entire world of Bella Sara is not only magical and engaging, but empowering for young girls. We could not be more excited to part of the team bringing this universe to life.”

“We have a lot of expertise at this type of CGI animation,” says Dan Krech, president of Entremedia. “The team at The Bella Sara Company has done a great job with their art development and branded characters. Our job will be to bring the fantasy world of Bella Sara to life in a way that will be entertaining and engaging to everyone. We’re glad to be bringing this project to Manitoba.”

Production of Emma’s Wings:  A Bella Sara Tale will take place beginning this fall at Opus Animation – a commercial animation studio being established in Winnipeg, which will be located in the Exchange District. The project has already hired eight people, and will be adding another 16 more in coming weeks. In total, 45 positions will be created over the 44 week duration of the project. It is anticipated that 80% of the present jobs will be filled by Manitobans this year, with a goal of 100% within two years.

This exciting media industry expansion is a clear demonstration of how the Manitoba government’s support for Manitoba’s motion picture industry has facilitated the growth of Manitoba production companies.  Existing production incentives managed by Manitoba Film & Music, and industry development support provided by On Screen Manitoba have played a significant role in creating a favorable context for Manitoba companies to develop new business opportunities, like expanding the animation sector.

Manitoba has a long tradition of animation, and has been “put on the map” by many renowned animation filmmakers such as Cordell Barker (The Cat Came Back) and Anita Lebeau (Big Drive). Manitoba companies with a current stake in the animation business include DACAPO, a professional audio production company that records voice actors and provides audio post-production for animated TV series and feature films. Mid Canada Production Services offer visual effects content for any application, and Merit Motion Pictures and Les Productions Rivard are also developing animation projects.

Priit Pärn Set For Rare U.S. Appearance For Retrospective at NYC’s Spectacle Theater

Curated by Steve Cossman

Presented by MONO NO AWARE, Joonis Films, and the Estonian Consulate




Please join us at the Spectacle Theater for a very special program of films by Estonian artist and animator Priit Pärn, who will be appearing IN PERSON!  This six-part series will present a selection of animation focusing on his post-soviet era work beginning with the infamous Hotel E (1992) up until and including his most recent film, Divers in the Rain (2010).

Priit began his career as a plant ecologist and turned to a life of animation in the mid-seventies.  His films have received numerous festival prizes around the world and have inspired generations of animators.  He is one of the most influential animators ever.

If you love dark humor and the absurd, you’ll enjoy every minute. Priit Pärn delivers cultural criticism and questions our ideas of social utopia with razor sharp wit.

As an added bonus, Priit will be at all the screenings! This is Priit’s first visit to New York since the 1980s. Limited tickets will be available at the door.

Also, be sure to check out THE NEW PÄRNGRAPHERS! A series of contemporary animated short films inspired by the legendary Estonian artist playing throughout the entire month before our regular programming!

The Paley Center for Media and The Warner Archive Collection Present The Retro TV Action-Adventure-Thon

Two-Day Festival of Rare Show Screenings and In-Person Conversations with Classic TV Stars, September 21 & 22

Beverly Hills, CA, September 6, 2012 – The Paley Center for Media and The Warner Archive Collection will present The Retro TV Action-Adventure-Thon, September 21-22 at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The thrill-packed weekend will feature rare screenings, exhibits, and on-stage conversations celebrating a classically cool collection of TV’s greatest action-adventure heroes.

The two-day festival, presented jointly by the Paley Center for Media and DVD imprint The Warner Archive Collection, will feature in-person appearances from a cavalcade of classic TV favorites including Patrick Duffy (The Man from Atlantis), Clint Walker (Cheyenne), Ron Ely (Tarzan) and Michael Gray (Shazam!). Screenings on the big screen in the Paley Center’s John H. Mitchell Theatre will include the animated adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree, and the cult classic 1979 live action extravaganza Legends of the Superheroes: The Challenge. Select classic DVD titles from The Warner Archive Collection will be available at the Paley Center during the event.

Attendees may also enjoy guided tours of the Paley Center for Media and Warner Bros.’ Television Out of the Box museum exhibit featuring a treasure trove of iconic costumes, props and sets spanning six decades of your favorite shows and stars.

The Paley Center for Media will offer individual tickets to each event (Member: $8 / General Public: $10), as well as a full day pass for Saturday, Sept 22 which includes admission for one to all of the screenings and panels (Member: $20 / General Public: $25). For tickets and additional information please visit www.paleycenter.org.

Event Details:

Friday, September 21, 2012
7:00 PM:
The Man from Atlantis: Screening & Conversation with Patrick Duffy

Location: The John H. Mitchell Theatre

In Person:

Patrick Duffy: “Mark Harris”

Moderated by: William Keck, Senior Editor & Columnist, TV Guide Magazine

Join the star of the iconic series for a special screening and on stage conversation celebrating this sci-fi cult classic. Four ‘Man From Atlantis’ made for television movies aired during the 1976-1977 television season garnering blockbuster ratings and launching the career of a new star, Patrick Duffy, whose iconic performance garnered a legion of fans who later in the decade would follow him to another blockbuster, Dallas. Following the ratings success of the initial telefilms, NBC commissioned a ‘Man From Atlantis’ series for the 1977-78 season, and a cult legend was born. Over the course of its 13 episodes, the series followed the adventures of Mark Harris (Duffy), a victim of amnesia whose exceptional physical characteristics and abilities, including the ability to breathe underwater and withstand extreme depth pressures, superhuman strength, and especially his webbed hands and feet (!), lead doctors to believe he is the only surviving citizen of the lost civilization of Atlantis. Following his discovery, he is recruited by the Foundation for Oceanic Research, a government agency that conducts top secret research and explores the depths of the ocean in a sophisticated submarine called the Cetacean.

With a supporting cast that included Belinda Montgomery as “Dr. Elizabeth Merrill” (who had nursed Mark Harris back to health) and Alan Fudge as “C. W. Crawford, Jr.,” and featuring the great Victor Buono as the villainous “Mr. Schubert” –The Man from Atlantis endures as a true pop culture classic.

Season 1 and all four TV movies of “The Man from Atlantis are currently available through The Warner Archive Collection (www.warnerarchive.com) and through major online retail partners.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

10:00 AM: Animation Showcase Screening: Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree

Location: The John H. Mitchell Theatre

Sit on the edge of your seat and enjoy master storyteller Ray Bradbury’s classic adventure of four youths who try to save the spirit of their friend Kip from the ghosts of Halloween past. The four encounter a mysterious character, Moundshroud who takes them on a magical journey that sweeps them back as far as 4,000 years and touches down in exotic places all over the world like Egypt, England, France and Mexico. Along the way they discover the magic and meaning of Halloween – and friendship. This enchanting adventure features the vocal talents of Leonard Nimoy as Moundshroud, the animation wizardry of Hanna-Barbera, and is narrated by Ray Bradbury himself! It’s a story as timeless as Halloween itself – a bubbling cauldron of thrills and suspense that will stir the imagination of the entire family. Bradbury’s popular story is destined to become a perennial Halloween favorite.

11:00 AM: Screening: The Herculoids

Location: The Sheinberg Viewing Room

Somewhere out in deep space – and out of the creative imagination of the animation aces of Hanna-Barbera Studios – live the Herculoids. The animation favorite first premiered as part of the CBS Saturday morning cartoon lineup. Humanoid Zandor, along with his wife Tara and son Dorno, lead a group of unique creatures: Zok the flying dragon, powerful simian Igoo (who possesses rock-like skin), rhinoceros hybrid Tundro and two protoplasmic wonders appropriately named Gloop and Gleep. Together, they use their diverse super strengths to defend their utopian planet against attack from such sinister invaders as the Pod Creatures, the Reptons and the Mutoids. Forty-five years since its premiere, the series remains “out of this world,” literally.

12:00 PM: Tarzan: Screening & Conversation with Ron Ely

Location: The John H. Mitchell Theatre

In Person:

Ron Ely: “Tarzan”

Moderator to be announced

Premiering on NBC in 1966, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ immortal creation, “Tarzan,” took to the nation’s TV screens for the first time. Still in the capable hands of producer Sy Weintraub, TV’s Tarzan, starring charismatic film and TV performer Ron Ely, continued the more recent (and more authentic) interpretation of Lord Greystoke as a sophisticated, articulate jungle adventurer as seen in the Tarzan films of Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney and Mike Henry. Also carried over from the big screen was young actor Manuel Padilla (Tarzan and the Valley of Gold, Tarzan and the Great River), now playing the jungle lord’s kid sidekick alongside Cheeta, the simian one.

Ely, who added an additional layer of authenticity to the series by performing his own stunts throughout the run, also made his directorial debut on Tarzan. A familiar face on television and in film throughout the next three decades, Ely gained additional cult acclaim for his portrayal of “Doc Savage” in the 1975 feature film Doc Savage: Man of Bronze before establishing a new career as a best-selling author of mystery novels.

Season 1 of “Tarzan” is currently available through The Warner Archive Collection at www.warnerarchive.com and through other major online retail partners. Season 2 is expected to be released next year.

2:00 PM: Screening: Superboy- the live-action series

*Special episode guest-starring Ron Ely

Location: The John H. Mitchell Theatre

Brought to television in 1988 by Ilya and Alexander Salkind, the producers of the first three Superman movies, and 1984’s Supergirl, Superboy starred Gerard Christopher as the titular ‘Boy of Steel’ and Stacy Haiduk as “Lana Lang”.

Initially hearkening back to the “Superboy” comics of the 1960’s and 70’s, this live-action adventure series developed a cult following over the course of its three syndicated seasons by focusing on good story telling and excellent action. Though it remains one of the most underrated facets of the Superman oeuvre, Superboy’s loyal fan following endures.

3:00 PM: Cheyenne: Screening and Conversation with Clint Walker

Location: The John H. Mitchell Theatre

In Person:

Clint Walker: “Cheyenne Bodie”

Moderated by George Feltenstein, SVP, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution

Over the course of 8 seasons and 108 episodes, Cheyenne became Warner Bros. first major television hit, and remains one of the medium’s most enduring and durable westerns. Following the adventures of Cheyenne Bodie, a former army scout who went west after the Civil War and drifted from job to job, here a cowboy, there a lawman, but always a larger-than-life hero. Cheyenne was blessed with a larger-than-life star in its titular role, Clint Walker, whose iconic performance set the standard for stoic western heroes for decades to come.

Guests can check out memorabilia from Cheyenne, including one of Clint Waker’s original costumes from the series, designed by Academy Award® winner Marjorie Best (Giant) and memos from studio chief Jack Warner at the Television: Out of the Box exhibit.

Seasons 1 – 3 of “Cheyenne” are currently available through www.warnerarchive.com and other major online retail partners. Season 4 is expected next month and all 7 by the end of the year.
5:00 PM: Warner Bros.’ Television: Out of the Box Exhibit Tour

Experience six decades of Warner Bros. television magic in this special tour of the exhibition.

6:00 PM: Shazam! Screening & Panel with Michael Gray & additional guests

Location: The John H. Mitchell Theatre

In Person:

Michael Gray: “Billy Batson”

Plus additional guests to be announced

Moderated by Alonso Duralde, Author, Film and Television Critic, The Wrap

By uttering a single magic word, young Billy Batson transformed himself into the world’s mightiest mortal, Captain Marvel, and Saturday morning TV would never be the same. From 1974 to 1977 actor Michael Gray, who had worked on series including Room 222 and Marcus Welby, M.D. and had co-starred with Brian Keith in The Little People, starred as young Billy Batson, a role that established him as a major teen idol and cemented his enduring pop culture fame. Paired with veteran radio, film and television actor Les Tremayne (North by Northwest) as his guardian “Mentor”, the duo traveled 1970’s-era California in a mobile-phone equipped classic RV while helping people out of difficult situations with the assistance of Billy’s alter-ego Captain Marvel.

Billy, who speaks directly to the elders that empowered him (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury) via a fantastical communication device, could of course transform himself into Captain Marvel by uttering the magical, SHAZAM!. The iconic superhero was played first by Jackson Bostwick, and later by John Davey.

Some 35 years since the series ended its initial run, it endures as a cult classic entertaining generations of fans worldwide.

8:00 PM: Screening: Legends of the Superheroes: The Challenge

On the Big Screen the 1979 TV cult classic

Location: The John H. Mitchell Theatre

A rare chance to see one of television’s most infamous cult classics on the big screen! Unseen for almost 30 years until unearthed by The Warner Archive Collection, Legends of the Super Heroes: The Challenge represented one of Hanna-Barbera’s rare forays into live-action entertainment. Heroes and villains of the DC Comics universe square off in this made-for-TV (with a laugh track!) Superfriends-style smackdown to end all smackdowns! Legends of the Super Heroes: The Challenge features Batman and Robin (Adam West and Burt Ward of the classic live-action Batman TV series), The Flash, Green Lantern and more members of the Justice League of America versus The Riddler (the great Frank Gorshin reprising his TV role), Mordru, Weather Wizard and other fantastic Doom-dealers. The Legion’s ultimate gambit: trick the heroes into downing a diabolical de-powering drink!

WHERE: The Paley Center for Media

465 N. Beverly Drive

Beverly Hills, CA 90210