garage-icon garage-icon

“Garage” by Sam Chou

Five friends, five musicians, one garage. Here’s a killer sample piece created and directed by Toronto’s Sam Chou, for a TV series in development with Chuck Gammage Animation. The character design is by Seo Kim and it is too cool… this must go to series!

  • Tony C

    I don’t share your enthusiasm for it to go to series.

    Everything about this is stale. Pretty nice AE skills though.

    5 friends?

  • wever

    I like how the characters don’t move like a stereotypical television cartoon- they took great pains never to make them stand still for one drawing, and they move more realistically than most!

  • Looks great.

  • Hotdogface

    The visuals are pretty good, but could the story and dialogue be any more generic and cliched?

  • Has there been a pilot for this yet? I would hate for this to jump the gun and nothing happen. Love the look they are going for in this.

  • Nicely done.

    But… Is there anything here that couldn’t have been done in live action?

    Seriously. I got into animation because it had the potential to push the boundaries and express “a sense of wonder”. Animation had the ability to take you to new places and show you new things. There used to be magic in animation.

    Animated shows about teens hanging out at the mall? Kids in a garage band? I’m sure it will do very well.


    • Kitkat

      I don’t think all animation needs to have fantasy content to be good. Persepolis for instance was really good and it was an autobiography. I can think of a few others that take place in the real world but are captivating films nontheless, because they look beautiful through the stylization of the animation medium. They look cooler than they would in live action, even if they could be done in live action.

      • KitKat

        That said, I’m not defending this “Garage” show in terms of writing, because the writing isn’t good. It’s not original, it’s boring. There is nothing new about it. As far as teenage characters go, they’re really tame, bland. “Garage” caught my attention because I’ve been writing a “band story” for about a year and a half now, but I’ve taken a lot of care to really set it apart, even if it’s just my personal project. As writers, we should strive to find wonder in fantasy as well as real life. I mean, real life is crazy, and makes for wacky and very fun stories when you know what to look for!

        I guess what I’m saying is that a show or film that is set in the “real world” CAN be good, and it has been proved with some award-winning films. Just not with this one here.

  • Mike Johnson

    I agree with Jerry on this one…I’m truly intrigued by this, and based on what I just watched I would be tuned in to every episode!

  • Looks amazing… I love the character designs and the basic look and feel of it!

  • Who on earth needs another series about school kids forming a band playing boring music? I mean – there’s millions of stories out there in the world, why not at least try something new? And this music is dead, legally and by smell, we’re in 2012 now!

  • Sally

    I agree with Hotdogface, it looks slick but everything about it is depressingly clichéd. I cringed as I heard the dialogue and face-palmed with every stereotype. I wouldn’t watch this series as I feel like I already have.

  • obo

    Really how many other animated shows about starting a garage band are out there and why should it matter? Execution trumps ideas

    And someone should tell Pixar about this whole “animation should only be about what live action can’t do.” Apparently they didn’t get that message with brave.

    • Odo, you’re talking specifics, I’m speaking in general terms.

      The team at Pixar (and Dreamworks, not to forget those Disney guys) are in a whole other league. You can’t reasonably compare the design and production of a $100+ million feature to a flash series.

      I’ll stand by my original statement, If it can be done in live action, why bother animating it? There’s nothing in GARAGE that calls for animation.

      Nice designs though.

      • SpanielDayLewis

        If you think there’s nothing more to animation than a means to make the impossible happen then you’re a pretty narrow-minded fellow.

    • Mint

      I think that’s a worrying statement:”Execution trumps ideas”. Do we really need to polish the same archetypes again and again? With no fresh ideas we’d have nothing but remakes.

      And the comparison with Pixar doesn’t make sense. Brave is set in a fantasy world while ‘Garage’ is set in modern day America. Sure fantasy films can be live-action, but they would be heavily reliant on CGI for characters and environments.

  • Nice designs. The animation does seem a bit tame though. Shows like Super Jail and even Kick Buttowski push Flash-style animation much further.

    I agree with some of the other postings about the cliched premise. But I wouldn’t judge its seeming lack of creativity on a two minute clip. I’m sure the actual show could take this in to much more interesting territory if given the chance.

  • Mac

    It’s almost impossible to portray contemporary youth with truth on television. They curse every 30 seconds and are obsessed with getting laid for the first time. If they are in a garage band they’re probably getting high all of the time, or know people who do.

    I’d be interested in seeing a real observation of the outer structure and inner chaos of teenagers in some kind of serial or animated format, but this is just more of the same sanitized shit.

    • I have to disagree with the above comment.

      It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘kids these days’ mind set, but truth be told, kids havent changed in centuries. The styles and verbiage changes, but the akwardness, insecurity and naievte’ havent. Id HOPE this series could explore those ideas honestly.

  • SpaceBeaver

    I can’t say this is somethng I’d like to see on tv. I wasn’t crazy about the designs or the story or the floaty animation. I don’t mind the idea of teen kids in a band. But it’s not outside the box, just look at the designs, I find them to be very generic, I’ve seen these designs everywhere and the instruments, they feel like someone just google a fender tele and copy paste it on there. I agree with Mac, a little chaos wouldn’t hurt.

  • Zach B.

    No one knows how to write for teenage characters.

  • Ryan

    This is a fantastic argument! My point of view is this, I believe there should be MORE animated content that is based on people’s real life or personal stories. I DO NOT believe Animation is a genre I believe it is a story telling medium. Thinking of Animation as a means of telling a story and not a Genre In my opinion gave us such beautiful stories as Grave of the fireflies. In fact in My Opinion most of Hayao Miyazaki’s films COULD have been shot live action. But it’s not about Making a “Cartoon” it’s about telling a story. Please don’t limit Animation believe me there will always be Adventure Time’s, Sponge Bob’s and Avatars but I would also like to see the medium mature and begin the tell stories that more cerebral. Look to comic books guys dan clowes’ books don’t have to be graphically represented he could easily just write short stories personally I think there is a ton of beauty and wonder open to be explored by translating real life through drawings! It’s the old argument or weather we should still paint and draw still lives and portraits now that we have created the camera. I think this project has potential, remember this is a pitch not a fully developed show with a staff of writers, this is the acorn of the creators idea. All I took from it was it is the story of some kids who are bullied and who have artistic talent. Why is that unexceptionable material for animation? To me that’s like saying Up should have just been filmed live action because there was no real fantasy and the people’s problems where boring and too real. Anyway thanks for posting :)

    • Kitkat

      My thoughts exactly Ryan. I think that animation would be more respected if it told more stories like that. It shouldn’t just be a fantasy genre, because it’s not a genre, it’s a medium!

      Animation takes the ordinary and can make it look extraordinary. Real life looks a lot cooler when stylized through animation. It can tell stories more powerfully than live action can, if given the chance.

  • Bob Harper

    King of the Hill could’ve been done love action, but IMO wouldn’t have been as successful. Sometimes having cartoon characters tell slice of life kind of stories can make the stories more intriguing and give the series longevity since the characters don’t age. Of course that’s where great writing comes in. I won’t know if this show lives up to that because I haven’t seen it yet.

  • Bryan

    Interesting, intriguing, but bass guitars, especially those played in garage bands, typically have 4 strings, not 6. Has potential, needs fine tuning.

  • I have a sinking feeling that girls in this show are going to end up being the item a boy wins and not, you know, a member of the band, or in anyway portrayed as a creative, contributing individual.

  • Snowflake

    I dont understand will it be a movie or a TV-show?

  • Great animation style, very jealous of the composition they have here, very inspiring.

    Problem is, it seems like the creators have never been in a band, or at least KNOWN anyone in a band like this. Just seems very network TV…sorry guys.

  • Looks like it could be engaging. We’ll just have to wait and see if the writing is any good. Nice designs and animation for a TV series. Done in Flash I’m guessing?

  • Brad

    I like the look of this, but I keep thinking of the anime “Beck”.

  • Hey Everyone,
    First of all, thanks for the comments, good and bad.
    I figured this would be a good time to chime in and thank everyone for their support, we had a very small team and everyone worked very hard.

    This was my homage to the garage band. I used to describe the show as “The Wonder Years meets Punk Rock”, and I think I captured that in the trailer.

    In the time of over-produced and auto-tuned music, we seem to have forgotten the people sweating in their basements mastering their instruments. (yes, I know that sounded a bit dirty, but I’m not changing it)

    As for the 5th member, I did not want to introduce her in the trailer. The idea was to introduce her a couple episodes in.

    Thanks again for the comments, even the negative ones.

    “If no one hates your artwork, no one truly loves it.” – some guy

  • BTW.
    I talk a bit more the development of the show here.

  • D

    I actually found the visuals pretty refreshing and uniquely stylized. My big hang up is the characters and overall premise it feels really generic.