January 31, 2011

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

A feature length documentary work which will present a case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.

This subject matter will transcend the issues of cultural relativism and traditional ideology and move to relate the core, empirical life ground attributes of human and social survival, extrapolating those immutable natural laws into a new sustainable social paradigm called a Resource-Based Economy.

Why I Charge More

Mark Cappello found this on Blair Enns' Win Without Pitching website, it's made to be an open letter to designers' future clients, and I find it applies well to freelance animation artists and illustrators as well:

Sometimes we do it for the money, don't we? The irony is that the less money we're paid, the more likely we are to be doing it for the money. When we're paid well, it's suddenly about something much bigger. Here's a letter you might take, modify and use in many forms and many ways.
It's yours if you'd like it. No need to attribute.
"The more I charge you, the more pressure I put on myself to perform for you.

The client who grinds me on price is the least satisfied. He gets less attention from me and is most likely to be pissed off at me. And I don't really care, because to be honest, I resent him. The very fact that he is on my roster reminds me that I'm part prostitute. For him, I'm doing it for the money and as it isn't very much money I'm not troubled by not doing it well. He pays me a paltry sum, I perform poorly, he gets angry and I resent him. We can have that type of relationship if you like.

The client who pays me the premium gets my best work. He's the one I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about, wondering if I'm doing all I can to earn his money. When he calls, I jump. Hell, I call him first. I take pride in moving his business. I try to make myself indispensible to him. I imagine that he winces when he opens my bill (he doesn't say), but he thanks me for all I do for him. He’s the one I worry about.

I’m great at what I do, but if someone hires me without giving me the resources (money, time, access) to do a great job, it’s easy for me to rationalize poor performance. When a client gives me everything I ask for, he removes all the obstacles to a high quality outcome. There’s no way for me to rationalize anything less than perfection.

There is no greater pressure than the pressure I put on myself, and the only way you can add to my own sense of pressure is to pay me well. Yelling won’t do it. Neither will threatening to pull your business. My deep sense of obligation comes from you paying me well enough to dispatch all of the excuses. Then I have to prove to you, and, more importantly, to me that I am as good as I say I am.

So, I've given you my price and it's the price that I need to charge to bring a deep sense of obligation to the job. Will I work for less? Probably. Can you negotiate with me? Sure. We can have that type of relationship if you really want me to be that type of designer and you want to be that type of client.

Let's just understand each other before we get started."

No Pets Allowed

Made by Headless Production

2010 Animation Mentor Student Work

Voice Actor - Frank Welker

Introducing the grand master of all voice characterizations!
Frank was born Franklin Wendell Welker on March 12, 1946. Welker's name is one of those that speeds by in the credits of animated films. He's a master at voiceovers, specializing in animal sounds that are both real and imaginary. He plays the creature Nibbler on "Futurama," is Santa's Little Helper on "The Simpsons" and ad-libs all the monkeyshines of PBS' "Curious George."

Welker constantly slips into a new voice; one moment he's the portentous evil Megatron of "The Transformers," Dr. Claw from "Inspector Gadget" or Abu, the sassy simian from "Aladdin."

His skill began in childhood, he says; "As far back as I can remember I could mimic, whether it was people or animals,  Bill Cosby, or Sean Connery, it's always so much fun. You know how actors love to get into a part? Well it's even more fun with voices."
He grew up in Denver, Colorado. Naturally, he became his grade school's class clown! He began his career as a stand-up comic in 1967, and opened for many famous musical acts, including Sonny & Cher and Diana Ross. 

Human, machine or animal. As his voice-over career was taking off in the 1970s, Welker continued to work on-camera, appearing in such shows as Love, American Style and The Don Knotts Show. But his experience as a stand-up comedian once again earned him a coveted role when, while he was performing his act at the Comedy Store, Paul Keyes, the producer of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, spotted him and asked him to appear on the opening show of the season with featured billing.

Even though he's not a house-hold name, he has now reached legendary status, well within the ranks of such famous voice actors as Mel Blanc. He has done hundreds of characters of hundreds of shows and films. See the astoundingly huge credit list on Voice Chasers.

See this nice interview with him here.

Frank returned as the voice of Megatron and Soundwave on an episode of Robot Chicken. Soundwave finds out that being a cassette player in the 2000's isn't a very good disguise. He ends up in a very unlikely place that only Movie Optimus Prime or G1 Shockwave would think to look: eBay! Also, here's an exerpt from 'The Making of The Real Ghostbusters' Animated Series, 1990
Download here the full British-produced by Central Independent Television Special of Slimer Won't Do That! The Making of The Real Ghostbusters (1990), 19:19 length, 251Mb, AVI video file. The Making of The Real Ghostbusters features Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and many more people involved with Ghostbusters and The RGB. A Frank Welker/Maurice LaMarche voice recording session is shown at 10:09, followed by an interview with Frank. Here's a few audio files and screen shots below:
[Frank on Voice Acting, Part 1: frank-1.wav]   [Frank on Acting, Part 2: frank-2.wav]
Here's a low quality YouTube version, VERY fasinating seeing all the voice actors at work:
Frank's head was recently immortalized on Futurama:
More great footage and interviews.
Have a listen to the incredible range in his voice, it's unbelievable to think that it all comes from the same person: 

January 29, 2011

Compare Your Life To Pixar

Red Medusa - Part 1

I love these little shorts so much, I showcased a couple of these a year ago, I had no idea they made a bazillion more, they are all fantastic, there's some very funny pair ups, watch them now! They seem to be produced for some Russian company, and animated by Red Medusa Studios.

Some of the translations are a bit off, but you'll figure it out.

Richard Williams

Here's a bunch of documentaries on animation master Richard Williams. The first one focuses on The Thief and the Cobbler, considered by many to be his best work, which can only be viewed on YouTube in its Director's Cut version.

The second documentary is focused on Roger Rabbit, with a very detailed biography on his lengthy career in the animation industry.

Then there's some old British ads from the 70s and 80s that Williams directed. Followed by the more recent 'Making of Roger Rabbit DVD Feature'. Then the first 1988 TV special on the Behind-The-Scenes of Roger Rabbit, which shows the INSANE amount of work that went into producing the film. Enjoy!

Richard Williams Documentary - I Drew Rogger Rabbit

"Jovan Sex Appeal" ad , animated by Richard Williams, BGs by Rebecca Mills:

Richard Williams Animation. "Listerine" ads, animated by Russell Hall:

Richard Williams Director, "Limara Perfume" ad, animated by Eric Goldberg:

Behind the scenes of Who Framed Roger Rabbit:

Very rare, early pencil test of Roger Rabbit with the voice of Pee Wee Herman:

Original 1988 Making Of Special "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"- Covers more history of animation, then the on set filming, the animation process, the FX & compositing, along with the foley and sound effects:

January 28, 2011

Fight Club for Senior Citizens

The Magic of Dan Deacon

"Saari" - Flash animated series by Veronica Lassenius & Pablo Jordi

Top Gear

The Week the Comics Code Ends - A Historic EC Cover Which Helped The Cause Finally Surfaces

Found at Bleeding Cool from Mark Seifert:
I think this is the definition of irony: one of the most famous moments of the 1954 Senate Hearings which helped prompt the comic book industry to create the Comics Code is an exchange between Democratic Senator Estes Kefauver and EC Publisher William Gaines, during which the Senator questioned Gaines about the cover of Crime Suspenstories #22 by artist Johnny Craig.
For the first time in decades, Craig’s original artwork for that cover has surfaced publicly — on the same week that the Code era has come to a close.
A snippet of the relevant Senate Hearing testimony:
Mr. BEASER. There would be no limit actually to what you put in the magazines?

Mr. GAINES. Only within the bounds of good taste.

Mr. BEASER. Your own good taste and salability?

Mr. GAINES. Yes.

Senator KEFAUVER. Here is your May 22 issue. This seems to be a man with a bloody ax holding a woman’s head up which has been severed from her body. Do you think that is in good taste?

Mr. GAINES. Yes, sir; I do, for the cover of a horror comic. A cover in bad taste, for example, might be defined as holding the head a little higher so that the neck could be seen dripping blood from it and moving the body over a little further so that the neck of the body could be seen to be bloody.

Senator KEFAUVER. You have blood coming out of her mouth.

Mr. GAINES. A little.

Senator KEFAUVER. Here is blood on the axe. I think most adults are shocked by that.

Max Bonnaudet's Marvel Lego Posters

 See more:

Tron Legacy FX

Via onanimation

January 27, 2011

A Ninja Comic by Michael Lester

This is my Dad. My Dad is a Ninja. He is a deadly killing machine. Now he will demonstrate his speed and lethality on these 3 candles.


Wow! Fantastic! Thank you Issac for sharing your Father with us today. How about a nice round of applause class.

Clap Clap Clap



See the Madness of Enthiran

See a Totally Crazy Robot Chase From Indian Sci-Fi Movie Enthiran, the most expensive movie ever made in India. It's your basic "mad scientist loses control of his robot creation" story, watch these crazy action sequences.

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Andy's 'Dude-A-Day' Blog

Match lighting at 2,000 frames-per-second

Robert Goodin's "Covered"

Robert's blog is fun and sometimes hilarious as it showcases various people's re-interpretations of old comic book covers, check it out.