January 31, 2017

January 30, 2017

January 27, 2017

'But she’s nice…' by Tomek Pilarski

I sat down with the creator of the film for a quick chat about this project.

What inspired you to create this concept for a story?

“But she’s nice…” was my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Fine Arts in Poznań in 2014. Right at the beginning of my last year I knew I wanted to make an animation about the boy and his shadow. I was inspired by a short story that I had found once in a collection of short stories, but it is not too important, because ultimately I moved away from the story, and the only thing left was the shadow as a character.

How long did it take you to make from start to finish?

I was working on it throughout whole academic year so around 9 months. During first semester I was working on preproduction while in second semester I did whole production (by myself, except music and sound of course).

Did you have the idea of making the film color-less early on?

One of the characters is the Shadow and because of that I was kinda forced to restrict myself to black and white. I will not say I was complaining because, frankly, I had been very afraid of the color (until the next animation (Whaddup Fish!) where I faced the color for the first time).

Whaddup Fish! if needed, but frankly I would use it only as a link because it is colorful and it will attract attention to itself too much.

The art direction is interesting, more cinematic in composition, and having plenty of soft lights, textures in the background and rough edges on everything, what was the process of discovering this graphic style?

I wanted to enrich the flat surface and make the whole thing look as it was hand made. I prepared loop of paper texture (which also caused slight flickering), at the top, of course I added a layer of grain etc .. Grain adds a lot of charm. It’s instant quality don't you think? [laughter] And of course black bars at the top and bottom - at the time I was in love with making everything as cinematic as possible (while staying in realm of hand made feeling). I also tried to achieve the effect of slightly overexposed black and white film, to emphasize the presence of the Shadow.
So basically my art direction here was marriage between hand made look and cinematic look, which I was trying to achieve in relatively short period of time, while avoiding cheap look. [laughter]

What are your plans for your next film? Already in progress?

Glad to hear that question! Right now I’m working on my directorial debut called “The Firefly Grove” which will be finished in 2017 so stay tuned! I won’t say more. [laughter]

Concept Art for Disney's 'Inner Workings'

January 26, 2017

"Sonámbulo" (The Sleepwalker)

A short film by Theodore Ushev, inspired by poem by Federico García Lorca, and music by Kottarashky.

January 19, 2017

A Linguistic Breakdown Of How Louis CK Tells A Joke

Here we've got Nerdwriter making a brilliant analysis of Louis C.K.'s writing and delivery. I think there's lot to learn from this, and how any writer, performer, storyboard artist, editor, and filmmaker can gain wisdom from this articulation, rhythm, pacing, and methodology.

ThunderCats Trivia

January 11, 2017


Teaser for "KOJI" - a TV series project by Wolfbat studios (former Disney / Sony artists)
Synopsis : Koji crash lands on a colorful earth-like planet, inhabited by incredible alien creatures and hybrid animals. It's here that he meets Tako, a giant blue cat with water/ice powers, who will become his lifelong best friend. They journey together to defeat the evil spreading throughout the land, and it's up to them and a few valiant others they meet along the way (including an elf with a cybernetic arm and a puggorilla warrior), to put an end to the Robot King and his mechanical army.

Rough line art version:

What Is Nostalgia And Why Do We Crave It So Deeply?

January 09, 2017

Tribute to Richard Hunt

Richard Hunt past away 25 years ago. He is one of the legendary muppeteers from Henson's troupe of the 70s and 80s.

After being hired to work on Sesame Street, Hunt mostly performed background characters in early specials. One of his first major performances was as Taminella Grinderfall in The Frog Prince, puppeteering the character while Jerry Juhl performed the voice.

He also did Scooter and shared Miss Piggy with Frank Oz until the final quarter of the first season of The Muppet Show. Hunt performed many characters on Sesame Street, including Forgetful Jones, Placido Flamingo, Don Music, Gladys the Cow, Sully, and an early version of Elmo. On Fraggle Rock, Hunt's main role was the performing the facial expressions and voice of Junior Gorg, but he also performed Gunge (one of the Trash Heap's barkers), and several one-shot or minor characters.

He has also directed several home videos such as Sing-Along, Dance-Along, Do-Along and Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game, as well as an episode of Fraggle Rock.

Hunt was good friends with fellow puppeteer Jerry Nelson. A lot of their characters were paired together such as Nelson's Floyd Pepper with Hunt's Janice; the Two-Headed Monster; and Nelson's Pa Gorg to Hunt's Junior Gorg on Fraggle Rock. Also on that show, Hunt's characters were often paired with those performed by Steve Whitmire.

Understanding the Cinematography of Raoul Coutard

Fleshy Compromise - FaltyDL

FaltyDL's "Fleshy Compromise" music video (loop animations) made by Thomas Pons while he was in Japan into French Institute art residency "Villa Kujoyama" (Kyoto). Part of his "Animated Chronicles" project.

January 08, 2017

Woodland Trust - The Guardian

Produced, Directed & Designed by Moth
2D Animation by Moth, Ben Ommundson, Joe Bichard, Lee Cooper, Jennifer Zheng
3D Animation by Claudio Salas
Artworking by Ben Ommundson, Jennifer Zheng
Music by Pierre O'Reilly
Sound Design by Ally Mobbs
Commissioning Editor - Christian Sadler
Executive Producer - Amelie von Harrach
Senior Producer - Lucile Weigel
Project Manager - Clare Kneeshaw

January 05, 2017

Understanding the Cinematography of Robby Müller

PUSH IT 4000!

A Musical Anijam made by 16 Animators:

January 03, 2017

Tyrus Wong

Last week, the legendary Tyrus Wong passed away. He was a Chinese immigrant who spent the majority of his career being marginalized; his work often going unrecognized because of his race.
It was for his work on Disney’s Bambi, that Wong is perhaps most recognized for today, although, that took some time.

Inspired by the landscape paintings of the Song Dynasty, Wong created exquisite water-color and pastel landscape paintings that would inspire the entire look of the film. Walt Disney loved his work so much that he was unofficially promoted as the films “inspirational sketch artist.”

Wong spent two years creating the illustrations that ultimately inspired the look and feel of the film Bambi. When animators and special effects artists had questions about color or lighting, they went to Wong. His work inspired everything from the tone of the film, to the special effects and the music.
Even though his work influenced the look and feel of the film, Wong’s named appeared at almost the bottom of Bambi’s credits as a background artist.

Shortly after his work on Bambi ended, Wong, who had taken no part in them, was let go because of the animator’s strikes at Disney. Wong held no resentment toward the studio, believing that they had treated him good.

In 1942 he joined Warner Bros. where he worked as a storyboard artist, designer, and background artist until his retirement in 1968.

Since his retirement he’s done work primarily as a painter and also worked as a muralist, ceramicist, lithographer, designer and later in life; a kite maker. In the 90′s he had a sort of resurgence as he became widely recognized for his work in fine art and painting.

Wong spent the majority of his career breaking racial barriers, not letting himself be constrained by the lines set down by others and in 2001 he finally got the recognition he deserved for his work on Bambi; and was honored as a Disney Legend in their Hall of Fame program.


Understanding the Cinematography of Jeff Cronenweth

1st episode of "Bapt et Gaël, et les aventures de la couille cosmique"

The mini series for Canal+/CanalPlay | Produced by Chouette Compagnie and Studio Bagel - Based on French Youtubers Bapt&Gaël.

January 02, 2017

Understanding the Cinematography of Vittorio Storaro

Adventure Time: Islands | Title Sequence

Storyboard: Sam Alden
Animation Directors: Abel Gongora and Juan Manuel Laguna
Animators: Tomak Kymula, Tatsunari Karube, Karin Noguchi, Eri Kinoshita
Compositing: Batiste Perron
Animation studio: Science SARU

The Real Reason Why Saturday Morning Cartoons Disappeared

These kids today, they don't know they're missing. Back in the day, Saturday morning was the best time of the week. You'd get up early, pour yourself a huge bowl of sugar disguised as cereal, turn the TV on, and let it assault you with a barrage of cartoons until noon…or whenever American Bandstand came on, whichever was first. But over the past couple decades, none of the big broadcast networks offer Saturday morning lineup anymore. What became of this American institution? Let's find out...

In 1990, Congress passed the Children's Television Act. Among its guidelines that broadcasters had to follow: a minimum of three weekly hours of programs that had educational or informational merit. When asked nicely to do that, broadcasters, not surprisingly, didn't change much of its children's programming at all.

So in 1996, the FCC decided to more aggressively enforce the CTA. As a result, networks had to quickly throw some learnin' material on the air, which they relied on syndicated television packagers to produce. As for when to actually put it on the air, more than a third of local stations initially selected Saturday mornings, as they weren't actually required to air network shows during that time. Also, that's when kids were most likely to be watching, meaning they were halfway there to school anyway.

Thus began the slow-but-steady replacement of silly and/or violent cartoons with travelogues hosted by overly energetic young hosts, and a never-ending parade of shows about animals and how interesting they supposedly are.

Another part of the Children's Television Act increased regulations on advertising to children. The Act limited the amount of ads on weekend kiddie TV to no more than 10.5 minutes per hour, which meant a half hour-cartoon would cost more to produce. After all, it now had to be around 25 minutes in length, rather than the standard 22 minutes. (all ads were impacted, so padding time by shilling for Metamucil during Garfield and Friends wasn't allowed either).

But the real problem for the networks here, was that a lack of ad breaks meant less ad space they could sell. Less ad space = less money, which went against the broadcast networks' intent to make as much money as possible.

In 1988, NBC president Brandon Tartikoff noticed that Saturday morning cartoon ratings were slipping, even for juggernauts like The Smurfs. So, he began exploring other options for the time period. At the time, the average Saturday morning cartoon cost $300,000 to produce (Smurfs are apparently very expensive). Tartikoff and his team did some number-crunching and found that it would be much cheaper to air news programs, or extend Today to the weekend. Four years later, in 1992, that's exactly what NBC did.

The network also realized that it could run sports on Saturday mornings (which had already annoyingly preempted cartoons on the West coast for years). In 1991, the network signed a five-year deal with Notre Dame to air the college's home football games on Saturdays. The contract cost NBC $38 million, which works out to a little over $1 million a game. That's still cheaper than producing six hours' worth of cartoons (six hours of which would've run networks around $3.6 million). Plus, NBC could charge more for advertising during sports (beer, motor oil, more beer) than it could for with cartoons, and do so over way more ad breaks than were allowed for children's programming.

By the early 2000s, neither ABC or CBS was producing their own Saturday morning content at all, leasing out the time period instead. Until 2002, ABC aired a block called "One Saturday Morning," until replacing it with shows that had previously aired on their corporate sibling, Disney Channel. CBS handed off its precious Saturdays to Nick Jr.'s shows for preschoolers and babies. Fox held on until 2008, when it gave over a big part of Saturday mornings to "Weekend Marketplace," an umbrella title for a block of infomercials. Sorry kids, no more X-Men, but you won't believe how this mop cleans!

Disney-owned ABC got rid of its lineup of Disney Channel reruns and sold the time period to Litton, a syndicator of low-budget educational television (travelogues and animal shows). By 2014, the only channel with its own branded Saturday morning content was the CW with "Vortex," a block of anime-type shows like Sonic X and Dragon Ball. In 2014, it too disappeared in favor of One Magnificent Morning, which is, of course, a bunch more animal shows.

Cartoons, and kiddie programs in general, were scant in the old-timey TV landscape. In the dark days of four channels, kids were lucky if they got even one show just for them. In the '50s and '60s, it was mostly stuff like Captain Kangaroo in the morning, The Mickey Mouse Club in the afternoon, and some locally produced show starring some guy dressed like a cowboy, clown, or pirate playing old cartoons. The rest of daytime TV was firmly occupied by what did well in the ratings, and what sponsors threw their money at: game shows and soap operas.

But as tastes changed in the '80s and '90s, the holes were filled in by very syndicated cartoons. While many were little more than half-hour commercials for toys, it's undeniable that He-Man: Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, and the ilk were totally awesome. Usually produced by the same animation houses that made Saturday morning cartoons (by which we mean "cheaply"), Saturday morning-style cartoons suddenly became competition for homework, being available each and every weekday. This is to say nothing of the enduring popularity of Disney's syndicated cartoon block, The Disney Afternoon, into the '90s. Saturday morning was no longer the only game in town.

That all being said, you'll notice your local stations and network affiliates don't even play many cartoons in the afternoon anymore. That's because, as daily cartoons diminished the novelty and importance of Saturday mornings as the primo cartoon destination, so too were daily cartoons' existence rendered moot by cable TV.

By the mid-1990s, the majority of American homes were equipped with a magical box that brought into the home dozens of niche channels, including multiple ones that showed nothing but cartoons and other kid stuff all the time, no "interesting" animals need apply. With its almost endless offerings, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, (and offshoots like Disney XD, Boomerang, and NickToons, respectively) made everyday feel like Saturday morning, all day long. The piecemeal of both syndicated cartoons—and the old stalwart of Saturday morning— just couldn't compete with cable's all-you-watch cartoon buffet.

Today, all of those cable channels (and more) continue to churn out animated material, but the world of TV and how it's consumed continues to evolve. A lot of those cartoons are now available on low-cost streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the cable networks' own websites and apps. Kids (and, let's be honest, adults) can watch cartoons whenever they want, wherever they want. They don't have to be parked in front of a TV on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. sharp to see brightly-colored characters zig-zag across the screen.

Kids definitely still watch cartoons on Saturday morning, but now they can watch say, Sanjay and Craig on Hulu at 8:14, on their phone, without even getting out of bed. Sorry, Saturday morning network cartoon block: you just can't compete with the American Dream.

Source: Grunge