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Tagged ‘animation‘

Shingeki no Hercules

Warning: this might literally set off an inflammation of any old fixations with James Woods and Matt Frewer that you may have:

Attack on Titan theme is the new Guile’s theme. Almost never not entertaining. But really though, I’d love to have a discussion some time about how Hades became this gem of universal charm to fangirls everywhere in a way I don’t think Disney could have anticipated. Or maybe not since they’ve had over half a century of people fixating in weird ways on their animation. Anyway, my point is that Hades is always awesome and that James Woods should get into the Con scene if he ever needs a few extra bucks.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Random googling led me across some production art from one Joe Bluhm (http://joebluhm.blogspot.com/). If there’s one thing I love, it’s a professional artist’s sketch blog and happily many digital and animation professionals rock them these days. Joe’s blog revealed a brilliant-looking animated short he contributed designs for called “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore” from Moonbot Studios. Here’s the Trailer (http://vimeo.com/17164728). Here’s a description:

“Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.”

In other words, hovering dead center in my vortex of awesome.

Moonbot’s got a great series of behind the scenes at their Vimeo page (http://vimeo.com/moonbot) where they speak about inspirations, cherised animation, Katrina and “The power of story to change a life.” After watching the first of these making-ofs it’s clear that “Morris Lessmore” has been created with a deep appreciation for heart-felt storytelling.

I haven’t even seen the film, but over the course of 30 minutes I’d fallen in love.

There's glitter on my fingers.

Been across the country and back since the last post, had a birthday and then sports, people, serious. As a rule NHL Hockey and Major League Baseball are the only two sports I make an effort to stay current on, but in December it’s hard not to catch a slight Football Fever or occasional Basketball Cold Sore. By January I am usually into the NFL playoffs (although my loyalty is a random, logic-less whore) and this year it’s no different. This past weekend particularly was full of some sexy athletic action. Action I would like to share with you here and now, on my pointless little blog:

For this reason alone, I will be pulling for the NY Giants. Sorry about the loss, Pooks, but it’s all about the Carl-man.

Finally, I get to save the Earth with deadly laser blasts instead of deadly slide shows!

Happy Futurama day, meatbags! Today, November 27th, marks the release of the first new adventure for Fry, Leela, Bender, Hermes,  the Professor, Scruffy and the lovable Dr. Zoidberg in OVER 4 years, 3 months and 17 days! That’s 224 weeks– 37,680 hours– 2,260,800 minutes– 135,648,000 seconds even! Much, much too long for something with as much heart-warming brilliance as Futurama. I can easily remember the frustration of trying to loyally watch each new broadcast episode on Sundays only to face repeated NFL overtimes and poor, lazy Fox scheduling bumps. Who’s laughing now, bastards?! Bwahaha! Well, okay, I’m sure the DVD distribution depts are probably drooling since I really expect Bender’s Big Score to do well, but let the weasels have their money, I’m just happy to have more of what one of the finest works of modern American animation. Matt Groening, Ken Keeler and David X. Cohen– you’re truly princes among men.

Speaking of the esteemed Mr. G, here he is pounding the pavement with fellow scribes. I mentioned that I might eventually blog about the strike, but I don’t have anything relevant to add that hasn’t been said elsewhere. With this week marking the first full month since pencils down I thought that today I’d pass along a few links that cover most of the recent developments. If you’re a stickler for details there’s a good look at the numbers up at the Huffington Post that breaks down all the points, percents and payments. Variety reports that talks resumed on Monday and the early hubbub sounds hopeful. Everyone’s gotta be excited that things could possibly be worked out by the Hols, so here’s to hoping.

The last thing I wanted to mention today was some common sense about antagonists… Mike Werb reiterates one of the most important rules regarding villians- make them fascinating. Seriously, please.

Dazzled and tagged

Sadly, being the consumer of culture I am, I often have a hard time fully throwing myself into a movie. This is something that’s bothered me a bit over the last year, as a lot of the bigger fair has left me less than jazzed. Today however, I’m happy to say that some big flicks can still kick my brain out of gear and buzz my reactionary instinctive parts in awesome and elemental ways– indeed, the heart of why I fucking love me some movies.

The flick that’s done this is Zemeckis’ Imax BEOWULF. As if I didn’t already think Mr. Z was the man, Beowulf is best described as 18 different kinds of simultaneous awesome. Now I know some may have traumatic Olde English experiences linked directly to this particular required reading (by the third translation and a really excited college prof I’d decided I really liked it so maybe I’m skewed) but forget all that and do yourself a favor and catch this movie. I’m not going to go into much detail (for that I suggest Scott’s review at Cinematical) but the movie is just pulp-hero, epic action with some breathtaking animation. Hell, I’ll even say some fun acting and cool costumes– and I know, there aren’t really any costumes, wtf?! I’ll pass on something that I continue to hear and recommend that if you can, see the IMAX version, because it really is tailored in a way that no other Imax flick I’ve caught before has quite been able to compare to. Zemeckis has set the mark as far as I’m concerned and I hope some folks (I’m looking at you, Pixar) take note and go further.

On another note, Pooks has tagged me with a music meme from Brett of all things, and because, like everything else, I love me some music I’m obliged to respond. (That sentence totally needs more commas) Details:

So here is your assignment for today, dear readers. Find a song that inspires you to write something, whether it gives you an idea for a script or just puts you into a better frame of mind. AND/OR (don’t you love choices) peek into the lyrics and find a stanza that sums up the theme of whatever script you’re working on. It’s quite uncanny how the two circumstances go together.

If possible, post a video of the song to really get people into the mood. (Yep, I’m aware of the irony of using Internet clips during the pissing contest. I like irony as much as bitchiness.)

Then, send the assignment (by e-mail or posting to one of their blog entries) to 5 other writers to do.

Music is a necessity for me and I would say that I put a lot of thought into listening. As far as writing goes it depends on what the situation calls for as lots of songs get me pumped in many different ways. I will do ‘soundtracks’, but more often I’ll mentally categorize albums, tracks or artists by character as much as anything else. Whether it’s something I actually think the character will listen to, it expresses the crux of moment between characters, or just has the feel/tone to get me into a character’s head when staring at a blank page, music lubricates my processes. (Not exclusively mind you, the brain is a complex machine dontchaknow!) With that in mind I’m going to share a few tracks and how they fit some character tucked away in the scary recesses of my mind…

Character: Mort Brown from The Mysterium Obscurum of Gallows Gulch
Artist: Okkervil River
Reasoning: Since MOGG is one of the things I’m working on right now and I recently got into these guys with the album The Stage Names and as they’re from Austin while Mort’s script is set in TX– not that there’s much overtly country-western going on with either Mort or OR. I would definitely say there’s slight brooding vibe that the character and the band have in common in my mind. Also both keep changing up on me at any given moment. Really Mort-vibing tracks: Plus Ones, John Allen Smith Sails

Character: Edison Wiley from Nickel & Dime
Artist/Track: Doves – Pounding
Reasoning: Well, I like the Doves and this song is a bit of tribute to the mental state and motivation underlying my protag in Nickel & Dime. While I want a lot of this script to be exaggeration, action and heisty goodness I think the meat of the story is Edison & Max and I can’t help but associate this energetic and comfortably repetitious cacophony with Max & Ed’s ups and downs from the opening words:

I can’t stand by
And see you destroyed
I can’t be here
And watch you burn up
Lie for the moment
And lie as a decoy
So does it matter
If I give in easy?
So why
Is it so hard to get by?

This is a track I come back to ever few weeks or so and oddly enough N&D may end up being the script I never fucking finish as I think I’m officially taking another pass at. WTF man, every time I put it down and start something else something pops into my head to improve. Stupid malfunctioning attention span.

Will add some tags in the morning.

Thoughts on Pixar's CARS.

My main thought on CARS is that I love Paul Newman. I love anything vaguely related to Paul Newman. I like Newman’s Own salad dressings, and salsas, I’m leaning toward trying out the coffee, and other product line, heck if Paul Newman started hocking radioactive face cream, I’d so totally be there. I do not have a single moment of hesitation in saying that Paul Newman commands nothing but respect and admiration in me.

On the whole I have pretty similar sentiments with regards to Pixar’s films, as every movie has assuaged my doubts that quality movies can still be made. I may have mentioned a few times how, despite how the last few premises have left me cold, when I actually saw the movies, ehn it’s not even worth comment anymore. They’re Pixar, they rock. It’s what they do. So I was going to give CARS a shot no matter what, and it’s an excellent little movie with some great voice acting, amazing visuals and more than adequate storytelling. It’s not mind-blowingly phenominal, but quite enjoyable, and oh yeah, there’s the whole Paul Newman bit.

Key things worth mentioning- good tribute to car and automotive history- I like NASCAR to an extent so I have no problems there, but even more, I love the history of Nascar so the elements with Richard Petty and Rusty, the different stock car styles, etc were really solid. I also happen to love the nostalgia of Route 66 so the golden age sequence did in fact make me misty- but that’s the effect a lot of history has on me.

The ‘bugs’ were cute, a reminder that Pixar is always so sharp about boiling down the details, just so utterly refined with so much attention and care that continues to earn my respect at how the studio treats development. The main story isn’t really exceptional and Owen Wilson’s McQueen is a pretty pat hero, but they don’t over do it, and it ends up being a pretty seamless little fable with heart.

Worth seeing by all means, as is the case with every Pixar film. Enjoy the gorgeous tech, stellar cast and just go enjoy the lovely sound of Paul Newman’s voice. B+