Monday, August 22, 2005

Joe Ranft & Bob Moog, R.I.P

Ack! The world lost two greats this week. First, Joe Ranft, one of the Pixar story-gods and voice artist for several of their films. Then, Bob Moog, creator of the first popular synthesizer.

I was fortunate enough to meet both these guys this year. Bob was at a "Legends of Synthesis" event in Chatsworth a few months ago. I asked him what kind of music he liked to listen to. He said "Rap, Hip-hop mostly." Joe was at Jeff Pidgeon's wedding (for which I was "Bridesman")

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posted by Brian at 10:25 AM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 11, 2005

Jim Henson Creature Shop in London, R.I.P

The Jim Henson Creature Shop in London is closing its doors.

I had the privilege of visiting it back in the summer of 2002, on the day of a Tube strike, so not many people were there. It was a bittersweet visit. One could feel echoes of a time when Skeksis and goblins from Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and The Storyteller were being constructed all around. A few creatures stood wearily around the offices, their fabric and foam forms decaying rapidly. In the place where fully-robotic pigs and dogs were made for Babe, were the all-too-familiar CGI workstations I use now at Imageworks. The employees were very gratious folks though. Those few that were there were friendly. They gave me a shirt, a gift bag, a hard-cover book, and a very nice portfolio.

They'll still be building the occasional animatronic here in Los Angeles, but it's really sad that the iconic Creature Shop is no more.

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posted by Brian at 12:51 PM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Thurl Ravenscroft (voice of Tony the Tiger) R.I.P



This past Sunday a very familiar voice passed away. Thurl Ravenscroft, who sang "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and convinced us that bowls of baked corn meal covered in sugar were "Greeaaaaat".

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posted by Brian at 10:42 AM 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Jerry Orbach (aka Lumiere/Det. Lennie Briscoe) R.I.P

The other day I discovered the double shock of hearing that Jerry Orbach had died, and then discovering he was both Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order AND my favorite recent character in a Disney Film, Lumiere, from Beauty & the Beast.

May Heaven welcome you with Justice, Fine Dining & Pudding on Flambét.

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posted by Brian at 2:17 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, November 25, 2004

In Memoriam: Steve Weber

My friend R. Steve Weber passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago. He was an extraordinary fellow, with more creative accomplishments than most of my friends put together. Trained dancer who worked with the legendary Bob Fossie. Emmy-winning make-up artist for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Master marionette-builder trained under Bil Baird (who created the puppets for The Sound of Music.

I had the privilege of hanging out with him nearly every day for 5 months, during our unemployment and a city-sponsored Photoshop/HTML class we took at Goodwill, in the hopes of getting into better video-editing or 3-D classes at the Bay Area Video Coalition. Despite all that was going on, he was always an optimist. We chatted about puppetry, creativity, and our dreams of "making it", someday.

I miss him dearly.

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posted by Brian at 9:06 AM 0 comments links to this post