Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Animated Short "Love on the Line"

My friend Melissa, graduate animation student at UCLA, has completed her animated short called "Love on the Line," a story about, er... well, cyber-sex -- Victorian style! Melissa made large cut-out articulated puppets and animated them using stop-motion. On top of that she added 2-D computer animation for the ticker effect.

Incidentally, such telegraph romances actually happened according to the book The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the 19th Century's Online Pioneers, by Tom Standage.

"Love on the Line" has already won awards and been shown at festivals.

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posted by Brian at 9:35 AM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, December 19, 2008

This Is Where We Live Animation

This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.
How lovely this piece! Completed in three weeks (!?!)

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posted by Brian at 4:11 PM 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nokia's "Get Out And Play" Site

Check out this impressive site for Nokia's N-Gage platform (which sadly won't work with my Motorola KRZR. Bummer!)

Play the initial Break-out game while everything's downloading, watch the human "snake" and then try the pixelated human version of Break-out. Very clever!

via Guz off of Tumblr.

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posted by Brian at 8:53 PM 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, April 13, 2008

1980s HBO Title Sequence

This is a charming little behind-the-scenes clip showing how a small New York studio made an elaborate intro sequence for the then=fledgling cable channel, Home Box Office (HBO). I just love the craftsmanship and time it took, the ingenious streaking effects done optically. The 65-piece orchestral theme. Plus, they even wrote a song* (reminds me of the "Coke Is It" jingle of that era) just for the documentary!

via Cartoonbrew
*Performed by this guy.

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posted by Brian at 9:52 AM 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bump In the Night on YouTube

During the mid-1990s when there were still quality Saturday Morning Cartoons on the major networks, ABC had an excellent stop-motion animated show called "Bump In the Night" involving a monster under the bed (Mr. Bumpy), his neurotic side-kick toilet-bowl cleaner monster Squishington, their pal Molly Coddle, and various other toys and creatures living within the household of a boy and his sister.

Great talent worked on this show, including its creators Ken Pontac & David Bleiman. Many animators and fabricators had come off of Nightmare Before Christmas and some moved on to Pixar (which released its groundbreaking Toy Story a year later). Most of original songs during the Karaoke Café segments (shown separately) were written by none other than Jeff Moss, legendary Sesame Street composer of "Rubber Duckie," "One of these things is not like the other," and "I Love Trash." The animation was all done in the States. Voices were provided by Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain), and Gail Matthius.

In 2003 I had the pleasure of having a drink with Ken Pontac in Sausalito. He had been trying to teach an extension class called "Creating an Animated Series" about developing and pitching. Naturally I jumped at the chance, but only I and one of my friends signed up -- twice! Both times it was canceled due to lack of enrollment. Damn! Had it been in L.A. would it have worked? I don't know. But I knew who he was from Bump In the Night and was very happy to hang out with him for an afternoon. Recently he's been working on "Happy Tree Friends" cartoon series.

I managed to tape every episode (each contained 2 segments and a "Karaoke Café" song) aired onto high quality VHS tape back in 1994, but unfortunately I overwrote one by mistake, "Adventures in Microbia" & "Not a Peep." Ugh. So during my archiving project I intend to make the best of these available online, as I've only seen small, badly-recorded clips on YouTube so far. Unfortunately, the YouTube compression really mangles the opening sequence (full of camera moves and pans), but the episode itself looks okay. Ken mentioned back then he would like to get everything out on DVD, but I'm sure it'll take a while... It took 13 years to get another great animated series of that time, The Tick, onto DVD.

UPDATE: I found a better way to compress the videos such that youtube will accept them and they look better. Basically, I'm using H.264 with a bitrate of 1000.

Also, you can now purchase a few episodes on DVD!

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posted by Brian at 12:31 AM 1 comments links to this post