Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weekend Mini-Link Carnival

When you have nothing useful to say on a Sunday afternoon, what better time to throw a small linkfest?

Chuck Jones (you remember him, don't you?) gets profiled next Tuesday on Turner Classic Movies.

The documentary is not so much a biography as it is a joyful exploration of an artist's childhood. Jones, who died at 89 in February 2002, sat down at his drawing table for lengthy interviews in 1997 with filmmakers Peggy Stern and John Canemaker.

These interviews were fashioned into "Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood." And the greatest compliment you could pay this documentary is that it's the type of work Jones would have loved.

It's very touching, but it's also very clever, very crafty and very funny. Sharing the antic Jones' sense of humor, Stern and Canemaker package these marvelous memories with witty splashes of animation and musical flourishes. A black-and-white sketch or colorful graphic represents a distinctive Jones memory, then animation brings these images and memories to life ...

The music score for Monsters Vs. Aliens is analyzed by Blogger News.

... [F]rom the sound of the tracks here, it appears that [composer Henry] Jackman has been paying attention on all his assignments. He’s able to pull together the action sensibilities of The Dark Knight and Hancock - check out the intensely pounding “Do Something Violent!” with its super-fast-paced tempo and full orchestral involvement - with the cartoonish elements of The Simpsons Movie and Kung Fu Panda - “Meet the Monsters” is a hip, quirky piece that feels like an extended, spruced up sitcom introduction with jazzy Lilo Schifrin elements thrown in for good measure. Monsters vs. Aliens is a thrilling score that mixes dark superhero themes with childlike wonder, at times sounding like John Williams’ Superman score - listen to the opening of “Oversized Tin Can” and tell me I’m wrong - and at other times sounding like a goofy kid pleaser - okay, now check out the second half of “Oversized Tin Can.” ...

And Cristy Lytal of the L.A. Times profiles Phil McNally, the master of MvA's three dimensions.

... To avoid eye strain, McNally's depth scripts confine the most extreme 3-D to certain scenes, such as the climactic battle in "Monsters vs. Aliens." "Obviously, we want to ramp up this big event at the end of the movie with all this big action," McNally says. "There's a great shot where Susan's diving off the top of an exploding platform with all the guys and she's falling into this huge space. There are explosions, and there's stuff flying out past us as well."

Racking their brains: 2-D techniques such as the rack focus -- in which the focus is shifted between the background and foreground to direct the audience's attention -- are not as effective in 3-D filmmaking. "In 3-D, if you just do a rack focus without anything else changing, half the audience will be left looking at someone who just went blurry because there's a strong desire to look at what's closest, and there's less desire to look at what's farther away," McNally says ...

Computer Graphic World's Barbara Robertson discusses a variety of c.g. shorts.

... When Pixar wanted a new short film to show with its then upcoming CG feature Wall-e, animator Doug Sweetland jumped at the opportunity. The result is a five-minute ’toon called “Presto,” a short film about a rabbit that pulls a magician out of its hat. It’s different from anything Pixar has produced in the past, and it’s the first short Pixar has produced on a rigid deadline.

“Normally, shorts are not primary projects,” Sweetland says. “When a feature needs resources, the short goes on hold. But, one of the tests with ‘Presto’ was to see if we could do the film without interruptions.”

They did, but it took some clever tricks on the part of the production crew to make it happen. “Our original schedule had us finishing before the peak usage of labor on Wall-e occurred,” says Richard Hollander, producer. “We lost that battle and became lock-step to Wall-e ..."

Have yourself a useful workweek in the days ahead,


Justin said...

I remember reading the same comments by Phil when he was working at Disney on Meet the Robinsons.

Steve Hulett said...

Great quotes never die.

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