Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Links of Mid-Week

Forget Up. Ignore The Princess and the Frog. This past week I've been glued to my set, watching the great new animated series about a golfing God.

Chinese animation that looks straight out of Sims 2 reenacting the entire Tiger Woods affair.

Subtly called, Tiger Woods: 8 Girlfriends, we get to see what it would be like if Tiger Woods spanked a porn star. (If real life were like a video game–all in Chinese!)

Truly, this is what animation was made for, bringing the stories we want to know to radiant, full-bodied life ...

But this Tiger Woods brouhaha has been a godsend for some on-line animation studios ... and the L.A. Times takes us behind the scenes of one of the creators of speedy animation:

... [T]here have been few events that really drive home the point of just how fast technology and its users are. The Tiger Woods affair was a hole-in-one for the Internet's quick turnaround time.

A good example of that is Break Media's Tiger Hunting online game. The fairly simple distraction has players guide a cartoon Tiger Woods in his Escalade, with a supposed mistress seated beside him, down a street. Meanwhile, a character portraying his crazed wife chases them on foot, golf club in hand. Players must swerve to avoid various obstacles, including trees, trophies and babies.

Concept art and planning were drawn up over the Weekend of Tiger (Nov. 27- 29) as news media buzzed and shot at every angle, be it police statements or gossip.

On Monday, Nov. 30, Break's director of games Chris Pasley began programming the game in Flash. By Tuesday night, Tiger Hunting was online and being promoted on Holy Taco, a Break-owned men's humor blog.

Irish animators have climbed the wall surrounding Robert Redford's little film party.

This week saw the selection of two Irish animation short films, ‘Old Fangs' - directed by Adrien Merigeau and ‘Please Say Something' - directed by David O'Reilly, to screen at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Selection for the Sundance Festival is considered a major coup for emerging filmmakers given its reputation for showcasing the work of leading and rising independents ...

We pause now to celebrate Popeye's father.

Today is the birthday of Popeye creator E.C. Segar, born 115 years ago.

Segar was a newspaper cartoonist, and Popeye was first seen in Segar’s comic strip “Thimble Theater,” starring the sailor, his rail-thin girlfriend Olive Oyl, her brother Castor Oyl, and, eventually, their hamburger-munching pal Wimpy, and Popeye’s rival for Olive, the hulking Bluto.

It's good to remember that the Fleischer version of Popeye made the sailor-man the most popular cartoon character in America during the 1930s. The Mouse named Mickey was #2.

Ron Clements and John Musker are interviewed about their new movie by the Wall Street Journal:

A couple years ago, hand-drawn animation was out of favor and you two got laid off from Disney.

Musker: We did, yeah.

Walk me through your feelings when that happened, what you felt about the art form and your future.

Clements: Certainly for us it was kind of a little disapointing to see what was happening. Not just for us personally, because we do love the medium. As a director there are other opportunities—directing a digital film is not that different than directing a hand-drawn film. But for the art form itself it was really sad, to see it go for so many peole. The skills involved [in hand-drawn animation] take a long time to learn—they are skills that could be lost. Certainly the way that Disney does animated films is very unique, and there’s a sort of a mentor-student relationship, everyone learns from the veterans. We learned what we know from the Nine Old Men who worked with Walt Disney. It just felt short-sighted for the studio to just kind of abandon it…it was too valuable a thing to let it go that quickly ...

To end, we have the Times of Los Angeles talking to the film-makers of five animated films:

... [F]or Shane Acker to expand his award-winning short "9" into a feature-length film, he had no problem inventing a rich back story for the characters who inhabit his darkly imagined post-apocalyptic landscape.

"I just vomited all these ideas out," Acker said of his first meeting with screenwriter Pamela Pettler, whose credits include the animated outings "Corpse Bride" and "Monster House." "I'd never done long form before, I didn't really know narrative structure. She was great at figuring out how we could start to put these different narrative threads through the whole." ...

You've gotten past hump day, it's all an easy coast downslope from here.


Anonymous said...

First "Christmas Carol," now THIS? Wow. Robert Zemeckis has been been VERY busy. Only this stuff looks better.

Anonymous said...

Clearly you're also forgetting about Prep & Landing getting great reviews and ratings too. But who cares about Disney anyway.

Just keep cashing those checks Steve!

Steve Hulett said...

Didn't find a notable piece about Prep and Landing, but I watched it in development inside the hat building.

It's a fine Christmas ornament.

Anonymous said...

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