Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Road Running

My morning was spent at Warner Bros. Animation, down the street at the Warner Ranch.

The place is busier than it's been in a couple of years (have I mentioned this previously?) There are so many shows and artists that WBA now occupies four different buildings -- two of them actual multi-story structures, the others collections of double-wide trailers.

I had a long talk with a board artist on one of the super hero shows who admitted:

"I pulled some late nighters on my first two scripts for Blank, but I like to see my wife and my kid, so I'm not doing that now. I've gotten more adjusted and comfortable with the characters and show, and I figured out ways to get more efficient and save time. My director thought the last board I did was my best, but it was the one I spent less time on.

"When you work fourteen-hour days, six or seven days a week, you work a lot slower and the quality of the work goes down. I also work faster by drawing the boards in Photo Shop and importing them into Toon Boom ..."

The high point of my morning was getting a look at the three new Coyote and Road Runner shorts that animation veteran Matt O'Callaghan has directed.

They are each three minutes long, designed as eye candy to be placed in front of three different "family oriented" features. And they are terrific. They are also ...

[Spoiler Ahead]

... well-realized reboots of the old shorts, wherein the coyote chases the bird in new and interesting ways, and meets disaster each time.

(Now you know the plots. Sue me.)

I sat in Mr. Callaghan's office and watched one cartoon in 3-D, and the other cartoons in non 3-D. They are done up in artful CGI and saturated colors, and the updates and high techery decorating the productions work real well. (The cartoons were animated by Reel Effects in Texas.)

I think they are going to compete nicely with, or maybe overshadow, the Warners' features they accompany. We'll see.


John Dorian said...

Okay, I know you can't say the name of the shows are aren't announced yet, but I want to know something: How many shows is WBA working on, other than the 7 cartoons that has been announced (Batman, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes, Young Justice, MAD, Green Lantern and ThunderCats)?

Also, are the 3D LT shorts produced by WBA themselves or just distributed somehow?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think that if Mickey Mouse can be brought to life successfully in 3D (as he is in Mickey Mouse Playhouse - he's really cute and appealing in that show) - then why not the Looney Tunes gang, as long as it's done with wit and grace?

Anonymous said...

"I think that if Mickey Mouse can be brought to life successfully in 3D (as he is in Mickey Mouse Playhouse - he's really cute and appealing in that show)"

Did we see the same show? No wit, no grace.

In case anyone's forgotten, here's some animation of Mickey done with wit and grace:

(especially the cowboy Mickey opening animated by John Lounsberry)

I hope the Looney Tunes CG shorts will have wit and grace , but the example of the CG Mickey on Mickey Mouse Playhouse is not what they want to aim for. That was horrible.

Rodney said...

I know this is kind of off topic and I'm new to this blog, but I was intrigued by the quotes from the board artist in the post. My main attraction to the animation industry is storyboarding. I've always wanted to do Story, and I'm assuming that's even harder to get into than animation. My problem is that I'm not in school anymore and don't qualify for any of the internships. I have no idea how to get my first gig as a Story Artist. And how common are 14 hour days and six or seven day weeks?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the Roadrunner Coyote animation was the highlight! Nit-picky correction... The animation studio is Reel FX (not Effects).

Anonymous said...

"MAD?" What show is that?

Anonymous said...

The Mickey on Mickey Mouse's Playhouse is a hell of a lot better looking than previous attempts to round out the mouse in 3D. He even has his "trick" ears (instead of trying to make them work in perspective.

But cute as he is, he's no match for the retro-style Mickey in the video game Epic Mickey. That Mickey is cute and kickass AND SHOULD BE THE OFFICIAL MICKEY. That design is so perfect, it's a shame to just use it on T-shirts. Hopefully Disney will start using that version in new theatrical shorts etc. I would happily pay to see one such, even if I had no interest in the movie it's in front of.

Steve Hulett said...

are the 3D LT shorts produced by WBA themselves or just distributed somehow?

Boarded and directed at WBA.

Animated and finaled at Reel FX.

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