Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Just had to share this

This was taken on the first night I saw The Incredibles. Pixar shipped out these two dudes to Valencia Ca. to screen their film to Cal Arts students. Being an alumni...I was able to sneak my way in. Brad Bird is on the left ( director) and Mark Andrews (head of story) is on the right. And that happy fellow in the middle trying to absorb their wisdom is little ol' me.
The Incredibles is like my Star Wars to film geeks. I saw it 7 times in theatres when it came out and I'm not embarassed to even say that....it's that good. I even feel bad watching it on DVD at home...it's really meant for the big screen.

Speaking of which. You know what's bugging me of late? And my friends have already heard me complain....It' s the "behind the scenes" overload on dvds, tv shows, magazines and the internet. I feel it's taking all the magic out of films. When I watched King Kong in the theatre I was actually thinking of the fake gorilla hand against a green screen that held Naomi Watts. Why? Because they had 100 behind the scenes video's of green screen shots online before the movie came out. Those visuals stick in my head and I have trouble deleting them.

Now I know it's necessary in this day and age for promotion of the film...but we need to be careful of how much we show. I like how Pixar is very secretive with their films. A lot of my friends in the industry hate that and are annoyed and think it's very pompous of them. But you know what?? I don't really care. Give me teases here and there...it makes it all more exciting. It makes it an event...they leave me wanting more. I don't even read movie reviews anymore because they always give you too much info. I usually go off word of mouth or skim through the movie review website :www.rottentomatoes.com.

Anyway...maybe I'm the only one that feels this way. Or maybe I'm just getting older and not enjoying movies like I did as a kid anymore. I just know that when I was a kid watching Christopher Reeve flying around New York City , I never thought about the wires holding him up or the fan blowing his cape around. I just knew he looked really cool and I believed every super-human thing he did.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


This will make you smile. He owns that stage and he's controlling the audience with his confidence.
That's what you have to do with animation. OWN that scene and FEEL it! Remember to "wow" your audience and keep them hooked. You have to keep them wanting more and give them the unexpected. MJ must have rehearsed for hours and hours to get this song right but we don't think about it, we just enjoy the magic.
Create that magic and hide the strings.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A closer look at OTH

I thought I'd post some screen caps of some of the scenes I animated.

This is SQ 1631.

These were the first shots I received when I started on Over the Hedge. It was about 9 shots in total. I might have some thumb-nail drawings for this scene and when I find it I'll post it. If you've ever seen the trailer from the film you might remember the shot of RJ smiling with his can of chips. They froze on it and put Bruce Willis's name next to his head.

These shots were VERY technically challenging and it took awhile for everything to work right. As you can see, there's a wagon, and a lawn chair attached to it, AND a sac full of boxed goodies, AND a propane tank, AND a little turtle attached to that tank, AND a chain attached to the wagon, AND a Raccoon attached to that chain. AND you have to move everything to make it believable! No chain computer simulation either! We all had to move that darn chain! Animation is tough boys and girls....believe me. But all you have to do is load up on your animation passion pills and you'll make it through!

But with all these technical hurdles you still have to remember what's most important. What is the character thinking and why is he thinking that way? You have to dig deep and think about how RJ reacts to catching that can of chips. What does that can represent? It represents his life. If he doesn't give that can to Vincent the bear, he'll be eaten alive. So when he hugs that can close...he's thinking relief....his life is saved. Then we establish an obstacle, the slide. His life is in danger again. And when he screams....well, he's just thinking. Oh Shit!


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dinner and Drinks lead to Spontaneous Drawings

My friend Ino Karella www.inokarella.com
Out to dinner in Los Feliz.

A really bad likeness of my friend Rick ( www.azfn.com/home/index.htm)

Kristen wanted me to destroy her...this is what I came out with. I think I can go further.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Trust the process.

Screenwriters Expo 2006! Pixar speaks!

The event was held this past Saturday at the Marriott hotel by the Los Angeles Airport (aka: LAX.) My roomate and I woke up bright and early, on a saturday morning no less, to attend this magical event. Morgan Kelly raced on over to our place in the knick of time. He tossed a bear claw and a cup of Joe at me and Sean Szeles, Morgan, and yours truly hopped in the Szeles mobile and ......waited for it to start. You see, the Szeles-mobile has been a little ill these days and even after a few trips to the doctor, it still takes about 10 minutes for her to warm up.

Anyways, away we go!

Which freeway do we take? Morgan says 405..I say no way. Avoid the 405 at all costs..avoid it like the plague. So we take the 110 to the 105 and wallah! No traffic. Biggity Bam..we park the car. Shades on, sketchbooks in tow and shoes laced up tight. We're ready to be inspired and have our creative juices boiling. We step in the lobby...which way do we go? It's a sea of people. I see Disney cats, Dreamworks cats, Sony cats, and Pixar cats...it's a who's who of animation talent. There's a sign! Downstairs! We get in line. Shite! Room full...onto the overflow room! Where in the world is that? It's 10 am, we're gonna be late. Dash down a hallway, place my ticket in a bag, Boom we're in.

Andrew Stanton, director of Finding Nemo, begins the day.

My first drawing ever of Woody...I'm actually happier with the snake.

Some future screenwriters.

Master storyteller and Head of Jerry Seinfeld's Bee movie,
Mr. Dave Pimentel


The one and only Dave Derrick (DW story artist) or as I like to call him.... Dirty D!

Top right is Brenda Chapman (director of a secret upcoming Pixar film) and on the bottom left is Lee Unkrich (co-director of Finding Nemo)

Dreamworks' master animator Donnachada Daly (top left) and Dreamworks' master story artist Ennio Torresan ( curly cue hair).

On the bottom we have The Lion King co-director Rob Minkoff. He's currently developing a Mr. Peabody feature film for Dreamworks.

Ennio again, on the bottom.

Dave P. drawing me.
Dave D. drawing Dave P. and a T. rex.

Yeah, I went there. Yup, he's naked. Yeah he's seen it. Yup, he's gonna get me back.

Pixar story artists sharing some knowledge.

Pumpkin Head has the right idea....
and is trying to pick up on a Screenwriter.

Messy hair Mandrews and a Morgan.

The dynamic duo, the powerhouse of the Incredibles,
Mr. Brad Bird (director) and Mr. Mark Andrews ( head of story )

The bottom one of Brad looks more like Napoleon Dynamite. Woops, sorry Brad.

And one more for a graceful finale.

So after long waits in line, chatting with a billion people, and success in ripping Dave Pimentel apart, we decide to head back home. But wait, we can't end the night like that! So we fly over to Los Feliz, speed into a restaurant called Mexico City, and scarf down Enchiladas and Margaritas like a pack of warthogs.
Cheers everyone.