Monday, August 26, 2013

Animated Thoughts: Some random thoughts over the last month...

With everything that is going on, I'm finding myself unable to focus on a single coherent thought at the moment, so, to clear out the log jam inside my head, here are some random thoughts about animation that I've had over the past month.

  • Drove to GenCon the other week where I took two writing seminars that Mike Stackpole offered. One of the suggestions he gave during his lectures was to summarize your novel in six sentences, and if you can't do that, then you need to go back and recheck what you've written because your novel is in danger of being unfocused. Immediately drew parallels between this technique and writing treatments for animation scripts.

  • is advertising on They're billing the Palomino Blackwing pencil as "the pencil of choice for award-winning artists & animators throughout the 20th century". I'm left wondering how many people are going to buy these pencils under the assumption that using them will improve their drawing skills when in reality, the only thing that will help them improve is the constant cycle of practice and correction and more practice?

  • Am impressed (and nauseated) at how fast a bad episode (or three) can ruin a good series. The second season of "Oreimo (My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute)" wrapped up with three episodes that wiped away the theme of the previous two seasons and replaced it with something completely out of left field. For the past two seasons, we were treated with a funny and heartwarming (if ofttimes quirky) story about a brother and sister who are trying to repair their familial relationship after years of neglect and animosity. During those last three episodes, the author firmly drove the show's lead characters into an incestuous relationship because, by all accounts, he wanted to be shocking and thumb his nose at social convention--despite the warnings of his publisher and the show's director.

  • At the Ottawa Festival next month, they're going to have a preview screening of the sequel to "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". Had it in my schedule, but wanted to see the first movie beforehand, so I bought the DVD online from BestBuy. Only cost me $5.29 and it arrived in five days--decisive win for Best Buy. I watched it. Afterwards, I had to find something else to do during that block of time at the Ottawa fest. It wasn't a bad film. Was amusing with good animation and voice acting, but it was clearly made for a target demographic of five to ten year-old kids, not a middle-aged man. The only other thing during that block of time is an international retrospective of films from Spain, so I guess I'll be reading subtitles for an hour. After watching subtitled Japanese animation for decades, I don't think it'll be a problem.

  • Am looking for a new series to watch on since "Oreimo" is over and both "Railgun S" and "Attack on Titan" only have six more episodes to go. There sure are a lot of anime shows about girls with big boobs and lots of gratuitous panty shots. Think I'll go back and re-watch "Usagi Drop" instead. There's something about a show featuring a bachelor who gives up his career to raise his six-year-old cousin after a death in the family occurs that sort of restores my faith in the anime industry.

  • Over the summer, I watched "Pacific Rim" six times: twice in 3d, three times in 2d, once at the IMAX in 3d. Would've seen it seven times, but I already had plans with some friends on the last day that PacRim was in the theater. It's been a long time since I've seen a movie that I enjoyed that much. Can't wait until the DVD release. This film might actually push me into buying a BluRay player.

  • I'm wistfully remembering the days when the Cartoon Network showed cartoons, there was actual history on the History Channel, Mtv played music, and the Discovery Channel left me with a sense of wonder. Course, if I really want some exciting memories, I'll think back to when Mtv was showing "the Maxx", "Aeon Flux", "Liquid Television", and "Daria" and HBO was showing "Spicy City". I honestly wouldn't mind a little 'live action' on CN if it was something relevant, like a "Real World-esque" show about a handful of American students who are working at internships in Japan's anime industry.

  • Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Animated Inspiration: The Retake

    Since the Annecy animation festival was two months ago and Ottawa is just around the corner, here's a signal film from the 2013 Annecy festival that caught my eye.

    "The Retake" was created by the students at Gobelins L'ecole de L'image for their Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking class.

    With the lush colors and vivid imagery, I would absolutely love to see a feature film created using this visual style!

    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Animated Quotes: Benjamin Franklin

    "One today is worth two tomorrows"
    ~ Benjamin Franklin