Hey I'm in Twin Peaks right now and I can't really talk (cue theme music).
He'll save you a dollar off of his company's astronomical prices for ice cream, you can call him a...
I'm gonna try and post these up once every one or two weeks. Enjoy.
When I was a kid, I paused the movie "Airplane!" during a transition where one scene pushes the other out of the frame. Except I didn't realize that and I'd always try to get it to happen again with other movies, but it never worked. I always thought every time there was a new scene there would be a line down the middle of it when it was changing and I couldn't figure it out for the longest time...
This area's going to act as a Special Features type thing for my new movie The TV Commercial.
So as you might notice at the menu and when the title comes up, the full name is Unimportant Events: The TV Commercial. Unimportant Events is something I've wanted to do for a while now, and even though this might not be the best example of what I want this (loosely related) series to be about, the theme is "Things that everybody sees but don't pay attention to, or what it took to get here". Plus, it's more of a look at smaller events in everyday life. This series is gonna be pretty mundane, but that's why I think it's hilarious.
Originally, this movie was going to be about two guys watching a TV show and then that thing happens when one commercial gets instantly cut off by another commercial and everything just continues as normal. So I thought "hey, why not make a movie about what happens behind the scenes of that whole thing", so this movie's about a company that's started to go under the last year or two and this commercial is sort of a last hope and any chance of a rebound is instantly denied when their commercial gets cut off by a weather warning. I admit, it lost a bit of it's original idea along the way, I completely cut out the guys watching TV because I thought it kind of took away from the punchline at the end, or awkwardly extended it somehow. I also substituted a Weather Alert for another commercial because I think it packs a little more of an unexpected punch like "who could've seen that coming" and plus a real-life commercial would just be too hard to fit in and I thought it would stick out a little too much.
I started this movie on January 19th this year, I planned on starting it more around November but what I made this one night just looked like shit so I decided to lay off for a little while. I had hoped to finish around the end February so I had to make a schedule for myself to finish it at a decent time and it actually worked out really well, I suggest anyone who hasn't done that for any project try it sometime because it DOES help a lot.
There's a lot of references I hope at least some of you out there get. First off, the big one, I don't even know if I should give it away here because it's too obvious, but Pierce & Pierce is a direct reference to the company in American Psycho, great movie. Second, the TV logo says "Deep Image", which is a reference to the TV logo in The Matrix where Morpheus is first explaining what the matrix is to Neo. Kind of a nerdy reference but I thought I'd sneak it in there because I just watched it that day and figured why not. Third, the Pierce & Pierce commercial is in vain of the Charles Schwab commercials, they basically just have the same color scheme but the smooth transitions have some similarities.
I'd also like to say that I really apologize for the horrendous wardrobe that all the women are wearing in each scene, it kind of hit me while I was making it that I don't really have a good sense of women's fashion so I guess I'll have to work on that for next time, the guy's were pretty straight forward obviously, so no problems there.
So yeah, I'll try to think of more stuff to put in here, if you guys have any questions I'll throw the answers in here or whatever. Thanks for watching!
Yeah, so hopefully I get this thing done in a timely fashion. I've been shooting for end of February, it's still do-able but probably doubtful. I'll probably have a huge chunk by the time Feb's over so I guess at the latest expect this movie mid-March. Shame though, I wish I could've gotten something out into the portal sooner.
Anyways, on to what the movies actually about. Well I can't really tell you, all I'm gonna give away is that this is the first of a loosely related series that I started to talk about a few news posts back. I'm pretty excited for this thing to come out, I'm actually having a really good time working on it and I just recorded all the voices today. I've been trying to find an art style I can identify with for a while, I've always drawn stuff close, but not really to exactly how I wanted it to look. Hopefully it won't be too noticeable but I kind of solidified this style about halfway through the movie so part of it's gonna look a tad different...we'll just call it a transitional period. But yeah, I got a lot done on it over this President's day weekend and hopefully I can keep this momentum going and get this done while I'm still having a good time working on it (I'm sure the lip-synching will test the hell out of my motivation).
On another note (literally), check out the smooth styling's of No1r's Jazz if you're into that. It's so relaxing and so easy to work to...
For a while I've noticed something in animations. Not just here on Newgrounds, where it runs pretty rampant, but all over the place - in kid's cartoons, major motion picture type animations, anything like that, it could even extend over into the drawing territory. What I'm talking about is a little hard to explain, so let me break it down with a nice example:
1. Say I'm drawing a garage, throw a car in there, maybe a shelf and, of course, trash cans.
2. So I'm drawing one of these trashcans, I draw the typical silver can with dark lines on it and the removable saucer type lid.
3. Here's my point - No one even uses metal trashcans like these any more! The garbage cans in most of our houses are plastic, probably a dark blue or green color and have flip up lids and can roll around.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that in animation, people draw objects that people can easily identify with, they'll say "oh, that's a trashcan", except they probably won't say that because nobody really talks when they're watching a cartoon, but they'll recognize it at least. But why do people identify with these 'symbols' if that's not how things usually look? Here's another example:
1. This time I'm drawing a woman carrying groceries.
2. I draw the groceries and I'll draw a french baguette sticking out of the top, and maybe have a carton of eggs and milk and maybe even some broccoli or something sticking out too.
3. Who gets all that shit when they go to the store?
I don't actually have an answer to any of this stuff, I'm just more of wondering why animators or artists still draw this stuff if it's not actually how things look in real life. People might identify with it, sure, but why do they identify with it if that's not how anything ever really looks? If enough time passes will artists have to change the way they draw this stuff (if generations go by and nobody knows what the hell the metal can on the screen is)?
Just some thoughts.
(BTW, I'm not making that movie in my header and stuff, I just had the urge to make a 1930's movie theme. Also, anyone who gets the credits reference in the header should pat themselves on the back)
Sorry for not having an update in a few weeks for all the 1 people that stop by here. Our family had to go on this cruise that was a "gift" from our grandparents who probably won't be around too much longer so it was kind of like a last hoorah in a sense. Going on a cruise or going anywhere for that matter is the OPPOSITE of what I want to do during winter break, I love to just sit around and work on some stuff here and there and sit around again - winter break's the one time of year where I can get away with that kind of thing and not regret it, it's a great time to relax. This fucking cruise took up the better half of my break and long story short, I didn't get a lot done. Or anything really.
So taking a look back at 2007, it started off good enough, I got out a movie I had been working on for a while pretty early into the year and then things slowly kind of came to a halt. I worked on my Pico day movie but didn't get anywhere near finished (again), worked on a Western movie and didn't even make a dent with what I hoped to get done by the year's end, started 2 or 3 short movies over Summer and a few of them made it to the halfway point but there's still a good amount of work left. I started and finished a movie in the fall that was about 30 seconds so I guess that was pretty good. I made a Bytesize submission right after that so I thought things were looking up (I e-mailed Tom 2 months ago and still haven't heard back and pm'd him a month ago and still haven't heard back) but that's kind of up in the air as to what'll happen to it at this point. I started work on another short movie that made it about 10 seconds into it and still has another 30 or 40 to go. My goal was to have 3 or 4 movies in 2007 and I released 2, not terrible I guess but I definitely need to get my act together - I had big plans for 2007 so I guess I'll just turn those over to 2008 and hope I get 5 or 6 movies released (that's a pretty big goal but I honestly think I can do it this time).
But, you all might be able to see how many movies I released in 2007 and even how much I contributed to the forums and what I drew and all that, but behind the scenes I've become an idea machine. I have a sketchbook that I have just been filling with ideas for short movies and long movies, parts of movies, ideas in general about life and all that junk. It's packed and I don't think I'd be able to make all the animations in there if I had 10 years to do it. They're all good ideas too, funny little shorts that I just think of on the fly and jot down in there, so hopefully I can knock out a few of those since most of it's pretty fleshed out already.
I want to get back and be more involved in Newgrounds, I've been pretty lacking this last year, I mean I've had stints where I went around helping the noobs in the flash forum for a week or two or whatever but I need to start to doing that all the time. If I don't start cranking stuff out every month or two and posting a lot people are gonna start forgetting who I am, I'm sure some people have already - some people who I was friends with hang around but the whole group I grew up here knowing have kind of moved on. I wrote this whole thing about how pissed I am with all the shit I've had to do recently and how I hate to see people like Rtil make their dream movie like Freetown or whatever and then turn around and make three more fucking movies before the year's up. But whatever, I just need to figure all that shit out and I'll be back.
I applied to CalArts for Character Animation on November 30th and one of the requirements was 20 life drawings, so I have a few that I'll post now and I'll probably add more later. I was really surprised how much shit was required, I had to convert all my drawings into film slides and then buy a slide carousel (some weird specific model they needed) and load 'em in and label with all this other shit. Anyway, it was annoying but I'm glad I actually ended up applying since I didn't start most of my drawings until a week or two before the deadline (I actually did a good chunk during our Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandma's house).
# 1 - 6-8 minutes each (my dad/brother)
# 2 - quick 1-2 minute sketches of brother
# 3 - more quick sketches of my brother
# 4 - 8 minutes, my brother again
# 5 - 2-4 minutes, my dad
# 6 - 6 minutes, my dad
One thing that was really annoying though was how hard they made it to submit digital files, for instance, all the animations I made which I figured would make up a good part of my supplement. But all the requirements for each field were different and they discouraged sending in CD's so I just had to put one of my better animations on a DVD at school and I printed off a bunch of screenshots from a lot of my unfinished, better looking animations and sent 'em in. I know they mostly base their decision off the life drawings, but it was still kind of counting on sending in a digital portfolio or something. Oh well.
Another part of my portfolio that I sent in was a traditional animation I made this summer at Columbia College in Chicago. It was a pretty interesting class and I managed to make some pretty decent looking stuff for my first time at hand drawn animation. We had roughly 5 class days at about 3 hours each to make these and I only recently got off my ass (with the help of a friend) to put in on YouTube, which is located here. I was very pleased with a lot of those drawings, I'll try to post some more up, but here are my favorite frames:
I was also pretty impressed with myself (I'm so smug I know) for doing that whole door animation without using a ruler. I'd love to do more but it's not something I can just do around the house so I'll probably have to wait until next Summer or even College before I can sit down and make a more developed one. I wish everyone here who's all into Flash and everything could try their hand at a traditional animation, it's a world away from Flash but it's not in a huge sense. It's more the little stuff, like if you draw the character a few millimeters away from where you need it, you can't just select it and inch it over, you have to redraw the whole thing to get it in the right place. It forces you to plan everything out ahead of time or else it'll get screwed up, so it really helps you out if you're not the best with the planning stages that go into an animation. For example, I don't think my character has enough impact with the ground when he's running up to the camera, something that could be easily fixed in Flash with a few nudges downward, but can't really be fixed here.
Wireframes are really important too, I did the majority of that short animation without them, I just kept drawing the next frames (which isn't the smartest thing to do) but I got lucky and it ended up looking pretty fluid. But wireframes are necessary because you have to go into a completely different room to "pencil test", which just means putting each piece of paper under a camera and scanning it into a "lunchbox" - basically a big external hard-drive that holds tons of frames and has playback options on the outside. Sure you can flip the pages back and forth while you're at the light table but that only works for really obvious mistakes, it was hard to get used to after just being able to quickly view your animation in Flash.
Traditional animation has a much more natural feel than Flash does, it's weird, even if they're not the greatest drawings, just the fact that it's done traditionally will automatically make it look better. Flash seems a little more hard-cut and people expect things to look better because it's much easier to edit and get the look you desire. I highly suggest at least trying it once, it's a lot of fun, where Flash seems like work a lot of the time, this seemed like a vacation almost. Whatever, that was a gay analogy but I hope you get the point.
I used the few days I had over the long weekend to make a short for the Bytesize player. There's a ton of great pieces on there (Stamper's dance academy is my favorite) and I hope mine will have a shot at making it in there. It looks like it needs an update pretty badly, all the news is at least a month old so maybe mine might get thrown in with the next update.
Anyways, I realized that a lot of the ideas I had would be perfectly suited for Bytesize so I might make more in the future, they're really fun to make and get done pretty quickly - plus it's the perfect place to blow off steam. Here it is for your viewing pleasure after that solid paragraph of text, this kind of thing is good practice for lip syncing and sort of streamlining the flash making process so it was weird zipping through this after fumbling with the lip syncing and all the fuckin layers I had in the last movie I made.
On a side note I discovered this little guy today, it was daily feature or something in 2005 and I realized that the guy who made this also made that "Cigarette" movie back in 2005 which is also worth a watch (even though I don't really understand it). So I was clicking around his userpage and it turns out the last time he submitted something was in 2005, it's weird seeing someone make all these great movies and be involved with NG then just kind of move on to other things. There's been a few people that have gone missing lately - where the hell is Shawn Hollern?
*Edit: Nevermind, found him. Still kind of weird though?