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Archive for September, 2008

This is a short sample of the animation I completed for the documentary called Food Fight directed by Chris Taylor. I put a silly old 78 recording with it, just to have some music. The actual soundtrack is a voice over covering the history of American agriculture and Govt. interventions since the great depression (the one in 1929, not the one starting in 2008).

This is a small, 12 FPS version and it stutters a bit. Every time I export something for YouTube I feel like I start from scratch with what works and what doesn’t. Anyway, It was hand drawn, colored and cleaned up in Photoshop and composited in After Effects. Adobe owns my life…so sad. I’ve used this process several times and seem to be working out all the kinks. 

The documentary will be premiering at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 8th at 3:15 at the Mann Chinese 6.

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From the sketch book. I don’t know why I drew it…

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McGoofy

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I’ve mentioned before that I animated about 2 minutes for a feature documentary called Food Fight directed by Chris Taylor from November Films. I created it traditionally – hand drawn, ‘inked’ and colored in Photoshop and composited in After Effects (after getting rid of some bad RAM that caused minor disasters for a week or two before I figured out what was going on).

The film concerns the state of agriculture in this country and what we grow and eat.

From the film’s website: ” Eating good food is a sensual experience. We taste it, we savor it, and we remember great meals. Sharing those meals with family and friends helps define our humanity.  And the food we choose to eat expresses a fundamental choice about the kind of world we want to live in.

But there is a great lie being sold to the American food consumer about these choices. That lie is that the food being grown for us on the big farms and sold in the big chain supermarkets is tasty and nutritious. The truth is, it is neither.”

Check out the film’s site for more info.

The film has been screened once or twice as a work in progress, but will soon have the official Premiere in the U.S. in Los Angeles. I will post more when I hear more. I will even load-up a small portion of the animation next week. When I try and imagine my animation being projected on a 35 or 70mm huge screen in a movie theater, I get a little queasy. But I think it turned out funny and interesting and provides a good method to quickly show how agriculture developed in the U.S. from the Great Depression on.

Here are a few captures I’ve been meaning to post.

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I’m so busy finishing up work I really have nothing to show, that I can show, that I want to show. SHow-sho-show. And when I am writing revisions to manuscripts, no one wants to see that.

I really love drawing aliens. More than monsters I think…

This is a bookmark I did for an upcoming event. So I’m showing it. Show-off.

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This animated film has me very, very interested. Waltzing with Bashir by Ari Folman looks to be one of those uses of animation that changes the game. It reminds everyone it’s not just a form for selling kids toys. It’s purpose is not to sell video games and Happy Meals. It’s not just a genre lost in slapstick and burps. Not that I don’t like a good burp joke now and then.
Stories matter and animation, cartooning and illustration can bring a personal perspective to a story in a way that film/photography can’t.

There is a trailer on this page. Note, this is not a children’s film.

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A very good post by economist Joseph Stiglitz. I know we’re not supposed to listen to educated, experienced people who express their ideas based on book learnin’. Better to trust moose hunters – but by chance, if you have an interest in economics, this Nobel Prize winning economist has a few things to say that are worth reading.

From the article -

“The coup d’grace was the Iraq War, which contributed to soaring oil prices. Money that used to be spent on American goods now got diverted abroad. The Fed took seriously its responsibility to keep the economy going.

It did this by replacing the tech bubble with a new bubble, a housing bubble. Household savings plummeted to zero, to the lowest level since the Great Depression. It managed to sustain the economy, but the way it did it was shortsighted: America was living on borrowed money and borrowed time.”

The type of information that never hurts for anyone to read. What’s been happening isn’t so complicated it’s impossible to understand, it’s the oldest game in the economic world, risk what isn’t yours and keep the profits.

And it gives me an excuse to run a panel cartoon of mine from my Cartoonshmartoon blog.

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I should mention, as I get emails every so often about this, I know this blog is supposed to be all about what I draw and paint and seeing my work. But I use it for a bit more than that. I probably write more off-topics than on-topics. But the Flickr gallery collects most postings of my work if you want to click through to that. Now, off-topic Friday!

A few years ago my parents sent the last few boxes of my ‘stuff’ out to me. Year books, Star Wars card collections. The typical material that stays at Mom and Dads until they decide to move or get sick of sliding your stuff around as they clean out the attic.

In one box was a little framed print. It hung in my room as a kid, right above my bed. It’s one of my earliest memories. On the front a dog looks through a fence and a J.P. McEvoy poem is tacked to the fence: “A friend is not a feller who is taken in by sham; a friend is one who knows our faults and doesn’t give a damn!”

On the back it is signed as a gift to someone in 1940. I’m not sure where it came from. What I remember is, when I was sent to bed early or wasn’t tired, I would take it off the wall and draw on the back of it. I clearly remember drawing the wolfman (bottom left), Frankenstein and the Mummy. But I also know that the guy middle right is Batman and above him, perhaps Robin with a mask on. This is an amazing time capsule. It takes me back to so many memories from my childhood. The old 8mm, silent films my dad would play on Friday nights. Laurel and Hardy and my favorite The Wolfman with Lon Chaney Jr. “Even a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon in bright.”

I remember planning quite elaborate get-away plans if a monster ever made it into my room. Frankenstein I could outrun, Dracula – that’s easy, a crucifix and garlic. The Mummy is sooooo slow. Just stay alert to avoid him. But the Wolfman…he troubled me. He was fast, and could jump. But I notice in my drawing he seems to be smiling, though he is hiding behind a tree.

A decent mantra to live by on the front, and a whole lot of memories on the back. I’m glad I still have this.

This will hang in my daughters room soon.

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A quick work in progress. This is from a story that I have tackled many times and flipped around in many different ways. This is from a discarded version, but at least it’s something new to post!

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This is a single page, greatly reduced, from the picture book I am currently working on. A scary page indeed! Of course, you’re missing the words, so you get half the story in the picture. The half that’s scary and you know, probably makes you ask – - ‘What’s going on there!?”

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