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Archive for March, 2009

I picked up a book at a library sale years ago. It’s called Talking Shadows by Ralph Jester. It’s about making movies, including in-depth info about all the newest technologies and techniques – from 1942.

It includes this map that location scouts used to find appropriate terrain for making moving pictures. I always thought those movies that took place in Siberia looked a little too much like Northern Nevada.

ca_map

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The book I just finished illustrating is slowly making its way into the big cruel world. Lucky for the book that it is a pretty tough bunch of paper. And it EATS PEOPLE!

Two pages from The Book that Eats People (John Perry, Tricycle Press – due out Sept. 2009) were featured in Layers Magazine in February. And the spread of the little girl in her bathroom, about to be attacked by a very scary book, will be in the SILA show at Gallery Nucleus starting March 28th in Alhambra, CA. That’s because it was accepted into the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles Illustration West 47. That is if I ship it down in time…I better stop at the framers today and cry them a river.

lyrs_2

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mbm

Just spotted a trailer for the new animated film from Sony. I haven’t particularly enjoyed what Sony has produced so far when it comes to animation. I would hazard a guess and say they have made the worst feature animated films of any of the ‘big’ studios. They make Dreamworks look like Pixar. Ha…

Anyway, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is based on a kids book, which means they must have greatly expanded on it to fill the time. It seems they went the ‘kid inventor’ route. I don’t have the book handy, but I don’t remember a kid inventor in it. But the kid inventor route can be an easy way out (see Disney’s Meet the Robinsons – and that too was based on kids lit – Bill Joyce’s A Day with Wilbur Robinson,  but stayed close to the main character being an inventor)  It makes it easy to have a lead character be a wacky inventor. It creates an action packed character who gets involved in wacky action packed things…easier than writing a multi-dimensional character. Snark!

I like the design, it’s very ‘free’ and a little more funky. Has some charm to it, that until recently 3D really didn’t capture. As for story, well, it seems to me the film will offer zero surprises. Either they didn’t dynamically expand the story or the trailer spells out the whole thing. I hope there’s something more to it, I mean, story wise. I hope some part of the story strikes a real emotional beat that involves something about the whole ‘being human’ thing. Wait, I can already see the promo copy , ‘Being different isn’t always easy. And for one special kid chasing his dreams turns into —a wacky action packed fun-fest!’.

Expecting surprises in an animated feature is probably expecting too much these days. It’s  much easier to get a room full of people (SVP’s, EVP’s, Head of marketing, Director of toy development, Executive Producer in charge of self aggrandizement) to agree on the broadest most expected beats. And use the films minutes for infill jokes about bad gas and satire of other films and music videos. Mainstream animated features seem to have been pulled into a vortex of having to comment on other films as if by doing this one is supposed to take the animated film more seriously. It’s as if the writers from the Naked Guns movies have taken over 90% of animated feature writing.

Here’s the trailer over at a place called Collider. I don’t know what the site is about, but scanning it I quickly got some kind of internet-information-overload and threw up. How much type CAN you pack into one html page?

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ecmpba

Cool stuff. And I’m only 8 years late in discovering it!

Eric Carle (no need for an introduction – if you don’t know who he is – check out this link, and this) has spent some of his money and reputation to help establish this museum which I am excited to visit this spring when I am back east. It looks like a great resource and for any picture book artists or writers or want-to-be picture book artists or writers -  or anyone who finds inspiration and enjoyment in children’s literature.

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The final art for the poster – Sideways Stories from the Wayside School, based on the book by Louis Sachar.

This is another production from the Oregon Children’s Theatre in their new season. Click the are below to see larger versions.

sideways_8

Here’s a close up as the details fal lapart on the smaller version above.

sidewaysclose

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This is the nearly final poster for the theatrical version of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. Adapted from Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s book. The play is by Robert Kauzlaric.

This is another production being put on by The Oregons Children’s Theatre later this year.

The composition leaves room for the title and performance information. I’ll post the finals with the titles when I get them.

piggyfinal

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