Monday, September 20, 2010

Tis' the season,...

Well if the department stores can get into the Halloween spirit early, (Hell, I saw Christmas trees up at Lowes yesterday!), so can I!
My favorite religious holiday is fast approaching so to kick off the Halloween 10' season, I revert back to my "go-to" source material,....Ghostbusters!
Here's a little family portrait featuring an uncharacteristically tolerant Peter Venkman and "Slimer", (known to we purists as "Onionhead").
More to come as the 31st races toward us!


Friday, September 17, 2010

It's a jungle out there!

So as promised, (like I really believe any of you were running to the computer saying, "Oh God! When will the next blog post be up? He promised!"), here are some storyboard selects from Disney's The Legend of Tarzan!
I think,...and don't quote me on this,...I think this was from the pilot episode as the camera pulls back from Kala to reveal the rest of the apes. As the family watches, you eventually see Tarzan tree-surf his butt past the group doing his Tarzan thing.
I really, really enjoyed drawing the apes. I loved their varying designs but I still lament that they killed off Kerchack in the film. I mean, it makes sense and it's a great story beat but MAN would I loved to have drawn him! :)
Click on the pic for a bigger image!
More to come later!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A blast from the past,....or perhaps from BEYOND.

Like that joke? See what I did there? That's called being ironic. Now I am in my late thirties, (ugh), and I am of the classification of human male and that means I will exhibit a few behavioral constants while functioning as said male unit.
A few of these include an unhealthy obsession with The Godfather, secretly wanting to be as insane as the cast of Jackass, uncontrolled childish giggles at certain trigger words, (like "poop" and "boobs"), and last but not least, a deep appreciation for Batman.
Nuff' said!
Now I know it's fashionable for others of my kind, (ie: animation/storyboard artists), to participate in the backlash against this Warner House style but I have no problem admitting my absolute adoration of the original Batman: The animated series, ( as well as Superman that came later, and was, to ME a continuation of Donner's characters from the 1978 film).
I don't think there's many of my gender that would disagree that Bruce Timm and his crew, both in look and content, elevated that show to the pinnacle of those characters in their finest form, and hit the industry with a stylistic equivalent of an Atom bomb that, even today, is still spawning imitators and wannabes.
Show's like On leather wings, Clayface: part 2 and Two Face: part 2 and a host of others, blew my mind, ( and Hamill,...GOD Hamill as the Joker!), so much so that if someone came along and told me that if I bludgeoned a kitten by hitting it with a puppy that I would be able to board on the show I would have had to stop and think about it for a second.
Now eventually I DID make it out here and through the simple ebb and flow of the industry I became friends with a LOT of the amazing artists that worked on the original show. So when I got the opportunity to do a freelance board on Batman Beyond I dove at the chance.
Honestly, I wasn't that into Beyond. I watched it peripherally because I loved the original but it was kinda like watching Bewitched with "the other Darren", was kinda the same,...but not, (although their Return of the Joker special is an absolute masterpiece).
I wanna say I did this board for Dan Riba, who I remember being a sweetheart of a guy, and I must admit, (somewhat shamefully), that don't remember the name of the episode but I sure as Hell remember the FUN I had DOING it.
I was honored to have been afforded the ever so tiniest of places in the mountain of talent that birthed this whole craze and I think it shows in the work.
Interesting post script to this little story. A short while after I finished this freelance, I was in the comic store with my buddy who recommended me for the gig and Bruce Timm came in. My buddy introduced me as the guy who did the board and to my complete surprise, he commented on having really liked it and that I had done a good job. He left and my buddy turned to me and said, "He hardly ever does that."
I dunno if he was pulling my leg or not but I certainly appreciated the kind words. It was a little cherry on top of the sundae. A nod from the Godfather of Gotham. See that? It always comes back to The Godfather and y'know why?

Cuz I'm a guy. ;)

Thanks fer' lookin'.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oh he's the king of the swingers! The jungle VIP!

As much as King Louie would love to claim that title I think it has to go to his Disney cousin, Tarzan here.
The feature had, in my opinion, the greatest animation seen in a Disney film since the jungle book, (Kerchack, oh how your performance haunts me), and the most awesome Disney heroine, (Jane, not Terk), I think ever, ("And Daddy! he took my BOOT!").
So when I had the good fortune to end up working on The Legend of Tarzan at Disney television, I dove at the chance.
Now as a crew, we knew we were gonna be limited to what we could do but we still pushed the envelope as much as a television budget would allow, up to and including some innovative digital techniques for casting a variety of canopy shadows on the characters.
There were a lot of tiny cheats afforded us by digital technology that would not have been possible ten years ago and for this reason, I think Tarzan stands out in the Disney stable as far as it's most ambitious feature-based series.
The image above, while not from the series itself, was done while I was on it. I loved drawing the characters and I think Jane and Tantor were my stand out favorites.
I was also fortunate enough to direct, (sort of), two episodes of the series.
Tarzan and One-punch Mullargan and Tarzan and the Rogue Elephant.
I never saw either of them when they aired and I think I went onto House of Mouse before the shows even came back for post but thanks to the magic of the internets,.....
Though I must admit, when I saw my name as directed by I shrieked like a tiny child.
I was a small part, but I got to be a part! :)
Storyboards from Tarzan and the Rogue Elephant to come,........for no other reason than I went to the trouble to scan em' in so they're gonna go up somewhere! :)

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Son of man look to the sky!

My last post said something akin to "where did the time go?" and all I can do is echo that times a thousand. My original intent with this blog was an exploration of my favorite films through the medium of what can only be described as "animation art".
So while this may be the ever-so-slightest of deviations from that theme,...I recently found, (in the great reorganization of 2010), a LOT,...and when I say a LOT I mean a LOT,...of storyboards from my approximately six years of employment at Disney television animation and direct to video.
Now while I was there, I worked on damn near everything that came through there at one point or another. From The Mighty Ducks, to 101 Dalmatians: the Series, Mouseworks, House of mouse, Mulan II, The legend of Tarzan, and on, and on, and on, in cataloging everything, (and for the sake of putting something up till I can find a spare second to do some new material), I'll be putting up some selects you fellow animation nerds may find interesting.
Starting with Tarzan, because he's the man and while the show itself had hit and miss for animation., the pre-production and storyboards were the bee's knees, (as they say).
Stay tuned for more!