Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Animation Drawings Exhibition in Savannah...

Savannah Film Festival, which ran all last week, showed about 20 drawings from my films "Puppet", "Handshake", and "Drink", all films that have been featured or won at their festival. A reminder to all those digital heads out there that there is a place for traditional drawings, a piece of art that exists beyond the sole purpose of creating a film. Animation art can become an important part of an animators body of work, as well as a viable source of income. In addition, they're just plain cool to have on your wall. My apoligies for not promoting the event, it was primarily for pass holders of the festival, and since i wasn't attending, it slipped my mind.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jazz Recording last night...

Group shot of Ted Rosenthal(Piano), Patrick Smith(animator), Rufus Reid(Bass), Tim Horner(Drums), and Warren Vache (Cornet and Vocals), at Pirate Studio New York. Also, a shot of Rufus performing. The recording last night is for an animated piece called "Mis" I'm directing/animating for Samantha Berger(Nickelodeon). It's an educational piece, and we're using an original Jazz score, which was performed for us live. I just learned that a Cornet is kind of like a small trumpet. I'm still star struck when it comes to musicians, and even more so with Jazz guys. I'm happy to say that recording with live musicians is becoming common place in my animation. If anyone remembers, the score for both my films "Handshake" and "Puppet" was performed by a live 40 piece orchestra conducted by Charles Fernandez in LA. I'm heading out to LA next week, and I hope to hang out with him. Click here for a movie clip of the recording session with the Trone Orchestra back on 2004.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mulan on my iPhone.

One of the many rocking things about the iPhone is watching movies on the train. Granted, not the best way to watch a film, but makes the trip go by quickly.

"Mulan" is just never talked about and I'm not sure why. It's truly a great film. That said, you have to put up with the 90's Disney injection of unnecessary gags at almost every point, but overall, it's a really strong film that didn't get all that much attention. Mulan is a top notch heroin, the Huns are scary as hell, and even the little dragon Mushu (voiced by Eddie Murphy) gets some laughs out of you. And you gotta love the simplicity of the story: Chick pretends to be a dude in order to fight in place of her ailing father. "Mulan" has some great animation by some of my favorites, Mark Henn (Muland and Fa Zhou), Ruben Aquino (Shang and Fa Li), Tom Bancroft (Mushu), Aaron Blaise(the ancestors, some really great work!), and Alexander Kupershmidt (Khan).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Where Digital Fails

Pencil on paper. I love the tangibility of a painting or a drawing. The one of a kind nature, knowing that you hold an original. I have a solid collection of animation drawings, one of my favorites is a Glen Keane drawing of the Beast. When I hold it I feel a connection with the artist, knowing that he flipped this drawing, and scratched out those lines. My immersion into painting has given me a new appreciation for the artwork itself, beyond the vehicle it's delivered. There is a tactile quality involved, things like texture, relief and scale become just as important as the image itself. You can fake all that digitally, but that's all it is, faking. it will never have texture outside of the flat screen. That said, I'm an animator, and I depend on the screen, even the most ardently hand drawn films are exhibited on the screen. The drawings will always just be the beautiful things that helped make the movie possible. Maybe we can make a movie with texture and scale?.. oh wait, that's called life.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Raggedy Ann- The Greedy Sequence

I thought this post would be appropriate, due to the ASIFA-Hollywood Screening coming up this November 17th. There's some amazing animation in this film, contributors included legends such as Art Babbit, Grim Natwick, Tissa David, Tom Sito and Dan Hakett. This sequence above is my favorite of the film, I would have loved to see the drawings that went into this! It has to be one of the "fullest" animated scenes of all time, everything is moving! also, it has the flowy type of stuff that i just love. There's a great book about this movie written by John Canemaker, i highly recommend.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Public Art is King!

Here's a movie of me and the CVZ gallery director Carlo out on the town installing illegal art. These get stolen fairly quickly, despite the tamper proof installation method. I used to put up a lot of these, but I've lost heart a bit after seeing two of them at a random party in some dudes loft in Tribeca. I think Street art is a direct connection to the people, by taking the art outside of the Gallery, you remove any pretense that art may have been given by the, often times, stale environment of the art gallery. Click here for a high res photo of the above piece.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Random Rant: Titanic, A Theory

A quick break from fine art or animation today. I had a conversation over drinks that disturbed me the other night. I met a "Titanic Hater". I have a theory about people who say they don't like the movie titanic. Simply put: They are Lying! that is a hell of a movie, Hollywood at it's best. I think it's sad when people can't open their mind to something just because it's a hit with the statuesque. Is your desire to be an individual actually convoluted your mind into not liking something of true substance? not liking something for the reason that it's accepted by the majority isn't being an individual, it's being close minded, and it's sad because you really miss out on some fantastic work.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Influence: Jim Phillips

In a recent interview with FLIP magazine, I cited a strong inspiration of mine, legendary artist Jim Phillips. I can even go further, he was my FIRST inspiration. His artwork for Santa Cruz Skateboards was my first exposure to graphic art (I was 14 years old), and set me on a similar path. Jim's style was, and still is in many ways, exactly how I wish my work to look. I've always had a dilemma between the look of grotty pencil line, or nicely inked heavy line. Jim represents the later for me, an artist who is a graphic master with black line. Furthermore, Jim's "Screaming Hand" that he designed for Speed Wheels introduced me into the idea of morphing and abstraction within a well constructed figure or form. I hope that he will inspire and influence some of you as well.

Jim Phillips was born in San Jose in 1944, but has lived most of his life in Santa Cruz. Phillips' first published work was in Surfer Quarterly, in 1962. In 1965 he attended California College of Arts, in Oakland. From 1975-1990, Phillips was art director for Santa Cruz Skateboards, for which he has become predominantly known.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Time Lapse of a Painting, with narration.

Here's another time lapse of a 72"x36" painting (titled "Configuration 4") that we shot last month. This one features a brief narration that Noelle Vaccese recorded of me talking about the process. The other person you see helping out is Brendan Semigram, an intern Edinboro University. I apologize on behalf of Youtube for the appalling quality of the image.