Thursday, October 13, 2005

"The Disney Touch"

Just got turned on to the blog of Hans Bacher, an amazingly talented Disney alum. Upon backtracking through the recent posts collected for me by Bloglines, I ran into a very interesting piece describing how Disney "works" the stories that they turn into films. Quite an eye opener...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Killer card stacker!

Just saw this over on Boing Boing. I've tried here and there to stack cards, but usually with horrible results. The shot of Bryan Berg next to a 25-foot stack of cards just blew me away. Quite a clever method he has for stacking them, but it's to be expected from an architect (although he claims he doesn't rely much on his architecture knowledge when "cardstacking").

And get this...this is his full-time job! Sweet! Then again, that's the kind of reaction most animators get. "You mean you get to make cartoons and movies for a living!? Cool!" Yeah, it is pretty cool. It's still hard work, but the "cool" part can't be denied. :)

Along the lines of my earlier "Find what you love and don't settle" post, here's my favorite part from his FAQ:
If there ever comes an opportunity for you in your life to take something
you love and turn it into your job, DO IT!!
Kudos, Bryan! :D

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"Change Myself"

When I was first learning about 3D animation, I was using Lightwave on a Video Toaster system at the community college in the town where I grew up. I became a big Lightwave geek, and while I didn't do a lot of stellar stuff myself, I got caught up in all the cool stuff that other people were creating with Lightwave. One such piece was a music video made by Todd Rundgren for his song, "Change Myself." For some funky reason, this thing really inspired me. The song was cool, the animation was cool (or so I thought at the time), and it just all came together really well. I have a very different view of the thing looking at it now, but I openly and freely admit that it still holds a place in the nostalgic corner of my heart.

Anyway, while I was searching online for anything more I could find about the song and video, I discovered that Rhino Entertainment offers a streaming video of "Change Myself" on their site! Sweet!! Now I just gotta find Rundgren's "The Desktop Collection" on DVD and I'll be all set...

Wallace and Gromit clips!

Just got a note from a co-worker about several clips from Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit that Dreamworks posted online. Sweet lookin' stuff from the folks at Aardman!! I'm partial to Quicktime, so here are links for the 640x346 QT clips (note: if you "save as," you'll just get a 1KB shortcut that opens Quicktime and starts to download the video). If you want other viewing sizes or formats, the article I was pointed to on AICN has several. Enjoy!

1: Launch and Activate
2: Bun-Vac 6000
3: To Pay or Toupee?
4: The Mind-Manipulation-O-Matic
5: A Bit More Alluring
6: Gromit Chases Were-Rabbit
7: Dog Fight

Frank and Ollie

I just love having a DVD player in my work machine. :)

I recently picked up the DVD Frank and Ollie, the documentary of legendary Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. I'd seen the presentation several years ago, but only recently got off my kiester to buy it. Having packed my lunch today, I sat at my machine and nibbled away while watching this new treasure. It was so inspiring to see these two in see their continued passion for see animators like Glen Keane and Andreas Deja rifling through stacks of original drawings and talking about how Frank and Ollie's work inspires see Ollie scooting around his property on a couple killer trains that he assembled himself...

...and that's just from the bonus features! I haven't even watched the main film yet! Dude!!!

Animation Dance!

Just caught sight of a post on the CG-Char forum about a new site: Animation Dance! The goal, according to site creator Katy Hargrove: "to provide an outlet for everyone interested in animation to get their groove on." :) Sounds like a sweet deal! It remains to be seen if I'll have the time/oomph to submit anything, but I'll certainly keep an eye on it. Kudos, Katy!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The power of editing

There's a contest called "Trailer Park" in which editors are challenged to take footage from any movie and re-edit it into a new movie trailer. The trick is to spin the movie in a different direction than the original. The picture cannot be modified, but the audio track can be edited at will.

The winning trailer in the New York division of this competition was created by Robert Ryang, who effectively turned Stanley Kubrick's horror classic "The Shining" into a fun family film. The NY Times has an interesting article that includes a link to the trailer, but my original source pointed to a blog entry on The Tattered Coat.

There's a little more to this story, at least on my side. After finding the link in an online forum, I passed it to folks at work. Later in the day I heard back from a couple guys in the studio who know Robert Ryang. They had just been reviewing the re-edited trailer that morning after getting a note from Robert about it, and had no idea that it was suddenly a major subject of blog discussion.

The power of editing meets the power of the Internet. Gotta love it! :)