Monday, March 26, 2007

progress!

Three more weeks left until all submissions are due for NYU's Animation Showcase, and I've never had so much on my plate: fixing my roughs and trying to get picture lock (it may look like I'm coloring, but it's all a clever lie), planning my motion-capture project, and various 3-D assignments.

At this pace, I can't possibly keep up with my Netflix!

Did I ever mention I have the most ghetto work desk? My "lightbox" is comprised of a pegbar taped to a pane of glass I removed from a K-Mart picture frame. It uses the light from an upturned lamp that sits between my feet on the floor. The strange thing is I haven't burned anything with it yet. My chair and pants are singe-free. I did, however, kneel on and shatter my first "work table"*, but thankfully frames come cheap. Cheap like a fox.

* EDIT: Well, I did it again. I elbowed my pane in two. K-Mart, here I come.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

in the absence of any personal progress


The Frog Princess, Disney's 2009 release, is a traditionally-animated musical piece (trying to get back into the groove, eh?) set in New Orleans in the jazzy 1920s. Maddy will be the studio's first African-American princess. The directors of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid (Ron Clements and JohnMusker) will be writing/directing this fairy tale, with music by Randy Newman. I'm really looking forward to this with renewed hope. Still, it's too bad composer Alan Menken was already busy working on another of Disney's films, Enchanted.

As for Enchanted, it's difficult to tell right now whether I'm a fan. I'd like to be, but I'm wary because it switches from 2-D to live action. I like the cast (Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon, Idina Menzel), head animator James Baxter, and the composer and lyricist team, but ... a poofy princess cast in the midst of NYC chaos? Fun hi-jinx or old hat? It sounds like another cheesy pre-teen flick to me.

Monday, March 05, 2007

paprika








I just now heard about Paprika, the new Satoshi Kon film due out May 25th. It looks to be some kind of trippy, and I'm excited. Except for Perfect Blue, which really gave me the heebie jeebies, I have enjoyed his other works, in particular Millennium Actress. This article of praise was pulled from the trailer:

"Evidence that Japanese animators are reaching for the moon, while most of their American counterparts remain stuck in the kiddie sandbox." -Manohla Dargis of The New York Times

So true, lady. While we're recycling old material and feeding cheap sequels to our kids, it's not hard to make us look bad. We do it to ourselves. By "we" I mean our pathetic big-shot American studios who rush through the writing process to get to effects. Pixar is excluded from this, naturally. You've heard about John Lasseter's changes within Disney, right? Pulling this, re-writing that...opening a new studio for its hopefully glorious (and long-awaited) return to hand-drawn 2-D masterpieces. If they can't revive traditional animation in the US, I might have to move to Japan. とても悲しいです。

In other Japanese animation news, I heard Studio Ghibli's latest release, Tales from Earthsea, won't come to the US any time before 2009 because the SciFi Channel's live-action version has the rights. Booo. And though it's no Hayao Miyazaki masterpiece (directed instead by his eldest son, Goro) the Ghibli stamp holds more sway with me than say, Dreamworks. And so I wait.