The Reel Deal and Other Bad Jokes
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
"To be truly effective, a good narcotics agent must know and love narcotics. In fact, a good narcotics agent should have narcotics in his blood."
Last quoted movie was "Raising Arizona."

We edited a movie called "midnight sun" for Editing II. Today we finished 'em up and watched them. My god, I've heard that line so many times--"Sorry, Cap! I'm just cold, that's all!" Sam McGee is a fuckin' pussy. My credits at the end:

Cap Waited Until Sam Was Asleep.

And Strangled His Pussy-Ass.

This Shit Was Edited By Justin Kuhn.

Who Eventually Disemboweled Himself...To End The Pain.

Seriously, the shit really got to me. There is no way you can understand, but when you edit something and watch it over and over again to make sure your timing is right, and when everyone else in the room is doing the same damn thing...sanity is a questionable thing!
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
"If a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its ass a- hoppin'."
Last post's quote was from the live-action TV series "The Tick." Look for it, it's kind of obscure but goddamn it's funny. "Evil, you face THE TICK."

Well...I guess I actually do have something to write about. I hate how this has turned into a personal blog instead of what I originally wanted it to be, but oh well. Eventually I suppose my personal life will be somewhat more interesting, and maybe this blog will be too.

Went paintballing the other week. During the first fourth of the day I was rocking every single round. But after an hour of running around in a half-crouch, I got tired and sloppy. My thighs were sore for a week afterwards. If I go again I'll do stretches in between rounds.

I'm currently editing my final project. It's a goofy little science fiction piece that's mostly a vehicle for cheesy special effects I've generated in Photoshop and Livetype. Starring the younger fractions of my family, Jessica, Jeremy, and James. Yes, all of the kids have names starting with J. Ain't it cute. My dad's name is Jon. Mom's the odd one out, Sharon. That's over with.

The render time on all the layering and nesting and imported files is a BITCH. But it should turn out nicely.

The last two days we've spent watching some great movies. Raising Arizona, Training Day, Intolerable Cruelty, and buffalo Soldiers (with Joaquin Phoenix). I reccomend them all, in that order.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
The Animation Show 2005: Second opinion, poorly written.
Go read Derek's post before this one as it's mainly a reply to what he wrote about this year's Animation Show.

I agree. 'B' is for 'Bunny,' that's good enough for me.

Guard Dog:
Again, agree. Plympton seemed to be in a slump of suck for awhile there (I'm sure there are those that wouldn't agree, but for me his stuff was feeling unwatchable lately). This one was great. 'A'

F.E.D.S. :
I don't really feel that this was a rip of Aardman since he took an interview and applied it to an entirely different set of creatures (zoo animals). I doubt that Aardman was the first to animate an interview. Also, to clarify, I was telling Justin C. that I didn't know if it was done with Rotoscoping, but it reminded me of the animation in 'Waking Life' A bit hard to watch, but I felt it did a good job of attaching facial emotion to the dialog and remaining somewhat interesting. I give it a 'C'. UPDATE: I found out from here that 'F.E.D.S.' was created by Jen Drummond who also had a hand in 'Waking Life'.

Pan With Us:
Yes, fantastic technique, and I really started to enjoy what it was doing when it got to the eagle. But the first half, not so much. 'C'

Ward 13:
This was one of the tops for me this year. I could stand the texture because not all claymation needs to be smooth and by being a bit on the rough side it helped set the mood of the overall short. There was quite a bit of detail throughout and it left me wanting to see it again. 'A'.

This one was interesting, yes, but I also probably don't rank it as highly as the others did. While I was watching it I couldn't help thinking things like, "That must suck to have to come up with a tape for everything you want to say," and "I wonder if he can upgrade?" Still the detail was quite good. 'B+' as well.

Rock Fish:
A decent animation. When I first saw the bounding, goofy "pet" I did think, "Oh no. Another quality animation succumbs to the 'cute' critter flaw." But what can you do? The animator probably wanted a sci-fi equivalent to a fisherman's dog and that was what he came up with. Technically, I would give this one an 'A-', but overall (idea + characters) I give it a 'B-' as well.

Fallen Art:
Oh yes. Most good and dark. Good animation and story. Once I had grasped what was going on I was quite amused in spite knowing that laughing at it would mean additional duties in Hell. 'A'

Yes, I think PES has better shorts that could have been shown, and this was so short that at first I thought it was just the title for the next one, but there you go. 'C-'

The Man with No Shadow:
At first I enjoyed the way one scene morphed into the next, but then it started that circling pattern with the camera and I was starting to get motion sick. And was I the only one confused by him getting seven league boots instead of his shadow back? 'C'

When the Day Breaks:
Overall, a 'B' I liked the style and the animator did a good job of humanizing the animals, but I didn't care much for the overall story.

The Meaning of Life:
I'd had such high hopes for this since I first heard about it. When it started with the evolution of man into the guy walking along saying, "Give me your money!" I was sure we were heading toward some great finish. But then... Well, you know what happened. Stick to the "funny" Don! You are very, very good at that. Leave the philosophy to the philosophers. I'm very impressed at your skill at hand drawn animation, but I wanted to be left both impressed and satisfied. I wasn't. 'C-'

Overall I would rank this year's Animation Show somewhere around a 'C' or 'B-' Its high points were pretty high, and although the low points were pretty low I didn't grade anything below a 'C-' because, ultimately, these people are doing more than just talk about making animation: they are doing it. And none of them were as God-awful as last year's 'Ricardo' shorts.

I'm not sure I'll be willing to drive up to Denver for the next one, if there is a next one, unless we have other things planned to do there as well. Those Denver drivers are insane.
Derek and The Animation Show '05...
On Saturday, before damn near all of Colorado's front range was shut down due to a blizzard, I (along with my wife, my sister, Collin, Justin C. and Justin's wife) drove up to Denver to see this:

it was...ok...Here's a quick synopsis of the features:
This was the very quick opening/title sequence for the show. A shame, because I enjoyed the style very much. I'd like to see a full short of the Bunnies. Grade: B+

Guard Dog
Bill Plympton, whom I once found very funny, is finally back in that category. Guard Dog is ironic, enjoyable and (as per usual for a Plymptoon) very well drawn. I think this is the first Plymptoon I've laughed at since...like...1992. Grade: A-

Concept: rip-off of Aardman's Creature Comforts. Animation style: fluid and strange. Hard to watch, really. Collin and Justin used the term "Rotoscope" when talking about this one afterward. I'll just call a spade a spade. term: Crap. Grade: D

Pan With Us
You know what? One of the easiest traps to fall into when doing animation is to get "married to the technique," so to speak, and forget to actually make what you're doing watchable. The technique used for Pan With Us was remarkable. I applaud the patience and planning that must've gone into making this completely lousy short film. Oh, yeah...The film itself? I hated it. Everything about this film, beyond the astonishing animation technique, makes it a giant stinking pile of dog crap. Grade: D-

Ward 13
Them wacky Australians! They have a knack for making very dark claymation films. This one is no exception. What I disliked about this particular film would be the textures of the characters. The action scenes, though, were very well animated and the audio for this film was quite well executed. My wife liked it. Grade: A-

This one wasn't bad. You pretty much have a grasp of the characters and the world they live in right away and the goal of the main character is pretty clear. The style of animation fit the story and the audio track was really well done. Everyone in our group loved this one, except for me. I merely "liked" it. Grade: B+

Rock Fish
Is 3-D computer animation really that amazing anymore? I mean, everyone's doin' it, right? That said, I'm still slightly impressed at the level of spatial realism that can be attained through this medium every time I see it used. I could've done without a number of aspects of THIS film, though, especially the "fish hunter's" little "sidekick" thing. Good action, though and good animation. Grade: B-

Fallen Art
More with the 3-D computer animation. This one, though, has more "cartoonishly stylized" characters and a very dark and evil side to it. In fact, it was so good, I was completely transfixed by this short film. I don't want to give away much, but if you get a chance to watch it, you really should. I'm going looking for a copy of the "Asphalt Tango" as soon as I finish this entry. Grade: A+

Just a real quick self-promotion ad for PES, basically. Still, PES is pretty God Damned brilliant. Grade: B

The Man With No Shadow
Wow, was this one hard to watch. Not because it was lame, or poorly drawn, but it's that damn Frenchy oil paint animation (you may have seen the ads for United Airlines in the 80s and early 90s done in the same style) where EVERY SCENE constantly moves and morphs into the next. The story is about a guy who sells his shadow to the devil for fun and profit and is then ostracized because (surprise) he has no shadow. Interesting technique, except for how it'd give most anyone a seizure. Grade: B-

When The Day Breaks
Canadian animation that presents a world in which we are all animals! ANIMALS! It's actually a very well-done piece, with a very well executed audio track. I did not dislike this one. Of course, references to hockey in the film didn't hurt it's chances, but overall I think that it was quite well done. Grade: A-

The Meaning of Life
This, supposedly, was Don Hertzfeldt's masterwork which he's been spending all his time completing. Seems to me that ol' Don forgot to write a script before starting, or something. See, I like Don's other stuff (Rejected, Billy's Balloon, etc.) but this particular short film fell into the same trap as Pan With Us in the sense that, because Don does everything by hand without the assistance of a computer, he seemed to become totally transfixed with the fact that, even though it was pointless and boring, IT WAS ALL DONE BY HAND! Well, whoop-de-shit. Unfortunately, appreciation of hard work and patience only goes so far. Don failed miserably in the sense that The Meaning of Life is completely and totally boring. I was so disappointed in it, it damn near ruined my day. Grade: F.

Overall Animation Show 2005 grade: C-. Last year's was better. Hopefully next year will be better as well.

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