Thursday, June 27, 2013


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Heat

Sandra Bullock is back - big time!  I just returned from seeing her new feature film "The Heat", co-starring Melissa McCarthy.

It's got everything - action, violence, a good story and great humor.

Directed by Paul Feig, this film is hilarious and it's going to make a ton of money.

Melissa McCarthy is so outrageous - she should be a cartoon character!

And even though this film is live-action, I highly recommend it.  You'll laugh your tiny balls off (see the film, you'll understand.)

I give it an "A".



Animation 101: Exploding People.. A Study..

There's several reasons why explosions are great. First being, it's quick.. it really only takes one or two drawings to illustrate the actual explosion.. leaving you a lot of time to concentrate on what comes before and after (which is always more important than the action itself). This explosion is from "Masks", it's a bit of a spoiler, but that's ok. You can watch the film on Vimeo. And below are the keys. Enjoy.  First, above we have a happy chewing masked man, flanked by his buddies.
We truck in and reveal with a "take" that there's something wrong. then is gets weird..
Used a bizarre "flow" through the characters body, a quick little morphy shake thing prior to blowing apart. i don't know why but it works. anticipation is like that, you can do the craziest things as long as it is before an action. I also allowed the camera to "feel" the explosion.. by jerking out quickly with a motion blur.. I imagined myself holding a video camera in front of this guy, and feeling the pulse of the explosion.
small bumps appear on his skin.. the beginnings of the explosion. remember to take your time and do a lot of drawings when the action is subtle.. then don't do any tweens at all when it comes to the main bang.

bumps continue to grow as his eyes close into a cringe.

he begins to pull apart.. this is on a 1 exposure.. it's quick. Also note above that the background is revealed behind the middle character, I used a two frame mask to wipe the new background in.

it jumps into a fragmented configuration of small people. cheat out the color. Animation works like that.. you can't get away with anything if you slowly change things (thinking nobody will notice if you do it gradually) if you want to cheat or change, just do it in one frame, preferably on a hit. get it?

the characters lightly float down. i'll be honest, this was a pain.

last thing.. the characters in the background react.. remember they have to react a bit late, not right when the even occurs.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Monday, June 24, 2013

1992 Hollywood Sign promo for "Cool World"..

These two low quality photos were surprisingly difficult to find.  At the time, I thought "Cool World" was just so awesome.. I've chilled a bit on it since, but I still think it's a great Bakshi film, with some quintessential Bakshi designed characters.  Enjoy.

As part of the film's promotion, the Hollywood Sign was altered to include a 75-foot-tall cutout of Holli Would. The alteration angered local residents, who were "appalled" by the city's approval of the alterations and that "the action your board has taken is offensive to Los Angeles women and is not within your role as custodian and guardian of the Hollywood sign. The fact that Paramount Pictures donated a mere $27,000 to Rebuild L.A. should not be a passport to exploit women in Los Angeles." Protestors picketed the unveiling of the altered sign.


Friday, June 21, 2013

CHEATIN' Wrap Party

Good news, Bill Plympton fans -

CHEATIN' is almost finished.  I say "almost" because we have a few more tiny tweaks and color changes to make.

However, it's now completed enough to my satisfaction, so that we can begin to enter it in festivals.  The first big deadline was the Toronto International Film Festival, and we just barely made that one.  The next big festival deadlines coming up are Telluride, Venice and the New York Film Festival.

As you may know, I finance the films myself, so when the film is done, there is usually no distribution in place, except for in France.  So, we rely on screening at the big market festivals (Sundance, Cannes, Toronto) to try and pick up a distributor.

In the past, it's worked so-so, but we have such high hopes for CHEATIN' (everybody who sees it loves it) that we feel we have a good shot at major distribution.  In fact, I believe this may be the big breakthrough film for adult animation.  CHEATIN' isn't a sex film, by any means, but the story is definitely not kiddie fare.  It's a lot like a James M. Cain, or perhaps a Tennessee Williams story.

In any case, last week we had our wrap party and for once we could all relax and feel good about the year-long sprint to finish the film on time.  I went to bed at 10 pm, but I heard that the party lasted until 2 am. 

Here are some photos from the wild event:


Thursday, June 20, 2013


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013


Friday, June 14, 2013


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Black eye

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Maurice Sendak..


Monday, June 10, 2013


Friday, June 7, 2013

Lorenzo Mattotti

I was late to discover Lorenzo Mattotti, I've seen his work around - graphic novels and illustrations.
But it wasn't until I was given the great Edgar Allan Poe art book that I realized the full genius of the man. 

Then, when I was in Stuttgart, I was able to see the Italian version of "Pinocchio" with designs and backgrounds by Mr. Mattotti.   Wow, were they fantastic!

Each shot had a brilliant, delicious colored-pencil background by Lorenzo - I was hooked!

Luckily, he was in town last week for the big New York Book Fair, and he made a rare appearance at the Society of Illustrators to show off his new black and white book, talk about his career and do a slide show of his favorite art.

A number of illustration celebs were there - Peter Kuper, Artie Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, art director for the New Yorker.

I got to buy his epic book, Pastels, and I tell you, it was expensive - but I'm now obsessed with his work.  Don't be surprised is you start seeing his influence in some of my films.

Definitely, check out Lorenzo Mattotti.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Two faces

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Monday, June 3, 2013

Small lip

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Open mouth