I haven't posted here in forever! Here is a retrospective I produced for TAAFI (Toronto Animation Festival International) last year. It includes new interviews with people who knew and worked with Norman McLaren. I filmed the interviews with Kaj Pindal between cat naps and 18 hour stretches of work to be able to finish personally a requested scene that stretched beyond my given quota on "King Star King". When KSK was over, I took a road trip to Montreal to interview Mr. Verrall and Mr. Potterton.
Hey folks, this is the show I've been working on since November 2013. It has just been released on adultswim.com! I was stoked when Ben Kalina and Titmouse contacted me and asked if I wanted to work on this show, I've always admired the studio's work! Even more amazing were the facts that Mike Carlo was the animation director and my friend James Surgue was one of the great stars of the animation crew. I've been a fan of Mike since his amazing short "The President of the Universe" and a fan of James since his wonderfully cartoony short "Wright Meat". His skills have skyrocketed to wizard-like powers and he's been like a big brother to me on this production. Also, this show had the best notes an animator can ever hope for "Keep going!" and "Go crazier!" This has been a wonderful experience and I am staying on for another show!
For all of you over 18, I highly recommend watching episode 5: "Springtime in the Gigantiverse" and episode 6: "Kwa Kwa City"! I love the stories and characters in those, when the leica/animatic became available to the animators I watched them over and over. There's many original ideas and moments of contrasting values. The contrast between Rachel Butera's voice acting and JJ Villard's hilarious and inventive storyboard drawings in a climactic scene of episode 5 created an aesthetic that really spoke to me. I asked if I could animated that scene, and to my delight I got it! It's at the 1:05 mark of my reel.
KSK was created by the inimitable JJ Villard. The level of imagination, surrealism and utter craziness he brought to even the mildest moments of the show are completely beyond me. My favourite moment is in episode 6 is when KSK's head turns into a Rubik's Cube as he grasps a mind-bending reality: "YOU MEAN ALL THIS IS INSIDE PINCHY LAROUX'S HEAD?!?!?!?!"
I got a wonderful note from JJ at the end of the production:
THANK YOU AMIRRRRRRRRRRRR !!!!! WE WRAPPPED KING STAR KING EPISODE
6 ON FRIDAY !!!!!! AND I WANTED TO CRY I WAS SO HAPPY !!!!!!!!
YOUR ANIMATION MADE ME LAUGH ,,,, AND SCREAMMMMM IN WONDER
HOW THE F**K YOU GOT SUCH BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLLLLLLL CARTOON
SCENES DONE !!!!!!! SIMPLY SAID "YOU F****G KILLLLL
KILLLL KLLLLLED IT" I LOVED WATCHING YOUR WORK //// AND
SINCERELY HOPE WE GET TO WORK TOGETHER SOOOOOOOOON !!!!!!!
I sometimes find it helpful to draw anatomical studies of my own characters: how they would look if they had a real skeleton. I only do these for humanoid characters that aren't overly stylized.
On a blog dedicated to drawing, it makes sense to want to show drawing ability. But I don't have a fully clear conscience about this. Even though it's my own fictional character, I have mixed feeling about this rate of exposure (x-ray-ted). Here's how she would react if she saw this:
Some of the reaction shot process:
Rough drawn rather fast with the side of the pencil
Committing to interesting shapes, I think cartoons are most interesting to look at when there is asymmetry and slight 'cheating' of perspective. Funny shapes first.