Sunday, December 20, 2009

Production, Prevenancy and The Pitch

Back in Dec of 2007, I entered a MYSPACE sponsored FOX competition entitled 'Storyteller Challenge'. (BTW I would not advise anyone to enter a contest to sell their show). 2 years later, looking back at the winners, it appears that FOX didn't quite choose "The Next Great TV Show" as promised by their contest tag line. However the story I came up with for this challenge, inspired me to craft my next TV Animation pitch. Below is a sample of the artwork I created for my 5 min. Animatic video. In February of 2008 I was hired back by Warner Bros. Animation to work on a new series. Although I didn't remain on this show for any great length of time, it did offer me an opportunity to stop by the head of Programing Development and setup a time to pitch a couple of shows. Now, a decade ago, in 1999 while I was finishing up work on CN's 'Johnny Bravo', my crew was invited to pitch ideas to Warner Bros. for a possible TV series to develop. I submitted a show called "REX" Teen Space Cadet, however, none of the pitches we submitted were developed. Shown above is some of my personal development for 'REX". In March of 2008, I went into my WB Development meeting with 3 pitch ideas. The series that was ultimately singled out in the meeting was a show I created called 'The Kiddie Show'. It was a combination of "Rex" Teen Space Cadet and the idea I submitted to FOX's Storyteller Challenge. Shown above, is the main character from "The Kiddie Show' holding a copy of the 'REX' Teen Space Cadet comic book. In May of 2008, WB offered me a development gig. I went out, got an Agent and signed my deal. In june of 2008, Warner Bros. went through some interdepartmental restructuring and I was asked to come back in and re-pitch 'The Kiddie Show' to the new executive in charge of TV animation. Shown above are some "early" development designs I created for 'The Kiddie Show'. As these things go, in my re-pitch meeting, I was offered a number of things to development for 'The Kiddie Show' series. I was also allowed to hire a writer to work with on the pilot script. The art work shown above and below, are a few development designs I did during this time. For those wondering, I did include an African American, Asian and Latino "kid design" in this main group. It may appear that all the children look the same, due to my choice to unified their overall design theory.

Sometime around Oct of 2008, development on The Kiddie Show stalled.

In February of 2009 the executive in charge of Animation Programing Development was laid off.

In March of 2009 I was told that Warner Bros. was going to pass on my development option.

As things stand today, I pitched the 'Kiddie Show' series at a few other studios, back in June 2009 and had a couple of nibbles . However as of 2 weeks ago, everyone passed on 'The Kiddie Show.' That's Show Biz, kid'O.

Friday, November 6, 2009

ON THE STREET WHERE I LIVED

The 'BEWITCHED' practical set on the Warner Bros. Ranch '09. This is me looking at the old 'BEWITCHED' set, while I was working on a new animated series at Warner Bros. Animation last summer.
It's an IPHONE photo.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

ON THE ROAD with BOB

Bob is on the left, I'm on the right. The car and the dog belonged to our Art teacher Linda Rowell Kelley. You can kinda see one of her paintings, leaning on the Chicken house, way in the back. At this time, Bob and I were in the 7th grade.
Here's a winter shot of Linda Rowell Kelly and the Bug that Bob and I were sitting in. A few years later, Bob and I started selling some of our paintings and Linda suggested that we use the money to buy our own art supplies; which we did. That was my 1st in lesson in personal and artistic independence.

Bob Doucette: Maine, New York, California
Below, 'Captain Quantum vs. The Ugly Druggies' , a birthday present from Bob Doucette. For those of you who only look at the pictures, I did not paint these. I did not paint these. I did not paint these. This is an anti-drug program game for children called, Captain Quantum vs. The Ugly Druggies produced by John Kricfalusi and his production studio ("Mighty Mouse","The Ren & Stimpy Show"). Shown above and below, are some photos and scans of the board game. For those of you who only look at the pictures, I did not paint these. I car pooled a lot, back in the old WB days. Actually I was just hitching rides cause I didn't have a car yet. For a month or 2, I car pooled with Vicky Jensen ( "The Ren & Stimpy Show" WB's "Taz-Mania" and Dreamworks' "Shrek") . Shown above is a scan of a magazine cover Vicky painted. She also painted the background of the board game 'Captain Quantum vs. The Ugly Druggies" ( If you look closely you can see her signature). Vicky is now a live action director.

Traveling ON THE ROAD with Bob was great. I will always remember the friends we shared and the experiences we had together, growing up in Maine and the college years, with an enormous amount of love and appreciation.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Girlfriend's Back in Town !



My friend Michele Graybeal is back in Los Angeles to work on a new project at Cartoon Network. I shot this photo of her last Saturday when we had lunch together. Michele and I were on Bruce Timm's crew ( Superman the animated series, New adventures of Batman and Robin) back in the early Warner Bros. days.

Here are a few characatures Bruce Timm did of some WB crew members; Kevin Altieri, Dan Riba, and Keith Weesner.

Below on the left, is a characature of me done by Marc Lumer (but honestly, looks more like him), when we were working together on Superman the Animated Series. Marc is pictured in the photo on the right, sitting along side Trish Burgio. She also worked on our crew as a background painter. Marc was a background designer.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Work the Room Baby.

A closer look at my work spaces over the years
Posted below is a pic of my desk and crap, when I lived on 46th street in NYC. My apartment was next door to Joe Allen's Resturant in Hell's Kitchen NYC. I also worked at Joe Allen, as a waiter. The actress Ellen Burstyn yelled at me once, after I told her she couldn't leave the restaurant with an open bottle of wine.

My apartment on 46th street between 8th-9th Ave ( note the attractive bars on the windows) . The apartment above is also the same location I shot my 'Novella Romantica' photos. This is a sloppy panoramic view of my current apartment work space, near beautiful downtown Burbank. I was going through a "Velvet and Fur' phase when I moved in. A friend remarked that my apartment must be nice and cozy when it snows (which it does a lot in LA, so I'm all set).
My last apartment in Manhatten was on 30th street between 8th and 9th Ave.

Pictured below, is my work space in my 1st apartment in Los Angeles CA
Here's my cube, the last time I was at Cartoon NetworK; 6' x 6', it was quite spacious.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

HOLY CLONE !!

In early December of 2001, my production work on The Powerpuff Girls Movie at Cartoon Network was wrapping up. A friend of mine working on the movie asked me if I'd be interested in working on a new MTV animated series called CLONE HIGH USA, which he was involved. So I made my calls, set up an appointment to meet the producers and dragged my portfolio over to their studio which was located in an abandon hospital in North Hollywood where they shoot the television show SCRUBS. At this point in my animation career I had only worked at 2 studios, Warner Bros. Animation for 8 years and Cartoon Network for 2. Both studios were, and still are, well oiled animation production factories. Working for MTV on CLONE HIGH was a little different. Our production offices were located in the abandoned hospital , more specifically the Psychiatric / Rehab Ward. This makeshift work space was provided by our executive producer Bill Lawrence who was also the creator and producer of SCRUBS .
My work space was an actual hospital room, equipped with it's own bathroom and shower. The animation supplies were kept in Canada, where we shared the production responsibilities with Nelvana Studios. If I needed to make a xerox of my art work, I had to scramble past the film crew, craft service, actors dressed as hospital personal and take an elevator to the second floor in the main hospital building. The first time I made this trip I got completely lost. But I recognized a lady I had seen earlier in the Psych Ward, coming out of the shower in my hospital room , so I asked her for directions, to which she replied, " I'm not a real nurse. I'm an actress. I don't know where that stuff is".



The 2 creator/ producers of CLONE HIGH were Phil Lord and Chris Miller, most recently know for directing PARTLY CLOUDY at Sony Pictures. Here's some production design stuff from CLONE HIGH .
This was Phil Lord and Chris Miller's approval stamp caricatures.

At the start of production, Carey Yost finalized the main character designs on the series, I did the inking, as shown above.

Above and below are some samples of the design work I did for the series.
Production on CLONE HIGH remained at the hospital for 3 months. In March we were moved to the MTV Santa Monica offices and shared the work space with The Osbournes and The Brandy Show. In May my father died, 3 months later production wrapped on CLONE HIGH. November 2, 2002 the show premiered on MTV, then all the controversy hit . On January 30, 2003, the 55th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, approximately 150 protesters (including members of parliament) gathered in New Delhi and vowed to fast in response to Gandhi's depiction in the animated series Clone High USA . The series was canceled.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Warner Bros. Crew '91



Back in Feb 1991 when Batman the Animated Series went into production, our crew worked out of the offices in the Sherman Ocks Galleria Garden building. Sometime around the middle of the year we were moved to the main offices in the Imperial Bank building. Here are some '91 Halloween pics I recently found. Some of the Batman crew members including the producer Bruce Timm dressed up as Glen Murakami -( Teen Titans/ Ben 10) . In the bottom right photo the red arrow points to Glen . BTW in the center group of photos, on the right , standing along side Bruce Timm is Ronnie Del Carmen. ( now a story supervisor at Pixar )

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's A SMALL World '65

Disney's "It's a Small World" originated with the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair. After the fair closed, the entire ride was transferred to Disneyland and officially opened in 1966. These snap shots are from '64-'65 New York World's Fair.







Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You ANIMAL

Here are some rough designs I did for the Cartoon Network series
'My Gym Partner's A Monkey'