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 )