Sunday, November 18, 2007

News, news, news...

Been a while since I did a big news mash-up!

It's been a (surprisingly) busy sunday for animation news/commentary/stuff - I guess motion capture, the oscars, the WGA strike, and a few other things are fueling that fire though....

I've been rapid-fire posting to the "News on the Grapevine" section - and there are some articles there that I definitely think are worth the read. For those who use RSS, you can subscribe to that mini-feed here.

Michael Sporn has posted the list that will be narrowed down to the shortlist for the best animated short film category in the oscars this year. There's 33 to narrow down to 10, and it's a pretty broad list. Some hilights include Peter and the Wolf, The Pearce Sisters, Sleeping Betty, I Met The Walrus, and Madame Tutli-Putli (to only name a few). Click through to the image for an awesome animated gif (courtesy of the NFB).

The New York Times has an interview with Ken Ralston and Jason Chen, two of the tech gurus behind Beowulf.

Also, Steve Hulett of the TAG Blog has a great post about motion capture that I think you should read.

If you want to read two extremely well thought out reviews of Beowulf, go no further than Mark Mayerson's blog, where he has posted a review and further critique. While I believe that the technical and artistic crew behind the film is no doubt commendable, I agree with Mark's sentiments towards the story and the film.

The New York Times also has a interview with former-Disney head honcho Michael Eisner. Eisner goes on to talk about Bazooka Joe, the WGA Strike, and creating content for the internet. Also make sure to read Mr. Mayerson's thoughts on Bazooka Joe.

Apparently making content solely for the internet isn't a money-making business, says Eisner. Tell that to the folks at JibJab. Just because there isn't a clear precedent for a medium doesn't mean that it's not possible to make a profit in that medium (just look at what mo-cap is managing to do this weekend!)

Last but not least, I got the chance a few days ago to catch the first episode of The Dark Years by Steven Silver and John Halfpenny, and produced at Chuck Gammage Animation in Toronto.

The Dark Years is an animated documentary about depression-era Canada, as told through the reportage of the Toronto Daily Star.

It's animated using a pretty unique-looking Flash technique, interspersed with stock footage, photographs, and interviews. It's an interesting mash-up and a very informative account of the times.

What's also cool about it is to see some familiar names in the credits - I won't mention them by name - but I think all the Sheridan guys and gals who worked on it (as well the hard-working people of Chuck Gammage Animation) did a great job!

The miniseries will air on the History Channel on December 26, 27 & 28. Make sure to check it out as you're digesting the Christmas Turkey (and avoiding the Boxing Day madness)


Kohyunu 11:53 AM  

Great post. I enjoyed reading the Beowulf review. It's a shame that Robert Zemeckis didn't nail this film either. I loved his old works such as Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.. (Who doesn't love them? :P)

Perhaps CG gives him too much freedom, if that makes sense.

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