Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Psychotic Animation

Ok. So, we've proven to be pretty bad at this blogging thing. Haven't put up a post in months. Probably not the way you are supposed to do it. We probably should blog more if we want more people to read these. Anyway, hope to rectify this and blog a little more often. Boy, I hate writing the word blog and the more I write it the more the word blog seems pretty silly.

I just wanted to write today about one of the jobs we did a few months ago that has now been seen at the Tribeca Film Festival. A few months ago I got a call from Dan O'Conner with whom I worked with on Courage the Cowardly Dog. (Yes, I worked for two seasons doing storyboards and animation on Courage. ) Dan was working on a project that he wasn't able to complete and asked if we would take it over. It was not a lot of money but he had already boarded out the project and it was for a feature so we agreed to take it. The project turned out to be an opening for a horror/comedy film written and directed by Dan Fogler. In case you don't know who Dan Fogler is, you will. But to fill you in, Mr Fogler originated the role of Mr. Barfee in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for which he also won the Tony Award. He starred in the movies Balls of Fury and Fanboys and will be playing a young Alfred Hitchcock in the upcoming film Number 13.

The film Mr. Fogler was making was called Hysterical Psycho which is a low budget, horror film that pays homage to many other well known horror films and shot with the influence of many different directorial styles which could very well gain midnight movie cult status. I haven't actually seen the finished film so I couldn't give a review but it recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and reviews abound on the web. Here's one.

We supplied the opening of the film which is an animated segment depicting the narrator of the film, The Man in the Moon, voiced by Dan Fogler as an Alfred Hitchcock merged with John Houseman character. The animated introduction basically sets up what is said to be a series of films called the "Moon Lake Series". It relates the origins of the existence of Lunar radiation at the Moon Lake Crater resort where the action in the film takes place. We wanted the animation to have an old Warner Brother's feel to it but still be contemporary. The Man in the Moon character was animated in flash but in a traditional manner while the Earth and Moon segments were animated in After Effects. We are very pleased with the way it came out and soon we will probably post the whole piece (if we can get permission).

We also did a segment in the middle which was a 30 second Moon Cheese commercial that breaks up the action of the film. This was more of a Bray/Fleischer style of animation. This 30 second segment was animated and put together beautifully by the great Doug Compton who also did the music for the piece. Doug did a tremendous job and was a great sport to add the music. We had a good time working on this intro and hope to share it with everyone soon.

Thanks to everyone who worked on the Hysterical Psycho Moon Segments:
Background Design - Gideon Kendall
Background Layout - Robert Marianetti
Background Color and Painting - Kevin Lacroix
After Effects Animation and Composite - Dale Clowdis
CG Assiting - Mike Wetterhahn
Moon Man Intro Animation - David Wachtenheim
Moon Cheese Commercial Animation - Doug Compton