Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Back to Cartoonland: Anijam

Some of you were saying, "wouldn't it be fun if we all did a joint cartoon project?"

I said nothing.

I remembered "Anijam" which is on youtube but probably won't be there for long. Most animators hate youtube. I've surrendered to it.

Marv invited a group of animators to participate. He didn't tell anyone in advance what the character would look like. You received the last sequence of drawings from the person who went before you, did your own cartoon with the character, and then sent your last sequence of drawings on to the next person as designated. You had to do fifteen seconds. Around this time various "jam" projects were attempted by different groups of independent animators. I never thought any of them was entertaining. There's a self portrait project I participated in too.

When I got my Anijam package I was dismayed. I just did not like that character Foska at all. He was so cross gender and goofy without any sense of personality. I guess a model sheet was included.

Anyway, I'd totally forgotten about it until a youtube buddy sent me a link.

Later Marv Newland tried a more ambitious joint project, where a group of animators were asked to storyboard a reinterpretation of the Faust story. I still get a kick out of the storyboard I did for that. Unfortunately that project never got further funding.

I could just keep posting about bear paradise for two weeks but other people's vacations can get wearying to hear about I think.


A Wanderer said...

Wow! I had no idea you know/have worked with Marv Newland. Neato! I've still got a VHS copy of "Bambi Meets Godzilla" and his Rocketship Ltd. company peppered my childhood with wackiness when Nickolodean used to stuff from it.
This is a really cool project, too. I love the way each style is so recognizable. I picked your part out instantly.

Namowal said...

I thought the name "Marv Newland" sounded familiar. A Wanderer solved the mystery, and beat me to an "I could tell when your section came on!" statement.
I agree that Foska isn't the most appealing character. Maybe he would have been more fun if he had a specific ambition- something he desperately wanted, so each animator could incorporate his quest into the story.
(Of course, maybe I have no business telling real animators how to make cartoons)
I agree collaborative work is a tricky business. Then again, if a bunch of you ever want to do a zoom quilt, I'm in.

Sally said...

The haircut, the glasses, the high heels, the shorts: don't know, just couldn't pick up on him. And like you say, nam, there was no direction for him to head in, and 15 seconds is a tiny slot. Plus animators' ego anxieties.

So neat that you remembered him, a wanderer. A couple of the sequences really work, like the scream take, and the surfboard biz near the end.

I like those zoom quilts, namowal, the ones I've seen. How would you set that up?

The storyboard I did for the faust project was one of the two most favorite never completed projects of mine. [grammar](and there's a load to pick from.)

A Wanderer said...

Oh, I look him up now and then, I actually was trying to find one of the animations done by his Rocketship studio (not done by him, though) called "Waddles" which was a fuzzy childhood memory from the aforementioned Nickolodeon airings, when I found your animations and ended up here.
I'd really like to see more of his stuff. I love "Sing Beast Sing" and "Tales from the Far Side."

As for Foska, I think I see the point there. The whole thing was kind of aimless, but that didn't ruin watching it for me (though I could see how that would make it less pleasant to animate). It was a nice little rush of sight and sound.

Namowal said...

I'm not sure how zoom quilts work, but I bet I could assemble one in flash or (if I got permission) with the compositing software at you-know-where. I'm crazy busy right now (filling in for a higher up who is out of town for a few weeks), but I'll find time to look into it.

Linda said...

Yep. You can tell immediately when the Cruikshank chapter begins. Thanks for those 15 seconds.

"The storyboard I did for the faust project was one of the two most favorite never completed projects of mine." ... was the other Quasi's Cabaret?