This week, Fran and I were interviewed for the Frenzer Foreman Animation forum. I just listened to the episode, and I was surprised to learn that Fran and I sound totally different. Nobody ever told me that we don’t have twin voices! Also, I goofed on the identity of Baby Bear’s puppeteer. Sorry, Baby Bear.
A music video that Fran and I made for Miles Kurosky is up on the internet this week. Hooray! I can finally show you all some pictures and video!
Amid Amidi did a ‘lil writeup on Cartoon Brew over here: Cartoon Brew
Fran is a big Beulah fan, so when we made The Upstate Four he contacted Miles Kurosky to see if he would be interested in making some music for our cartoon. Even though we couldn’t pay them too much, Miles and his friend Nik Freitas wrote and recorded 25 songs for our cartoon. Really really good songs! If my computer’s music player is on shuffle and one of them pops up it is never skipped and often repeated.
We offered to make him a music video so that our exchange of goods and services would be more fair, and Fran proposed that our music video should require that all of the check boxes on an animation festival application form for “Media type” be checked. (We missed sand-on-glass and paint-on-glass, but there’s still quite a bit of stuff in the soup.)
Fran and I started out thinking that our video would be a weekend project like Robot Dance Party, but it was so much fun to try new things that it expanded into our free time over several months.
We made puppets, set construction paper houses on fire (which lit up quite nicely!) and had lots of fun along the way. Our video has played the ASIFA-East Festival, The Ottawa International Animation Festival, and it will be at Stuttgart this May.
Here’s the finished project for which I made all of those cardboard props! Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata helped take the pixellated photos of the props and costumes, and even helped out by wearing them. When I brought everything into After Effects, I had to scale Max and Ru horizontally to make them chubby enough for animation!
The rain was made by gluing construction paper raindrops to some string, and cycling through three different strands of drops (purple, light blue, and dark blue.
And here’s what those things look like when they’re moving:
I’m making an interstitial for the Sundance Channel. All of the spots are themed to days of the week, and I was chosen for “Monday.” I’ll be using these props and costume pieces to make a short segment where a grandfather clock character steals peoples’ timepieces. I made most of the items out of scraps of cardboard, matboard, and wire.
Here’s some concept backgrounds for a Clambake Animation Studio pilot called “Southies.”
I had some fun with the newspaper headlines on this one.
I did some character design for a change – the cave painting versions of the Superjail staff.
Chinatown was so much fun to draw!!
The jungle plants and giant bugs were plenty of fun to draw.
Refrencing Peter Max and Miyazaki in one episode? Hooray!
Spaceships! Also, the buildings in the far background that look a little like hamster habitats are fun to make up.
My favorite part about drawing backgrounds for this episode was hiding a drawing of my car with a portly bikini girl on the hood in the middle of the drug trip scene!
The carvings on the temple walls of the Combaticus episode are some of the most fun drawings from my time working on Superjail.
I drew backgrounds for the pilot and first season of Superjail. I especially liked hiding junk on the walls of the bar for “Superbar.”
The Upstate Four is a pilot that I created for Cartoon Network with my brother Fran Krause. We were involved in all aspects of the project from writing, design and storyboarding to color, animation, and sound.
We made the cartoon in New York, and managed to finish the project without outsourcing any of the animation. Hooray!
Here’s a link to a Cartoon Brew article about the process of making this cartoon:
Christy Karacas organized a few albums worth of animation to go with Black Sabbath’s first three releases. For mine, I rotoscoped an old Muppet commercial for LaChoy noodles with a new set of characters.
My favorite part of working on the pilot for Superjail was when Christy took my suggestion that the dead monkey should have broken glass stuck in it after bouncing off a table-full of broken glass.
In 2006, I put a pitch together about some kids who wandered off into the woods and went feral.
After persistently asking the festival director for several years, he finally agreed to let me make a signal film for the Ottawa International Animation Festival. I wrote, directed, and designed the piece, as well as making the soundtrack. I was helped out by a whole bunch of friendly volunteer animators: Fran Krause, Max Porter, Sean McBride, Mike Overbeck, Aaron Zisman, Linda Beck, Erin Kilkenny, Julia Sarcone-Roach, Chris Siemasko and Andy Kennedy.
I did 3D animation for this stereo commercial (using Cinema 4D) which was directed by my ‘ol friend Mike Overbeck.
Utica Cartoon was my first professional animation project, and possibly my last chance to produce a traditionally-animated cartoon for television. Fran and I left New York City (where we were living in a basement) to go to Providence for the production of Utica Cartoon. Not only was rent cheaper, but we also scored Mike Overbeck and Jesse Schmal at a fire sale price because they were fresh out of school. Hooray!
We set up shop in a little cottage from 1754 that we rented from a local preservation group. It was terrifyingly haunted and had a possum in the basement, but there was also space to set up a stress-relieving drumset so it all balanced out.
As I called to find places to get our cells xeroxed I learned that most businesses that supplied materials and services for traditional cell animation were out-of business or packing up their cell machinery as I talked to them on the phone. That whole Furniture Design degree finally came in handy as I had to build our own light tables, camera stands, and cell pain drying racks. We rented a xerox machine and did all of our own xeroxing and re-registering, and I must have mixed about a gallon of slightly different bear and monkey colored paints.
The pitch went from bible to pilot at a remarkably fast clip, so we had to get rolling quickly! I’d never animated before, so a crash course was started. It all turned out well in the end… well, except for it becoming a series. Our friend Tom Warburton was the lucky one this time around, though we did get to travel to a festival in Turku, Finland with Utica Cartoon. I met some wonderful people and ate lots of liquorice!
The story was inspired by a friend whose plan to beat the local hot dog store’s record was “a blender and a can of sprite.”