Category:animated musical


Now I like me some Japanese animation, and it's been a central element to the AYUAM [As Yet Unannounced Animated Musical} screenplay I've got kicking around. But when I first approached a couple of anime studios was shocked--but not, alas, surprised--at their kind of hidebound, orthodox view of the medium. There was not much interest, it seemed, in hybridization or redeployment of an anime aesthetic or even production process that didn't "fit" [I hate to use that word in this context] within the anime worldview.

Maybe as a gaijin, even one who spoke Japanese, it was already a fait accompli that I was a consumer at best.

So it's interesting to read about the experience of Gez Fry, a Japanese/British illustrator who, the legend goes, taught himself to draw in Japanese manga/anime style in "just" two years. Obviously, there's more to that miraculous achievement than comes out in the hagiographic interviews in Ping Mag and Pixelsurgeon.

But the essentials are all there: the guy's very talented, and he didn't come up within the rigid, apprentice-y Japanese animation/illustration industry. AND, relatedly, he's viewed as something of an outsider who tends to work with companies and clients from outside the anime world, too. []
How Japanese style Illustration works [pingmag via coudal]
Gez Fry interview []


The American Way, indeed. Ouch.

Superman is a dick. [via themorningnews]

Cartoon Modern is Amid Amidi's blog which accompanies his forthcoming book of the same name, Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation.

Good stuff. Here, for example, he talks about how inexperience and an inability to collaborate with other animators undercut art director Evyind Earle's contributions on Sleeping Beauty.

There's a lot more, and I expect the book will be gorgeous.

Cartoon Modern, via Amidi's all-animation blog, Cartoon Brew.

April 11, 2006

Sikhs On A Train


As soon as it started, I knew that "Chaiyya Chaiyya," a song from the 1998 breakout Indian film Dil Se directed by Mani Ratnam with music by A. R. Rahman, would make my list of Favorite Music Videos Shot On A Train.

Right now it's duking it out with Lars von Trier's and Bjork's train song from Dancer In The Dark from the top spot. It is, at the moment, a two-song list.

Chaiyya Chaiyya, from Dil Se [youtube via tmn]
Previously: 101 Cameras: Lars von Trier and Me

February 24, 2006

Putting The Later In Linklater

Richard Linklater has the hope that A Scanner Darkly will spur more animated films to get made for adults. It's under $10mm budget (it started out at $6.7 and got bumped up to $8.7 when the animation process lagged.)

Oh, did someone say production problems? Apparently the producers locked out Bob Sabiston, the MIT guy behind the whole rotoscoping system because the production flow was all mucked up and on the verge of turning out Waking Life 2, if anything. Also, Linklater was so freaked out by the animation process, he stayed as far away from it as possible. Grand champion of animation there.

Wired has the whole some of the conflicted story.

Trouble in Toontown [wired]

While it's kind of short on specifics besides "It's freaking hard!!" Suzy Conn's article on her experience writing the book and music and lyrics for "Plane Crazy" all by herself is pretty interesting.

The iterative, collaborative, open-door process of creating a piece of theatre is fascinating, particularly to see what variables are fluid and which are fixed. While stories abound of screenwriters and directors delivering new pages to the set in near-real time, and entire stories and characters transformed or eliminated in the editing room, filmmaking has this odd sense of fixedness very early on: what you film is what you get. And of course, much of the development process all takes place way out of the public view.

After previewing the show at the NY Musical Theater Festival last fall, Conn is putting on a much-revised, refined "Plane Crazy" in Toronto starting last week.

Checking in on Plane Crazy by Suzy Conn
[ via boingboing]

January 28, 2006

BBC Jesus Christ, Superstar

And you thought Mel Gibson's Passion was gonna hasten The Apocalypse:

The BBC plans to mark the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ this Easter with an hour-long live procession through the streets of Manchester featuring pop stars from The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays and featuring songs by The Smiths and New Order.

In the programme, called Manchester Passion, a character representing Jesus will sing the legendary Joy Division anthem Love Will Tear Us Apart before dueting his arch-betrayer Judas on the New Order hit Blue Monday, according to senior church sources involved in the production.

There is so much to quote in this article, you absolutely must read the whole thing.

This is not a drill, people. If you have lamps, I suggest you fill them with oil, cuz the bridegroom cometh, and it ain't gonna be pretty. But just in case the world doesn't end, I'm setting my TiVo right now.

BBC's Jesus sings Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now [mediaguardian via tmftml]

As with with combovers and [PK] Dick, so it iss with Richard Linklater interviews: longer is better.

Filmmaker Magazine's Scott Macaulay plays cabbie to Linklater's passenger for a discussion of the upcoming Philip K. Dick adaptation, A Scanner Darkly, which was exec produced at Warners by Bubble head Steven Soderbergh's Section 8 for an eyepopping $6 million:

When I read Scanner, I intuitively felt that it was probably his most personal work. It felt like he had lived this world, [the characters] felt like every roommate he had and half the roommates I had at a certain time in my life. It felt very familiar, the way you just sort of end up around people.
Me, I'm dying to see it, more than Waking Life, partly because the rotoscoping here seems more closely tied to the story itself, and because I unwittingly included a Dickian "scramble suit"-like gadget in the script for my animated musical. Great minds, um, come up with scramble suits...and other minds come up with them like 30 years later.

[update: haha, part of the reason the interview's so long is that it's run together with an interview with Caveh Zahedi. I had to re-read it to see why Linklater was such a fan of Zahedi's work that he turned over half his interview to discuss it.]

I've heard this recording many times before, but I've never seen the video. Let me tell you, this is right up there with Leonard Nimoy's "Bilbo Baggins for President" music video.

The great thing is, the artist, Shatner, still stands by his work, unfazed by the Priceline-era ironists. His album of spoken-word covers and collaborations, Has Been, produced by Ben Folds is deeply serious. It's the Shatnerian equivalent of Johnny Cash's Rick Rubin-produced Cash, with a little Sinatra Duets thrown in for good measure.

That said, I notice there are no Elton John-related tracks on the album; I hope this "Rocketman" performance isn't the reason why.

"Rocketman," by William Shatner, c. 1978
[youtube via gawker]

jerry_springer_opera.jpgJerry Springer: The Opera just came out on DVD in the UK. Apparently Woolworths and Sainsbury won't carry it. Well, Woolworth's dead in the US anyway, and Amazon UK has it for 13.99. It's Region 2.

But apparently, you can unlock the firmware of this $49 Philips PAL/NTSC DVD player quite easily by following the simple steps found on the internets.

Previously: Painless Prediction: A Wave of Raves For Jerry Springer: The Opera

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Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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about this archive

Category: animated musical

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CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
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Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
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Selected Court Documents
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