Hello. My name is Marcel.

posted by on 12.17.2011, under Art, Just ... just give up., Writing, You're Welcome.

Oh! The only thing more joyful than watching Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is having a copy of his new children’s book. The independent creator~couple Jenny Slate + Dean Fleischer-Camp are my heros.

Jenny is the perfectly cute voice + Dean is the genius filmmaker. Together they make Marcel. Look at him!

The picture book has a very sweet + vibrant style. Their unique idea for using photorealistic oil paintings totally brings Marcel to life. Amazing artwork by Amy Lind!

I finally downloaded the app + was of course, delighted to find these funny, sketchy animations. Then I just pressed play + listened to the best bedtime story ever!



One Minute Puberty

posted by on 03.11.2011, under Animation, Art, Film, Just ... just give up., Music

Bitteschoen.tv – a studio in Berlin, Germany, that likes to illustrate and animate the world.  And it also likes cats.

Written and Animated by Alexander Gellner

Track and Sound Design by Niklas A Kröger

Gellner’s film illustrates what it feels like for boys to go through puberty.  Mind is blown.  Someone should do a girl version, we go through some changes.

{via Motionographer}


I thought it was live action.


I should have known better when Patrick showed me this video and asked, “video or CGI?”  I was convinced it was live action until the fruit breaks when it crashes down onto the countertop, where I assumed the artist digitally added the special FX.

“Silestone Above Everything Else”

Everything is CGI, the backgrounds, light, everything.  The talent is Alex Roman.

*His real name is Jorge Seva, but he uses Roman as an artistic alias for indie work, like Tyler Durden.

Production time – 10 weeks with his evil genius sidekick Juan Ángel García Martinez.

Some critics say it’s more to do with computer power than any new skills, but I’ll have to respectfully disagree.  We know that oil paint is a medium that allows us to create photo realistic works of art on canvas but I would say that the ability to do that is more about artistic talent than the paint itself.  Interestingly enough, Roman was trained as a traditional painter in school and just picked up architectural visualization because he’s just THAT good.

And what is important to remember with this commercial spot is that it was done by a super team of two people, where most photo-real CGI is done by teams 10 times that size.

If you have a few minutes to spare, watch Roman’s film Third and Seventh, which he directed, animated and orchestrated the music himself last year.

{via newscientist.com}


The Gardener


After an 8 hour flight home from the UK last night, I had big plans for sleeping.  But then my friend James had an extra ticket for The Tallest Man on Earth at Webster Hall.  Oh, the sacrifice.

The Tallest Man on Earth, Webster Hall - Sept. 27 2010

It was a great show and by our second shot of Jameson, he played “The Gardener.”  This is always the highlight for me, the tippy top favorite of my many favorite songs of his.

I made the trip across the big blue ocean for the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival.  Joy, James and I worked on a music video, Golem, for The Maladies and it’s screening in the Animation Program this weekend.

We were also asked to make the Festival Signal Film again.  Keep reading to find out how we made it:

There were two rules to making the film.

One – it had to be based on the 2010 poster by Portia Munson, which was created using flowers from Munson’s Catskill garden.

2010 Woodstock Film Festival Poster by Portia Munson

Second rule – the film had to be done using pixilation.

I was still in England so Joy and James called me on video chat to discuss.  As James explained their concept, I could see Joy in the background, putting on too much makeup and wearing a funny costume.  They said they would handle the live action while I animated the flowers which I’d send to them to put to music.

We got started.  Joy and James dressed up as mime gardeners, a fairy and a rooster and took about 2,000 pictures of each other in their backyard.  I watched classic Sesame Street stop motion for inspiration and spent hours digitally cutting out 105 flowers and 1 insect from the poster.  I think I counted about 340 flowers in total but I could be wrong because I got dizzy.

You can imagine my excitement when they sent me a link to the finished movie.  Their part was so fun and well done for two animators who work almost exclusively in hand drawn and computer animation.  The live action seamlessly melts into my dancing flowers to The Tallest Man on Earth’s “The Gardener.”

We’ve been making the Woodstock Signal Films for three years now – here’s 2008 which Joy and I did together and here’s 2009, which we made with James and Arthur Metcalf.

There are going to be a few signal films in the festival this year for variety, two others were created by Aaron Hughes and Ivan Joy.  I can’t wait to see what they came up with!


Signal Films so good I want to just give up … or get much better


Hello again,

You know when you go to the movies and you can’t miss the coming attractions because sometimes they are better than the movie you paid to see?  In my humble opinion, these signal films must accomplish just that – or at least get you pumped for some great films.  Joy and I create Signal Films for some of our favorite festivals, and with two of them coming up this fall – here are some fantastic signal films I’ve been watching for inspiration.

SIFF 2010 Signal Film by Oh Hello

SIFF 2009 Festival Bumper, also by Oh Hello

PSISF 2010 Signal Film by MAKE

Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film 2010 Signal Film by Johannes Schiehsl

Any of the Gobelins Signal Films really, but one of my favorites of theirs is this one, from Annecy 2009

Rooftop Films 2008 Signal Film, Directed by Fran Krause

An oldie but a goodie, the Ottawa 2005 Signal Film, Directed by Will Krause

(Segments directors: Linda Beck, Mike Overbeck, Chris Siemasko, Fran Krause, Sean McBride, Erin Kilkenny, Max Porter, Andy Kennedy and Aaron Zisman)