Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Stinky Cat shenanigans

Just got home from a couple of days spent in the seaside idyll that is Wallasey, near Liverpool, where a bunch of producers, writers and creatives got together at a castle to hold writers workshops for FRANKENSTEIN'S CAT. And tremendously successful I think the whole affair was. We had broadcaster presence in the form of Chris Rose and Nikki Chaplin from the BBC, writers included Ian Carney, Dave Ingham, Lee Pressman and Myles McLeod, producers included Sara Mullock and Jackie Edwards from Mackinnon & Saunders and Thierry Rivard from France's Kayenta, director/animator Ian Culbard and Script Editor Alan Gilbey, who was ringmaster of the whole affair.

We even did roleplaying, albeit without dice, dungeons, dragons or pointy eared elves. Lots of idea riffing and character play, all hugely beneficial to the actual show I'd hope.

26 comments:

Niel Bushnell said...

Sounds like a Richard Curtis film!

Jo Bling said...

It was rather like that, and I took the part of Marmalade Atkins!

jobeykowski said...

That sounds like a LOT of fun. It must be a bit surreal to take a step back whilst all that is going on and think "wow all these people are here for my idea"

The Brothers McLeod said...

Japes, lawks a lawdy, and wonderment! That's what it was - as well as quite knackering. I had a great time Mr Jobling - and look forward to the spin off commission 'Frankenstein's Cat Nights' which could feature your new character Mr Fiddle.
:)
Myles.

justinpatrickparpan said...

Can’t wait to see some animation Mr. Bling. So What’s it going to be, traditional, 3-d, or stop motion? Please do tell, unless its top secret or something.

dragonhead said...

Yey! Glad to hear that progress is happening. Were pictures taken?

I. N. J. Culbard said...

The show will be 2D animation (using flash technology and a bit of After Effects, and whatever else it takes to make it beautiful).

Jo Bling said...

Thanks INJun! Yep, what he said! :-D

Myles, good to see you my old plum. I thought Mr Fiddle could have his own spin off show that sees him now get a job in Seattle, simply called "Fiddle". Maybe he lives with his dad who has a little dog that Mr Fiddle just can't leave alone???

Justin- the original pitch we had was as a stop motion traditional puppet animated short film, believe it or not, especially as the production company are known for that very thing (Mackinnon & Saunders, Corpse Bride etc). We quickly realised the cat had more legs (well, four to be precise) and so it began to run as a series. Momentum has built from there :-)

And what else does it take to make it beautiful? Well, the involvement of INJun and Myles for starters.

paulhd said...

Exciting stuff, beautiful is good!
I hate the meetings I go to, yours sounds much more fun.

dragonhead said...

This is a question directed to Ian in regards to the show: How is the animation being done in flash? Is it moving/scaling/rotating 2d shapes, or are the actual vector points of the shapes being moved? I haven't tried animating things with flash yet so I am curious to know.

I. N. J. Culbard said...

with regard to using Flash...A bit of everything. No hard fast rules.

We're not limited by bandwidth or streaming when producing flash animation for television. The main goal is that it doesn't look like what people commonly perceive flash animation to look like (which is what Flash animation looked like in its early days.. first impressions last), rather, we aim to make it look like any other 'saturday morning' traditionally animated show. (I say we because though I made the trailer, I made the pilot for the series with an all French crew based in Paris... who were amazing people to work with). The animation is mostly made up of drawn in sequences (using wacom tablets)rather than moving symbols. Also, after effects is used for camera pans. So, sometimes, a character on a walk cycle will be animated walking on the spot in Flash, then a silhoutte is made of the animation (black on white or white on black) which acts as a matte, then those two elements are imported into After effects and placed against a background.

The way we make it using Flash is subject to the same development as everything else on the show and we're currently looking at different approaches to trace lines etc. So it's an evolving process.

All this talk of Flash reminds me, here's a toon I made with Ian Carney (one of the writers that attended the workshop and has helped develop the show)... this was also made in Flash (back in 2002):

Dagmar's Friend

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I hope this isn't going to affect my project 'FRANKENSTEIN'S CACK' which is about a turd made from other bits of turd that have been stitched together to make a rather cute character,maybe I best contact my solicitor.

dragonhead said...

Wow Ian, thanks for the long post of info. :) I'm glad that you are bringing back the quality that a lot of shows have lost in recent years.

Paul Hill said...

After Effects is also used to apply a kind of textured water colour effect. So it looks even less like flash.

By the way I'm from the other studio who will (hopefully) be working on the series. We're just waiting to start.

Jo Bling said...

Hi Paul

Good to hear from you sir. You're an A for Animation fella then I take it? Pleased to meet you via the magic of "t'internet"! Yeah, writers meet went well so am suspecting momentum will now impact on animation. Woo and indeed hoo!

Paul Hill said...

Yes, I am indeed from A for Animation (or A Productions as it's rather plainly know now days)

I'm looking forward to production starting.

By the way did you used to be a member of the Spaced-Out forum. I'm sure I remember you posting a picture of Frankenstein's Cat all those years ago. Unfortunately I left the forum after some behind the scenes unpleasantness and haven't been back since.

Jo Bling said...

Paul- I did indeed. At the time I was going to approach "The Pegg" with a view to providing the voice for Nine, way back before we found our ideal voice talent. Am sure he'd have brought an amusing vulnerability to the role :-)

So you used to post frequently on there? I was more infrequent to be fair, seemed pretty cliquey!

Paul Hil said...

Oh yes it was cliquey. Mainly because lots of people had been there for quite a long time and got to know each other very well. The moderatiors tried to keep it a happy place.

Then it all went wrong. The forum was shut down and then restarted some time later. I don't bother with it anymore.

Anyway this is getting off the subject rather.

*ahem*

Frankenstein's Cat! Yay!

Jo Bling said...

Nah, don't mind the subject. I used to LOVE Spaced, still do. What self-respecting fanboy film and animation geek doesn't? Shame we won't see any more of them.

mrs bling said...

but also a good thing, since it never "jumped the shark" and ergo no one will ever carp on about the glory days.

Now quit talking about SPACED, or that Glazey fella will be inspired to start burning his STAR WARS merchandise, a la Tim

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Greetings Mister Hill.

You're absolutely right, almost forgot about the filter treatment in AE.

Nice to 'virtually' meet you :)

I. N. J. Culbard said...

What's wrong with Star Wars merchandise? Why would anyone want to burn that? Why oh why oh why?

Jo Bling said...

Culbard! Stop Glazy baiting you bad monkey!!!

:-D

I. N. J. Culbard said...

What's Glazy? Is that like a cool new alien in the Star Wars franchise? Does it have really long ears and speak funny? Is it the comedy relief for the new Star Wars tv show?

I. N. J. Culbard said...

I worked with Simon Pegg once on a BBC broadcast internal video thing that I directed.

Nice guy, very deep voice (believe it or not, he could really drop it right down). Wouldn't have suited the cat.

That said though, it's very difficult to imagine anyone else playing Nine other than Joe Pasquale now that he's given his voice to it.

Top marks to Jackie, one of the producers of the show, who suggested him in the first place. Inspired.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Oh you had to go and mention the Wars,that's another £5000 of therapy down the drain !!!!!!