Why is Nina Paley depressed? Her debut feature film, Sita Sings the Blues
— which she animated herself in Adobe Flash
— screened to general acclaim
at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It won the best feature-film award at this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival
and best American feature at the Avignon Film Festival
. Oh, wait, here’s the problem — she can’t find a distributor willing to take a chance on her unconventional, very personal film. (This is a bad year to be shopping an indie.
) Because she doesn’t have “synch rights” to the compositions underlying the Annette Hanshaw
songs that inspired the story — and now constitute its backbone — she can’t give the film away
. Having invested so much in striking prints of the film for festivals and making screener DVDs for press, she’s too broke to pay the $220,000 it would take to clear the 11 songs for distribution
. (Don’t miss the spreadsheet
showing exactly how much the various players expect her to pay to clear each 80-year-old song.) And now she notes, with tongue maybe half in cheek, she may be on the hook for felony copyright infringement
. Also, she’s newly homeless
. What’s an indie animator to do? Previously discussed here
posted by Joey Bagels
on Sep 29, 2008 -
The Eco Zoo
- some amazing Japanese 3D Flash. If you take a close look at the animals there... you might be able to get some tips to live in a more environmentally friendly way!
posted by Artw
on Sep 13, 2008 -
Peeing robots, rockin' office workers, engaging panoramas, and even a few sexy girls.
posted by artifarce
on Sep 6, 2008 -
"Double-Taker (Snout)" by Golan Levin with Lawrence Hayhurst, Steven Benders and Fannie White "...deals in a whimsical manner with the themes of trans-species eye contact, gestural choreography, subjecthood, and autonomous surveillance. The project consists of an eight-foot (2.5m) long industrial robot arm, costumed to resemble an enormous inchworm or elephant's trunk, which responds in unexpected ways to the presence and movements of people in its vicinity...." Googly Eyebot
) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth
on Aug 13, 2008 -
In 1969, Italian animator Osvaldo Cavandoli
and voice performer Carlo Bonomi
created "Agostino Lagostina
", an animated pitchman for the Lagostina line of cookware. This "sharp little man with
a truly expressive nose
" evolved into "La Linea", one of the most viewed animated characters in the world. In the jazzy
series of 225 cartoons that bore his name, La Linea took on a role similar to that of Daffy Duck in Chuck Jones's famous "Duck Amuck"
meta-animation, aware of his status as an animated character and asking Cavandoli to draw things into the frame for him. Those who grew up in the 1980s will remember these shorts from their frequent appearances on The Great Space Coaster
...though La Linea's offshoots, "Eroslinea"
and "Sexilinea" [those last two NSFW; boobies]
did not see broadcast in that venue. [more inside]
posted by pxe2000
on Aug 8, 2008 -
In 1975, Roger Glover
of Deep Purple
staged a rock opera
based on William Roscoe
's poem "The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast"
. (The book had been reprinted the previous year, with illustrations by popular record sleeve artist Alan Aldridge
The performance -- which featured such talent as Judi Dench, Vincent Price, Twiggy, and Ronnie James Dio (!) -- and subsequent recording met with enough interest that British animation company Halas
had planned a feature-length animated adaptation. While the full animated movie never materialized, a Max Fleischer
-influenced three-minute short accompanying the opening song, "Love is All"
, was broadcast frequently around the world. (Stateside viewers might remember it from such disparate programs as"The Great Space Coaster"
and, uh, "Night Flight"
.) [Previously on MeFi: Alan Aldridge.
posted by pxe2000
on Aug 1, 2008 -
In January of 2004, Disney shut down
their Florida animation studio, part of their decision to move away from 2D
, or cell-shaded, animation for good
. Two years later, as part of the new deal with Pixar, John Lasseter and Ed Catmull were brought in as heads of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and promptly declared that 2-D Animation would thrive again on their watch. For their first new project, the team wanted to show support for the still-struggling New Orleans, and simultaneously introduce Disney's first Black Princess
in "The Frog Princess"
(Or The Princess and the Frog
, as it is now known), a fairy tale set in 1920's Jazz-era Louisiana, with Randy Newman providing a period-specific score
. Much response
to the project has been quite positive
, but as with all things, the devil is in the details
posted by Navelgazer
on Jul 22, 2008 -
- is just a sweet little Russian cartoon (with subtitles) (and foxes). I seem to get a little speck of something in my eyes when I watch it for some reason.
posted by Wolfdog
on Jul 14, 2008 -
Filter) It's rare that jazz videos venture beyond filming live performances. This makes the exceptions all the more notable.
Animation seems the medium of choice: from George Griffin's 1988 paper collage for Charlie Parker's "Ko Ko
" to Len Lye's swinging The Lambeth Walk
(1939), or (stretching musical definitions just a bit) his 1958 masterpiece "Free Radicals
". More recent jazz seems to fit just as well: witness Lung's psychotic piece for Ladyscraper's "Thou Art Fucking Dead
". [more inside]
posted by progosk
on Jul 14, 2008 -
Back in the 80s DiC produced a cartoon, aired in syndication and on ABC Saturday Mornings, called "The Real Ghostbusters
." Based on the popular action-comedy movie, it more-or-less continued the adventures of Ray, Egon, Winston and
Peter through seven seasons of supernatural shenanigans. It could have been a mere cash-in, but there was something more to it. It aspired to realism, at least as much as possible. It was story-edited by J. Michael Straczynski
, the creator of Babylon 5. (He also worked on He-Man
and Murder She Wrote
This may explain the second season episode, written by Michael Reaves
and rife with Lovecraft references, in which the Ghostbusters face down the Cthulhu cult. Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
posted by JHarris
on Jun 25, 2008 -
Record player + video camera = Phonographantasmascope
, animator Jim LeFevre's extension of the zoetrope. "It is all live action and works by using the shutter speed of the camera rather than the rather irritating stroboscope methods other 3D Zoetropes use."
posted by nthdegx
on Jun 23, 2008 -
! A new online comic book is now available
*, and three feature-length films are in development. Remarkably, the comic was developed as a combined effort
between producers and fans; fans voted on five different stories and even contributed art. ReBoot
was one of the first TV shows to feature 100% digital animation and has a warm place in the hearts of many children of the 90s.
* sign-up required and their web-viewer is a pain, be warned.
posted by PercussivePaul
on May 30, 2008 -