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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » A chat with John K. (Page 2)

 
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Author Topic: A chat with John K.
Mindfulwhim
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I read those articles and that's pure John K right there. The one thing that strikes me about those articles is that John comes across as knowing everything and nobody, absolutely nobody, can tell him othewise. He has studied it all and [he feels] has some amazing insight into the truth and into reality insofar as animation is concerned. Supremely arrogant, his unique insight into the "truth" (the one and only truth) is the mark of an uneducated and unwise person.

note:
Educated and wise people know that they dont know everything. In fact, I content that the more I know, the more I realize that I don't know about the world.

Sure John has studied cartoons, indepth, but he doesn't take it in the context of other peoples realities. What I mean to say is that he thinks he has some sort of absolute handle on the truth (which nobody else sees), and which perhaps causes him to feel alienated from others. This attitude is like "adolescence run wild", like a teenager who doesn't know that other people's opinions and attitudes and feelings matter...because to him, they don't.

John surrounds himself in the studio with very young people. Is this because young people are easily influenced? Is this because young people do not have the confidence to stand up and say, "You are overbearing and way too full of yourself?"

In my opinion, The "Jelly Fishers" club in Spongebob is Aaron Springers reaction to working at Spumco. John is "Kevin: the Jelly Fischers club president and idol, and spongebob is "the everyman artist" who has worked in John's studio. At first in awe of Kevin, spongebob wants to be loved and accepted by his idol, but later, Kevin is exposed as the coward that he is and Spongebob doesn't want to be in the club anymore. The last line, said by Patrick is, "Let that be a lesson to you Spongebob, hero worship is unhealthy".

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Mindfulwhim
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and..if you really want to know hat John thinks of animation producers, and the animation business, watch "Boo Boo Runs Wild", and "A day in the Life of Ranger Smith"...cloesly. Imagine Ranger Smith as a hollywood producer. (John of course, is Yogi Bear..symbolized as reality or the truth).

Those films will give you insight into how John feels about Hollywood Producers, Homosexuality, and the "arbitrary rules" that the film industry has placed upon him.

In those films, Yogi has been forsaken by Boo Boo for love (disloyalty by previous friends for Fame -which is symbolized by Boo Boo's love interest Cindy Bear). Yogi being manipulated by Ranger Smith (The Hollywood film industry). Notice how Range Smith changes "faces"(a two-faced Hollywood producer in John's mind). Ranger Smith even controls when the sun comes up.

Look closely at these films and you will gain insight into John's attitudes at the time (post Ren and Stimpy era) about Hollywood.

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Ganklin
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i don't even have a problem with him making making statments with his work or blasting hollywood with it. i do have a problem with his overbearing and narrowminded view of what animation should be. personally, i have gotten more insight into the process by the william's book than i ever did out of any other book on the subject, period.

mindfulwhim, are you working in the industry anymore, or has this experience chased you straight out of town?

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http://fsummers.blogspot.com/
www.shamoozal.com

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j-dog
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dang!!! mindfulwhim poor thang
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Mindfulwhim
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Thanks for asking. I do a little freelance now and again, but very little. I mostly make my own films.

I have decided to inspire students to become filmmakers instead. Teaching is very challenging, loads of fun, I can live anywhere I want to (not stuck in LA or in ANY city). Teaching at the college level, although not lucrative, has it's merits.

(if my supervisor in academia yells at me for no reason, I have some recourse. I can sue him/her into the stone age!)

ha.

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Mindfulwhim
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I know it sounds as if I have some sort of axe to grind with Spumco, and John in particular, but that's not the case. I didn't leave the animation industry just because of my experience there, but that's the straw that broke the proverbial camels back, so to speak.

I have a liberal arts undergraduate degree, which includes women's studies, ethnic studies, the physical sciences and the social sciences. I was socialized by my undergraduate education to see the world in a particular way (Humanist, but different than Capt. Wow's definition of humanism I think*).

I see animation as a wonderful way to make the world a better place. The medium is an unexploited manner to communicate the human condition. It seems like an excellent way to teach children and adults about the virtues in the human spirt rather than about the issues that our society is working on and can only express in indirect ways: violence and a plethora of other negative behaviors.

In short, I teach because I like the idea of helping the world to be a better place (whatever that means) one student at a time.

That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy laughing at Homer Simpson's profound stupidity, or that I don't enjoy Spongebob's naive optimism. It just means that for my life, I have chosen a path that sees animation (and filmmaking) for how it can warm the human spirit. It's not a path that I ask my students to take, for I just want them to be true to themselves and to pursue their dreams.

I just get worn down by so much negativity in our world y'know?

Someone earlier wrote in a post that animation isn't a "touchy feely" thing, when I was writing about teaching animation. Well, for them that may be true, but for me, philosophically, I would rather have my life be known someday for how I tried to contribute to it in a positive manner.

Someone more famous than me once said, "We have, at the outset, the ability to live an infinite number of types of lives, but in the end, we live only one".

Teaching is my calling, and my destiny. Although it sounds mushy and "touchy feely" and sensitive to say so, I have to be true to myself, taking into account my shining virtues and near fatal flaws.

See what an advanced degree will do for you?

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Ganklin
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i'm glad you have a silver lining on that cloud...i think that's how the saying goes [Smile]

teaching is a worthy profession, and more importantly you have some professional industry experience to draw from (which sadly many teachers i come across today are missing). i understand and share your perspective on the medium. i wish you good luck in your endevors, and as they say, keep on keep'n on!

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http://fsummers.blogspot.com/
www.shamoozal.com

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Vincent
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Monkey dad when you actually watch the episodes, I'll be happy to discuss them.

Scared of bees, I was there, we weren't fired over a fart joke or an artistic whim, or tantrum. I don't wish run down the whole thing again. It has been eleven years for christ sake.


Mindful, for someone who claims not to have an axe to grind, you certainly are doing a lot of grinding.
Your interpretations of Jellyfishing, Ranger Smith, and Boo Boo Runs wild, are equal to reading tea leaves. They say more about your frame of mind than they do about ours.
Just a for instance, your statement that the the ranger changing model as he passes behind trees represents executives being two faced, is ridiculous. We were making fun of the fact that Ranger Smiths model changed from cartoon to cartoon yet his voice remained the same.
Believe it or not when most of us make cartoons, we're just trying to be funny.

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monkeydad
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So, Vincent, I have to watch the entire APC catalog before I can have an opinion about those episodes that I've already seen? You can't see how ridiculous that concept is?

I have to invest more of my limited time before you'll have a conversation about what I've already seen? Thanks, but I'll pass.

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Vincent
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Only if you want to discuss them with me.
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scaredofbees
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quote:
Scared of bees, I was there, we weren't fired over a fart joke or an artistic whim, or tantrum. I don't wish run down the whole thing again. It has been eleven years for christ sake.

Vincent, I meant no disrespect, and I'm sure you don't wish to dredge up the past...especially something such as this that's been debated to death. I was merely voicing my disapproval for John K.'s managerial skills based on what I've heard from others and have read...in a nutshell putting some other need before the preservation of his staff. Whether it was a fart joke, or not adhering to time and budgetary constraints, I don't know. I've just gotten the impression it was something that didn't need to happen. I wasn't there, and am no authority, so if I'm completely in the wrong, I apologize. If someone would like to point me in the right direction so that I could be more educated, I'll click on any link tossed my way.

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bigshot
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Scaredofbees, I would suggest posting your questions to Shane Glines' CartoonRetro forum. You'll find quite a few people there who have worked closely with John and know him well.

Shane Glines' Cartoon Retro Forum

See ya
Steve

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scaredofbees
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Thanks Steve. I have read some stuff over at Shane's 1st board (drawing board?) from a couple of the guys who worked on R&S...that's where I'm drawing my conclusions from. I'll look into the CartoonRetro board, though. I'm just afraid of "stirring the turd" with some of those guys...

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Nipplenuts McGurk
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Hey Monkeydad, I hated Onward and Upward , but I gotta say Naked Beach Frenzy is awesome, and Firedogs 2 and Altruists are really funny. I think if Spike premiered APC w/ Beach Frenzy, the show would still be in production.
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Powerhouse
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By-the-way Mindfulwhim, if your supervisor in academia yells at you next Monday for confusing an undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts with an advanced degree, would you sue him/her?
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Mindfulwhim
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ha. First, he's a media law and ethics attorney with a Juris Doctorate. My attempt to sue him might be an uphill battle without the proper documentation. Second, the advanced degree I was referring to was my MFA from UCLA Film School and my coursework towards a doctorate in education in curriculum design.

(just so there's no misunderstanding)

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Mindfulwhim
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I also want to add that I do not condsider people with advanced degrees to be smarter than those without the credentials. In fact, often the truth is far from that.

What education provides is a varied, diverse, and complex set of filters through which new information may be understood and evaluated.

But, like anyone else, I also get to voice my opinions and experiences, which are as real to me, as yours are to you.

Take what you want, leave the rest.

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musashi
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anybody know the pop-culture definition of a hater?
hmmn, John k, lets look at his positive contributions to animation and way them against his negative contributions......gee i think the scale says all y'all haters should ante up, and show me your contributions to the art form.

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Vincent
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Way to pursue a high brow discussion of man's animation.
Mindful, you've said you don't have an axe to grind. That is obviously not the case.
A statement is only libelous, if what you're saying is false and meant to cause harm, so put up or shut-up.
Though it is clear, that you do mean to cause harm.

[ April 29, 2005, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: the Moderator ]

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New Wil Order
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I worked for John at Spümcø in L.A. for over 5 years and have known him through e-mail correspondence for over 10. In all that time, I've found him to be pretty much everything everyone here has said about him. He can be infuriating, hilarious, negative, pig-headed, brilliant, stubborn, helpful, a great teacher, a lousy teacher, a genius, etc. All of it's been true in my experience.

There have been plenty of times when I wanted to strangle him - and just as many when I thanked my lucky stars to have had the good fortune to know him and to learn from him.

No matter how talented someone is, they NEVER hit the ball out of the park EVERY time. I worked on APC as an inker and as a layout artist. In my opinion, the first 2 episodes were sub-par ("Onward and Upward" and the 2 part "Firedogs II"). From "Ren Seeks Help" to "Altruists" to "Stimpy's Pregnant" to "Naked Beach Frenzy," the the episodes improved exponentially. Although I also think ALL the episodes could have done with a healthy dose of EDITING...

I have no doubt that John's still capable of doing the kind of work that blows you away, as with the ORIGINAL (real...) "Ren and Stimpy" and "The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse," provided the conditions are right; a clear head and the right crew are all that's needed.

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Powerhouse
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Thank you for the clarification Mindfulwhim. You appear mindful (ha.) of the legal implications of a defamatory statement; however, your department head might want to caution you to avoid the use of conclusory language.
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Mindfulwhim
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It takes more than good art to earn my respect.

Okay, you win. I am done.

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bigshot
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I have been asked not to post here on the subject of Spumco, but I would like to bring the unfounded accusations...

Thanks
Steve

[ April 29, 2005, 03:34 PM: Message edited by: the Moderator ]

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Powerhouse
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Agreed, the recent postings may encourage statements of defamation and the moderators need to consider their removal.
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the Moderator
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Just as a friendly reminder, anytime people wish to bring a post to our attention you can click on the whistle-blowing icon at the bottom of each person's post. Doing so allows you to immediately send an email out that let's us know a problem post needs to be looked at, and usually one of us is available to check on it quickly. If that report-post action isn't used then it's sort of luck-of-the-draw whether one of us happens to read what's going on in time to take effective action.

Thanks for your concern.

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To add to Brian's comments.

It's unfortunate, but everytime this topic comes up, the discussion always gets contentious and ugly. In the future we will direct the subject to other forums more suitable for Spumco. Hopefully this will help solve the problem. AN will no longer host discussions involving this subject or anything else associated with it.

[ May 05, 2005, 07:12 AM: Message edited by: Charles ]

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-the Moderator
-Brian Reynolds

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