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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » Living the dream... (Page 2)

 
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Author Topic: Living the dream...
Luna
IE # 162
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Amazing! Just as an aside Steve, It's my impression or faint memory that Fred Wolf animated ( traditionally ) "The Point" ( Harry Nilsson music, Ringo Starr voice, etc. ) back in the late 60's all by himself. That's the rumor anyway. My memory is that it was feature length as well ( maybe TV special length...but not a short ). I'm pretty sure he had support such as inbetweening, cel painting and BG painting however....anyone else hear of this earlier similar feat...any of you other old timers?
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Steve G
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I've never heard that about The Point...and I can't find anything to indicate that was true, but I'm sure someone will know something...

Anyway, Phil Nibbelink will be sketching free drawings for kids in the lobby of Mann's Plant 16, Van Nuys, on Saturday the 14th from 12:00 noon to 6:00 and Mann's Janss Marketplace 9, Thousand Oaks, Sunday from 12:00 noon to 6:00.

Janss is right near us so maybe I'll show and give him some support....

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-FP-
IE # 13
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Late to the thread, but wow. The appeal of this cartoon is irrelevant. The accomplishment is huge. Getting a feature-length, competent-looking anything done with no crew is a crushing job. I love the absence of gratuitous tone mattes. It's pleasantly old-school and easy on the eyes.
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eboles
IE # 266
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quote:
Yep, this is actually the 3rd time he's made a film completely by himself in his studio basement. The first two were Puss in Boots and Lief Ericson: The Boy Who Discovered America.
I was under the impression that Phil had put significantly more time and effort into this production to make it look better for the big screen. Is that the case? Going by the dates he can't have spent anywhere near the 5 years on the earlier 2 films.
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eboles
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Just to help get the ball rolling I posted the other trailer on youtube. Leave a few comments if you like.

I think I like this trailer better because it shows more of the secondary characters. It wouldn't be the first animated film where the supporting characters/comedy outshine the leads. Seems like more of a fun movie, great designs and animation too.

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Gagne Michel
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I just found this bit on the web where Phil explains his process. Thought you guys might be interested.

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Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With A Kiss
A Paperless, Peopleless Studio

After animating at Disney Studios for 10 years and directing animated features for Steven Spielberg for 9, I wanted to break out on my own. I decided to make my own Disney style, 2D, fully animated 35mm feature film…all by myself.

An animated feature takes hundreds of people and costs millions of dollars. I just had me. So I figured if I could make a drawing every 2 minutes, I could make a feature in four and half years. I chose to do Romeo & Juliet as an underwater adventure because aqua dynamics has sculpted marine life into very smooth shapes. And the lack of line mileage on fish and seals enabled me to draw the characters very quickly.

I experimented with animating on paper. But you have to trace and paint cells or scan the paper and paint it digitally. Either way I’d never finish my movie. So I started looking at software. I tried them all. I’d always had a lot of success with Deluxe-Paint on the Amiga. But I was shooting for 2K files. And 2K 24bit bitmaps are big and don’t playback real time on small computers. I had to go vector. And Flash 4 was just the thing.

I did a small test animation with Flash and output 2048 x 1234 bmp’s to my used 35mm film recorder. When I projected it on the big screen I was amazed. No jaggies! No rastering! No banding! Just smooth sub-pixel anti-aliased lines and pure color shapes. What a relief! I was off and running.

The characters were drawn with a Wacom tablet directly into Flash and I did the backgrounds in Painter. Everything was composited in Flash including the camera mechanics. I loved the fact that I could create a digital multiplane, where each character, overlay or background could move independently. And I could get elaborate 3 dimensional effects with 2D artwork. The ocean waves were produced with shape tweening and masks.

I output small avi files to cut with sound into Vegas Audio. And that sound was then burned to a CD and used to create the optical track.

Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With A Kiss is finished and coming to a theater near you! I’m happy with the way it turned out and I couldn’t have done it without Flash.

P.N.

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Steve G
IE # 12
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Here's something Phil told me that is kind of disturbing...

The MPAA saw the picture and gave it a PG for using the expression "Blubber Butt!" five times. They deemed this "crude humor". He pointed out that a whole song in Lion King was devoted to Pumba's problem with gas...and that got a G. But in the end he had to do a "Blubber Buttectomy" and redo my entire optical track.


Is this what merrits a PG? Maybe they were trying to do him afavor by giving him the PG? That is the more desired rating afterall. But since he wanted to appeal to young children he was actually going for the cursed G, but the language was to crude?

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EustaceScrubb
IE # 37
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Thanks, Michel, for posting that additional info. on Phil's production process.

Phil said:

quote:
The characters were drawn with a Wacom tablet directly into Flash and I did the backgrounds in Painter. Everything was composited in Flash including the camera mechanics.
The clips I've seen of Romeo & Juliet look like traditional 2-D animation, with full inbetweens and real lip-sync (not the standard set of 8 - 10 stock mouth "symbols") . I've never had much success with doing tight clean-up/inbetweens using a Wacom tablet (other than Cintiq). I'm fascinated that he was able to maintain that level of control when drawing directly into Flash with a tablet. The drawing tools in Flash are not very usable to me. I have better success with the drawing tools in Mirage , but the advantage of having the smaller file sizes in vector images is certainly a mark in favor of Flash.
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Greg B
IE # 118
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Although this is a major achievement bar none, Nibbelink is still a long time pro in the film industry. He shouldn't have had any probs funding or even getting labor if he wanted them.

The average Joe or Jane doing what he did would be something beyond sensational.

Why he did it on his own is a mystery to me when his experience, expertise, associates could have easily supplied him with financing and assistance.

Any reason why he chose to do it all on his own?

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http://www.boonestoons.com
http://www.spacefool.com

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Noogy
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It shocks me that the first Indiana Jones was rated PG (before PG-13 was established), and here the MPAA was slapping 'Sealed' with the same rating. I guess the word butt is as bad as a melting Nazi face.

Greg, I imagine Phil decided to do it himself since he believed he could, and of course saved a fortune not having to hire anyone else. Maybe it's because of all his previous experience that he decided to do it solo. A single vision, no messing around. Crazy as the idea was, he pulled it off.

I wish I had his knack for scheduling. I've been going fulltime five years myself, and only have about a third the footage. Phil has the management and experience of a true pro.

Oh, and SteveG, I never thanked you for getting me in touch with Phil, I really appreciate it!

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-Dean Dodrill

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EustaceScrubb
IE # 37
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There's an interview with Phil up on Cold Hard Flash now . Check it out .

http://www.coldhardflash.com/2006/10/one-man-one-movie-112000-drawings.html

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Noogy
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Hope I'm not breaking any rules posting this, but here's something Phil wrote in the forums provided with the link above.

quote:
I animated straight ahead. I ruffed in light blue with the brush tool set for thick and thin, then I cleaned up with the pencil tool set for 3.1. (After many film tests I decided a width of 3.1 was optimum.) Then I would move on to the next extreme. I used the onion skin set for just the previous extreme and then I'd play it constantly to see it animate.

I didn't need storyboards because I could see it in my mind and I didn't have to communicate my vision to anyone else. I wrote the script and then started animating. I didn't even bother to refer back to the script because the characters took on a life of their own and they told me what they wanted to say and where they wanted to go next.

I animated at 2048 x 1234 which is 1.66. I then composed for 1.85 and TV cut off with a center extraction. 1.66 is a good aspect ratio to shoot at because when you telecine the TV cut off brings your north and south back to 1.85. And if you've composed for center extraction there are no nasty surprises and you don't have to pay for 'pan and scan'.

Because my characters were predominately one color I could mass paint behind all the drawings and then come back and hit the over paint with a color set at 0 alpha. By mass paint I mean I could shrink the work space down to micro small and then use a huge brush to bang down a giant blob of color across the entire screen and all the frames. And then come back and 0 alpha the overpaint and then come back again and hit the eyes, nose and inside mouth. I could paint 100 frames in 15 minutes without breaking a sweat!



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-Dean Dodrill

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Steve G
IE # 12
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Last weekend Phil couldn't draw fast enough to satisfy all the kids and parents and teens that wanted drawings. I sometimes forget how thrilled the general public is with seeing an artist actually draw in person. Seems simple, but a good way to generate support for his film.

He's going to be drawing again at the Plant on Saturday and the Janns on Sunday. I assume same times as before.

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Noogy
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Oh I bet! Imagine the magic an audience feels when they see the actual artist behind the production drawing right in front of them. I sometimes think execs take that for granted.

I think it's great he has the opportunity to do that, as he's deserved every moment of it.

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-Dean Dodrill

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Steve G
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Not often an audience gets a chance to meet the ENTIRE crew of a film... [Wink]

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Steve G
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Henry Sheehan and Charles Solomon will be reviewing R&J Friday morning at 10:00 on KPCC's "Film Week".

Hopefully they will also mention that Phil made this single-handed and what an achievement that is.

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Steve G
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Phil continues to be not only a one-man animation studio, but a one-man publicity machine.

He was invited to elementary schools this week to draw and talk about animation. He gave 35mm clips of R&J to the kids (they wanted to know if he needed them back for Friday's opening).
He's been going to every playground in LA handing out flyers (careful Phil---hope no one calls the cops;)). He's found that everyone wants to see R&J except Hollywood executives!!

This is the BIG weekend....go see his film Friday or Saturday!! Or buy tickets on-line!! Remember the final weekend figures are extrapolated from the reported Saturday and Friday ticket sales.

Here's the list of theaters!!

Talk about independent production! Now let's help support independent production!!

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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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The initial reviews are harsh:
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/romeo_and_juliet_sealed_with_a_kiss/

I'm going to see the film tonight despite those reviews.

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knowledge
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Yowch! I guess the fact that we find his effort one heck of an acheivement won't save it if it's not a great film. I look forward to seeing what some of the members here think, since it won't be playing anywhere near me.
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bronnie
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Just listened to the KPCC broadcast review..Though not a glowing endorsement, the notion of the enormous undertaking (on the part of one lone animator)was acknowleged as admirable.
Sure, this is not going to be everyone's(perhaps not even my) cup of tea, especially when pitted against comparatively sophisticated animated productions the majors are presenting us with these days; but we must remember that most of us who sit in judgement are not the target audience.
So far,this little film is getting slammed by the critics.. no question-- but wouldn't it be something if, by some unforseen turn of events, the kiddies really responded to this in a major way?
I really hope so..What Phil has done completely on his own over several years took guts, patience, and a lot of heart-- and I, along with everyone on here, truly wish him the best.

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I am not young enough to know everything- Oscar Wilde

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knowledge
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Good point Bronnie - I would also like to hear what anyones kids thought about the film! They are, after all, who this film was made for.
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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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I saw the film tonight with my husband and a friend. My friend and I both liked it; my husband didn't like it or hate it, but he thought it was "way better" than Rock & Rule. He also enjoyed the Titanic gag.

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I think the Los Angeles Times review was WAY off in its judgment of the film. First, I thought the animation was good overall, not "graceless." The characters had character and the backgrounds looked lovely. I enjoyed watching the film.

Second, I also think that Mercutio's anti-Capulet jokes fit perfectly in a film about irrational intolerance. These tribes hate each other for no good reason, and anti-Other jokes come part and parcel with that kind of hatred. The anti-Capulet jokes only get Mercutio into terrible trouble, demonstrating the negative consequences of such jokes. Plus, the visual gag in the sequence is that Mercutio thinks he's way funnier than he actually is. He laughs harder and harder as his jokes get worse and worse.

I also thought Nibbelink came up with a clever way for his Romeo and Juliet to avoid the saddest part of the original Shakespearean ending. If Little Mermaid can have a happy ending, Romeo & Juliet can have one, too.

For what it's worth, Reel.com wrote a positive review of R&J:
http://www.reel.com/movie.asp?MID=142785&buy=open&Tab=reviews&CID=13#tabs

This review seems much more accurate.

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One or two things bugged me, but nothing serious. The superimposed splash elements on the ocean bugged me, but only because I had to deal with water FX for the past year. When the Prince suddenly dons a tux for a musical flourish, it bugged me, because I couldn't figure out where he got the tux. Again -- no big deal, since there's sunken ships all over the place. He could have found a tux in one of those. I still don't know why he would bother wearing one, since none of the other animals wore clothes.

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Overall, though, I liked the film. I loved the visual gags, such as when the dancing Prince accidentally knocks most of the Capulets off of the ship. I also liked the look. The flat-shaded characters and full animation made me nostalgic for the 70's and 80's animation in my collection.

I look forwards to buying the DVD. [Yes]

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Noogy
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Reviewers can do little more than compare one work to another, since they aren't creators. For that reason I never read film reviews.

I've also learned it's pointless to have a non-animator critique the actual animation of a film. They usually focus on the simplicity of design or the use of color, simply because they can't understand animation. A round ball with no features or shading can be animated superbly. And from what I've seen of the trailer, the animation for this film looks pretty good.

I'm looking forward to seeing it, but again will have to wait until the film finds a larger release or comes out on DVD. Thanks for the review Jennifer, as it's much more insightful than I'll get from a non-filmmaker.

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-Dean Dodrill

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Ganklin
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i read those reviews and they're pretty unfair.

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Steve G
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That LATimes reviewer was clearly out of his mind. When he tries to suggest that the re-working of the old "500 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean" joke is a racist joke he proves his own ignorance.
I also can't see the point those others were making by suggesting that you go see the film high...hell, almost any animated film is better after smoking a little...;)I was expecting something truly weird like Pink Elephants or Fantasia...there was nothing like that to my sober mind. Maybe you can point to his color pallette as being to bright, but I've often heard Pixar's color pallette derided as cotton candy, so what's the point. That was his c=hoice of color and really didn't warrant a 'get high' comment.

I took my wife, 12 year old daughter and 6 year old nephew to see the film this afternoon.
The 6 year old liked it best...clearly that was the target audience and to judge it from any other perspective is wrong. My nephew enjoyed it and had no problem sitting through the film - an achievement all on its own.
AND it definitely isn't fair to compare it to a studio film that was made by hundreds of people and millions of dollars. My wife and I could see the difference but my nephew didn't. Or to blast it for changing the ending of a tragedy then they need to go through a lot more films than just Little Mermaid and complain. The point that the story was trying to make about intolerance worked just as well with the main characters living as it would have if they had died stupidly.

Just the fact that one man was able to make a full length feature film and get it on even a few screens is quite an achievement. My hat's off to him.

I'll be curious to find out from Phil if it was ultimately worth it.

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eboles
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quote:
I've also learned it's pointless to have a non-animator critique the actual animation of a film.
...ain't that the truth. I don't know how many times I've come to that part in a review, and I just have no idea what they're on about. Not only do most mainstream critics generally lack an understanding and appreciation of animation, they lack the vocabulary to describe it. It's like if I(an infrequent drinker) were to abruptly become a wine critic.

The part in Sam Adam's review where he ignorantly accuses the film of racist jokes is probably more harmful than anything else he says or could have said. Never mind that Mercutio is shown to be a character who talks himself into trouble, and whose jokes the others find unamusing.

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Noogy
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quote:
I'll be curious to find out from Phil if it was ultimately worth it.
I know Phil has no obligation to share any financial information with us, but I'd love to know how well his film does. Obviously there's a great personal success story here, but will it find financial success? To give hope to the hundreds of artists out there.

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-Dean Dodrill

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knowledge
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I'm guessing that the previous 2 films did well enough for him to get on making R & J. The profit must have encouraged him enough to take on such a laborous task as making a third feature film single handedly.
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