The 2D Expo: Flash Panel
The 2D "Pencils Not Pixels" Expo was at Woodbury University Building in Burbank and we were on the 11.30am Flash Animation panel. A summary:
Firstly, we each showed a minute of animation from Flash properties we have worked on. Gabe showed the Tenacious D music video which he directed at Spumco; Jorge showed the opening of Pepe the Bull (which he and Sandra created and developed for Disney); and we showed a clip from Mucha Lucha (ep: "Late Night Lucha"). Also on the panel was Bob - character designer on Cartoon Network's Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (created by Craig McCracken). *update: Fosters official website
So it's a very exciting time right now in the history of 2D animation. The big TV studios/networks are beginning to embrace Flash as a series production tool. True, there is still resistance and fear of the unknown when the traditional production model is what they have been using for decades, but the future is looking flashy. (sorry, bad pun)
We also briefly discussed the potential for Flash TV series to be animated in L.A. with the right budget and the right number of talent ... the success of which may well be proven by CN Burbank and Renegade.
All of us agreed that Flash is the perfect medium for doing animation quickly and cheaply, with the empowering element of being able to do retakes easily and effectively communicating one's original vision in a pitch pilot or on the actual show. e.g., One argument is that when character designs are done in Flash, the original drawings are what get used in the final animation and what you see on screen. These don't become potentially diluted through the hands of many different artists & stages of production (eg, as in the traditional production model).
We were expecting superchallenging questions from the audience but there weren't any. No controversial debates e.g. Flash = the end of traditional animation or anything like that. Someone raised a good point about Toonboom as an alternative but none of us had used this program (or have had the time to learn it while we're busy producing with Flash) though we all agree that Toonboom may be better suited for broadcast animation with its camera features etc. and also since Macromedia has not upgraded the software for our specific needs.
In a nutshell, though some may regard Flash TV animation as a passing trend it's a preferred choice for those of us who have been using this medium for years since dotcom animation and are comfortable with it. And for aspiring or unemployed animators, it's also where the work is right now. There is a very real and urgent need for Flash-proficient producers, directors, designers and animators in L.A. as we speak.
With Amid & Jorge (photo by Sandra)
Flash TV series in production in L.A. at the moment:
- Mucha Lucha Season 3 (WBA)
- Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends (CN)
- Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi(CN/Renegade)
- Maggie the Maggot (Disney)
Thanks to Amid for inviting us on this panel, and to everyone who attended! (Related link: Animation Nation BBS reviews)
Wished we could have stayed longer but we had to go and see...
Destroy All Monsters
at the Egyptian Theatre
... because we've always wanted to see this. There was a big queue at the Egyptian - luckily there were still tickets. They first showed an episode from Ultraman which was so bad it was hilarious. Destroy All Monsters was entertaining as hell and had us in stitches - the awkward Japanese to English dubbing, the very contrived and unintentionally campy monster-fighting sequences. (e.g., Godzilla doing a patada voladora on the Space dragon) Here's another review.
After the movie, there was a Q&A session with a special guest from Japan - the Special Effects Designer of Toho Pictures who worked on the 1960's Godzilla movies.
There were several fun things on tonight but we ended up staying home. It's been a very hot day at the end of a very TENSE week, and we're both feeling lethargic...