This is my (Chris Dainty) first project that I've directed which will be internationally broadcast. And for Rita this is her first directorial work nationally broadcast. Yahoo!!! We couldn't have done it without the amazing talented team effort that came together to produce this short.
So we finally have everything animated. Yahoo!!! We are all super happy with how the cartoon has turned out. It has been a lot of fun working with so many talented people.
This scene is from the end credits of the film. Since there is no dialogue in the short you don't get to know which character is Mock and which on is Boyd, so I figured that a short name flash would really help introduce the characters for their first cartoon short. The names are made in photoshop and imported into flash as a png. I added an outer glow and a yellow stroke from the layer styles in photoshop to get that effect with the font.
This animated scene will actually be a little different in the final version. We shifted the song a little bit in the final version so that the fun beats start a little earlier at the end of the cartoon. Hope you enjoy this little taste of what Mock n' Boyd is all about.
So here's a picture of Mock about to dance in his imagination. I was really trying to give a simplistic yet really textured BG so that the animation can really stand out. I think once animated, the spotlight will hopefully have a nice effect. Right now in production we have seven more scenes left to animate out of the 49 scenes that the short is made up of. We're super excited to have the short completed very soon. Ryan's been working on some awesome music which I think will really give the short its soul.
So we've started setting up our scenes in Flash. And I've tossed in the backgrounds and I'm liking how this short is starting to really come together. We should have a rough music track in the near future too. Yahoo, I can't wait. So far we've edited the lieca together with a rough music track. We used the song "Tequila" which had a really nice flow to cut the lieca to.
We have a very talented guy, Ryan Dusick, working on making the music for the short. You might have heard his stuff before as he use to be the percussionist and back-up vocalist for Maroon 5. Ryan left the band in September 2006, due to injuries sustained by their constant touring. We are all really excited to work with Ryan.
So we now have a new BG style that we are going with. When I colored the BG I really wanted to give the cartoon a very classic cartoon style. Gerry Duchemin did clean up, of Kyle Marshall's design and I (Chris Dainty) put it all together, slapped some color on and the bg was done.
I got a little inspiration from John Kricfalusi's blog. He posted a picture from a Donnald Duck cartoon, that I really liked. I really wanted to use a variety of different colors to give it a unique look and style. Here is the pic from the Donald cartoon that inspired our BG.
Wow, sorry its been so long since the last post. Well things in our production are going good. Here is one of the first set ups that we have done.
Gerry Duchemin did the clean up of the characters. His work is absolutely amazing! Gerry has worked with Dainty Productions on two other animated pieces, Emma Graves and on The Constellations. Gerry was an animator on both these projects and he's a great guy to work with. I first met Gerry at college. He was a year above me at the gong. Later we worked together on The Ren and Stimpy Show, and again on Carl Squared. Gerry is our main clean-up and character building guy. He is also one AMAZING animator, his stuff is always looks great.
So, here's a snippit from the lieca reel that we've been working on. We have a rough music track to help with the tempo at this rough stage. Once we have a finalized lieca, we'll go ahead and get the reel music composed by a musician. Once this is done we will start the animation.
So at this stage in the production of the short, we have been tweaking the lieca, and it's starting to shape up. So far, we have some really nice dance sequences of Mock. Hopefully we will be able to show you some of those soon. In the meantime, here are some facial expressions of Mock.
So here is a really fun drawing that Kyle Marshall did for the storyboard. In this scene, Boyd is freaking out because he sees that his owner is about to turn on the radio. He knows that once that happens, Mock’s dancing will undoubtedly ensue.
So, at this point in production, we have really started to nail down the main plot points for the story. Our process so far has worked like this: Rita gave us the main idea for what was going to happen, (Mock is the fun loving bird that starts to dance around in the cage and this drives Boyd crazy). So, from there, Kyle and I started to verbally pitch ideas back and forth to come up with gags. We watched a bunch of old Loony Tune cartoons to really get us in the right frame of mind. We then wrote up a short 2-page write up of a situation that could happen. Once that was done, we sent it down to Rita where she tweaked parts and came up with new gags to toss in. So then we went through a few versions, each one getting a little stronger with each re-write.
What I’ve learnt through writing over the years is that you can never hold any idea or gag too close to your heart. Each idea is a collaborated effort, from gag to gag, and even though one idea might be the funniest joke known to man, if it doesn’t tell the story or if it isn’t true to your character’s identity, you sometimes just have to cut it out. Whenever I write a story, I like to verbally pitch it a few times to my close friends and family. Doing this really helps me to figure out if my story is captivating enough to keep the persons’ interest. A lot of times while doing this, just the fact of having to explain, or even better act out, everything that’s happing in the short allows you to get a better sense of timing and of the characters personality. John K (Ren and Stimpy creator) once told me, you gotta run the cartoon in your head, do it in the dark or close your eyes, so that you can truly visualize everything that’s happening and just act it out.
Another thing Kyle and I did a lot in the story process is pitch to each other and record the conversations. We did this because your ideas can flow really fast, and there’s no time to write things down when you’re really on to something. So, once we were done pitching the ideas back and forth to each other, we’d listen to the recorded conversation a couple of times to hear our ideas again and start to write down the additional gags that we thought were the strongest.
Here is a sample of one of the layout idea's that has been developed for the short. So far, we have been experimenting with a lot of different colors and shading techniques. One thing that we really wanted to show was the use of a dry brush to give the BG a more stylized texture. This hopefully gives it a fun, cartoony look. What do you think?
Chris Dainty here from Dainty Productions, and welcome to the new blog about the cartoon Mock N' Boyd, directed by Chris Dainty and Rita Street. This blog is here to document the production of this new short that our companies Radar Cartoons and Dainty Productions is producing.
Created by Rita Street of Radar Cartoons, Mock n' Boyd is the story about a couple of dumb birds in a cage. Radar Cartoons hired Dainty productions to produce a 2 min cartoon of these two zany birds. When Rita told me about her idea at Kidscreen Summitt in NYC, it sounded like the perfect project for us to work on. Fun, cartoony, and lots of upbeat music was what she described and we havent looked back since. Rita created this great show bible, and once we had a look at it we knew it was just up our ally. This is the first design of Mock and Boyd that Rita did.
Rita Street is the president of Radar Cartoons, a boutique consultancy firm focusing on the needs of international animation studios, helping develop and sell her client’s original content onto American networks and into co-productions. In addition to brokering both studio and indie deals for her clients, Rita is the executive producer of Nelvana’s “Ruby Gloom: Happiest Girl in the World” for creators Mighty Fine and the co-producer of The Nicktoons Film Festival with Frederator Studios for the Nicktoons cable channel. Before opening Radar, Rita worked as a publisher, editor and journalist focusing on the industry of animation. She has served as the publisher of Animation Magazine, the editor of Film & Video Magazine and has also authored several books on graphic arts including the Rockport Publisher hardback, Computer Animation: A Whole New World. For the Art Institute of Pittsburgh she serves as a program advisory committee member for Game Art & Design. She has also served on several prestigious juries, most notably Austria's Prix Ars Electronica competition for excellence in computer animation and visual effects. Rita is the founder of the international non-profit organization, Women In Animation and a board member of ASIFA-Hollywood.
Chris DaintyChris Dainty resides in Ottawa, Canada and owns Dainty productions. Since 2001,Chris has been developing show concepts and animating cartoons. He graduated from Algonquin College’s Traditional Animation Program, where Chris honed his drawing skills.
Chris Dainty’s directed and produced the short “Emma Graves” which was featured in the 2006 Ottawa International Animation Festival. Chris also co-directed the documentary “Await the Freight”, which was aired on CBC in July, 2006. This work has enabled Chris to create a cutting edge style of storytelling that’s unique to the animation art form.
Currently residing in Ottawa Canada, Kyle Marshall hails from the Saskatchewan prairies and has worked as a development artist, storyboard artist, and animator on a variety of productions ranging from television and music videos, to feature film.
Kyle's first animated short won various film festivals and was featured on the first Nicktoon's NickFest. He is currently working on his next short.