I went out to Portland for 5 weeks to animate some shots on the upcoming Pinocchio film, directed by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson. Everyone working on it is extremely talented, and every little bit of this movie is beautiful. All of the shots were blowing me away and I would frame through them like I did back when I had just started animating. I am so proud that I was able contribute even a very small amount of animation.
This is the eighth episode of the Magical Cat series, a little claymation show created by my wife and I, aka Threadwood LLC. This episode was a very tough one for us. Our very own Magical Cat, and the inspiration for this series, passed away shortly before we animated this. Years ago, he bit into a tiger lily (POISONOUS TO CATS!!!) that did a number on his kidneys. After that happened, we had to put him on a special diet and administer fluids every other day. He hung on for as long as he could, but one day it was obvious that something wasn't quite right. We took him to the vet and he never made it back home.
So we collected our videos of him, and pulled some audio for the meows and purrs that you hear in this episode. Love you buddy!
Here's the 7th episode of the claymation series that my wife and I created. I do the animating, lighting, and sound while my wife takes care of the production design, art, and vfx.
My wife and I started our own animation business, and one of the first projects we worked on in our new space in New York was a library of claymation visual effects for an indie game called Reclamation. Take a look!
My wife and I created a Halloween episode of our claymation series, Magical Cat. Up next is Christmas!
My wife and I have been wildly busy! Back in March, I was about 6 months in as the Animation Director for a large project- Marvel's new show called M.O.D.O.K., and that's when the studio had to shut down due to COVID. During the hiatus, my wife and I started creating our own claymation series called Magical Cat to scratch that creative itch while we were out of work. It was also part of a larger project that my wife started called Animation Wild Card (explained in an earlier post). Animation Wild Card became a great little community and it picked up some traction, so it's still going today, even after everyone has resumed working at the larger studios. We really enjoy collaborating with our friends and meeting new artists! We also LOVE working on our own personal projects. In the meantime, the Marvel project end-date was getting farther and farther away as we had brief shutdowns and had to work a lot slower and more carefully than usual. In fact, the show is still shooting as I'm typing this.
As a result of COVID, the Marvel project going a lot longer than expected, and Animation Wild Card and Magical Cat picking up steam, I decided to step down as Animation Director so that we could move to the Northeast and focus on our own work/business and be closer to our families. It was a painful decision and I miss working with my friends at Stoopid Buddy. I was there for about 8 years and I can't say enough about what that studio and my coworkers did for me. I cried like a baby driving home from my last day! Shortly after drying my eyes, my wife and I packed everything into a couple of UHaul pods and drove an RV to our new home here in the Catskills where we have the space to expand our freelance animation business.
Here's a sneak peak of M.O.D.O.K., the show I was working on before leaving Los Angeles. It was incredibly challenging to figure out how to rig and animate a large, heavy, floating head while keeping up with the always crazy production schedule. This show also has a hand-held style (motion controlled) which was on a different frame rate from the animation. Lots of challenges, but I worked with a great group and we figured it out... the VFX department definitely has their work cut out for them on this project.
This is one of the last Robot Chicken sketches I animated at Stoopid Buddy. I feel like I really nailed the disturbing vibe I was aiming for at the end there.