HAPPY BLOG
Sound infotainment for artists and filmmakers pulled by statistical processing computers from the internets and the personal journals of happy product inc.’s two-time academy award nominated filmmaker MARK OSBORNE©




GREAT INDIE SHORT FILM – ALMA

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I found a great version of this online and had to share it. I was judging SIGGRAPH last year and this film was in the running, but the digital copy we were looking at tragically had something wrong with it…

…so it wouldn’t play right, it was chopping up the frames and playing them in the wrong order for some reason. We could tell it was very well done, but we had to disqualify it since we couldn’t actually watch it. What a shame! It is well worth a prize or two! Recent reports even say that Guillermo Del Toro is making this short into a feature film at DreamWorks Animation!

[ Full Screen recommended ]

Written and Directed by: Rodrigo Blaas
Produced by: Cecile Hokes
Music: Mastretta
Art Director: Alfonso Blaas
Lighting Supervisor: Jonatan Catalán
Character Technical Supervisor: Jaime Maestro
Character Design: Bolhem Bouchiba, Carlos Grangel,
Sergio Pablos, Santi Agustí
Animation: Daniel Peixe, ManueBover, Remi Hueso
Sound Design: Tom Myers and David Hughes
Post Production Coordinator: David Heras
Special Thanks: Keytoon, Next Limit, UserT38

Full credits and more at the official site: www.almashortfilm.com

GREAT NEW WORK FROM CALARTS

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FROM THE PRIVATE HUMAN FILES OF MARK OSBORNE©: It’s always nice to go back to the end of year shows at CalArts to see the latest new works, there is always something fantastic in the offerings.

These past two years have been no exception. Sure there’s always a few shorts about weepy eyed little kids doing sweet and cute things from Character Animation, and there’s a few indecipherable shorts from Experimental Animation in need of some good editing, but the conventions of animation are usually getting a decent tweaking each and every year from these very fine students. Sometimes kids in school have no fear and they can turn out groundbreaking and really interesting new work. Here’s a couple of examples:

By far my favorite film from the Character Animation Producer’s Show in 2009 was this very simple gem called “This One Time…” created by Nelson Boles. This amazing amalgam of inventive story, simple design, subdued color and subtle animation is a real standout. I hope to see much more from this guy.

Then from the 2010 edition of the Producer Show, there is this amazing, hilarious and touching short called “Crater Face” by Skyler Page. It’s rough around the edges when it comes to its look, but the story is tight, surprising and best of all weird.

Joanna Priestley An Indie Filmmaking Hero

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Joanna Preistley is an independent animator and filmmaker that has been making amazingly handcrafted personal films for over 20 years…

This past Monday night, as part of the Jules Engel Centennial Celebration, I went to see the work of a filmmaker I have admired for many years and just got to meet this past summer, Joanna Priestley. She brought a retrospective of her work to RedCat, including her latest film MISSED ACHES and it was a great show. In case you don’t know her yet, she is an independent animator and filmmaker that has been making amazingly handcrafted personal films for over 20 years. She has so many amazing films that I highly recommend her DVDs to any indie animation fans or aspiring filmmakers out there. Starting with her CalArts thesis film VOICES she established a strong voice of her own. Make sure you check it out!

Jules Engel Centennial Celebration

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FROM THE PRIVATE FILES OF MARK OSBORNE©: CalArts recently celebrated the legacy of the artist, animator and mentor that established the Experimental Animation Department at the prestigious school, Jules Engle…

CalArts just hosted an amazing centennial celebration in honor of my mentor Jules Engel on Saturday April 15th 2009 . I was lucky enough to be among the panel of former students who were invited to discuss how they were influenced by Jules Engel’s legacy. Engel’s distinguished career included an amazing body of personal abstract films and fine art as well as story and color work on Disney classics “Fantasia” and “Bambi.” He also was one of the founding members of UPA, the studio that created Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing, where he was responsible for color, design and layout. Engel founded the CalArts Experimental Animation program in 1969 and had an extensive career as a teacher and mentor with untold amounts of influence on the animation universe. Jules passed away in 2003 at the age of 95, but his spirit lives on as proved by this powerful and moving evening of reminiscing about his influence. It was amazing to hear from everyone.

The other speakers at the event included; Jorge Gutierrez, creator of El Tigre (who opened the panel with some side splitting stories of his experiences with Jules), Steve Hillenburg, creator of SpongeBob SquarePants (who showed an amazing personal film from 1991 where he drew one frame a day for an entire year), Mark Kirkland, director on The Simpsons (who showed tons of amazing examples of Jules work and how it directly related to his own), Joanna Priestley, independent animator (who showed her brand new film MISSED ACHES in honor of Jules) and Henry Selick, director of Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas (who shared that Jules was the one who showed him the works of Jan Svankmeyer and Jiri Trnka sending him down his path of fascination with creepy stop-motion). All in all is was an amazing night. Special thanks to Courtney McIntyre for organizing the entire event.

Click for full image… “L-R Henry Sellick, Stephen Hillenburg, Sahar Alsawaf, Mark Kirkland, Johanna Priestley, Janeann Dill, me, and Jorge Gutierrez.”

Here’s an excerpt from the AWN.com article I wrote recently, “Remembering Jules Engel”:

(April 16, 2009) In the fall of 1990, I transferred into the Experimental Animation department at CalArts after studying foundation art at Pratt Institute in New York. I had a sense that I was entering into a unique program. Judging from the work on the walls, I knew this was a place where special and interesting things had happened in the past. Walking around the room, I could see interesting work in progress on every desk. It wasn’t until I started taking classes that year, however, that I truly understood that the foundation for all of the work I saw was in large part due to the amazingly supportive environment that was created for these students by my mentor Jules Engel.

To read entire article on AWN.com, click HERE.

To read fellow panelist Jorge Gutierriez’s Blog about Jules, click HERE.

Or to find out more or make a donation to the CalArts Jules Engel Scholarship Fund get in touch with Courtney McIntyre at 661 222-2743 or at cmcintyr@calarts.edu.

TALKING PANDA MOVIE WINS BIG AT THE ANNIE AWARDS

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DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda dominated the 36th annual Annie Awards, taking home an astounding 11 trophies including one for HAPPY PRODUCT INC’s human factory employee MARK OSBORNE©.

“What an amazing and surprising night! We went in with very low expectations and were amazed to come away with a lot of awards. The Annies, if you’ve never heard of them, are Awards for Animation, given out by peers.”

The below list of awards is from Variety.com, check out the full article HERE.

Animated Feature
“Kung Fu Panda,” DreamWorks Animation
Animated Video Game
“Kung Fu Panda,” Activision
Animated Effects
Li-Ming, Lawrence Lee “Kung Fu Panda,” DreamWorks Animation
Character Animation in a Feature Production
James Baxter “Kung Fu Panda,” DreamWorks Animation
Character Animation in a Television Production or Short Form
Pierre Perifel “Secrets of the Furious Five,” DreamWorks Animation
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Nico Marlet, “Kung Fu Panda,” DreamWorks Animation
Character Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Nico Marlet, “Secrets of the Furious Five,” DreamWorks Animation
Directing in an Animated Feature Production
John Stevenson & Mark Osborne, “Kung Fu Panda,” DreamWorks Animation
Music in an Animated Feature Production
Hans Zimmer & John Powell, “Kung Fu Panda,” DreamWorks Animation
Music in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Henry Jackman, Hans Zimmer & John Powell, “Secrets of the Furious Five,” DreamWorks Animation
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Tang Heng, “Kung Fu Panda” – DreamWorks Animation
Production Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Tang Heng, “Secrets of the Furious Five,” DreamWorks Animation
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Jen Yuh Nelson, “Kung Fu Panda,” DreamWorks Animation
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Dustin Hoffman, Voice of Shifu, “Kung Fu Panda,” DreamWorks Animation
Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger, “Kung Fu Panda,” DreamWorks Animation

“Panda Clobbers Competition at Annie’s,” at AWN.com, click HERE.

UPDATE!: There is a new wrinkle to this story, it turns out the awards were not prizes bestowed upon humans for achievements seen as positive by their peers, it was CORPORATE GREED (claims another GREEDY CORPORATION).

Read about it HERE!