Over the years Electric Crayon Studio has kept it's steel sharp by occasionally indulging in producing and animated short. Though expensive in time and recourses to produce, these shorts seem to have the serendipitous effect of drawing more attention then my painfully crafted demos.
King Kong vs. the Empire
My first short, back when capturing video on to a computer was a high-tech achievement. Could possibly be the first Star Wars fan film, I won a contest with it and it was written up in Video Toaster magazine.
I was working a lot of hours in my basement office and developed a bad case of bronchitis. My doctor put me on lots of medication and told me to take it easy. I spent the down time producing Puff (in the basement office).
I was beta-testing a particle system, and the program said "would it be of any use to you if we could tie the points together with like strands of hair?" After smacking him upside the head, I was trying to think of a way to display usefulness of this function.
I had also recently finished a working on a commercial involving an animated hair. I had tried to convince the director that I could convey personality and emotion with just eyes and a mouth, but he insisted that arms and hands needed to be added.
The story of the short came to me fully formed while laying in bed staring at the ceiling thinking about nothing. I ran to the table and quickly storyboarded the whole thing.
I had just read my 'The Five C's of Cinematography', so this is the first time I used camera angles and editing.
Not only did the main character not have arms and hands, I did one better and removed the mouth. This is the piece where I believed I had become a real animator.
Though technically not an animated short, this piece was commissioned by Logan productions as a show opener for John Deere, originally to be about a one and a half minutes long. I was given a brief outline and snippets of ideas. I presented concepts and renderings of things that could be done.
We were in the midsts of moving into our second house, and there was quite a soap opera going on with a lot of problems due to the situation of how the house was sold. There was more then a little madness contributing to the genius in this piece.
What wound up happening is that nearly everything got approved but nothing was getting thrown out. The length of the piece more then doubled. I didn't sleep much and even sent the kids to live with the grandparents for a while.
It was worth it. Looking back I am amazed at what I alone accomplished. The fastest processor available to me at the time was 300mhz, I had a few and I borrowed time on a friends render farm (full of 230mzh processors).
This open won a Telly. Though I had worked on several productions which had previously won awards, I got a statue for this one because visually it was 100% me. (Notice how close my factory scenes resemble the factory in the Star Wars movie Attack of the Clones.)
The best so far. Inspired the movie. I'm just tired of explaining the title.