FESTS AND EVENTS Hart­man De­signs Tee for Free Comic Book Day

Animation Magazine - - Frame- By- Frame -

A de­sign by ac­claimed an­i­ma­tion artist Butch Hart­man will grace the of­fi­cial Free Comic Book Day 2017 T-shirt.

The orig­i­nal art­work created by Hart­man cap­tures the spirit of di­ver­sity that thrives in to­day’s comics scene — both on the page and in the fan com­mu­nity, cen­tered on the lo­cal comic-book store. Free Comic Book Day is set for May 6.

In the roughly 4 mil­lion years I’ve worked at An­imag, one piece of ad­vice I have heard from suc­cess­ful an­i­ma­tors over and over again is: Draw Ev­ery Day. Easy enough to grasp as a con­cept, some­times harder to put into prac­tice.

That’s why the Sketch Wal­let is bril­liant. It’s the same prin­ci­ple as a com­bi­na­tion wal­let and phone case, but in­stead of dig­ging out your debit card at the cof­fee shop and think­ing, “I haven’t checked Neko At­sume in at least 20 min­utes,” you will be spurred to sit down and bust out some cre­ativ­ity.

The made-in-the-U.S.A. wal­let (4” x 6”) is avail­able in black or brown leather, with space for cash and cards, and comes with a stan­dard size 3.5” x 5.5” sketch­book to insert. Re­place­ment sad­dle stitched books with blank or lined bright white pa­per are avail­able in three piece re­fill packs from Sketch Wal­let for $12, or use your pre­ferred brand.

21To­day’s home of­fer­ings: As­sas­si­na­tion Class­room: Sea­son 2 Pt. 1 BD, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. S1 & S2 BD, Nor­agami Aragoto: Sea­son 2 BD, Ul­ti­mate Otaku Teacher: S1 Pt. 2 BD, Un­break­able Ma­chine-Doll: Com­plete Se­ries BD, Freez­ing Vi­bra­tion: The Com­plete Sec­ond Sea­son BD, Bu­sou Shinki, Cu­ri­ous Ge­orge: Egg Hunt­ing, Air Bound, Trans­form­ers Res­cue Bots: Pro­tect and Ex­plore, LEGO Friends Vol. 3, Blaze and the Mon­ster Ma­chines: Race into Ve­loc­i­tyville.

The su­perla­tive voice cast also in­cludes Seth Mc­Far­lane, John C. Reilly, Jen­nifer Hud­son, Nick Kroll, di­rec­tor Jen­nings, Beck Ben­nett, Nick Of­fer­man, Jen­nifer Saun­ders, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son and Jay Pharoah.

Change of Pace For Jen­nings, who di­rected many of the most-lauded Brit­pop mu­sic videos from the 1990s and the live-ac­tion films Son of Ram­bow and Hitch­hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, work­ing in an­i­ma­tion meant get­ting com­fort­able with a new pace of film­mak­ing.

“I think it was five years from the time Chris (Meledan­dri) and I first talked about the script for Sing to fin­ish­ing (the film), so, yes, that’s quite a long time,” says Jen­nings. “But ev­ery day you’re work­ing with all th­ese in­cred­i­ble artists, look­ing at their amaz­ing work each day, and that can be very ad­dic­tive.”

The di­rec­tor de­cided early on that although the char­ac­ters would be em­bod­ied as dif­fer­ent an­i­mals, the world that they in­hab­ited would not be mod­i­fied to fit them. So when you see a tiny mouse or a lit­tle koala, they don’t drive a tiny car created to their scale, for ex­am­ple. All the crea­tures are work­ing on a level play­ing field and walk­ing into the same build­ings and houses and us­ing things like cars and buses to get around the city. The idea was to keep the fo­cus on the story and the in­ner lives of the con­tes­tants rather than make it a movie about mak­ing a world that con­forms and fits to each an­i­mal we see dur­ing the course of the story.

He also took in­spi­ra­tion from his own life and plugged it in to the sto­ry­telling. For ex­am­ple, Buster draws on Jen­nings’ own op­ti­mism at be­ing able to con­quer any project and make it a huge suc­cess. Rosita, the house­wife with a cou­ple of dozen piglets at home, was a take on his wife.

“I’m not sure how she feels about be­ing seen as a pig,” says Jen­nings. “But my wife stayed home with our four chil­dren and de­cided she wanted to do that and stop work­ing for a while. So when she went back to work, she re­ally ques­tioned whether she still could do it, whether she could man­age cre­ative dreams and be­ing a mum, or even whether it was too late af­ter she’d stayed home a bit with her chil­dren.”

Char­ac­ter in the De­tails Jen­nings worked with di­rec­tors of an­i­ma­tion Pa­trick De­lage and Pierre Le­duc and char­ac­ter de­signer Eric Guil­lon to take the cast of char­ac­ters — all an­i­mals with more hu­man man­ner­isms — from the page to the screen. The di­rec­tor was de­ter­mined to see that the de­tails im­me­di­ately pulled the au­di­ence into the story of each mem­ber of the ensem­ble cast. Ev­ery­thing from hair­style to cloth­ing had

Guil­lon. “Ash (voiced by Jo­hans­son), who is a por­cu­pine, has been the most dif­fi­cult. The por­cu­pine is not an easy an­i­mal to ‘read’ vis­ually, not re­ally cute. We usu­ally only re­mem­ber the quills, there­fore we needed to rein­vent it, try to give it an ap­peal­ing as­pect and add Garth’s idea of Ash: a rather rebel/punk/goth char­ac­ter. This was a very long process, I can’t count the numer­ous draw­ings it took to find her. Also, there was all the work done by (Frédérick Alves-Cunha, a.k.a. Fre­dus), who is a ZBrush sculp­tor, who did a first in­ter­pre­ta­tion in 3D of the draw­ing. What is in­ter­est­ing is to see that this char­ac­ter is, af­ter all, graph­i­cally pretty sim­ple.”

De­lage and Le­duc also worked with Jen­nings on cre­at­ing a style of an­i­ma­tion that made the most of telling the story in the art form but also stayed grounded and fo­cused on char­ac­ters. “We didn’t want some­thing like a Warner Bros. style from long ago for this movie,” says Le­duc. “But there was still a chance to do some­thing that was more ex- pres­sive, more silly.”

Jen­nings, Le­duc and De­lage all point to a scene in which Buster Moon hits rock bot­tom. At that mo­ment, Buster’s only op­tion to sup­port him­self seems to be to start a car wash in which he is not just the car washer, but his fur be­comes the ac­tual brush that washes each car. Buster’s most de­spon­dent mo­ment is un­der­cut but the com­edy of see­ing his stubby, furry lit­tle body squeegee the wind­shields of his clients.

“You feel for Buster, you re­ally do,” says Jen­nings. “See­ing him brought to that level in a comedic way makes him sym­pa­thetic and you can for­give him for ly­ing about a lot of the de­tails of the com­pe­ti­tion to the singers.”

Your Name. er via smart­phone, notes and even writ­ing on the other per­son’s arm.

On the an­niver­sary of a ma­jor dis­as­ter caused by a comet crash­ing to earth, the swaps stop. Taki searches for Mit­suha and, in a twi­light mo­ment, dis­cov­ers some sur­pris­ing truths that turn the story on its ears and pro­pel the movie into a break­neck paced fi­nale that

re­quired a com­plex struc­ture, Shinkai says. “I re­ally wanted to in­cor­po­rate el­e­ments of com­edy as well as un­pre­dictabil­ity for the au­di­ence, and in do­ing so, I came up with this very com­plex time­line nar­ra­tive struc­ture,” he says. “At that point I didn’t nec­es­sar­ily feel like un­der­stand­ing the com­plex struc­ture and time­line was nec­es­sary for the au­di­ence and, if any­thing, I wanted to shift the fo­cus to the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two main char­ac­ters.”

Shinkai also pushed the tempo of Your Name. to make it faster and more en­gag­ing to a young au­di­ence than his pre­vi­ous movies. “A lot of the younger gen­er­a­tion has so much in­for­ma­tion at their fin­ger­tips, they al­ways do some­thing with the smart­phone in hand,” he says. “I wanted to cre­ate a movie that didn’t even give them a chance to do that, so that’s why I packed a lot of in­for­ma­tion in a short pe­riod of time that wouldn’t even al­low them to pull their cell phone out and try to chat with their friends.”

While he con­sid­ered hav­ing the char­ac­ters con­nect over dis­tance via tech­nol­ogy, he in­stead stuck with the more mys­te­ri­ous idea in the fi­nal movie of body swap­ping and a bit of time travel.

“Per­haps it didn’t need the fan­tasy el­e­ment of body switch­ing — it could have just been a sim­ple on­line site or some kind of so­cial me­dia,” he says. “But was there any sort of so­cial com­men­tary wo­ven into that? I would say no.”

Shinkai was flat­tered to find that the film had so far been so well re­ceived by fans and crit­ics. The au­di­ence for Shinkai’s pre­vi­ous films was mostly an otaku — or fan-based — group. But the wide suc­cess of Your Name. has taken it to the wider gen­eral au­di­ence that film­mak­ers like Hayao Miyazaki reached.

“It was al­ways my in­tent to cre­ate some­thing peo­ple would be able to en­gage with,” he says. “Any time I made a movie it was the best I could do with what I had, both cre­atively and team wise, at that mo­ment. And the peo­ple who ended up sup­port­ing it was just a re­sult of what I was able to cre­ate. But af­ter I had a few projects un­der my belt, I think I in­creased my ca­pac­ity and I was able to cre­ate some­thing of this na­ture.” [

‘It’s a bit old school spe­cial ef­fects and it’s not cutesy, so it’s been bril­liant. Tech­ni­cally, it’s been a chal­lenge from day one. We can’t just throw money at it like in other pro­duc­tions, so we have to be very clever.’ — Sam Hol­land, Head of Pup­pets

John C. Reilly plays Buster’s busi­ness part­ner Ed­die Noodle­man in Sing.

Buster Moon, voiced by Matthew McConaughey, in­spects the con­tes­tants for his sing­ing con­test in Sing. The film­mak­ers kept the en­vi­ron­ment at a hu­man scale to keep fo­cus on the char­ac­ters and their sto­ries.

Mit­suha awak­ens in her room un­cer­tain if her ex­pe­ri­ences in Taki’s body are real or just dreams in Your Name.

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