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End of 2019 Wrap

Hello.

So, 2019 eh? I figured I should write something to wrap up stuff I haven’t covered for the second half of last year. I did a mid-year wrap up post.

Pretty strange lo-fi year. A lot of good stuff. But also a lot of weird stuff. I dunno. Just a kind of odd year, man.

So, I did a Sonic the Hedgehog Remix Music Video for my YouTube channel. I’ve been doing a lot of writing for animation; a comprehensive first season outline for an animated Goldfish show broken down into individual episode beats. I got Nas Hoosen in to help me with that which was great, then he got busy with other stuff and I carried on with writing the first episode and Sheldon Bengtson offered to help me with that, which was great help too.

Kayla Archer laid out the show deck really well and helped with this illo of Gavin, Dom and Dave riding the Blinky Express to the ends of the Universe.

Been doing a lot of script-writing for Twende, the show about a chilled out pangolin that we pitched at Annecy in 2019 and for which we’ve put together a 50-page show deck. It’s been cool to upskill my writing stats. We now have 3 finished scripts that a lot of us from the Twende team worked on, and I’m really proud of them – both the crew and the scripts. The stories speak to the hearts of the characters and integrate our East African world really well – team member and friend Kwame Nyong’o from Kenya helped us keep it authentic. There are jokes aplenty that simultaneously helps the characters tell us who they are and demonstrate their unique outlooks on life. It took us many tries before scripts started to ‘click’.

Twende in a traffic jam, by Kayla Archer and me.

I made an animated pixel music video for a cool German band called Session Victim right at the end of the year, sneaked it in at the finish line. Very cool band duo Matthias and Hauke, and a cool label Night Time Stories.

Session Victim – Made Me Fly

For the music video for the first track off Session Victim’s new EP ‘Needledrop’, band members Hauke and Matthias wanted to create a romantic story in the vein of an imaginary computer game that looked endemic to the Amiga Commodore 64 from the ‘80s, as though it might have actually been a game that existed for the system at the time.

The look, feel and many locations reference the classic 1988 Lucasfilm adventure game ‘Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders’, along with its limited colour palette and double-width pixels. As is usual for point-and-click adventure games, the player selects a verb with which to interact with various objects and characters on-screen and can collect, combine and use items with the world around them to progress through the game’s areas and story.

The video starts off with an Amiga 500 kickstarter and a Night Time Stories ’Warez’ trainer screen warning the user to not profit off warezed records. The protagonist (who is described as ‘Girl who makes beats in her bedroom’) stands in her small one-room apartment in a city. She looks like she might be a vinyl-head, much like band members Matthias and Hauke. She takes the bus to the record store ‘Vinyl Dreams’ which is a real record store in San Francisco Matthias and Hauke frequent. Inside, Hauke and Matthias hang around listening to music and browsing. The nameless woman buys a couple records to sample, glancing an ‘Air – Moon Safari’ album which is a nod to Beth Hirsch; the vocalist on the track who lent her voice to 2 of Air’s infamous tracks. We aren’t yet sure of the protagonist’s motives, though a kinaesthetic moment between her and the store clerk suggests there may be more than just a fiduciary exchange.

Back in her bedroom studio, our hero samples beautiful strings from the ‘weird German record’ with her LP player and Akai MPC, loops a funky drum part and adds in her own baseline and melody using her synth, all mixed together with a Moog Mintaur. As she works, night falls. She bounces the song to tape and hopes that ‘he’ will like it too. She draws a heart on the tape and walks through the quiet streets to a closed door where she drops the tape through the door’s mailbox. She leaves before whoever’s behind the door has time to discover who his secret admirer is – lo and behold it’s the boy from the record store. Who knows how many times she’s secretly delivered tapes to him?

Hauke and Matthias wrote the story, and I produced and animated it using a combination of Toon Boom Storyboard Pro to create and time the animatic, Photoshop and Pixaki to generate the video’s assets, Toon Boom Harmony to add movement and Premiere Pro to comp it together.


Personally, I feel like I’ve failed quite a bit this last year. Well, that’s not entirely true; I’ve managed to get a couple Bru & Boegie shorts out which has been great, and been on some overseas adventures, but I just got the feeling of things slowing down (even though there were many all-nighters of work). I think it was partly a conscious decision to do less traveling here there and everywhere; too much travel can mess me up. I had loads of lines in the water this last year with spec work project submissions and ‘calls for entries’, and far fewer bites than usual. It started to feel a bit like ‘Animation Tinder’, and I don’t like Tinder. However, the quiet times have nudged me to take the opportunity to invest more in myself and my YouTube channel which has been a blessing with its sometimes surprisingly great passive ad revenue. After the mad rush of the past few years including kicking off Moosebox, then Triggerfish Disney Story Lab, and then a Moosebox first season of 20 shorts, I tested the brakes a bit, flew under the radar more and brought things back into alignment, took things at a more manageable speed. So, even though 2019 has sometimes felt like a prolonged failure, it’s been a relief. If the last few years have been a big inhale, this has been a satisfyingly long exhale. Family has their health, and that’s really all that matters.

Bru & Boegie

In Bru & Boegie news, two directors of Bojack Horseman (Alex Salyer and Aaron Long, both whose work I dig a lot) really dug my Bru & Boegie short ‘Freelance Mountain‘, which is cool. Apparently it got around with the Bojack crew and they all loved it. There are loads of little pockets of Bru & Boegie appreciation around the world but I still haven’t managed to find a suitable way to produce the shorts faster. I mean, I can keep doing them solo but they take me ages to get through. I have a bunch of finished scripts ready, some of them from other writers, and an ever-growing document of new episode ideas. I also know nobody owes me anything to get Bru & Boegie working. Bru & Boegie is like a 100-year old chestnut that I’m trying to crack because I’m certain there are celestial diamonds inside. I feel like I’m joining an ever-growing pool of people who, instead of going the debatably safer route of putting together a more obviously commercial project or a reboot of an old IP and following the current trend of saying their show is ‘like x plus y’ to make it easier for an exec to digest, are rather trying somehow against all odds to find a way to get their passion project to work commercially in order to avoid the soul-destroying process of working on something you don’t absolutely love with all your heart. If that’s you – I feel ya. With Bru & Boegie more so than any other project, I need to make it on my own terms. With other projects I’m usually fundamentally obliging. Bru & Boegie and I have a long history, and I’m aware that’s what might make it difficult to find a partner for the project unless they absolutely love it too. It also doesn’t seem like there’s a ‘medium way’ to get these made, it’s either making a short on my own terms and with zero budget, or giving up all the rights and any say, and allowing studio/exec 1,2 and 3 to take everything unique about the project and replace it with whatever’s most acceptable to the lowest common denominator – and as someone else is quoted as saying – selling out isn’t easy either! You need to be really good to sell out. I keep looking for a ‘better way’, and know many others in my position are trying to do the same.

Bru & Boegie: They’re not racist, you’re racist.

I did a couple of lo-fi self-soothing animations which are below:

I have a really nice safe & comfy memory of playing NES games at my cousin’s house in Durbanville while the weather outside was grim.
My bro Dave in his studio.

Moosebox

Moosebox! We finished making the series a couple years ago but unfortunately the English versions still haven’t been released. I used to get pretty frustrated at the lack of communication from Nickelodeon regarding Moosebox, trying to get replies can be difficult; we’re so far away in the world and communicate is by email. I think our new contacts are slammed with so much work too. I sometimes would draw a custom cartoon to inline into the email to try and endear myself to Moosebox’s new gatekeepers to encourage a reply, and would spend time sugarcoating the wording to make questions seem like soft marshmallows, but I’ve taken Disney’s advice and ‘let it go’, letting Moosebox float through the breeze like a silk scarf in a hurricane. The process of working with a big network from so far away has been a bit like giving birth to a child, sending her away with foster parents and not hearing anything from her until you read about her in the paper. I just gotta hope for the best and trust Nickelodeon value the IP as much as those of us that worked on it do.

I’m really out of the loop with everything that it’s a fun surprise when I use Google or YouTube search to find new episodes of Moosebox on YouTube that have been dubbed by Nickelodeon into different languages on Nick channels I didn’t know existed. This morning I found a YouTube channel called ‘Moosebox‘ that uploads really low resolution and badly cropped Portuguese dubs of the episodes – great! There are also cellphone recordings of people filming Moosebox on TV – also great! I’m pleased it’s getting out there, and far prefer action to no movement at all.


I read a meme that said a) it’s not a good idea to discuss your bux or b) let others know your next moves, so I guess I’ll stick to that this year. Thanks memes, for solid life advice, always.

This ol’ Pac-Man video just keeps klapping kiff. It’s almost at 20 million views. Madness. Big up for low-hanging fruit.

Happy 2020 and let’s hope we all have a great year! I’m still most active on my Instagram, so please find me there if you wish: http://www.instagram.com/mikdog. Also, if you’d like to join the ‘Animation South Africa – Social Group‘ on Facebook, please do! Living in a small town, it’s sometimes the only tenuous connection I feel I have to the local industry.

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Bru & Boegie: The Movie

Guys, I did it – I made South Africa’s first full-length 2D animated movie.

So, where to begin with this? Well, back in like 2006 or something I made a full-length Bru & Boegie film – a lot simpler than this one, it was black and white – as a kind of joke. It was just Bru & Boegie staring at a piece of cheese. They’d say stuff now and then, the cheese got up and left and came back, and the movie was something like 80 mins. The file was huge though, and I didn’t have enough space on my computer to comfortably keep it, and my Internet was much worse – it would have taken ages to upload it to YouTube. I think I didn’t even back it up, perhaps because it was bigger than the size of  DVD. Anyways, the end result is I think I just deleted it.

About 13 years later, the idea came back to me – man, you know what, I should really do this. I was in the middle of production of ‘Bru & Boegie – Freelance Mountain’ and I had the idea of Bru sitting in meditation for a long time. Or at least, Bru invents a machine whereby his visions/imaginations during meditation or sleep can be recorded and converted to 2D, and he’s super excited to put it to use to make the first South African 2D animated film because it would be a really easy exercise to just record his epic dreams or imagination, but by the end of 90 minutes he asks Boegie to see the recordings and Boegie had forgotten to turn on the machine, and Bru would scream. I told my buddy James Wolfaardt the idea, and he thought it was great and kept encouraging me to make it. So, I started writing a script. The first few iterations of the script were a little snarky – stuff like, Bru & Boegie were talking about how they weren’t so focused on making the first GOOD South African 2D animated film, they just wanted to make the FIRST one because ‘being first’ in South Africa seems more important. But, after a while,  Kayla Archer suggested I remove all of that, and I’m glad it did – the idea could stand on its own 2 feet (stumps) without it. So, I kept iterating on the script, had a wet humour version and a very dry and surreal version, took out all the stuff it didn’t need and was smart about economical about the project because Freelance Mountain was taking ages to complete (It took about 3 years of stops and starts to get it done) and I wanted to finish this one fairly quickly. I kept working it over and over until it sounded like it was Bru & Boegie speaking, and had a beginning and end that made sense and was easy enough to make in a short space of time. Here’s the script, it’s less than 2 pages:

Bru & Boegie: The Movie by Mike Scott on Scribd

Once the script was done, I was in the mood to record voice and did it all in a couple takes and made the animatic the same day. A little bit of tightening of the animatic, and then it was on to animation. I animated in Toon Boom Harmony Premium as I usually go, and drew backgrounds in Procreate on iPad with the Apple Pencil. Backgrounds get reused a lot, and I was smarter this time around about not making too much new stuff all the time. Once the animation was done, I used Ableton Live to add sfx from Splice, clean up and compress the voice and adjust level, and then added music to the Premiere Pro project, mostly from Essential Sounds. There’s like, a full 90 mins of cool chill relaxing music during the movie, so I’m hoping people stick it on in the background for while they’re studying or whatever.

I started the project about 2 months ago, and I had other work to do during this project, but I’m pleased at how quick I was able to turn it around.

Kayla helped me with the text layout for the movie’s poster that I dropped 2 days before its release:

On launch day, Kayla and I were in transit on the way back from Stellenbosch to Plett, and we pulled into a Wimpy in Calendon to view the film’s premiere at 1pm, Sat 20 Oct 2019. The Rugby World Cup was happening at the same time, South Africa playing Japan up on the TVs. We could see the online view count that about 8 people were watching, a couple people left comments on the ‘live chat’ which was cool.

Kayla and I at the Wimpy in Caledon watching ‘Bru & Boegie: The Movie’ premiere on YouTube.

My buddy James Wolfaardt watched THE WHOLE MOVIE from start to finish, and is probably the first and only person to do so – even I haven’t watched it start to finish completely. He’s offered to add his review (as the only person qualified to do so) which is rad.

James and I at La Cafateria, Plett.

So, the idea of the project is, it’s supposed to be a bit of a gaff – it’s not difficult to make the first 2D South African animated movie if most of it is a character sitting and meditating 🙂 there’s not much movement. But, to give credit to the idea, I made sure it was top-and-tailed with more animation and talking characters, as well as some kind of story to give the characters proper motivation. Bru & Boegie themselves create the movie because they themselves want to be the first to create South Africa’s first 2D animated movie. I did my research before the project, and it seems like it really *is* the first 2D animated South African film.

Apart from anything, I’m stoked to feature a project with so much meditation! I started transcendental meditation after high school, meditated *a lot* during Rhodes varsity days, and did a Vipassana 10-day meditation course in 2016 and have been getting back into it in bits and bobs. I think it’s a cool slice of life to show, instead of crash-boom-bang, here’s a pretty mellow film disguised as something else.

In some kind of 4th wall amazing event, at the end of the movie, Bru says “South Africa’s first 2D animated movie is going to be… me meditating for 90 minutes.” Boegie responds with “People won’t be happy about this.” Bru types away on his laptop and says “I’m adding it to Wikipedia.” Earlier today James mentioned that in fact the movie is now actually listed on Wikipedia. Whoever did this, you rock 🙂

So, ya – that’s it. I did this all on my Macbook Pro 2013, and by being smart about looping sections, was able to do it with the limited disk space I have, and even at 4k resolutions – perhaps not so impressive to anyone else, but I’m amazed and impressed with my machine. Rad.

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Bru & Boegie – Freelance Mountain

Well. I can hardly believe it, but I managed to finish this Bru & Boegie short. WHAT THE HECK YO. I started out animating it around the same time I got my house, about 3 years ago, and remember sitting in a pretty dark room animating on a temporary table with my Wacom setup, recording some of the early process vids in bad lighting. Now, I finished it in a comfier space, with a bigger desk, better light in the room (though I still prefer the dark sometimes) and better Internet, so this short is a bit of a diary for me.

It started out as a simple idea – at various coffee shops around Plett I sketched a bunch of backgrounds in my sketchbook in pen, with a very loose idea of a story, and I was going to scan these in and animate over them in black and white in Toon Boom Harmony on my laptop and Cintiq – surely a simple personal project that wouldn’t require too much complexity. I recorded the voice afterwards without a script – a kind of ‘gonzo’ freestyle way of coming up with a story based on super loose ideas, all in one long 8-min take. I used Logic, but later moved over to Ableton Live. I then edited the voice down until it made some kind of sense. I did basic posing in Toon Boom Harmony (or perhaps I started with Storyboard Pro, I can’t quite remember) and timed it out to the audio. Then I got a buddy Keegan to help me animate one shot. He made it look so cool and smooth with so many inbetweens, and he gave me a better idea for the ending, so I plussed up the other shots. I recorded my brother’s mate Dan’s voice in Cape Town, recorded myself and friend Bronya in my study in Plett with a combination of a Zoom H1 mic, and a AKG D5 mic and sound card. Then another buddy Sheldon asked if the short would be colour, so I thought ‘I better make it colour’. Then I got my iPad Pro and Procreate and it became a meditative experience working over the backgrounds in colour whilst I was sitting at coffee in town, or on the couch, getting pretty experimental with techniques. I animated 2 shots on iPad using ‘Rough Animator’ and even did some 3D stuff in Blender. I hired Randy Whitlow on Fiverr to do the narrator’s voice. Then, I wanted coloured outlines for characters, which was done with a module in Toon Boom, the little side-project took more and more of my interest, and generally it seemed like the finish line got further and further away, so all I could do was sit back and enjoy the ride while learning a whole bunch of new stuff in the process, which is what I’ve been doing for the most part.

To curb the scope creep, I eventually finished animation by making a list and working through that one by one, to quantify what ‘finished’ meant. I exported shots from Toon Boom Harmony as PNG4 (PNGs with transparency) sequences, and comp’d them all together in Premiere Pro CS6 (I’m using an old Adobe suite, and purchased it before Adobe went subscription-based. It suits my needs fine). I comp’d the sequences over still images of the backgrounds in Premiere – because there aren’t too many camera moves, I just needed one background per shot. For times there were camera moves or moving backgrounds, I worked around that. The reasons for doing this are: 1) To keep the best image quality possible – rendering movies out of Toon Boom and then re-rendering those movies in Premiere can incur a loss of quality. 2) For ease of use – with image sequences, it’s possible to re-export just parts of the scene without needing to re-render whole Quicktime movies per scene, and because the images were being overwritten, the sequences would automatically update in Premiere. I’ve done tests and exporting this way preserves as much colour data as possible – actually, rendering TGA sequences from Toon Boom is better if transparency isn’t required. It also allows me to treat the background separately from the characters in post – it’s easy to add overlay layers to them in Premiere or tweak the colours without affecting the characters.

I needed to set up different ‘write’ modules in Toon Boom to export the shadows separately and set them up with their own sequences in Premiere, as those needed to have ‘blending modes’ applied in Premiere to ‘multiply’ in with the backgrounds.

Once that was done, it was tempting to ask one of the many musicians I know (especially my brother Dave aka The Kiffness who has done audio for a lot of my shorts) if they’d like to do audio as a freelance job, but because I had gone through the process of setting up drum mics and got levels right for recording, it’d have seemed like a cop-out to not do music and sfx after coming so far. So, I used Ableton Live 9 to record my drums and edit them down, added some software synths and instruments over that, started out with some free sfx online but ended up paying for a month subscription to Splice to get the rest of the foley and sfx sounds I was looking for – Splice was a great tip from my brother and allowed me to spend more time on the mix and less time searching for royalty-free sfx. I mixed on my laptop speakers as a start, then used headphones and used a little knob on my MPK Mini to quickly adjust sample volumes. I thought I’d need to send it off for mastering with compression, but after playing with Landr.com, I ended up preferring my open and breezy mix.

I’ve actually started another longer Bru & Boegie short, based an idea I had probably 11 years ago, and I’m about 3/4 done with that, which funnily enough helped get this one finished.

For now, I don’t want to make the same mistake I’ve done with other shorts, that is – being so exhausted after finishing it that I don’t submit it to film festivals. I’ll submit this to a couple festivals I think, and maybe a couple other people who might enjoy it.

The freedom to do whatever is one of the benefits of personal shorts. It started out as just a nugget for an idea, didn’t require me to show a ‘vertical slice’ or anything (as useful as that can be though), it just felt good and right – I kept following the organic crumb trail to the end. Almost 100% of the energy can be put into the project without a large portion of that energy being misdirected into non-important stuff, and I’m grateful to have the capacity to do these personal projects. Still though, many times I thought this was the best thing I’ve ever made, and other times thought it was complete tripe. I ended up learning a stack of new stuff that I can use for both personal and commercial work. On many abstract levels, ‘Freelance Mountain’ is a cathartic project and unpacks some unconscious rumblings without trying to pin a tail on a donkey or be too ‘on the nose’ with any particular message. I’m pleased to be able to transform that into… something cool and (I think) lovely. Before over-intellectualizing this little bit of magic, I hope you enjoyed watching it! I’m very pleased with the result and found the process overall nourishing.

I was sure to make videos that recorded the process so here is the ‘Making Of’ playlist of videos if that kind of thing interests you:

I’ll probably make one more closing ‘making of’ vid to go over all the final processes, but didn’t want that to hold up releasing this pup. Thanks to friend James Wolfaardt and gf Kayla Archer who kept encouraging me to release this. Part of the reason I was keen to get this done is it’s been taking up so much space on my 2013 Macbook Pro’s limited hard-drive and I’ve been dancing around that by removing other projects and putting other stuff on external hard-drives, so once it’s all done and dusted I look forward to backing it all up, removing it off my local drive and making space for another Bru & Boegie project!

Thanks for reading.

Here’s a playlist for more Bru & Boegie shorts (click the little ‘hamburger icon’ top-right to see other videos in the playlist):

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8Bit Pixel Animation for Vice – 8Chan Doccie

Did 2 x 8bit animated pixel inserts for a Vice documentary on 8Chan. They both appear in the first 5 mins of the documentary.

Job through Cartuna in the US. More info on Vice’s site: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/3kxde9/how-8chan-was-born-and-became-the-worst-place-on-the-internet

For this project, I had 2 inserts, which each had voice tracks and had a running time, so I first discussed with Adam at Cartuna by email and text, my initial ideas I had from the brief. I cut my bits of video out from the rough cut of the doccie, brought them into Premiere and Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, and then started scamping the rough boards in a variety of Photoshop, Toon Boom, and Procreate on my iPad (I spend a fair amount of time at coffee shops working on my iPad if I can, to get some sun and get out my home studio a bit). Once I’d roughed out the run of each section and timed it out, and had some back and forth with Adam, I had a pretty tight idea of what I was going to do with the pixel sections. If you lay my animatic video out next to my finished animation, the timing’s pretty much exactly the same. So, that’s useful to work to, to have some kind of ‘North Star’ as I work. For the Sonic section, luckily there are resources online where people have ripped the actual sprites from videogames, so I was able to get the whole first stage and cut it up in chunks to match what I had planned in the animatic. Likewise, I built an ONLINE image to match the SEGA title screen based off a font I found online, and rebuilt the Sonic Title screen and edited Sonic to say ‘Fredrick’, and then bit by bit, analyzed a video of someone playing through the actual Sonic 1 game to rebuild the first stage, and get the timings of everything right to look just like the game. I analyzed the source footage pretty closely, saw how long certain elements stay on screen, how long some of the background animations are, figured out how the Sonic 1 camera worked (looks like the camera moves when Sonic reaches the middle of the screen) and added the rings one by one, edited the UI to say Fredrick, etc… got the parallax of the background working. I built everything in Toon Boom Harmony Premium, and amazingly, it renders pixels at the native pixel size without aliasing them. I think even Toon Boom was surprised to discover this, that it’s pretty suitable for pixel animation. I also figured out how to make a custom pixel brush in Photoshop to be able to draw pixel art in Toon Boom – again, I think the Toon Boom team were surprised this works. Anyways, I used what Sonic sprites I could, and used Pixaki, an app on the iPad, to create some of the custom pixel content. For the Gameboy section, I used Pixaki to generate almost everything. The benefit of working on an iPad is I don’t need to be stuck behind my office desk. I used Photoshop for some stuff but did what I could on the iPad and Pencil. For the Gameboy section, I found an open-source tileset that I based the levels on, and edited them quite a bit to build the levels. I think tiles were 16 x 16 pixels. The characters I created to match the look and feel, but like the Sonic section, I had the timings and layout down early on – was keen to spend decent time on the animatic to make sure I knew where I was heading with all of this. And then cleaned things up a bit for file naming and such in Photoshop, before bringing into Toon Boom Harmony to move stuff around, sequence the sprites, add a camera etc. Then, for final, I export each shot as a TGA sequence for maximum quality, piece the various shots together in Premiere Pro, and render out to final vid. I’m using an old Macbook Pro 2013 in a Henge dock, and a big Wacom Cintiq 22″ HD with an Ergotron arm, in my little home studio. I hired a British pixel artist from France, Christopher Kelsall, to work up the rough 2 more realistic shots, into pixels. He did a great job getting young Fredrick’s likeness, and we discussed using separate layers for the wide shot to get some nice multiplane parallax going with a soft camera dolly in to get a subtle 3D effect. I added some bloom to the scenes to get a soft light effect and put some twinkling dust particles in on 2 planes slowly moving up.
For the Sonic falling shot, it was one big layer of a mass of sprites pieced together from various Sonic games, and then I put a couple of those flipped vertically and horizontally at different depths, to simulate Sonic/Fredrick falling into an unknown ‘new underworld level’.
For inspirations and references, Paul Robertson, pixel artist extraordinaire, was a big influence for the more realistic 2 shots in the Gameboy piece. For the Sonic piece, I worked directly from the source material, Sonic 1 game start and Green Hill Zone 1. For the boss, it’s the Death Egg Robot from Sonic 2. I downloaded a vid and studied it to get the movements right. I wanted to make sure that if there were any big Sonic fans watching, I was doing the game justice 🙂 I never had a Game Boy, so I used a Gameboy palette for the platforming sections and looked at some reference material, though I’m familiar with the genre. I’ve been doing a fair amount of pixel work, so this kind of work is a real treat when I can get my teeth stuck into something for a couple weeks. Luckily I’m a huge Sonic fan, used to be obsessed with the game when I was young. I remember seeing Sonic 1 being demoed at a shopping center, and like a powerful drug I was immediately hooked. I had a Master System, and would often go to a local games store and ask an employee if I could swap it for a Mega-Drive/Genesis. Of course, he said no. But young me (I was probably like 10 or so) kept persisting, and one day he had a faraway look in his eye, and he said I should bring in all my Master System games, and he let me swap it for a Mega-Drive with Sonic 1. I remember that guy. What a kind man. The shop closed soon shortly afterwards. Anyways, I’ve been obsessed with Sonic ever since.
Great gig, had enough time to do all the work, this kind of thing is right up my alley, was very pleased to be contacted by Cartuna for this, the doccie came out great and I’m very familiar with Vice too, so – what a win.
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MEGA WORK UPDATE!!! Mid-2019

GUYS! I put together a monster video that covers nearly all my current work in progress: Moosebox, Bru & Boegie, new show pitches, Dogshow with Cat, the new animated Goldfish show, and a bunch of other stuff. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it together. Peace.

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Super Mario World Overworld Theme Trap Remix

ALLO! I made a new video and used GFM’s (Goblins From Mars) rad trap remix of the Super Mario World Overworld Theme (with permission, of course). The vid is embedded above.

So far it’s clocked 100k views, which is nice.

Also, you might have seen, my site has a new look. This was partly out of necessity – my old theme, called ‘Canvas’ so kindly sponsored by WooThemes, stopped being supported, and so, with the fairly frequent updates of WordPress, it started not playing so nice with everything else. This theme is one of WordPress’ own ones, called BOOKALS jokes called ‘Twenty Nineteen’ I think. I think they do one every year. Anyways. Rock on, fam.

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2019 News Q1

Hi guys. You know what? It’s time for an update. I’m getting into it, I’m focused, I’m gonna post this thing 1 times shoe shine, bruh, READ ON FOR SOME DELICIOUS INFO.

The Olympics Channel finally released this 8bit bonanza. It’s all about Kriss Akabusi. He’s a bit of a legend. This thing was more work than we imagined. Carl Douglas and Ben Rausch helped me out. We did it through Rausch Bros. Animation in the US. I directed, edited, did boards and animatic, and comp’d, and almost cried. Enjoy:

GUYS GUYS GUYS. After years of trying to get my projects into Annecy, this time, I have 2 THINGS! That’s right! When it rains it pours! The first is ‘Twende’, a group collaborative project about a pangolin who rides a boda boda motorbike taxi in a fictional East African city. We spent 6 months (!) developing this show. It’s based off an original idea that kiff San Fran couple Charlie & Regan Maas had during their travels in East Africa. Their friends at Braintrust in the UK; Sam Bank and Hélène Sifre, liked the idea, and Kayla Archer and I met Hélène at Annecy last year. We were signed on to the project, long-time friend and collaborator from Kenya, Kwame N’yongo, joined too, and we made the kiffest-looking bible. I mean, seriously. It’s rad. Anyways, it was one of 7 of almost 200 projects that got accepted to the Annecy ‘Animation du Monde’ pitch competition, so, we’re gonna be pitching this lovely show next month.

The second thing is this rad little ‘Rabbids’ animation I got involved with. Kevin Van Der Meirin from a studio called ‘Noodles’ (based between Paris and London I think) got in touch to make some kiff 8bit pixel stuff for their short they were doing for Ubisoft’s ‘Rabbids’ IP. I was like ‘ma boiz. I love it. I’m in’ so I did that. I met Kevin and his colleague and friend Hugo from Ubisoft in Annecy last year. Anyways, the finished short’s ALSO been accepted to Annecy this year, and will be screened at the closing party I believe. How kiff? SUPER KIFF.

MA FRENZ Please, listen up when I tell you this info. My ‘Pac-Man’ video that I and Carl Douglas made for Fumitake Igarashi, a musician from Japan, clocked how many? How many views? 10 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE! Well, now it’s 11 million. That is so cool, and, wow. Whaddathing. Please like, comment and subscribe please thanks:

Also – hang on, take it easy, what’s that? Our Goldfish music video for ‘We Come Together’ also clocked 10 million views?!? Whaaa! Amazing! Check it out:

Also, feel free to glance over these predictions for the South African animation scene I made in a recent issue of Callsheet. Also, who knows what they’re speaking about anymore these days? I will answer for you – nobody knows anymore. Look into your crystal ball. What do you see? My friend, you see nothing.

I used the ‘Wayback Machine’ to find old versions of websites I’d made, and long-deleted things. Here’s a random gallery for you to feast upon:

Ok, well, that’s all well and good. “What else you got?” I hear you murmur. Man, check out this run cycle of Moose I did (from that show Moosebox) for my buddy Jac Hamman’s ‘Communnity Run Cycle’:

Still want more? I used some fancy tools to make this endearing 3D animation of my brother dancing. It’s cutting edge – so sharp, don’t nick yourself:

Oh look! My 2 besties, Bru & Boegie:

And then – Nickelodeon posted the OG Moosebox pilot on their Facebook and Youtube page! The video blew up quickly on the Facebook page, which is cool. Lots of great feedback. I’m hoping the 20 new Moosebox shorts get released soon, because man – those are something, and they’re lying in wait for when none of us expect them. Like a kraken waiting in the shadows, so that someone can shout “Release the kraken!” and then 20 Moosebox shorts will fall like mana from heaven, or some such thing.

I made this little short. So, I saw UFOs twice in my life, and I figured I better make a little animation about it, in case anyone out there is searching the Internet to try and correlate their own experiences, in the hope they might find this video and go “Yes, that’s just like what I saw!” and then the world might be a better place for both of us.

Here’s an update on my Bru & Boegie short, which I wanna finish. Guys, I wanna finish this thing. But the thing is, I’m enjoying the process, and I don’t want to stress my nut off trying to finish it, so I’m putting a lot of time and care and attention into this next Bru & Boegie short, and I really am proud of it. Nobody’s given me a deadline for it, and for me it’s like a gift that keeps on giving.

I got an Ergotron arm for my Wacom Cintiq, and decided to do a little setup and review about it. I really dig it. Am using it now. It’s great.

James Wolfaardt, Kayla Archer and I did a comic jam and recorded it. Bit of an experiment, here it is:

Thank you for reading. Wow, another post eh? My site is falling apart with recent WordPress updates. The theme I’m using, ‘Canvas’ is no longer being supported. I don’t even think my comments work anymore 🙁 So, I’m thinking about finding a way to keep all my past WordPress posts, and migrate to a different platform or something. Or maybe I just need a Jetpack theme, I dunno. Suggestions welcome please.

Thank you.