Why I Didn’t Get to Work on ‘The Lion King’

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As I wrote in my ‘about me‘ page, I used to be a graphic designer. I had always loved animation but there wasn’t much available instruction back then in Montreal. And there were hardly any animation studios, so I hadn’t pursued it. But I was always a big fan of Warner Brothers and Disney animation.

It was the early nineties and the big re-boom of animation was happening. One day in our local paper there was a big, full page ad from Disney Feature Animation. They were looking everywhere for animation artists and needed people to work on their upcoming features ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Pocahontas’.

Whoa.

How cool was that? They had a list of jobs they were looking to fill and one was for ‘layout artist’. Well, I do layouts in graphic design, right? How different could it be? I went to college and studied Illustration and Design. I was a professional. This could be a my big break to work in animation and at Disney.

So I called the number.

Read moreWhy I Didn’t Get to Work on ‘The Lion King’

The Battle of the ‘Ketchup Bottle Syndrome’

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It never fails.

I get all ramped up for starting a new storyboard. I have a good outlook and tell myself I can do all this work and still have time for the other things I want to do. Like write a blog post :). I get the little things around the house done that I didn’t have to time to do during the last storyboard. During ‘hell week‘. I’m free and clear to sit down and work.

Then it happens.

Nothing.

I sit and sit and stare and stare. I get up, I sit down. I get up and do things I shouldn’t do. The things that working from home draw you to. Like check email. Like see what Britney did today. Like clean the bathroom. Then I say. “Enough! Get to work!”.

And I sit and I sit. And I stare and I stare.

Nothing.

This could go on for days. It’s horrible.

Read moreThe Battle of the ‘Ketchup Bottle Syndrome’

First Storyboard Wrap Up and Taming the Beast

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OK, so how did the first storyboard treat me? Well, not too bad.

I hadn’t boarded in almost nine months. And the show before that, I did on the computer in Flash. So I hadn’t done a storyboard on real paper for quite some time. It’s good. I like paper and the feel of the pencil on it. Digital and paper both have their pros and cons but I’m content to be doing this one the good old fashioned way.

So I had the director’s meeting and picked up my materials. Then I got home and organized all those materials. Then it was about two weeks of thumbnailing out the whole show. And I gotta tell ya, the thing turned out to be a beast.

It would have been about 250 pages for an eleven minute cartoon and that’s pretty huge. Usually an average page count for eleven minutes is 160-180 pages (remember that’s three panels per page). At least it used to be. Good thing I had my thumbnails! After some discussion with the director, I managed to cut out about the equivalent of 50 storyboard pages.

So it was gonna roll in around 200 pages. OK, I could live with that. It’s better for the show to time in a bit long than too short. Much easier to cut things out than add things in after the fact. But if I know it’s way too long, there’s no point in drawing all those extra pages knowing they will be cut out in the end. It just wastes everyone’s time.

Then it’s down to business. Drawing all those pages. Deep breath…

Read moreFirst Storyboard Wrap Up and Taming the Beast

New Year, New Site, New Challenges

Well, that worked out rather good. I got to launch off the the new year with the new self-hosted site. Looks the same, with a few tweaks…but man, there’s lots more involved by doing it yourself! But I welcome the challenge. And it’s all mine…bah ha ha (rubbing hands together). Learning more about HTML code, … Read more