October 23, 2019

I'm coming to TAAFI 2019!

I'm going to be at the TAAFI (Toronto Animation Arts Festival International) Industry Conference 2019 in a couple of weeks doing a special talk and some panels! Details below!


Saturday Nov. 2 2019
11:00AM - 12:00PM
A Conversation With Aaron Long
@The Spin Master Atrium Stage
Join Sam Chou for an in-depth conversation with Aaron Long about his career starting as an intern for the Chuck Grammage studio with little experience and a ton of passion, through to his current work as a director for Bojack Horseman and Tuca & Bertie with Netflix.

With Aaron Long Director - Bojack Horseman, Netflix & Shadow Machine
 Moderator: Sam Chou Creative Director of Development, Kickstart Entertainment

2:30PM - 3:30PM
Animation: Not Just For Kids
@The Spin Master Atrium Stage
We know that animation isn’t just for cartoons, but recently it seems like the rest of the world is starting to wake up to that notion, as new streaming services start to take animation seriously. Join us for a discussion on the ins and outs on crafting your ideas for a primetime world.

With Aaron Long Director - Bojack Horseman, Netflix & Shadow Machine
 Liliana Reyes Senior Vice President, Content, Portfolio Entertainment
Moderator: Jason Martinsen Lead Animator, Reel FX

5:30PM - 6:30PM
The Big Pitch
@The Spin Master Atrium Stage
It’s time for our annual Big Pitch contest! Most competitions usually only offer critiques by industry execs. The Big Pitch will feature a panel of judges representing departments throughout the animation pipeline. You’ll learn not only what makes a pitch sell but how to make it work from every angle!
With Aaron Long Director - Bojack Horseman, Netflix & Shadow Machine
Moderator: Barry A Sanders 3D Animation Supervisor, Animatic T.O

October 07, 2019

DMX Meets David Bowie

Here's a cartoon I made in ten days using photos and audio of DMX and David Bowie, to make a silly little story about them hanging out and becoming friends.

I'm a big fan of David Bowie and DMX. I find them both endlessly compelling, in different ways. I had found some DMX a capella tracks on youtube and started using them to make mashups, most of which you can find on my Soundcloud. I thought the brutality and dark humour of his lyrics would contrast well with stuff like ABBA's glossy 70s productions or the cutesy J-pop group Perfume. The mashup I did with Bowie's "Heroes" was probably my favourite because of the poignancy of the production and Bowie's passionate performance juxtaposed with some of DMX's sleaziest rhymes about laying pipe for the hos.
After attending one of Sam Gurry's Animation Brut screenings at the Echo Park Film Centre in LA, I was being excited by the idea of making something that didn't have to be 'good' or polished, using different techniques from  my usual stuff and focusing on a fun, loose process.

Creatively it was a nice 'vacation' project in that most aspects were at least partially determined by outside factors. The plot was dictated by the available audio I could find, and came together organically as I found more clips and edited the audio (like finding a clip of Bowie talking about monopolies, or DMX using kool-aid as a euphemism in a lyric). There were a lot of potential story options I had to cut or abandon to keep the cartoon somewhat focused.
The visuals were also limited by what angles and poses I could find photos of. I ended up 'cheating,' as I suspect is inevitable in this kind of project-- a lot of the hands are not actually theirs, nor the bodies in the over-the-shoulder angle of them playing Sonic 2.

In some ways it was liberating to not actually have to draw anything, but it also gave me a new appreciation for the flexibility and freedom I usually have creating everything from scratch and being able to draw exactly the poses you need to tell the story, rather than trying to fudge some existing janky assets into place.
I'm not sure if anybody else will enjoy watching this as much as I enjoyed making it, but that's okay.

Also here are some GIFs from it!