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“Tall Tales and Other Big Lies”, submitted by Collection Agency Films: A Channel Frederator Featured Film

December 14th, 2006

Episode 60

A while back, Dano Johnson and his team at Collection Agency Films submitted “Dance Like A Monkey” to Channel Frederator, and it was featured on [/link:]Episode 44[/link]. A terrific short. Much to my delight, they recently submitted another film, “Tall Tales and Other Big Lies”. Using a terrific cut-out style, they tell the story of a band a drunk, and one horny dog. Funny stuff.

So, Dano, how did you guys come up with the idea for this film?

“Tall Tales began as Troy Campbell’s idea. He and his pal, musician Ray Wylie Hubbard, were driving in Austin one day when Ray realized he had just missed the restaurant where he wanted to eat. So despite the 2 way traffic, Ray surprises Troy by suddenly making a U-turn without really slowing down. Troy was utterly terrified, but Ray calmly turned to him and smirked, “Don’t worry. I saw them do this in a cartoon. That’s when Troy realized that Ray would probably make a pretty good cartoon character.

So Troy recorded audio of several of Ray’s stories, one of which involves the infamous bandanna-wearing dog. He then approached me after asking a mutual friend if he knew any animators. So Troy played the audio for me in a crowded coffee joint, causing quite a few heads to turn, not necessarily in a good way. I wasn’t sure if it was up my alley yet, but when I told the story over Thanksgiving dinner and got a great response (including from a Lutheran pastor) I knew this short film would have legs.

I approached my illustrator friend Jose Luis Gonzalez about doing the illustrations and he couldn’t resist. Together we decided on a retro style with minimal character animation, as if concert posters from the period had come to life. I brought all the assets into After Effects, locked myself in a room for a few weeks, and finished the cartoon. Ray Wylie and Troy recorded the theme song and our sound guy Eric Friend did the mix. It was actually our first big project, leading us to create Collection Agency Films. As we like to say, dog humping has brought us a long way.

The short has played several festivals, winning runner-up Best Animated Short at SXSW 2006. We hope to animate more
of Ray’s ‘true’ stories in the future - but in the meantime we actually just made a Tall Tales comic book, available at HERE. There aren’t any humping dogs, but there are Satanic goats, adventures in bladder control aboard helicopters, and a surprise appearance by Little Richard.”

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