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Channel Frederator Blog

“Distraxion” with Dreamworks’ Mike Stern

May 3rd, 2010


This week’s Channel Frederator film “Distraxion” comes to us from Mike Stern, who is currently working at Dreamworks Animation and is an instructor at and was kind enough to do a quick interview.

Channel Frederator: Where did you study animation?

Mike Stern: I went to NYU to study digital imaging and design. This is where I got my start in general 3D. Towards the end of my studies there I decided to specialize in animation. As luck would have it AnimationMentor was just opening its doors and I signed up to be part of their first class.

CF: Who are your favorite artists?

MS: Right now hanging up around my cube I’ve got some work by Hylton Warburton and Yoshitomo Nara.

CF: What gave you the idea for “Distraxion”?

MS: The idea actually came from a real life experience. Some co-workers and I went to lunch at an outdoor restaurant and we were seated right next to these [Read more…]

Show Some Love for Lindsey Olivares!

May 28th, 2009


Super talented illustrator and animator Lindsey Olivares’ captivating thesis film “Anchored” blends different media together to tell one heckuva love story. Read on to learn more about her style, and the cool stuff she has lined up post graduation.

Channel Frederator: Where did you study animation?

Lindsey Olivares: I majored in computer animation at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

Channel Frederator: What has influenced your style the most?

LO: My older sister, Brooke Olivares, is a traditional painter/illustrator and through her I was exposed to illustrators such as Sterling Hundley, Malcolm T. Liepke, Dean Cornwell etc. After drawing/painting from life a lot I really wanted to play with ways of distorting and stylizing more and appreciated artists like Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. After my second year at school I interned over at Disney Animation Studios and gained a greater appreciation for the beauty of drawing and design in classic Disney artists [Read more…]

“Monsters Vs Aliens” the series?

May 20th, 2009


The Hollywood Reporter is reporting (imagine that) that Nickelodeon has ordered a pilot from DreamWorks Animation based on Monsters Vs Aliens.

DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg announced the news at the 37th Annual
J. P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston.

DreamWorks and Nickelodeon announced last week their collaboration on
KUNG FU PANDA: THE SERIES and Nick is currently airing THE PENGUINS OF
MADAGASCAR, another collaboration.

DreamWorks will also have two TV specials in 2010 on NBC, a SCARED
SHREKLESS Halloween special and a KUNG FU PANDA holiday special.

-Floyd Bishop

Pixar Vancouver… more details

May 11th, 2009

Woody Hmmm

You have probably already heard about the plans for a Disney/Pixar Vancouver studio. I’ve been trying to find out more about the studio, and I have found that some of the information in the newspaper article was factually inaccurate and a bit misleading. Over on Mark Mayerson’s blog, he has a quote from someone at Pixar (south):

The Vancouver studio will only be producing ancillary work with legacy characters, like Cars and Toy Story. All the stuff that Pixar doesn’t have the time or money to do to keep the franchises alive. The original shorts and DVD shorts will still be done in Emeryville. As I understand it, Pixar will still generate all the stories for the ancillary work, and the Vancouver studio will be strictly for production.

So it would seem that, in regards to outsourcing, Canada is to Pixar what India and Korea are to Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. It would also seem that [Read more…]

Kung Fu Panda kicks butt at the Annies

January 31st, 2009

Kung Fu Panda pictureVariety says it best:

 “Kung Fu Panda” kicked considerable butt at the 36th annual Annie Awards on Friday night, shutting out the competition to win every feature-related category the international animation society ASIFA offers — and then some, earning additional kudos for its videogame and “Secrets of the Furious Five” short film tie-ins.

This is huge for Deamworks! To many, they have been the house of Shrek. Now Kung Fu Panda changes that. The animation industry has seen that they are much more than just the home of the green ogre. Congratulations to the crew! Now, on to the Oscars! -Floyd Bishop 

Superbowl is a super time for animation

January 30th, 2009

Up poster

The Superbowl is going to be on TV this Sunday. While the Superbowl is usually not an event that is considered a “must see” for many artist types, there are many animated reasons to watch this year.

First of all, there are the commercials. Even in such an economically depressed times, there should be many animated commercials. In other years, the Superbowl commercials have been like a mini film festival, with many different styles and techniques on display.

Secondly, we should be seeing a new trailer for the Disney/Pixar film “Up”. I would love to see something along the lines of the Mike & Sully through the closet door type of thing, where the trailer is not made up of content from the film. I think that tends to give away too much.

Another great reason to watch is the 3D trailer for the Dreamworks film “Monsters Vs Aliens”. Before the game, be sure [Read more…]

Monsters Vs. Aliens

December 12th, 2008

So I just came back from a select footage screening of “Monsters Vs. Aliens” hosted by the big man himself, Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Monsters Vs. Aliens

There is something for everyone in this movie, no matter what age you are. Like any other good Dreamworks movie, there are pop references and lovable characters.

Technical speaking, the animation is really tight, the voice casting of the characters in relation to the character acting is spot on. The film has also really made good use of the ” REAL-D” 3D theater experience.  The sense of scale with the Monsters and the Aliens lends itself a perfect fit to the application of the technology. The entire movie is in 3D and I can already tell there will be no scenes in the movie where you’re thinking to yourself, ” oh that shot was put in because we need a crazy theater 3D audience reaction” .

Katzenberg made it clear that [Read more…]

Golden Globe nominees announced

December 11th, 2008

golden globes

The Golden Globe nominees for Best Animated Feature Film are Disney’s Bolt, DreamWorks Animation’s Kung-Fu Panda and Disney/Pixar’s WALL•E. Both Bolt and WALL•E have songs nominated for Best Original Song. “Down to Earth” from WALL•E features music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, with lyrics by Peter Gabriel, and “I thought I Lost You” from Bolt has music and lyrics by Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele.

The animated documentary Waltz with Bashir from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman is up for Best Foreign Language Film.

-Floyd Bishop

“Monsters Vs Aliens” behind the scenes

December 10th, 2008

Entertainment Tonight has posted a behind the scenes piece they did on the upcoming Dreamworks film “Monsters Vs Aliens”. While the piece doesn’t show too much more than the voice cast, they do show some of the crew and talk a bit about the 3D aspect. There is a big focus for stereoscopic 3D at Dreamworks, much more so than at any other animation studio so far. Dreamworks Animation has announced that it will begin releasing all of its films in 3D, starting with “Monsters Vs Aliens”. You can read more about the process Dreamworks is using by visiting the Intel website here.

from the Variety article:
“This is the first thing I’ve ever seen that is an actual opportunity for the movie business to become something completely new and unreplicatable at home,” observed Katzenberg.

We will have to wait and see if this translates into higher revenue at the box office, but 3D versions [Read more…]

Can Pixar do no wrong?

July 31st, 2008


Ever since the release of “Toy Story” back in 1995, movie audiences seem to have been in love with all things Pixar. This goes for many animation fans as well, sometimes to the point of fanaticism. Is this a healthy thing? In this post, I’ll be asking some questions that challenge that fanaticism, and I hope that Pixar fans will try to provide some answers in the comments section.

When Dreamworks released “Shark Tale”, many people implied that Dreamworks was trying to follow in the footsteps of Pixar’s “Finding Nemo”. They are both films that are primarily based underwater. The similarities end there for me. When Pixar released “WALL-E” this year, no one seemed to remember either Blue Sky’s “Robots” from 2005, nor the design of Johnny 5 from “Short Circuit” (another robot who becomes self aware and gains a personality). Granted, the Pixar films were stronger films in both cases, but the similarities are there [Read more…]