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Fred Seibert's Blog

Archive for January, 2007


Uh-oh, here I go again.

January 31st, 2007

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Cartoons haven’t been keeping me busy enough (just kidding, Random!, Wubbzy!, new FOPs, and a movie or three are actually crushing us) so I’ve gone added a second (third) full time job.

Emil Rensing, Herb Scannell, Tim Shey, Jed Simmons and I have started a new company to launch 100 micro-TV networks like Channel Frederator and our more successful sibling VOD Cars.

Catch my NNN blogging over here.

Bob Boyle deserves to win!

January 30th, 2007

You’ve all seen Bob Boyle’s Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! and you know it’s one of the best animated series of the year. So, ASIFA members, you’ve got two days left to agree with your Annie Awards vote.

“In Hollywood, nobody knows anything.”

January 29th, 2007

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When Gregory Gallant asked me to subway over to Brooklyn to be on his Venture Voice podcast I forgot to ask him what we’d be talking about that day. When I got there he let me know he’d done over 40 interviews on entrepeneurship. Then I asked him whether it was my entrepeneurship in cartoons or advertising or media. I confused him entirely and I never quite got an answer. We talked about everything and I think I proved my favorite quote (written by William Goldman).

OK, time to vote!

January 16th, 2007

Since we posted six days ago over 200,000 of you (!) have watched Adventure Time (!!) and given it a ***** rating (!!!).

Now, put your money where your mouth is.

Go and vote for Adventure Time as [bold]Best Animated Short Subject[/bold]. You’ve got to be a member of ASIFA-Hollywood, but that shouldn’t stop you.

Pen Ward (and Frederator) loves you.

Watch it now! Before it’s too late!

January 10th, 2007

I can’t begin to express how proud we are of all the Random! Cartoons creators (take a look for them all in the right hand column—>) and of course it’s true, they’re all fantastic. But I wouldn’t be out of place to be particularly proud when we get our first nomination of the season: the Annie Awards has nominated Pendleton (Pen) Ward’s Adventure Time as Best Animated Short Subject.

You can judge for yourself why Pen’s cartoon deserves all the accolades it’s going to get (don’t let our opinion about it’s vision, style, freshness, originality, timing, irony, humor, heart, and soul influence you in any way), but I’m going to ask you to watch it now in anticipation of cajoling ASIFA-Hollywood members to vote for it on Monday.

Watch it now! Before it’s too late! Don’t be surprised if you’re looking at the future of the cartoon business (no snarky comments to be inserted, please). Buy your tickets now to be part of history.

HA! The TV Comedy Network.

January 5th, 2007

Upper left illustrated by Lou Brooks
HA! The TV Comdey Network

I don’t know, I’m asking.

One of my favorite projects back in the day was one few people have ever seen. It started out as a TV network branding assignment, our agency’s specialty, for HA!: The TV Comedy Network. And it led to one of our favorite cartoons that not enough people have seen. Cartoon creator Bill Burnett was at the center of it all.
Viacom’s HA! was their answer to HBO’s Comedy Channel. They both lost the competition and merged into Comedy Central. Some of Fred/Alan’s best work for the network, the naming of Comedy Central, and the conception and writing of the cartoon were all done by Bill (also the co-creator of ChalkZone).

Once our agency helped name HA! we went to work on its branding, figuring out the belief system of the channel. Our creative director, Noel Frankel, designed the distinct shouting logo, with various illustrators and models depicting the shout. Bill led the effort to write dozens of promotional spots, including What is Funny?.

Bill takes it from here:”It featured Marc Weil–a member of England’s legendary Madhouse Company of London, asking the question “Is This Funny? I don’t Know, I’m asking” in the face of increasingly bizarre events: For example, he’d be dressed in Judges Robes holding two squealing piglets; then two Mexican banditos would emerge from his robes. Then he’d be chased and lassoed by men in diapers, smoking cigars, and so on. The series was directed by Cliff Fagin, produced by Noh Hands Productions. The recurring What Is Funny? Chorus was performed by Bill Burnett, Suzy Williams and Lori Jacobson. Edited by Chris Strand.”

The spots ran in 1989 and that was the end of that though they never left my mind. Fast forward about eight years and I was starting my latest set of cartoon shorts for Nickelodeon, Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Bill was one of our early creative signings and I kept bringing up What is Funny? I reminded him that Nick’s owner Viacom already owned the original spots, so why not take a flyer on creating a balls-to-the-wall funny cartoon character based on the same concept. Bill selected former Spumco artist/director Vincent Waller (now a key part of the SpongeBob team) and they were off to the races.

Nick production chief Albie Hecht loved the cartoon. So did CEO Herb Scannell. But I guess it didn’t have the typical cartoon hero at it’s center or something and we could never get series traction. It’s too bad. It’s a damn good cartoon.

“Daylife dawns.”

January 4th, 2007

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I’ve written about my admiration for Jeff Jarvis here before, but I don’t think I properly conveyed just how visionary he is. It’s not only his ability to articulate his view of the media world we’re hurtling through, but his true capacity to see how we’re all going to see tomorrow.

Aside from my personal interest in his view of what he calls exploding TV Jeff spends time thinking, writing, and now doing about journalism and how people are changing their relationship to the news. An early proponent of Digg his venture Daylife is bringing some great revolutionary thinking to daily news. I don’t really have a handle on it yet (it’s new) but it feels smart, and fun. Truly a new way to news.

See what you think. No matter what you think about news in your life, you might surprise yourself.