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Fred Seibert's Blog

Archive for June, 2007


It’s been a busy day.

June 26th, 2007

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Everyone at Frederator Studios has been busy with shorts, series, and now, movies.

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Lots of you know how much we admire Genndy Tartakovsky. He created Dexter’s Laboratory, the first series to come out of our first shorts program, before breathing life into The Powerpuff Girls and Clone Wars. And, of course, creating and directing the semial Samurai Jack. I’d always felt it would make an awesome movie, and thanks to the good graces of the folks at Cartoon Network, who saw clear to letting it into our careful hands, that awesome feature film might have a chance of seeing the light of day.

It’ll be written, directed, and creatively overseen by Genndy in glorious, un-PC, 2D.

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Doug TenNapel has been a powerful creative force in comics, videogames, and TV series, and Kevin Kolde, always the videogame fan, introduced us to the creative opportunities in Doug’s innovative (“wacky and quirky animation”) back-to-the-future claymation game The Neverhood.

Doug will be writing and directing.

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Dan Meth wrote a post about the movie he’s writing and directing based on the Seven Deadly Sins. What we hadn’t mentioned is the involvement of the inimitable Don King. In the year Dan’s been associated with Frederator he’s seen the release of his first big YouTube hit, and the first festival recognition of one of his productions. Seven Deadly Sins will be his first feature.

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Our logo’s been designed by Floyd Bishop though I’ve been too busy to get back to him to finish it and even to negotiate a fair price. Of course, he’s been busy having a new baby in his family and moving cross country. Please don’t mention it to him.

That’s it for now. It’s an honor that these world-class creative people would be interested in working with our company. I hope we can live up to their expectations. We’ll be posting more information as we’ve got it for you.

Here’s the full release:

Frederator Films Comes to Life in 2 Dimensions

FRED SEIBERT AND Producers KOLDE AND GARDNER OPEN FILM DIVISION; ANNOUNCE FIRST THREE FILMS IN PRODUCTION SLATE

LOS ANGELES, June 26 /PRNewswire/ — Frederator Studios founder Fred Seibert announced plans today to launch Frederator Films, an animated feature film company with a mission to produce 2-D animated genre movies budgeted below $20 million. Seibert is launching the company with Kevin Kolde and Eric Gardner, with all three acting as producers on the projects.

Frederator Films has over a dozen projects on its initial development slate, the first three of which were announced today, each representing a different genre:

– A feature based on Samurai Jack, with original creator Genndy Tartakovsky attached to write and direct. The seminal, Emmy-Award winning, animated TV series aired on Cartoon Network from 2001 until 2004. The Russian-born American animator is also renowned for the series Dexter’s Laboratory and Star Wars: Clone Wars.

– The Neverhood, a film based on the cult favorite claymation PC-based computer adventure game created by Doug TenNapel and released by Dreamworks Studios in 1996. TenNapel has signed on to write and direct the feature length film, which will be painstakingly shot in Claymation. TenNapel is an Eisner award-winning graphic novelist, has created a number of computer and video games including Earthworm Jim and Skullmonkeys, and the animated series Earthworm Jim and “Catscratch” for Nickelodeon.

– The Seven Deadly Sins is a hip-hop animated feature. The film will be written, designed, and directed by flash animator Dan Meth. Renowned personality and boxing promoter Don King is the first voice actor attached to the project.

Production on the first film, Seven Deadly Sins, is expected to commence in the fall of 2007. Frederator plans to produce two films a year.

Principal production will be located in Hollywood and New York.

“Our studio’s successes have been built on the best creative talents in the animation business. Genndy Tartakovsky, Doug TenNapel, and Dan Meth are continuing a tradition of original cartoons we began in 1998 and moving it
into feature films,” explains Seibert.

Gardner added, “Fred is the master at identifying voids in the
marketplace and filling them with paradigm-shifting content– there has been a dearth of both 2D and genre animated feature product which Frederator Films will be rectifying, much to the delight of young males everywhere.”

Frederator Films’ producers each bring a unique range of capabilities and experience to the company. Fred Seibert, the former president of Hanna-Barbera and the original creative director of MTV, opened Frederator Studios in 1998, an independent American animation studio producing original cartoons. Seibert’s debut production for Cartoon Network was What A Cartoon!, which spun off a number of hit series including Cow & Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory, and Powerpuff Girls. Moving to Nickelodeon, he continued his streak with The Fairly OddParents, ChalkZone, and My Life as a Teenage Robot. Kevin Kolde is a veteran producer who ran Spumco, John Kricfalusi’s (”Ren & Stimpy”) company, for over a decade. Gardner is Chairman/CEO of Panacea Entertainment, a talent management and production company he founded 36 years ago, repping such diverse clients as Donny Osmond, Richard Belzer, Paul Shaffer, The Sex Pistols, Elvira, Timothy Leary, and members of the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and The Who. He has produced over 100 hours of televsion and several features.

SOURCE Frederator Films

We’re going to Platform!

June 25th, 2007

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Frederator’s got two cartoons in this week’s Platform Animation Festival, and we’re sponsoring Dan Meth’s first Drinking & Drawing cartoon jam.

Say hello if you see any of us (Dan, Pen, Lee, Eric, Carrie, me) wandering around in a daze.

Videoblogging at Pixelodeon.

June 24th, 2007

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I mentioned Eric and I were going to the first Pixelodeon at AFI a few weeks ago. I met founder/organizer/force of nature Irina Slutsky whose day job is the very cool video blog you may have seen: Geek Entertainment TV. She anointed me one of the fanciest people at Pixelodeon on the beautiful AFI patio.


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If you think of it, buy her ultra-swift I Was Internet Famous Once t-shirt, you’ll be glad you did.
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“The Coolest Job”

June 13th, 2007

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Jerry Beck was the one who kindly asked me to write an introduction for his upcoming book on great art from Hanna-Barbera and how neat it was in our contemporary culture. And I asked you what I should write and you gave me some great ideas.

I’m really late with this essay and I have no idea whether it’ll even be accepted. But I wanted to say thanks and share it with you all.

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The Coolest Job
By Fred Seibert

One of my proudest working days was when I became the President of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons in 1992. The coolest job at the coolest place.

When I first started traveling to LA in the late 70s I’d get a chill going past the Hanna-Barbera Cartoons building, wondering what kind of magic went on behind the imposing concrete screens. Just the studio name in plain black type up top screamed out to me. But my work had nothing to do with cartoons so there was really no reason to stop and go in. “I was a seven year old fan of Huckleberry Hound. Could you show me around your studio?”

Fifteen years later, in June 1990, I was at Universal Studios Florida on its opening day at the first Hanna-Barbera theme park ride. At the end of the ride they had a store, and I bought as much as I could hold, including a great watch. Months later, out to dinner with friend at a fancy restaurant, he asked “What’s that watch?” I said, “This is my Hanna Barbera watch; here’s Yogi, Scooby, Fred and the gang. What’s yours, a rolex?” My friend, Scott Sassa, was President of Turner Broadcasting and, fast-forwarding 18 months, he calls one day and says, “You know we just bought Hanna-Barbera. … You want to run it?” And I looked down and I had the same watch on. (It was 10:35am.)

We worked like hell to revive the magic and produce the greatest cartoons of a (new) generation. We plugged away almost as hard to make the building special. Painting it day-glo colors and putting up giant posters of the classic characters was a great rush. (Of course, that was before the neighborhood association threatened to sue, not to mention the purists in the building who wanted to keep the original post-office-beige color.) And searching the world for vintage toy collections of the company’s characters to decorate the offices was better than toys at Christmas.When Bill Hanna came into my office (originally his) and exclaimed, “Wow! It really looks like a cartoon studio now!” I knew I was in the right place.

If I was compiling a book like this to collect those feelings, Jerry Beck would be my first ten choices to do it. Here’s hoping his publisher will send over a case of them to share with family and friends.