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Fred Seibert's Blog

Archive for May, 2008


Wow! Four years!

May 26th, 2008

may
Amazing illustration made by Kiichi for this month from the New Jenny-San Calendar english site. XJ5 icon created by gashi-gashi. Via the Teenage Roblog.

Four years ago, my partner Emil Rensing suggested I start a blog when I asked him what we should do online for our (Oh Yeah! Cartoons spin off) series My Life as a Teenage Robot. “You’ll learn something,” he said.

Boy was he right. All the Frederator blogs, Channel Frederator, and Next New Networks are all the direct result of the learning, and of course, that’s been in addition to all the great series, movies, and shorts, the great talents have been working on with us during those years.

A particular shout out and thanks should go out to a few folks:

Rob Renzetti created MLaaTR in the first place, inspiring us to create the first blog.

Eric Homan took my challenge to get the thing going, and keep it going.

Scott Peterson, MLaaTR’s story editor, wrote the blog for a couple of years when the rest of us were too scared to try.

Wichobot is the loyal and talented fan who took over the Roblog when the series was over, and has kept it going with our great fans over the last couple of years. It’s better now than we ran it, and proves the complete value of community in the modern, interconnected world.

And, of course, most of all, our loyal fans and readers who have read, suggested, commented, contributed, complained, and supported all of our efforts during the last four years. Without you we would literally be nothing.

“What I create is the atmosphere.”

May 25th, 2008

The MAD World of William M. Gaines

I’ve been in a MAD frame of mind recently because of our friend, producer David Levin, who introduced us all to the magazine’s inner workings on Pulp Secret last year, and brought by a couple of his MADdest friends (editors actually) to talk a few weeks ago. Meeting them put me into the frame of mind to read David Hadju’s The Ten-Cent Plague about the repressive moment in the 1950s when states across America actually tried to censor books (in this case, comic books).
The Ten-Cent Plague
So much of it revolved around the mythology of EC comics’ and MAD’s publisher William Gaines that I started routing around for something to read on the history of MAD. Unfortunately no one’s seen fit to research anything resembling an objective view, so I settled for this 1972 virtually authorized biography. Which made me try and find one of his obituaries that so influenced me on the eve of my joining Hanna-Barbera and the cartoon business full time in June 1992.

Why such an influence? I was new to the cartoon business, never having had anything to do with making anything with characters or stories (I’d produced quite a few animated commercials), and I was scared to death because I had no idea what to do. Then I read one of Gaines’ mythologizing quotes and I started to feel like, even if I couldn’t begin to be the kind of eccentric character he was, maybe I’d have a chance.

“My staff and contributors create the magazine,” Gaines said. “What I create is the atmosphere.”

Frederator Postcard Series 6.28

May 19th, 2008


Mailed the week of May 18, 2008

A short from
The Meth Minute 39


Frederator Postcards Series 1, 1998
Frederator Postcards Series 2, 1999
Frederator Postcards Series 3, 2000
Frederator Postcards Series 4, 2003
Frederator Postcards Series 5, 2004-2005
Frederator Postcards Series 6, 2007-2008

“Straight Talk About Making Money”

May 14th, 2008

measakid.jpg

A forum post from Lenny Boudreau’s Channel Frederator RAW:

Is there money to be made making web animations? We all know that the people at the very top of the game are making enough money to pay high price call girls $2000 an hour JUST to drive them around in their limousines, but what about the rest of us?

How many of you do this for a full time living, part time to supplement a “day job”, for occasional chump change, or simply as a hobby? I fall in the “occasional chump change” category. Nothing I do is commissioned. I make animations and videos, post them on certain sites that pay a royalty, and then three to six months later I get a check or a PayPal payment for two or three hundred bucks (minus those PayPal fees).

I think of it as supporting my habit. I guess it’s not bad. I could be spending a crap load more on golf clubs and golf course fees every year. Plus, creating web content means I get to be around my kids more often than if I golfed. My kids love helping out with voice acting or suggesting silly jokes for use in my videos.

What avenues are there? Mobile content. Online greeting cards. AtomFilms. Anything else out there I should look at.

What are you guys doing?

Lenny

Meet the Composer: Mike Reagan

May 13th, 2008

MIke Reagan

Mike Reagan, aside from his various film (Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday or Elmo in Grouchland), TV, and videogame projects, has been our honored composer on Ape Escape Cartoons and the 52 episodes of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!. He came by the studio the other day and was telling me about the trés cool set up he’s put together for the music on Ape, and rather than my explaining it to you, I thought I’d let Mike do the honors himself:

I am having a BUH-LAST writing the music for Ape Escape! Working with Kevin Kolde and Karl Torge has really challenged me in the best way possible - really getting to stretch my muscles in this series. Their knowledge of music is pretty wide - we’re just a bunch of big kids doing what makes us laugh - it’s just fantastic. They introduced me to the world of Hoyt Curtin, Les Baxter, Bert Kaempfert and so many other great composers - music I’ve heard all my life, just hadn’t taken the time to really crawl inside it.

Each episode is pretty fast paced, with many twists and turns - so there’s just a ton of music to write. Everything from themes to accentuate the stupidity of some characters, to writing music in the style of Bernhard Kaun for the Frankenstein monster episode or 50’s style montages… the list goes on and on. Glad you liked the Frankenstein episode!

MIke Reagan

To quickly access each theme, I’ve created a system using pictures on a USB device that’s essentially 128 buttons that you can assign to just about anything. So, I basically save markers in Logic for each theme, then assign a series of key commands to a single button to grab what I’m hearing in my head and paste it at the right spot. After 18 episodes I’ve got over 40 buttons programmed right now, but there’s room for 128. I’m going to do the same thing for Wubbzy - get another box of 128 buttons and start organizing themes in the same way. For the pictures, I search through the Ape Escape quicktime movies and capture the screen shot that’s most appropriate for each theme. Specter, Jimmy, Nathalie, Monkeys, and Professor are the main themes, so there’s different (and multiple) pictures for them, but there are also montages, falls, stings, sinister themes, location based music like Paris, Hospital waiting room, Vegas, etc… that get pictures on their buttons, too. For instance, there’s a Paris love theme that has a picture of the Iefell Tower, and the barnyard / Turkey in the Straw tunes have pictures of a chicken.

MIke Reagan

It’s so much faster associating a piece of music with a thumbnail picture as opposed to remembering a marker number or a folder path… this keeps the creativity at the forefront, and the math and memorization on another planet.

To quote Napoleon Dynamite’s brother Kip:
“…I still love Technology, always and forever”

Frederator Postcard Series 6.26

May 9th, 2008


Mailed the week of May 5, 2008

…..
Frederator Postcards Series 1, 1998
Frederator Postcards Series 2, 1999
Frederator Postcards Series 3, 2000
Frederator Postcards Series 4, 2003
Frederator Postcards Series 5, 2004-2005
Frederator Postcards Series 6, 2007-2008

Fred Seibert, no relation.

May 6th, 2008

I caught up with this geneaology post about my namesake, no relationship, Fred Seibert, from Kenmore, Ohio on my Google Alerts.

Ross Bollinger, animator.

May 5th, 2008

Ross Bollinger
Animator Ross Bollinger stopped by on Friday for the first time and showed us his film “The Mosquito Who Gave Up Blood.” Nice to meet you Ross. Come back soon.

Jonathan Nin, artist.

May 5th, 2008

Artwork by Jonathan Nin
Young artist Jonathan Nin spent the day with us at Frederator/East the other day and left us some of his great artwork.

Ryan Sias’ “Da Beaver.”

May 5th, 2008

Artwork by Ryan Sias
Ryan Sias was one of our earliest Frederator blogees, so it’s always good to see him. Last Friday Ryan stopped by with his latest comic, Da Beaver: Environmental Hero.

Thanks to Ryan for kind permission to post art from his comic.