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Fred Seibert's Blog


Resisting innovation? Hollywood?

December 17th, 2008

Hollywood's Epic Battle Between Innovation and the Status Quo, from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs

“Hollywood is one of the best examples of an established industry (and the movies an established art form) that … relies on innovation for its survival, but resists innovation at every turn.”

Scott Kirsner, from the introduction “Inventing the Movies: Hollywood’s Epic Battle Between Innovation and the Status Quo, from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs”

“Why I am breaking up with you, M. Night Shyamalan”

September 22nd, 2008

“Dear Nightie, I’ll admit it, I really thought I was in love way back when I first got to know you.” 

Well, I’ll admit it, I really love artist Alex Kirwan. Completely aside from the fact that he’s one of the best animation art directors of this generation (read a couple of interviews here and here), he’s one of the great fans of the world. Of cartoons sure, of monsters yeah, of all sorts of stuff. And, as I’ve found out from Alex’s new blog,  The Happening Stunk, some of the films of M. Night Shyamalan. Find out for yourself when Alex tells you “Why I am breaking up with you, M. Night Shyamalan“.

My 2008 bookshelf.

August 22nd, 2008

Some people get their cultural from comics, or movies, or the ponies. Me, it’s work, music, and books. And when my friend and NNN/tumblr investor Bijan Sabet posted about Goodreads, which he said was “sort of like last.fm for books” it reminded me what a reading junkie I am. Interestingly, my years in cartoons have once again proven to me that even the most interesting animators are the most curious, often well read, people. So, while I’m on vacation, aside from reading, I thought it might be useful to review my year’s reading list so far. Since I now read almost everything on my Kindle, my shelves aren’t quite as burdened as the picture above, but, it’s still a heavy load.

(By the way, for those who wonder, like I do, when I get the time, I read in the elevator, the subway, taxis, airplanes, and when I put my kids to bed.)

I’m not going to post about the billions of picture books I’m always getting (like the incredible “Wacky Packages”, a must have,

a five Frederator read

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because this post would go on even longer.

       

Rhythm and the Blues by Jerry Wexler and David Ritts

nullnullnullnull (a four Frederator read)

I posted when I started this book last week. It follows the story of an atheist New York Jew who fell in love with the rhythm of Black America and found his love in bringing the story to the world. The great record producer of everyone from Aretha Franklin to Ray Charles to Bob Dylan to Wilson Pickett (and hundreds more) Jerry is one of my prime professional role models and I’m inspired to hear his stories as often as I can. He follows the credo of “Does it have heart? Make it!”

Hit and Run by Lawrence Block

nullnullnullnull (a four Frederator read)

Mystery fiction is the beginning and the end for me. In fact, I can’t remember when the last time I read anything else. I love Lawrence Block because he writes genre books as if they were “serious” fiction, and I read him always ending up feeling more of the human condition when I’m done. Block is an exceptional writer [Read more…]

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