søndag den 30. september 2007

more sketches

A Couple of sketches for the irish catholic folk preacher band and the pub crowd

Monsters Of Kerry

Above: Some early inspirational sketches of "The Monsters of Kerry"... by the ever versitile Barry Reynolds. Barry is originally from Dublin, and has a great graphic style... and has really helped influence the look of "The Escape of the Gingerbread Man".

torsdag den 27. september 2007

ZOO photos

Another research trip was made, this time to Bangkok zoo, in order to...ehrm...gather information about wildlife that could appear in the film, and such...and eat icecream.

These strange birds appeared out of nowhere. Fear struck the expedition members, but luckily, the creatures seemed to be of friendly nature.

Jannick, Yee and Ingo chilling in the jungle

Classic Inspiration

Above: "Escape!!! of the Gingerbread Man" sketches from nearly 10 yrs ago!

I wanted to share a little more "Gingerbread" inspiration. I realized just today that I have been kicking this idea around for almost a decade! ... and am only getting to it now. Maurice Noble was involved early on this a few other projects we were cooking up called "Noble Tales"... he, and his group of trainees used to sit around his pool, drink cokes, eat cookies, and talk gags and story.

Above: A few of the "Noble Tales" short ideas that were in development by Maurice, and his trainees... the "Noble Boys".

Maurice is best known for his work at Warner Bros. and he explained why people loved the "Golden Oldie" cartoons of the 1940s & 50's. He also explained why after over 50 years... people still love them. He wanted to infuse the same elements into the cartoons we were trying to make. Here are just a few of those elements:

1. The shorts should be well designed and entertaining.
2. Don't make "children's films"... Explore mature themes... but with class.
3. The films should give an "impression" of a place, rather than a realistic view.
4. Don't forget the "craft" of film making... a small budget film doesn't have to look or feel low budget... make them look great ... and stand out from tv fare. It will pay off in the long run when people want to watch them again and again.

Maurice talked about a lot of other things as well... some of which I will share here at a later time... but really don't have time for now.

Here are two films that have made a huge impression on me over the years... and have had a big influence on "Escape!!! of the Gingerbread Man".

"Little Rural Riding Hood" -Tex Avery
The characters are great! Watch how each character has a specific movement style that matches their personalities. And even though there is a lot happening... and a lot of fast paced stuff... there really isn't all that much cutting. Tex really sets a stage, and lets the characters act on it.


"Together in the Weather" -George Pal
Just great writing, and a great delivery. Part of the Noble Tales series was meant to be a mix between whats best about animation, and whats best about traditional "oral storytelling". The only negative thing I have to say about this cartoon is that sometimes its difficult to understand what the narrator is saying. But for 90% of the film... its just great voice acting and delivery.


onsdag den 26. september 2007

Just wee lads

Above: I thought I would talk a bit more about some of my inspiration for "Gingerbread". I found this photo somewhere on the net a while back. ( sorry I can't remember where exactly ) But it has inspired a lot of ideas... a whole sequence in fact!

Above: More photos ... if only for inspiration.
While these photos are funny in a peculiar way ... and while yes... there is a lot of beer in the film... no one actually gets drunk. After all... its only a cartoon. Sadly, I did come across more than one angry drunk schoolboy while working in Ireland.... and I dont mean to make light of this problem at all. It's not as funny when there are 10, 8 year olds standing around you with big wooden clubs.


mandag den 24. september 2007

Chlong Hippos are very rare!

Yes it was an amazing tour through the Chlongs in Bangkok. Very beautiful in a way, with it's dirty water, old broken houses, happy people and look... a hippo!!!


IIR (Intensive Irish Research)

Above: Tod doing some very important "Pub Research" in Dublin... scouting potential locations, less than a stones throw from the Guinness factory. (photo by Da)

Da was very helpful in this phase of the research. Helping relieve some of the stress that creative thinking can bring. Tough work... but somebody has to do it.
Above: Another important phase of the "Pub Research" in Dublin... tasting the stout... seeing how it might inspire story and gag ideas. (photo by Da)

Above:A sketch by Tod... inspired by his intensive, deep, research in Ireland.

I thought it would be nice to upload some research photos from Ireland... where I met actual Irish people in their native habitat (to be shown in upcoming posts). I thought it was important to show how much thought and care has gone into the making of "Gingerbread Man". The "Gingerbread Man" team continues its research in Thailand... there are several pubs in Bangkok that pour a "proper pint".


I recommend to click and enlarge the photos to really see what's going on in them:-)

søndag den 23. september 2007

Pics from THE CHLONG.

One sunday afternoon, invited by Mark & Yee, we set out to visit the Chlongs - the venice of Bangkok. On the way I caught these worker dudes hanging out in the back of their truck. They didn't mind a white guy like me photographing them.
Bangkok has appearantly grown like crazy during the last decade - which means they had to throw up some infrastructure FAST and efficient. These Concrete rails carry the Skytrain around - and give the whole place a bit of a Blade Runner feeling. Especially when it rains.
Finally we reached the Chlongs which is a word for these canals - basically a recidential area on the west river bank whose houses rest on wooden pillars on the water.
We rode on these huge canoe boats with some kind of truck engine with a propella attached to push it forwardIf that isn't cool, nothing is cool. Right out of a lo tech movie.
Holy catfish that come up to the boat to eat toast bread near the temples (it's illegal to fish them near holy grounds) There are Thousands and they are quite big...

This guy is pretty cool too. In the background you see the temple. A little to the right of him, three monks in orange clothes were hanging out and drinking pepsi. The photo of them isn't as good as this one, so I left it out.

The river and the river houses...pretty basic stuff

Our beloved captain in complete control
Nice to see these cool kids having fun on the banks
The crew: The dudes in the FG (not Maahir) are Tou and Mark, and in the back you see Yee and Oi, Marks wife and a friend of hers.
Last one, waiting for the gate to go up...

That's all! All in all a nice little boat trip.

Work start

So I finally got my first scenes to animate...allthough it's not on the gingerbread man, Im still adding it up in here...Three short scenes with the main character getting ready to fight his own shadow...Jannick

torsdag den 20. september 2007

A place at "The Monk"

Above (L 2 R): Ingo (waiting for a beard stroking), Jeppe (excitable curls), Jannick (monkey boy in front), Tod (passing gas), Juck (wondering if he has made a mistake), Susanna (a girl), and Maahir (a quiet bomb ready to explode) all jet lagged on the first real day of production.

A HUGE THANKS goes out to Juck, who was kind enough to invite Tod to make "Gingerbread" at his studio "The Monk" in Bangkok. Another HUGE THANKS for inviting this crazy group from the "Animation Workshop" , Denmark to join in for a few months. The rest of the studio is looking forward to joining in as well... some of the very top talent in Thailand... but they are busy finishing up a few projects first. Look for more about this talented bunch in the future.

The site isn't finished at the date of this posting... but you can read more about "The Monk" at http://www.themonkstudio.com

Making a kitchen

Above: An early sketch from the "kitchen sequence" where there is much love... and where the GBM is born.

Character Designs

A few of Sus's sketches for the crowd of handsome men in the Irish pub
- and one of Grandma.

tirsdag den 18. september 2007

The Irish talk like that

Above: Eddie Lenihan scratching his beard at "the animation workshop" in Viborg, Denmark.

No, he's not a leprechaun... this is Eddie Lenihan. Eddies passion in life is to preserve as many of the old stories of Ireland as possible before they disappears forever. He was a big inspiration when writing the Gingerbread man script... and was kind of enough to go over it ... and add his own dash of Ireland to it. He works in the pub every night... writing over a pint or two of Guinness. His website is... http://www.eddielenihan.com/


Above: Tod's first Gingerbread man sketch... to be reworked and refined... and eventually eaten.

We have just started the short film this week... working on pre-production... script... background designs... character designs... and boards. The Thai crew, and the gang from Denmark are already shifting into high gear... and have brought a lot of energy to the studio, and the production.


Pics from everyday life

Yep, here's a couple of photos from the first week and ½. Later there will hopefully be sketches and fun stuff from the production too, so that you guys can see that we're actually working...

Our fantastic and incredibly intelligent and handsome director
The tech department hanging out in the yard and smoking guns... Oo to the left and May to the right

The directors kicking eachother's butts in Wii Boxing

This cat, whose name is MAXIMUM, is very cool

Yes, he is smiling, but don't be tricked; this guy will kill for a shawarma. Which, by the way, were delicious.

FG: One happy south african BG: Tou, focused on shuffling for another round of UNO.

The view from the back of yet another Thai cab in yet another traffic jam.

One night in Bangkok..

Tuesday night we went to have dinner at a muslim place in Sukumvit. Animators usually meet here once a week . We got Shawarma and it was niiiiice! Afterwards we hung out at this turkish place and enjoied some thick coffee and a pipe. Mmmhh....