Saturday, December 19, 2009

something borrowed

Sorry, I'm a bit late on bringing this information to you since I found out a couple of days ago.

Ghibli recently announced their next feature length animated film "Karigurashi no Arrietty" which essentially translates into "Arrietty the Borrower." The film is based on Mary Norton's Carnegie Medal winning novel The Borrowers. However, unlike the book and that 1997 film with John Goodman (heh), Ghibli's film will be set in Tokyo Koganei 2010.

The film will be Produced by Hayao Miyazaki, and it will be the directing debut of Yonebayashi Hirosama. A summer 2010 release has been projected (so close!) and will have a running length of about 80 minutes. More updates as the news becomes available!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

good bye


It was a sad day today in the world of animation; Roy E. Disney died earlier this afternoon at 79 years old. You can read the article tracing his longstanding impacts on the animation community here, at NYTimes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


So, being the big sad lonely nerd that I am, I decided to catch a pre screening of Disney's new feature length animated film, "Princess and the Frog" last week after it came out in NYC.

Before you get jealous, I had to shell out 30 bucks to see this thing. Also, when I got there, I was embarrassed to find that not only was the prescreening mainly full of little girls with their mom's and friends, but there was also an 'after party' where you get to meet the princesses.... whoopie! Needless to say I skipped the after party and hid my entire self in a side row during the movie and my roommate won't let me live it down. Ok, now that you've had a good laugh at me here's my analysis of Disney's first 2D animated feature in four years...

Go see it. Whether or not you end up liking it in the end, it's definitely something to be seen. It is not the best film that Disney has thrown out, but it most certainly is a wonder to watch on a big screen. The art direction is absolutely stunning and in some of the scenes there is just so much depth, it almost looks like the screen has been pulled back like an accordion box diorama. Each scene is sprinkled with this subtle layer of dust and light which sort of just linger around the shot as though they were blowing away the cobwebs that have gathered on this old animation technique.


Although all of the coloring has gone digital, it actually benefits to the film's look. Unlike Beauty and the Beast, when they digitally remastered it and we all cringed at how bright it was, since the best thing about that film was the dark grainy texture, Princess had the fortunate ability to be planned for digital painting. The backgrounds have beautiful lighting and color but they don't scream at you; they are so well integrated into the actual animation. One scene stands out in particular, when the main characters are at a masquerade; the scene opens and you see this beautiful green light coming off of a fountain and each character near it has been given a layer of green highlights. It's really quite lovely to look at how they all meld into the scenes.

The story was a bit wonky at times. There were a couple of instances where characters get upset or angry in a way you would expect from a story where everything's is based on miscommunication. However, the things they get upset over, they already knew about or had already come to terms with earlier. Therefore I found myself saying under my breath "didn't you know that....? Yeah... I'm sure you did..." Overall though it's a nice simple story. It doesn't take too much thought like many Disney films, however it is definitely a bit more mature. The Villain, Dr. Facilier, has this hoard of incredibly creepy, yet amazingly graphic, voodoo minions from the other world. They float around in shadow and can pull you into the darkness the one you cast yourself.

**SPOILER: There is also death! Never have I seen a Disney film where you see someone other than the villain meet a sad end. I definitely commend the team for this**

Tiana is a good role model for little girls, however she has a hard time letting herself have fun so she can be a bit of a bore, but it's good to see a Disney Princess that hasn't had everything handed to her on a silver platter

These things are seriously creepy

You can easily see the influences that John Lasseter has had on this film as one of the producers. The end credits look like you just finished watching Ratatouille, and the obvious choice of Randy Newman as composer. The Pixar style is there which is great, however, I thought they failed to bring in a lot of the witty humor that appears in all of their films. Princess wasn't as funny as it's predecessors and that really surprised me.

Newman's score is fun, but the main musical numbers are so-so and nearly forgettable. The theme song "Down in New Orleans" is unfortunately sung by Newman himself, and when we do get to hear the wonderful Anika Noni Rose sing the reprise it's for about 30 seconds. Probably the best number would be "Dig a Little Deeper" which has this incredible ending that gives you a wonderful high and sense of hope.

All in all, go see it. It has its flaws, but it also has a lot of expectations to meet so you have to take them with a grain of salt. Princess is a good start to hopefully what will be a long continuation of more 2D animated films. Let's just hope they aren't in the form of those awful straight to DVD sequels.

The Princess and the Frog opens world wide this friday, December 11, 2009.


Don't worry, I Haven't dissapeared completely- just moving around a lot so it's been hard to find a moment to sit down and blog. My friend Frances called me a lazy blogger and she's right haha. So I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. Here's a peek at my new sketch book; I'm working on a series of illustrations based on fashionistas coming out of these cloth like vaginas. Not really sure where this came from...

Working slowly on my new film. I've latched onto my friend Lisa Labracio to help me produce and manage the film. Also doing some concept art for a third, very short, experimental film. Not sure when it will see the light of day, but it's fun to keep busy.

I'll post a more in depth post within the next couple of days once I get settled back into this.

btw: new banner, new layout, new blog!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


"Juxtaposed" will air this Saturday August 8th, at 11pm on PBS

For some reason I didn't make a post about this a week ago...

For the past week, people have been voting on my film at! It's been part of an ongoing competition since last friday; every week has a short film competition.  The film with the most votes gets to be shown on PBS/WNET the following Saturday evening at 11pm. 
Plus I get cash which is always helpful hahaha.

"Juxtaposed" won by two votes!!! TWO! Thanks to all those who voted! It was a nail-biter to say
the least.  I really appreciate all those who promoted the event and helped get this film some air time!

Thanks everyone, really.  Drinks on me... in 30 years when I have a stable income.

**** Update 3.30pm ****

Why does my thesis advisor rock so hard?

also- Be sure to check out his site.  Click here to visit the madness! You can connect to his blog from there as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

ponyo tickets!

Tickets for the first east coast pre-screening of "Ponyo" recently went on sale! Of course I already bought some (section that good?) but you can buy them too!  The screening will be held in the lovely Symphony Space uptown on 2537 Broadway (95th Street) on Sunday August 9th at 3pm.  Tickets are only $15 and $0-$5 for members of NYICFF.

you can buy them here
***7.28.09 in all the excitement I forgot to post the link!!!***

Don't hesitate to buy tickets for this, it's gonna be goooooooood! It's "expected to sell out" so get them now!  

Maybe you'll see me in section one... wherever that is...

juxtaposed at ABP!

Juxtaposed will be having it's first non school affiliated film festival screening at Animation Block Party!

ABP is from July 24th-26th in Brooklyn, NY.  "Juxtaposed" will be playing the first night which will be located at Rooftop Films.  The following two nights will be at BAMcinematek.  ABP wil be showcasing over 80 animated shorts and there's expected to be a great turn out this year so get your tickets now!

You can always order at the door but it's better to have them on will call

screening and ticket information can be found here

Friday, July 3, 2009


Finally got some more work done on the new film. These are the three main characters, the two on the left are the designs when they're older. Started working on the storyboards too- hopefully I can get a lot of the pre production done by the end of the year. Still working on the title though, I have a couple of things going around in my head but with this one, I really don't think I'll know what it'll be until I'm done with the story boards. (And in case you're wondering- the boy on the left is supposed to have a crooked chin. I think it's probably the best thing about him :] )

Check it out.
Eat it up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Apple has posted the official English trailer for "Ponyo."  Can't wait to get to see this on the big screen! Hopefully it'll be nominated for an Academy, but it's going against some stiff competition from "UP" which will be really hard to beat...  The cast sounds great so far in respects to Cate Blanchett and Tina Fey.  Noah Cyrus sounds really great as Ponyo too- it's a good match in my opinion.  

click here to see the trailer

See it August 14th!

Also, just a nice little find;  A.O. Scott from the NYTimes did a 4 minute video review of "Princess Mononoke."  You can watch the clip here

Friday, June 12, 2009


So I had been having a bit of a hard time coming up with a character design for my next film. Who knew that creating a little kid would be so difficult? After numerous versions though I finally came out with a design I am happy with. The designs on the left are when he's grown up and there's a magic costume change haha.

In other news, I've been meaning to post this for a while now but- FUTURAMA is back! ahhh 2010 will see the second Animated series to be revived due to DVD sales (the first being Family Guy). First off I'm pumped for this; I have that stupid trait of having to quote from Futurama, 30Rock, and The Office (basically you don't want to be friends with me). Secondly, I'm so surprised that it's happening so quickly. I mean, the last Futurama DVD movie just came out not too long ago and Matt Groening had an interview where he said they were thinking about bringing back the series but it wouldn't be for a really long time if it did. But I guess when you're talking to nerds, one year is way too long for us to have to wait.

Bet you're cryin' now, huh Fox?

Friday, June 5, 2009

first taste of summer

So here's some new concept art for my second film. The story has changed a bit but the setting is very similar. I figure it'll take me a good three years to finish this film independently so I might as well start now. leave me feedback! I don't have an advisor really for this one so any criticism is appreciated. They're just some technique experiments, not necessarily shots from the film.

New thing- ethiopian food. Messy but oh so satisfying... Best place is up around west 107th street called 'Awash.' Endless nann!

Friday, May 29, 2009

good byes

After 5000 hits, it was time to take my film off youtube. thanks everyone who commented on it!  I'm starting to enter festivals so I have to keep it elusive haha.  I'll post more info regarding festivals it will be playing in and where you can see it when it becomes available

Thanks again ya'll! :]

Sunday, May 17, 2009

good eats

I just downloaded this application onto my iPod which let's me write blog entries when I'm away from my computuer. Unfortunately I don't own an iPhone which would make this a little more useful but whatever. Regardless, I'm going to keep these kinds of posts still about animation instead of boring you with info about my personal life haha.

Disney has recently released two posters and for those of you who haven't seen them, here they are! One being for the hightly anticipated "The Princess and the Frog" the other being Hayao Miyazaki's new film "Ponyo on the Cliff." I have seen Ponyo and it's my new favorite Miyazaki film. The techniques he used in his animation are so unique and beautiful- and apparently he animated a lot of the water animation himself.

The new Disney film has so many mixed feelings being voiced about it that I'm really curious as to how I'll view it myself. Despite all of this, however, this poster is really beautiful. I think Disney is finally starting to do some things right. I'm usually so disappointed with their DVD covers and one sheet print ads because of the weird airbrush quality of them. But this poster has so much depth and mood that I would be a popmpus fool to not like it. Only time will tell if this journey back to 2D will be worth the wait, but I think no matter if you are exited for it or not, we have to be optimistic for what it could mean later on.

Feast your eyes!

::munch slurp::  yumm.

*posted from my iPod :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

the day after yesterday

Today I woke up done with college forever... except for the fact that I still live in the dorms and will be working for them until the end of August for free housing... but other than that, I am done with college forever. It doesn't feel weird because it's over though, it feels weird because I have nothing to do. I miss all the pressure, and the work, and the anxiety, and the deadlines. I think that's why I'm starting another film, I love being busy. I guess that would mean that I should go out and find a job, which I am not against doing! So....


It's ok- I'm not making a fool of myself b/c I'm acknowledging the fact that I'm saying this ironically. That's how it works right??


please hire me...

(on a lesser note... more production sketches. Still having a bit of a hard time with the story but I'm confident it'll work out in the end. Enjoy!)

close up

close up

Also- Congrats Seniors of 2009! We made it out alive and only slightly less healthy!

Monday, May 11, 2009


I just wanted to thank everyone for all of their support and love for my film. it's so weird for me to meet people who like what I do but it helps fuel my ego and drives me to make even better content.

My film won "Best Animation Design" and was nominated for "Best Overall Animation" but lost out to Jake Armstrong (whom you should all look into. His film is beyond this world). I was honored to be considered ranking among Rebbecca Sugar and Jake and Elyssa; all three are amazingly driven people and I can't wait to see what they do next!

I also want to just congratulate everyone in general. I hear nothing but positive reviews about the film festival this year and how it was "the best year to date." Hopefully next year will outdo us!

On another note, I'll be removing my film from youtube once it reaches about 700 hits. I want to enter it into some festivals and they only like young films so I don't want it to get too much exposure until then.

I'm also already starting pre production work on my next film (yet to be titled). It's about the Ocean and how she falls in love with a fisherman and his family. Here's some designs I've made so far. Enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the 'ahead of you'

Today is my first day as a non student.  It's a bit weird because everyone, up until now, has been saying "you have the rest of your life ahead of you dot dot dot."  Now it's the 'rest of my life' and there's no more excuses to allow me to put it off.  

Had a pretty um.... interesting weekend.  But at least some good came out of it (below)

I also finally got to see Nicole Perry's film "The Sunshine Girl" and I'm so proud of her.

Things I like right now?
-Strawberry cream cheese
-'Parks and Recreation' starring Amy Poehler
-The fact that the Freshman are checking out as we speak

Things I don't like?
-The amount of money that I spend on my gym each month

Friday, May 1, 2009

alexburger helper

Just some work I did for other people's thesis films.  

Mike's is just a still frame that he wanted to be really rendered out, and Nicole's were different environmental shots for a short animated scene in her live action film (they had more layers with glowing elements but my hard drive had some problems and didn't save what it was supposed to..... )

"Yay I'm helping" - Zoidberg

"Passin' on Class" by Mike Antonucci

"The Sunshine Girl" by Nicole Perry

Friday, April 24, 2009

in the words of mel gibson.... "freeedooommmm"

It's over, it's finally over

After 2 years, countless hours of lost sleep and unbearable arm and back pain....
7 minutes of film have been born.

Here's the postcards I made for the film.

I also sucked it up and bought a domain name (but no hosting b/c I don't know what I'm doing....) and will hopefully have that up and running sometime soon. I'll post my movie on here/my website/youtube once it premieres on the 7th at the film festival.


Things I like right now
-The Kero One Album (even though I just realized it might be christian rap....huh?)
-GarageBand Podcast recordings
-Papa Johns Pizza

Things I don't like right now
-My gut
-My iPod (why can't you be a phone, albern??)
-The brownies I ate earlier....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

kit kat

Let's take a break from thesis:

Just some personal art work.  

Bend in the road

Follow the Leader

Self explanitory

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

wannabe concepts

I made this image for one of the still frames in my film but my advisor and I decided that it didn't really fit the gracefulness of the mother character.  It was a bit too disheveled and we were afraid that it would interrupt the mood of the film. 

Can anyone say "Blooper Reel??"

Blooper reel...

"Where you goin' fool?"

Friday, January 9, 2009

i'm not dead

Sorry, it's been a while.  Had a pretty funky past two months besides thesis work so the blog spot has been rather neglected to say the least.

What's new?
Not much

Thesis.  Something old.
Thesis. Something new
Money. Something borrowed?  Sorry I'm not getting married. I've recently become addicted to NPR podcasts thanks to Kenny and I just listened to one on the War of The Worlds Broadcast from back in the day when everyone thought that NYC was actually under attack by martians.  Apparently somewhere in Cuba I think they thought it would be funny to recreate the madness a couple of years later.  6 people ended up dead and the main broadcaster fled the country.  

I would like to thank Tina Fey for giving me 30Rock.Beyonce/ BC Jean for "If I Were A Boy." and I would like to give a shout out to my roommate whom I hope learns one day how to clean.
Side note- I woke up to find my roommate sleeping with his door open.  He was sleeping on an uncovered mattress in his clothes and his blanket was a foam mattress glorious.  

Here's some more stuff from muh filmses.

All the things he had said...


One day all will know