Monday, February 26, 2018

Frog Ref

I always tell my students that animation is reference, reference, reference.  Well, putting my money where my mouth is I took the two boys down to the Nashville Zoo for the day.  We love the zoo and go often, but this time we spent an extra long time in the "Unseen New World" exhibit so Daddy could watch and record the poison dart frogs.  These are quick and tiny little buggers.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Taming Of The Shrew Opens

APSU's Taming Of The Shrew opens tonight!  We had a great animation crew helping out with the Prologue and Epilogue videos.  A huge shoutout to Heather, who took the lead with the students and giving them great feedback on their shots.  The sound designer did a great job too and it really adds to the overall video - I'm hoping to get a version of it posted online soon.  In the meantime, check out the program from the show!

Monday, February 19, 2018

New Trailer Gig

Heather and I have a new gig we're both working on!  We'll be working with this blue poison dart frog that's part of a series of trailers they've done for Planet Blue - a pilot series about the environment. It's a partnership between  Arrow Sky Media and Magnetic Dreams. We're both excited to work with Magnetic Dreams, and got to catch up with several former co-workers from DreamWorks Animation and Rhythm & Hues Studios when we had our meeting at their studio.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

APSU Article On Shrew Animation

APSU's theatre department's first show this spring is Taming Of The Shrew, and the director Talon Beeson approached me about having the framing device be an animated comic book.  One of our art students has done some amazing comic art for it, and a handful of student animators are currently working away and animating the panels.  Read the full article below or click HERE

Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” gets comic book makeover at APSU

In the late 1940s, shortly after World War II, American comic books took on the daring subject of love. Jack Kirby, co-creator of Captain America, helped popularize these soap opera-like tales with his comic “Young Romance.” The brightly colored covers—which would later inspire Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art creations—featured couples embracing or kissing, often with someone crying in the background.
            For Talon Beeson, Austin Peay State University assistant professor of acting and directing, these emotionally charged comics brought to mind another author of antic love stories—William Shakespeare. This February, Beeson is bringing the bard’s comedy “The Taming of the Shrew” to campus, and the new production will have a distinct comic book feel.
            “I’m placing it entirely in a Roy Lichtenstein/Jack Kirby word, where it’s all pop art,” Beeson said. “Everyone will be dressed in that style, with makeup that makes them look like pop art illustrations.”
            The play runs from Feb. 22-25 in the APSU Trahern Theater, with performances at 7:30 p.m. that Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and matinee performances at 2 p.m. that Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students, military and senior citizens.
            The play, about the wanted and unwanted romantic entanglements of two sisters, has been accused in recent years of being chauvinistic, but Beeson believes this is a misrepresentation of the popular work.
            “My interpretation of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ has always been that it’s a feminist play,” he said. “There’s a framing device, in the original folio edition of the play, and I’ve always thought it changes the entire slant of the play from anti-feminist to feminist.”
            This framing device, know as the induction, is often omitted from modern productions of the play. In the opening scenes of the induction, a drunk is kicked out of a bar and ends up passed out on the street. An aristocrat, disgusted by the intoxicated man, decides to play a trick on him, and after the man wakes up, he is made to watch a play—what most audiences know as “The Taming of the Shrew.”
            Beeson wanted to include these induction scenes in his production, but he also wanted to find an innovative way to incorporate his pop art concept. That led him to Scott Raymond, APSU assistant professor of animation.
            “If this is a comic book that takes place in a comic world, how do I do the opening and closing scenes?” Beeson asked. “I have them animated.”
            The APSU production will begin and end with a motion comic projected onto a screen on stage. These moving images will cover the induction scenes, with the screen eventually giving way to the actual live-action play.
            The cast for this new production includes APSU students Zac Collum, Briana Finley, Briar Moroschak, Bret Carson, William Neblett, Tim Fearn, Aly Pace, Christian Sinclair, Katie Krantz, Brenna Greene, Lexi Putter, Jesse Adair, Quinton Tolbert, Alex Thomas, Madison Courrege and Treston Henderson.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

APSU Press Release On Highway Rat

Austin Peay ran a press release about my work on The Highway Rat.  I was interviewed and they came to take photos of my Animation II class.  The official APSU link is HERE, and some of the local online papers also posted it HERE and HERE.

Here's the article:

APSU professor contributes to BBC animated special, “The Highway Rat”

On Christmas day, when four million Britons saw a talking rat on the telly, they also glimpsed the creative work of an Austin Peay State University professor. That evening, BBC One broadcast the animated special “The Highway Rat,” based on a popular British children’s book, and Scott Raymond, APSU assistant professor of animation and former DreamWorks animator, contributed about 20 seconds to the movie.
“Toward the end of the film, in the final sequence, there are three shots I did with the Highway Rat and a couple of other characters,” Raymond said. “I animated the characters—make them move, give them expressions, look around. I’m one cog in this whole process.”
The Daily Telegraph gave the film four stars, saying it was “Delightfully told by Magic Light Pictures.” That company partnered with Triggerfish Animation, a South African animation studio that recently earned a Best Animated Short Film Oscar nomination, to produce the film staring famed British actors David Tennant and Rob Brydon. Triggerfish contacted Raymond last summer to help them finish the 30-minute film.
“What happens with most freelance work I get is, deadlines are approaching and the studio needs some overflow work,” Raymond said. “It’s real short term. We call it ‘911 work.’ For me, it was only about three weeks.”
The project came at a time when Raymond was preparing for the fall semester and moving into a new office and animation studio in the recently finished Art + Design Building. During this busy period, he spent about eight hours a day figuring out how the characters would move and react to certain situations. Then he animated those performances.
“In my Animation One class, I tell my students that as an animator, you’re a director, an actor, a screenwriter and a cinematographer,” he said.
Raymond came to APSU in 2015 to help build the Department of Art + Design’s animation program. He was a good fit, considering he’s worked on animated features, such as “Trolls” and “Kung Fu Panda 3.” Since arriving at Austin Peay, he has also animated on a spot for Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards and a ride at the PortAventura Theme Park.
At Austin Peay, the animation program continues to grow, with the University offering its new visual effects and digital 3D classes next fall. The Department of Art + Design is working to eventually offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in animation.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Shrew Crew Work Party

On Sunday we had a crew "work party" for the animators working on Shrew animations.  It's a lot for the students to take on in a very short week - so a hands on afternoon with them seemed to be the best way we could help.  And we fed them lunch.  Our two boys had to come up to the animation studio with us, and "helped" on the computers as well :)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

College Art + Design Day

This Saturday APSU Art + Design hosted a College Art + Design Day.  We had about 50 high school students and their parents come spend the day on campus, and basically get to be a college student for a day.  We had some presentations, fed them lunch, and hosted several workshops.  My animation one was popular enough we actually hosted it twice.  In just a quick hour and a half, the students learned Toon Boom Harmony software, made a bouncing ball animation, and some character animation with a bird.  It's pretty impressive to see what this generation can do in such a short time - many of them already had some experience with different animation programs.