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Sep 18, 2010

My 3 Thesis Proposals

Alright, so the first assignment for my Preproduction class is to create three (3) story ideas for our Thesis project, including a visual for each.  I, of course, have dozens of story ideas, so it was fun to par down which ones would make the cut.  Decided to go with variety, so there's one television series, one movie/book series, and one stand-alone short (so Rainforest Roomies got dropped *frowny face*).  And the winners are:

[*NOTE: As always, please pretend my proposals are read by Jon Hamm in full-genius Don Draper mode.]

RETAILiation


The Hook: Three roommates who are lifelong friends combat their mediocre RETAIL lives.
Thoughts:  What happens when you graduate from high school and don't know what to do with your life?  What if you don't go to college?  What if you end up in a boring, mundane RETAIL job?  How do you deal with the mediocrity of life with an uncertain future?  Can life-long friendships survive the changes--or lack there of--that life presents us with?

Many people view retail as being a low-tier, anyone-can-do-it kind of job.  Maybe you had a retail job in high school, after school or over summer break.  Maybe you worked part time during college as a means to an end.  But what if you don't progress from high school and just "get stuck" at that retail job?  RETAILiation isn't just a retaliation against retail, as the title implies.  It's a retaliation against the implied/assumed boredom that is a retail position.  Also, it's funny.

Fuzzy Fury Rescue Friends


The Hook: Enter an Animal Kingdom akin to the Garden of Eden paradise just after Adam & Eve have eaten the forbidden fruit and had their eyes opened.
Thoughts:  Welcome to the Paradise that is the Land of Cutesywootseykins, where animals exist with a sort of na├»vety, without hunger or any wants & needs, save the desire to live each day to it's fullest.  Their world is not unlike the Garden of Eden that Adam & Eve inhabited.  So what happens when, like in that story, someone takes a bite from the forbidden fruit?  What happens when their perfect world is suddenly thrust into the "Circle of Life" cycle?  We are able to witness the birth of the animal Food Chain that, in it's own way, unites the many lands of the Animal Kingdom.

A brave few have taken it upon themselves to find out what is happening and, hopefully, save this Paradise in which they live.  Can they prevent the inevitable?

Planned as a book series, actually (though, it could be adapted into a movie series a la Harry Potter), the first storyline is titled "The Great Unicorn Rescue".  It revolves around the formation of the group as they set out to rescue the Unicorn from the clutches of The DoDo Bird!  Expect a surprise plot twist at the end, though.

Deer in the Headlights: A Lightning Bug Story


The Hook: Boy bug likes girl bug.  Other, bigger boy bug likes girl bug.  Girl bug likes other, bigger boy bug.  Girl bug proposes a contest to win her affection.  Will everyone get what they want?
Thoughts:  I've published a whole bunch of sketches and story thoughts on this over the past year or two.  There's also a whole section of it, complete with fully storyboarded sequence, over at my website -->Click Here to see all that.  I'm really banking on my first two ideas--which I've listed in order of desirability--so I thought I should throw in a short story idea to flesh out my three.  This was just the one with the most development to it.  Hopefully I'll be able to work on some of my other short story ideas in a Storyboarding class at some point.  Or maybe I'll just take a dozen more Fine Arts classes...the school seems to like me in those.

Anywho, those are my three ID-ers.  Thoughts?

Sep 3, 2010

I got me a Joe Murray book..



I received my amazon.com pre-order of the new Joe Murray book, "Creating Animated Cartoons with Character" earlier this week and I haven't been able to put it down!  Okay, well that's not totally true.  I've had work, so I put it down then.  And sometimes I was so inspired by the book that I had to put it down and doodle in my sketchbook or jot down notes.  Also, there were big stretches of time where I was sleeping.  But anyway, the point I meant to make is that it's a great book that very thoroughly covers the creative process and business side of creating your own animated series (which, it has been rumored, is what I want to do).  I liked it so much that I actually posted an amazon.com Review!  You can read it below.  And, if you want to purchase the book (and you should), I recommend this link, which takes you to amazon.com through Joe Murray's website, so he gets a slightly bigger slice.  He created Rocko and Camp Lazlo, I think he deserves it! :^)

Casey Lowe's amazon.com Review:
***** Sound advice from someone who's been in the trenches (twice!)
For those who haven't caught on yet, this book was written (brilliantly, I feel) by the great Joe Murray, creator of the hit shows "Rocko's Modern Life" and "Camp Lazlo". I got my copy of this book the other day and was shocked at how thick it actually was! My immediate thought was that it would be filled with big pictures and sparse text; a pleasant surprise awaited me as I flipped through it. It's much more dense and thorough than I expected. The book is actually very well thought-out, entertaining, and informative. The pictures that are included (which are sized just right, not just filler) pertain to the text and are really quite inspiring. 

A bit on the content: Mr. Murray starts with a brief Bio that includes some great illustrations from earlier in his career, followed by a very brief animation history lesson. This is a great way to start the book, since you can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. He commences to plow forward by picking his brain about his own process in creating characters and stories, following them from initial kernel of an idea in your head to getting them on paper to creating personalities to pitching your idea, preparing a mini-bible for the pilot, producing the pilot, taking it to series, maintaining your sanity when this is your life day in and day out for years, etc. He does a fantastic job of illustrating the realities of the business while still infusing plenty of his creativity. His thorough commentary provides a step-by-step insight into what to expect (and prepare yourself for) in the creation of a television animation series. The icing on the cake? Mr. Murray also includes several interviews with other series creators and talents, picking their brains about their own process and insights on the industry. 

I cannot recommend this book enough for both creatives and fans of cartoons! :^)