Monday, July 11, 2005

Moving our blog.
Bye Bye Blogspot.

So, it's come to this.

Nothing serious, but we're moving The Frederator Studios Blog onto our home site (and, for a while, we'll be calling it The Frederator Studios Blog 2.0). And after the production blogs our colleagues have set up for My Life as a Teenage Robot and Wubby, Widget, & Walden, we've become so blog smitten, we're starting up a major effort for Oh Yeah! Cartoons.

Today (July 11, 2005) is the first day of production on the first of 39 short cartoons we're producing for Nickelodeon in the 4th season of Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Congratulations to Kyle Carrozza who's starting his first commercial cartoon, MooBeard, the Cow Pirate.

Aside from our excitement for Kyle (and for us; we're lucky enough he's creating his cartoon at Frederator), he's also the first of the Oh Yeah! creators to be beginning a full production blog of the entire experience of making his short. As each the creators comes on board over the next six months or so, each of them will begin his/her own blog. You'll be able to follow along with first timers and veterans alike, getting an insight to their thrills and anxieties, and probably the evolution of each of the films. If the Roblog and the Wubblog are any indication, each of them should be an enjoyable entertainment.

Anyhow, please join us from now on at the new home of The Frederator Studio Blog. Read along, keep leaving us your great comments, and hopefully, enjoy our ride.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Oh Yeah! Penn Ward.

I think Nickelodeon (our exclusive network partner) is pretty happy with the storyboards we've been seeing for the upcoming season of Oh Yeah! Cartoons. It might be because the next generation of talents have been very present. Like Penn Ward.

Penn is a recent graduate of Cal Arts in Valencia, California, specializing in character animation. He also plays a mean guitar. His very original voice is evident in his cartoon storyboard called Adventure Time.

Thanks to Penn for his kind permission to post some frames from his storyboard.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Greg Eagles & David (dahveed) Kolodny-Agy. Oh Yeah!

Greg Eagles and David (dahveed) Kolodny-Agy came over to Frederator Studios to show us their unique cartoon Teapot, for possible production in the fourth season of Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Greg's a writer and voice over artist (we've worked together before on Buy One, Get One Free for What A Cartoon! Right now, Greg's famous for the voice of Grim on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy). David's a storyboard artist who runs a company called Smorgasbord Productions.

Thanks to Greg and David for kind permission to post models from their cartoon.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Eric & Michelle Bryan.

I am not very smart. Or rather, I'm pretty careless.

In the post from June 28, in my rush to a mea culpa, I neglected to mention Michelle Bryan, who with her husband Eric, created a wonderful Oh Yeah! cartoon for our 3rd season: Skippy Spankerton, Nickelodeon's Hottest New Filmmaker. At the time (1999) Michele was a member of the Oh Yeah! production staff and Eric was an animation professional.

I always loved Skippy, and I'm sorry to have skipped by Michelle's contribution as the very first female creator of one of our Oh Yeah!s. Thanks Michelle (and Eric)!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ryan Sias. Oh Yeah!

We met artist Ryan Sias through our friends at Silver Lining Productions. Ryan came over to our New York office to show us his storyboard for Courageous Critters for Oh Yeah! Cartoons.

Thanks to Ryan for his kind permission to post a frame from his storyboard.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Grrrl Power!

we can do it
It's been an incredible 13 years to be in animation. After 99 shorts (48 What A Cartoon!s and 51 Oh Yeah!s), countless sequels, and hit series, there's one thing I can tell you for sure. With great humiliation, I confess: We haven't made one short with a woman creator. And, believe me, not for lack of trying. We pushed, we prodded, we begged, but out of the more than 5000 storyboards we looked at throughout the years, I don't think we even had a couple dozen pitches by women; the industry just hadn't been hospitable enough to front-line female animators who wanted to step up.

Well, I'm here to tell you, the world's changed. Day after day, Frederator's Oh Yeah! Cartoons development team is seeing that metamorphosis first hand.

You can see it too, just take a look at our blog. On this page alone there are four woman who've come to us to show their ideas. There are dozens more on the other pages. And, take it from me, there are some fantastic cartoons in those ideas. Some great talent.

It's about time. Cartoons need to reflect the diversity in our modern world. It's the way our children are growing up. Women aren't the only reflection of that breadth, but they're the biggest tidal wave of the moment. Here's to Grrrl Power finding the next great cartoon hit. Or maybe it'll be somebody else we haven't heard from before. I'm sure of it.

Jill Friemark. Oh Yeah!

Jill Friemark's been a valued Frederator colleague for years, on ChalkZone and, most recently, on My Life as a Teenage Robot. (Check out the iconic MLaaTR poster she created in her first week on the show!) Not only was Jill nice enough to introduce us to many of her talented friends, but she came over and pitched Oh Yeah! her cartoon The Silver Spatula. Thanks for everything Jill.

And thanks to Jill for kind permission to post some of her beautiful frames from The Silver Spatula.

Oh Yeah! Jay Morales.

From our Hollywood development colleague Melissa Wolfe: "Jay is a very talented (and young!) artist/creator. So young, in fact, that she has one more year to go in art school, and was commuting from San Diego to intern two days a week on Cat Scratch when she decided to pitch to Oh Yeah! Cartoons."

Thanks to Jay for kind permission to post a page from her pitch.

Andrew Dickman. Oh Yeah!

Fredertor Postcards Series 7.7: Ivan the Unbearable
This post is overdue. Andrew Dickman has been in a number of times showing us always improved variations on his very funny Ivan the Unbearable. Andrew is working over at Warner Bros. Animation as a character designer.

We're very lucky that Oh Yeah! Cartoons keeps getting so many excellent pitches. Keep 'em coming!

Thanks Andrew, for kindly letting us post some of your Ivan models.

Original Cartoons:
The Frederator Postcards.

fpb cover 2 copy
Our book has just been listed on Amazon, reminding us to remind you that it'll be officially published by the Easton Studio Press in November. In the meanwhile, as many of you know, there's a free (large) PDF preview we posted a few months ago. Keep your eyes glued, because we'll be offering early, signed copies here as early as September.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Oh Yeah! Larry Huber!

Larry Huber is the unsung hero of the modern animation business. He's my hero. Without Larry Huber, my whole approach to cartoons would have been derided as Fred's Folly.

Now that we're moving into the fourth season of Oh Yeah!, I wanted to give Larry his well deserved props.

Larry and I have been the co-executive producers of Oh Yeah! Cartoons since it first went into production. Before that he oversaw our shorts at What A Cartoon!/World Premiere Toons! at Cartoon Network and Hanna-Barbera. Between the two he was responsible for developing the teams that created 100 original cartoon characters, 11 hit series (including his own ChalkZone), and 3 feature films. Geez Louise!

Think about it. Larry guided the now recognized talents of Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCraken, Butch Hartman, Rob Renzetti, Bill Burnett, David Feiss, and dozens of others through their first professional, solo films and series. His tutelage virtually populated the cartoon industry with its new generation of star talent.

Excitement, optimism, hope, animation skills and talents, and an unerring sense of story have been the hallmarks of Larry's bag of tricks in these enterprises. Don't underestimate how challenging it is to balance the needs of all these filmmakers, each with a laser-like focus on doing a picture just their way, and that way happens to be completely different than the person in the next office. It requires a fortitude that few people have. Larry's got it.

Clearly, our production teams, led by Debby Hindman and Sherry Gunther, had the patience of Job themselves. And Buzz Potamkin, who identified Larry as the right guy in the first place, deserves more than a little credit here in believing that our approach could make a difference. But Larry was the man.

Whenever you write and thank me for our cartoons and what we've been able to do for the industry, remember, it's Larry who made the difference.

Thanks bud, I'm looking forward to another wild season.

(By the way, regarding the illustration up above: Butch Hartman, then a 'fist' in the Hanna-Barbera bullpen, proved his unique ability to capture a personality in a flash with this 1990 sketch of Larry hard at work.)