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I was sitting in the movie theater today, minding my own business, (and Captain Kirks!), when all of the sudden three words came to me. “Change Your Destiny”. I was so surprised that I dug down into my purse ( the black hole), looking for my notebook so i might them down.
Along with the words came a sudden rush of hope and direction for my future. Instead of watching the Star Trek movie I began thinking of things I could turn around in my life that would mean a different future, even 3 months from now.
How many times in our lives do we stay the course because it is easy or familiar? What would happen if we chose three things in each day, and purposed in our hearts to do them differently? Perhaps that wild mean venturing out to see a neighbor you hadn’t seen in a while? Or put down that cheese sandwich and opt for a salad? Why not carve out an hour of the day to work on your novel or write a letter to a relative? Maybe it’s time you tackle your To Do List?
I will think out loud here and list some different areas of interest to me.
Under each heading could be multiple topics.
Imagine if you took a new course of action for each heading, each day. How might that change your life by this time next year? Just think! You could come to the end of the year a new person. Or perhaps you might become the person you were meant to be? What area might you work on this week?
Heaven! The final frontier! But what will you do before that??? I LOVE the thought of CHA CHA CHANGE!!!
The confetti from Merida’s Royal Coronation at Cinderella’s castle in Walt Disney World has barely been swept up and she’s already learning what it means to be a real Princess. When it was announced that the star of 2012’s Brave would be crowned Disney’s 11th Princess on the morning of May 11th, they unveiled her new look for the product line.
The makeover, which apparently happened to all the Disney princesses when no one was looking, involved dropping 20 pounds, caking on some mascara and giving Merida a Keratin hair treatment. “There’s the hot hair, the coy expression,” wrote Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter. “Also the obligatory exposed shoulders, slimmer waist, and the bow and arrow replaced by… what is that, a low-slung belt?…Because, in the end, it wasn’t about being brave after all. It was about being pretty.”
“The redesign of Merida in advance of her official induction to the Disney Princess collection does a tremendous disservice to the millions of children for whom Merida is an empowering role model who speaks to girls’ capacity to be change agents in the world rather than just trophies to be admired. Moreover, by making her skinnier, sexier and more mature in appearance, you are sending a message to girls that the original, realistic, teenage-appearing version of Merida is inferior; that for girls and women to have value — to be recognized as true princesses — they must conform to a narrow definition of beauty.”
The film’s original director, Brenda Chapman, has also blasted the makeover, telling the Marin Independent Journal that it is “a blatantly sexist marketing move based on money.” Chapman continued:
“There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls. Disney marketing and the powers that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves. I think it’s atrocious what they have done to Merida. When little girls say they like it because it’s more sparkly, that’s all fine and good but, subconsciously, they are soaking in the sexy ‘come hither’ look and the skinny aspect of the new version. It’s horrible! Merida was created to break that mold — to give young girls a better, stronger role model, a more attainable role model, something of substance, not just a pretty face that waits around for romance.”
Have you ever started a new chapter in your life? Have you ever dared to do something you never did before? Did you feel launched into it and found yourself in free fall? You are not alone. It happens all the time! Anyone who wants to do something worthwhile in life has to take risks and sometimes those risks lead to even more risks!
When my art career began, I was imagining all the possibilities. I dreamed of success. I created many fun little cartoons and talked about what I wanted to do with them. Then one day, I ran into a friend who was DOING what I wanted to do. She shook me! She said, “Les, you have to go to the N.Y. Stationary Show and you have to go NOW!
I had heard of this show. I had many of my friends online talking about going. This was back in the late 90′s. There was something in her voice. It was more like a command from heaven than a gentle nudging from a friend. I made up my mind to go!
This was huge for me. I had only been on an airplane once for a 45 minute flight. I practically sat on the lap of the man sitting next to me… asking him what this bump was and what THAT bump was! I decided I better pray about this trip. I told the Lord that if HE wanted me to do this then he would have to make the way for me. A few days later someone had put an envelope in my mailbox. It was $300.00. Enough for my flight! It was not long until I was flying across America to New York City. I met up with my girlfriend and stayed with her uncle and aunt. We took buses, rode trains and cabs. Once at the show we had to pedal our portfolios. I am NOT a sales person. … but there I was asking people where their art director was and if I might have a minute with them. Over and over. Hmmm…. it became a little easier each time.
One last company sat down with me. They looked through my whole portfolio and asked if I had anything more? I pulled out one last picture of a little baby. That was it! That was the one the art director liked. She asked me if I had any more and I told her I would email them to her when I got home. You better believe I was sketching babies on the airplane!
This was one of my first “be brave” moments. Over and over the good Lord has taken my by the hand and shown me what to do next. Some would say, “you are weak if you need help for everything.” But I say, I am smart for asking.
I have a few more adventures I am yearning for. There will come that day, when the dreaming is over, and the bags all packed and ready to GO!
Here's a watercolour and ink drawing I did to help promote my sale but it seems I didn't need it as I sold out od commissions before I could properly post this. If you are interested in this drawing please let me know, like the others it's 25 plus 10 USD for shipping.
Typically, a cheesy low-budget animated feature would be lucky to get one major Hollywood name involved with it. Not so in the case of Sir Billi, a film that continues to fascinate for its sheer grotesquery. As it turns out, Sean Connery and Alan Cumming aren’t the only significant names involved with Scotland’s first (and one can only hope, last) CG feature. The film’s score was composed by Patrick Doyle, who scored another Scottish-themed CG feature as well—Pixar’s Brave.
In the first video below, you can hear Patrick Doyle and Sean Connery speak about Sir Billi in a way that makes them appear totally disconnected from reality. You can also hear some of Sir Billi‘s title song, which is performed by another legend who somehow became involved with the film, vocalist Shirley Bassey:
In the second video, we hear from Tessa Hartmann, who wrote the script and produced the film with her husband.
The LA Times conducted an hour-loung roundtable with the directors of five recent animated features: Mark Andrews (Brave), Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), Chris Butler (ParaNorman), Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) and Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania).
The winners of the 11th Annual VES Awards were announced yesterday in Los Angeles. The two most honored films were Brave and Life of Pi, each with four awards, while Game of Thrones was the most-honored TV project, also with four awards.
Presented by the Visual Effects Society, the award recognizes outstanding visual effects work across a broad spectrum of the entertainment industry including film, animation, television, commercials and video games. In addition to the awards below, director Ang Lee was honored with the VES Visionary Award (presented by Dennis Muren) and ILM veteran Richard Edlund with the Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by Harrison Ford).
The following is the complete list of winners of The 11th Annual VES Awards:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture Life of Pi
Donald R. Elliott, Susan Macleod, Guillaume Rocheron, Bill Westenhofer
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture The Impossible
Felix Bergés,Sandra Hermida,Pau Costa Moeller
Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture Brave
Mark Andrews, Steve May, Katherine Sarafian, Bill Wise
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program Game of Thrones: Volar Morghulis
Rainer Gombos, Steve Kullback, Sven Martin, Juri Stanossek
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program Boardwalk Empire: Episode 308
John Bair, Parker Chehak, Paul Graff, Lesley Robson-Foster
Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Jason Blundell, Barry Whitney, Colin Whitney
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial Nike: Biomorph
Rafael Colon, Aladino Debert, David Liu, Nicola Wiseman
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Heather Drummons, Joel Friesch, Brooke Breton, Chris Bailey
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture Life of Pi: Richard Parker
Erik De Boer, Sean Comer, Betsy Asher Hall, Kai-Hua Lan
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture Brave: Merida
Travis Hathaway, Olivier Soares, Peter Sumanaseni, Brian Tindall
Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program Game of Thrones: Training the Dragons
Irfan Celik, Florian Friedmann, Ingo Schachner, Chris Stenner
Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture The Avengers: Midtown Manhattan
Richard Bluff, Barry Williams, David Meny, Andy Proctor
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture Brave: The Forest
Tim Best, Steve Pilcher, Inigo Quilez, Andrew Whittock
Outstanding Created Environment in a Commercial or Broadcast Program Game of Thrones: Pyke
Rene Borst, Thilo Ewers, Adam Figielski, Jonas Stuckenbrock
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Matt Aitken, Victor Huang, Christian Rivers, R. Christopher White
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Commercial or Broadcast Program ZombiU
Dominique Boidin, Léon Bérelle, Rémi Kozyra, Maxime Luère
Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture The Avengers: Helicarrier
Rene Garcia, Bruce Holcomb, Polly Ing, Aaron Wilson
Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture Life of Pi: Storm of God
Harry Mukhopadhyay, David Stopford, Mark Williams, Derek Wolfe
Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture Brave
Chris Chapman, Dave Hale, Michael K. O’Brien, Bill Watral
Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Commercial or Broadcast Program Guinness: Cloud
Tom Bussell, Neil Davies
Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture Life of Pi: Storm of God
Ryan Clarke, Jose Fernandez, Sean Oharas, Hamish Schumacher
Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program Game of Thrones, Episode 210: White Walker Army
Falk Boje, Esther Engel, Alexey Kuchinsky, Klaus Wuchta
Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial Chevy 2012 Silverado
Dominik Bauch, Nicholas Kim, Benjamin Walsh
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project Natalis
Daniel Brkovic, David Kirchner, Jan-Marcel Kuehn, Tom Ferstl
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts presented their awards today in London. Pixar’s Brave took home the BAFTA award for Best Animated Film; it was up against ParaNorman and Frankenweenie.
Interesting note: Brenda Chapman, the original director of Brave, accepted the award with the film’s second director, Mark Andrews:
Life of Pi was the winner in the category of Special Visual Effects.
The award for Best Animated Short went to The Making Of Longbird, a mockumentary by Will Anderson, 23, produced at the Edinburgh College of Art. Ainslie Henderson (I Am Tom Moody), who co-wrote the film, shared the award with Anderson. This is the trailer for the short:
A writer couldn’t have scripted a more Hollywood ending to the saga of Brenda Chapman, Pixar’s first female director. Cartoon Brew broke the story when Chapman was unceremoniously dumped from her film Brave back in October 2010. Last night, Brenda made history after becoming the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, a prize shared with co-director Mark Andrews.
It took only twelve years of the Best Animated Feature award before the Academy recognized a film directed by a woman. By comparison, it took 82 years before the Academy awarded an Oscar to a live-action film directed by a woman. That happened in 2009, when Kathryn Bigelow won both Best Picture and Best Director for The Hurt Locker. Let us hope that Hollywood continues to embrace diversity and encourage fresh perspectives on storytelling.
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about seeing an original Pixar film again. Just like old times – no more Cars, no more Mater, no more Toys. The It’s Art blog has scored these new pix from Brave (click here to see them in hi-def) and they look refreshing. I don’t intend to post everything they release from the film, but these images certainly bode well for the studio – and us.
Here’s what I believe to be the final, all-encompassing, mega trailer for Brave. It reminds us that Pixar created Wall-E, Toy Story 3 and Up (so as not to confuse this pic with any DreamWorks/Blue Sky/Illumination film), and includes several gorgeous new shots we haven’t seen before. Looks good, sez I…
Less than one month to go before the release of the next Pixar “original” and the publicity is certainly heating up. Billboards are up all over Los Angeles and tie-in merchandise is hitting the stores. Two traditional indicators of the film’s quality have now shown up on my desk – and the good news is they do not disappoint. Chronicle’s The Art of Brave, written by Dreamworks’ story artist Jenny Lerew, is as usual a visual feast. I’ve become a real fan of these Art-Of books – even more so as the digital age threatens to do away with print. The artwork preserved here, perfectly printed on sumptuous glossy paper, is glorious to behold. The book presents hand drawn pre-vis by such notable talents as Tony Fucile, Matt Nolte, Peter Sohn, Steve Pilcher, Carter Goodrich and others – as well as Brenda Chapman (who contributes a Foreword, along with a separate one by co-director Mark Andrews). No controversies here – this is gorgeous stuff. Plentiful story sketch and color keys, sculpts and character designs. I can spend 20 minutes on each page. If the movie is half as good the art in here, it’ll be another classic.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Brave Little Golden Book is out. I bought one today at Ralph’s supermarket. For $3.99. Long time readers know I love the Pixar Little Golden Books, as they are executed in the lush, classic tradition of the series – which dates back to the 1940s. They usually choose one of the best artists – either from Pixar itself, or the Disney Publishing pool of talent – and this time Disney’s Lori Tyminski got the opportunity to show off her delightful style on this material. Bright and lively – and oh so appealing. Highly recommended! Now bring on the movie – I’m ready to see it all in action.
I’m in Anaheim for the annual American Library Association conference, but had the day to wander around. Since Disneyland is right across the street from the convention center, since Disney/Pixar’s ‘Brave” is opening this weekend, since I’m still a bit on New York time, I thought it would be apropos to take a nap and then attend the midnight screening at the AMC theater located in Downtown Disney (Disneyland’s shopping mall).
The theater was well packed… I’d say about 80% full. I usually avoid midnight screenings, as the “true fans” tend to spoil my enjoyment. Fortunately, Pixar fans are a somewhat respectable bunch, and were fairly quiet during the movie. There was a little girl sitting behind me who was a bit chatty during the first few minutes, but her mother gave her some gentle guidance, and then she was enraptured like the rest of the audience. (What a lucky girl… her first Disney movie is “Brave”, probably the most “unprincess” of all Disney princesses. I hope it inspires her.)
The movie was quite good, even with usual predictability. (Hey, it’s a Disney movie. The theme and tropes have to be front and center, although it’s always the Hero’s journey, not the destination, which matters.) I do wonder what sort of influence “The Secret of Kells” had on this movie, and if there were any “Brother Bear” in-jokes.
Afterwards, while waiting for the credit cookie (there is one, right before the Disney and Pixar logos), I realized:
A reference to the next Pixar movie (in this case, “Monsters University”)
But how do they appear in Brave, set in medieval Scotland? I’ll let others list them, as I was too engaged in the movie to watch. I suspect the Pizza Planet truck was shown in the woodcarver’s shop, but that was so crowded and hectic, it will probably have to wait for either the “Art of” book, or a freeze frame of the DVD. That would also be a good place to place any “Monsters University” characters (which had a trailer before the movie).
John Ratzenberger plays a guard in this movie, and is listed last on the credits. Since it’s an accent, it might jinx the good luck charm a bit, but I suspect the streak will continue, even if critics are less than thrilled about the movie.
The critics are probably right, about how the story seems to peter out towards the end. I feel that’s a weakness for Pixar: lack of story discipline. While Brenda Chapman is credited with the story and directing, there are four screenwriters listed. On a live-action movie, that’s almost always a warning sign. In animation, it’s not uncommon. Disney learned that lesson the hard way in the 198os, when some spectacular flops convinced them to start using screenplays. Pixar was called in to help fix the story of “John Carter” (why? it&r
The new official website of animation legend Thornton (T.) Hee is frustatingly difficult to navigate, but those who make the effort will be rewarded with never-before-seen caricatures of Hee’s Disney colleagues and examples of his Cartoon Modern-styled Christmas cards.
2Day in Animation is an Onion-esque take on the animation industry, and it’s often quite funny. Article highlights include “3,800 Really Cool Animation Jobs Posted in April, Though Only 17 Are For Pay,” “Big Studios Promise to Start Making Films with Cage-Free Animators,” “Digital Domain Creates Holograms of Nine Old Men to Helm New Animated Feature,” and “Teletoon Gives Series to Mediocre Animator Just To Shut Him Up.”
Animated films ruled the US box office last weekend, capturing the top two places. Brave, directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, grossed $66.3 million in its debut. That figure is virtually identical to last summer’s Cars 2, slightly better than WALL•E and slightly lower than Up. The real test will be in the weeks ahead, as we’ll watch to see whether it has box office legs like Toy Story 3 and Up or plummets quickly like Cars 2.
DreamWorks’ Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which debuted with $60.3 million three weekends ago, beat out newcomers like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and captured $19.7 million for a strong second place showing. With $157 million in the bank already, the film is on a pace to beat the domestic grosses of the first two entries in the Madagascar series.
Oh, I fell in love this past weekend. I went to see Brave, in 3D. Well, done Pixar! I loved that the lead characters were both female. I loved that the princess was not pining away for some guy to rescue her. I loved that she was strong willed, independent, and yes, brave. She was a perfect character in that she was smart, yet sometimes fool hardy and also remorseful when she made mistakes. The film really touched me. Not just the storyline, but the fantastic animation also. I had not seen a Pixar 3D film before. This did not disappoint! The hairs on the bear alone made me shed a tear at their beauty. The scenes with Merida and her horse galloping through the forest were incredible. It was just so real feeling. It was a pure visual pleasure to watch!
Since watching Brave, Merida has been on my mind a lot. In discussions with friends about the merits of the film, in debates with other friends on the film concept as a whole, and visually. Her hair is just so fantastic to draw. Sketching her expressions was so fun! Here are a few sketches I did today of her. It was a lot of fun. I plan on doing a full fan art piece very soon when I have time, maybe with her horse!
Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, featuring a cute animated teddy bear in the title role, exploded past expectations and grossed an estimated $54.1 million in its first weekend, which is the highest opening ever for an original R-rated comedy. The live-action/CG-animation Ted could be a watershed moment for the animation art form—the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of R-rated animation—and proves conclusively that there is a huge market for original adult animation. Prior to this, the highest-grossing R-rated animated film of all time was the TV adaptation South Park—Bigger, Longer and Uncut which earned $52 million in 1999.
While I don’t expect that Hollywood will start greenlighting mature animated films tomorrow, the industry’s more enlightened executives will hopefully recognize that a massive audience for animation exists beyond the limited range of fare that studios produce nowadays. Ted is the clearest indication yet that audiences are hungry for different kinds of characters, different stories, and different styles of animated filmmaking than the safe family-friendly fare they’ve been force-fed for decades.
In its second weekend, Pixar’s Brave dropped to third place with an estimated $34 million, bringing its cumulative domestic grosses to $131.7 million. The 48.7% week-to-week drop was better than Cars 2’s second weekend plummet (60.3%), similar to Toy Story 3 (46.2%) and WALL•E (48.5%), but not as strong as Up (35.2%) or Ratatouille (38.3%).
DreamWorks’ Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted continued to show legs in its fourth weekend. The film’s estimated gross of $11.8 million was good enough for 5th place and a total of $180 million domestically. It will soon become the highest grossing entry in the series. Madagascar 3’s worldwide total stands at $424.2 million. It remains to be seen if it can eclipse the global franchise-high of $600.3 million set by Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
Cinema Blend found this first frame from Pixar’s 2012 release, Brave. This one image excites me more than any footage I’ve seen so far from Cars 2. If a Brave trailer is attached to the upcoming race-car feature – that alone may justify a trip to the cinema.
‘Spy Kids: All The Time In The World In 4D’ promises to be an interactive experience (since it’s in…aromascope! Viewers will get a card with eight numbers to scratch and sniff when those corresponding numbers appear on the... Read the rest of this post