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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. It’s More Fun Winning An Oscar If You Live in Louisiana

There’s something to be said for running a cartoon studio in a place where animation production isn’t commonplace. To celebrate the Animated Short Oscar for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, the city of Shreveport, Louisiana threw an extravagant parade for Moonbot Studios and the film’s directors Bill Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg. Here’s a few perks you get if you win an Oscar in Louisiana that you probably won’t get in other places:

A free ride in a banana-colored convertible
Moonbot

A marching band
Moonbot

A customized battle tank plus confetti
Moonbot

A decorated street-cleaning machine
Moonbot

Acknowledgment from celebrities like Randal Reeder
Moonbot

Custom-designed moon piesMoonbot

Balloons with flying books
Moonbot

The adulation of children
Moonbot

And, of course, women
Moonbot

If you require more evidence for why it’s better to run an animation studio in a city few people have ever heard of, see the city of Shreveport’s Flickr page or this article in the Shreveport Times.

(via Big Screen Animation)


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2. 2012 Oscar Talkback


We’re going to be open all night long to discuss the Oscars. We’re still waiting to hear the winners, but here are the results of Cartoon Brew’s Oscar Survey. Will ILM’s Rango and Pixar’s La Luna win the Feature and Short categories as our readers predicted, or will there be upsets in those categories.

While we’re waiting to hear the results, take some time to read our interviews with the five nominees of the Best Animated Short category:

Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis (Wild Life)

Enrico Casarosa (La Luna)

Grant Orchard (A Morning Stroll)

Patrick Doyon (Sunday)

Bill Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore)


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3. Oscar Focus: William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg Talk About “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”

BREWMASTERS NOTE: This week Cartoon Brew takes a closer look at each of the five Academy Award nominated animated shorts. Each day at 10am EST/7am PST we will post an exclusive interview with the director(s) of one of the films. Today, we begin with The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore:

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is the first film from William Joyce’s Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana. Co-directors William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg spoke with Cartoon Brew on January 25th.

Jerry: First things first. Your studio is in Shreveport, Louisana. Why there?

Bill Joyce: That’s where I grew up, it’s a great little Southern Shangri-la. Not that far from Dallas, about 2-3 hrs away. Brandon was working at Reel EFX and started contacting me about working together, and then Lampton (Enochs, co-partner in Moonbot) moved out here after Hurricane Katrina. The movie industry is actually pretty big in Louisiana. In this weird way, Shreveport has become this film making mecca. (laughter) That sounds too kind of ludicrous to say, but it’s sort of true.

Jerry: It IS true, you can make movies anywhere, everywhere today. Now, I’m a little fuzzy on the whole origin of this project. I’m under the impression that it started as an app, or designed to be something else other than a film?

Bill: It started out as a book that I wrote a few years ago in response to my mentor at Harper Collins. His name was Bill Morris and he had been there since they were called Harper Brothers, since 1949. He was just a great old publishing titan, and a real gentleman… but he was dying and I was really bummed out about it. One of the ways I deal with the good things and the crummy things in my life is I write a story. I was flying up to see him and on the way this title just kind of tumbled into my head, called “The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore.” It was a play on both Bill’s name and his actual physical stature… he was a diminutive guy, though a giant in the industry. And he loved books and everything about publishing. So I got to read him the story which was really sweet. He was a kind of crusty old guy but he would respond to outreaches of emotion in his crusty old way. I was going to make it into a book but then Brandon and I started working together in animation, and we wanted to create a short film around same time I was working on the book. It was then Lamptin suggested we form a company.

Jerry: I love how the film combines CG with hand drawn and miniatures…

Bill: Well, we kind of decided early on we wanted to play with all different kinds of animation, and it seemed that just to think of it in terms of computer animation seemed too limiting. Brandon and I were just so stoked about building miniatures and having CG characters, and doing 2D for some of it, and just doing everything we loved. It just seemed to apply to the story.

Brandon Oldenburg: And we love those old Popeyes, man. You know, we just wanted to just see if it would work. We had gotten a taste of building sets back in 1998 on a test film that we did called The Man In The Moon, where we built miniatures and took them down to New Orleans to an old vaudevillian theater that had been converted into a sound stage. And you know, that short test piece actually evolved into the upcoming Dreamworks project, The Rise of the Guardians.

Jerry: It seems you really put what you wanted into this film and you weren’t aiming for it being a 6 minute short, a 12 minute film, or a 22 minute TV special.

Bill: Going in, we were all “OK. We can’t afford anything over 7 minutes. We have to make this work for 7 minutes.” (laughter) And then we made an animatic completely disregarding time frame. “OK, how long does it time out? Oh! Oh crap! It’s 16 minutes!

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