So Mr. Warburton, you just joined a production a month before it premieres! What are you going to do?
I'm going to Disneyland!
Yup... The House of Mouse was kind enough to give us the day off to go to The Happiest Place on Earth before watching the sooper exciting world premiere of Fish Hooks!
And while it was a pretty exciting day for me, it was WAY more exciting for show creator Noah Z. Jones. I mean, just look at the guy:
Well, either he's excited or just got goosed by Donald Duck. It's hard to tell.
And see that medal he's wearing? We all wore one of those. I got Mr. Baldwin:
It was cool to see how many kids actually recognized the show when they saw these things, especially because there were only a couple sneak peeks on the air before the big premiere.
I mostly hung out with Mr. Jones, head writer Tim McKeon, and storyboard artist Carl Faruolo:
While we were waiting in line for rides, we played a game called "YOUR NEW FAMILY". That's where you pick someone, like Noah, and say, "Your new family is the next one that walks by with someone wearing Crocs."
"The next family that walks by with someone eating ice cream is your new family."
Sometimes we were very happy with our new family. Sometimes we were very, very scared of our new family. But it was always fun.
Anyway... we did lots of awesome stuff all day. Usually we'd run into another group of Fish Folk and we'd cross pollinate into new groups.
It was a good day for not-so-long lines, too! I went on:
Pirates of the Caribbean Space Mountain Captain Eo Indiana Jones (aaaaaaaawesome!) And I ALMOST went on Splash Mountain but bailed when I saw how wet people were getting. I mean, I didn't wanna go to the premiere party soaking wet!
Speaking of which, after going out to a nice, if not hurried dinner, we all gathered in a conference room in the Grand Californian Hotel for the premiere!
See that? See that guy with the poo-poo face? Yes, you are correct. It is HE. My former Evil Apprentice on Codename: Kids Next Door. Blake Lemons. aka Numbuh 8675309. He thought he could escape me by running away to Los Angeles and drawing storyboards. But I found him. And that's why he's making that face.
Regardless, we all had an awesome time hanging out, snacking, drinking root beers, and of course...
Watching Fish Hooks go on the air FOR REALS.
Sooper triple massive congrats to Mr. Jones, Executive Producer/Samurai Executioner Maxwell Atoms and EVERYONE who made this thing happen!
First season is always a killer and you guys busted your butts to make a rockin' show!
A little while back, Mr. Willems and I were on the phone discussing our usual plethora of important topics:
How he's a bad person for preferring dark chocolate over milk chocolate.
How I'm a bad person for not reading books detailing the criticisms of the criticisms of the fabric of hats worn on the Great Silk Road of China during the Late Crustaceous Period of Boredom.
Arguing whether Vikings or Conquistadores would win in a game of jeu de boule. (Vikings, duh!)
And/or about who's getting better looking as they get older. (Again... Vikings.)
Inbetween all that fascinating rot, Mo brought up a sooper secret project that he asked if I wanted to contribute to.
I mean, it's been eleventy eight years since we sat around making up stupid stuff together!
(For work, that is)
It was also a good excuse to hit NYC for some meetings I needed to have with some publishers. So I booked up a flight and hit the road (er... air).
Once there, I made my way up to Northampton, MA where I was graciously received at stately Knuffle Manor by Mo and his family. I hadn't been up to visit since they moved there two years ago so a tour was in order and, of course, the house rocks like a hurricane. Especially the chalkboard walls in the dining room.
What? You don't remember reading about those over HERE?
Uh huh. Like a hurricane.
And those walls got put to good use during the party Mo was awesome enough to throw while I was in town. See, there are a LOT of writers and artists who live in Northampton. You can't throw a rock without hitting at least three. (Personally, I can't throw a rock without hitting Mo.) (Mainly because I'm aiming for him.)
Anyway... check out some of the chalky goodness that went down:
And I have no idea who did these delightful doodles:
And what's a party without Cherry Man?
So after all this fun, I went to bed very happy (and very late). Old friends, new friends, yummy food, lots of root beer and many, many laughs of all sizes. It was almost a shame to have to work the next day. But when work involves as many laughs as a party... Who can call it work?
As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working on a sooper triple funny called FISH HOOKS right now.
And no, I didn't create it. This guy did:
That's picture book illustrator Noah Z. Jones right there. And while he definitely knows his way around an animation desk, he's never really worked on, let alone run his own sooper big network show before.
That's why Disney hired this guy:
Uh huh... Maxwell Atoms is the Executive Producer/Show Runner/Big Cheese/Judge/Jury/Executioner and Head Pizza Chef of Fish Hooks.
So a while back, he asked me if I wanted to write some stories for the show and maybe do a storyboard.
And OF COURSE I wanted to write some stories! But storyboard?
Storyboarding is pretty intense stuff. Especially when you're 'boarding your story from an outline instead of a script. You've gotta be an artist, a writer, an actor, a director, a draftsman, a comedian, a storyteller, an editor, a location scout, sushi chef, lumberjack as well as a 1000 other things. And you've gotta do it all on a deadline!
I tried to talk my way out of it, but Mr. Atoms turned into a were-gorilla and shook me around until I agreed to do it.
And I'm not gonna lie to you... It was HARD and required every ounce of my sooper powers. Aside from doing all the things listed above:
I was drawing characters I had never drawn before...
I was writing dialogue for characters I didn't know that well... (I mean, I KNOW how each of the KND would react to something, but I had just MET these fish!)
And I was doing a storyboard digitally for the first time so I had to learn how to use Toonboom's Storyboard Pro (which, BTW, is pretty awesome).
Like I said... pretty intense. And after a grueling 4.5 weeks, I had to get up and perform my story for the bigshot Disney executives along with the whole Fish Hooks crew. And for me... that's the easy part. I mean... I had to get up and perform a billion KND stories in front of people all the time! But back then, if someone didn't like my story-- I could fire them.
Not so this time around! But you know what?
It went GREAT! People laughed. I got great notes. I didn't embarrass myself (or Mr. Atoms). And no one threw anything at me.
And then I had a (very relieved) week and a half to finish up the board. And during that time... Another job opened up.
See, between Pre-Production (writing, designing, storyboarding, etc) and Post Production (calling retakes, spotting music and sound FX, editing, mixing, etc) Mr. Atoms was up to his vampire-bitten neck in craziness. So now it's my job to help him out! I'm kinda doing a little of everything-- Post Production, Pre-Production, hanging out by the pie table at the Disney commissary, etc.
In other words... I get to work on a fun show, hang out with Maxwell Atoms all day, work with an awesome crew, AND get paid for it?!
But don't worry... I've got lots of my OWN projects in varying stages of development! Keep it locked here so I can tell you about them!