Way back before Codename: Kids Next Door became a totally for reals, 100% actual TV show it was just 1 of 10 pilot episodes that Cartoon Network was mulling over as a potential new show. I guess it must have been a pretty tough decision so they decided to pass the buck and let the viewers decide.
That was The Big Pick Weekend, which I've talked about plenty. (but for those who've been away on extended secret missions you can hear that story at the good ol' Sooper Secret KND Production Blog over HERE!)
Speaking of which-- look what I found whilst excavating the other day:
Yeah... it's no secret I like the Pokemon cards. A bunch of us at Cartoon Network even had a little after-work league going while I was working on the KND pilot.
So to drum up some interest in KND and get folks to vote I made a Pokemon card to post around the assorted Pokemon TCG sites I hung around.
May I present to you his third mega-sooper tome of sooperness:
I don't have to tell you that anyone in the industry, or anyone that's interested in animation ought to pick up this book.
It's like a big delicious sizzling sausage, only instead of being stuffed with grizzly animal parts, it's stuffed to the bursting point with interesting stories, sagely advice, cringe-worthy jokes and wisdom passed onto Mr. Levy by dozens of heavyweights in the industry...
Why, I even got to do a blurb on the back cover:
“Q: How many books on directing animation does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A: One— David Levy’s! And if you read this funny and informative book, you’ll learn how to get other people to screw in the lightbulbs FOR you—and love doing it!” Tom Warburton, TV animation director, creator, Cartoon Network's Codename: Kids Next Door
With a blurb like that it's fairly obvious this book will sell out in no time-- so be sure to order yours NOW.
Not that there's much there. Just the 1000 TIMES NO book promo and a 5 second clip of Dan Santat eating pizza. Hardly a 'channel', really. But I thought that maybe a lot of people REALLY liked MASTERPIECE and were hoping I'd upload more stuff.
The influx was the result of this guy:
Evan works at Warner Brothers making awesome cartoons you love. He also has a Youtube channel with a billion fans:
You really oughta check out The Block! He shows you how to draw your sooper favoritest characters from TV, movies, comics, manga and beyond!
He also conducts some pretty awesome interviews with really talented artists!
If you're dying to hear me blather on and on about myself, wave my arms around crazily and stick an 'UH' between every 5th word for over 8 minutes-- THEN THIS IS THE VIDEO FOR YOU!
But if that's NOT the video for you, perhaps you'd like these instead:
Well, there are plenty of funny cat videos on Youtube that oughta keep you busy then.
A while back I mentioned that sooperstar show creator Joe Murray was completely insane--
And I stick by that!
But I never said he couldn't write a darn good book.
For example, remember that e-book he did? The one about making your own cartoon? I talked about it way over HERE.
Well, this e-book was soooooo good that a publisher approached him about turning it into an honest-to-goodness, real live, hold-in-your-hands-and-turn-the-pages booky book!
Which was AWESOME--- except for the fact that Mr. Murray liked the environmental bonuses of making e-books. Here's a picture of him holding his nose at the idea:
But eventually Mr. Murray decided that you fine folks NEEDED this book and decided to go for it. And guess what?
IT'S AVAILABLE NOW!
Obviously, the book's success was maybe/possibly/kind of based on the fact that I was mentioned on a couple pages. I even got a three page Q and A interview with Mr. Murray which I'm shocked the critics haven't raved about more (if at all). Or perhaps it's my blurb on the back of the book that makes it such a must have?
Then again, it might just be that Mr. Murray wrote a brilliant book that gives you firsthand experience on what it's like to create an animated TV show from scratch. I mean, the guy created both Rocko's Modern Life AND Camp Lazlo... so you're not going to find too many more people with that kinda knowledge.
So why are you hanging around reading ridiculous blogs when you could be reading CREATING ANIMATED CARTOONS WITH CHARACTER?!
A long time ago when ninjas ruled the Earth and giant robots only cost a dime, I had been working sooper triple crazy hours on back-to-back-to-back projects at J.J. Sedelmaier Productions and was pretty well burnt, fried, toasted, seared, blackened, poached, par-broiled and grumpy as all get out. I couldn't imagine jumping into another crazy-deadlined project and was seriously contemplating quitting animation and becoming a nun. Then my boss J.J. called me at home and told me I was starting a new project the next day.
I replied with a whole bunch of bad words I made up on the spot.
But being the curious little monkey I am, I ended the string of expletives with a suspicious, "What is it?"
J.J. patiently told me that I was going to be working on an animated opening for the ASIFA-EAST ANIMATION festival. And the way he said it made me even more suspicious.
So I asked him what the story was. I asked him what the style was. I asked him who was directing it. Who was animating. The schedule?
I could hear J.J. grin over the phone. "That your job. Come up with something. And I don't want to see it until it's done."
See, J.J. had been chatting with ASIFA-EAST Sooper President Linda Simensky and asked how he could help the organization. She said that she had always wanted the ASIFA-EAST festival to have an animated opening. So J.J. volunteered to do one on his dime.
And he gave it to me.
This was a gift. A thank you. An olive branch. An opportunity. An ice cream sundae with all the trimmings. And perhaps one of the events that got me to where I am today. Because when J.J. said he was leaving it up to me, he really meant it.
I had to come up with a 1-2 minute concept. I had to design it. I had to storyboard it. I had to hire a voice actor. Organize a crew to animate it. Supervise production. Find music and sound effects. Direct post production.
In short, I got to make my own film and get paid for it.
It would take me months to describe all the things that happened during the production of what J.J. listed in the company's production schedule as MASTERPIECE-- a title I still, to this day, cringe at. But as I mentioned above, this project helped me to become a storyteller, a designer, a director, and a supervisor.
It made me realize how powerful it is to have a finished film.
It showed me the thrill of a theater full of people laughing at something you created!
And no, it's not the greatest film in the universe...
But it's mine. (And it did get into a couple festivals!)
And while I'm pretty sure I thanked J.J. for this opportunity at some point, I highly doubt I did it properly. I was young and didn't know how.
So thanks, J.J. and Patrice. For the gift. The thank you. The olive branch. The opportunity. And the ice cream sundae with all the trimmings.
But enough of that crap. You probably wanna see this thing, right? Well, okay. It's right over HERE.
So Mrs. Warburton went back to the Old Country (NYC) for a couple days to do a little work and see some friends. That meant it was just me and the two little vikings all on our own.
Good thing THIS showed up on Friday:
Uh huh... that there's a Disney Silver Pass. It allows the owner and three guests to get into any Disney theme park free of charge at anytime (almost), with the added bonus of free parking and a generous discount off everything in the park. And Disney rocks hard enough to give one to each of their employees. That makes me say:
So yeah... me and the maniacs went to Disneyland on Saturday! We rocked the Davy Crockett canoes, Autopia, Mickey's Toontown, and a bunch of other fun (and not too scary) rides.
So what could make the day even MORE rockin'?! How's about getting a babysitter and going out on the town with Mo Willems?
He was in town to promote THIS:
It's the last book of the trilogy and if you don't cry at the end you're a horrible person.