Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Farewell, Vampira

Dana Gould asked me to design a postcard and an ad for the funeral fund of his late friend Maila Nurmi - perhaps better known as Vampira. What an honor. I am sorry I never met her, but gently correcting a rare color photo of her, delicately removing unwanted background pixel by pixel, rouging her lips and fingernails by hand, I feel I've done something good for the Mistress of The Dark.

If you please:
(Click on the image to see the complete information)


Sunday, January 06, 2008



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Scavenger "Fun"-t

the_game2007_2What's weaker than the title of this blog entry? Its tie-in to animation! Nevertheless, I must give a shout out to The Game 2007. This all-day scavenger hunt, which covered The Grove, Hollywood Forever cemetary, the Hollywood Wax Museum, SAG and 18 other destinations, was an unbelievable blast. My team consisted of Neil "Scrubs" Flynn, Rad "Fruit of the Loom Apple" Daly, and Blaine "My Husband" Capatch, the former two being complete strangers until that very day. Collectively, we were Gina, a spunky young actress, new to town and ready for success! And that's exactly what we got - if 14th place counts as success.

the_game2007_1The entire thing was masterminded by J.P. "Fruit of the Loom Green Grapes" Manoux, seen here about to eat a donut off a string with a satan:

Okay, animation... well, Sutton, Barth & Vennari, an agency who reps the likes of Dee Bradley Baker, BJ Ward and our own Eric Bauza, was one destination. Once there, we had to record an advert for Knott's Berry Farm, then meet with actual agents Rita Vennari and Pam Sparks, who sadly declined to take us on as a client. To fully appreciate the other genius touches, do read the breakdown of the hunt here!


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Monday, October 01, 2007

Let's all play in the...

In my excessive summer busyness, I forgot to mention an entertaining new production at the Steve Allen Theater. Proudly billing their collection as the "worst cartoons ever," Cartoon Dump! showcases classics of a not-bygone-enough era. Typical attributes of these shorts include: ridiculous lipsync (recorded after the animation?), no lipsync (the kids in "Big World of Little Adam" speak exclusively from behind a book), frighteningly off-model characters, nonsensical storylines, artistic laziness, and general stupidity. In other words, laughs.

Cartoon Dump! is produced by's Jerry Beck and Mystery Science Theater 3000's Frank Conniff. Between the horrendous flicks, Frank and comedienne Erica Doering perform delightfully dejected sketches as "Moodsy, the Clincally Depressed Owl" and "Composte Brite," and are periodically joined by a cast of characters that includes fellow MST3Ker Joel Hodgson as "Dumpster Diver Dan."

When's the next show? October 23rd!
Steve Allen Theater @ the Center for Inquiry - West
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

More info here!



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Greatest Time Lapse Film Cliches.

I screened this, my new short, at the 2nd anniversary of the Tomorrow Show last Saturday, hosted by Craig Anton, Ron Lynch and Brendon Small. Craig & Ron are also in the Tulsa Skull Swingers, the kick-assingest band that twinny and I go-go dance for.

Please enjoy.



Sunday, July 22, 2007

Poka, moi dorogoi drook.

sashinkaSad news. Alexander Tatarsky passed away yesterday. He was the co-founder and president of Studiya Pilot*, the first non-state animation studio in Russia. I'd met him in Moscow in 1996 through Igor Kovalyov - his best friend and studio partner - and ended up moving in with "Sasha," his lovely wife Katya (all pictured above, Sasha middle) and three-year-old son Ilya for seven weeks. I kept Ilya occupied by watching Russian Sesame Street with him (which vastly improved my language skills) and by tying his feet together when he got too crazy (but he always hopped after me.) In return, Sasha called me his daughter and said I should stay. My last night in Moscow, we drank champagne and he dug out two antique pistols, one of which he fired without warning. Oh, Sashinka.

I'd seen him periodically since then, including this year at Annecy. How thankful I am for that. My Russian was so much better, as was his English. He was proud of his new baby and now-teenaged Ilya. He met my dad, whom he'd heard much about. Sasha described how Igor kept a small photo of my father, which he looked at once in the morning and once at night, Lenin-style. It was that insane deadpan humor that made him so instantly likeable, made the intervening years seem like days, and language less a barrier than a playground. He was a very good man.

For more information about his life and accomplishments, read's obituary here.

Read Variety's obituary here.

Here is The Independent's memorial, which I am proud to have contributed to.

Enjoy his first film as director, "Plasticine Crow":


* The site has been replaced by a message for now. Excuse the rough translation:

Dear friends, colleagues, those who love animation….
We have a big loss.
Our leader has died.
The soul of the studio.
Our Alexander Mikhailovich Tatarsky.
There are no words. They will be later.
But then there was business. And is. And will be.
And a huge feeling of gratitude for everything.
For being in this profession. For having not grown up or having not finished growing up. For that happy freedom which has been granted to us by our chief.
It is difficult to say how you feel when the atmosphere you breathed disappears.
We of course shall continue to live and work, to create so that we will not be shameful compared to our teacher. And nevertheless time is necessary to accept this loss and think calmly about how to go on.
Thank you to everyone who has responded and grieves with us.
Some photos (link)


Monday, June 25, 2007

The good kind of cheesy.

rat_3You’ve been there, right? Your friend is in a band or some theater production, and they invite you to see them, and you have to be supportive. You don’t have a choice. Like last week, my husband Blaine is all, “Patton invited us to see a private screening of 'Ratatouille' on the Disney lot Sunday.” Ugh! FINE! I’ll go, but I won’t like it.

So I went. And it SUCKED.

No, of course it didn’t. Design and animation were stunning, without reminding you why. One of its most creative but implausible premises - rat controlling chef via hair yanking - was eclipsed by the resultant acting (a lesson for writers and executives alike, and one echoed at the end by the food critic). Patton's performance was terrific; no cartooniness, just perfect comedic timing. And only one "it was in you all along" moment.

rat_4 Afterwards, Patton's guests stood in a circle. Film-related pleasantries were briefly exchanged before the real discussion began. With their Dungeons and Dragons campaign recently ending in annihilation for all, would they be accepting new players?

This is the Hollywood I love.



Friday, June 22, 2007

Lucha... VA VOOM! 15 - The Quinceanera

poubelles_spiroThese two girls will see you here next week?lvv15_poster


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Annecy 2007

Maybe "Twincesses" wasn't ready to send to the 2007 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, but the twins sure were. Last week we made our sixth trip to the beautiful little French town near the Swiss and Italian borders. What fun! Usually our time is split between watching the latest independent short films and TV shows, drinking Kirs, and napping, but this year was special. London's TVC Studios celebrated its 50th year, and thanks to our escort - their past animator and our present dad, Mr. Jim Duffy - we were invited to the party. A whole lot of history was had; TVC, if you don't know, was responsible for "The Yellow Submarine".

annecy07_1 Amongst these snow-haired gents, you'll find legendary animators/directors/producers Jim Duffy, Jack Stokes, Chuck Swenson and John Coates.

As for Annecy's films, the following are some of our picks, if you care to track them down:
* "Dji Vou Veu Volti" (Belgium; Barbara's all into love these days)pearce1
* "Lavatory - Lovestory" (Russia; same reason)
* "The Pearce Sisters" (UK; made by crazy people)
* "Meme en Reve" (France; clever 'n' funny)
* "The Wrong Trainers" (UK; heart-breaking)
* Bedtime Stories "The Land of Bogeys" (France; because we are secretly four years old and "croute du nez" is hilarious.)

Also intriguing, the Seven-esque Danish film "Down the Road". I got to compliment director Rune Christensen personally when two women I was with attempted to order coffee from him at the Bonlieu. Later, at the infamous Scot's Pub, he regaled us with tales of drunkenly breaking into his own hotel. Animators are so swoony!

hykade1Unfortunately, we missed the newest film by Andreas Hykade, whose "Ring of Fire" put hearts in our eyes when we first saw it at the 2000 Ottawa International Animation Festival. He also illustrated The Animation Pimp, the brand new collection of articles by OIAF's Artistic Director Chris Robinson. Boy, is this a good read. Opinionated, poignant, informative, amusing, and not afraid to coin "jamesbondingly," it's worth the price just for its glossary of animators.

I'm already dreaming of Annecy 2008...


P.S. It's a long story, but Barbara and I are now addicted to Mackenzies Smelling Salts, which can be purchased at any British chemist's and is stronger than crack.

P.P.S. I've just watched my old dubbed copy of "Ring of Fire". Oh. I have the heart-sickness from its beauty.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Let's Fish!!

Look, I know how much you adore reading about unfinished cartoons, but how do you feel about a not-only-completed-but-airing-on-TV-show?!?!?!??! Well take a gander! "Let's Fish" is premiering on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and if you let the big-wigs know how much you love it on May 11th, it'll go to series. Holy poo!

Click here! Oh please oh please! And vote on May 11th after 2pm!

Perhaps you are already familiar with its creator, Mark Rivers, who composed the famousest "Las Poubelles" theme song. Also, the show stars Scott Adsit from "30 Rock" and Brendon Small who makes the "Metalocalypse".



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