The Nicktoons Film Festival continues this Sunday with Screening: 3, a selection of five truly zany shorts. A co-production of Frederator Studios and Animation Magazine for Nicktoons, The Nicktoons Film Festival airs on the Nicktoons cable channel Sunday nights at 10 p.m. (EST) and 7 p.m. (PST), with a repeat at 1 a.m. (EST) and 10 p.m. (PST). The films featured in Screening Number: 3–Five Zany Pieces are: The 9th Life of Sherman Phelps: Serenity Now by animators Mark Thorton and Todd Kauffman for the Canadian-based studio, Nelvana; Boing Boing by CalArts grad Rami Kim; Scout Says from Blue’s Clues directors David B. Levy and Dale Clowdis; Magnetism from award-winning animator Nye Warburton; and Atomic Love from Michael Dante DiMartino, a King of the Hill director and creator of the new Nickelodeon series, Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The Nicktoons Film Festival:
Screening Number: 3 – Five Zany Pieces
Airdate & Time: November 7, 2004, 10:00 p.m. (EST); 7:00 p.m. (PST), Nicktoons
Film #1: The 9th Life of Sherman Phelps: Serenity Now (Length: 5:00; Animated in Flash)– Here’s how animators Mark Thornton and Todd Kauffman describe this wacky episode of their series of shorts surrounding the extraordinary character, Mr. Sherman Phelps: "The bliss of Mr. Titis’ divine day off is rudely interrupted by meatpackers Ronald and Sherman. It seems the butcher shop downstairs is a little too close for Mr. Titis’s comfort. And if the noise of the butcher shop wasn’t enough, imagine the commotion when Ronald gets possessed and tries to get Sherman to give up the ghost. There’s more to this episode than meats the eye." Thorton, who graduated from Sheridan College’s Classical Animation program, works as a character designer at Canada’s Nelvana. Kauffman is also a Sheridan grad and sold two original concepts to Nelvana in 2003 that will both air on YTV in early 2005. Viewers Note: Make sure you watch the credits on this unique short to see a few of the detailed miniature sets used for backgrounds. (For more info on these filmmakers please e-mail email@example.com.)
Film #2: Boing Boing (Length: 2:50; CG using Alias’ Maya software)–In his wonderfully character-driven short, Boing Boing, filmmaker Rami Kim explores the nature of both friendship and fun. A graduate of CalArts, who works at Burbank-based July Films, Kim says, "My film is just a funny little story about these two dudes who both want to use the trampoline. I usually develop stories from the characters. I know what kind of story is needed by just looking at the character and, to do that, I just doodle a lot in my sketchbook and study them. After that stage I develop a story, which usually makes people laugh. I used Alias’ Maya software for Boing Boing and this is my first 3D film. I personally like working on 2D films more because I really love to draw.” (To learn more about Kim’s work, visit www.ramiskim.com.)
Film #3: Scout Says (Length: 6:40; Traditional 2D with digital color)–If you like a good cartoon-cartoon with totally new characters that happen to have a lot of depth, then Scout Says is for you. Filmmakers David B. Levy and Dale Clowdis explain, “The idea for Scout Says started with us thinking up an unlikely friendship between three young friends. We thought it would be fun to put a cat, a bird and a worm together and see what sparks might fly. The short was made to amuse ourselves. Our notion was: let’s pretend some network hired us to make a short and then gave us total freedom. We’re most proud that we managed to make a funny and satisfying cartoon while not particularly aping anything else out there. The characters have an emotional range and you get to see multiple sides of them in the span of sixminutes.” Levy, an award-winning indie filmmaker is an animation director on Nickelodeon’s hit preschool show, Blue’s Clues. Dale Clowdis, who also works as an animation director on Blue’s Clues, teaches at Parsons School of Design.
Film #4: Magnetism (Length: 2:35; Animated in Alias’ Maya with Adobe PhotoShop and AfterEffects)–Remember playing with magnets when you were a kid and the annoying lessons you learned about magnetism and repulsion? Well, animator Nye Warburton’s clever and award-winning short, Magnetism, will bring back all those frustrations, but add a romantic and glee-filled turn to entertain and surprise you. Warburton, an M.F.A. candidate in Computer Arts at San Francisco Academy of Art University, says, “The spark that ignited Magnetism was a mental image of two like-polarity robots being flung apart. I figured out the rest of the film by borrowing from some of my greatest loves–physics, Woody Allen Movies and Tex Avery cartoons. I think the biggest challenge in making the short was that it was just me. Magnetism was made by me at a computer in a small studio apartment and I was trying to figure out a lot of stuff as I went. I was lucky to have a couple of great mentors to help me out with critiques, but oftentimes I had to solve problems on my own. It wasn’t just technical problems but also acting choices and animation issues. Funny thing is that people who hate Magnetism always say that I didn’t explore the scientific magnetism idea more. They want to see them stuck together and struggle more with the magnetism or follow the science more accurately. The people who love it (including the many children I have talked to) always pick up that Magnetism is really a relationship in two minutes. (For more info on Nye Warburton and his films visit www.nyeland.com.)
Film #5: Atomic Love (Length: 7:00; Traditional 2D with 3D elements)–Michael Dante DiMartino scripted, storyboarded and animated Atomic Love at night, on weekends and any time he could carve out between working as a director on both King of the Hill and Family Guy. A huge fan of 1950s’ toy robots, who also happens to identify with "the teenage angst coloring John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles," DiMartino brings us a juicy and wild romance about a guy (er…Robot) and a gal (named Sally) on their first date. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, DiMartino is co-creator and co-executive producer of Avatar: The Last Airbender, an action-adventure series set in a mythical past, airing on Nickelodeon.
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