Long time no blog... this year my new short will be playing at Animation Block Party 15! My film is not techincally in competition... I was selected to be on the Jury!! This festival has been a blast to attend/participate in the past few years so I wanted to ramble about it.
A few years ago, my Super77 coworkers and I knocked out a in-studio side project called Synapse. When I was hired in 2014, it became the thing I did in my downtime - which was awesome, considering how excited I was to be animating frame-by-frame cel work. Once we finished the project in 2016, we got it into Animation Block Party, this rad little festival in New York City. The director/original illustrator Sean Conner & my cel animation brother Karl Fekete set off for big city hangs (here's a pic I drew to commemorate the occasion). We had a blast and ended up taking home the "Minute Movie" award!
Fast forward a handful of months and we got an email about doing the titles for the following year's event. Lord behold, the theme they suggested was the holy grail of dreamy ideas for me... "Battle of the Bands". Our producer & creative director kinda let me go ham after some brainstorming. I was heavily leaning on the side of a true battle of the bands - excited for an excuse to draw humans playing instruments (something I was practicing a lot at shows) - Karl and Sean suggested drawing 14 bands for the 14th year! Something that echoed the "counting" done by the previous years's signal film. Of course I was relunctant... "that's too many characters!" but the choice was pretty obvious. Here's the two sets of styleframes & storyboards I designed and sent away with a description in two big pdfs:
After that... it was time to jam. A little obsessed with wanting to do a good job on the animation and also wanting to spend more time on freelance and prersonal projects, I stepped down from my position as a illustrator/animator at the studio in February 2017. It was one of the hardest things I had done at that point, and I am so thankful the family I'd built there over the past three years let me continue working on this little commission under their name. I spent the following months balancing adjusting to a fulltime freelance schedule and kicking this thing out.
Initially - I thought it'd be cool to make the colorscheme monochromatic, changing hues until the fight scene when things would turn red - I worked in all grayscale leading up to the finished product. Karl ended up making the colors look great and adding a good splash of texture/fx - to hit the deadline, I ended up needing a little help on the ending. I drew up a few keyframes for the fire and he did the rest of the flamey goodness. All the type is him, too, including this awesome banner (Karl is my favorite graphic designer friend, and he is SO GOOD at lettering!!). Karl + his buddy Ben Branstetter did all the audio!
Here's the full final thing! Seeya in a few weeks for Animation Block Party 2k18. xoxo
Wouldn't be a proper blog post without a few of these. From my phone + the ABP Facebook page. You can tell in the top picture I am literally so lost at what to do with my face & hands cause I'm a picture with a bunch of my animation heroes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯