Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nelvana Seminar Notes (circa 1981): Part One

It's been a very long time since I last posted. I always promised myself that I wouldn't write just anything just for the sake of posting something on my blog. Now I have a topic that I believe will be of interest to those visiting here.

Recently in a communication with Ken Duncan (Owner/Executive Producer of Duncan Studio), Ken said "John, when I was in Paris in the 80's I thought I saw some 'how to' notes that you'd done during Rock 'n Rule.....
1- Am I delusional?
2- If not, are they available to see?"

Well, Ken is not delusional...and after searching through my files I found the original typed notes that were xeroxed and handed out at Nelvana during the production of Rock & Rule. Basically, it was an explanation of my approach and work-flow method, going from initial thumbnails through to tie-down drawings.

Originally, there were 20+ pages in my handout for the three session seminar, which took place over three afternoons, using poses of my character Quadhole the Policeman to illustrate my approach. Because of the amount of material covered, I've decided to post them all here as a series. I have also supplemented the examples with Cindy Schlepper development material I created months after this seminar was given.

(Note: At that time, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston's bible "The Illusion of Life" had not yet been published. Young animators such as ourselves were basically learning from our own experiments...studying the silent results on the studio's Lyon Lamb Video Animation System...not seeing if it worked with the dialog until it was shot on 35mm film and synced up on the flatbed.)

The following are my original typed notes from the first session. I'm including the exposure sheets and samples of my thumbnail analysis of a couple of Cindy Schlepper scenes.

These above poses were my very first exploratory sketches of Cindy Schlepper.   

Above are my thumbnail analysis of the first time we see Cindy.
Cindy has arrived at Club 666 and is excited. "Oh, Boy! Mutants in the foyer!"

The following exposure sheets are for a Quadhole scene---the poses of which were originally handed out as a packet including the typed notes. I'll be posting those drawings in the next installment...and you can then cross-reference them with these sheets.

For those who are not familiar with the process, there's a lot to digest on these pages.
Hope you find it informative and useful.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

BLOODWING Novella Published

I'm happy to announce that I have published the completed Bloodwing novella on Amazon! I feel it has all the cinematic style and story elements that would make for a very entertaining and thoughtful fantasy/science fiction series. I wrote it so it could be easily adapted into a pilot script for TV.

Check it out at: