Dec 31, 2010

Sauerman Family Christmas Recap

I hope everyone out there had a lovely Christmas and will have a nice New Year's tonight. This Christmas was excellent, and full of family ridiculousness. I'd like to recap it briefly for you:

1. Cousin and his fiancee touching each other's faces

My cousin got engaged a few weeks ago, and in case anyone forgot, he's really into her, as evinced by the fact that they were constantly touching each others' faces all day.

2. Uncle Don being flammable

...and by the weirdness of the English language, also inflammable. He's on oxygen now, and, per his usual tradition, didn't wait to open his presents, but just kind of ripped them open, sighed, didn't thank or acknowledge anyone, and then (I think) fell asleep.

3. Grandma tried some cocktails

My grandmother is kind of loud and outrageous anyway, but on Christmas Eve, she got a few glasses of wine and some cocktails in her. "How much vodka did you say was in this?" was a question she asked quite a few times to me. It didn't really make her act that much different than her usual self, but, you know.

4. Matching pajamas!

My family is now officially owned by the Walt Disney Company, because my mom bought matching robes/pajamas for each of us. Needless to say, Christmas was even more adorable than usual this year.

Dec 23, 2010

Two Days!

Sorry, I've been doing other things than blogging lately. 'Tis the season for...uh...lots of other stuff.

Dec 8, 2010

Thought of You

I keep watching this video over and over again. The music is excellent, and the animation is stunning. I can't peel my eyes from it.

Thought of You from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

Notice how the shadow stays with the man until the very end, when the vision of the woman becomes real. Her shadow appears, and his fades, as he becomes a memory to her as well.

UPDATE: There's a making-of featurette. So cool to see how this was done!

Thought of You - Behind the Scenes Preview - ROUGH CUT from Cambell Christensen on Vimeo.

Dec 3, 2010

Goodbye, Mr. Santo

The Chicago Cubs lost their biggest fan today, with the news that Ron Santo, former third baseman and longtime radio color commentator, died of complications due to bladder cancer. I have no idea who will now sit alongside Pat Hughes in the WGN radio box at Wrigley, but that doesn't matter for now. Baseball has lost a great, and we here in Chicago are going to miss him.

Dec 1, 2010

RIP Irvin Kershner

I missed this in the news for the last few days, but Irvin Kershner, director of The Empire Strikes Back (by far the best of the Star Wars franchise), died on November 27 of lung cancer. He was 87. Best wishes and condolences to his family.

Whither Has Gone the Princess?

The L.A. Times has an article about the shift in Disney animation, which now, for one of the first times in its history, has no plans for any 'fairy tale' movies in the foreseeable future.

"Films and genres do run a course," said Pixar Animation Studios chief Ed Catmull, who along with director John Lasseter oversees Disney Animation. "They may come back later because someone has a fresh take on it … but we don't have any other musicals or fairy tales lined up." Indeed, Catmull and Lasseter killed two other fairy tale movies that had been in development, "The Snow Queen" and "Jack and the Beanstalk."


Catmull said he and Lasseter have been encouraging filmmakers to break with safe and predictable formulas and push creative boundaries.

"If you say to somebody, 'You should be doing fairy tales,' it's like saying, 'Don't be risky,'" Catmull said. "We're saying, 'Tell us what's driving you.'"

I think that, especially in the short term, this is probably a good thing for Disney. It's not that princess movies are a bad thing. It's simply that Disney's already done them. It's a tried and true, fill-in-the-blanks kind of storyline (though it sounds like Tangled is trying to change it up a little bit) that the creative heads want to move beyond. It also--and maybe I'm just being too cynical here--gives the distinct impression that Disney simply wants to sell more products to little girls

Some of Disney's best animated films have been serious, fairy-less stories. Think The Lion King or Bambi or 101 Dalmatians. It'll be good to take away the crutch and see what other great ideas they can come up with.

Meeting Doodles

More meetings, more doodles, including Catiline from Cicero Denounces Catiline, a rather confused Santa Claus, a pseudo-self portrait, and some mood poses...