September 14, 2011

My visit to Disney Studios in Los Angeles

Part of my prize for winning the Annecy youtube competition was getting a trip to Los Angeles with a tour of the Walt Disney studios.

I spent 3 days at Walt Disney studio where i had a full schedule every day, meeting many directors and animators on Disney films that are in pre-production and production. I even had my own desk in the studio :) although i never used it :(

One of the many surreal experiences there was having my short film 'Sidewalk Scribble' screened in front of the Disney employees at the studio, right outside John Lasseters Disney office. Not a bad place to have a screening!!
I mean HOLY SHMOLY#%@!

Stephanie Morse was my tour host at Disney and she did a amazing job at showing me around and introducing me to everyone. I cant thank her enough.

One of the amazing places she took me was to the Disney archives where they keep all the original drawings, cells, background art for every Disney animated film.
The place isn't even on the map for security reasons.

One of the highlights was having lunch with Eric Goldberg, who is famous for animating and character designing the genie in Aladdin, he directed and animated the Rhapsody in blue short in Fantasia 2000 and animated Louis in The princess and the frog. Ive been a fan of his work since i was very young.

Disney animator Eric Goldberg and me outside the Disney animation building

I spent time in Erics personal office where he showed me animation he has been working on lately. Unfortunately a lot of the amazing 2d animation he showed me wont even be seen in public, but will be used as pre-production reference work for the 3d animators. Times are changing at Disney.

Today there is only 25 2D animators left at Disney, compared to the hundreds they must have had in the 90s

Another great animator i chatted with was Randy Hancock who worked on Princess and the frog.
His animation is really amazing.

I also had the pleasure of spending time with Bill Perkins (art director on Aladdin and Space Jam) He is a fantastic guy, extremely nice.

The Disney people and me having dinner, Bill Perkins is on my left

Bill and me were meant to go animal sketching at the zoo but when we drove to the zoo it was closed, so we ended up going for drinks at a restaurant and sketching people out the window. We chatted for hours and he gave me lots of valuable advise.

I also attended a brief life drawing class at the studio.

Inking and painting building at the old Disney building.

Across the road from the current Disney animation building that was built in 1995, sits the original Disney animation building that was used when Walt was alive.
Animation production later moved out of the building in the late 1980s and it now longer is used for animation anymore. It felt like a ghost town around and inside the building, but you could really feel the historical significance when walking through the hallways.

This is the window to what used to be Walt Disneys office. Walt had his office window facing the car park so that he could see which Disney workers came to work on time and which didn't.
Not a bad idea.

I felt very validated finding out that Disney studios never use scripts when developing their films, they always use the storyboard system (which is how i've always thought animated films should be made.) They only make scripts later so the voice actors can use it.

To summarize ......L.A ROCKS!

Art vs Science 'With thoughts' music video

Hi folks,
Piepants Animation recently made a music video for the band Art vs Science.
Unfortunately i had trouble uploading it to the blog, but you can view it here at this link:

Hope you enjoy it.

June 28, 2011

Polo's Robot wins at M.I.A.F

I'm very happy to announce Polo's Robot won best Australian film at the Melbourne International Animation Festival. I feel really proud to have it win in my home town.

Annecy, France, Awards and more to come.

Well a lot has happen in the past month.
My short film 'Sidewalk Scribble' won the Annecy/Youtube competition, which is really really Fantastic! The prize includes a week at Annecy animation festival and a week in Los Angeles with a tour of the Walt Disney studios.

So off i went to France, Annecy, and had a really really great time.
Met lots of great people, filmmakers from all parts of the world, composers, Annecy organisers, Film selectors and judges. And one thing i learnt was... i need an ipad.
Networking just doesn't get done without one.

My trip to L.A will happen in late August, hopefully im allowed to take some snaps inside the house that Walt built. Ill be sure to post them on my blog if i can.

Almost every corner of the old town in Annecy was like a picture from a postcard

Here i am accepting my award from the French Minister of culture, this was at the Disney BBQ , it was full of talented people, Disney artists, Pixar people.

May 10, 2011

My new Short film 'Sidewalk Scribble.'

My new short film 'Sidewalk Scribble' is finally finished after 2 weeks of late night animating.
I have entered it into the Annecy Youtube Competition.
You can watch and vote for it now at
Search Sidewalk Scribble, then Watch.....Vote..... and enjoy!

January 17, 2011

Polo's Robot premiere screening

I was in Sydney for the Polo's Robot premiere at Flickerfest. It was very hot in Sydney, (i dont do well in the heat.) But i had a great time there, its a very beautiful city, lots to do.

At the screening, Polo's Robot seemed to get a very good reception, lots of laughs and reactions. It was the only animation playing in that session which made it stand out a lot more, the others were all live action.

Flickerfest is quite different to most film festivals as it sits right on Bondi Beach giving it a real beach party atmosphere.

January 7, 2011

Skimmy Show intro

Here's what i've been tinkering with lately. This will be the intro for my Skimmy Show, Im still working away on the pilot episode.