Friday, April 27, 2007

Presenting Average Jones

Well, here is the star of our studio, Average Jones, in a rather recent drawing.


You might notice the difference between the picture on the previous entry and this one. Jones is still in his evolving stage, and since it takes months to make an Average Jones cartoon, I can get easily bored with drawing the same style over and over... Also my mentors changed, the first two cartoons actually really had nothing to follow, it was just my way of thinking what a pre 1930's cartoon looked like since I didn't see any made before 1929 when I created Jones. Then I got fascinated with Pat Sullivan and his creation of Felix the Cat, so cartoons between West of East and Jone's Sweepstake Ticket (my most recent one) looks more sullivan/messmerish. My future cartoons, I thought I would do in more of the style of late 1920's/early 1930's rubberhose animation, ala Betty Boop, Flip the Frog, Oswald the Rabbit, etc.

It all really started out when I was a 9 year old, watching tapes of UB Iwerk's Flip the Frog, Betty Boop, and most importantly of all, a tape of Silly Symphonies recorded by dad from the Disney Channel. Most of the cartoons on that tape in my opinion seemed so-so. I don't really care for slow paced/cute Disney cartoons. But one cartoon caught my attention "El Terrible Toreador" (1929) which is more of an effort to be funny, and it was. Drawn by the great UB Iwerks, it starts out with a guard being wooed by this lovely waitress, and then the toreador (who as you can see resembles A.J.) comes in and theey duel, and to show his courage, the toreador has to fight the most ferocious bull in Mexico.

After watching this cartoon I was deeply inspired to recreate cartoons from the 1930's, it used to be my dream to do 60's style cartoons, since I was fascinated with cartoons like Underdog and Bullwinkle that used to air regularly on local N.C. stations. As time passed, 1930's style cartoons really interested me and still does. When I was 12 and at the time I was learning animation by making stop motion films with my legos, and I thought of changing to 2D for fun. First since I didn't know how to do it, I thought of making paper cut outs and animating. But it didn't work especially since this was around June and my fan was on near my desk! I then figured out a couple of weeks later about how to use animation shop which I have had for over a year. I finally created a short demo of Jones walking through my imitation of a background of El Terrible Toreador (the dilapadated mud walls) it was around 10 seconds but I knew something was going to come out of this. Around July I thought of just doing something fun and making my first cartoon complete with gags and stuff, I thought at first making a cartoon where Jones had to work at an office job, but it got too complicated for me to animate and I thought of adding some sound to it, BUT HOW?! Since I couldn't play music, it was not going to be a success. So I thought of instead producing a simple, silent cartoon, with added stock music, and it was going to be one of those gay-90's melodramas "Jone's Puntured Romance"....
Now lets review my first cartoon "Jone's Punctured Romance" I created this back in July 2004 and it only took around 2 weeks to make it just in time for mom's birthday in early August. I originally thought it would be a flop, the drawing was rather primitive, but the gags in this 1 minute cartoon were rather fast paced. When mom and dad first saw this they rippled with laughter and I thought that this little guy would be a success after all.

My next cartoon was going to be "Jones Brains the Baby" , where poor old Jones gets kicked out of his lodgings for not paying his rent and having to get a job minding a baby who is so cunning, he's impossible to take care of without disaster, but of course I ran into the same problem as "Jones the Office Boy" except it wasn't the sound barrier, it was just too hard to draw for me.
Around October I started working on "Jones the Magnificent" it originally had no backgrounds ala "Punctured Romance" but a day after it was finished, I tried to edit it for time as mom suggested and the file went corrupt, so I had to recreate it later on, the same thing happenend to my original copy of "Jone's Punctured Romance" but unlike "Magnificent" I had a copy of it on camera, so all I needed to do was follow the tape exactly, but with "Magnificent" I had to recreate what I remebered and what I remembered was a little hazy so it didn't garner as many laughs when it was remade. Punctured romance was finished again in early Febuary and Magnificent in mid April.

After redoing those two, and after exhibiting them at my homeschoolers review with Mrs Culver, which she enjoyed so much...I made "West of East" during the Summer of 2005. At the time I was studying Pat Sullivan since I got a DVD of some of his toons after the review, and designed backgrounds closer to his style, lots of lines, barely any filling. It was also a success.

At one time I thought of converting Jones to sound afterwards since I had a friend who could play music but we didn't get along after a while for many reasons and so I was left alone to still produce silent Jones cartoons. While we were discussing converting Jones to sound. I created another called "The Awful Tooth" but it was shut down because of creative reasons and it wasn't going to well especially with the blow of loosing my possible friend/musician in december. The creative problems was what really blew the cartoon in January since I realized dental humor was not funny as dad explained. I didn't scrap the cartoon unlike the previous two failures "Office Boy" and "Braining the Baby". I kept the footage and reused it later on. In the meantime I created another picture called "Choose Your Husbands" and took 6 months to finish it from mid January to early July, at the same time I started my business of redrawing and colorizing old cartoons from my favorite era, which I will cover in a later post. The cartoon was amusing, but the thing is that it was too slow paced since I would advance my cartoons from 3 minutes to 6 as most animators made cartoons.

Remember my footage that I didn't throw away? Well, in August I started making "Jone's Sweepsake Ticket", and the first 3 minutes was basically stock footage from the unproduced cartoon, it shows where Jones falls out of the window and lands and then it starts again after Jones lands on the rock pile and flies up and ends before you see the railroad tracks. A lot of physical comedy and lots of fast paced animation I tried to put in both cartoons, and it all worked out. Except theres a big timing error when jones is spit out of the shark and flies through the city and crashes in a lamp post. It had the same results as the previous, this 6 minute cartoon thing is not really working is it?

Well in future, I will have to tighten up gags and make Jone's cartoons more Fleischeresque and learn keyboard or have my freind Joshua Vega play. Josh runs another blog about his 8mm films, he realy likes popeye as well as other classics. My next production would be "A Night at the Theatre", where jones goes into a "Feartre" and ends up in a very spooky funhouse!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hello folks, I am Dillon and this is my blog about my cartoon studio, Dandu Studios. I started it when I was 12 with a character called Average Jones who is a simple character (haven't really defined his personality yet) who seems to lose out (sometimes win) in his cartoons. Here is a picture of the man who started it all.

Even though he doesnt usually appear in color, you see with Jones I am trying to achieve a look from the 1920's/1930's, which is one of my favorite eras, especially in terms of cartoons. Cartoons back then were more whimsical, jazzy and just rather unusual. Reccomended cartoons from that stage in time are Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, Flip the Frog, Aesop's Fables and many other cartoons. I have been interested in these classics as far as I can remember, one of the earliest cartoons I can remember viewing was when I was around 3 watching Flip the Frog and Comicolor cartoons with dad which he got from the library, and I enjoyed them to this day. As well as cartoons, I enjoy gaming, music, sports, normal teen stuff...