Sep 3, 2007
Shane and Shannon Present...
Hie yourselves over to the blogs of Shane Prigmore and Shannon Tindle to see stuff from their new film pilot, "Gilroy".
These two guys have so much energy and vim(okay, redundant perhaps-but I like "vim")...how they managed to do this pilot and everything else they've been doing the last couple of years--currently including full-time visual development at Dreamworks--I don't know, but it sure sets the bar.
I haven't seen more of "Gilroy" than the images on the blogs, but they're terrific: crisp, beautfully styled, appealing and make me want to see it. I hope it doesn't stay in TV development limbo for long. It's currently half animatic and half full color, finished animation: 22 minutes. I hope Cartoon Network decides to air it.
It still boggles the mind that not too many years ago it would have been pretty unthinkable for two young guys not already producers--and moreover, artists--to get a film like this made. Off the top of my head I can remember a couple of anomalies from the old days, pre-'97 or so:
Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski pulled off a fast one, literally--using very little downtime between seasons of Tiny Toons to make a drop-dead cool trailer to try and sell their own take on Batman.
Back then it was a huge shot in the dark--WB was anything but a risk taking company, and Bruce's style was completely out there as far as the then-currentl look of an animated show was concerned(thank God)...but they did it. It was a case of its just looking too damn good not to greenlight it. That entire franchise and a whole lot of other shows that followed came from those two guys basically doing it on their own (with some top artistic help and a good writer friend on baord, Paul Dini) within the studio framework.
Later when I was at Turner, Charlie Bean(another ex-TTA artist), and Don Shank(met him during Batman days) finished "Buy One, Get One Free" under the banner of Turner/H-B's short program. Don was at Turner Development too, and he and Charlie screened their finished pilot. It was simply beautiful. This again was a watershed as far as I was concerned: the styling, the music--the whole shebang was done just right. It was in effect a very high-end personal film, not a series but a one shot. But when we were toiling on Tiny Toons(Charlie was about 18 then), managing something in that style and getting it made was a pipe dream.
Of course, Spumco was doing it and did it first. But that situation was the grandaddy of anomalies and had behind it years of John Kricfalusi's sweating, berating, taking a lot of pummeling and his unique personal reputation before it got to the point where he and his closest friends became "Spumco" and sold the Ren and Stimpy pilot. Its success and continuing influence really has made the latter-day openness to better style possible--but an artist has still got to have his or her ducks in a row ready for launching when he gets a chance. And meanwhile, mouths must be fed and rent paid...it's a tough task to juggle a job and a life--forget about two or three jobs.
These newer projects are really fascinating to me because they've come about because young guys without the old-timey clout have worked their behinds off selling themselves, and putting the show where their pitches were.