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Papa Lazarou
10-17-2006, 09:28 PM
Phil Nibbelink's been one of the great Disney animators of the 1980's, a director at Spielberg's Amblimation studio, animation director on the 1995 CG/live-action Casper movie, and for the last 5 years he's put his savings on the line to single-handedly direct and animate a 2d feature. It's getting a small-scale theatrical release on Oct 27 in California and Canada and will also be released in the Czech Republic.

There's an interview with Phil at ColdHardFlash (http://www.coldhardflash.com/2006/10/one-man-one-movie-112000-drawings.html)

I've been a huge fan of his 80s Disney animation for a long time, but it seemed as if he'd dropped off the radar for a while. Now I know what he's been up to. It's a completely staggering achievement, and the animation looks impressive.

Papa Lazarou
10-17-2006, 09:31 PM
There's 2 trailers for the film:

Here's one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYBDOpv1tAI&eurl=)

and here's the other (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaAUxd-Dzfk)

ColinCohen
10-17-2006, 10:16 PM
A very interesting interview. I wish him luck.

chadtheartist
10-17-2006, 11:04 PM
Bravo! That's some dedication there. Just reading that interview inspires me. I've been way to lazy in my off time!

Thanks for sharing the link. :)

SheepFactory
10-18-2006, 12:08 AM
:eek:

I am speechless , I cant imagine the amount of work involved. And watching the trailer gotta say the quality of animation is way better than most animated features that came out. Hope they release this in the states too.

Kudos to him for finishing it.

theCloudmover
10-18-2006, 12:17 AM
Whoa!

Definitely inspiring.

It seems that quite a few one man or very small staffed movies have been coming out recently.

Negadon The Monster From Mars (http://www.negadonattacks.com/)

Voices of a Distant Star (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoshi_no_koe)
A Fantastic movie done by one man on his Apple Mac.

KaKuRenBo (http://www.centralparkmedia.com/kakurenbo/main.html)
Two guys.

If we have a story to tell and want to bring it to film, we no longer have any excuses. The software is available and it's relatively inexpensive.

... and it's being done.

TIME TO GET TO WORK.:thumbsup:

DangerAhead
10-18-2006, 12:21 AM
I read the article... The whole thing in Flash 4?!? Holy macanoli!

I agree with Phil that there is still a 2D market out there. Only a marketing moron wouldn't see the success of Adult Swim. That's all 2D. The whole marketability of 3D vs. 2D thing is a ridiculous excuse for bad stories.

Kids love 2D!

And there are things you can do in 2D that just look funnier than a 3D model doing the same thing.

vivin
10-18-2006, 12:43 AM
I hope this movie does really well, just to prove to nay sayers that 2d isnt dead, But wow, 5 years of work, that is dedication right there.

Glenfx
10-18-2006, 01:32 AM
And then people said this was an impossible task or coudnt be done 9_9.

To all the people i argued for years about it.... (in your face) ^___^


I feel very inspired... thanks Phil, and thanks Papa Lazarou for posting this

EnlightenedPixel
10-18-2006, 01:48 AM
No one with any real clue as to how a movie is made would say it could "never' be done, but it deffinately isnt worth it in the end to most of the people who do innevitably try.

coboman
10-18-2006, 02:18 AM
I am in awe with this guy. Kudos for him.

Now all he needs is a guy with the same dedication to do all the PR, lobbying, marketing, etc. to get that movie to make money. Hope he finds someone as enthusiastic and talented as him.

BinarySoup
10-18-2006, 03:48 AM
as others have said, incredibly inspiring. talk about living for your art. my favourite animated film is 'Secret of Nimh', which was made by ex-Disney employees lead by Don Bluth. he left Disney because he wanted to do real high class animation. sadly though, in my opinion he never reached the same level of excellence again as with Nimh. and I think his studio's latter efforts where exactly the kind of bad quality animation that he once left Disney in contempt of. that said, just like Phil Nibbelink, he followed his dream. and people who does that, particularly without a financial cushion, immensily inspire me.

RobW720
10-18-2006, 03:51 AM
now, dont get me wrong and dont yell at me, because i appreciated the work this guy has done and its uber insparation and amazing but that movie doesnt look interesting at all.

Im sorry, the animation looks beautiful but the trailer doesnt make me want to see it at all besides knowing the story behind him working on it by himself. That alone is the only thing that looks interesting to me.

It will be interesting to see how it does.

Flog
10-18-2006, 03:59 AM
wow, great work. Especially for a one man team. I hope it succeeds.

GoldenCamel
10-18-2006, 04:32 AM
Here's more info from an earlier post of mine in another thread (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=3934733#post3934733):

Phil Nibbelink, veteran Disney animator on “The Fox and the Hound”, “The Black Cauldron”, “Basil the Great Mouse Detective”, “Oliver and Company”, and directing animator on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit", has made a 78 min feature animated film all by himself!

Film is called “Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With A Kiss” and is going to release Oct 27th in select theaters. (http://www.romeoandjulietfilm.com/release.html)

Film website (http://www.romeoandjulietfilm.com/index.html)

More from Animation Nation Forum:
http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=011767

pearson
10-18-2006, 04:50 AM
Wow. I'm with Rob - this makes me sad. He's obviously talented, and his dedication is insane, but the end product doesn't seem worth the massive effort. In particular, the voice work seems to be lacking.

GoldenCamel
10-18-2006, 05:06 AM
Wow. I'm with Rob - this makes me sad. He's obviously talented, and his dedication is insane, but the end product doesn't seem worth the massive effort. In particular, the voice work seems to be lacking.

He's used himself, his children and friends for voices, obviously non-professional actors and you can't really expect the same Disney/Pixar quality voice talent for this film.

One mistake most poeple unknowingly would make is that, becasue Phil is a veteran Disney animator, everyone automaticaly expects to see the same quality animation for this film as well, of course he could have made this up to that quality but not in 4 and half years, so when you view the trialer, keep in mind, this is all done by ONE person, all of it!

I personaly believe that we should try and support this film in any way we can, spreading the word and encouraging people to go and see it.

Good luck to Phil on next projects!

TumikSmacker
10-18-2006, 05:44 AM
I agree with GoldenCamel. How many of us here could pull this off(with our own money)?

If this came out in all theatres I'd see it at least 5 times even if i didn't like the film. I support and respect him for every 112,000 frame. Bravo!

Jadetiger
10-18-2006, 05:45 AM
Wow, amazing dedication. I just hope that after all that work it can hold up in today's standards.

SheepFactory
10-18-2006, 05:54 AM
I think it does hold up well. Are you guys comparing this to incredibles or something? The trailer made me laugh and looked more interesting than the slew of direct to dvd release animations and even feature films like hoodwinked and valiant. It cant obviously look as polished as a studio production but damn it was done by one guy on flash 4 of all things.

I am definitely going to get this on dvd and see it in theatres if it gets released anywhere near me.

doghat
10-18-2006, 06:41 AM
I love the Amiga connection here. Let me congradulate him. I tried out the Amiga rout years ago, but it was ultimately the audio recording that stumped me more than anything. The man has done an amazing thing here. It took me longer than that just to develope my story. From what I've seen, he's got a great story, and the characters have so much personality. It's like the old days when animation was still magical and fun to watch. I can't believe there are eople who actually think 2d is dead. This years BO should prove what's dead, and it's not 2d. I'd love to see this film. Even if I didn't know the story behind it, and I just saw a trailer for it, it'd be on my list of must see films. Charming.

GoldenCamel
10-18-2006, 07:08 AM
Here are the release theaters and dates for California, in case anyone missed my other post,

Los Angeles Area

Date: October 27, 2006
Venue: Burbank Town Center 8
Location: 201 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91501

Date: October 27, 2006
Venue: Crenshaw 15
Location: 4020 Marlton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90008

Date: October 27, 2006
Venue: AMC Ontario Mills 30 Theaters
Location: 4549 Mills Circle, Ontario, CA 91764

Date: October 27, 2006
Venue: AMC Covina 30
Location: 1414 North Azusa Ave.Covina, CA 91722

Date: October 27, 2006
Venue: Beverly Center 13
Location: 8522 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

Date: October 27, 2006
Venue: Plant 16
Location: 7876 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91402

Date: October 27, 2006
Venue: Culver Plaza 6
Location: 9919 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Date: October 27, 2006
Venue: Mann’s Oaks Mall 5
Location: 382 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360


Northern Cali and Fresno

Date: TBD
Venue: Deer Valley Stadium 16
Location: 4204 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, CA 94509

Date: TBD
Venue: EMERY BAY STADIUM 10
Location: 6330 Christie Ave,Emeryville, CA 94608

Date: TBD
Venue: Edwards Stadium 21 & IMAX
Location: 7750 North Blackstone Avenue, Fresno, CA 93720

Date: TBD
Venue: Regency Theatre 7
Location: 635 Fairfield Drive, Merced, CA 95340

Date: TBD
Venue: Olympus Pointe 12
Location: 520 N. Sunrise Avenue, Roseville, CA 95661

Date: TBD
Venue: Natomas 16
Location: 3561 Truxel Road, Sacramento, CA 95834

Date: TBD
Venue: Sequoia Mall 12
Location: 3355 S Mooney Blvd, Visalia, CA 93277



Official film wesite: http://www.romeoandjulietfilm.com/index.html

R10k
10-18-2006, 07:18 AM
Wow, amazing stuff. The cartooning looks quite disney old school, but there just isn't enough of that around nowadays. I'm sure little kids will love it... and the jokes look quite funny, so I might enjoy it as well ;)

I hope it does well.

Jadetiger
10-18-2006, 09:24 AM
I think it does hold up well. Are you guys comparing this to incredibles or something? The trailer made me laugh and looked more interesting than the slew of direct to dvd release animations and even feature films like hoodwinked and valiant. It cant obviously look as polished as a studio production but damn it was done by one guy on flash 4 of all things.

I am definitely going to get this on dvd and see it in theatres if it gets released anywhere near me.

I'm not judging badly of it, I admire that old Disney "innocence" that has been missing from today's current movies. It seems that today's animated movies have to have a theme ie: underwater, cars, monsters, bugs as well as appropriate humor and puns related to that world, then it must of course have the celebrity voices, and a certain amount of modern humor, pop culture references, and occasionally crude jokes. When I say I hope it holds up, I mean that I hope that people will be able to revert back to the way they could appreciate the older classic animations and still enjoy them without all that other crap.

AJ
10-18-2006, 11:24 AM
I'm not looking forward to the end scene where they both commit sealicide.

Atwooki
10-18-2006, 11:31 AM
Good on him; Bravo!
That's a large body of daily work (100 drawings) to maintain in itself without losing perspective in terms of inspiration, perspiration & continuity.

Chris

RuinedMessiah
10-18-2006, 01:47 PM
I'm gonna have to be another voice that's hated.

I can appreciate the effort and work put in. I can appreciate how hard he worked and how much of an accomplishment this is. I can even appreciate the old school innocence (yes, I'm one of the few who loathe WB's utter refusal to release their black n whites and wish CN would start playing Looney Toons again). I love animation. But after watching that trailer, I cannot say I'm too interested in the movie.

I mean, it's Romeo & Juliet... with ****ing seals. As if the vampire variant of Underground wasn't insulting enough. And likewise, I don't see too many parts in that movie that look like it will appeal to the adults in the audience. I mean, even the kisses have that "When Minnie kissed Mickey" appeal to it, as in very little emotion put in. God, I know I'm gonna be hated for saying this but it's almost as if he expected his achievement alone to sell the movie. I mean, nobody went into Saw saying "Did you know this movie was produced by only a handful of people? I say, Reginald, let us support this effort in direct defiance of the Hollywood Norm."

R10k
10-18-2006, 01:53 PM
No worries... that's your opinion. However, I don't think you're the movie's main target audience. I know many, many young children who'd go simply bananas over this. If the animation was poor and there was zero charm to it I might agree with you that the hype might be the only factor to sell the movie. But, since that isn't the case... if this movie is marketed correctly to the audience it seems to have been created for, it'll do well based on its own merits.

Dennik
10-18-2006, 02:04 PM
I personally sallute his efford, although i don't think the animation tools are helping enough endeavours like this.

I think there are many artists out there with the vision of making a whole feature film on their own, for many reasons, and they can't, again for many reasons.

I personally have 2 ideas in my head right now for feature films, which are original enough to make their money back and much more, but they won't see the light of day until i devote a whole lot of time to them.

Sure at this point, any attempt to do a one manned film can result to a low quality movie, and when there is no team effort and no objective criticism about the way the story and art of the film develops, it can end up being a failure if the idea wasn't very great in the first place.

However endeavours like this are very inspiring for an artist. And i hope to see more of these in the future. Maybe i'll give it a try as well one day.

Squash-n-Stretch
10-18-2006, 02:17 PM
He's used himself, his children and friends for voices, obviously non-professional actors and you can't really expect the same Disney/Pixar quality voice talent for this film.

One mistake most poeple unknowingly would make is that, becasue Phil is a veteran Disney animator, everyone automaticaly expects to see the same quality animation for this film as well, of course he could have made this up to that quality but not in 4 and half years, so when you view the trialer, keep in mind, this is all done by ONE person, all of it!

I personaly believe that we should try and support this film in any way we can, spreading the word and encouraging people to go and see it.

Good luck to Phil on next projects!

QFA. I hope it gets shown in Ireland, I will definitely be seeing it. Really inspiring, especially to a 2D animator like myself. I've been tempted for a long time to make a short and colour it with PD Pro...maybe when I see it it will give me incentive :D

GoldenCamel
10-18-2006, 02:42 PM
QFA. I hope it gets shown in Ireland, I will definitely be seeing it. Really inspiring, especially to a 2D animator like myself. I've been tempted for a long time to make a short and colour it with PD Pro...maybe when I see it it will give me incentive :D

Keep an eye on the film website, they will probably add info soon on release dates and theaters across Europe.

One thing I'd like to mention is that Phil Nibbelink has more than 10 years of Disney animation under his belt, so he knows animation inside out, he is an animator essentialy so story may not be his strongest point, nor character design, effects, directing, writing, AND, as I understand, the limitations of doing a one-man-feature on a low end software like Flash, has dictated a lot of what many of us may not like, for instance, seals that may not be the most appealing creatures for a love story happen to be pretty simple round shapes that can be colored easily, no clothing, no complicated hair or fur, so in order to actualy finish his film he HAD to go with all these disicions that may seem to be weakening the final result.

And I think for so many of us who have ideas for features, trying to make it at home may not be the wise route, a very good alternative for this would be to make a short, or even some kind of a trailer/teaser and make it real good, then go out and see if you can find investors, usualy, if you have a good story, appealing characters and basicaly what Hollywood calls a winner in your hands, someone would come to you.

ndat
10-18-2006, 04:58 PM
Wow, I love that goldfish!

I seriously did not think this was possible, he must have an amazing amount of talent and dedication.

I really hope he changed the ending of it, I hate how they died in a double suicide thing... It's very depressing...

OneSharpMarble
10-18-2006, 05:30 PM
now, dont get me wrong and dont yell at me, because i appreciated the work this guy has done and its uber insparation and amazing but that movie doesnt look interesting at all.

Im sorry, the animation looks beautiful but the trailer doesnt make me want to see it at all besides knowing the story behind him working on it by himself. That alone is the only thing that looks interesting to me.

It will be interesting to see how it does.

I have to go with Rob and RuinedMessiah on this one. If I was going to spend 4 and a half years of my life working on something all by myself it would have to be something so far out there that no production company would ever think of risking money on it. Here this is just another cutsy animal love in.

I mean it's unreal he did everything himself but it doesn't seem to hold anything original. if he had done something like that he would not be competing with the little mermaid or finding nemo, he would be in a class of his own.

Flog
10-18-2006, 05:34 PM
To each their own. I hope financially he is successful to show what can be done by a one man team and it will inspire others to possibly jump on the bandwagon of indie films.

As far as the idea, yeah personally I'm not into the cutsey animals that have been done to death, but to each their own.

I just hope this guy is successful, to rub in the face of naysayers, who think it's fruitless to make an indie animation or not going to make money. I want it rubbed in their faces.

So here is hoping for the success of this film. :)

To bad it's cutesy animals as usual but hey it has a chance to make money since it is this genre.

Gentle Fury
10-18-2006, 06:11 PM
Sorry to have to be one to say it.....but as amazing as it is that one person did all this, and the animation does have a wonderful bluthien appeal.....the problem im having is, one, the voice acting is horrible and if actually released needs desperately to be redone. And two.....Romeo and Juliet done with seals???? Are you kidding me???? That is something big studio or not is a horrible idea!!! Shakespeare is phenomenal......and using the idea behind it is classically acceptable.......but to actually make it Romeo and Juliet with seals??? ummm, ok.

Other than my little gripes (and trust me, i know i could never even come close to accomplishing something like this) I would still be interested in checking it out......tho i wouldnt go out of my way.

Has anyone seen The Thief and the Cobbler (the original non-disneyized version with excessive narration and the additional footage), that movie was basically entirely done by one man....and it is amazing tho it took almost 30 years to produce...but its really impressive!

Jadetiger
10-18-2006, 06:47 PM
Has anyone seen The Thief and the Cobbler (the original non-disneyized version with excessive narration and the additional footage), that movie was basically entirely done by one man....and it is amazing tho it took almost 30 years to produce...but its really impressive!

Hehe, funny you should mention that. I just bought that because of all the wonderful things I heard about it. Overall it was horrible. I would love to watch just the work that Richard Williams did. I can just about tell what the real movie was supposed to be like: No musical numbers, no babbling thief, and no Matthew Broderick narration. I think what really drove me nuts was how much the movie changed because of all the extra scenes put in there. If you look at the cobbler in the beginning of the movie he's tall, lanky, very round face, pastey white, and moves a little awkward. But by the end of the movie he looks like Aladdin?

http://uk.geocities.com/smarterthanthe/thiefcobblersm.jpghttp://images.amazon.com/images/P/6304291353.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Now back on topic: the beauty of this new movie is it was done by one guy; not mostly one guy, and then a thousand other guys to fill in the holes.

And another thing, a lot of you seem very upset that it is Romeo and Juliet with seals. The Lion King was Hamlet with Lions. And if you consider the target audience, I HIGHLY doubt that they will kill each other at the end. Heck, the real story of the Little Mermaid, the Mermaid jumps into the ocean because she can't be with the prince, and becomes sea foam, if memory serves me right. Disney of course changed that to make it kid friendly.

GoldenCamel
10-18-2006, 06:48 PM
I have to go with Rob and RuinedMessiah on this one. If I was going to spend 4 and a half years of my life working on something all by myself it would have to be something so far out there that no production company would ever think of risking money on it. Here this is just another cutsy animal love in.

I mean it's unreal he did everything himself but it doesn't seem to hold anything original. if he had done something like that he would not be competing with the little mermaid or finding nemo, he would be in a class of his own.

That could be true, come to think of it, if I wanetd to make a feature all on my own, i would have made sure to have a original story, BUT, let's just picture this together;

you are a talented animator, you have some very original ideas for features that you want to direct yourself, but you have no directing experience and besides as far as everyone's concerened traditioanl animation is dead anyway, so the chances of you making your very bright stories are pretty slim, so you sit down and think, you figure that the only way to gather enough money to make your own film and make it real good, is to GET THEIR ATTENTION.

Okay, so you love drawing, you're good at animation, you decide to make a feature all on your own, something simple that could actualy be done in four years, you use the lowest end software and hardware just to prove that it's the talent and hard work that makes a film, not all these super computers, you know that even if the film fails by all means in the box office, it will still be profitable becasue your production budget has been chicken feed.

and the whole purpose of this film is to gather enough interest, so then, you show them your ace story, your original idea and hey you have definitly proved that you CAN do features.

None of this, of course is based on facts, just my own perception, but I have a feeling, soon we may be hearing from Phil Nibbelink again, and this time he may be up in Emeryville or down at Burbank directing his own and second feature.

Papa Lazarou
10-18-2006, 06:50 PM
Has anyone seen The Thief and the Cobbler (the original non-disneyized version with excessive narration and the additional footage), that movie was basically entirely done by one man....

...uhm no it wasn't. I know someone who worked on it. The animation is incredible, but even a quick look at the credits will show you just how many animators worked on it, including a few golden age Disney and Warner Bros animators. The reason it took 30 years was because production was stopped and started so many times, and other projects came up in the mean time.

Papa Lazarou
10-18-2006, 07:06 PM
God, I know I'm gonna be hated for saying this but it's almost as if he expected his achievement alone to sell the movie.

Actually it's been sort of a big secret that this was a one-man show. It hasn't been mentioned in any of the publicity material for the film, and it has only come out recently through animator acqaintances of his posting on animationnation. That was picked up by someone who started a thread on ColdHardFlash, which then led to this interview. He's been remarkably low key about this, and I really thought he would be doing more to blow his own trumpet.

OneSharpMarble
10-18-2006, 07:41 PM
That could be true, come to think of it, if I wanetd to make a feature all on my own, i would have made sure to have a original story, BUT, let's just picture this together;

you are a talented animator, you have some very original ideas for features that you want to direct yourself, but you have no directing experience and besides as far as everyone's concerened traditioanl animation is dead anyway, so the chances of you making your very bright stories are pretty slim, so you sit down and think, you figure that the only way to gather enough money to make your own film and make it real good, is to GET THEIR ATTENTION.

Okay, so you love drawing, you're good at animation, you decide to make a feature all on your own, something simple that could actualy be done in four years, you use the lowest end software and hardware just to prove that it's the talent and hard work that makes a film, not all these super computers, you know that even if the film fails by all means in the box office, it will still be profitable becasue your production budget has been chicken feed.

and the whole purpose of this film is to gather enough interest, so then, you show them your ace story, your original idea and hey you have definitly proved that you CAN do features.

None of this, of course is based on facts, just my own perception, but I have a feeling, soon we may be hearing from Phil Nibbelink again, and this time he may be up in Emeryville or down at Burbank directing his own and second feature.

This would have made sense if we were talking about some random decent animator, but Phil Nibbelink is a fairly big name. Just check it out on IMDB, I am sure if he had a good idea he wanted to do he wouldn't have to spend 5 years working on a project just to prove himself. He has already proven himself long ago.

After over 20 years of working with the biggest names he would have plenty of contacts that could make it happen. Nope doesn't fly.

RobertoOrtiz
10-18-2006, 07:55 PM
Well here is the thing the detail that in my opinion most people seen to miss.

This guy will now get pure profit from this.
This is his work, his intelectual property.
His baby.
And done with a minimal investment.


By doing it all himself, he gets all the rights, and a huge chuck of the money to be made.
You say seals, I see characters that can be sold and marketted.

And lets face it, the kids market is one hell of a place to make money.

-R

Dennik
10-18-2006, 09:20 PM
Well here is the thing the detail that in my opinion most people seen to miss.
This guy will now get pure profit from this.
This is his work, his intelectual property.
His baby.
And done with a minimal investment.
-R

Hmm, yeah, there is another detail called, distributor.
Last time i heared, distributors are not your best buddies.:shrug:

Flog
10-18-2006, 09:31 PM
Distibutors have all kinds of various deals. Usually a deal is 40-60 split. But what is 60% of a million? 600,000? I could live with that.

Also self distribution is another option. Print on demand services. ETC.

You would be suprised. I remember talking to a indie film maker who made a CG 15 minute movie and he sold 10,000 units. I'm not disclosing how much he made but it was enough to live off of comfortably for a good while, but on top of that it gave him acclaim and something better than a simple portfolio

That acclaim in turn helped him get a job, they came to him.

So either way, a win win situation.

If for example my film does not work, I keep my day job. But if it works, I can quit and be independant doing something I love working for myself.

If however it fails but I complete it, I have something better than a mere portfolio, I now have marketting experience, DVD authoring experience, I have a track record of completing something, I have sales experience and the satisfaction I did something few individuals get to do. My skills will obviously grow, I can also put on my resume time management and managing a team (maybe a big company needs an art director.) Most of all.....

I get to live a dream I had since I was a kid and that is to tell a story in Cartoon Format!!

I think this guy wins either way. Distributor or not.

ps Last time i heared, distributors are not your best buddies.

Distributors are EVIL

Papa Lazarou
10-18-2006, 10:08 PM
After over 20 years of working with the biggest names he would have plenty of contacts that could make it happen. Nope doesn't fly.


I dont think you realise just how hard it is to get funding for an independant film, even with a track record. A lot of people waste years trying to get funding and distribution. The 2 films he co-directed at Amblimimation were not his pitches, they were films Spielberg wanted to make, and they both lost money. The amount of control a director has on such projects is limited, and if the film isn't a hit, you're back to square one as far as directing your own stuff is concerned. By doing it this way, he has no one to answer to.

Lunatique
10-19-2006, 01:29 AM
I have to go with Rob and RuinedMessiah on this one. If I was going to spend 4 and a half years of my life working on something all by myself it would have to be something so far out there that no production company would ever think of risking money on it. Here this is just another cutsy animal love in.

I mean it's unreal he did everything himself but it doesn't seem to hold anything original. if he had done something like that he would not be competing with the little mermaid or finding nemo, he would be in a class of his own.

I'd have to agree here as well. I have a lot of respect for his dedication, but I really wished he'd have done something that's so far away from the same kind of the Disney formula that this whole thing was worth all the effort. None of us have seen it yet, so we can't really judge, but based on the trailer, it looks like a typical low-budget direct-to-video Disney thing, not just visually, but in every other respect as well. I'm not saying independent filmmakers aren't allowed to make mainstream commercial films, but I guess we're just conditioned to seeing independent guys make creatively unique films.

Who knows? Maybe he picked the most commercially suitable scenes for the trailer, and the rest of the film is actually very different (although I highly doubt it). The one thing that really bothered me was the lack of subtlety in the trailers--the two main seals didn't really exhibit any complex or subtle acting--in fact the animation on them were probably worse than the supporting characters. But that comes with the territory of having severe time/budget/manpower constraints.

One angle no one discussed was--do we even know he's a capable writer? None of this would matter if the writing is bad.

This thread reminds me of the numerous "Why can't CG guys make a film by himself" threads. This case is a great example of what one man is capable of, and the other side of the coin, which is the price you have to pay for the lack of budget/time/manpower.

Anyway, I wish him the best of luck. This is obviously something he's very passionate about and made sacrifices for.

Abaddon
10-19-2006, 11:10 AM
Well, at least he finished it.


Not my type of movie, but I'll be extremely curious about how this goes.

Respect. :buttrock:

newellteapot
10-19-2006, 11:27 AM
It's amazing, really makes you wonder about the future of the film industry..
To be honest, I never liked the Disney 80's anaimations. My favourite ones are 101 Dalmatians and the Aristocats, and obviously the older stuff. The eighty's animation looks too plasticky to me. Anyway, personal taste apart, it's an amazing achievement, good luck to him.

cresshead
10-19-2006, 12:59 PM
going off topic a bit but does anyone have the making of details for voices of a distant star?

...was made by one man using a mac and lightwave but not sure what he used for the 2d stuff... any links would be great!

cheers

steve g

Gentle Fury
10-19-2006, 01:28 PM
...uhm no it wasn't. I know someone who worked on it. The animation is incredible, but even a quick look at the credits will show you just how many animators worked on it, including a few golden age Disney and Warner Bros animators. The reason it took 30 years was because production was stopped and started so many times, and other projects came up in the mean time.


Some interesting info:

During the original Richard Williams Studio production, Richard Williams himself animated all of Zig-Zag. His son, Alex Williams animated most of Tack. Myron 'Grim' Natwick animated much of the Mad Holy Old Witch. Art Babbitt animated much of Phido, as well as the wounded soldier and King Nod. Ken Harris animated most of The Thief.

Being the jumbled mess that it became its really hard to really discuss who did what, and what counts as orginal, and what was supposed to be in the film and what wasnt, there is really only the workprint to go by.

The American video version reinstates the original title of "The Thief and the Cobbler" but is in all other respects the edit released by Miramax under the title "Arabian Knight". This edit strips the original soundtrack, adds three song sequences, removes many scenes (including an expanding view of One-Eye's palace, the king in torment, and the clever Thief using Yum-Yum's stolen hand-shaped back-scratchers to survive a hand-chopping sentence) and adds lengthy narration by Matthew Broderick and Jonathan Winters (the title characters were originally almost silent). It also replaces the original Witch with a large Eye, thanks to new dialog by Jennifer Beals and Clive Revill. None of this was in the 1968 voice recording session, starring Vincent Price (there is a rumor Sean Connery also sat in on the session, but his part is lost). The version released in Australia was titled "The Princess and the Cobbler" and was much closer to Williams' original cut, albeit still with the songs. In this version, as in the original, Phido and the Thief never speak, and the Thief survives a hand-chopping sentence. Williams' legendary near-finished wide-screen "workprint" of the film survives on bootleg video, although many scenes are still in pencil-test form.

Now for the great news for those of us (i bought my copy long ago on VHS and was delighted that this finally happened!)who have only seen the horrible Disney version, with crappy added scenes, majorly excessive narration by nearly silent characters, and freakin musical numbers that feel so out of place its not funny!

Click here to see the movie as it was intended! (http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=55EE5872FE454FBA)

Using the workprint and various DVD format versions that contained more of the original footage and storyboards....this is about as close to the original vision that will ever be seen!

Enjoy!

Dennik
10-19-2006, 01:44 PM
One angle no one discussed was--do we even know he's a capable writer? None of this would matter if the writing is bad.

This thread reminds me of the numerous "Why can't CG guys make a film by himself" threads. This case is a great example of what one man is capable of, and the other side of the coin, which is the price you have to pay for the lack of budget/time/manpower.

Anyway, I wish him the best of luck. This is obviously something he's very passionate about and made sacrifices for.

I have to agree, story is the most important aspect of a film. Cause thats why the film is made for, to tell a story. Everything else is there just to help tell that story.

Most of the time we artists, have plans to make movies but our vision is mostly art centered rather than story centered. We are visual, art driven people, but sometimes we see the tree and we miss the forest.

But missing the forest, is not our problem alone.
I think the movie industry needs a revolution. We've been taken over by suits that want to play it safe and milk the same cow again and again and again. Holywood productions have become a franchise in their whole ideology. The same product being produced over and over and over again.

And i'm afraid this guy has worked in that system way too much, and unfortunately has produced one more of the same old films of the Disney "genre", even though he didn't have to. Even though he could do ANYTHING he wanted. He had that creative freedom.

And to take 5 years of your life to make Shakespeare with talking animals, i'm sorry it sounds so bad as an idea. I don't know if people think Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story ever told, i think every creative writer out there should challenge that, and try to write the greatest love story ever, something that comes from their heart, something original. Something that is worth working 5 years on.

I admire the guy, i realy do. Such a level of dedication to a project is hard to find. At the end even if he missed the point, and his movie lacks the originality, he at least made it clear that such films are possible to make, and if the idea is original, they might even be successfull financially.

I sure hope that the future will bring us the tools and the interactivity needed, to create CG films almost as fast as it takes to shoot them with a camera. Maybe one day we won't have an excuse for not making a film on our own cause the technology will be there availabie for us to use. Maybe then, when everyone can do it, people will finaly realise the importance of a good story.

Flog
10-19-2006, 03:49 PM
And to take 5 years of your life to make Shakespeare with talking animals, i'm sorry it sounds so bad as an idea. I don't know if people think Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story ever told, i think every creative writer out there should challenge that, and try to write the greatest love story ever, something that comes from their heart, something original. Something that is worth working 5 years on.


EXACTLY!! Why retell an old story and spend 5 years doing it? Write a new love story.


I agree though this is a feat and looks great. I hope this guy great success for his endeavors and to really put it to people who say this stuff is impossible.

xynaria
10-19-2006, 03:59 PM
He had that creative freedom.



He had that creative freedom, yes, but he would in many ways, having a familly to support, be under at least as much financial pressure to do something that appeared to him to be liable to make it's costs back.

A CG Talk interview/ talk with the artist with Phil might be a good idea at some point, for as others point out, considering it takes a team of 200 plus often over two years to produce a feature, to do so solo in 5 years is nothing short of astounding, and it would be far more enlightening to hear from him himself as to why he went down this route rather than the amount of projections that seem to be going on here. He could also possibly get to answer some of the criticisms mainly levelled by (just for change) people who have not seen the film.

Lets remember that during that period the writing was more than definately on the wall for anyone working in 2D, so the choices for alternative gigs wouldn't be exactly tumultuous.

I'm not here trying to defend here what may indeed be turn out to be a noble but doomed folly (after all I also haven't seen the film so can't comment) but I think sometimes people forget that for most, any media involvement is also a means of providing a living not only an expression.

Papa Lazarou
10-19-2006, 07:37 PM
Some interesting info:
Being the jumbled mess that it became its really hard to really discuss who did what, and what counts as orginal, and what was supposed to be in the film and what wasnt, there is really only the workprint to go by.


Brad Bird also animated a few scenes on The Iron Giant. Don Bluth also animates some of the scenes in his films(and he also does key drawings for every scene). Same with Hayao Miyazaki.

Thief and the Cobbler is absolutely incredible visually, but there were many animators, assistant animators, clean up artists and cell painters. That's quite different from doing every visual thing, from backgrounds to characters, effects animation, ink and paint, all at your own expense. I believe a lot of Thief and the Cobbler was done at Richard Williams' expense, but in signing a deal to finance the completion of the picture, he gave them the means to take it away from him, and ruin it.

Papa Lazarou
10-19-2006, 07:56 PM
EXACTLY!! Why retell an old story and spend 5 years doing it? Write a new love story.


Here's the thing: when I was in college, everyone had these incredible ideas for their own stories they wanted to tell in student films. But by the time you get it up on screen, most of them wound up being an impenetrable mess, that only the originator could make sense of. The best shorts that year came from people who took short stories from the public domain as a starting point. That way you already have a solid story to build on, so you can spend your efforts refining how you tell the story. It's the storytelling that makes the difference.

Animation has been doing this for years, look at how many films have used public domain fairytales, and even shows like the Simpsons and South Park will frequently base episodes around movies.

pomru
10-19-2006, 08:47 PM
going off topic a bit but does anyone have the making of details for voices of a distant star?

...was made by one man using a mac and lightwave but not sure what he used for the 2d stuff... any links would be great!
The details are a bit skimpy, but according to this fansite (http://daike.hp.infoseek.co.jp/About_The_Voices_of_a_Distant_Star.html), Voices of a Distant Star creator Makoto Shinkai used:

[ Hardware ]
Power Mac G4 400MHz
1GB memory
About 300GB HDD
Pen tablet (WACOM)
Trace stand and papers
Digital camera (Olympus)

[ Software ]
Adobe Photoshop 5.0
Adobe AfterEffects 4.1
Lightwave3D 6.5
Commotion 3.1DV

The original behind-the-scene production page (http://www2.odn.ne.jp/~ccs50140/stars/visual.html) has the same info in Japanese (but with more pictures), so you may need a translator to read it.

As you can see, the 2D software used is not too different from the off-the-shelf production software (Macromedia Flash, Corel Painter, and Lost Marble Moho (now known as E-Frontier Anime Studio)) used by Phil Nibbelink.

Nice to see independent animators put their work up on the big screen. Cartoon Brew (http://www.cartoonbrew.com/) mentioned that Bill Plympton recently finished his latest movie Hair High (http://www.hairhigh.com/index_flash.html) and stop-motion animator Christiane Cegavske's Blood Tea and Red String (http://christianecegavske.com/BloodTeaRedString.html) is playing in NYC.

Papa Lazarou
10-19-2006, 08:48 PM
I'd have to agree here as well. I have a lot of respect for his dedication, but I really wished he'd have done something that's so far away from the same kind of the Disney formula that this whole thing was worth all the effort.

Yeah I thought that too. If I had that kind of ability and discipline, I'd like to think I'd do something a little more unique. Phil's such a genius as an animator that I'd prefer to see his animation on something other than what looks to be a little girl's movie. But then I was looking at the cast which includes in a key part his daughter(who began recording the part at the age of 3) and what I assume are his other kids who contribute singing vocals, and his wife as producer. It would seem that this is a film made for families, by a family.

cresshead
10-19-2006, 09:21 PM
thanks for the info on voices of a distant star...been looking for that for ages!
it's my fav short film..great story and looks fantastic...near perfect imo.

cheers
steve g

Jadetiger
10-19-2006, 09:33 PM
Click here to see the movie as it was intended! (http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=55EE5872FE454FBA)

Using the workprint and various DVD format versions that contained more of the original footage and storyboards....this is about as close to the original vision that will ever be seen!

Enjoy!

Hey thanks! I watched it all this morning. I can't believe how different the movie is! And watching the crappy Miramax one I could immediatly tell that what you posted was what was originally intended. I have so much respect for Richard Williams. I don't know how he was able to do all those crazy 360 rotations of everything without the aid of computers. The opening scene to Roger Rabbit is still one of the most jaw dropping things for me to watch.

ParamountCell
10-19-2006, 10:54 PM
thanks for the info on voices of a distant star...been looking for that for ages!
it's my fav short film..great story and looks fantastic...near perfect imo.

cheers
steve g

Great movie, have you seen his short, 'She and her cat'? Its great, also a placed promised to us in our younger days.

Gentle Fury
10-20-2006, 01:00 PM
sorry, double post and for some reason i dont see a delete button anymore. :(

Gentle Fury
10-20-2006, 01:03 PM
Here's the thing: when I was in college, everyone had these incredible ideas for their own stories they wanted to tell in student films. But by the time you get it up on screen, most of them wound up being an impenetrable mess, that only the originator could make sense of. The best shorts that year came from people who took short stories from the public domain as a starting point. That way you already have a solid story to build on, so you can spend your efforts refining how you tell the story. It's the storytelling that makes the difference.

Animation has been doing this for years, look at how many films have used public domain fairytales, and even shows like the Simpsons and South Park will frequently base episodes around movies.

I fully agree with this....the problem i have is that he didn't take the idea of romeo and juliet and build from it making a squeaky clean disney version of it where they live happily ever after using the names sqeaky and binky, but everyone watching can follow it as being R&J and feel comfortable as it being familiar ground....or even just using the premise to create a story off of, becuase the filmmaker knows it already works....hell thats been going on forever....even Romeo and Juliet was based on a Greek tragedy.....so that is not the problem....the problem is that it is called Romeo and Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss.

He didnt build on a pre-existing premise, he used the name and plot and the characters names to completely re-write a massively tragic story into a happy kid friendly romp under the sea via Nemo style......thats the problem i have.

Had it been simply based on Romeo and Juliet with original characters and similar plot threads....it would be fine....but the fact that its called Romeo and Juliet, and based on the trailer they clearly do not die.....and in fact get married and live happily ever after is kind of disrespectful to the source material!

If you are making an adaptation of a classic, do that.....change things if need be to suit your format.....but don't call something the name of a classic merely to get recognition for a familiar name. That is just blatent....and i think if Shakespeare were alive he would probably be sueing for copyright infringement. ;)

Somebody else on here made a perfect example for what im saying (tho they thought it was against.) everyone liked The Lion King and it was based on hamlet.......yes, this is true.....but had it been called Hamlet: The Lion King....and the characters were named as such and only the bad guy lived and there was really no tragedy, only syrupy redemption.....i think yes it still would have done well with the 5-12 audience...but not nearly as good as it did with an adult audience.....when an adult watches Lion King they see the corrolation and say....hey thats clever, it is very similar to Hamlet......but they were not handed that notion at the door....it was something that people familiar with the subject matter will pick up on and everyone else will just think, wow, how original disney is for such a detailed story.

GoldenCamel
10-27-2006, 08:02 PM
The film opens this weekend (October 27th) in theaters (http://www.romeoandjulietfilm.com/release.html)

GO SEE IT!!! :)

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