Saturday, January 13, 2007

Popular…

Back in 1995 I made some short films for Nickelodeon called “The Misfits” which centered around a group of, well, misfits who were harassed by a literal clump of popular kids called, well, The Populars.*

They were nominated for a cable ACE award (which so shocked the cable world that the award was discontinued after that) and led to a series of segments on Nick’s new sketch comedy show KaBlam!

Essentially just before broadcasting the first season we were informed that we had 24 hours to rename and re-animated the titles for the segment. After little deliberation, I came up with “The Off-Beats”. There was some argument over whether the dash was Nickelodeon enough, but I stuck to my dash guns (mostly because I’d just finished animating that stupid dash).

We made about 6 or so 5 minute films each year, enough volume to have a very small crew and avoid shipping the animation work abroad. While I gave the animators (and myself) leeway in terms of drawing the characters, we still needed to create model sheets, or guides, to insure some consistency. Here is a first stab at a model sheet for the Populars:



You can see those nasty kids in action here (animation by the talented Karen Villarreal).


*(I hate naming characters, hence Sheep from Sheep in the Big City, and The Pigeon from Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!)