Harry Potter The 1980s Anime is out!

Hard to believe it’s been almost four months since Star Wars Anime released, and now it’s Harry Potter’s turn for the 1980’s anime treatment. With this one I went in, what I think, a completely different direction than Star Wars. I think it’s still plenty ridiculous, but at the same time, I kind of wanted to make it cool, like something someone would really want to watch. It is based heavily off Akira, and I try to cram in a lot of the big Harry Potter moments into a minute and a half that I possibly can.

The animation is still super limited, but I tried to up the art as compared to Star Wars. Some of the backgrounds took several nights to complete and overall I just wanted to have nicer than average drawings since I knew they wouldn’t be moving too much.

Joe’s audio is really cool I think. He never saw Akira before, so when we recorded the lines for it, I had him listen to a few tracks from the Akira soundtrack. I think he did a great job mixing the sort of sounds you’d hear from that OST into familiar Harry Potter melodies. It complimented the mood of the short exactly how I had hoped it would.

I’m not sure if Star Wars started a trend or I was just unoriginal, but ever since it came out I’ve seen a lot of different shorts that have purposely bad animation along with a VHS style motif. So I decided to go Laser Disc on this one, and gave the footage film grain instead. My goal is to try and come up with different ways of presenting the shorts. I’m sure I’ll run out of ideas quickly. Hah.

Also, I’m a little sad that the thumbnail spoils the ending, but what can ya do?

Anyway, hope you enjoyed it. Now onto the next one!

Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Professor Layton on Polaris

This was a little something I worked on for the Polaris channel a few months back. In fact I wrapped up a majority of it before Christmas, but further tweaks were made after that. Then it kind of sat around for a while, but thems the breaks!

So this was a little different for me as I didn’t write this. I did assist with some script rewrites and ideas (I really toned down the violence as much as I could and came up with how the puzzles should move the story forward), but this was mainly a hired gig to just animate on. It had a really quick turn around time in the beginning too. This is also the first short I did where I did not handle the voice over, but it was done by the talented RicePirate. He did all three speaking parts and nailed it. I was able to have Joe do the music, but since time was so short I actually handled all of the sound effects.

Harry Potter short on the way!

Oh boy, I can’t believe this is my first official post for 2014! I really intended to start doing regular blog updates again, but ehhh, whatever. So here is the latest.

I literally just turned in a new video to Nacho Punch. I don’t know when it’ll go live. Could be tomorrow, could be weeks from now. I have no idea. It’s a Harry Potter thing. Star Wars: The 1980s Anime did so well for Nacho Punch (it is still currently their most watched video as of this writing) that they decided to make the “1980s Anime” thing into a series. The first (well second) up is Harry Potter: The 1980s Anime. I’ve spent the last two months working on it as much as I possibly can. I don’t know if it’ll look it or not, but I really kicked my ass putting this thing together.

It was actually a pretty big decision to go ahead with this Nacho Punch deal. Star Wars was fun to create, but the idea of doing 6 more episodes just like Star Wars was kind of scary. Trying to hit deadlines and trying not to beat the joke into the ground were/are things I’m worried about. So my goal here is that even though they’re being branded as “The 1980s Anime” to really try and hit all sorts of types of anime during that decade. Where as Star Wars was secretly a Voltron episode, Harry Potter is (maybe not so) secretly a tribute to Akira. I think it has a very different tone than Star Wars, and I’m hoping that as I roll along with these shorts that I’ll be able to do something unique with each of them. After all, they can’t all end with things turning into robots.

So I’m glad to have it wrapped up. I’m going to give myself a few days off and then roll right into the next one. You should expect these every other month or so. It’s gonna be a busy year.

Star Wars: The 1980s Anime

I finally have a new cartoon to share! I was contracted to do a short cartoon for the “new” YouTube channel Nacho Punch (formerly The Station) and came up with this Voltron-ish take on Star Wars.

This has actually been pretty much finished since early October. The channel launch was delayed slightly and it looks like they’ve just gotten around to putting it up. It actually had a few tiny revisions along the way, with the latest version being handed over this past Friday. We originally had some genuine sounding Star Wars tunes in there but were asked to change it. Also had to do some title changing and new logos. It was a long journey but here we are with the finished product.

When working on this my daughters were on a huge Voltron kick. I was asked to make a Star Wars cartoon, but I secretly wanted to make a Voltron cartoon, so this is what I came up with. I had a good time blending and bending elements from both shows. I also enjoyed intentionally having mistakes, limited animation in certain (most) areas, and that old found on a VHS tape look. We originally had compressed audio for it, but ultimately we changed the audio to make it sound better than it maybe should have on a VHS tape.

Hopefully this short does well. I’m already scheduled to do another short (not Star Wars but a similar mash up idea) for Nacho Punch, but I imagine the response to this short would be very important to my future working with the channel. If you like it, don’t forget to share it with friends and like the video on YouTube. Thanks!

Introducing Super Game Corps

Yesterday I launched a new YouTube channel called Super Game Corps. It’s going to be mainly be a Let’s Play channel, but I do hope to add in some other type of videos in the future to help with the variety a bit. This isn’t something I’m going to be spending loads of time on, so please don’t think I’m giving up on Shamoozal. I’m not. This is just a fun project my nephew and I will be doing together for a few weeks. Depending on how much steam we pick up over the next few months will determine if this is something I’m even going to continue doing work on.

So go ahead, check out the videos and if you have room in your life for yet another Let’s Play channel, be sure to subscribe!

Big Steel Wheels teaser, Interview and other stuff

Look at that, I have a reason to update this blog.

Sometime in July or August I was contacted by C-Jeff, the owner of one of my favorite sites for game inspired music Ubiktune, about creating a teaser video for his upcoming album called Big Steel Wheels. If you remember, I used music from Ubiktune in Read Only Memory Vol. 2, so I thought it was pretty cool to be able to give back to them by doing this teaser.

The bulk of this has essentially been finished since the summer. I did make some tweaks here and there as the weeks rolled on, so it’s still a different product than it was during that time.

The project is essentially 4 looped scenes and I just swapped out backgrounds for some of the repeated shots. Since C-Jeff’s album takes a lot of inspiration from the work of Vince DiCole (Transfromers: The Movie and Rock IV) I tried to make the trucks and scenery look like something out of Transformers: The Movie. I really like that shiny anime look, so it was fun to play with that. The album released next week and I got to listen to it during production, and I gotta say, it’s pretty rad. Be sure to check it out when it drops.

Aside from that, I was Geekadelphia’s “Geek of the Week” this week. It’s slightly strange, because I was actually interviewed back in February or March (I honestly forget) of this year. I actually didn’t think it would ever be published and had honestly forgotten about it. You can read the whole interview here.

Also, work has really picked up since Steel Wheels. I actually finished up a cartoon for a yet to be released YouTube channel. It was a pretty hefty project for the time I was allotted but I think I made the most of it. I’m actually really excited to share that one with everyone. I’ll be curious to see how the internet likes it. The team I made it for liked it enough where I’m already about to start working on a follow up cartoon for the same channel. I also have yet another project I just started working on for another well known YouTube channel which should be cool. I have no idea when you guys will see any of this, but I want to let you know there is stuff out there that exists that I finished with more on the way.

As you can see, none of these projects are for Shamoozal proper. I’m not going to lie here, but after Link’s Triumph failed to keep momentum and Read Only Memory Vol 2 was quickly forgotten on YouTube, I felt extremely distraught. I just haven’t been growing my channel the way other animators are able to. Maybe that’s a sign or something, and I did take it as one. I spent most of the year away from doing animation work until I was contacted for Steel Wheels. These other opportunities presented themselves soon after and I took them all up on it.

I’m not sure when I’m going to make something for just Shamoozal, but we’ll see what happens.

Oh my god this place still exists?

Guys. I’m not even going to apologize for the lack of Shamoozal.com updates.

So what’s been going on? Why haven’t I updated? If you still frequent our YouTube channel, you’ll know the answer. I have just been in a bit of a funk. So that is kind of the problem with Shamoozal.com, right? What is its purpose now? I feel like Shamoozal stuff has become so splintered thanks to all these different social outlets. Hell I’ve just begun to try and get into this whole tumblr thing. I’m super late to the part on that one.

What will probably happen over the next few months if that I’m going to slowly migrate away from the current blog structure of this site. Shamoozal.com will essentially become a showcase for the work we’ve done over the years. I have also considered opening the doors to clients for potential work, something I’ve never done before with Shamoozal. I’ll still have the Nerdlog archived for people to go through stuff from the past, and the five of us that still use the Smorg will continue to be able to do so, but the Nerdlog and Smorg are not priorities like they were in the past.

I know there hasn’t been any real new video content in a while either. I’m in the middle of building a new PC (the parts have literally just started to show up) and I’m buying this for the sake of Shamoozal. I do plan on getting into the swing of things soon. Hopefully I’ll have some okay things to share with people in the future.

Until then, if you haven’t already PLEASE subscribe to the YouTube channel. That is where the majority of anything is going to take place. Follow me on Tumblr, because that’s where I’ll be trying to post some odds and ends. Take care dudes.

We Played Nintendo: Read Only Memory Vol. 2

Mother of god. I actually wrapped up Read Only Memory Vol. 2. Seriously, there were times over the last two years where I wondered if it was even going to happen or not. After two years of work, here it is in its entirety.

Unlike Vol 1, I had planned this video sequence from the get go. I kind of cobbled together the compilation video of Vol 1 and tried to make it work as well as I could. While I managed to do a decent job at making the shorts interlock, I wanted to step my game up a bit for Vol 2. I knew from the start of this project that I was going to use live action video to link all the shorts together. The idea was to do a “day in the life” kind of thing from what it was like to grow up playing NES games.

I actually almost ran into a problem with the footage. I actually recorded all of the snow stuff two years ago. My nephew, who is the boy in the video, has obviously now aged two years since then. I recorded the second half of the footage, the drawing part and the going to bed part, only two weeks ago. I was able to make it work because I show as little of him as possible. The idea there being that I wanted him to represent the kid who grew up playing these games. The moment you give him a face is the moment he has an identity, so I stayed away from that. It worked in my benefit because he does look a lot different than he did two years ago.

You may notice many of the shorts in Vol 2 have gone through some changes. I did this to try and keep everything as consistent with the tone of the setting as possible. I rewrote and rerecorded Howard & Nester & Metroid to make it feel more like a legit Howard & Nester comic. The entire dog idea from Contra with Two Players was thrown completely out the window, turning Contra into more of an action cartoon than it was before. While I didn’t change anything thematically for Take a Key for Coming in, I went through nearly every single shot and made some sort of tweak to it. Link’s Triumph is the only short that was left virtually untouched.

I mentioned the music earlier. I was fortunate enough to be given permission from Simon St√•lenhag to use his track Fluvial Beat Deposits from Ubiktune’s SOUNDSHOCK 2: FM FUNK TERRROR!! album. When I first heard this track I knew it had to be used in this video. While it doesn’t quite give off a NES chiptune vibe, I think it fits the setting so well. I don’t know how Simon feels about his track being accompanied by what I’ve created, but I’m in his thanks. The music for this video was extremely important to me because it acts as the bridge between everything. It tells the story, it holds the feeling of the setting and creates the mood. I just love it.

So when I first set out to make Vol 2, I told everyone that it was going to be much better than Vol 1. Personally, I think I’ve completely outclassed Vol 1 by a long shot, and I hope that you agree. With ROM all wrapped up, it’s time to move onto my next big thing. Wish me luck.