Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cartoon Culture Sightings...

It appears that the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cameo found in the Little Golden Book for WALL-E has now become a running gag with the Pixar artists.

It's a little bit harder to spot this time, but take a close look at Carl's book in this illustration from the UP Little Golden Book.

Also spotted these ads in Vancouver's West Ender newspaper. Looks like Casper and Popeye have found a way to beat the recession by selling scrap metal.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Musee Mechanique and more Adventures...

I'm now home from San Francisco recovering from another excursion of animation instruction and exploration. Despite puppets that kept wanting to fall apart on me, I'm happy with how the demos went and wish I could post my animation here, but it's all part of my course for AAU, so sorry.

I made really good time in wrapping up my shoots time-wise each day, which afforded me a good amount of time for relaxing, eating and exploring. I ate at my beloved American Graffiti-shrine Mel's Drive-Inn again, this time accompanied by local fellow- Hollywood Jesus writer Elisabeth Leitch...we had a great chat and it was nice to have some company.

Friday after all my shooting was done, I think I lost half my body weight walking around Fisherman's Wharf and elsewhere (but then I probably gained it all back at dinner.) A really cool destination point this time around was the Musee Mechanique, a museum of classic early 1900s arcade attractions, slot machines, nickelodeons, carnival attractions and creepy animatronic treasures! I love stuff like this so I took lots of videos, and many pictures viewable on FaceBook.

I decided to walk around to find Coit Tower for a nice scenic view, but wasn't aware it would involve climbing up a steep never-ending labyrinth of stairs just to get to the base of it. It was very tiring...not sure if it was really worth the trek by the time I got to the top or not. The view was nice though.

There was also a living monster shrub attacking people on the wharf.

Another highlight ended up being my final decision of where to treat myself to a really nice dinner. After perusing a few menus I stumbled upon The Franciscan, est. 1957 and really had that beautiful classic '50s style that I love.

And the food...holy crap...

A cup of clam chowder, glass of Franciscan private label Merlot, crab, garlic mashed potatoes and boneless short rib. They probably serve food like this in Heaven.

Top it off with a sunset like this and life is good. The only thing missing was my family being there to share it with me, but someday we'll come back with the kids in tow. Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 is a fantastic place to take lil' folks, so I look forward to that day.

Speaking of which, I finally felt Xander kick for the first time yesterday! Active little guy. Now it's back to the work week...I found out while I was away that Pixar is opening up a studio in Vancouver, which could be really good for the local industry and for the school. The adventure continues...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Back to San Francisco

I'm back in San Francisco for another round of video shoots, this time for my Stop Motion Animation II course for Academy of Art University. I got here yesterday and spent most of today shooting, which went pretty well. By the way, just before coming here the big events from the weekend were Janet's 30th Birthday Party (documented well on her blog) and I also spoke in church on 'Faith & Film: Taking God's Detour' focusing on Pixar's CARS. Once that is posted on the church's website, I'll post it here.

So anyway, here's some of the stuff I've been doing here...

This morning I had breakfast at Lori's Diner, where they had a guy dressed as Charlie Chaplin greeting people at the door. He was an older guy and his make-up was overdone so he looked like a very disturbing clown. There's one picture I took of him but I won't post it because it scares me.

They also had a cow.

I found this strange box in a store on the way to the studio. Never heard of these, but I think they're funny.

After a long, exhausting day of shooting and a little nap, I decided to treat myself to dinner at John's Grill right down the street. This is a historic Steak & Seafood restaurant in the city and one of the settings for The Maltese Falcon. I'm sorry to say I've never actually seen that whole movie, but since I love movies I figured it would be an important place to check out. Lots of celebrities have eaten there, and their autographed pictures covered all of the walls. Damn, the food was good too.

And a few more pictures from a foggy night...

OK, time to make replacement mouths.