Monday, November 18, 2013

"Just Shut Up!" A Saturday Morning Fun-Time Romp!

Before becoming an animator, I was trained in live action. It's always nice whenever I get a chance to go back to that world and play in it a little. This summer, just such an opportunity presented itself with Just Shut Up!, a web series produced by the guys behind Smosh. (For those who don't know, as of January 2013, Smosh had become the most subscribed-to channel in YouTube history!)

The concept for the show is simple; Andy runs a local Saturday morning kids show in the vein of Bozo the Clown or Captain Kangaroo (or my childhood favorite, Captain Chesapeake). With him are his co-hosts, Miss Wendy and Mr. Squirrel. Poor judgement and not-so-kid-friendly hijinks ensue.
Photos courtesy of Dan Levy

The dry wit of head writers Steve Murphy and Peter Meadows along with the natural reactions from the "kiddos" made for a really fun show. The show also features clips of cartoons from Smosh's successful Shut Up! Cartoons lineup.
Three-camera studio shoots present challenges that are very different from those in single-camera shoots and it was a great opportunity to explore this way of putting a show together. I feel lucky to have gotten a chance to work with a cast and crew who had such a strong enthusiasm to work together and commitment to get these made. Did I mention we shot all 20 episodes over the course of 3 days?
Here are two of my favorites Episodes, Death and Religion:

John Williams (animation) at the Hollywood Bowl

Back in 2010, I helped produce a short Lego animation for Jon & Al Kaplan.

Fast forward to 2013. John Williams actually sees the animation, digs it, and decides he'd like to incorporate it into this year's concert performance at the legendary Hollywood Bowl.

I edited together several different videos I found on YouTube along with some footage from some friends who attended the show. Hopefully these views from different seats around the Bowl can help illustrate a little of what it felt like that night.

With John Williams's first mention of the animation and then as it appeared onscreen in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,000 people, I can't describe the excitement welling up in me. It was a pretty amazing experience seeing so many people react to something I had a part in creating.

Here's the original short we made: