The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

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Robert and Simon

You will performing just over two hours from now in Napa and I can not be there to cheer you on in full cosplay. At least I can give you this drawing to show my support and console myself for foregoing concert and airline tickets to pay my bills as far into to the long, bleak teacher’s summer ahead. Dazzle those who are there to see you with your brilliance dear Cure. I hope to see you next time you perform in a city near my home.


Much love and devotion,


At Home

A friend of mine is caring for her dying kitty. She and I agree the Ignatz should spend his last days at home. I wish I had done the same for Pita who spent his last hours at the vet. Although, he died in my arms, I so wished he had passed through the night curled up in my lap the way I found him as I woke the of the day he left.

New York, you’re my kinda gal!

New York has just passed the most fabulous law of marriage for the LGBT community! Isn’t that grand? I feel so much better today. I have a new lust for life. Women have always admired me more that men, so now I have a chance to marry after all.
Happy me. There is a a chance for this Black woman who is among the 70% unwed.

Rebirth :)

The 49th day was Wednesday. Is someone a new kitty? I beautiful new kitty who will go to rich owners who will love him as much as I do? Or did you reincarnate as a human, or a tree or an elephant? Whatever, you are, enjoy your new life and know that you are still loved by the people you touched in the life you just left.

Ashanti for Pita Meow Peter.

The Electric Company Season (sorta) 3: Check Your Understanding

The Electric Company Season 3 (sorta): Character Design

What can be fun to draw than astronauts, puppies and badgers? Why drawing Paul the Gorilla of course!

Still, these designs were not without their challenges. Sesame does not have a studio style, so one had to guess at what the execs want. To make the situation more challenging, I was designing from 2000 miles away. What I would do to have been able to draw right in front of the execs to figure everything out. Live and learn, and I learned that my design interpretation talents are limited when I am working with people who don’t have extensive knowledge of animation and design history. Producers are money people, not art people.


And now the difficulties and work behind the clean ups:

This is closer to the style they wanted. Why didn’t they just say a hybrid of Joe Murray and Matt Groenig? Because…they have a different educational background.

This sprinter was too Disney. He does look like Ichabod Crane. I was thinking “make funny looking guy, not a cat-nip male”. It backfired.

Exploring styles: A Spumco Badger

My default 40’s drawing style which is interpreted as Disney to contemporary non-animators.

They liked Groenig badger at the bottom left, but I didn’t want to get sued, so I suggested further exploration. Time got too tight on the Paul the Gorilla sketch, so they went with photographs.
Pity. Nothing beats drawing in front of people IMO. Buzz word adjectives like quirky, are not sufficient to describe: Make a hybrid of Groenig and Murray from those who don’t know to say so.

Happy Birthday Madonna!

Electric Company Season 3 (sorta)ish: Using Visuals

Fun! FUn FUN! I got make my own films this season, along with the usually array of random illustration goodities 😀

Using Visuals

Cinematography Revisions: Opening Scenes

I have a habit of locking down my camera when boarding. This is an obsolete technique that is rarely seen outside of pre-school shows. What was good for Soleil Rocketship is inappropriate for Detour Thru Your Mind. The opening of ‘Detour starts out with a pan. I’ve been advised that I need to make my boards more cinematic, so the pan is a no-no. What I HAVE noticed is that when films open and characters are being shown off at a party or in a musical setting, the camera pushes INWARD or though the scene, if you will. Not across it.
I’m using the truck from Yankee Doodle Dandy to revise the opening. If that doesn’t work, I’ll consider the camera work in The Great Ziegfeld and other films.

Here’s Yankee Doodle Dandy. Note how the camera pans up then across as the two ladies move to the right and then pushes through the crowd to reveal Cagney. This will be a good set up for Fred who is shown mooning over a puppy at an art opening.

Fred Loses Quiche: Layout Cleanup Complete

Hooo! So this sequence is cleaned up for animation which I ill get around to in about a year. This may sound negligent, but it isn’t. Animation after layout isn’t a matter of tweaking and inbetweening there is acting and timing to consider. Those two tasks as well as any other challenges that occur at the animation stage is stressful enough. The last thing I want to do is animate this scene while burnt after layout.

Fred Loses Quiche: Layout from Ashanti Miller on Vimeo.

A few notes for the future animation stage:
The opening is still way to fast. Also. perhaps the insane Fred should melt into swirls along with the BG in the end.

Also, as usual, the timing is different after export to Quicktime. It’s a few frames delayed so the action is not Mickey Moused to the track. Time for troubleshooting.