Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Making of Frazetta's and Bakshi's Fire and Ice (1983)

Considering the buzz over the live action Robert Rodriguez Fire and Ice film in the works, and the resurrection of the Frank Frazetta museum, this was a nice find.  Enjoy and be inspired.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

American Godzilla is a Fatty!! ゴジラでぶだよ!! OR Godzilla: God of War

No matter what you do, some just won't be satisfied.  "Fat Godzilla"  was reaction I heard from a Japanese friend who just saw pictures of the revised Hollywood version of Godzilla.  A lot better than "Fake Godzilla".  A reference to the 1998 American attempt at Godzilla directed by Roland Emmerich.  Japanese Godzilla (or Gojira /ゴジラ in Japanese)  fans don't even acknowledge that version as it's referred to as "Zilla".    So, Hollywood must be making progress.

Asking which was his favorite version of Godzilla, (there have been so many) I was surprised to hear, "The first Godzilla."  ゴジラ / Godzilla (Toho 1954).  He said that war was still fresh in the minds of Japanese in 1954, as World War II was only nine years before. 

"Japanese see was war is a kind of monster. It is not controllable and it has a will of its own.  It comes unexpected wreaks havoc and then just leaves the same way.   (Kind of like this monster)  Those who are affected the most are innocent civilians who have no alternative but to evacuate or ride out the storm.  This is what Japanese had to endure during the Tokyo bombings. " 

Imagine what it must of felt like seeing Godzilla in 1954, surviving the fire-raids of Tokyo only a few years before.  

As a New Yorker who experienced the 9/11 attacks in 2001, I always had a feeling of discomfort seeing whole skyscrapers crashing down in films like Transformers and most recently,  Man of Steel.  It comes from being very aware of the devastation and that kind of  carnage (not action) creates.    (Makes me wonder if the 9/11 attacks were in Hollywood,  would they handle those kinds of visuals in the same way.)

Word is that the new Godzilla is supposed to be an "Eco-Godzilla", punishing mankind for not going green.  Guess that's Hollywood's idea of what's relevant  or bringing gravity to the film.  We will see if  でぶゴジラ / Debu Gojira (Fat Godzilla)  will catch on with Japanese audiences.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Persistence of Vision: Aaron Blaise

Apologies to Mr. Blaise for copping his title. How could someone not be inspired by this man?

Aaron Blaise is an accomplished and amazing artist, animator and filmmaker who has been extremely generous in sharing his work, insights and advice on his website The Art of Aaron Blaise (   Aaron Blaise has produced beautiful work on films such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan and Brother Bear which he directed. 

All artists are always trying to learn, grow, build up on what they have spent years mastering.  Whatever motivates the artist,  there are always stumbles and outright obstacles.   Every now and then, the artist finds an oasis of information or inspiration that can help keep him/ her going.  Aaron's online advice is certainly one. 

One of the most important things about the art process is that it's not so much "what you do" but "how you think" about your work.    This is one of the greatest areas of advice you will find on Aaron Blaise's website or Youtube channel

His advice is clear, accessible and most important, sincere.   

If you want to improve your knowledge of art, painting, composition, animation or filmmaking,  go to his website, you will not be disappointed. 

The clip above left a considerable impression on me as it was a testament to the amazing things you can do when you find it in yourself to persist and keep moving forward.   There are good things in the world, there is magic that you, yourself can make.  It's there if you can persist. 

"...persist.  Persist in your art, persist in life, persist in creating beauty for everyone else.  It's our job to make someone else's life better."   - Aaron Blaise

Thank you for your efforts and inspiration, Aaron.