Tuesday, February 28, 2006

More Kimball

Here's some more pics of Ward Kimball from that day in 1994. The first pic of is of Ward and I walking back from his train roundhouse. Also posted is his famous politically incorrect Mickey Model sheet from the early 90's. Enjoy.....

Ward Kimball

Here's a piece of art that Ward Kimball did especially for me.....
Actually it's the envelope that he mailed me for directions to his house. I should have it framed.
Long story short, I was a huge Ward Kimball fan back in the early 70's (still am), having loved all his work from the old Disney TV show. His name kept popping up on things I liked and I figured that he was the genius behind those films. Sure enough he was.
When I was 16, I was asked if I'd like to appear on an ABC television show called Kids Are People Too. The show would have a segment focusing on Mickey Mouses' 50th Birthday, and I would be the aspiring animator/Disney buff and Ward Kimball would be the Guest Disney Animator. I was more excited about meeting Ward than doing the coast to coast TV show. Unfortunately, my part of the segment was cut well before taping and I was crushed.

Fast forward about ten years, working on the Bakshi Mighty Mouse show in LA, I was invited to Ward Kimball's annual railroad steam up by a friend of the family (yes, he had full sized Trains in his backyard...more on that later) ...and I was all geared up to go, when I was stricken by acute tonsilitis. I was laid up in bed for over a week. So, I missed that second opportunity. Other near misses would occur between 1988 and 1994, when finally, I decided that I was going to contact Mr. Kimball and invite him out to lunch. I managed to get his number and gave him a call. Obviously, he didn't know who I was and he wanted me to send him a letter on official Warner Bros. Animation stationary so that he knew I was on the up and up.
About a week later, he calls me at home and leaves a message on my answering machine asking me to call him back. While dialing, I'm thinking of places we could meet for lunch, but during the conversation, Ward suggests meeting at his house.
With four others from Warner Bros., we spent six hours with Ward, talking to him about his career, his paintings, his trains, toys and his jazz band, The Firehouse Five Plus Two. It was an amazing day to say the least....after a long fifteen year wait.

Above left to right, Phil Mosness, Joey Banaskiewicz, Ward, Brian Mitchell and Kexx Singleton.
Cynthia Petrovic is behind the camera.

Friday, February 17, 2006

New Website Address

Finally, after years of people telling me that my old website on AOL was a real piece of crap, I finally registered for my own domain name and will be posting new webpages there over the next couple of weeks. Currently it's under construction. Thanks to Kevin O Neil for pushing me over the finish line.
New site is $#@!#$%@.com, so keep it on your favorites list.

UPDATE!!!! AUGUST 17th, 2011
Actually with this blogger account, there is no need for a separate website anymore.
And BTW,
that other site hasn't existed for a couple of years now....

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What's going on....with me...

Some people have been asking me what I have been up to at late. Well, just after my storyboard and design gig at IDT ran out, I did a bit of work on some TV cartoons and private development projects, which I am still actively working on.
I also managed to pitch a couple of show ideas last summer which went absolutely nowhere, but I still believe in them, at least as one shot projects.
So is that it? Well, not exactly.
I've decided to start producing my own animated shorts on my down time. For the last several years, I have been actively pitching shows and feature ideas to anyone who would see them. Since my ideas resemble real cartoons and not sitcom-like versions of cartoons, I haven't sold a thing. Many kind folks at these pitch sessions have complimented my professionalism, patted me on the back on the way out the door and let me know that they'd be happy to see anything else I might develop down the road. Of course, that does little to put food on the table.
Believe me, I appreciate the opportunity to go in and pitch ideas. 99.9 percent of the people I have pitched to have been wonderful, but I can see that most are afraid to say yes to an idea.
I know that's the way the business operates but it's hard to put in that kind of time on something to please someone else, knowing full well that all your effort boils down to the words yes or no. Yes, it's an investment of your time and effort and sometimes it really pays off, but most of the time it's back to the old drawing board.
It really makes more sense to just produce the thing myself.
It'll be my idea, my investment, my cartoon and my property. It will reflect my tastes, my sense of humor and timing. And if someone is interested in buying it, they'll have to take it as is, just the way I present it.
Perhaps, I'll see some monetary return for my efforts.