Thursday, February 28, 2008

Internet Goodness

While looking for jobs today (gotta pay the bills somehow) I happened upon a most excellent website: Simply put, it's YouTube strictly for animation. Lovely concept really. Animators have a place to showcase their work while also networking with other animators, novices and industry professionals. You can even get paid for your efforts if you become popular.

Also revisited one of my favorite sites, This site is fantabulous because the creator, Jennifer Shiman, redoes movies in 30 seconds. With animated bunnies. You heard right, ANIMATED BUNNIES. It's hilarious. My personal fave so far is "Jaws."

And, saving the best for last, I finished my "Avatar" spec script for the Nick Writing Fellowship. YEAH! So excited. I will find out in August if I made it as a semifinalist, and find out at the end of September if I am chosen to go to sunny Burbank, CA to shadow a Nick Exec for AN ENTIRE YEAR. Woo hoo! Unfortunately, I can't post the script on this blog, but I'll find a way to get it out there to you.

That's all folks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Animated Scripts R Us

I often troll the Internet in search of teleplays in order to improve my own writing.
The search has been most fruitful, as I've come across NUMEROUS scripts for "Lost," as well as the pilots for "Ugly Betty," "Scrubs" and the "Out of Gas" episode by Tim Minear for "Firefly," a show I admit I didn't start watching until the Sci Fi channel ran a late night marathon back in December.

However, my search has proven something quite sad - animation scripts on the net are sorely lacking. For whatever reason there just aren't that many around. I'm not sure if it's a legal issue or what, but most of the time you don't find the actual scripts, just transcripts by loyal (read: rabid) fans. While I appreciate the effort, there's nothing like a REAL script to really get a taste of what the craft is all about.

So you can imagine how excited I was today when I found not one, but THREE animated scripts FOR REAL this afternoon. All of them are by Michael Reaves, a guy I had never heard of but turns out wrote cartoons for many of the shows I loved as a kid including:
"Tiny Toon Adventures," "Gargoyles," "Dink: The Little Dinosaur" and "My Little Pony."

Michael was kind enough to post three "Batman: The Animated Series" scripts on his site. While they were never produced (and the second one is a link to Earthlink for some odd reason) they are enjoyable reads.

He also posted a produced script for, get this, "The Real Ghostbusters." I remember watching this and it's entertaining yet not as good cousin, "The Ghost Busters" as a kid, a testament to my freakishly encyclopedic memory of all things 80s animation. Scary.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

We love rats! (The animated variety)

So, of course, Pixar/Disney won Best Animated Feature for "Ratatouille." Was there ANY doubt that the animation masters would bow out to "Surf's Up?" None that I could think of.

You can read Brad Bird's acceptance speech here.

I'll be honest. I liked how "Ratatouille" looked, but the story dragged on. This film is not even in the same league as Brad Bird's "Iron Giant," which is, in a word, AWESOME. (Go see it. Really. Like right now.) And Remy didn't speak with a French accent, which I found rather odd, considering he supposedly grew up in the French countryside. Perhaps he studied abroad in the Midwest? Who knows.

At any rate, Team Pixar shows no signs of stopping, what with Wall*E coming out this summer.

It looks like a cute cross between "Short Circuit" and "batteries not included." I'm looking forward to it, as I love all things animation and robot related.

Mmm...robot goodness.

This is late, but still kinda timely

My Gal Friday, Diablo Cody, won for Original Screenplay on Sunday night.
I will be candid by saying that I believe "Juno" deserves a solid B+ as far as movies go. Didn't love it, didn't hate it, definately worth the $8.50. But I'm proud of Ms. Cody (aka Brook Busey) on account of she strikes me as a take-me-as-I-am-cause-I-ain't-a-faker kind of woman. And I like people like that in general.

Here is her Oscar speech, courtesy of

"What is happening? This is for the writers, and I want to thank all the writers. I especially want to thank my fellow nominees because I worship you guys and I'm learning from you every day, so thank you very much. I want to thank the Academy, I want to thank Fox Searchlight, Mr. Mudd, Mandate, Dan Dubiecki. I want to thank our incredible cast including the superhuman Ellen Page. I want to thank Jason Reitman, who I consider a member of my family, and I'm in awe of his talent as a filmmaker. I want to thank Sarah Self. I want to thank Mason Novick who knew I could do this before I did. And most of all, I want to thank my family for loving me exactly the way I am."

How can you not love that?

Yahoo! News even did a piece on her. Apparently all the people who loved the film and her are now part of a backlash against her because she won the award and is now a Hollywood darling. Makes me sick. People elevate you to cult status, then tear you down when you're successful. Shame on them.

But I say kudos to you, Ms. Cody. You've earned it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Adventure Time"

I attended the ASIFA screening in NYC last year when Fred Seibert premiered Pen Ward's "Adventure Time" to rousing applause. This is one of the best animated shorts I've ever seen. Enjoy!

The Denver Zoo

Here are some sketches I made of the beasties at the zoo on Saturday. Enjoy.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Animaniacs' Macarena

This is, by far, STILL one of the best animated shows ever created.
It puts the current crop of shows to major shame.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Today on "Blogging with Angela"


Storyboarding is fun.

Storyboarding is educational.

Storyboarding takes a REALLY LONG TIME.

Animation boards in particular take awhile, as you have to draw out nearly every frame to convey various pieces of action. Thus far I've boarded 24 frames a day, for a total of 48 frames so far. It is a great deal of fun though. The hours fly by. And I do mean hours.

Here are my favorite panels from today:

This is the scene in "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" where the two Atlantean pilots argue with each other right before they are pulverized by the tsunami. Absolutely fantastic scene.


My "Avatar" spec script is in full swing. I'm on page 21. 10 (or so) more pages to go. Not too shabby. If I can figure out how to post the whole thing on the blog, I will. If not, you'll have to wait for the BIG SURPRISE coming soon


Screenwriter John August kindly posted his storyboards for his film "The Nines" on his Facebook page. The boards are quite nice, with smooth clean lines. Very clear cut action. You can check them out here:
(One day I'll figure out how to make a proper link. Until then, deal. Heh heh.)
His movie is also up for a Saturn Award, which is delightful.

Jane in Progress gives a great example of how to invigorate a cliched joke we've seen in many movies today:

And Diablo Cody won the Writers Guild 2008 Award for Original Screenplay for Juno. Woo! Check it out yo:

And that as they say, is that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Writers of the nation, we stood behind you

As all of you know (unless you've been doing something other than watch tv - shameful!) the writer's strike is over. Hoorah!

You can read all about it here:

And here:

The writers and the AMPTP finally came to a much needed agreement, which means that "Lost," "The Office" and every other great show I love will be returning with a vengeance.


And the world rejoices!

Yes, you do indeed see a PICTURE on my blog. Imagine that!
Finally got Photoshop and my scanner to get back on speaking terms again.

So this pic is a panel from the opening sequence of "Atlantis: The Lost Empire," a great action adventure flick Disney created a few years back. I'm boarding out the entire beginning sequence, which will be completed in a few days. I'll also have some other lovely treats to post in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Being sick bites

So since I've had some kind of caustic flu-cold virus hybrid, I've been a hermit for the past four days. However, it has given me plenty of time to:

a) Not work (sweet!)
b) Watch a lot of movies
c) Rewrite "Xia"

Thus far I've watched "The Matrix," "Transformers," "Walk the Line" and about five episodes from season 3 of "Lost." That show amazes and aggravates me at the same time. Why didn't you push Ben over the edge of the cliff when you had the chance Sawyer? Why did you shoot Ben in the head when you had the chance Jack? Why did you run for the hills the FIRST time Kate? Grrr...all of those people need a swift kick in the rear.

As for "Walk the Line," ever notice how all music biopics end up like VH1 behind the Music specials? "Walk the Line" is basically "Ray" with a white guy who plays the guitar and can see. It's like the same movie! They're the same person! Good grief. Everyone who wants to make it big in music should watch these movies so that they know never to leave their siblings alone when they are young and to not do drugs. That would solve 75% of their future problems.

As for writing, the "Xia" rewrite is going quite well. I'm up to page 86 out of 117. I've made the B story with Reyna's parents, Tai, Nem and Gesh more interesting, and Drenn is going to get more of his backstory revealed in this version, so that the sequel will make more sense. Also, they meet Siv-Ky a different way in this version. I found the original copy of the first script, and had to laugh. It was a great first attempt but would have been a bad movie. Some of the plot points and a few lines of dialogue are the same, but that's it. But everything else is radically different. Take note kids - rewriting is a GOOD THING.

My goal is to publish the final version on Triggerstreet by week's end. I also need to finish my spec script of "Avatar" for the Nickelodeon Fellowship, which is coming up in two short weeks. I've got the beat sheet, just need to write the darn thing now.

And if you haven't already done so - mail in your taxes.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Diablo Cody is my favorite person

So I listen to Creative Screenwriting podcasts all the time, and today I'm listening to a conversation between Jeff Goldsmith, senior editor of Creative Screenwriting magazine, and Diablo Cody, stripper turned author turned screenwriter of Juno. Now I have to point out that I thought Juno was too ultra-quirky for it's own good, I mean it laid it on pretty thick. The other characters were not nearly as interesting, although Jason Bateman was super creepy to the point where I was screaming in my head for little Juno to run out of the house. But what I like about Diablo is that she doesn't BS her way out of conversations. She's a genuinely funny individual, not pretenious, absolutely real. That's a refreshing concept, considering how some writers are so full of themselves, or so focused on "art" and "craft" that you wonder if they would be better off creating paintings that no one understood on New York street corners.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Radioactive Kryptonite

So the reason why some blogs win and some blogs fail? Two words - radioactive kryptonite. Some blogs are simply dangerous to the touch and do absolutely nothing for the reader. A wasteland of pages in the world wide web, clutter creating agents if you will.

The reader has to glean something out of a blog for it to be of use. It can't be filled with so much overwrought angst and snarkiness that you completely alienate the populace. You must speak from the heart. It must enlighten the masses. Excite them. Make them want to turn on their computers, go online, and find out what their favorite blogger wrote about that day.

At least, that's how I feel whenever I read three of my favorite blogs:, and These blogs inspire me. They teach me how to be a better screenwriter. How to get the words on the page. How to map out a story, create more interesting characters. They show me that there are other people out there who are interested in this kind of thing.

You know, before I moved to New York I had not met a single person who was interested in writing a movie. Not one. All of my writer friends had essentially quit writing by the time I made it out to the East Coast. Looking back, this worked to my advantage. It wasn't until I'd written my third script that I discovered how many people wanted to write movies, tried to write movies, desired to sell that million dollar spec script. I had no idea that a script could even sell for that kind of money. It sounded ludicrous. Who in their right mind would pay that much for a stack of paper? Idiots. But that was what actually lured some people to become writers.

That to me is absolutely crazy. Having worked as a professional writer and editor, I can tell you that while it pays OK it ain't gonna make you rich. You actually have to want to do this because you like telling stories, not because you hope Steven Spielberg will pluck you out of the ether to write "Indiana Jones 5. " That's why I do this. I write because ever since I was a kid I've lived in my own head, imagining my own characters interacting with the world, going on wacky adventures. If I didn't write comics, novels, screenplays, if I didn't draw pictures or storyboards, I'd make cardboard cutouts, or origami people, or postage stamp plays, or something completely nuts just to get my vision out there.

My goal in all of this is to finish my work and get it sold so that I can do this full-time, instead of working in retail or clerical jobs I hate. My goal is to be able to look back and say, yeah, I did this and now you can rent it, put the poster on the wall, recite the lines. And my goal is to chronicle the experience, so anyone else who comes after me, wanting the same goal, can see someone who accomplished it and go, "yeah, she did it. I can do it too."

That would make it all worth while.

Diaglogue Dialogue

Is something that I need to work on. I've found while editing my script for the third time that while I am adept at description, the dialogue leaves something to be desired. A whole lot of "Augh!" and "Look out!" and "Leave them alone!" peppers the script. The best action, sci fi and fantasy movies have great bits of illuminating dialogue, speeches that you recite over and over again long after the rest of the film has faded.

Also, realized the reason why I didn't like the "B" part of the story was because the characters were not fleshed out. They are one dimensional compared to the "A" story characters and need something else to define them. Either that or they need to be done away with completely. I am hesitant to do this however, as every hero in these types of stories tends to lose one or both parents, and I want to buck the trend by having Reyna's parents live, at least for this first movie. No promises on the sequels.

As for sequels, I have a kernal of an idea for "Xia 2." There will be a "Xia 3" but no ideas yet as to what that will entail.

But first I gotta finish the first one. Final Draft contest is the first one up.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Leopard OS X 10.5 vs. HP PSC 2355 Scanner

So for Christmas I bought a nifty 20" iMac to replace my dying Dell Inspiron Laptop (R.I.P.)

Problem is that HP has yet to come out with adequate drivers and software to support printing and scanning on said computer. I've spent six hours now hunting for the proper software on various message boards, free Twain sites and HPs site trying to find something that can work. The result is that now I can print documents, and I can scan documents, but I cannot actually SAVE anything that I can scan, and everytime I try to scan something onto Photoshop CS2, the program crashes. Nice.

So until I figure out how to get the scanner to work, there will be a dearth of drawings on this blog. Apple is great but only if the rest of the world jumps on the Mac bandwagon.

And now for something completely different...

So moving to a place that snows is quite interesting, particularly Denver. I'd never driven in snow until last week. Kind of a harrowing experience but I made it out unscathed.

Work has proven to be quite lame. The managers at the store don't know what they are doing. I wasn't too pleased to find out that we have to police our own hours so that we don't get overtime. Also didn't appreciate being embarrassed about it in front of three managers. I spoke to two of them about it, so things are straightened out now, but I see why I am a creator and not a lackey for a retail computer store.

So I've been spending today rewriting and playing Tetris. Old school Nintendo Tetris. Man that game is addictive.

Xia Version 3.0

I started to rewrite "Xia" last week after a month hiatus. It's a good idea to not look at the script for awhile -- let it percolate in your brain as you focus on other tasks.

I've got two other ideas to work on once "Xia" is completed and submitted to various contests and sites. First one up -- After reading many scripts in Trigger, most of them quite bad, I decided to rewrite my creation before submitting it, as I already knew what the problems were in version 2 and didn't want it pointed it out to me 10 times by anonymous readers.

After Triggerstreet comes the Final Draft contest, Page International, Slam Dance, the Nicholl's Fellowship and the Disney Fellowship. I stand to win something out of all of these, *wink wink*.