Juniper Hatcher (maybe)
November.15.05 | 11:35 PM
Jason is here for another week of Pina Coladas and non-gay nightlife. We have been so engulfed in shit to do that none of us noticed when we sold out of Dr. Tran DVDs, and at least 20 people have ordered DVDs since then. Thankfully we have some extras from the original 2004 Comic-Con run to send them. I haven't decided whether or not to order a third run, or just wait and put the film on the new Roybertito's DVD. Jason and I dropped the spares by some undisclosed office building this morning and then headed over to Santa Monica for the day.
I've seen more of Los Angeles in the past two months than in the four years I've lived here. When we write, we pack up and hunt for new inspiring places to hang out and walk around. Yesterday we found this hidden lake up in the hills with a picnic table in the shade, and ducks that sing to you in little girl voices.
Above, by the way, is Tran's little sister Juni. She's the third of the new characters to be designed. And Roybertito's is finally touring starting in Santa Cruz and Vancouver.
November.03.05 | 9:08 PM
We're still at work on Tran stuff. I'll update with more soon.
October.17.05 | 12:26 PM
I hear thunder. This is a very exciting thing for Southern California. There is supposed to be a lightning storm for the next couple days.
Today I said to hell with work and hiked up near the Hollywood sign, almost got a deer tick, and spied on rich people. I was up on a hill when I spotted some deer droppings, and I looked up just in time to see a deer run like hell into the bushes. After a couple of minutes I felt something crawling on my leg through my crappy, torn jeans. Though within view of a few massive palatial mansion homes, I dropped my pants and grabbed it, and between my fingers was an ugly, bloody bug pulp. But I couldn't find any spot where I'd been bitten, and there didn't seem to be a bug head lodged in my flesh anywhere.
There were a lot of little black gnat-like bugs chasing me around (I hadn't bathed, you see), and when I squashed one of them (out of cold indifference) it did look a tad bloody. So my theory is that one of those little fly suckers flew through the hole in my jeans and masqueraded as a tick, just to feel bigger about himself.
Seeing as how I was in rich-folk town with nothing to do, I stopped into a few Sunday open-houses to see what million dollar homes look like on the inside. Surprisingly cramped. Expensive houses may look big, but a lot of the rooms felt smaller than those in an average condo. It's also entertaining to walk in there looking like unshaven-white-trash-hell and have the realtors treat you like a prospective buyer, because they have to. One of these guys kindly offered me bottled water, and he seemed nice enough, but the whole time I was there I didn't open the water and he just kept eyeing it. It was like he was waiting for me to open it; like it was important to him or something. When I left I opened it and noticed a crack in the cap, and that's how I know the realtor was trying to poison me. He thought he was all smart, but he's not.
It's raining now. This new keyboard ddouble ttypes certain letters, and it's bugging the heck out of me. I read my old journals today, and wrote a little in the newest one. I used to write a lot in them, but it looks now like I've written about thirty pages in 5 years.
I bought "Let Go" by Frou Frou from the Itunes Store. It's Garden State's fault. I'm going to go jump in puddles and try not to get struck by lightning.
October.14.05 | 1:11 PM
I've been transcribing notes from my little tape recorder. Two weeks worth of taped ideas. I'm so sick of typing I'm about to vomit just typing this.
"Dr Tran's Quiet Log Time" looked great on TV. We got all of our motion problems fixed early this week, and it was crazy to see Producer Rick on TV. He was SO on TV. All huge and red. The show went out to commercial following our fake commercial, so the whole thing worked perfectly.
I've been having trouble finding the help of a good animator, so I may have to postpone the "Fat Friend Wants to Play" short in favor of something less animated. I really like this commercial idea we have called "Dr. Tran's Big Sexy Lips," but we'll have to wait and see if it shapes up.
October.11.05 | 12:37 AM
My computer stopped working AGAIN so I spent last week in San Diego visiting friends and writing with Jason.
Now I'm back home and I stopped by G4tv tonight, and it looks like the new little Tran short, "Dr. Tran's Quiet Log Time," will air tomorrow night, Wednesday the 12th at 9PM and Midnight.
September.27.05 | 12:07 AM
My throat still hurts a little. Listening back on the audio from last week, I really strained my vocal cords with some of those screams.
Jason is back (by train) for our weekly, 2 day merry-go-round, and we're writing the next short. The Wading Pool short is in production now, and it introduces a couple of Tran's friends. This new one, "Fat Friend Wants to Play," follows one of the kids to Dr. Tran's home where we'll introduce his family for the first time. This is more ambitious and will include several new characters, so we're really focusing on making it work. We hung out in Malibu and breathed some salty air while talking about ideas. We saw Jeremy Piven at a newsstand. I haven't spent much time in Malibu before, but apparently when you go there, you get to see Jeremy Piven.
Los Angeles had one huge thunder clap and 60 seconds of rain today, and the rest of the time it was sunny and beautiful.
We bought the Muppet Show Season 1 DVD set.
On to the next short
September.21.05 | 2:05 PM
Jason and I spent two hardcore days writing, and just finished a voice record with Matt tonight. We're working on a new Tran short tentatively titled, "The Wading Pool." My throat is killing me after doing 4 different characters with 4 sets of dialogue. As we expand the universe, I'm getting to do more than just narration, and tonight I voiced a couple of kids who're going to be Dr. Tran's friends. It was a bit challenging to sound like two different kids, and I've only designed one of them on paper so far, so I didn't have much to go on. And the screaming... oh god, the screaming.
I love a crisis
September.17.05 | 10:44 PM
I have a small tape recorder that an ex-girlfriend gave me - the kind with the miniature cassettes - that I keep by my bed in case I become a genius in the middle of the night and have to catch it on tape before I slip back to being retarded. I also keep ideas for projects and cartoons on it, and I spent most of today transcribing ideas into a computer file, which, when I had typed my last period, failed. My computer no longer recognized it as an openable file.
Overjoyed and with blood rushing to my fury centers, I got through a few rounds of troubleshooting and recovered the file. But now, every new program or file type I open it in, it goes nuts. The file transforms before my eyes into jibber-speak. So I've backed up as much as I can in as many formats as I can, and printed the file out for archiving. But I have yet to discover if this problem is related to the file... or to the computer.
Jason comes up Monday and Tuesday for tickle fights and redvines.
Roy on TV
September.14.05 | 10:15 AM
Our new film, Roybertito's :60 Second Spot, aired on G4tv tonight. We'd intended the little "Dr. Tran's Quiet Log Time" film and the Hemorrhoids commercial to play, and G4 was going to save Roy for later in the season. In a last minute decision, G4 put the longer film on the show first, and the Log Time short will air on the next new episode, due out in October.
G4 was extremely kind to us, and gave us top billing in the opening teaser. They even named the episode, "Como en Roybertito's." For a show called "Happy Tree Friends and Friends," it was pretty flattering. I totally owe those guys a lap dance, but I feel so dirty afterward. By the way, if you're wondering what happened to the big dick joke in Roy, well... it's TV. The apocalypse isn't quite that close yet. I did hear the word "shit" snuck in there.
Roy is the strangest thing we've ever made. I'm wondering how the audience took it. The film hasn't even started touring with the Spike and Mike Festival yet, and our plans to put it on DVD are likely months away. It was fun to watch it on TV, since this film is almost new to me, and a lot of my friends are in it. When I watch Tran, I go into some kind of fugue state where I click off and don't get any of the jokes. It's the result of years of repeated viewings. But I can still enjoy this one, almost kind of.
Unfortunately, some kind of render problem distorted the transitions, and every time a scene changed, the screen flickered with ugly strobing frames. It's my fault - the film went through After Effects and Final Cut at different aspect ratios, and I wasn't quite experienced enough to avoid the problem. But I am now, I suppose. The film is intended to look a little cheap, so hopefully the flaw looked intentional.
September.9.05 | 1:31 AM
For reasons too inflamed and irritated to divulge, we created a Hemorrhoids commercial to tack onto the end of this little "Dr. Tran's Quiet Moment by the Fire" short we're finishing. I had Rick over for a quick photo shoot, and asked Christy's sister Cynthia (they were both in Dr. Tran) to lend her voice as the part of the narrator. In three short days we had a strange and embarrassing commercial that will follow the Tran cartoon on next Wednesday's show.
We ran into some rather serious problems with our new CG opening shot, but after many sleepless hours on Paul's part, and some quick thinking by Rick, we have it done in time. The idea is to have an intro that's enormous and actiony and loud, that peels away to reveal a quaint little cartoon about an Asian child heating pork. It looks so damn awesome that I bleed.
If we get it together fast enough, you can watch the new stuff as soon as Wednesday night on G4tv at Midnight.
More Tran (cont...)
September.4.05 | 12:47 AM
I'm getting this background done pretty quickly, despite my usual tendency to take 8 to 15 weeks on them. Our first deadline is this coming Friday. The goal is to get a new Dr. Tran short done in time for the third episode of "Happy Tree Friends" on G4.
Tran will be enjoying a quiet evening by the fire, roastin' up a frank. This short can't be categorized as a film, as it will only occupy a few seconds of your time. It's more like a Beyond Grandpa gag, quick and weird. It will introduce a new character though, and start expanding Tran's universe a little.
Earlier I met with Matt who delivered the voice tracks and sound effects for the short. Then I went through the lines one by one, selected my favorites, cut them into separate files and now I have to bring them into After Effects with the character art to do lip sync.
September.2.05 | 1:00 AM
The first of the new Dr. Tran cartoons picked up some momentum today. Matt recorded me saying a few lines for a new character of ours. For this skit, Dr. Tran doesn't say much, so that saves Jason a trip to Los Angeles.
Our friend Paul, a CG artist who worked on The Matrix, is working with me and Rick to create an opening title shot, which has a slick, over-dramatic action movie style to it. His first draft is already perfect, and way more than I expected. Tomorrow (this morning) at 9AM I'm meeting with Rick to start adding effects, fire and explosions to it on a Flame (which is a compositing robot).
And Keith (the animator who did the Dr. Tran Talking Card) created a Dr. Tran run cycle for us, and is working on a walk cycle and a turnaround.
August.31.05 | 11:50 PM
Got a few of us together tonight to watch the premiere. I couldn't get used to the fact that this wasn't a DVD that I can pause and rewind. Included in the new G4 show is a very short, clever film by my buddy Mike called Refrigerator Art. Hopefully he'll produce more of them for future episodes. Meet Mike.
August.29.05 | 10:11 PM
Dr. Tran airs in two days, and the following week, I am told, Beyond Grandpa will air as well. In my delirium I've decided to make new animated shorts (short being the key word) to try to get as much of our crap on TV as possible. I'm aiming for the 3rd episode of Happy Tree Friends and Friends (that's HTreeFandF, to the initiated) to have a new Dr. Tran cartoon all animated and national-broadcast-ready. Of course, with that time limit the film will be about the duration of a finch fart, but hopefully nonetheless entertaining to the G4tv viewership.
On to the next
August.24.05 | 2:38 PM
The documentary on the Roybertito's premiere is done, and Dr. Tran's Broadcast Television debut on G4tv is only 7 days away.
We're beginning to run low on Tran DVDs. They're still selling, God bless 'em. So now I'm trying to decide if I want to do another run of them, or perhaps do a Collection DVD featuring Tran and everything else we can cram onto a disc - old films, new films and films yet to be. The problem is, some of the rights to our films are tied up and it's a matter of trying to get some of them back, so we'll see.
In the meantime, we're planning new cartoons (if you can call them that). This time we're going to do the pretentious documentary on ourselves before we even start making a film.
August.17.05 | 6:14 PM
I've somehow managed to go without television for about 7 years now. There's no preachy idealistic justification for this - though I'm sure I could think of some - I just haven't had a lot of access to it, or haven't been interested. I live in an area that doesn't get any reception, and that means no local channels, no nothing. It was either high speed internet or cable, and since I have a website, I figured internet was the way to go.
I don't make TV a priority because there's something about it that slowly pushes me over the edge. There are some good shows out there, but commercials often leave me energized with hatred. Had they gone on a few seconds longer, I'd probably shoot myself with the handgun I keep next to the remote. In fact, the new Roybertito's film has a sequence that illustrates this rage rather graphically.
Now that our films are going to air on G4tv, I got cable. I finally had a good reason. I didn't want to intrude on friends who have cable just to watch the shows, especially since the programs will be airing after midnight. Now I can pack my days with reruns of Dallas and Dawson's Creek, and call it a life.
I'm headed over to the G4 channel on Monday to oversee the editing of Here Comes Dr. Tran. It will have to be split into a few pieces to fit into the episode, and the F word will have to be bleeped, but I'm honestly just happy it's getting on the air. Tran will be part of the first episode of "Happy Tree Friends and Friends" airing at midnight, sometime during the week of August 29.
We're also now finishing a short documentary on the Comic-Con Premiere of Roybertito's. We're going to try to release the Roy DVD this fall, which should include Beyond Grandpa (with commentary) and some zany bonus features.
Falling bubble girl
August.13.05 | 11:04 PM
Move her with your mouse if she gets stuck:
Cool fan art:
First off Id like to express that I am a huge fan of your work, especially Dr. Tran. I was fortunate enough to have met you and Jason at Comic-Con this year and you guys were really cool to us; you gave me a sketch and did the voices and everything. Anyways, I am a comic book artist local to San Diego, and I had this Idea that was really funny and I just knew I had to draw it. I don't know if you or anyone else at lone sausage is an "Evil Dead" fan but I am, and I got this funny Idea to draw and "Evil Dead" poster but with Dr. Tran as Ash! Well, Iv'e finished it and it turned out really great, and it is really funny. It is on 11 X 17 paper in ink so its just black and white. If you would like me to send you a copy Just tell me how, I know you would enjoy it. Dr. Tran is America's #1 commodity!
August.10.05 | 12:00 AM
That was surreal. Dr Tran was on TV for all of 80 seconds, cut together to give a quick impression of the film from start to finish, and Hot Dickings was indeed the most noticeably vulgar thing on the age-14-and-up-rated show. It was cool to see it there on the box, all couched by commercials and so forth, as part of the Happy Tree Friends and Friends cartoon show on G4tv. The sound seemed a little low, as has always been our struggle with this particular film, but that can be easily fixed for the airing of the complete film, coming in less than a month!
Massive Heaving Television Event Tonight
August.9.05 | 4:16 AM
G4tv, the video game channel, is airing a 1:20 clip of Here Comes Dr. Tran tomorrow night. The cable channel is playing the clip as part of a preview for their new late night programming block, Barbed Wire Biscuit. From what I've been told, Hot Dickings made it past the censors, but we'll see...
Tuesday Night, Aug. 9
10:30PM Pacific / 1:30AM Eastern
August.8.05 | 4:17 AM
I'm up digitizing footage from the narrator voice record for the Roybertito's DVD. I saw The Aristocrats in the theater tonight, which was the dirtiest documentary I've ever seen. If you can stand a couple hours of jokes about incest, bestiality, poo and blood, it has some really funny moments. Kevin Pollak imitating Christopher Walken telling the joke was genius.
Little Tran on the Television
August.7.05 | 1:13 AM
Here Comes Dr. Tran and Beyond Grandpa are going to be airing on cable television soon, as part of a new animation show on the video game network, G4. More on that soon.
The Roybertito's DVD is coming along - we have several interviews in the can, and the box is designed. I have yet to close a deal with the Spike & Mike Festival of Animation to lease them the new film for their show, but we're pretty close. Then comes the transfer of the short from digital to 35mm film, and we're going to do it the hard way this time - we're rendering out a version of the 30 frames-per-second film at 24 fps. It's a long story.
I was suckered into RSVPeeing for another free movie screening. This one's a horror movie set in the bayou, by the director of I Know What You Did Last blah blah. What am I thinking?
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