Production Journal

Dec05 thru June 2006 Archive


June.21.06 | 7:44 PM

I just finished a big chicken burrito from Poquito Mas in Burbank. Last year I got a burrito from the same restaurant, and halfway through eating, I bit into a metal staple that was buried in the beans. A STAPLE. I vowed never to eat there again. Didn't work out. Burritos win.

The DVD, as far as I can tell, is finished and off to the printer. If there are no delays, it will be sold at the San Diego Comic-Con in July.

If you can't wait that long, you can Pre-Order the new DVD HERE, and we will ship it to you when it is released. And shipping should be far less expensive on this DVD than it was on the last.

Contract issues have kept the latest Dr. Tran shorts from playing on G4's Late Night Peep Show, but that is slowly but surely being resolved. Once we get that back up and running, the next short to air will be the 60-second commercial spoof, "Dr. Tran's Peanut Butter Square Hula Quest."

The wild YouTube frontier

June.6.06 | 1:59 AM

Another recent Dr. Tran search on YouTube revealed ZIGGO's tribute:

Ziggo as Dr. Tran, Pt. 1

Ziggo as Dr. Tran, Pt. 2

To say the least, we are honored. If anyone else thinks they do a good impression of Dr. Tran, post it to YouTube and send us the link! You might win some sex!


June.3.06 | 3:18 PM

It is ninety-four amazing degrees in my neck of the woods, and the air conditioner is broken. Deadlines and blasting heat seem to arrive together. They carpool. My computer started acting strangely yesterday, so today I have fans pointed at it to intimidate it into conformity.

I'm halfway through the sound for Mr. Tran and The Toy Cack. It has the most complex sound design of any of our films, so it's a learning process. And this is the longest film we've done since the first Tran. Steve is off working on the animation; lip-sync is complete. Meanwhile I'm still animating Dickable Afternoons and DVD Menus.

Yesterday was a momentous day. I spent an hour with some tech guys at an effects house in Burbank as they explained to me the ins and outs of Settings and Rendering with Final Cut Pro, and I think we have all my problems solved. So happy. This means that if our DVD render test works on Monday, I will probably set up a Pre-Order option for the new Dr. Tran DVD.

Fan Film

May.30.06 | 1:07 AM

I had a hard time working today. It didn't help that it was eighty degrees outside and unusually clear in the Valley, after some warm winds cleaned it up a little. And it was Memorial Day, so everyone was partying at the pool, frolicking in parks and eating Power Bars.

Someone online finally put up a complete copy of Dr. Tran, with the Lone Sausage opener and the website at the end, so I swapped that link for the old one on the main page and the MySpace. I also found a glut of old copies on MySpace Video - seven pages worth of duplicates. Among them was this "Fan Film."

It doesn't really move, but I like it.

Oh - and Spike announced his San Diego Comic-Con screening, which will feature several new Dr. Tran shorts.

San Diego Comic Con: July 20th - 23rd. Look for our New DVD at the booth

Screening will be on Friday July 21st at 10pm
Vote via Applause at the screening.
Spike & Friends will be there giving out Free Swag with a few surprise guests!

Beyond Grandpa Extras
May.27.06 | 12:24 PM

I went looking for old material to create a little Beyond Grandpa special feature for the new DVD, and I discovered that we had begun a Grandpa documentary two years ago for the first DVD, and it was such a disaster that we never finished it. It was the first time we had attempted to pretentiously document ourselves, and that's a skill that really has to be earned over time.

So I slapped a bunch of it together, and I love the way it came out. It's not really a documentary, but I die laughing when I watch it. It's more like an auto accident that you can point to as you drive by on your couch. It's not without substance; there are early animation tests, unused images and deleted scenes from Beyond Grandpa One and Two. It runs about five minutes. I think it's my favorite thing on the disc.

1 Month to Deadline
May.26.06 | 1:04 AM

Here's a quick rundown of the new DVD contents, as it looks right now:


Beyond Grandpa
Beyond Grandpa 2
Here Comes Dr. Tran (Original short)
Roybertito's :60 Second Spot (Commentary/Subtitles)
Dr. Tran's Quiet Log Time
Dr. Tran's Peanut Butter Square Hula Quest
Mr. Tran and The Toy Cack (Three-part short)
Dickable Afternoons


The Making of ROYBERTITO’S
The Making of Dr. Tran
Roybertito SUBTITLES
Dr. Tran Reads Your Fan Mail
Dr. Tran G4tv I.D. Spots
R.I.P. Actual Asian Male
Dr. Tran Comic-Con Premiere
Hemorrhoids Commercial

Plus a couple other little things here and there. Contents are TENTATIVE and may change before the release.

We are one month away from our DVD deadline, to get the final disc shipped off to the printers. And it is now two months from the San Diego Comic-Con, where we will sell the DVD and reap mad rewards for our hard sweaty work. Hopefully. If you are not putting your whole life on hold to go to this Con, you will be sorry. Seriously. It's a hoot.

I, of course, am still working on the films that will be a part of the DVD, not to mention working on menus and box art and rock hard abs and buns. Tonight we did a DVD test and HOLY HELL WHAT A DISASTER. Why does everything have to be such a goddamn ordeal with me? Do I have to learn every tiny, calculus-like detail of rendering out proper movies as they export and import through different programs, and so on? Can't I just make silly cartoons?

The beauty of being an independent production company (named Breehn) is that I get to learn most every part of the production process, but I'm on overload at the moment.

A bit of good news: the original animator of the first Dr. Tran film, Stephen Wilson, has returned to work on "Mr. Tran and The Toy Cack" with me, so that's a HUGE weight off my shoulders. That frees me up to work on "Dickable Afternoons," a Pepperidge Farms-style commercial, and "Dr. Tran Reads Your Fan Letters," a brief special feature for the DVD.

My desktop
May.14.06 | 11:55 PM

It's time for a self indulgent desktop picture. Here is a look at everything I'm working on at once, every day, without ANY DAMN HELP from anyone.

But it's okay becuase I love my Mr. Tran.


May.12.06 | 4:08 PM

As of yesterday there were more than 25 bootleg copies of Here Comes Dr. Tran on There are innumerable other sites with copies as well, but YouTube is by far the most popular spot to consistently post the same copy of our film, over and over and over again. And with our website name cut off the end, just to be sweet.

One particular copy, the one I used to have linked from the main page and the MySpace, was flying high; The view count was going up by twenty-five thousand hits per day as the link was furiously posted in blogs and emails all over the world. The link once received about a thousand hits a day - only in the past couple weeks has it skyrocketed, and except for the fact that we didn't post the film online ourselves, we're all pretty damn happy about the exposure. It be amazing what the internet do.

So I started counting and keeping track to see if the rate was going up exponentially, and today... it was gone. Removed due to terms of use violation. DUDE. That's the most hits anything we've ever made has ever gotten, ever. To say the least, I'm rankled. Of course, there are still something like 24 bootleg copies left on the site, but they don't get passed out like so many dickings.

BUT WHY BE SAD when there is good news. The one-minute-long 50's commercial spoof, Dr. Tran's Peanut Butter Square Hula Quest (I'm sure there should be a hyphen in there somewhere...), is all done and ready for air. It will show up on the THIRD episode of this season of PEEP SHOW. Probably May 22, or sometime similar and/or adjacent.

And "Mr. Tran and The Toy Cack" is coming along hotly. I'll put up a page for it on the Tran site so that it might feel at home.

Dude. DOOOD.

Peep Shows, Hula Quests and Toy Cacks
May.8.06 | 9:51 AM

I've done another earth shattering sleep schedule reverse that took a week to stop hurting, but I now wake up in the morning with the rest of humanity.

The first episode of G4's Late Night Peep Show starts tonight with the new Dr. Tran short in it.

After tonight's episode, some might begin to wonder where the hell Dr. Tran actually lives. In SUMMER SPLASH, he's in an inflatable pool in what seems to be a backyard in the USA. In the next short, he's being driven to a Toy Store by a little Caucasian grandma. Those who require logic with their cartoons may eventually get an explanation, however, we don't really know where he lives, except that when we need him anywhere in the world, he always shows up. He's prompt and courteous, and brings little hand made crafts as gifts for the crew. He never forgets anyone's name, and has a firm, manly handshake that validates your existence. Fame hasn't gone to his head at all; people are always yelling "hot dickings" at him on the streets, but he just shoots them a confident smile and a thumbs-up, and maybe signs an autograph. And God DAMN, is he smooth with the ladies. We could all learn a lot from this full-grown man/doctor. He's earned our respect, and that's why he makes the big bucks.

Our little 50's style commercial, "Dr. Tran's Peanut Butter Square Hula Quest," is almost finished and I'm in the warm, creamy middle of a three-part animated short called "Mr. Tran and the Toy Cack." All of this and more will air over the coming weeks on Peep Show.

Hula Quest

Now it is April
April.3.06 | 8:40 PM

I'm suffering pathetically from a sickness where you just hurt everywhere and bitch about it. Approving MySpace friend requests for Dr. Tran has become a soothing, self-indulgent pastime, like top ramen.

DR. TRAN SUMMER SPLASH (see details) is finished, and should air on G4tv in about a month, maybe less. We'll announce the premiere through the MySpace Blog, the mailing list and on this site. As soon as the short was finished I moved on to a quick commercial spoof called Dr. Tran's Peanut Butter Square Hula Quest. I'm sure the title is self explanatory. I won't insult your intelligence by elaborating. That would disgrace us both.

The first step on the new short was completed last week, the night before my suffering began. A couple of kids we've never met before, friends of friend's kids, showed up for some good old bluescreenin' and did a great job. Thanks to Quentin and Jake.

Hickory Smoked Hot Pockets
March.09.06 | 6:00 PM

Thanks to John Ramirez for sending this in:

Hot Pockets

Short Four
March.03.06 | 12:54 AM

Pool still

Here's a first animation image (finally) from DR. TRAN SUMMER SPLASH. That's Leland and his pal, the sunburned Fat Friend, having a blast with their water wings on. I have one little shot animated so far.

The MySpace page is doing great - Dr. Tran has about 380 friends already. I finally surrendered and posted a link to a bootleg copy of Here Comes Dr. Tran online, like that's news as hundreds of people seem to have beat me to it.


...still working on the new Dr. Tran DVD - if you're wondering what the hold-up is, I want to put the latest shorts on the disc, so that means Summer Splash and 3 other new shorts that have yet to be made are slowing things down. The "Complete Collection" DVD, with the original Here Comes Dr. Tran, Roybertito's, Dr. Tran's Quiet Log Time, the four new shorts and the two original Beyond Grandpa shorts (plus bonus features) is scheduled for release in July.

Our MySpace Page
Feb.12.06 | 10:02 PM

Dr. Tran is now on MySpace at this link, entirely agaist his will.

San Diego (which means "a whale's vagina")
January.28.06 | 11:28 PM

Our first G4 channel ID Spot (starring 5 seconds of Dr. Tran) aired on Wednesday, but I missed it because I was slacking off in sunny San Diego. This was similar to last year's extended SD trip in that I had to get the hell out of LA, but rather than work feverishly on a new short with J, this time I did nothing. Nothing resembling work. I did play and defeat Shadow of the Colossus on PS2 with my friend Paul (the Actual Asian Fellow). It is an incredible game. Play it with a subwoofer where available. I also rescued an injured humming bird, and had butterflies, ducks and lorikeets land on me and try to steal my eyeballs while I played ping pong.

January.06.06 | 2:01 AM

Roids QT

My friend Mike convinced me to put my Hemorrhoids Commercial on the Internet. This is a short that played on G4tv attached to "Dr. Tran's Quiet Log Time." It's meant to be part one of a series, but I never really know what I'm going to do next until I'm working on it that day. Click the image to play.

It stars Rick Cortes and is narrated by Cynthia Beckert.

Happy Christmas Harry
December.24.05 | 5:11 PM

The Family Rick

Happy Holidays from a whole family of Producer Ricks. This is one of the many Photoshop tasks I'm scrambling to complete for "Dr. Tran Summer Splash," the 4th Dr. Tran short film. I'm doing a lot of traveling for the holidays, but I'm managing to make a lot of progress. Still, I'm guessing it's not humanly possible to get this one in by the end of the Happy Tree Friends first season, so it may get bumped to the second season, starting early-to-mid 2006. It depends on how much I can get done in the first week of the New Year.

Lone Sausage Productions | ENTER

Hard work
December.14.05 | 1:31 PM

Things are really coming along as far as Jason and I taking stupid pictures of ourselves at the Apple Store in Santa Monica. We did manage to squeeze in our first voice record at G4tv, for the Dr. Tran ID Spot. The end of the first season of Happy Tree Friends and Friends is coming up in mid-January, and I'm going to try to have a short finished in time for the last episode. I'm not sure how much time I'll have over the holiday, though.


December.03.05 | 3:18 AM

I've completed the boards for seven of the short scenes, and in a few hours I meet with Matt to gather sound effects and do some more recording. I'm particularly proud of how that plank seems to grow right out of Tran's head. Jason hasn't been back for a couple weeks; I think he may have Cholera or something. When we do get back to writing, we're going to be a little rusty.

G4tv just sent me their On-Air Style Guide so I can put together an ID Spot for them. You know, those five-to-ten second bits they play during commercials that let you know what channel you're watching? I'm going to do an animated Dr. Tran ID Spot for G4 - hopefully they like it.

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