Saturday, January 27, 2007

Crazy About Numbers

This week at the studio we finished a short piece of test animation for a proposed new television series – CRAZY ABOUT NUMBERS. The concept for the show was created by Phillip L. Prime, and it explores an innovative and fun way to introduce pre-school age children to basic mathematics. The test piece of animation demonstrates how three “ones” become a “three.” The proposed CRAZY ABOUT NUMBERS show calls for other segments of animation featuring non-number characters as well, and explores the possibility of utilizing several different types of animation in the same show. It sounds fresh and exciting. We wish Phillip good luck with the continued development of the show.

Click here to see the animation!

Russ Harris

Monday, January 22, 2007

From Shorts to "Longs"

What with "Crawford's Corner," "Handycat" and other projects, the studio has been in development and/or production on a lot of shorts recently, so what I've been working on for the past couple of weeks, an hour-long script for a "Crawford" special, is a bit of an adjustment. More on the specific project itself later when things have been firmed up a bit more, but coming back to Crawford the Cat has been fun for me. The 13 preschool educational shorts we did with him are probably my proudest achievement at the studio. I don't get tired of looking at him or drawing him. In fact, I have said that Crawford is the one character I have designed, that had it been by some other studio, I would be jealous and want it. Yet, it didn't come easily. He changed a lot as he was developed.

Originally conceived for a direct-to-video Christmas movie that didn't happen, he started out black and white and rather old looking. The next incarnation was a half-hour birthday themed preschool title. That didn't happen either, though by then he was getting at least closer to what he looks like today. By then, he looked like this:

- still black and white but not quite so young.
We were getting ready to ink and paint our pilot Crawford short when we opened a Kidscreen magazine and saw an ad for a new show with a black and white cat. It was just too close for comfort, so we made a bunch of color model cels of different color cats... and we finally settled on the green because we hadn't seen any other little green cats.
Now, I can't imagine him being any other color of course, and his face and body underwent more transformation until we got to the image you see at the top of this post - perkier and more youthful.
We are convinced that the character has great appeal in form and personality and will continue to look for ways to get his "face" in front of the public. This hour script I'm working on right now may be a very good way to do that.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


This week found us busy at the studio on several different projects. FAT TUEZDAY is our latest propriety property. This year, we are planning to produce multiple 30+ second episodes to be exhibited online and downloaded. The first one “Fat Tuezday’s: Walk The Dog” will be finished this week and will be uploaded to the Perennial Pictures Website soon after. Other projects in the works this week included a pilot piece of animation for a proposed PBS show, and scripting on an hour special for television. More information to come.

Monday, January 15, 2007

From the Horse's Mouth

I am excited about the new website Russ has put together for us. I am excited because I think it is going to give us the opportunity to present things directly to the public that might not have been possible otherwise.

It's that direct link that the internet provides - and these blogs are a direct link, too. They make me feel very connected to the people I am reading posts from, even if I don't know them personally yet and I hope that will eventually be a two-way street.

One thing I know - these websites and blogs make it much easier to find someone and to communicate with them directly. I remember how much trouble I had as a kid in Bloomington, Indiana, trying to find a mailing addresss for Hanna-Barbera back in the mid-60's. Everyone in Hollywood was so mysterious and distant - not because the people themselves were mysterious and distant (it has been my experience that there is a no more friendly and down-to-earth bunch of people than animation people) but the only connection I would have was the occasional Saturday Evening Post article or something in TV Guide about a new cartoon called Jonny Quest (my mind told me that he would look like Elroy Jetson - boy was I off base on that one). Now, I can read about the production of a show - know what it's going to look like - know who's working on it... all from our little studio here in Indianapolis. For someone who's interested in all this, the communication we have now is nothing short of a miracle.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Website

This weekend we launched the “new and improved” Perennial Pictures website. There’s still a lot of work to do to get all the pages constructed, but so far it has been enjoyable experience for all concerned. Hopefully a new page or two will appear each week – at least that’s what we’re striving for. Currently under reconstruction is the filmography page. We’re adding images and production info on each of the shows. The first pass on it ought to be ready in a week or so. We hope you have a chance to stop by the site and check it out.