Wednesday, June 28, 2006

He marched them up to the top of the hill ...

... and he marched them down again.

Well, the animatic is almost there. I thought I'd drop by and mention a word or two about war and pace (deliberate misspelling) and post a doodle from the pages of the Red Book.

From what you will have seen so far it's probably quite evident that there's a fair degree of fighting that goes on in this film. Fight choreography can sometimes dictate a rhythm that effects scenes where there is no fighting. The film features stick fighting and that again suggests certain fight disciplines which have poise and grace. This is all useful stuff when it comes to pacing the film. But it also takes a LOT of forward planning. So a large chunk of my time on this animatic has been spent getting the balance between war and peace correct. I'm not an animation director anymore, I'm a diplomat.

I have also been temp scoring the animatic which helps tremendously. The music acts as a metronome to the action and that helps in getting that all important balance right.

A word with regard to imovies (which I've resorted to using, so add that to the software list); brilliant. Haven't used it before as a rough editing tool, but it's been a tremendous help. Usually I make commercials that run at roughly 20 - 30 seconds a piece and that can all be done on the timeline in Flash. So using imovie for 10 + minutes of footage really is a relief. I can see everything I'm doing and I can cross platform over into Garageband for the score and run off DVD copies of the animatic so I can show it to other people for feedback. Great stuff.

Grimmwood and all production work is © 2006, Ian Culbard, All rights Reserved.

Sneaky peeky at "MONSTERS" for the Megazine

(click on the image for a larger version)
As requested, here's a sneak peak of "Monsters" which I did for the Judge Dredd Megazine Small Press slot. The finished thing is in full color, what you see here is the first page inked with roughs for further pages. No news yet as to when this is coming out, but as soon as I hear I shall put the finished color version of this page up.
Monsters is ©2006, Ian Culbard

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I am trawling through old work at the moment putting together a showreel that I can stick up on YouTube (hence the nostalgia posting of late). I thought I'd share this; Monster Vs. Monster.

Again a Carney/Culbard collaboration/abomination. This was for Nickelodeon over here in the UK and apparently they still show it from time to time.

We made seven one minute episodes of this strange homage to Toho monster movies and WWWF wrestling. A brother and sister conjure monsters from beneath their beds to fight one another. We had mouldy cheese sandwich monsters, snot rags, a monster with a glass of milk for a head; all manner of delightfully surreal combinations.

There was at one point the possibility of more being commissioned and more designs were made, but sadly a second series was never acquisitioned. You can probably still catch it on Nickelodeon (if you're more observant than I am), or you can pop along to the Picasso Pictures website (if you have a Flash player) and follow the onscreen menu to "directors" and then to "Ian Culbard" where you'll find it along with a few other bits from the reel.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I mentioned this film in an earlier post, well, I now have it uploaded to YouTube so people can see it.

Carney and I made this film one summer and were lucky enough to get the wonderfully talented Kate Harbour to do ALL the voices. We were also lucky enough to get Oliver Davis at We Write Music to bring the film to life with the music and sound effects. I spent a day with Ollie working on the sound effects (we bought a lot of balloons that day) and I remember jumping around his studio singing the score while he played it with the digital equivalent of a full orchestra.

A HUGE amount of fun to make. Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Here's the teaser trailer I made for Biteneck Beatniks as mentioned earlier .

This project's a collaboration with Curtis Jobling, who I've been fortunate enough to work with on lots of projects, based on a series of his paintings. I've been given charge of creating much of the world that these characters inhabit, so expect to see background designs and additional character designs for this project on this blog in the near future. This project is also likely to appear in comicbook form.

We're currently trying to get a budget together to develop a pilot for the show.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

And in the depths of the deep dark wood ...

... there was a house.

he animatic's coming along well. In the meantime, this is Red House, where Red Hood resides. This is just a color model of the main building (along with a tree to emphasise contrast). This serves as a guide for when I take my scenes from the animatic and work them up into layouts/backgrounds. I have a basic floor plan of where everything is inside, which also helps when setting up shots.

Grimmwood and all production work is © 2006, Ian Culbard, All rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Strange Planet Radio

The sounds coming from Strange Planet (which scientists recently discovered orbiting our sun) have been so loud that space scientists are manning a mission to the planets surface in order to ask the inhabitants to turn it down a bit.

In the sidebar you'll find a collection of tracks that have been culled from Strange Planet transmission archives. Scientists believe that music is an important and influential factor in the artistic output of Strange Planet.

If you stand out in your garden late at night or perhaps you're not fortunate enough to have a garden but you have a balcony, or maybe you're not even lucky enough to have a balcony but you have an open window, or you don't have a window, you may hear the sound of music being gently carried on the night breeze. Don't believe for a minute that it's just the sound of a late night disco just a few blocks away. That, my dear believer, is the sound of Strange Planet. And if the noise bothers you and you can't get to sleep because of it, be rest assured that space scientists are doing something about it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Love Bites

Just before setting off on my hols last week (two days before) I stuck a break in the schedule for Grimmwood and made a teaser trailer for Curtis Jobling to take along to Annecy so he could show off Biteneck Beatniks in all it's animated glory. Here's a few stills from that:

Be sure to visit the house of bling over at his palacial palace of pleasure... the 'Badabling thing' boudoir.

I've worked with Curt on quite a lot of projects and this is one we're working on together as an animated project and potentialy a comic book, based on a series of paintings he's had exhibited all over the place. It's all tremendously exciting stuff.

The teaser is 52 seconds long and plays like a sixties pop promo. The sequence consists of various cuts and fades of the band members playing to a little jazz number called 44th street. The players where all drawn in Flash 8, using the original paintings as reference.

More about the music; I was trying to write the music for this for some time before I actually sat down to make the teaser but just couldn't get anything to fit. I'd animated the bass player (Bass face) playing, nodding his head and tapping his foot. Quite by chance I was listening to 44th street (which is a track you can find on garage band as a loop sample, or segment) while the animation was playing back in flash (which it was animated on), and quite by chance I noticed that it appeared that Bass Face was playing the track. So I sampled some zombies sounds and werewolves howling and crowds cheering to give the whole thing a live performance feel and composed my shots. It sort of all fell together rather nicely.

UPDATE: You can now watch the trailer here.

Biteneck Beatniks is ©2006, Bada Bling Ltd.


And here are the final pages of BIG APE GO MENTAL! Also included is the proposed all important back cover image.

What was to follow after this? Well, Mister Carney wrote out a detailed outline for the following issues, and I've gotta say, it was a hoot. A real pity it never got picked up as it would have been fun to draw.

Hope you've enjoyed what there is of it.

Big Ape Go Mental! is ©2000-2006, Ian Carney and Ian Culbard

Monday, June 12, 2006


Little story about the dog in this portion of the comic. His name is Nixon. And that's his name because originally I wanted to call the dog Woodrow. But as Carney was working with Woodrow Phoenix on Sugar Buzz, it wasn't a good idea, since Woodrow isn't, nor has he ever been, a dog. A cool cat perhaps, but never a dog.

So Carney came up with Nixon instead (gawd bless his rapid thinking genius mind brain set to stun).

Big Ape Go Mental! is ©2000-2006, Ian Carney and Ian Culbard

Friday, June 09, 2006


Re-posting pages 3+4 since the link broke on the last post.

I have been away on holiday this past week; the first in four years!! I think it may have been more than four actually! Argh! I have taken to drinking red wine instead of bear and have grown sick of the smell of fish and chips and fried food.

We (my wife and my son) went to Norfolk and stayed in a tiny cottage in a tiny coastal village called Blakeny (where the walls are clad in shingle like barnackles). I go all Diggory Venn, a rusty red color, when I tan. Like some scortched hell fiend. Beneath my eyes I have weathered markings, like a racoon.

We took to Holkham beach, which is one of our favorite English beaches. It features at the end of "Shakespear in Love"; a stand in for Illyria. Quite breathtaking. My son and I chased each other around the dunes and took half the beach home with us. A crawling chase which amused him no end. He has also acquired a new laugh, a sort of pirate-like "ah-ha"; quite befitting a coastal holiday.

Have been catching up on my comic book reading list. Almost up to date with all things Infinite in the DC universe. Almost. One heck of a Gruenwaldian marathon. I kept all my tpb's off the beach and still managed to get sand in them (which is a pet hate, have to admit).

Big Ape Go Mental! is ©2000-2006, Ian Carney and Ian Culbard