Monday, December 25, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006


I heard some sad news today. One of my favorite television and film composers, Shirley Walker, died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 61.

My first memory of hearing Shirley Walker's music was on the wonderful Batman: The Animated Series in the episode On Leather Wings. This is a score with height (opening with a lofty flute accompaniment to urgent violins) and depth (trombones join in a quarter of a way into the title track); it has urgency, danger and excitement stamped all over it. Man-Bat flies across the Gotham skyline to the snared shrill of trumpets.

Shirley also provided the music to one of the classic episodes of Batman; Heart of Ice. To summarize the plot, Mr. Freeze seeks revenge on industrialists responsible for the death of his wife. Michael Ansara provides the voice for Mr. Freeze and delivers his lines in this wonderfully cold monotone voice, utterly devoid of emotion. Around this plays Shirley's delicate score bringing enormously emotional warmth and depth to the entire story, lending tragedy to the otherwise sinister.

Other Animated Series composers include: Michael McCuistion, Stuart V. Balcomb, Carlos Rodriguez, Lolita Ritmanis, Steve Chesne & James Stemple, Carl Johnson, Kristopher Carter, Harvey R. Cohen, Beth Ertz & Mark Koval, Todd Hayen, Brian Langsbad, John Tatgenhorst & Peter Tomshek, Richard Bronskill. There's an absolute wealth of wonderful music to be found in Batman and later Superman, Batman Beyond and Justice League shows. Most of the links in this post link to Toonzone's The Animated Batman: An Unofficial Guide website. I urge you to go and have a good look around, it is a wonderful site and one of the few, likely only, places you will find the music from the show itself. I only wish WB would bring out some sort of mass collection of all the incidental music and title scores because it really is a library of great music.

Shirley's last superhero outing is yet to come and will be heard on the direct to DVD release of DC: The New Frontier in 2007.

EDIT: Have updated the links in this post and added two new ones: snared shrill of trumpets and cold monotone voice

Friday, November 24, 2006

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

For no other reason than it's Friday!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ave Maria

Here's the second part to Wilfred Jackson's contribution to Fantasia. I think this is utterly beautiful. The tall, elegant trees and the light reflected on the water's surface. No character animation here, instead the whole piece is about composition and the wonderfully rich depth of field created with the simplest elements.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Night On Bald Mountain

I love this sequence. Wilfred Jackson also directed the Ave Maria segment which is wonderful. What I love from this is the skeletal horses and their riders weaving along the backgrounds. The wraith like ghost waving it's arms and the pained reaction of the devil as the church bell tolls, and slowly the ghouls return sleepily to their rest. It's all powerful and amazing and inspiring stuff. They don't quite make them like that anymore.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Still plodding on with the novel whenever I can. Drastically behind on word count, however, quite pleased with what I've done so far and the story I've discovered as it were. The drastically behind bit is not due to not affording the time, rather the time being spent researching the story quite thoroughly, as it has rather a lot of background detail. But I may make up the numbers just yet. Never say never, after all.

Been working furiously during the daylight hours. Currently helping develop Biteneck Beatniks, working on Grimmwood (I have a still from the pre-viz on the trailer for a 3D animated sequence where the camera moves through the trees following what will be 2D animated characters, they're just markers at the moment for where they appear in the shot etc... being able to fly a camera around in 3D space is wonderfully liberating... like I say, it's very much pre-viz, but I'm happy to say the trailer and the film itself are coming along, albeit slowly, but hey...), and Animex (more 3D shenanigans there), and have been pitching for a commercials contract (can't say what for at the moment) and various other bits and bobs that have kept me out of trouble. Busy busy busy. All work and no play makes Jack ... no, no we won't go there so you can put that baseball bat down thank you very much, I'm just fine.

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

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Hit 1,929 words yesterday as I started writing my NaNoWrimo motivated novel. So that's clear of the 1,667 daily minimum in order to hit the target of 50,000 words in one month. For those that don't think they have the time.... it took me a little over an hour to hit that word count. My working day was divided into two currently running projects; Grimmwood and development work on Biteneck Beatniks, they presently take half a working day each (in a couple of days the Animex trailer will take the place of the Grimmwood work for a few weeks). So I fit the novel writing around it by hitting the keys for an hour at about 10am (till 11... I'd already been working on Grimmwood at this point, animated a 360 camera spin through woodland), and then coming back to it (not to work over what I'd already written but to add some more) at the end of the day for about twenty minutes. A busy day, but nothing timetabling didn't sort out. I managed to fit in an hours exercise (a half hour brisk walk followed by half an hour on the dumbbells). The weirdest thing though that I found having a structured target like that each day made me really motivated and organized about everything else I was doing that day (including the exercise). I suppose the key reason for this is because I'm doing it for myself.

The sequence I'm currently animating in Grimmwood involves a pursuit through woodland. So I built a 3D set in Swift3D of all the trees, with dangling leaves, flowers and fallen leaves on the forest floor and animated a stand in for Red Hood and a few wolves (which will be animated over in 2D. Currently 'dressing' the set as it were by going in and ensuring all elements are the right colours, that gradient's shift with camera pans etc. It's quite a laboured process, but I'm really enjoying doing it. Each day I run off a quicktime to see what it looks like. All the while I'm developing a working process so it's taking longer than it normally would do as I explore more time effective ways of doing things. Slowly, but most definitely surely.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I'm currently getting things together for a story that I'm hoping will appear in "The Girly Comic" and possibly something else for "Violent", both titles from Factor Fiction. Oh, and in November I'm planning to write a novel in one month... well, 50,000 words at least.

A while back, my good friend James told me about National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo as it is known for short, and on Saturday last weekend I was all set to meet with Jay and Selina of Factor Fiction to discuss producing a story for The Girly Comic and Violent. Jay mentioned that he and Selina would be attending a Nanowrimo meeting that day (as they're both having a stab at it too). So, thinking this almost to be some sort of prothetic lure of destiny, I decided right there on the spot I'd go for it too.

After the meeting Jay and Selina gave me copies of The Girly Comic and Violent, which I've since had a read of and thouroughly enjoyed and am quite excited at the prospect of getting involved. Likewise Nanowrimo. Met some self proclaimed nutters (they're nice really) at this Nanowrimo meeting and am really looking forward to Nov 1st. I hope to use this as the impetus to get a novel written and then will see where that road takes me.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Late on Saturday night, I produced a one-pager for Ian Carney's "Not My Small Diary" contribution.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Not so long ago I was asked to create the logo and intro sequence for Animex 2007. I start work on the intro sequence towards the end of this month -- due to complete early December.

From the "about" section on the site:

The Animex International Festival of Animation & Computer Games takes place every year in Middlesbrough in the North East of England. The festival has its roots firmly planted in the creative side of animation and computer games and acts to provide animators, directors, students, artists, designers, writers and educators with a forum in which they can share their knowledge and skills and promote the art of animation and games.

The Animex site is up (with new logo and character designs by me in place), so go check it out.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I'm writing and drawing a story for the next issue of THE END IS NIGH, a British Fanzine dealing with the impending Apocalypse, due out summer 2007 (in time for various comic conventions, I've no doubt). The theme is "when nature runs amok", which has me sat here wringing my hands and laughing maniacally already.

Not sure how many pages I've got just yet, but this next issue promises to be bigger than the previous issues so I'm presently working on the idea of a story that can be broken into chapters and dispersed throughout the issue (naturally, this depends on the story). We shall see.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Just had word from THARG THE MIGHTY that "Monsters" is being published in the JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE (Meg 250) THIS WEEK!!!

Be sure to nip down to your local newsagent or comic shop and get your copy. Run, don't walk, run!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


There's an update over at the Grimmwood site. Go check it out.

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

"Gather wood and I will light a fire ...

... so that you may not be cold."

Things are coming along. If all goes well then I should have a trailer (consisting of test footage) up in about two weeks from now).

Building Red House has proved a fun challenge. Having never worked in three dimensions before, it's been quite an experience and a huge amount of fun. These are a couple of test frames built in Swift 3D, exported into Flash.

I'm playing around with lenses here (and haven't quite achieved all I want to achieved with lightning, but I'm getting there). the building is based on an earlier design. The first image, the aerial shot, is an early mock up of the building, not quite complete. The second image is the completed model. I found that once I'd started building the house that I began to make various changes, notably with the shape of the main building's roof, and with the facade, changes which brought it to a better point of realisation. It's a great feeling to have such a dominant component in the film built and ready to pose in every shot by just dropping it in and angling the camera. Quite liberating to be working in three dimensions after all these years of working in two. There's a sense that this broadens the scope of what I'm aiming to achieve so I'm rather excited about the process. The wonderful thing about Swift is it intergrates the elements seemlessly into Flash because it's also speaking the same language. Vector.

It's also helped me determine a number of aesthetic factors. Notably the trees. A lot of the trees are going to be flat 2D elements, but there are a number of sequences in the film that require movement through trees. Characters will be leaping from branch to branch and the camera will be following them. The animated trees produced in Swift will have a silhoutte appearance about them but still move in three dimensional space. These will be off set in tone to the rest of the background for purposes of definition. This is just one element of what will make up the trees. The Grimmwood itself is as much an element as any of the characters. It will be one of the test elements that will appear in the trailer.

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

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Okay, been a while since I last posted. Just finished a string of commercials. Firstly for the previously mentioned Travelodge for Doner Cardwell Hawkins. If you follow the link to Picasso Pictures (a flash site) you'll see my name in a list of Directors, follow that little road to my work and you can watch the ad right there if you haven't seen it on TV (in the UK). I got to work with the immensely talented David Semple, so go check out his work. He was responsible for the look of the ad and is the illustrator for the campaign.

Just last week I wrapped on a string of Flybe commercials and am now putting together some test footage for Grimmwood. So, it's been one heck of a busy summer, which is good because that gives me a more time to focus on Grimmwood and certain comic book projects which I'll be talking about over the coming months.

Grimmwood is © 2006, Ian Culbard, All rights Reserved.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

He lived the rest of his life a beggar ...

... which was perfectly just.

It's been too long since I last posted, but a great deal has been happening. I was looking at possible funding from certain sources but decided against it for various reasons (one being that the project is too far beyond certain stages to suit certain aspects of a certain funder's remit). So that's eaten up a great deal of time (none wasted however as I learned a considerable amount in the process). The quest goes on, but I shall not let it halt production, it just means that by and large this production is funded by the commercial work I do. I'm just finishing a small hand full of commercials for Picasso Pictures which should pay the rent a while and allow me to continue with Grimmwood. However, if there are any rich Kings or golden egg laying geese out there, do call.

Secondly, a learning curve has kept me occupied. I recently acquired Swift 3D, which, as stated in one of my initial posts on this here blessed production blog, was of the software packages mentioned. Various camera shots and backgrounds will incorporate 3D assisted elements. As I'm used to working in 2D rather than 3D, this has meant I've spent quite a bit of time sitting through tutorials in what spare time I've had (whilst not earning keep). I must thank a friend at this point, Colin Fawcett, who, when I explained my dilema of thinking in three dimensions suggested I get my head around modelling by downloading Google's free "Sketchup" and practice on there first. And that worked a treat, so, many thanks Colin. It's a remarkable programme and takes about three or four steps to learn to use. I highly recommend it for getting ones noggin around the third dimension.

Production shall resume shortly. In the meantime, above you will see the final model for Red.

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

Friday, August 11, 2006


Aaron Simpson of Cold Hard flash has been kind enough to mention me over at his glorious Flash site. In Aaron's own words, the site is:

a collection of thoughts on the recent swell of Flash-animated TV production. Over the past half-dozen years, Flash has expanded beyond the web and into broadcast TV and even feature film. Only 3 years ago, there were no more than 5 or 6 Flash-animated shows airing on TV. Today, that number is closer to 30.

I've been using Flash for many years now. It's a great tool and I think it's possibly the most used application on my dear old 'pooter. I stumbled upon Aaron's site quite by chance, and I'm very glad I did. Any Flash users out there looking for 'hints and tips' (and I'm assuming there are given the volume of people who emailed me or posted comments regarding the albiet brief tutorial I gave of how I created my Zombie Kong image), go check out the 'community' section on the site where there's a regular exchange of ideas. Also check out the Links the site has, quite a list with some excellent resources. Aaron updates the site daily (Mon-Fri) with great posts highlighting some of the many thing going on in the world of Flash, so be sure to check in on a regular basis. If there's one thing that world leaders agree on more than anything else then it is that Flash absolutely rules.

Well? What are you waiting for?

IN OTHER NEWS: Have just completed a commercial for Travelodge through Picasso Pictures (I mention it here because Aaron spoke about an Ad I couldn't talk about. I'm a stickler for non-disclosure so I don't talk about live commercial jobs till they're out the door). So if you're in the UK and you see an ad for Travelodge on TV, I did that. I somehow manage to miss everything I do when it goes on air. That may have something to do with the fact that my television isn't on very often, and when it is it isn't on for very long, I don't know. Anyway, keep 'em peeled. Shall have to see if I can get some stills up from it. What I do know however is that it will soon be on my reel so you'll be able to see it there as and when. Important point to mention about the commercial is, I got to work with the genius that is David Semple who was responsible for look of the ad.

Monday, July 31, 2006


(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

So here it is. "Monsters". Don't know when it'll be making it's appearance in the Megazine, but when it does I'll be sure to alert people as to where they can get a copy.

I based the lead man in this story very loosely on Terry Wogan (circa 1982). A sort of Kung Fu fighting all action Wogan if you like. The over all world this is set in was inspired by shows like The Avengers, The Champions, Danger Man and maybe a little Jason King. I really got into drawing sideburns and dodgy hair styles and it's safe to say (as I drew this back in February and am still drawing sideburns and dodgy hair styles to this very day) it left its mark.
Monsters ©2006, Ian Culbard

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


It's official, I AM THE LAW!

Got a mail this morning from Dave Taylor with a page from an Anderson story he's doing for the 2000AD Megazine in which I cameo as a Judge. So, technically speaking, I'm in the Megazine before my work is (no news on "Monsters" yet). Anyway, go check out his site for much goodness and detailed artwork that will make your eyes bleed or my name ain't Richard Dean Anderson.

Other cameos include Craig (cool as) Conlan, JAke (man of) Steel, Jonathan (for the love of) Edwards, Woodrow (like a) Phoenix, Will (World of) Kane and Curtis (hairy as) Jobling.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


A short animated film that started life as a smoke test in Flash (wanted to use the blur tools). So, this is really a by-product of experimentation. A happy accident.

I started it last Friday afternoon. As I extrapolated from the smoke test it became a limited animation test (I wanted to work on staggered timings like you get in Saturday morning shows).

It took roughly one working day to make from scratch (ten hrs). Hopefully that doesn't show.

I made a 30 second film back in Uni in about 15 hrs called "Death by Misadventure", so this would be part of that 'sudden death' series I suppose given how long it took to make and the theme. It's kind of nice to sort of vent this stuff every once in a while.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


(click on the image for a larger version)

I got an email a couple of days ago from fellow Zombologist, Nik Holmes at Zombie Dollar$ asking me if I had any Zombies I could dig up. Inspired, I decided to create one for his site right there, right then. My thoughts turned to Kong and how he got a bum deal and what lengths Carl Denham would go to for a cash in ... anyway, extrapolations aside, I came up with Zombie Kong.

So, I scratched out a number of sketches till I got the pose I wanted, scanned in 'the chosen one', and worked over it in Flash (which is full of handy blur filters now), then stuck it through iphoto where there's a quickstop filter that antiques the image by washing out the color, then clicking the color boost switch punches out the adjusted color. Then I imported the image into photoshop where I scanned in my copy of "The Infernal Device" by Michael Kurland, a suitably beat up 1978 edition with adequate cover creases and worn edges, selected the creases and removed them from the cover image and placed them over my ZOMBIE KONG to give it a worn look and bingo! ZOMBIE KONG LIVES!!!

You still here? Go check out Zombie Dollar$.
Zombie Kong ©2006, Ian Culbard

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"When you're only one of the things in his dream ...

... you know very well you're not real."

So, I finally have a cut of the animatic I'm happy with. And I've done more chopping than a woodcutter. Lots of stuff had to go so that all the good stuff could stay. But those things gone from the film aren't gone from the Grimmwood forever.

I had at one point several "Grimm" cameos. But those cameos had to go in favor of not spending time setting up scenes that I didn't really need and giving all that time instead to Red and the wolves who's story this is.

The three Doctor's where once my kid sister's favorite story. I suppose, in part, that this is where the Grimmwood came from. You see, my little sister's ten years younger than me and I used to read bedtime stories to her. The story goes that there were once three surgeons who took their boasts regarding their medical capabilities just a little too far. They proposed to remove some vital part of their anatomy only to replace it the following morning aided by a miracle salve. Good old 'miracle' salves! One plucked out his eyes, one cut off his arm and one took out his heart.

Later that night, whilst the doctor's slept a maid at the inn (and her boyfriend), famished after a days work, ate all these vital bits and bobs ... as you do when you're home late from the pub, you'll eat anything right? I dare say they even covered the morbid morsels with marmite, just to give it that extra something. Anyway, realizing her mistake - oops, silly maid - she replaced those vital organs with a severed thief's hand, cat's eyes and a pig's heart and much hillarity ensues thereafter. It ends with a compensation payout you wouldn't believe. Pretty gross story. But, my sister LOVED it!!!

It didn't stop there. Oh no. My sister wanted more. But there were no more tales of the three surgeons in the "bumper book of wildly inappropriate stories for children" that I was reading from so what was I to do but make them up?!?! Night after night I told stories about how the three doctors went on many disgusting adventures where limb after limb got lopped off or mangled. It was a journey of hideous mutilation. But.... my sister LOVED it!!!

Add to this, she wasn't satisfied if she thought I was making it up so I had to pretend I was actually reading from the "bumper book of wildly inappropriate stories for children".

So, who what where and when now? Well, in the Grimmwood film they appeared as field surgeons for the red hoods and are somewhat mechanically enhanced (well, it was a considerable payout after all). A steampunk element thrown into the mix. But it didn't sit well in the film so I plucked it out, as I'm certain anyone of the doctors would have done given half the chance. They'll be back one day... just not in this story from the Grimmwood.

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

Friday, July 07, 2006

DOCTOR WHO - The Animated Series?

Back in February 2002 I had a meeting at BBC Birmingham with the script editor from the Animation Unit (we met half way, since the BBC's animation unit is based in Bristol and I live in Nottingham). The meeting was with regard to pitching a new animated show. I had three ideas tucked away in my bag. The first two were original properties, one I can't remember, the second a series called "Audrey Payne Investigates" focusing on a 13 yr old girl with the ability to see other people's imaginary friends and lastly "Doctor Who - The Animated Series". I pitched the first two concepts and we seemingly settled on Audrey and so that went off into development (never to return).

I tentatively asked what the situation was with the good Doctor and asked if the door was open to pitches and pretty much got a negative response. The Doctor was a no go, animated or otherwise. The pitch never left my bag. The BBC never saw it.

So here he is (a dusted off revamp from original crude sketches I'd scribbled back in Autumn 2001); my version of the Doctor from my unpresented pitch, sporting the fourth Doctor's scarf and Harry Sullivan's duffle coat and a very dark secret.

I had a season outline and a small handfull of story ideas. The pilot was a two parter; the second episode (featuring Sea Devils attaching 1960's Brighton) was engineered in such a way that it could also work as a stand alone episode. Animated shows are often subject to non-sequential scheduling so have to work as stand alone episodes because the scheduling may monkey around with the order. I decided to build that into the format as this was a show about Time travel after all. I used that to tell story arcs that could be told in any order, so, the show's structure had a selling point as far as a scheduler was concerned (which was part of the appeal for doing it in the first place).

The rules were a little different. This Doctor had regenerated along with the Master into one body (in much the same manner as the Fourth Doctor merged with The Watcher to become the Fifth Doctor). Sacrilege, I know, but, that was pretty much it; a pitch that never got pitched, consigned to a file marked "fanboy frivolity".

Doctor Who is © BBC (the British Broadcasting Corporation). No infringement intended.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

More Monstrosities

One of many character designs for the Grimmwood film I'm making. Taken from a scene that's since been cut from the film but I thought I'd stick him up on this blog incase he never made another appearance.

Been away on pre-production and development meetings. One for the tv show Frankenstein's Cat and the other for a commercial I'm making over the next four weeks (can't say at this stage what the commercial is). All good stuff. It was raining and warm in London. Most uncomfortable.

Been travelling on trains alot this week so I've managed to finish "Infinite Crisis". Currently reading all those issues of '52' that have been collecting up. Plenty of work for the eye to do. Superman is great again (as is Batman 1 year later and Aquaman), having lost his powers. It's all exciting stuff.

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

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