A-KON is an Anime / Cop Culture Conference held in Dallas Texas from May 30 - June 1 this year, and is the oldest continually running anime-based convention in north america: 19 years straight.
The attendance can be upwards of 15,000 people, with most dressed like their favorite Anime/Manga/Video Game/Comic characters. Maybe next year, Captain Ultra will strap on his spandex and strut the scene. Besides demo's, presentations, special guest speakers, seminars, contesets, etc., one of the really awesome things they do for conference attendees is have their own TV station, A-KON TV, running throughout the hotel, with programming that's geared towards conference goers.
This year, The Defenders Of Stan is going to be featured on the channel. That's right, anyone attending the conference can check "...Stan" out! The Defenders of Stan will be showing on the A-KON TV channel at the Sheraton Dallas. Current plans are to show the full block of Stan twice a day, once during the midday "primetime" and again on the overnights, for 4 days (starting the night before the conference, and ending the evening after). How freakin cool is that?!
thanks so much to Seth Richardson from A-KON for making this happen. We're really excited for a whole new group of people, who probably wouldn't have ordinarily known about us, to be introduced to our show!
click here to check out the A-KON TV demo reel: highlights of what's being featured on the channel this year.
and click here to check out A-KON's official conference website.
hey everyone. just wanted to let you know we've been interviewed about The Defenders Of Stan and ourselves for Tilzy.tv, a really cool whats-going-on-in-the-land-of-entertainment-on-the-web type website.
click here to read it.
thanks so much to Josh Cohen for putting this all together for us.
we've also updated (prettified) THE BiG HONKIN' myspace, The Defenders Of Stan myspace, and the Captain Ultra myspace. go check-check-check 'em out!
once again, i'm here to share a few more production stills from The Defenders Of Stan ep14-"terrible twos."
every episode, we strive for doing something new, challenging ourselves in some way we havent before. this particular episode was a lesson in 1. writing and 2. subtle effects.
for the writing aspect, we decided early on that it would be fun to have the two Captain Ultra's relationship sour based on it's own merit: no outside influences. this meant that we have our title character, Stan, silent for about 75% of the episode. in fact, these are Stan's only lines:
1. "i'll get it in a minute."
2. "yeah, i said i'll get it in a minute!"
3. "i love you, Ted."
4. "shouldn't we take him apart?"
and for the effects aspect, we really strived to make an episode that is, at it's core, an effects episode that doesn't FEEL like an effects episode. in fact, there are 23 effects shots (two got cut for time), and really there are only a handful that FEEL like effects sequences...at least i hope that's the way it came off.
but sometimes, the most effective visuals are done in camera. like drawing balls on someones face.
as you can tell, i'm extremely exciting to be covered with ink. that and the fact that i had to sit in a box for 30 minutes almost dead still with my eyes open for good chunks of time didnt help (originally the shot at the end was going to be a dolly in, but this was changed to a progressive zoom in cut sequence for time and effect).
there's probably a reason that it looked like i hadn't slept in days. the basement scene was filmed days after the rest of the episode.
so, back to what i said: 20+ effects sequences. meredith was kind enough to do the majority of rotoscoping on 4 of those shots, and austin got in on two (he loves his vector painting, so rotoscoping made him unhappy...not that ANYONE is particularly happy to be rotoscoping), but i did the rest of the sequences...when you work, you get hungry. and when you work a LOT, you buy things that are easy to make...this is what i ate almost every night. YUM
when you rotoscope, you work a lot. and when you work a lot, you buy things that you THINK are easy to make until you realize way too late that you hit an extra "0" on the microwave timer, and the house fills with smoke. YUM.
i'm sure there are one or two more production stills floating around here or there, but i'm not sure how interesting they are. that and i'm not really sure that anyone actually READS this thing anyway.
hey folks, some production stills of The Defenders Of Stan ep 15: Terrible Twos.
we had a lot of fun working on this one, even though it was a lot of work. maybe i'll get into that later. who knows. anywhoot. lets see pictures!
here's our favorite anti-hero and his robot clone enjoying a nice, relaxing smoke after a long day of shooting. we shot for 4 days total i believe, which is relatively short for us. but they were LONG days.
going over some lines and timing before the couch shoot. austin was off getting ready to sit still for hours.
to sing, one needs to warm up their vocal chords and make sure your throat isn't dry. OBVIOUSLY, because of how freaking beautiful the song worked out*, diet soda is the beverage of choice for singers.
* i'm humoring myself here.
again, sharing a lighter. it's amazing how much a clone actually looks like the real deal.
i'll have a few more production stills soon, and will upload the video to youtube this week.
The Defenders Of Stan, episode 15 screened at channel101 NY last night. it's been uploaded to the official The Defenders Of Stan website.
here's the special double issue's cover;
also, we added The Defenders Of Stan theme ringtone, from episode 6 (where Super Stan is getting chewed out by his boss) to the "downloads" sections of thedefendersofstan.com so all you crazy kids with your fancy mp3 playin' phones should download it and annoy your friends whenever you get a call.
seriously, they'll want to strike you with something.
youtube and production stills coming soon!
so here some props of note from The Defenders Of Stan episode 14. by "some," i mean "the only," and by "of note," i mean "that we bothered to take pictures of."
Harry The Herring loves his cereal. Nothing says production value like kinkos and gluesticks. i realize now how weird it is that i gave a fish eyebrows.
as Stan flies, in Captain Ultra's body, to Ultra's place of business, the League Of Extraordinary Justice, we get a glimpse of this sign which i modeled in Cinema4d. it makes me smile, though i'm sure it gets overlooked. those are the best kinds of effects: the ones nobody ever sees.
i totally forgot about these, so i've added them to this post rather than a whole new blog post.These are the cigarettes that Stan, in Captain Ultra's body, unsuccessfully endorses. Ultra brand Ultra Lights. now, for any of you that are smokers, everyone knows that whether you're talking about $6.00 Nat Sherman's to $2.15 USA's (i'm from VA, so prices may seem low), EVERY single box says "20 Class A Cigarettes." i just find it amusing that the cheapest of the cheap, the ones that you KNOW are giving you instant cancer and taste like the bottom of a week old ashtray from waffle house, STILL say "Class A."
which just leads me to think: "what would a Class B cigarette be like?" surely, it's whatever is making Stan hack up his lungs and his lunch. Maybe just ground glass and sand and turkish blend burlap reside in Class B cigarettes along with hypodermic needles and sars. who knows. but i'm sure its this lack of care and quality in a product that Captain Ultra would sign off on.
a lot of times, while we shoot, we get so wrapped up in the "get in, get what we need, get out and let our friends stop dressing like idiots" mentality that we forget to take a lot of production stills. this is especially true with The Defenders Of Stan episode 14. this shoot had us going all over the place, on top of the fact that we're working on other things at the same time.
Stan, in Captain Ultra's body, Captain Ultra in Stan's body, and Vicki Valiant on a date.
Stan's office buddies look about as thrilled to be listening to Captain Ultra as Stan is being related to him.
Captain Ultra in Stan's body, hits on a coworker. This was a scene from the alternate cut.
Setting up. Thanks to WIT for letting us rent their amazing camera again. this was our third ever time shooting on multiple cameras. it made for a faster shoot since we could do reverses at the same time, and we had time restraints in The Blue Moon Diner in charlottesville, Va.