In early 2006 I began work on a feature length animated movie called “Spatula Madness” about a spatula named Edward who worked at an accounting-firm-turned-militia.
I began this project largely because of the success of my friend Robert Benfer’s movie “Klay World: Off the Table.” I had recently lost both my job and everything I owned to Hurricane Katrina, so my options at that point were either “get a job at Best Buy ” or “move back into my mom’s house to work on something I could, hopefully, eventually sell.”
There were many things I didn’t know how to do when I started that project. I didn’t know how to draw backgrounds, I didn’t know how to animate anything that wasn’t stupidly simple, I didn’t know how to write songs, I didn’t know how to voice act, and I certainly didn’t know how to write a feature length project. As such, the “3 or 4 months” I thought I could get the movie done in quickly turned into “over a year, and I’m still only half-way done.”
During that time, something else happened – my web cartoons started to take off in a major way, thanks to the success of “Charlie the Unicorn.” I was suddenly making a living doing short films for the internet, and that began to take up the bulk of my time. Not only that, but most of the work I had completed for “Spatula Madness” now looked amateurish in comparison to my more recent projects. I went back and re-drew and animated things, but the more work I put in the more work I ended up making for myself. Eventually, I stopped working on the project entirely.
I’ve been telling myself, and the internet, for years that I’d eventually pick things back up and complete the movie, but I’ve never had the time necessary to properly get it done. So, recently I took an honest look at the project, and I’ve realized that it’s just not the kind of movie I want to make anymore. There’s a lot of good stuff in there, but about half of it makes me cringe. It’s stuff I wrote before I had written almost anything, and it shows.
Instead of simply tossing the project away, I’ve decided to go ahead and release the good stuff. I’ll occasionally be uploading scenes from the movie to YouTube / FilmCow (the ones that make sense as stand-alone pieces), and everything else will either be posted here on the blog or as extras on some future DVD.
My apologies to everyone who wanted to see this movie in full. It’s painful for me knowing that something I put so much of my life and brain into is never going to be completed, but the time for this movie has passed.
Thanks for reading, and for being a buddy. I hope you enjoy the various spatula things coming your way!
TO THE FUTURE.
Our old server was crashing a lot. The new server will hopefully not crash nearly as much.
Here is an example of a crash:
Here are more detailed examples of crashes.
Have a wonderful day everyone!
Hello, people of Earth!
You may have noticed that we haven’t released anything in nearly 3 months. I apologize for that. Hopefully I can make it up to you in the form of regular weekly content from this point forward.
I have had a difficult time keeping a normal release schedule, either because of non-internet projects, travel, or simple lack of focus. Over the last few months I’ve been working to fix that – to create a schedule that is both consistent and realistic. This has involved pre-filming and developing months worth of content to ensure that, at least for the near future, we can deliver what we promise. I have not been particularly good with consistency when it comes to FilmCow and I really don’t want to disappoint you all any further.
I should stress that this is an experiment – one I hope to learn from and tweak as time goes on. Weekly content has become the norm for internet video producers, but regularity is something I have not been able to make a reality in the past. Hopefully the work I have put into this plan, and the work I’ll be putting into it moving forward, will help this become a permanent thing.
The OFFICIAL NEW FILMCOW SCHEDULE involves the release of four videos every month. We’re going to experiment with release days, but at the moment you can expect each video to show up about a week after the previous, give or take a day or two. We are viewing each of the four release weeks every month as “time slots,” each to be filled with either a specific type of video or a specific series.
During the first week of every month, we will be releasing a new animated short. These will vary from new, one-off cartoons, to episodes of an ongoing series (such as Marshmallow People or Llamas with Hats.)
For the second week of each month, we will be releasing an episode from a new series called “Hit It With a Car”, in which Chris (FilmCow regular, voice of Carl the llama) takes a bright yellow Cadillac Eldorado and runs it into things. This is the most expensive, and stupidest, thing we’ve ever shot. And I’m super excited to share it with you all.
The third week of each month is an experimental week, where we try out new stuff (either animated, puppeted, whatever.) Or perhaps we’ll just release constant sequels to “The Animal.”
At the end of every month we’re going to release a live-action comedy short of some sort. To start out we’re running a series called “Dark Midnight”, which is our take on early 60s science fiction / psychological horror shows such as The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. I really enjoy the first episode we’ve put together, and as long as the reception is positive it will remain an ongoing series.
So, when does this all begin? This week. Our first cartoon is ready to go, and will be put online at some point between now and the 7th (we’re still trying to determine the optimal days to release stuff.) For those of you waiting for specific videos, such as Charlie the Unicorn 4 or Llamas with Hats 5 – those are coming. I don’t want to give dates yet because I simply don’t know, but they are still in the works.
Thanks to everyone who has stuck around during this lull, and I really hope you enjoy what we’ve been working on!
For anyone not aware, I have a weekly audio podcast called Chaos Pony that I host with Chris Alex (voice of Carl the llama) and Robert Benfer. Last weekend we attended the internet conference Playlist LIVE, and the most recent episode of our podcast details our experience there.
In other news, Mighty Fine is now selling Marshmallow People shirts in their FilmCow section, be sure to check them out. They have some really great designs.
Also, thanks to the writers of the CBS show “The Good Wife” for the Llamas with Hats reference in their latest episode! Awesome!
GOOD EVENING EVERYONE.
I still have some graphical tweeks to make, but the new site design is largely complete. The “blog” area now has greater prominance, and in addition to news about upcoming videos I will be posting behind-the-scenes items and basic tutorials here. Also, I’ve moved a couple posts over from the previous blog so that it doesn’t feel quite so empty at the moment.
For anyone interested, here’s a look back at past FilmCow site designs:
Anyway, I hope everyone likes the new site.