Friday, February 19, 2010


Back in the day, Disney used to show the animator's completed tests for the week at a thing called "dailies". Every Monday morning, we used to walk over to the next building or down to the theater and watch all of the shots cut together (without sound). The silence was deafening. You could hear a pin drop. There would be a quick "flash" of a slate so you you see which animator animated the scene. Then we'd go back upstairs and say, "Hey..."Joe"... I liked your scene in dailies!"

Well, considering all that's going on (or rather what's NOT going on) at the studio these days, I felt as though I had to do SOMETHING so I became inspired and decided to be proactive and vigorously resume work on my own personal projects. To help motivate me, I figured if I hold my own "dailies", it'll keep me productive.

I have several projects in the works and I'd like to share my progress with all of you. Here's the official invitation:

So basically, every two weeks. I'll post a movie of various animation pencil tests and color scenes from my various projects. "What are they?", you ask:

'America Sings': is an animated version of the extinct attraction at Disneyland.

'Sweating Bullets': was the original title of the Disney film 'Home On The Range'. The original story involved a skeletal ghost cowboy named "Slim" and his spectre-like posse, "The Willies" (wonderful play on words) who would steal cattle and devise a plan to run them all off a cliff in one huge act of vengeance for trampling him to death. It would be up to a single calf named "Bullets" and a one-legged jack rabbit named "Lucky Jack" (in which Slim wears Jack's foot around his neck) to save them all! I'm sure it would have been great (or at least better than what they ended up with)!

I figure. why let that concept go to waste? So, for Halloween, I would use video projection to show various Halloween-themed shorts introduced by the vultures from 'America SIngs' and this subject of ghost cowboys, set to the song "Ghost Riders In The Sky". It just seems like the coolest thing.

'Hepcat Swing': is a 5 minute short-film that I am collaborating on with a member from the band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy who is composing the score for this musical set in 1940's Los Angeles during the zoot suit riots.
I love the architecture of the old buildings in Los Angeles, especially on Wilshire Blvd. I love jazz/swing music and swing dancing so I put them all together into one animated film!


Tealin said...


angie said...

This is a great idea James can't wait to see it. Since this relates to animation (and the 2D comeback) could you please post roughs of Facilier?? PATF was amazing and sure hope it triggers more films!

James Lopez said...

Thank you for your support and your interest!

angie-I had planned a "very special episode" of the Animation Dailies, that would be scheduled to take place on March 29th, in which I was going to show my shots of Dr. Facilier in time with the DVD release of 'PATF' on March 16!

HenriekeG said...

Oh wow, I can't wait!! These are like all my favorite things combined!
And now I finally got to see PATF I'm curious which parts are your work. I'm more than happy there finally is some old fashioned 2D animation again.

Scott O. said...


Your personal projects look amazing!!!

I have always, always, always felt that swing music and animation go hand and hand. Without that rhythm, the MGM and Warners' shorts would never ever be the same.

It seems so obvious, it's surprising that more people don't realize it. Every time they revive either Tom & Jerry OR the Looney Tunes, they tend to just sort of put in filler for the music and never a rhythm.