Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Opus Dead (Again?)

The rumor is that planned "Opus" has died once again. The comic strip based CG film has seen its share of ups and downs, and if you believe the rumor, it is down once again.

As far as I can recall, the project originated at Wild Brain studios in San Francisco. There was some sort of falling out and the project was taken away from them and thought to be dead. The Weinsteins brought it back to LA for another life in the recent months. Development had restarted and animation tests were in swing. For unknown reasons, the W's decided to pull it again. This is ofcourse a rumor and should be treated as such until something confirms or denies it.

There was an interesting story posted several years ago that outlined some of the problems that Wild Brain went through trying to get their CG feature studio started. Within this story was some interesting information about the Opus project. I'll try to dig it up, as it sheds some light on what this penguin project has gone through.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Animation Is NOT a Democracy

I'm sure most of you that read this blog are familiar with "Miracle Mouse" and this chap from Wisonsin that wanted to follow in Disney's footsteps. His dream was to create a traditional feature studio when almost everyone else (at the time) had given up on it.

I won't bore you with another recap of the saga. However, there was an article from a low-rent-newspaper regarding the whole debacle. You can find the migraine inducing scanned text over on The yet to be published story started another emotional thread on that very same website. Previously quiet, some artists that claim to have worked at Miracle are now speaking up and telling their tales.

Update: Link to good copy of story.

That is all great and everything... However, as I read the replies, I can't help but get a little agitated by these people.

[disclaimer]I will say that I really don't know much about the story other than what has been said on Animation Nation and a couple of other websites. [/disclaimer] Attention anonymous Miracle posters. Studios aren't and shouldn't be a democracy. They are not setup so everyone that works there can drive the direction of the company. Sure, a competent boss/manager/investor can ask for opinions or advice, but it is not his responsibilty to consult with the people that he is paying.

After reading these comments, I became a little sick of hearing something like "if Tom would have listened to us, Miracle Mouse would of been a success". That drives me bonkers. Since when is a company (as misguided as it may be) required to check in and get direction from its employees that are paid to make art? Granted, I haven't read any contracts or didn't sit on any interviews. But, I doubt that Tom Hignite hired them for their studio management skills. I've got news for ya, not many companies are going to ask for a vote on how the business side of things should be done. Tom sounds as if he was the director and the producer. Maybe he did not deserve those titles because of his lack of industry experience, but considering he is also the investor/owner, he is the guy in charge and he doesn't need to listen to the crew. Gotta love backseat management.

I know I'm over reacting. I just got a little ruffled when some of these guys assumed that if they were able to steer the ship, they wouldn't have run aground.