(For those who don’t know who the cute kitten is on the right, he’s Co-Star Cat! The reason he’s white? So you can print him up and color – just click for the printout page).
Anyhow… Welcome to the official page for my future web series starring myself and Co-Star Cat. We love animation and by extension, love talking about it. So, that’s why we’re starring together in a show in which we explore and critique all things cartoony. We also partake in silly shenanigans, often to prove our points during our reviews. Check us out – we welcome anyone: animation buffs and junkies, newbies, the young, the old and especially for those who need to smile if you’re down.
The following description is taken from my original college thesis proposal, written in December 2016. Yes, this is where it all began. And no, my thesis is not and will not be available on this website. It will serve as the basis for the web show’s actual premiere.
“Cartoon Corner” is an idea that I conceived around a year ago, as I was applying to the digital media program [master’s degree studies]. As with other projects I’ve since sketched down in hopes of one day producing, the idea evolved regarding the branding and format. Eventually, as I approached the time to send three ideas for consideration to pursue for a thesis, I for the first time had to articulate in words, not visuals, what I wanted “Cartoon Corner” to be. Here, I will elaborate on my exact goals and reasons for doing this aside from my preferred idea being scrapped that led me to shift my focus to this project far earlier than I expected.
To start off, my interest in filming a pilot for a potential web-series comes from years of following and watching online reviewers cover the many facets of entertainment and pop culture (film, TV, video games, etc.). As simple as this premise may be, the role that these online personalities play in educating and critiquing works of media has nonetheless inspired me. Equally inspiring is seeing those personalities develop their exaggerated personas and side stories that are created in juxtaposition to the subject being reviewed (for laughter, for proving a point or a mixture of both). Being that I heavily learned a lot about movies, stories, and their tropes (just to name a few things) from watching, I strongly feel that I could do the same in covering animation, following the aforementioned style. More so, I’m eager for the opportunity to create a persona of my own and to act and present on camera; this will really help with my confidence and allow me to demonstrate and excel in other valuable and sought-after talents.
Focusing on animation benefits me in three ways: One, despite there already being online reviewers who have touched on cartoons and animated features, there hasn’t been anyone before (who I’m aware of) that has focused on the chronology and historical aspects of these productions. Given the expansive history of animation, there are generations today that largely have been shielded from older and classic works, thanks to overemphasis on contemporary ones today (plus remakes and reboots). Two, the approach in involving a 2D anthropomorphic co-host whose interactions with myself aides in commentary of a specific cartoon scene, hallmark or setting is a direction I really haven’t seen done online. This approach is not exactly unique; a well-known children’s TV show called Blue’s Clues made use of a cartoon co-host with a human host for education purposes [albeit simple]. In my case, I aspire to combine the “reviewer” format with this idea. Ultimately, it is this interaction that would serve as the draw for viewers not only to obtain knowledge of each and every cartoon covered, but also to be entertained. Therefore, both younger viewers and older ones are able to connect to whichever part appeals most to them.
This brings me to an important goal, which will be likely challenging: to write funny and engaging material. After all, nobody wants to watch boring content. Equally important is to flush out my character and my co-host’s, for they will dictate our different perspectives, to which many viewers may or may not relate to when forming an opinion. The third and final benefit in covering animation is the level of passion I have for it. I realize that cartoons are often a source of needed distraction and joyfulness for many (young and old alike) who struggle personally or are fighting an illness. The lightheartedness of the subject is what has drawn me to cartoons as a kid and even now as an adult. Likewise, it is the tone of my show that I feel should attract the same or similar audience. I will also add that as an adult and digital media student, I would be able to shed light on both perspectives regarding hidden references meant for older audiences deliberately put in these cartoons and their production values respectively.
Overall, producing this pilot will allow me to accomplish a very big goal that I long wanted to achieve: to experience an entire production process from start to finish. Namely, this includes: storyboarding, writing, producing, directing, animating, voice-over, acting and special effects. Even though the scale of a web-series pilot doesn’t compare to that of a TV show, commercial, or film, I would argue that the experience in wearing those different hats is relevant to showcase for future career opportunities in the entertainment industry. In fact, I just finished a 3-minute short film that dealt with hybrid live-action and animation for a course in time-based media [see emotiman]. In many respects, the work I did here is somewhat of a precursor to this thesis project, only that it wasn’t nearly as long nor “intuitive” or “ambitious”. Conclusively, I aim to produce this thesis with a lot of focus on production quality as a testament to what I’ve learned; whatever skills I hone from this experience is what I will take with me moving forward professionally in future media projects.
Here is the final product. Well, sort of… For a project that I did in school, the production is a little rough around the edges in certain areas. But hey, it is conceptual and will serve as the basis of what is to come in the near future. Next time, I’ll get a studio and some more equipment!
P.S. Not that my drawing skills are extremely superb but I have provided a link to my pilot storyboards here, which are my sketches. The drawings are ordered by where the animated portions of my pilot would appear during the episode (in other words, where my animated co-star cat would be on camera with me). 19 pages are available for viewing; hover on the page and click on either left or right arrows to browse. Click on the drawing for a closer look.
Cartoon Corner preview video coming soon! Check here for its release.
NOTE: If you are someone who has any hate or ill-will against me personally or pertaining to anything I do, you are not welcome and will be flagged (this includes you, Internet trolls). Constructive criticism? Fair game.
DISCLAIMER: As up to 90%+ of my material in animation covered falls outside of public domain, I will say and reiterate in my episodes that I have a right to “fair use” given the nature of critiquing the show centers on. Many examples of YouTube personalities have supported and stood by this legal doctrine.
Otherwise, for everyone else, please enjoy my show, comment and subscribe to my channel for upcoming episodes (when I start making them)!