Sunday, August 21, 2016


Exciting to see the animation medium finally expanding
into new (for the US) genres, even if it is prurient, 

teenage CGI animation like SAUSAGE PARTY.
Its predictable success will doubtless galvanize 

Hollywood lovers of sequels into quickly 

This animation may not be for children and 

we get the porn reference, 
but it can hardly be called ADULT animation.
It’s more like ADOLESCENT animation,
the stepping-stone intermediary between 

animation for children and animation for adults.
It’s the medium of animation growing up

and this is a good thing.

By all means, let’s have more of this if it means 

educating audiences to the fact that animation 
can be used to tell all sorts of stories
and express all kinds of thoughts. 
There’s a place for all genres in the animation medium, 
even thoughtful, thought-provoking, funny and beautifully 
designed adult films like PERSEPOLIS and L’ILLUSIONISTE.

What is, unfortunately, not new are the claims of abuse during the production
of SAUSAGE PARTY: animation workers allegedly not being paid overtime, half the animators not being credited for their work as punishment for protesting, incredibly sleazy and medieval threats of “blacklisting”, all making for a hostile workplace. Good grief, didn’t blacklisting go out with McCarthyism??
Shameful and embarassing that animation on the screen is cutting-edge and dazzling but behind the scenes it's the Dark Ages of sexism and bullying.

Unscrupulous producers have always known there are more talented and highly-trained animation workers than there is work and have for many years taken advantage of passionate people who will often go above and beyond their contract for love of their art and to finish a film on time.

Animators in Hollywood have a union through IATSE Local 839, the Animation Guild, but in Canada, a country renowned for its fairness in so many other areas and home of the world-famous, Oscar-winning National Film Board of Canada, animation workers do not yet have a union.

For animation lovers who want to protest this alleged exploitation:
SAUSAGE PARTY was produced at director Greg Tiernan’s Vancouver-based NITROGEN Studios established in 2003 with his wife, Nicole Stinn,
co-directed by Conrad Vernon and co-produced/co-financed by ANAPURNA PICS.

Friday, May 27, 2016



Do you ever find yourself unconsciously redesigning the stuff around you? Kitchen appliances, cars, logos, street lamps, book covers, other people’s homes? I do. Whenever I walk into someone’s house for the first time, I’m usually rearranging the furniture and changing the paint color as I say hello. Not that my friends have bad taste, I just go into that mode by force of professional habit.

Most manufacturers make little effort to make their products as beautiful as use will allow even though Apple has gloriously proved how much customers appreciate good design and are willing pay for it. And by good design I mean ease of use as well as physical beauty.

For example, some TEA BAGS are packed sideways and with the label backwards in the box. And why are they so hard to open without tearing the teabag and getting tea-dust floating in your cup? There’s another tea-bag design that elegantly incorporates the paper tag into the outer packet so you just rip the tag out and the package is open without tearing and spilling. Nice design but unfortunately the tea sucks.

The excessive and loud beeping on MICROWAVE OVENS is beyond comprehension. There's no need for any beeps at all, let alone the FIVE shrill ones on mine. And, more illogical still, a recently bought EGG TIMER, something that really does need a loud alarm, has a barely audible buzz that goes on for twenty seconds. But it’s a handsome object, round and easy to use.

And FURNITURE! Have you noticed how hideous most affordable furniture is? Couches, armchairs and beds are huge, thick, over-stuffed and infested with too many cushions. MATRESSES have become so enormously thick (to accommodate the results of excessive potato chip consumption) that fitted sheets for thinner mattresses are too big and leave us with rumple-marks.
We must demand better design.
  Like this, for example:
                                 DESIGN, ART, FUNCTION, FORM, BEAUTY