Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscars 2011

Since I was not nominated this year with the "Cow" film, I chose to go to the prestigious New York Academy Oscar celebration.

It was held at the fancy –smancy Carlyle Hotel – the food was great – lots of Academy members – a number of friends and celebs, such as author and Oscar winner John Canemaker, Joe Kennedy, and Tina Louise of "Gilligan's Island", and Marge Champion, the original model for Snow White. At my table was the great Peter Davis, he did the epic "Hearts and Minds", the radical Vietnam documentary that reinforced by commitment against war. He's a true gentleman.

But on with the ceremony: I guess I agree with "Toy Story 3" and "The Lost Thing" winning the animation categories – I wish "The Social Network" had won best film and actor, although "King's Speech" is a great film – so I guess I'm getting picky. My fave though was "The Black Swan", what a courageous unique movie – and so visual – very surreal.

As for the criticism of James Franco and Anne Hathaway, I thought they were terrific, funny, and charming. Everyone thought James wasn't into the event—I, on the other hand, thought he was playing the straight man to Anne. He was George Burns to Anne's Gracie Allen, Bud Abbott to Lou Costello – I was completely entertained by this year's Oscars.

Oscar Swag - Best Actress Cookies

Hair and other connective works by Jeannie Phan..

Jeannie Phan makes you reconsider the importance of hair within our images.. she's ignited an interest for me to build upon my "connective" nature of representing people. Nice work.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Black Cauldron

I've been hearing about this legendary film by Disney for years, and I decided to Netflix it and see what all the fuss is about.

Apparently, the film caused quite a scandal when it opened in 1985. This film was originated in the Ron Miller era, then Don Bluth led a palace revolt and Eisner and Katzenberg took over. So, it had a very bumpy birth – and it looks it. I hate to pile on a film when it's down, but it deserves to be down. What a mess.
The backgrounds are ugly, with a rainbow of bright colors, and the character design is ghastly. The animation is very crude, which is surprising because people like Andreas Deja, Mike Gabriel, Gary Trousdale, Ruben Aquino, Glen Keane, Walt Stanchfield, Milt Kahl, Mark Kausler and Tim Burton are listed in the credits. The voices are so-so, though the music by Elmer Bernstein is quite good.

But the killer is the story. The main character is this magic pig who disappears from the last third of the story for unexplained reasons. The evil character is not scary in the least, and all of the other characters are downright boring. And the ending of the film makes no sense at all.

Plus, apparently this was the most expensive film ever produced by the Disney Studios and it almost put them out of business. So if you want to see what not to do on a film, check out "The Black Cauldron". I rate it a D. See ya,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

You need this...

Daria is the gift that keeps giving...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards are coming up, and I'm sure to watch, because they are much more in line with the kind of films I make, indie and low-budget.

Also, the event on Saturday night is a lot more casual and entertaining than the Oscars. I have a lot of friends who are there with films or as distributors and I always feel like I belong there.

However, the indie world has big black blinders when it comes to animation. Perhaps they assume that all the animated feature films are made by the giant Hollywood Studios with humongous budgets of 200 million.

Not so fast—there is now a wave of low budget animated features hitting the cinemas. "Mary and Max", "My Dog Tulip", "Sita Sings the Blues", "Persepolis", "Chico and Rita", "The Illusionist" and of course the best of the lot, "Idiots and Angels". And for the Spirit Awards to ignore this fast growing, ever-popular genre is criminal. Sure, we don't have big Hollywood actors or great indie directors, but to shut out such a creative movement is a shame.

So, all my dear readers out there, please send letters to the IFC-West (,

and register your complaints. Force them to acknowledge animation as a vital force in the indie world—Give us a competition category!

Thank you,

Bill P

Gnomeo & Juliet 3D

When visiting Toronto last year for the Canadian premiere of “Idiots and Angels”, I was fortunate to get a tour of the famous Starz Animation Studios. They showed me a very brief clip of their new animated feature project, “Gnomeo and Juliet”. It looked very cool, so I was excited when I finally got to see the finished film, opening up this week.

It has a nice, handsome look – not as dramatic or splendid as “How to Train Your Dragon”, and the story is very cute. The kids loved the cute bunnies and the funny lawn flamingo.

I felt though, that the story-- adapted of course from William Shakespeare, lacked any real drama. The ending sort of felt like they said, “We need to stop at some point, so let's stop here.” Both Toy Story 3 and “Dragon” have very powerful endings and there's a great sense of satisfaction when they wrap up the story. Not so with “Gnomeo & Juliet”.

A lot of the humor comes from Shakespeare references, and I probably missed a lot of them, not being a scholar of The Bard, yet it's an enjoyable film. (My favorite part is the “Terrafirminator” super lawnmower.) Take the kids, they'll love it! I give it a B-.

Dressing well with Chad Manzo..

Philippines illustrator and t-shirt designer Chad Manzo will not disappoint you. It warms my ice cold heart that he exists and does what he does.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Epic Sketchbook: Kira Leigh..

Kira Leigh isn't my typical pick for Epic Sketchbook, but her images grabbed me in a way that few do. Perhaps scattered and grotesque, her images have an effective plea for attention. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

TIMBA.. awesome.

You're going to like this everyone..  Timba's drawings are retro-fresh, iconic, un-apologetically and ironically commercial, appealing, sexy as hell, and all around super inspirational.  Dig.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sam Gibbons.. and in praise of simple web design...

Two things. Sam Gibbons is awesome. And his web site wonderfully simple. I really don't like complex web sites... All I want in images and info.. don't make that fancy. Sam's work wouldn't look any more rad with a different site design, every visitor is sold on his images and nothing else. I'm currently in the process of re-doing my website, and I plan to go the simple route, like Sam. Especially now with this blog taking on the task of updates, and everything else that comes with blogging.. it turns a normal website into more of a portal for fixed information.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Painting Time Lapse, and new Vimeo site..

I've started a Vimeo site because Youtube is the most horrible place to put your films up ever. The first two videos I've posted are of time lapses of me painting on canvas. The yellow and grey one is still available btw;) I have so many good memories of working on that body of artwork, it was a great break from working on an animation.

Time Lapse of a Painting 2 from Patrick Smith on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just Because..


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Time Lapse by Shida...

Wish I could check this show out, Melbourne is a bit far even for someone in SINgapore. Shida is one of Brisbanes street art heavyweights and a regular presence on the walls of Melbourne.

Crystals of the Colossus from Shida ZRF on Vimeo.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Illusionist Background Drawings..

I haven't seen this film yet, but the art looks astounding. You can own any of these pieces from Arludik Gallery.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ludo's Atlantic bunker paintings..

Parisian street artist Ludo recent series takes him to the wide open lands surrounding Germany’s atlantic wall.. Enjoy. More on Ludo at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Global Jam Exhibition

Great news! "Guard Dog Global Jam"—my volunteer internet collaboration remake of "Guard Dog" has just been accepted into two premiere film festivals – it has its world premiere on opening night at the prestigious SXSW festival, plus it's been invited to the wonderful Florida Film Festival—one of my favorites.

But wait, it gets better: They both want to have a gallery exhibition of artwork from the film!

There is one shot about 4 seconds long, where animator Mike Schneider asked animators from around the world to submit one piece of art of the laughing girl, for one frame each of that 4 second shot.

I hadn't really examined the clip, but thought it looked great integrated into the film. Then two weeks ago on a lark, I examined each drawing separately and it blew my mind. The artwork is amazing!

It was then I asked the two festivals if they wanted to show an exhibition of what I call the "Laughing Girl" art. After sending samples of the artwork, they both said yes.

So if you happen to be in Austin around March 11th, or Orlando, FL on April 13th, please come by the festivals and check out the beautiful "Laughing Girl". In fact, we may put all the drawings into a poster. Cool!

Mexican Street art by ROA..

Some cool stuff coming out of Mexico. ROA makes some insane images. Enjoy.