Sunday, March 2, 2014


More art from my unproduced cartoon, CAPRICE, TEEN OF TOMORROW!

Here, a series of proposal drawings done when I first began drawing the cartoon and peddling the idea in 1997.

Caprice Capri.

Ezra Van Antwerp.

Vermina Vermin, the Social Wasp.

Below, a letter quickly and informally written on the vagaries of its production. I post it here not as a mere sob story, but as a document of the period when computer technology was rapidly moving in on drawn animation and the studios running amok in a bid for an unknown survival. The standards of professionalism were becoming blurred; these were the days of unpaid "pitch-a-thons" and free options. The number of unpaid internships was increasing. Then, unpredictably, came CGI...

My film, CAPRICE, TEEN OF TOMORROW, has had a long and tortured history.
Begun conceiving in 1997, when things (1) started getting "headless" in the animation industry, and (2) I needed a project to lift my spirits. A "portfolio piece" that would show what I really was capable of, not filtered through the Hollywood system & overseas finishes.
One studio was interested, but only if I gave them a free option for several years to monkey with. Another businessman was interested, but kept having heart attacks. 1999: Baer Animation agreed to provide access to their studio to finish it. 2000: Baer shut down, Same year, I began paying Playhouse Pictures out of my own pocket to shoot several minutes of scenes in color. They slowly closed, too. (That’s what was happening to the majority of trad animation houses at the time. Crippled by spending on computer equipment that quickly outdated, they were closing one by one, usually not making official announcements.) 
Jobs were slow, I was pretty sick with depression, and kept animating because I wanted to, even though the “portfolio piece" reasoning was moot, there no longer being much of an industry for “drawn” animation.
2002: While comic work picked up somewhat, an animation college teacher friend egged me on to finish the drawings, claiming it would be an “easy thing” for his students to do the color and camera (even though I warned him it might not be). I scanned and sent him scenes, and it was a three year period before he’d admit he just wasn’t capable.
Kept going in my spare time anyway, making changes as I worked. In 2010 (?) tried a Kickstarter campaign, didn’t go (and will not try doing it again, the unfulfilled promises are too painful). So the project’s still in my lap, may never be finished.
On the positive side, I've learned an incredible amount with the work I've done; I can draw characters in any pose or angle with skill; editing; and I really knew little about animation timing before this project. All of this has benefitted my work in other areas. One day I may begin something else, a project that can be more credibly completed by one person.
More Later, MK

1 comment:

CLXcool said...

Thats some pretty great artwork of Caprice from 1997 Milton. Didn't know that this cartoon had a long development cycle. By the looks of it, a little bad luck had sneaked up on it.

I hope that one day you'd return to Caprice Milton. Animation is in need of exploring things beyond the words impossible.