Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Polar Bears…

January 9, 2016

giphy

Polar bears are NEVER cold!

and in case you want to HEAR what a Polar Bear’s dimpled tushy sounds like:

 

 

Syndication Idea v. Syndication Investor

May 3, 2009

The Pixel Pintura, a YouTube user, sent an interesting comment on my YouTube channel about my Family Pants syndication idea.   I couldn’t answer it entirely in the small YouTube comment box, so I’m posting an explanation here.

Basically Joel said the Family Pants online syndication idea sounded good and wondered why I wasn’t doing it.

There’s been a few ideas so far on making money with online cartoons:

1) Find a sponsor like TV.
Say, Pepsi pays for a Family Pants cartoon provided in the middle of it they stuff a commercial.  This works, but more successfully on TV.  So why would Pepsi bother messing around online?  Now the harsh reality.  The internet is not TV.  It may look like TV, but it’ll never be TV.  Stop trying to think it will be TV!  It’s like trying to make the book publishing industry like the radio industry.  There might be cross overs… a radio personality writes a book, or books about radio personalities, but the industries are different and always will be.

2) Have people pay a tiny fee to see the cartoon online.
Most people pay enough for broadband to begin with.  Would you pay 10 cents to see a Family Pants cartoon?  I’ve had a hard time getting people to pay for a Family Pants DVD.  I’ve recently I’ve offered it for free on YouTube, hoping to gain interest.

3) License cartoons online.
You, the viewer doesn’t pay.  Sponsors like Pepsi doesn’t pay.  Instead websites pay for “instant content”.  Let’s face it, making web sites more attractive costs money.  Instant content is a logical and cheaper solution.  These days the websites who are looking for “instant” content and get “user generated” content.  So say I make an application that allows YOU to make Family Pants cartoons yourself.  Poof!  I get 100 cartoons done for free and with little effort!

But having other people make cartoons is not what makes being a cartoonist fun.  I want to do it!  So my idea was taking a comic strip syndication approach.  Make the cartoon.  Sell it cheaply, but many, many times.

The question is Joel, is online animation syndication not around because it’s a bad idea?  Or is that because nobody important has invested in the idea yet?  Lots of fine human beings like yourself have said, “Hey man… that sounds pretty good!”,  I’m still looking for investors!

Anyone have a rich uncle?

Family Pants’ Hole in ‘Da Roof! on YouTube!

April 16, 2009

After years of pecking away on this epic 22 minute pilot cartoon, only few have had the nerve to shell out hard earned moo-lah to buy a copy!  Now here is Family Pants’ Hole in ‘Da Roof!…. FREE in easy to swallow parts!

And if you want real quality… so life like you can actually watch it on your TV!  Then buy a copy here!

Hey, There’s A DVD for Sale! (Remember those?)

April 9, 2009

A Family Pants fan has recently asked if or when I’ll have a DVD of Family Pants available… Well I already have!  I guess I had it hidden in this blog.  So here it is in all it’s glory, un-hidden!

This is the CREATE A SPACE store where you can get a Family Pants DVD: 
customflixstore

And this is the same DVD at Amazon.com:
amazonstore

What is Family Pants?

January 4, 2009

Family Pants is a comic strip turned animated cartoon about Frank Mueller and his family.  Part goofy sitcom like I Love Lucy , but instead of Lucy angling for fame with a sneak appearance in Ricky’s night club, it’s Frank’s insatiable appetite to be self-sufficient which gets him in awkward situations.

Self sufficiency may be a characteristic more akin to the drama of Survivorman than the humor of The Honeymooners Ralph and his “get rich quick” characteristics.  But the two are alike as ego and stubbornness drive fools to failure.

Self-sufficiency is a trait I’ve found in myself through much soul searching and studying my father.  The best explanation of Family Pants’ Frank Mueller is the “pig fat soap” story about my dad.  The following story is somewhat true, it’s details exaggerated for humor and define a trait of my dad, me and exaggerated in Frank Mueller.

One afternoon my mother comes home with a grocery bag of soap; Dial for your hands, a Lava bar for filth, make up remover, Dove for the girl Redl’s and Zest for the men of the house, a couple of shampoos with a couple of conditioners for the hair, two more soaps for the laundry and a couple more for the dishes.

Upon inspecting the lush booty on the table, I complained she missed yet another “soap”, Noxema for my less than spectacular adolescent complexion.  My Mom quietly says she’ll get it next time, citing if I never put the item on the list, it would never make it in the grocery bag.

Now here enters my Dad, spying the mountain of “soap” on the table, the double-digit grocery bill and a son complaining his mother’s efforts were weak and lamenting on how impossible surviving the week will be without that one particular item.

My Dad erupts how I’m an unappreciative kid and leading by example, he tells a story about how in his youth he made soap out of pig grease, or “crease” as he pronounced in his broken English.

You may say he doesn’t sound much different than any other father, cursing unappreciative offspring and the re-telling of his harder youth.  But some back story on my Dad.  He grew up in post WWII Germany.  So when he tells of having nothing, he meant nothing!  He and his family ate whatever they grew or caught and lived meagerly without plumbing, carpeting, electricity or shoes.

Intrigued on the mention of pig fat soap, I stopped my complaining and wanted to know more.  Of course I’m visualizing simply pouring bacon grease directly onto your skin for that oh so fresh feeling.  In reality soap can be made from animal fats, but the recipe requires some refining and laborious “cooking” procedures.

But before my Dad could explain my Mom counters harshly, “You didn’t make soap from pig fat… get outta’ here!”  My sister enters laughing and cementing the imagery in my head of bathing in bacon bits.

Now begins the challenge.  In part to satisfy a curious son, but mostly to silence a doubting wife and instigating daughter, my Dad attempts to create pig fat soap.

Cut to the chase, the doorknobs are covered with grease, a hundred of dollars pots and pans are ruined, the holiday roast and all the bacon is burned up and my Dad’s skin is aglow in a rash caused by strange pig soap.

Sounds like a Family Pants episode?  You bet.  And suddenly the characters focus.

At first glance of this story, you may think my Dad is cheap, not wanting to spring for real soap.  But one thing about my Dad is that if given the money, he’d spend it all on his kids.  Growing up poor, he is not a tight spender if he runs into funds.

Perhaps my Dad is old fashioned, not wanting to use new-fangeled soap over soap made the old fashioned way.   But growing up in poverty made my Dad enjoy and welcome new inventions and the conveniences they bring.  He’d never want to go back to the old days again, especially for his kids.

Speaking of inventions, perhaps my Dad is some sort of crazy mad scientist, “inventing” his own soap.  While he is mechanically inclined, he lacks the inventor’s drive to either become rich and famous or change the world sharing his vision.  He is not an inventor.

Well maybe the guy is just plain stupid.  Lots of funny characters are simply that.  Btu my Dad is far from ignorant.  His brilliance may not come from formal education, his genius comes from learning “on the job”, forging a successful and respectful life and career with nothing but his hands and heart.  Call it God’s scholarship.

So my Dad is not cheap or old-fashioned.  Nor is he a crazy inventor or just plain stupid.  The true message in the pig fat soap story is being self-sufficient or self reliant.  Even if he got the recipe right, I doubt he’d save any money or the environment making home made soap over Johnson & Johnson’s factory brand.  It’s not about money or saving the environment.  It’s about depending on oneself and having the courage to make your own luck.  There it is again, stubbornness and ego.

I find myself the same way, only instead of complaining about a person’s dependency on soap, I find myself risking life and limb installing antennas and dishes the size of swimming pools on my roof to free myself from the shackles of the cable company.  Oooo, how I loath the cable company.

And so Frank is a little of Lucy Mcgillicuddy, Ralph Kramden, a little of me and a little of my Dad.  Frank is a Survivor-Dad!

Family Pants’ The Lamaze Daze

November 15, 2008

Here’s the next Family Pants cartoon! My Dad gets motion sickness being a passenger in cars and I’ve made fun of his strange breathing here. And the dialog is a word for word argument about the difference between “dizzy” and “nauseated”!

My next blog entry will be the exact break down of the process of making a Family Pants cartoon… particularly this one!

I’ve also posted this cartoon on MyToons.com. At first I really didn’t give these guys a chance.  I thought they were just another video posting site, so I sent in my cartoons at a low resolution.  But this cartoon, I made in HD format for really no reason other than experimenting what it would look like on MyToons.  Unfortunately I can’t embed MyToons in WordPress, so I have a JPEG which links to MyToons.  I’m really very impressed.  And, coincidentally I’ve noticed I’ve gotten more hits on MyToons than YouTube.  (YouTube however gave me more people actually emailing me to make more cartoons.)  Depending on how it’ll affect my hit records, I’m probably going to re-export everything for MyToons and repost it in higher resolution.  From now on MyToons is not just another video posting site…

[Update… the Link below is broken!  I’m not sure where MyToons has gone.  But just to let you know… it’s not you.]

Lamaze Daze image

Lamaze Daze image

Ensuing Complications in the Pants

March 27, 2008

complicationsPants

In writing Family Pants stories, I’m deeply inspired by Seinfeld and Wylie E. Coyote.

Watching Seinfeld one night I had an epiphany. While most people babble Seinfeld is the show about “nothing” I’ve found it to be in fact, about something. It could have been called “Little New York” or the “Small Big Apple”, where 4 characters depart on seemingly totally different ventures and somehow collide and entangle with each other. (Even Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm also deftly links completely different happenings.)

These ensuing complications is not as much of a Seinfeld characteristic as much as comedy 101. I believe Seinfeld’s success was not the gimmick “show about nothing”, the backwards episode or the one about the masturbation contest, but because it simply created basic comedy better than most. As it happens, ensuing complications combined with outrageous silliness is the formula of Road Runner and Wylie E. Coyote cartoons!

So in the latest Family Pants comic strip submission, “The Masked Moo-Moo Menace or the Recycling Reprobates” I tried as skillfully as I could, to connect white noise experiments, bears, rotting meat, COP reality shows and gangland violence to hopefully an interesting and funny outcome.

Hope you dig it when I post it.

Plot Complexity vs Character Complexity

March 27, 2008

PlotVsCharacterWriting Family Pants stories, I studied lots of TV, as well as comic strips and comic books. Taking a closer look at TV, you’ll find comedies that are character driven. Ordinary everyday situations we can identify with being ridiculously blown apart by the antics of extraordinary characters. Or you’ll find procedural shows, where identifiable everyday characters are solving extraordinary situations, such as a bizarre Las Vegas crime scene. In the procedural show, a fantasy element is the exciting situation. In the comedy the fantasy is being glad you’re not married to the bumbling husband!

In both cases the characters must be interesting, but not necessarily likable. No one would want George Costanza, Archie Bunker, Jack Benny or W.C. Fields as a close friend, but put them in a story and we’re interested to see how it comes out.

Balancing plot and character, you’ll find the more complex one is, the simpler the other. In a popular gangster show, “The Sopranos”, Tony Soprano can spend an entire episode eating prosciutto, and almost nothing happens, yet we intensely watch, wondering what he’s thinking and speculating what he’ll do next. A simple plot, but a complex character. Contrasted to a gangster story from the 1940’s and you’ll find one dimensional cartoonish characters involved in a spider web plot. He’s sleeping with the boss’s lover, who’s angling the boss to save her thief brother, who’s stealing from the boss’s top henchman, who’s angry at the Boss for not permitting the brother’s death because he’s protecting his lover’s sibling and our hero is caught in the middle! Whew!

So you have interesting everyday characters doing the extraordinary in a procedural show or interesting extraordinary characters doing the ordinary in a character driven show. Sometimes the plot is thicker than the characters and sometimes visa versa. But always the characters are interesting.

Although comedy is mostly character driven, you’ll find watching classic Tex Avery, Tom and Jerry or Road Runner cartoons, gags are procedural in nature. Just as you start from a grisly murder and work backward to determine how your team solves the case, you start with a crazy ending “snapshot” with your hero glued to the ceiling in a chicken outfit and work your way backward as to how he got there in the first place.

So I’ve concluded that Family Pants is a procedural comedy where characters fumble over each other in a comedy of errors to a climatic knot. The plots are thick and the characters are interesting yet could be summed up in a word (which in this case happens to start with the letter “a”):
CharacterDescriptions

Welcome and Introduction!

January 4, 2007

Welcome, my name is Dave Redl. I’m the creator of “Family Pants: Hole in ‘Da Roof!”

“Family Pants” started out as a comic strip and eventually evolved into animated cartoons. In this experimental blog, I hope to answer some frequently asked questions and spew ideas off every now and then.

Animation can quickly become expensive and is inherently time-consuming. So, many animators pitch their ideas not to audiences but to executives, hoping for financial backing. However, thanks to technology and a lot of patience I made “Family Pants” on my own with relative speed and for almost no money!

While the “crew” of “Family Pants” is essentially myself, I have received many letters from animators looking for work and others addressing me as the head of a studio. I’ve taken these remarks as a compliment in support of my efforts to maintain high production values. Along the way I’ve developed a process by which I can make future episodes more efficiently. Should I ever encounter Mr. Moneybags, he wouldn’t need deep pockets to back future “Family Pants” productions!

Concerned primarily with the writing and animation I never really considered how I would market the end product. Now, after the fact, I’m finding “Family Pants” doesn’t fit into many niches. The cartoon is clean enough for kids but doesn’t claim to have educational significance. And “Family Pants” doesn’t siphon humor from pop-culture and doesn’t have an “edge” which might appeal to teenagers and young adults.

Instead, I aimed for slapstick. Less from “Three Stooges” and more “I Love Lucy”, while I’m a fan of both. The episode, “Job Switching” from the 1952 season of “I Love Lucy”, took the entire length of the episode to set-up the now timeless gag where Lucy, to save face, haplessly stuffs her mouth with chocolates streaming down a spastic conveyor belt. While the Stooges’ Curly might have simply said, “Oooh, Chocolates!” and stuffed his face maniacally only to have Moe slap him to an abrupt end. We see the same type of gag, but the longer set-up allows for character development, important for episodic serialization. This is a basic comedy formula seen from Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” to “Seinfeld” I hoped to capture. While I don’t pretend to be anywhere in this league, I just hoped to make a funny cartoon!

Anyway, enough seriousness about silliness! I hope you find this section informative and the rest of “Family Pants” funny! If you have questions on “Family Pants” or even technical questions like how to make your own cartoon, please feel free to contact me! I’ll be happy to share some comments!

Best,

Dave