Friday, December 16, 2022

I entered a TV show idea into a contest


Way back in June of this year (2022), I found a contest online hosted by the Ottawa International Animation Festival or OIAF for short.  The contest was for people to send in their ideas for an animated tv show series idea.  Only the best of the best of those ideas of course.  The deadline for submission was June 30, which I made with a few days to spare.  I had completely forgotten about this until somewhat recently.  That's why I'm posting about this waaaaaaay into December.

Anyway, here's what the criteria was for entry:

That's pretty straight forward.

It doesn't say so in that screen grab of the contest details, but I saw on their website that the winner would be chosen on September 23rd, most likely during the festival.

Well, September 23rd came and went with no contact from the festival in any way.  I'm guessing my idea didn't make the cut.  But, I am wondering how much "in the running" my idea was.  Could it have been a contender, or was it dismissed outright upon the first reading?  I have no way of knowing.

So, in an effort to gage how this entry of mine might have fared in that contest, I decided to post it up here on my little blog.  The reaction either in the comments section here or from any other social media platform I post this on should give me a pretty good notion of my shows performance under scrutiny.  With that, here's what I pitched:

Bears That Give a Shit or Whatever

As you can probably guess, this show is supposed to be a blistering send up as well as a complete 180 reversal of the Care Bears.  These are bears that most definitely do NOT care.  That one bear up there is named "Tender Dick Bear"........... because the "leader" bear of the original show is named "Tender Heart Bear"....... so now you know.  I won't explain the tummy symbol on that bear.  If you look close enough you can see what it is.  Oh yeah and also, if you're looking at him and asking yourself "what is up with that bear's freaky looking nose?"  Well, you see, the original Care Bears had little valentine hearts for noses.  So, my bears have actual beating mammal hearts for noses.  That's what that is.  Every bear's nose would have that pulsating KA-THUMP KA-THUMP KA-THUMP heart beating on their face at all times.

"What's the show's basic structure?", you ask.  "How could one go about conceiving of and writing episodes for such a show?", you also inquire.  Well, I'll just post what I intend to have as the show's opening narration.  It pretty much sets up who these bears are and why they've been brought together to do what they do.  It's posted immediately below.  To get the full effect, read it in Bill Burr's voice.  I would love it if I could get him signed on to be the voice of Tender Dick Bear.  Here it is:

Longline: A group of selfish dysfunctional idiots must, by law, do good deeds for others much to their revulsion.

Synopsis (as told by the lead character):

“Ok, maybe you remember some time ago that there were these bears that… I don’t know… did good deeds or some shit.  Yeah, they… fucking lived in the clouds and came to Earth to help people.  And they were all fucking sunshine and rainbows and ‘la la la’ all over the fucking place.  What were they called? Benevolent Bruins or some shit?  Whatever!  They’re fucking gone now.

But yeah, back then everybody thought that every fucking bear was like that… all happy and helpful with those shitty little fucking pictures on their guts.  NO!  Most bears were just ordinary nothing bears just living their lives and doing their own bullshit.

And THEN there’s us!  Holy fuck are we a bunch of fucking dicks.  Well, I’m not… well ok yah a bit… but not as much as those fucking guys.  One night we’re at this dive bar and it’s crowded ‘cause there’s a game on or some shit.  My bud had waaaaay too much to drink and then he starts getting into it with this guy and his girlfriend.  Bud might’ve grabbed her ass or some shit but I don’t remember.  I was pretty fucking wasted too.  Anyway, next thing I know, I’m trying to pull my bud off this guy.  The girlfriend starts kicking his balls.  So then the rest of my buds start beating on her, then her buds start beating on us.

It’s not long that we’re all piled in to the fucking paddy wagon and taken to the police station.  Everybody hauled in that day had done jail time before so we were all yeah fuck that shit.  I can only avoid a fucking shiv for so long.  So yeah, we all agreed to do community service instead.  But you know what community service they have us fucking doing??!!  It’s all the stuff those other bears did.  Yeah!  We gotta live on those stupid fucking clouds and go help people and shit.  Our parole officer is a little asshole too.  We hate him.  He hates us.  What-fucking-ever!

So that’s where we are.  We were all given our names and fucking gut pictures based on who we are and what we like to do.  I’m Tender Dick Bear.  I’m called that because I’ve had so much raw dogging sex with so many chicks that my fucking dick is too sensitive.  Getting an erection actually hurts like FUCK!!!  But enough about me.  Over there is Lazy Ass Bear, Dirty Slut Bear, Porn Addict Bear… um… what the fuck’s his name?  Oh yeah, it’s Hack a Lung Bear.  That fat fuck over there is Fat Fuck Bear.  Then there’s Never Bathe Bear, Gambling Bear, Brawling Bear, Dumb Ass Bear, Junkie Bear… and over there is Bare Bear.  He’s always naked and it’s fucking disgusting.  There’s a bunch of other bears here with other dumb shit names like that.  I’d be here all fucking day if I listed them all.  But yeah, you’ll probably see those bears at some point when we help some dumbass on Earth.

Altogether, we’re called the… um… Bears That Give a Shit or Whatever.

Of course we’re only doing this until some asshole judge says we’ve… like… paid our debt to fucking society or some bullshit.  The exact… like… micro-second that’s done we are soooooo fucking outta here.  But until then, yeah, watch for us in your neighbourhood helping out some snivelling little shit.

Okay, that’s enough right?  Everybody knows the premise now?  There are no fucking dumbasses out there like ‘duuuuuuuh what’s going on?’  Maybe a couple?  Aw fuckit!  I’m done.”

That's the basic gist of it.  It is now the internet's turn to give opinions about this project.  Could it fly or would it crash and burn?  Would you watch it or recommend to for someone else to watch it?  I anticipate the feedback no matter what it is.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

It's pumpkin carving time again

 Here are "jack of the lanterns" I and my daughter carved up this year.

 This is my daughter holding up her creation.  That pumpkin looks very scared, doesn't it?  It's as if it's worried about something.  Well.......

...that's because my pumpkin is eating hers.   I've never known pumpkins to be cannibals, but of course science and nature are always full of surprise. 

Anyway, that's the seasonal festivities that we conjured up for this year. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 02, 2022

I experimented with lip sync


 Above is some lip sync animation I just did as an experiment.  I took an old dialogue file that I used for this "series of videos" (which was really just one very long video) some time ago.  The main reasons I did this is be because I both wanted to see if I still "have what it takes" but also see what my current technology could help me accomplish.

Doing this lip sync was harder than it should have been.  I did finally manage to import the sound file into the Adobe Flash program ut for some reason I couldn't set it to what's called "stream" for the purpose of going over the dialogue frame by frame so as to insure accuracy.  So, what I had to do was put that dialogue file into iMovie and "stream" the dialogue there.  One shouldn't have to go back and forth between programs to complete a simple task like lip sync, but it's what I had to do.

So, anyway, here's my lip sync such as it is.  What are your thoughts?

Sunday, September 04, 2022


The family and I were dining at a local restaurant the other day.  One feature this particular establishment has is that every table is draped in a large ream of newsprint paper that acts as a table cloth of sorts. Plus, since our child is still considered "of child age" (although, confidentially, I think she may be more mature than I am), we were provided with a few crayons to do with whatever we wanted.  Immediately, our daughter started doodling on the paper while I did the crossword puzzle on the kids' menu.

But, my wife (my daughter's mom) issued us a challenge.  She told us both to draw a creature with a specific criteria:

1. Its eyes are on its hands.

2. Its nose is on its giant horn.

3. Its mouth is on its chin.

4. It has four legs.

5. Its teeth are like thorns.

Thankfully there was no official time limit so we didn't have to rush. Although we did have to pause our drawing when the food arrived of course. That's why there's a few grease stains on it.

My daughter didn't manage to finish her drawing sadly. But she did make several other doodles that I thought were quite good. Unfortunately, my wife neglected to capture those with her phone's camera and so they are now lost to time and the elements.  Oh well, maybe she will start her own blog or post her artwork on whatever website would attract the most traffic. Who knows.

Anyway, my response to my wife's art challenge is the one above. Enjoy it if that's how you feel.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Victor Orban is a paranoid censorious twat-waffle jackass


Yeah, I don't like him at all.  Not one little bit.  Yes, that same Victor Orban that is the current leader of Hungary, I have a rather low opinion of this man.  I've never met his guts, but if I did I'm sure I'd hate them too.

And yet, there is a faction of people in the USA that laud this guy as a "saviour of the west" of some sort.  Last year, Tucker Carlson himself actually traveled to Budapest to have a sit down interview with this guy.

Ok.  That was a nice little ego stroking session there.

By the way, my beef with Victor is not simply because he's "right wing".  His politics are his politics and he's entitled to them.  My big problem with him has to do with how he treats the play/movie Billy Elliot.

He's actually banned this work from the entire country of Hungary because................... get this............ he's afraid it might inspire people to become gay.  He seriously thinks that.

When I first heard about Mr. Orban's objection, I had only heard of Billy Elliot.  I hadn't actually seen it at all.  So, I couldn't fully comment on what Victor was going on about.  But, I recently saw it so now I can make a much more informed statement about the whole thing.  For those who haven't seen it, I'll give a brief synopsis here:

Billy Elliot starts off the movie doing his boxing lessons.  But, quickly realizes that he's not so good at it.

However, he notices that in another part of the gymnasium there's a ballet class going on.  Billy can't quite explain, but something draws him toward that class and inspires him to get into dancing.....

...much to the red-faced disappointment of his gruff coal-mining father.

But don't fret because... SPOILER... his father does come around to supporting Billy and his desire to dance.  It's quite a well executed transformation on the father's part in my opinion.

But, Billy "dancing like a pouf (as many characters in the show call it)" is not the LBGTQ element that Victor Orban and his ilk are concerned about.

A small side story is Billy's friend who's gotten into cross-dressing.  He raids his sister's closet and tries on all the dresses of hers that he likes.  Billy's immediate reaction is to be taken aback and say "what are you doing?".  But, Billy's supportive nature quickly kicks in and he's very happy with his friend discovering himself.

Billy's so supportive that he even gives his friend a kiss.  That's his way of telling his friend that he'd make a very lovely woman someday.  Only the very best of friends would do that for each other.

Anyway, that little bit is too much for Victor.  Because of just that little element of the story, he wants to ban the entire show from his country.  All of the feel good "work around the obstacles and the stigmas dogging you to follow your dreams" story elements are tossed to the wayside just because of one little bit of gay acceptance.  That's just as bad as banning every episode of The Flintstones simply because that one character in that one episode was transgender.

The civil rights leader "Harvey Mammoth Milk" might have made a short appearance in this episode.

Rather than go into a lengthy diatribe about all the ways Victor Orban is wrong in this instance, I'll just very quickly list all of the Censor Monkeys he is being:

...and, for straight up banning the whole production outright, he is....

Wow! A whopping four Censor Monkeys.  It's time to dial back the tyranny there Victor. 

Of course, I certainly do sympathize with Victor's and even Tucker's objection to "wokeness". Yeah! Fuck wokeness.  Fuck wokeness back up the devil's asshole where it fell from in the first place.  But, Mr. Orban, in the process of that, leave Billy Elliot alone.  He's done nothing wrong.  He's certainly not a threat to anyone.  No government official should ever be in the business of deciding what movies, plays, tv shows, songs that his/her citizens can consume.  Let the artists do their art without harassment. Thank you.

I'll end this blog post with what I think it one of the best scenes from the Billy Elliot movie.  It's where young Billy openly defies his stern father by daring to dance right in front of him.  I find it very powerful.  Please enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Trouble With Jerry Lewis


Recently it was my birthday.  My wife's present to me was for me to go to our nearest video store (some do still exist) and pick out any number of DVDs which she would pay for.  The image down below was my haul:

Pretty decent I'd say.  Since that time, I have watched and enjoyed all of these titles.  Although, only my wife watched Heavy Metal with me of course.  Out of all the movies from this batch that we watched, the one that I found got the most interesting reaction was from the Jerry Lewis collection.

For any curious fans of cinephiles out there, I'll provide the list of films here:

The Stooge

The Delicate Delinquent

The Bellboy


The Errand Boy

The Ladies Man

The Nutty Professor

The Disorderly Orderly

The Patsy

The Family Jewels

My daughter did laugh out loud at more than a few instances in these films.  But, my wife's response to all of what she saw Jerry do was "I don't think so".  Aw well, you can't please everybody.

As much as my daughter and I enjoyed these movies, we both agreed that not every scene was a winner.  Maybe for every one scene that was good there were about 3 or 4 that were okay followed by some scenes that fell absolutely into a flat pile of nothing.  Also, as a result of this, some of the movies as a whole left us feeling relatively satisfied while some flopped for us as a whole.  At first, we couldn't quite pin point what the issue was.  Then, after watching the fourth or fifth movie, we figured it out.  Or, the very least, we both came to a conclusion that satisfied us.  That's why this blog post is called "...the trouble with...", because we feel we found Mr. Lewis' biggest flaw in the movies he made.

Yes, I'm quite aware that we're not the first people to analyze Jerry's work.  Over the decades, Jerry Lewis has amassed a huge fan base full of people who insist he can do no wrong (most of these people live in France as you may know) along with a long line of detractors who feel he's never been good.  In my and my daughter's opinion, the answer is in the middle of those two extremes.  We feel he's an excellent performer along with being a capable writer/director, but that there's one big flaw that mars his work and keeps him from being great.  No, that flaw has nothing to do with any ego clashes that Jerry had with....... well pretty much everybody he ever met in his whole life.  It also has nothing to do with any routines of his that may or may not have aged well.

It has nothing to do with "ol' Deano" being with him or not (that of course is Dean Martin, for anyone under the age of 75 who may be reading this).  It definitely has nothing to do with the NOOOOOISES he makes with his MOOOOOOUUUUUUTH AND THE TONSILS AND THE... HEEEEEYYYYYY! LAAAAAAAAAADYYYYYYYY! I LOVE YO - WOOOOOAAAVIN I FELL DOWN! OY GLAVIN!! OW.... my larynx is sore now...... where's..... the lozenge? Mmh whay! 

It has nothing to do with any of that.  The one big flaw that we discovered is so simple and basic.  The one (of many) examples of this flaw of his I'll use to demonstrate it is in one of his films called The Errand Boy.  

It's in this particular sequence that I'll show with pictures (because I didn't feel like copying it and uploading it to Youtube.  Take me to court. I don't care).  Watch below:

Jerry Lewis walks onto a movie set with a pool of water in it.

A man in SCUBA gear jumps into that water.
Jerry walks to the edge of that water and thinks, "Hey, what's down there?" 
Jerry then jumps into the water with his clothes on and joins the SCUBA man.
The SCUBA man sees him and is noticeably confused.

The man manages to write on bristol board under water and uses this unique skill to ask Jerry a pointed question.
Jerry also has the unique ability to write on paper submerged in water and uses this skill to inform that man that he is now drowning.

That is the conclusion of that sequence.  Two things annoyed me with this part.

1. If he knew he'd have trouble in that water then why did he jump in?

Oh, maybe his character is incredibly impulsive always acting on a whim you might ask?  Well, ok that's all well and good except for one other question...

2. What does this have to do with the plot?

The initiating action that starts this movie off is that a Hollywood studio is facing bankruptcy because they haven't had a successful movie in too long a time.  Their solution is to hire a know-nothing dupe to do some spying for them to find out what other studios are doing.

So, I put the question to you: What does him jumping in the water have to do with anything and how does it advance to story in any way?  Sure, it might be a good idea to turn off my brain so that I can maybe better relax and enjoy the antics, but a coherent story or even just a coherent sequence of events would help with the relaxation so much more.

But, anyway, like I said, this is the part where we noticed Jerry Lewis' biggest flaw.  Here it is:

Jerry Lewis concentrates more on finding an instant belly laugh than he does in telling a coherent story.

That's it.  That's the reason some of his stuff works and some of it doesn't.  In his pursuit of an instant laugh, he'll too often end up sabotaging the plot, the story or even his character.  When you look at it that way, the sequence above makes that much more sense, or at least it makes sense as to why Jerry would've constructed the sequence this way.  When he first walks onto the set and sees the man jump in, his first thought is "it would be funny if I jumped in too".  Then while he's swimming in there, his thought is "it would be funny if the man was confused about why I don't have scuba gear".  The once the man asks that question via signage, his immediate thought is "it would be funny if it turned out I was just drowning".  I think the appropriate phrase is "not seeing the forest for the trees" or something like that.
 Well, anyway, he's too preoccupied with the immediate interactions that he has trouble seeing the movie as a whole.

At least Jerry was more honest about this point in another movie of his called The Bellboy.

It starts with a very silly guy at his desk telling us that "this movie has no story and no plot" thus freeing Jerry up to do whatever bits he wants without the burden of adhering to any story.

It does make the movie that much more easily consumable, but it does also keep it from being among Jerry's best in my opinion.

When Mr Lewis' last film Hardly Working came out, Siskel and Ebert kind of almost stumbled onto that flaw that I mentioned but never quite articulate it.  I found that review on Youtube and I'm embedding it below:

Ebert mentions that the sequences are inconsistent and make no sense, but merely attributes that to Jerry being "washed up and pathetic". 

This is also the reason that Jerry's best movies were directed by the great Frank Tashlin.

Frank Tashlin was a consumate genius when it came to writing and directing.  Whether his film project was animated or live action, Frank could be counted on to make something great every time.  I briefly mentioned Dean Martin at the top and Siskel & Ebert mentioned him as someone who would've improved Jerry's movies.  But really the true "dynamic duo", the true "dream team" was Jerry and Frank.  Those two together was the true formula to creating movie magic.  While Jerry was milling about thinking of that immediate gag or that funny face or that LOUD NOISE he could make, Frank Tashlin would be in charge of keeping everything consistent.  He'd write the screenplay and made sure that Jerry would adhere to that screenplay while still give him room to do his crazy antics.  They were a great team.  It's been said that the ONLY Jerry Lewis films even worth watching are the ones under the guidance of Frank Tashlin.  While I do think that's not entirely true (I find The Nutty Professor quite brilliant for instance), I do agree that when looking for a Jerry Lewis movie to watch you will never go wrong if you see Frank Tashlin in the credits as well.  If you enjoy comedy, you will not be disappointed.

While that flaw of Jerry's does tend to make many of his films a trifle tedious at times, there are other times when it tragically sinks what could've been a great movie.  The movie in question I'm referring to is on this set: The Family Jewels.  

In my opinion, the plot of this movie is brilliant and ripe for so much great comedy.  It's about a little girl whose rich father has just died.  There is no mention of her mother so I'm guessing she was out of the picture years ago.  Anyway, this means that the handlers of her father's estate insist that she go to live with one of her six uncles.  This could have been a "tour de force" for Jerry since he plays seven parts:

Uncle #1: the sea captain

Uncle #2: the clown

Uncle #3: the photographer

Uncle #4: the airline pilot

Uncle #5: some british guy

Uncle #6: the gangster

The chauffeur that's been taking care of her for most of her life whom the girl has considered to be like a true father figure 

That's the premise in a nutshell.  The possibilities are immense could easily have made for something great.  Buuuuuuuut, because of Jerry's flaw, this movie sadly falls flat.  Because Jerry spends most of his energy making all of his characters do very silly things, he doesn't allow any of them to develop in any way meaningful and thus robs the ending of the pathos it could've had.  I could go on about all the ways that this movie disappoints, but the blog post is quite long as it is.  I'll just say that you should seek out this movie The Family Jewels and watch it for yourself in you haven't done so already.  Watch it to the very end.  You'll see what I mean.

In the spirit of this blog post, I drew this picture:

Hello there, little goil. *huff puff* It is soytenly awkward and... oof... sweatifying to carry all of these boxes and OOOOOOY GLAVIN! I'M FALLING NOW! OOOOH THERE GO..... the boxes.  Your foot got.... um.... and then.... BOOM! Ow my face.

It's of Jerry and my daughter doing some funny funny hijinks together.  I'm sure they'd have made a good team.

I'll bring this post to an end with one of Jerry's best scenes, a scenes he should be most remembered for.  I dare anybody to enter your workplace doing this exact thing and TRY to be as smooth as Jerry is here.  If you're too chicken to try my dare, then just sit back and enjoy this scene anyway.