Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You Again

After drawing the Bananas In Pyjamas all day, often I get home, and as I walk in the door the kids are watching the Bananas on the tele. It's quite disconcerting, and I try to leave the room as fast as I can. It's like a plumber coming home every night to leaky pipes.

If I was a more glass-half-full sorta guy I'd be all tickled pink and delighted, that I got to see straight away the fruits of my labour: bringing joy and smiles to the wee chilluns.

But I prefer the leaky pipes analogy.

16 comments:

Karen said...

I was wondering how you felt when you saw them on television. I was assuming it was more of the warm fuzzy kind of feeling.
Rosie is really getting into them now. She never knew the old variety so she is full of enthusiasm for the new ones. It's great hearing her call out "Bananas coming on" when the opening titles roll...

Pedro said...

saw an ep of mine this morning.
The lad and I watched it and I observed just how much the animators and crew DIDN'T follow my board!!!
Good fun though. We have a little dance to the song too.
Yay.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Karen- there is definitely an element of warm fuzzies, don't get me wrong. I'm very glad the girls like it (and that your Rosie likes it). It's just the sheer quantity of banana. It's like, I love a Big Mac. I could happily eat 3 in a row. But if they were pumped into me a burger an hour, I'd start to get nauseous. By about day 8.

Pedro- Over all the eps turn out pretty well, I reckon. They fix up most of your mistakes too, to bring them up to standard..

onlinesoph said...

love it.

And yes, we are a Bananas in Pyjamas household. The little man just loves them. Be proud!

Pedro said...

Snap!
Watch it, McLaugho.
I know which eps are yours...

Ben McLaughlin said...

Soph- thanks, I'm glad!

Pedro- the seemless, Logie nominated ones?

simone r said...

I know it's pathetic that I'm so clueless, but could you guys explain the process a little. I'm interested.

Someone writes a script, then what happens?

Deb L said...

Yeah, I would like to know the process too.... and so would the three banana watchers in our house.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Okay, right from the top:

-story outlines are submitted to the producer, by a group of freelance scriptwriters

-those outlines then get written as proper scripts,usually coming out at about 25 pages long for an 11 minute episode of Bananas.

- the actors go into a recording studio with the director, and perform all the dialog. Usually they'll record

-scripts are divvied out to storyboarders. At the moment there are four of us doing that. So, I get a script, and sketch out how I want the whole episode to go, the actions, expressions, gestures of the characters, and also the camera shots and staging and locations etc. So, that takes 3 or 4 weeks for an episode, and will come out at about 500 or 600 drawings. Note, that's not all the little inbetweeny drawings you imagine animation to be, it's just the main drawings, indicating the main actions. I draw freehand, but straight onto the computer.

-these rough storyboard panels are edited to the soundtrack of the voice recording, making a rough little movie called an animatic. This is edited to the correct length, so extra drawing may need to be done, or drawings may end up cut out. This then needs the approval of the director, the producer and also the ABC. Long process.

-once that's approved, I'll draw all the backgrounds and props for my episode.All the exteriors in Bananas are hand-drawn to look vaguely 3D, whereas the interiors are actual 3D, not drawn, but built on the computer.

-this is sent to the Singapore studio, a package of the storyboard, the animatic movie and all the backgrounds for the episode. A big team of animators use the animatic as a guide for actually animating the episode. Bananas is 3D, (not like 3D glasses, but computer generated) so the characters are all built on the computer, almost like plasticine models, and the animators manipulate these models, acting them out according to what's on the storyboard. I think this takes the big teem 2 or 3 weeks to knock out an episode.

-the animation comes back to our studio, and once everyone's happy with it it's taken to a sound studio where all the music and 'foley' is added. The music in the background keeps the show ticking along. The foley is all the other sounds, that you don't really notice, but which have to all be put in. Footsteps, doors opening and closing, birds twittering, and also all the cartoony sound effects. (eg, "BOING" are you thinking what I'm thinking..)

And then that's about it. So that's one episode. At the moment I'm working on episode #125! So as you can imagine it all takes a loooonnng time.

Ben McLaughlin said...

ps- sorry for the essay

Dawn Merz said...

Ben, your post made me laugh and laugh!! Love the leaky pipes analogy! We are becoming a Bananas in Pajama's household and (and I hope you know I am only whispering here) I was never a fan of the old Bananas in Pajamas cause I only saw them as an newly-arrived-to-the-ABC adult and, you know, two men in a Banana costume just didn't grab my imagination. Shhhhh. BUT I bought a DVD (we don't have one of those set-top-box-thingies) of Bananas in Pajamas (the Ben McLaughlin version) and we love it and we want more!! You should put your little essay in the comments as a post... it was fascinating! Thanks for the insight!! It will make me appreciate it more and give me something to think about as we watch the same episode for the kazillionth time.

KIM said...

the fruits of your labor ...

Suzanne said...

It's a favourite here too. I watched the episode where they said we shouldn't pick wild flowers. It had me pondering for days..

Karen said...

Wow, I only just discovered your description of how it all happens. Whoever said you should have made it into a post was right...I can't seem to subscribe to get updates when other people comment on posts anymore?
That's really interesting, I had no clue how it works either but didn't think to ask...

RodeoClown said...

You should turn that process essay into a blog post - it's heaps interesting to see how the sausage is made (to put it politely :))

Ben McLaughlin said...

thanks for reminding me- I'll do it next week with some pix.