Animation Business as Unusual

Many Rumors about Rocko

Posted on by Joe Murray

Who Do You Believe?

Since we finished the Rocko Special Static Cling a year ago, there has been much speculation as to the whereabouts of this special, and if it will ever see the light of day. Some rumors have it with a streaming channel. Well, I’m sworn to secrecy, but there are many conversations being had about the future of Rocko, and who knows if anything will bear fruit. But I do know the Rocko special will be coming out fairly soon. I will keep this blog posted of any news. Remember this is entertainment. Many things happen. Most do not.

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Life in Art

Where are we as Artists?

Posted on by Joe Murray

In a Life in Art, Uncertainty Needs a Comfortable Place to Sit.

I learned it young.

I aspired to be a newspaper comic strip artist while I was growing up, as the newspaper comic business was shrinking. Thinking I had missed the boat, a new boat appeared to harbor my weird characters and stories in animation. A medium that I loved so much more than comic drawing. As Joseph Campbell says, “Sometimes we have to let go of the life we planned in order to make way for the one that is waiting for us”.

Things are changing even more at a rapid pace than when I was first embarking in a life of art. Illustrators had once had comfortable careers painting for advertising were rapidly having trouble keeping that boat afloat..

A life in art asks for flexibility. Experimentation. Adapting to your canvas and making the journey part of your art. Commerce changes. Needs and what others value changes. Your style and what you have to say doesn’t have to change, but sometimes you can see opportunity on the horizon that you didn’t even predict. An opportunity to try a different form of expression that may also help to pay the bills. Often it’s better than you ever imagined.

We can’t waste precious time bemoaning what is no longer. What our careers used to look like. How much money we used to make, or how much notoriety we once had. Those are illusions anyway. Sometimes we even limit ourselves with what we think is right for us. Your art is happening right now, and moving like water where it wants to go. It has bigger plans for us than we know.

If you are going through uncertainty, paint about it. Write about it. Laugh at it. Whether you like it or not, it’s what happens in life. Use the canvas you have on hand.


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Business as Unusual

Luna Press Gig

Posted on by Joe Murray

Things got a little out of hand at a press outing for the upcoming “Let’s Go Luna” premiere, when I mentioned that I think multi-culturally because two of my wives have been foreign. A reporter responded “And how many wives have you had?”  Probably not the best thing I could say at a press event. I’m glad everyone had a good laugh.

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Belgium Cuisine

Posted on by Joe Murray

Sampling some local cuisine in Leuven, Belgium

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Belgium, ( mostly because my wife is from there, and my in-laws). I love it there, and we are considering moving there. On our last trip that I just returned from, we checked out houses and schools for my two boys. We are still talking about it, but I’m good for a change. And I can work remotely with my job. I will keep you posted about the move, and my adventures as an ex-pat if it comes to that.

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Animation Business as Unusual

Luna and Rocko to Premiere Soon

Posted on by Joe Murray

The “Let’s Go Luna” crew take a break at Disneyland.

So, okay, the Rocko Special “Static Cling” was finished almost a year ago, but at least now we know it’s going to air on Nickelodeon in the near future. ( Release date coming soon). For my current show “Let’s Go Luna” we do have a premiere set for Thanksgiving weekend 2018. We are deep into our 40 episode order at our headquarters in Glendale California and I’m pretty happy with the way the episodes are turning out. Our animation is done at 9 Story in Toronto Canada, and that has been a great experience so far.

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Animation Business as Unusual

Luna Flying Along

Posted on by Joe Murray

Luna offices in Glendale, California

The production for “Luna Around the World” is flying! I can’t brag enough about my crew and their dedication to this project. It’s a fast schedule, but I still feel like we are keeping up the quality. Thank you to my crew for their amazing work.

Just got back from Toronto Canada where we started the voice recording. Worked one day with the kid actors who were awesome ( when they were not coming in to the control booth to steal chocolate bars).

There are definite different challenges to doing a pre-school show as opposed to my previous shows in the 6 to 11 range. But I’m determined for the show to be funny on top of the curriculum of learning about cultures around the world. It’s a tall order.

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Annecy and Europe

Posted on by Joe Murray

Of course you have a photo under the Eiffel Tower

View from our hotel room in Annecy, France. In town for the animation festival

Had a really great trip to Europe during June. First to Annecy, France for the animation festival where there was a signing and a panel with Myself, Robert Scull and Chris Viscardi. Robert worked on the Rocko pilot and on the show itself, and went on to be a really great creator producer of shows for Nickelodeon, mostly pre-school. It was a good panel except much of the audience didn’t speak english. We showed a clip from the rough animation for the upcoming Rocko special that seemed to fall a little flat from the translation. Don’t know.

Then my daughter and I went on to Paris for a few days then, meeting up with my wife and two sons in Belgium, ending up finally in Holland to vacation on the beach.

Was hard to come back and then immediately fly to Toronto for a “Luna” record . We ended up working on 4 episodes which floored me. And jet lagged on top of it.

Ah, television production.

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Animation Business as Unusual Life in Art

December 2, 2016

Posted on by Joe Murray

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Animation Business as Unusual travels

December 1, 2016

Posted on by Joe Murray
Thumbnails from the upcoming Rocko Special

Thumbnails from the upcoming Rocko Special

Rocko Special Moves On

I can share these thumbnails from the Rocko Special board since we cut the scenes out later on. The project is under strict control after all. This was a scene where Spunky becomes radioactive after drinking a power drink. Poor Spunky.

What I can share is that the details are getting closely watched. We are painting the backgrounds traditionally rather than digitally. There is actually pencils and paper getting used ( which is a rarity these days). I’m enjoying working for Nickelodeon where I didn’t think I would, and my crew is full of superstars and future superstars.

Flying to Washington DC in a couple weeks to finish up details for the Luna Production. Want to get in there before Trump comes in and paints the White House gold.

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Animation Serious Thoughts travels WARNING! Political Views!

November 26, 2016

Posted on by Joe Murray
Rocko Crew hard at work.

Rocko Crew hard at work.

A Different World

I’m feeling like this is a different world since the election. Still in shock and grief. The Rocko special is about “Change” and this crew is definitely feeling it and dealing with it.

The special is wrapped in secrecy, so I can’t give many details about it online. Only that we have recorded the dialog, and are deep into design, backgrounds and animatic. I’m liking it a lot, and my co-director Cosmo Segurson is doing an amazing job. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Rocko office, but also going back to my studio finalizing details on the upcoming Luna production. Flying off to Washington DC in a couple weeks to short up plans with PBS. Then off to Korea in January for Rocko.

Feeling that my PBS show is needed now more than ever, dealing with the fact that we are all one world, many people, different but the same. That we all need to support each other and not “make walls”. Looking forward to start on it.

Moving forward.

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