Friday, April 4, 2008


Shel here:

Time to introduce the exciting new collaborator on our film, the fabulous composer ROBERT LITTON.

We met Robert through our online animation buddy Ryan McCulloch, cuz as we all know, the online stop mo community COMES THROUGH!!.

We got super excited when we went to Robert's site ( and heard some of his stuff--actually Justin listened to ALL of his stuff, which is alot of listening! Don't let Robert's boyish grin fool you, not only is he incredibly talented, he's seriously experienced and PROLIFIC. Justin was especially excited by Robert's many orchestral works.

Even though we met Robert through our online friend that we thought lived in Australia (actually Ryan lives in Florida) turns out Robert lives just about 10 minutes away from us in LA. So the day after we started asking around for composer tips we found ourselve sitting at our favorite local Pho Noodle shop with the composer of our dreams.

Robert is instantly likalbe, and his integrity is obvious. At lunch, Justin mentioned he was thinking about violin and we told Robert about the film (but he'd already read pretty much the whole blog since we'd called him the day before so he was pretty up to date anyway).... mainly we talked processs and grinned and nodded and laughed alot....we liked that he doesn't use synthisizers, strickly hand played real live breathing musicians. We decided to meet again at our place in a few weeks when we'd have more complete rough cuts to show him and we left the lunch feeling thrilled.

what Justin was imagining......

A few weeks later and we were finally ready to show him what we have (thankfully he was still excited about the project after seeing the edits) we're all sitting at the computer, Justin behind me, Robert beside...and Robert busts out that he's been thinking about the main instrument to represent Gerald the Dog, and he knows Justin was thinking violin, but he's excited about well as guitar, bass and piano.....

what Justin was not imagining.....

Okay, so.....I have to say I LOVE HARMONICA cuz my grandpa played one and I love my grandpa. And, more to the point I suppose, I think it suits our dog and his story well..... But I KNOW my man, so i didn't have to be looking at Justin to feel his excitement leak out like a punctured beach ball behind Robert was talking back porch band, while Justin had spent years dreaming big orchestral strings and horns....I could feel Justin behind me p-r-y-i-n-g himself open to consider the shift. This prying due to the fact that Justin already has so much respect for Robert.....a less respected composer might have been dismissed at that point.

Robert wisely brought examples of music for us to listen to. It was cool to feel Justin behind me slowly puffing back up over the course of the discussion that followed, we talked about Harmonicas (how emotional they can sound), what Justin liked about violin (makes him feel stuff), piano (how it also has strings and makes people feel stuff), what didn't fit about orchestra (too high falootin' for our character and his situation); Cool Hand Luke and other prison movies with harmonica, what we didn't want the score to sound like (certain parts of the Muppet Movie or other "train travely" harmonica music); what the music's roll is in the film, how the characters have their own instruments and/or musical was fun to hear Justin (who remembers every score from every movie he has seen) and Robert (who has obviously studied the scores) reference movie after movie to describe what they were meaning. Robert was very patient and confident and by the end Justin was wide open again and in fact curious and excited about Harmonica, Piano, Guitar and Bass.

So that's our deal, we'll get the final edits to Robert in a couple months and he'll in the mean time play with some sounds (on his back porch presumably)......

And we're all puffed up again and cruizin fast into the end of this project....



Shelley Noble said...

Oh my God, Shel, what a great and well written post! This news is incredibly exciting! How perfect it will be. And how Robert harmonizes with the two of you and the project, in all ways!

Super news! w00t!

Ryan McCulloch said...

You got to love the way Robert can sell you on something you never imagined, cauz his scope and vision in that realm is so vast. He sees stuff we mere mortals can't (I never woulda imagined whistling in my score, but it's AMAZING). I can tell by the way he talks about the project, and you talk about him, that this will be a masterful collaboration. I am very very stoked. Congrats to you guys.

Aaron the Truck Driver said...

I like the titles to his music.

Dicky’s Dump Service.
Congressman Buck.

I imagine the names correspond to the scene in a movie but still its funny to see that as a title to an orchestra piece.

a, year? 6 months? A year and 6 months?

Ethan said...

I have to say your composer really brought it with the harmonica idea. From what little I have seen of your film it seems like a great choice!

jriggity said...

yes we are VERY excited!!I cant wait to hear the first notes on my cartoon visuals!

Ryan - yeah man the whistleing in your fox and calf really really works! I think I would have been scared if he told me about that and I had to imagine what it would be....I put my faith in him completely.

aaron - Im actually 3 weeks from finishing all the interior shots....and about 2 weeks more from finishing ALL my shots.

post production after that for a month to 6 weeks.

so .....I am shooting for a JULY release.I am targeting some film festivals around that time.

Ethan- thanks man....I think your right.

Ryan McCulloch said...

The Muppet Movie and everything about it ROCKS. Watch yoself!

Kevin Kidney said...

Fantastic! This is exciting, man!

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