Tony Sealy is an animation and VFX director with more than 25 years of experience in animation and post-production.
Tony established Intense Animation Studio in 2003. Intense has created a peerless reputation for high value technical and creative execution of TV commercials, broadcasting, engineering and interactive projects.
In these pages you will find TV commercials and broadcasting projects. For engineering and interactive, kindly click the Intense Animation Studio link below.
Such a sad day was Monday. I learnt of Tony Scott’s passing while reading the morning newspaper (online as is the way in modern times).
I am still trying to understand how such a gifted man with a stellar career by anyone’s standards; a beautiful family and (in all likelihood) a truckload of money would be motivated to end his life. Presumably the speculation will continue for many weeks, even after the coroner’s report is released.
My favorite piece of Tony Scott’s work is True Romance. This was the film made from Quentin Tarantino’s script that he sold (depending on who you believe) to fund Reservoir Dogs, but I’ll leave the extended critique of Tony Scott’s career to others.
There are many of us who have been affected by suicide…friends, and family members, acquaintances. There are also many of us who have visited those dark places where it seems that nothing in life makes sense any more and the outlook is too bleak to keep going. Somehow, we struggle onwards, seeking better days.
Tony Scott’s family has denied he was diagnosed with brain cancer, something written in early reports of his death.
The world has lost a visionary filmmaker and we are all poorer for his passing.
I suppose most of us take only a passing interest in Batman movies. They come along; we go watch and then wait a couple years for the next one. For me, it’s a bit more than that. I’ve been a Batman comics reader all of my life (now 44 years old). I have so many comics that I can rarely buy new ones, worried I am buying reproductions of episodes I already own.
As a kid I watched the Adam West TV series and couldn’t work out why the comics and TV show were so different. The whole camp thing with Robin was lost on me at that age. The fight scenes got me jumping around the place me but I thought the big graphics (wham, biff etc) superimposed over the punches were some kind of censorship.
In the late 80’s I read “A Death in the Family” and somehow the political commentary and the death of Robin took this character and his story to a level I have not previously understood in comics. Principally Robin’s death (at the behest of the readers) turned Bruce Wayne into a violent, possessed and conflicted superhero. In subsequent years to Robin’s death, the comics contained their fair share of fantasy but a whole bunch of real world issues (in one series Batman had a steroid addiction). More than ever before, Batman became interesting.
Then along came the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher. For someone like me who considers myself a “pure” Batman fan, their movies were torture. Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney, all great actors with stellar bodies of work played the Batman and in my opinion, the concept regressed to the days of the TV series. Watching Arnie as Mr. Freeze is so corny it’s not even funny.
From my perspective the revival began with Christopher Nolan’s films. Annoyingly the first movie revisited the origins of the Batman that I thought was unnecessary. Other than that, Mr. Nolan has done an outstanding job and his films rate as some of my favorites.
But what happens now? Batman movies are always commercially successful, so it’s hard to see Warner Bro’s never making another one. How many have they made now? Is it eight? The debate for the hardcore fans is who gets to direct and whom do they cast? These discussions are not new by any means but my point is that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have set the standard incredibly high.
It’s going to be a very hard act to follow.
There is real trouble in the VFX industry in the US. Despite the massive number of VFX-based movies being regularly produced, VFX is an industry in crisis. The US dollar has been under severe pressure for some time, so this isn’t helping. Films being released into overseas markets are not making the money they used to, but this is only one of the symptoms.
The real crisis is the financial pressure applied to VFX, animation and post production studios who are being squeezed by movies studios and clients like never before to create more work for cheaper fees. The US has a very transient labour market in this industry, many people are hired on contract or freelance basis so they work without health benefits or any kind of insurance plan. Because VFX is deadline sensitive, many artists are obliged to work long hours and weekends, often without additional compensation. The VFX companies are delivering content for movies and TV shows at a fixed price so they are hardly in a position to pay overtime.
This author has some very strong views: http://www.visualeffectssociety.com/node/2425
But the pressure has moved past squeezed budgets and tight deadlines. Movie studios outsource as much work as feasibly possible. Asian and European countries with lower socio-economic levels can provide cheaper labour than the US, although the quality is debatable. The result is US artists are working longer, for cheaper wages (with little job security) in an effort to compete.
Therein lies the dilemma. What can US studios (or artists) do to stay competitive? Adapt and change? With such high living standards in California in particular, this is not easy without severe economic changes (rationalization) and history tells us society resists this to the bitter end.
This author has some very sensible responses to the first: http://www.awn.com/blogs/idea-pioneers/examining-ves-open-letter
Once the pillar of the Californian economy, live action TV shows have been taking a beating in recent years. The advent of more and more reality TV has seen TV drama in steady decline for about 15 years.
Yet there seems to be “old-fashioned” TV drama production holding out against the tide. Sons of Anarchy (SOA) is certainly not the only TV drama still being made, there are plenty of others and those formulaic police dramas (CSI, NCIS etc) are as popular as ever.
SOA is a TV show about bad people, generally doing bad things. Gun running, murder, extreme racism, drug manufacturing and pornography are some of the subjects that would not make this a popular show in Singapore where the locals have been force-fed the sub-standard Mediacorp swill for decades.
This is an interesting article how TV production actually contributes to the economy and why there should always be a place for stories about human frailties.
It’s not often that rugby league and animation collide. Now I have a chance to share something with you from both of these seemingly disparate worlds.
First a little bit of background. Rugby league is a game played primarily in Australia, although also played in the UK, New Zealand and France, Australia is the primary market. Rugby League is not to be confused with Rugby Union and the recently completed Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. These are actually different games (although very similar).
Like most professional sports, Rugby League has its fair share of controversy. Sydney newspapers are filled with Rugby League player indiscretions and adventures. One of the most notorious is a guy called Todd Carney. He’s been shown the door (Aussie term for sacked) from 2 clubs and now moves onto his third next season. He is still only 25 years old. All of his misadventures are alcohol related and he admits to having a drinking problem. But Carney is a professional sportsman and drinking and sports are closely related in Australia and therefore excesses are generally tolerated, no matter how damaging.
What made me laugh was the Taiwanese animation company, NMA caught onto the drama surrounding Todd Carney and created one of their funny animated shorts about him. Now he is up there with Obama and Tiger Woods.
Check it out here: http://www.nma.tv/rooster-todd-carney-blown-chance/
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The rugby world cup is over for another 4 years, for us Australians anyway.
Watching the Wallabies has long been an exercise in frustration, certainly for me and probably my furniture and the neighbours too. Thankfully, I don’t have a dog.
You can’t deny New Zealand, they are just very, very good. There was a kind of inevitability about Sunday’s game. Australia didn’t want to win badly enough in contrast to last week against the Springboks when they were sufficiently bloody minded enough to prevail despite the lack of possession and territory. Against the All Blacks, without the majority share of possession, you’re sunk.
I realise Justin Marshall is employed as an expert commentator because he was such a great player, this is generally the case in sports, but he does himself no credit with his All Blacks bias. Coming from an Australian, this is hardly objective. We have so many biased sports commentators it’s not funny, but listening to Justin Marshall is painful. In some ways I can understand. Marshall was belted by George Smith in 2003 when the All Blacks lost the corresponding world cup semi-final to Australia and he is still very bitter. This much is very obvious in his commentary as he clearly wants the All Blacks to win the world cup, something they were unable to do in his time.
This time, they are good enough.
The All Blacks don’t have the same attack without Dan Carter, he is irreplaceable. But their defence and forward domination is amazing. They belted the Wallabies and established a physical domination that won them the game. Will Genia and Quade Cooper must be very tired of getting poor quality possession on a regular basis. Genia was assaulted at the back of a ruck again in much the same way he was manhandled against Ireland, this time by Richie McCaw. The clean out around the ruck by the Kiwis was very impressive and the French will have to be very physical to counter this. Luckily this is something they do very well.
Which French team will turn up? The sorry mob who lost to Tonga? Or the dominant team who belted the sad English.
I can handle the Kiwi’s winning the world cup, they have a heck of a good rugby team. As an Australian, at least we made it further than the English, so one of the boxes was ticked.
Next week, I will still be obligated to go for France.