02/23/07

Santa Claus is Coming to Town....Again?

Hello to all of "Gang of 7" fans!

Remember our Santa Claus project that we told you about in our earlier blog?

We thought you'd get a kick out of watching a small clip of our associate, Lou Scheimer, doing the narration of this fanciful piece in the studio of our musician, Will Anderson.

By the way, Lou not only ran the legendary Filmation Studios, but also did voices for a lot of his cartoons. A few of the roles which Lou played were "Ghostbusters" playing Tracy and "She-Ra: Princess of Power" in which Lou played Horde Trooper. Also, in "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," he also played Dumb Donald, Stinger, Legal Eagle....and many more.

So you can see, there's a real reason why "Gang of 7 Animation" is so absolutley thrilled to have the Great Lou Scheimer as an active part of our group.

Ok. So, this is how you retrieve this Quicktime clip.

Ready?

Just click on our Title "Santa Claus is coming to Town....Again?," then hit Play and...

Enjoy!

02/14/07

"ANYBODY GOT CHANGE FOR A DOLLAR?"

Well, you can bet your bottom dollar that “Gang of 7” is now in the process of taking the famous, best selling poster, “Change For A Dollar,” designed and drawn by our Associate, Bernie Wrightson, and working on turning it into the gem that it was always meant to be !

“Gang of 7” took the simple premise of the poster and managed to flesh out a terrific beginning, middle and end to compliment it. Making this five minute short was a delicious task and frankly, between Bernie’s phenomenal poster and the creative juices of our team, this is going to be a whole lot of fun.

Direrctor Rich Arons and Producer Tom Tataranowicz collectively directed this film. Tom “T.” wrote the script for this baby and Rick Maki storyboarded this fantastic, fun filled short unlike any other. So, the simple premise of this poster has more than fulfilled G-7’s view of Bernie Wrightson’s vision!

Keep watching for updates.

Oh yeah, WARNING… this baby is “R” rated!


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BERNIE'S POSTER!

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Our "Chap" friend!

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IS this guy not fully dressed?

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"Is this Guy's Head on straight?"

01/16/07

WHO SAYS SANTA CLAUS IS GONE UNTIL NEXT YEAR?

Happy New Year to all of our wonderful readers. Wow, it’s been a crazy month, moving into our new studio. We’re just finishing the last touches on it now and it’s gorgeous. So, forgive us for the delay on our Blog but we’ve been just a tad bit busy.

Our subject today is about a new project we’re developing. It’s a story about how Santa Claus came to be. Did you ever ask yourself where he came from? I bet you didn’t and just assumed he was always there. Nope, nope, nope…… there is history behind Ol’ Saint Nick.

Here’s our story….

We’re working on a project that originally came from our wonderful Associate Lou Scheimer. It’s called “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum. Yep, that’s right, the same guy that wrote Wizard of Oz. This writer is a jewel. So combine this incredible book with the powerhouse talent of Gang of 7 and you have a film in the making of considerable entertainment and, ahem, history…..sort of. I guarantee this is a show stopper. The Art is fantastic, the Story, the Narration, the Direction, Sound, Music……this is a keeper, a winner of grand proportion!

Lou’s driving passion for this project made it re-emerge with Gang of 7 and it has now come to fruition. We’re full speed ahead on this one and it is truly a fascinating story. Just before Christmas, (that’s appropriate timing don’t you think?) we got our Production Manager Deb, our Producer/Director Tom Tataranowicz, our Musician, Will Anderson, and of course Lou Scheimer to work on the narration part of this project.

Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), Tom T. directed, Deb took notes and Will did the sound and music while Lou narrated our wonderful , fanciful story of the Santa Claus most of you don’t know. We do, however, promise you’ll know soon enough!

So, stay tuned to what’s happening with this incredible group from Gang of 7 Animation (check our web site) and we’ll keep you posted!


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Lou and Deb at the recording for the Santa Claus project


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Lou and Deb sharing a joke between takes


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Will making beautiful music for G7


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Lou, Will and Deb

12/13/06

GANG OF “7” WELCOMES NEW PARTNER!

Talk about excitement around here! No, we’re not talking about the holidays. And we’re not even talking about the news that we happen to be relocating into a really gorgeous, new studio… that we’ll fill everyone in about at a later date.

No, we’re talking about Rik Maki, one of the biggest talents and names in the Animation Industry, joining our studio, “Gang of 7 Animation”. This multi-talented group just keeps getting more diversified and talent rich by the day. You can read more about Rik’s History on our Biography of Partners and Associates soon. In the meantime, let us talk to you a little about Rik. Ready?

Rik Maki was born in Canada. He played AA Ball for the New York Yankees Farm System and was close to becoming a professional baseball player, but hurt his shoulder so badly that he decided to try his hand at drawing instead. That turned out to be his real passion. Maybe it was fate! And lucky for the Animation World! Still, a warning to the wise: don’t ever get Rik and our Producer, Tom Tataranowicz, started on the subject of baseball. They’ll talk your ears off! (Side Note: Tom really, really hates the Yankees. This year’s butt-whoopin’ of those over-rated Pinstripers by the Detroit Tigers still has his head spinning in giddy delirium).

These two guys will also talk Animation all day long, which is really the true love of everyone at “Gang of 7.”

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, back to Canada and Rik…

He ended up going to Canawest Films Studio where he worked with a man named Lew Saw Caustraton. Rick started out cleaning animation cells, janitorial work, basically doing whatever he was asked to do. No work was beneath this humble guy. That didn’t last too long though, as his talent became obvious and he quickly learned inbetweening, break downs and animation in general. Rick got hooked.

Rik decided to come to Los Angeles in 1978 and started work at Hanna Barbara. That’s where he met our Producer, Tom “T.” There, he honed his craft and skills until March of 1983. Rik then moved on to Filmation Studio where he was hired by another one of our Associates, Lou Scheimer, who at that time was President of Filmation. There, he continued alongside Tom T. and also with our Director, Rich Arons. They all felt like they were working in a candy store, tasting and teething on all aspects of animation. Rik started out doing Assistant animation work and eventually moved into Development until 1989. He then worked at Marvel Studios for a few months.

Eventually, Disney Studio nabbed Rik from 1990 until 2006. Lucky Disney! Rik worked on Development, Character Design, Storyboards at Disney’s for such new animated Classic films like, “Lion King,” “Fantasia 2000,” “Hercules,” “Dinosaur,” “Atlantis,” “Tarzan,” “Hunchback of Notre Dame” and many Pixar projects, just to name a few. And believe us, there were many, many more -- We’ll give you more details soon on our Profiles section of our Web Site.

The truth of the matter is that we feel incredibly lucky to have Rik on board. Huge thanks to the Animation Gods who pushed Rik into the open arms of our creative environment. He has decided to move on and join “Gang of 7 Animation” permanently. Like I said earlier, we are more than excited.

By the way, did you know that Rik (at least this is what the Animation Gods tell us) was born with a drawing pencil in his little hand? We can’t remember a time when he wasn’t drawing. Rik is a natural talent that pushes that graphite effortlessly. What a joy to watch! In every studio he has been at throughout his career, Rik has consistently produced so many breathtaking drawings they could have wall papered the entire studio with them. This is one prolific and gifted Artist!

And lucky California Institute of the Arts because Rik has been, and is still teaching future Animation professionals for the last seven years. His students love him.

Whew! We could talk about Rik forever, but well… you get the point. “Gang of 7 Animation” and all of our Associates welcome Rik with the same joy we feel for our Film Industry.

We are all very much looking forward to spending the rest of our Artistic careers Drawing, Designing and creating inspirational films as an artistic force so powerful, so talented, so driven that there is no stopping this powerhouse of Artists now!

Thanks for becoming a full fledged partner, Rik Maki! Excited? Well, just a little!


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Rik working on project for G7.


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A production meeting in progress with Rich, Rik, Dennis and Tom.


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Tom exhibits his "authority" to Rich, Rik and Dennis...without much success.


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Rik is happy to be part of the "gang"...


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And we're happy he's here!

11/29/06

OUR "HATS OFF" TO LEILA

We thought that you might like to hear a little bit about an Intern of ours who eventually became our Production Assistant. Leila Tilghman is a graduate student at UCLA and is just about finished with her Masters Thesis. She started with “Gang of 7” over a year ago. Eager to learn the ropes, she volunteered full time, which is unusual for an intern. Usually we get a day or a half day of work a week from them.

Leila became an integral part of the team with her unbelievable computer skills and her tremendous work ethic, which is more professional than a lot of professionals. Last, but not least, she has the personality of a saint… always smiling, no job too difficult for her. She’s our right hand woman in Production and is invaluable.

She is proof in the “pudding” (or "cheese" when talking Biker Mice) that if you work hard at a studio, it is possible to move into a paying job. Our studio dogs, Loki and Snitchi, have fallen in love with her too and she’s become their official “Aunt”. They follow her around the studio and make their “Dad” Tom T. jealous. Dogs know a good thing when they see it. …and they wag those tails like a pencil to paper when Leila walks through the door.

She designed this web site that you are currently logged onto entirely on her own, and loves to draw caricatures of people who are so easy to affectionately make fun of. As in every healthy studio, the more practical jokes around a place, the more fun a work environment becomes. We hope to have Leila around for a long time as she has very much become part of G7’s family.

Soooooo… Hats of to Leila! You make work and our lives that much richer.

Leila taking a Happy Break!
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Kat,Leila,Deb,Leticia,Rich enjoying pure commraderie
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Leila's "Nephew" and "Niece"
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Lunch with Deb,Bernie Wrightson and Leila

11/21/06

"Happy Thanksgiving!"

Hello to all of our Biker Mice and “Other” Fans,

Forgive us for taking a slight break on our blog update, but we’ve been busier than ever working on our shows and developing some very exciting projects of our own. On top of that, we've been very busy mice-skis packing, packing, packing (mice are good at that you know).

It's amazing how much space art supplies, books, and film making parphanelia takes up. We're getting ready to move to a beautiful new studio. Our awards are heavy too! And speaking of the good stuff, Biker Mice is still the Number 1 show in all of England. Nice to know the Brits have such good taste.

We will be getting back to you and letting you know about some of our new exciting projects (Hint, Hint.... a short cartoon and several Features) and our latest new partner (until then, that will have to remain a delicous surprise). In the meantime, we all want to thank you for checking in so regularly and would very much like to wish you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

And for our friends abroad who have a different holiday other than Thanksgiving, we pledge to eat enough for all of you (that includes cheese)!

So, until then, we’ll get back to you next week after we recuperate from all of our fun.

10/20/06

A FEW ODDS AND ENDS

Hi everyone!

For starters, G7 Animation wants to wish one of our favorite Associates, Lou Scheimer, a super Happy Birthday! Have a great one Lou.

And just to give you the latest update on our Biker Mice series, we are still #1 in the U.K. Our fourth episode was the most watched yet, so each episode just keeps picking up more "Mouskie" viewers.

Biker Mice From Mars, getting bigger and bigger is becoming quite the phenomenon. We even have hordes of college students watching every episode in England. Biker Mice parties are beginning to prevail! Hope they like cheese for breakfast.(even though we know the Biker Mice hate cheese)

We're also really excited to say that Biker Mice From Mars will soon start in October in beautiful Finland and Australia. Crikey! How many "barbie's" will have to get cranked up for more Biker Mice hot dog Parties?

We'll be back next week with more exciting news, so keep checking in. Until then, "Rock and Ride!"

10/09/06

Voice Recording for "Biker Mice" Rock Opera!

Hey everyone! We just have to talk to you some more about this incredible Episode from Biker Mice from Mars. Gang of 7 is proud to say we use only SAG (Screen Actors Guild) as we are a union shop and that means one thing….all of our artists and actors are the best you can get.

Our Producer, Tom Tataranowicz created and directed the Rock Opera for the last show of “Biker Mice From Mars” and we’re extremely excited about this particular Episode. Why? It’s a mini musical for a half hour series.

This Brainstorm of Tom T.'s combined with a lot of hard work from all involved, including the Production Office, the Actors, and the Artists has created anything BUT an ordinary cartoon.

This is an epic onto itself that is original and entertaining and we’re chomping at the cheese waiting for this show to make it to the airwaves. Speaking of which, Biker Mice is a huge hit in Europe, Number 1 week after week after week……that’s right "numero uno". We’ll tell you more about that soon.

But for now, let’s say quality people doing quality work is once again paying off. Here are some clips of recording sessions for all of you to enjoy and hopefully get a glimpse of how intense, but totally fun making this show was. It is now in the process of being animated and we look forward to each and everyone of you “Mouskies” experiencing this show like a fine Camembert! Go on……chew on this one!

Stay tuned for Video Clips of our recording sessions in the near future!


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Producer Tom T. and Technicians working those actors!
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Jess Harnell playing Catorkian and Ratso!


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Dorian Harewood looking like a very serious Modo!
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Ian Ziering playing Vinnie and a Rat
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Dina Sherman playing Carbine and a Rat!
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Dorian, Ian, Dina, Lisa, Jennifer Hale, Jess, Tom T. and Composer Will Anderson and Rob
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Lisa Zane playing Charley and a Rat!
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Tom T. directing that recording session!
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Lisa "Charley" Zane taking a quiet moment before singing!
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Rob Paulsen playing Throttle and Hairball!

09/22/06

G7 INTERNS PAVING THEIR OWN WAY!

INTERNS WORKING WITH GANG OF 7!

What an unbelievable pleasure it is working with Interns. These people are college students looking to get the most experience they can, which is great for them and great for us. They help during production doing everything and anything from walking the studio dogs to helping get a shipment ready to go.

Our Interns see what affects Production in a positive way and what doesn’t. As a benefit, they almost always walk away with a whole new vision of what makes someone a true professional. It’s a real learning experience. Some of our Interns have even worked their way into full time positions and without a doubt, they become very much a part of our family. We love and value all of them.

Leila, Adrian, Sharon, Mike, Autumn, Kat and Rebecca are fantastic to work with. Many thanks to all of you.


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Leila and Kat taking a break!


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Adrian being his old "serious self!"


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Rebecca working the computer until it steams!


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Adrian and his lunch being "guarded" by Snitchi and Loki


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Autumn taking some time to smile for the camera

08/23/06

GANG OF 7 ANIMATION DOGGY MASCOTS

There is nothing more beautiful or satisfying than having special dogs as your friends. And what dog isn’t special in their own right? Our studio just lost one of our precious shepherds. Her name was Filchi, a long haired German Shepherd. She entertained us; spun around in circles like a true cartoon; made us laugh; stole our food when we weren’t looking (she demonstrated a special liking for egg rolls) and just basically kept everyone, especially our Producer, Tom Tataranowicz, company in his office all day long. She had a big time protective streak and specialized in guarding Tom's shoes.

Her companion was Loki, a mellow 100 pound Long Hair Belgian Shepherd. He lives to steal food and specialized in his "morning rounds" of scouting food from out of everyone's waste baskets. He had to go on a special diet, mainly no more pizza, because hanging out with our artists and staff, he was getting a little on the hefty side of things. So our Production Assistant, Leila Tilghman, and Deb would regularly walk the hounds to get relief so to speak. Anyway, we’re happy to say that Loki is now starting to have a waist again!

And then, there’s our newest addition to the G-7 pack... her name is Snitchi. See the similarity between the names Snitchi and Filchi? They both love to swipe food. What can you expect? After all, they can’t hop in the car and go buy their own, can they? So, not only is G-7 filled with creative artists from top to bottom, but so are our great furry mascots. You'd be amazed at how creative they can be when it comes to snitching food. Truthfully, these dogs are the Studio's true "Spiritual Leaders." They are always there for us when we need a hug or a lick.

Need stress relief? Get a dog or two. Need great animation... call Gang of 7 Animation. If we like you, we’ll even let you hang with our infamous “fuzzballs”. And keep your eyes open for the "Biker Mice from Mars" series where you will see these same hounds drawn and barking away. They can act too! And they don't even have to pay dues to SAG.

Also, keep your eyes peeled because our newly designed web site is just about ready to be put on the internet. You're going to love it!


Snitchi....pretending she doesn't know she's cute
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Loki and Snitchi taking a rest after a hard day of stealing food!
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Snitchi hanging out with Production Manager Deb!
Filchi our Princess!
Producer Tom T. sharing special time with our beloved Filchi!
Loki hugging our floor!
Filchi guarding "Dad" Tom T.'s desk!
Leila and Deb walking Filchi and Loki....or are Leila and Deb being walked?

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