Ink and Paint Pays Off
|John Kricfalusi's version of The Simpsons couch-gag sequence.
When celebrated Animator John Kricfalusi (creator of Ren & Stimpy
) was asked to create a couch-gag sequence for the opening of The Simpsons
(which aired last October) he needed some help. Unfamiliar with CG (computer generated) animation and digital ink and paint technology, he hired Alums Sarah Harkey
(BA '11) and John Kedzie
('11) to assist with production.
, like most traditionally animated TV shows, has a very controlled visual style akin to its Flintstones
forefathers. In this 35-second sequence Kricfalusi transformed this rigid style into a freewheeling art form, discarding all traditional approaches to creating animation.
Kedzie said, ”I love working for Kricfalusi, he's hilarious! He has taught me a lot about cartoons and 2D animation fundamentals that I can apply to the CG teachings I learned at Columbia College. One of the great things about working for Kricfalusi is that I'm not pigeon-holed into one job. He has had me work on everything from game coding to CG modeling to compositing. I think I've also learned a lot just from getting to watch his creative process!”
"Kricfalusi has taught us a lot about what it is he looks for in animation, drawing, and story,” added Harkey. “Through working on projects such as The Simpsons
couch gag, I've been able to expand on the fundamentals of animation and drawing that I learned at Columbia, while incorporating some of his guidance. It has been an amazing opportunity to gain real-world working experience while continuing to learn about animation every day.”
It seems that the respect is mutual. “It has been my pleasure to work with John and Sarah on a number of jobs in the last year,” said Kricfalusi. “John has been helping me with technical problems, building characters, and bringing me into the 21st Century, while Sarah has been invaluable to me as an assistant animator and painter.”
Kedzie and Harkey continue to work for Kricfalusi in addition to various freelance projects since graduating from Columbia. But, perhaps, their biggest collaboration is yet to come as they are now engaged to be married.