Wednesday, August 29, 2012

TV Animation Writing 101 - Intro To Lesson One

The time has come, dear reader of Froynlaven, for me to pass the baton to a younger generation; a generation that yearns to write in that most noble field of TV Animation. Why they yearn to do that is unknown to me. People's yearnings are very personal. I think Virgil expressed it best when he wrote, "I yearn. You yearn. We all yearn for something." (Interestingly, it was Horace Lombash who, while working in the marketing department of the Des Moines Creamery in 1893,  modified Virgil's immutable words to 'I scream. You scream. We all scream for Ice Cream.' Lombash's popular saying helped ice cream sales to skyrocket. By 1894, the Des Moines Creamery was the largest manufacturer of Ice Cream in the Northern Hemisphere. Sadly, in 1895, a rabid beaver attacked the Des Moines plant, leading to the death of most of the creamery's workers. Horace Lombash was spared, but never worked in ice cream again. He disappeared. 10 years later he resurfaced as First Lady of Bolivia.)

And so, I bid a fond adieu to writing TV Animation. It has been interesting, sometimes fun, and incredibly lucrative. I've been able to purchase three homes, five private jets and a wide array of personal, exotic luxury watercraft. Not to mention a Panda called, Xia Lu, which lives in my sprawling back yard behind an electrified pen. (Pandas are very cute. But I've learned the hard way; DON'T THROW BANANAS AT THEM.)

And please...fear not. I am not retiring. I am simply shifting my focus to different writing endeavors. I shall hopefully be able to talk about said endeavors some time in November. 

Anyway, I think it's only fair that I at least attempt to teach some of what I know about writing TV Animation to whoever is interested. Lessons will begin tomorrow. I will teach you what I was taught on my first day at Warner Brothers Animation. It's a style of writing TV Animation that I think you'll find interesting. It's also really useful.

My course is free. Because I am incredibly rich and can afford it.

Join me tomorrow for Lesson One.

Monday, August 6, 2012

And THAT'S How You Land A Rover On Mars!!!

Forgive me for a moment while I geek out and make a total fool of myself.


A photo taken my the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which shows Curiosity hanging from its supersonic parachute as it drops toward the surface of Mars.
Had you been at the Rugg homestead last night at around 10:31 PM, those are noises you would have heard me make as we watched the newest Mars rover, Curiosity, triumphantly touch down on Mr. Bradbury's wonderfully red planet. (I'm not entirely sure what SNNNNNNERBY means. But it's a good noise. A happy noise.)

Long-time readers of this inestimable blog are well aware by now that I'm a bit of a fanatic about aviation and space. I am, as my wife informed me, a "Rover Hugger". That's a term she found on the internet that describes people like me who avidly follow the comings and going of those plucky little robots on Mars.

Had I not been one of St. Viator Elementary School's "worst students of all time" and unable to tie my shoes  until I was 17, there's a good chance I would have been a brilliant engineer that made cool Mars rovers. However, as one of St. Viator Elementary School's worst students of all time and unable to tie my shoes until I was 17, there was little I could do except for TV Animation.  (On a side note, I recently  came across a letter written to my parents by my 8th grade teacher which stated, "We feel Paul will need constant care throughout his adult years. Please plan accordingly. We can recommend a number of wonderful group homes.")


Curiosity is safely down on the surface of Mars and the whole thing couldn't have been more exciting. Seriously. If you don't believe me, then please take the next 5 minutes to watch what it had to go through.

I hope you watched that and didn't just pretend to watch that because it's really cool. And if you did just pretended to watch it, but are now feeling somewhat sheepish and slightly curious, go ahead and watch it now. Go ahead. Don't be shy. We'll all wait.

Pretty awesome, right? So there we were last night watching all of this live. In the weeks leading up to the landing I had forced my family to watch the above video countless times. (That's the video I asked you to watch and you did. Right? If you didn't. Do it now. There's still time. Seriously. Don't be ashamed. Just do it.) So, having watched the video, we all knew the various things that had to happen as the rover made it's way down. Luckily my family got into it and you would have thought it was the superbowl. When we heard that the parachute had deployed, we clapped. We we heard the heat shield had come off we clapped. When we heard the rockets had fired for powered flight, we cheered. When the sky crane started doing it's thing...I think that's when I made my SNERRRRRBY sound. And when Curiosity said it had arrived, I jumped up and down. Cuz it's cool. And there aren't enough cool things happening today.

Thanks to the rock star engineers and scientists at JPL for putting some cool back into the world. It needed it.

Now if you'll excuse me, we're going out and I need my wife to tie my shoes.