jueves, 30 de diciembre de 2010

Satoshi Kon's Year?

Yeah, I know, I'm a perpetual tease about it, but one day I'll surprise you and finally get to write that retrospective on Satoshi Kon's films. In the meantime, I want to share a tought that has been bothering me. Two of the most popular films of this year (at least among the nerd crowd) were Inception and Black Swan, and both of them were widely compared to Satoshi Kon's last (Paprika) and first (Perfect Blue) movies, respectively.

I don't want to risk any conclussions, but isn't it odd that all this happened in 2010? I'm not talking conspiracies, here, but more rather a zeitgeist thing.

miércoles, 29 de diciembre de 2010

Tomorrow never knows

Who would have guessed that we’d make it all the way to the end of the year? Well, here we are and we’ll keep on rocking you like a hurricane next year. But first, we’ve got a long overdue message that we’d like to get across. Hell, it is our deepest honor to write these words:

As you might remember (or not), OKAM is NOT a blog about animation and various other forms of narrative. OKAM is actually a hard-working, ever-growing studio of pre-production for animated content and cross/trans-media integration. It has its own blog that I write and you read (or at least I wish you do), but it also has these AMAZING projects. And with AMAZING projects come the AMAZING people that have put their skills and hearts into making this dream come true.

Without further ado, the heroes behind the deed (and the respective blogs where you can see their amazing work and contact them):

The Undertaker Chronicles

Art department:

Juan Pablo Casini http://www.juancasini.com/

Animation Team:

Juan Fernando Aguilera
Luis Morales Ciancio http://chanchopunk.blogspot.com/
Fernando Witis
Nicolas Guidobono



Special Thanks!:

Emilio Gimenez Zapiola
Michael Peterson
Malena Suburu
Paula Arrieta
Eduardo Macchiarelli
Lorena Walker
Juliana Millan
Esteban Molina
Juan Pablo Casini
Tomas Castagnino


Art Team:

Ivan Olszevicki http://ivan-o.blogspot.com/  
Paco Caballero
Ignacio Lavizzari
Juan Pablo Casini

Special Thanks!:

Martin Garcia Dietrich
Santiago Casini


Art Team:

Nelson Luty

And, of course, our humble blog:


Like someone said before me: You know who you are! You fucking rule!

And if you want to know more about these projects, head over to OKAM's website. You'd be able to see all the love that was put into the making. 

lunes, 27 de diciembre de 2010

Top 5 Christmas specials of 2010

Well, just a couple of days ago was that time of the year again and, with it, came a cavalcade of season-themed features to populate our screens. Even though I’m not a big fan of the holiday and I’m fully aware that most Christmas specials are meant to establish a cheap sense of empathy with the viewers, I can’t help but feel a little warm and fuzzy inside. It must have to do with repetition making your inner child comfortable or some Freudian crap of the sort. So here are my top 5 Christmas specials of 2010. Now, of course, I haven’t seen everything that TV around the world has to offer, so this list is personal and restricted to that small percentage I’ve seen. Also, I don't care much about Christimas, so the list we'll be based strictly on how awesome the special was and not on how much it reflects the spirit of the season.

Without further a-do, the list:

jueves, 23 de diciembre de 2010

A little present for all our Argentinean friends

A friend of mine handed me down this amazing snap shot from Ralph Bakshi's classic, Fritz the Cat. What makes it so special? I don't know if you get to read the posters on the background, but they seem to be announcing a show from Argentinean legendary singer, Roberto Sánchez (aka. Sandro). It actually says "El ídolo de América. Sandro".

For those that don't know him, the man was a sort of Argentinean Elvis that, love him or hate him, helped to sexualilze our musical culture. He's the same kind of proto-rocker figure that the King represents and, today, a sort of kitch icon. He passed away almost a year ago, leaving us with a hole in our hearts.

Un amigo mío me pasó esta imagen sacada del clásico de Ralph Bakshi, Fritz el Gato. ¿Qué la hace tan especial? ¿Ven en los afiches del fondo la figura fantástica del héroe de América? Sí, ese es Sandro (cuyo nombre original era Roberto Sánchez). La leyenda de arriba del póster incluso lo corona como "El ídolo de América. Sandro".

No creo que sea necesario presentarlo en nuestra pequeña cultura hispanohablante, pero cabe destacar que, más allá de su iconografía kitch, es innegable el valor que tuvo al sexualizar nuestro panorama musical, herencia innegable que nos ha legado a quienes todavía creemos en el rock.

Les dejo esta rareza a modo de regalo de navidad, y espero que despierte en ustedes el mismo sentimiento bizarro y transcultural que despertó en mi.

¡Feliz navidad para todos y sigan animados!

martes, 21 de diciembre de 2010

Spot the differences!

Come on! Like you didn't see THAT one coming!

Anyways, Christmass looks especially jolly for all our friends in the UK with the return of the Once and Future Time Lord and Misfits special. It's been a long wait for the return of Doctor Who, but what really surprised me was to get one extra episode of the newcomer, Misfits.

Misfits feels like an indie superheroe comic made into a series, and we love it just for that. It's a little of fresh air in a market soon to be oversaturated by struggle between Marvel and DC franchises. Sometimes a little jaded and gratuitous but, just for that, a lot more free in its story-telling and mostly awesome!

If I don't see you before that, happy hollydays to everyone and a lot of envy to our friends in the UK for their awesome telly schedules.

lunes, 20 de diciembre de 2010

Farewell to late Edwards

This year we've felt the loss of many a good men. Satoshi Kon, Yoshinobu Nishizaki, Dino De Laurentiis, Leslie Nielsen and, now, Blake Edwards.

We'd like to remember the man as we see him on this video (sorry, but can't embed it). Check it out, and have one last, good laugh before the grief.


If you don't live under rock, you've probably heard of the second coming of the Humble Indie Bundle. Pay what you want for some awesome games and decide what goes to developers and what goes to charity.

But there's also the Bundle of Wrong, meant to help Rob Fearon recover from his pneumonia. And if that ain't enough for ya, another charity bundle rises from the hands at YAWMA. The Giving Game + Music Bundle only lasts for seven days, but changes which games + music are available every 48 hs.

So, it's that time of the year, again. Buy a game for almost nothing (for you or as a present), help out some charity and feel good about yourself. Everybody wins!

Hacked Earthbound

I just LOVE creative hacking and modding. It is one of the most inventive ways to play with a system and the results can be quite amazing. Check out this video, which is pretty normal and dull until 20 minutes in and then it becomes epically amazing.

Have any hacking/modding story you want to share?

Via: Blistered Thumbs

martes, 14 de diciembre de 2010

Alberto Breccia

A couple of weeks ago we were celebrating Cartoonist Day. The nice people from alberto-breccia.net wrote us some lines about our post and we chose to visit their site, where we found this little marvel. It is a documentary about the man himself, in English.

It is great to see it in this language and to be able to share the art of this genius with people that might not be familiar with him.

Via: Alberto-Breccia.net, of course.

lunes, 13 de diciembre de 2010

Wikileaks, animated

I don't know if you have been following the story, but this is kind of a funny way to be introduced to it. It is a story so big, so monstrously huge and grotesque, that this sort of cartoony, xavierrenegadeangel-esque presentation does it some kind of poetical justice.

sábado, 11 de diciembre de 2010

One Chance

Speaking about video games, I recently found this little gem, One Chance. It kinda reminds me of You Only Live Once. And Every day the same dream. Give it a play. After all, you can only do it once.

Kinda dig the whole 8-bit canvas look, though.

viernes, 10 de diciembre de 2010

EVA 2010

So, today and tomorrow we’ll be celebrating the EVA (Exposición de Videojuegos Argentina, or Argentinean Video Games Expo) here in Buenos Aires. There are some great lectures announced, and I’m specially looking forward to hear the Uruguayan Daniel Benmergui, from the infamously-popular-indie-narrative-experimental-breakthrough-flash-game, Today I Die (among other distinguished and interesting titles). Are you not hyped, yet? Check his site!

We’ll also be there, of course. Well, our team will be there, at the market. I’m kinda recovering from surgery, but I hope to be able to attend tomorrow.

lunes, 29 de noviembre de 2010

Makoto Shinkai’s scenery porn

Whenever someone mentions scenery porn as a commonly known trope, the idea that comes into my mind is that of compensation. When speaking about films, in general, I can picture wildly stylized photography of natural landscapes striping the attention from a lazy script layout and shaky narrative direction. Think about those films that were just gorgeous but a little flimsy plots, think about Aronofsky’s The Fountain, the watered-down Buddhist approach of Ki-Duk Kim’s Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring or Singh’s The Fall. It seems as if the directors were prioritizing eye-candy in an attempt to distract us from how thin the plot is spread, and it feels kind of dishonest and cheap. But luckily for us, this is not the only use of breathtaking scenery, and animation is a great place to start the discussion.

miércoles, 24 de noviembre de 2010

Mario Drawing Song

So here's a song that teaches you how to draw Mario. It seems that these are pretty popular outside our borders, but they look intriguingly foreign to me. I include here two more examples from the once and future masterpiece, Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei where, I think, the cast toys around with the song. Do you know any other drawing song?

Howard Glitch 2

So, here's a teaser for the new Howard Glitch. You can pay the first one here, for free. Animation has improved in the hands of Kai Vold in a sense that there's actual animation, now. And I like it. It reminds a lot of 4C° Studio's work:

martes, 23 de noviembre de 2010

Outing Pixar

Once again, we have a major name of the industry making a controversial video. Bold move from a name often asociated with family-values. Congratulations!

Via: Cartoon Brew

The Dalek’s new paradigm

I’m kinda a big Doctor Who fan. I’m not a flagrant whovian fundamentalist, not even an old-school follower, but for South American standards I think I’m alright. I’ve been aching since last season’s finale for something new to watch and calm my crazy cravings and now we’re just month away from the Christmas’s Special, when our Lord and Savior will return to grace the small screen. So, I’ve been thinking about writing some stuff about the show from time to time until our countdown reaches zero. And today is the 47th aniversary of the series, so it's a perfect day to start.

I wouldn't like to be Joss Whedon

After hearing Joss in the musical-commentary track of Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, I would expect him to look more like Alan Moore. Anyways, big fires spread through the internet as a reboot of the man's most famous franchise (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is announced and the original creator is left out of the picture. Newcomer Whit Anderson will be in charge of the writing and, while the web's unconditional love towards Whedon makes us biased, it would be too cynical to disregard the project completely this early on. Caution is adviced, though.

jueves, 18 de noviembre de 2010

Tom Waits Rotoscoped

So, Ralph Bakshi's interview is now being edited and I thought it was a good time to post this rotoscoped animation of Tom Waits. From the video's description:

Tom Waits performed in 1978 live at the La Brea stage in Hollywood, photographed and rotoscoped.The original live action was shot with 5 cameras - 2 high, 2 low and one hand held.. shot by Dan O'Dowd and crew..The music from "The One That Got Away" blared in the background as Tom sang the lyrics. Donna Gordon is the dancer performing as the stripper, 6 takes and 13 hours of video footage were edited to make a 5 1/2 minute live action short which we turned into animation. A total of 5,500 frames were captured, re-drawn, inked and painted by hand onto celluloid acitate to create this film. Produced by Lyon Lamb Video Animation Systems and directed by John Lamb, the film bore some cool new technology and talent ..and was created specifically for a burgeoning video music market that didn't yet exist and arguably may be the first music video created for the MTV market.However, a series of unfortunate events prohibited the film from ever being released or sold commercially, consequently catapulting it into obscurity.
In 1979, an Academy Award was presented to Lyon Lamb for the technology used in this short.

What amazes me is how many students or amateur projects have rotoscoped Tom Waits. He really must have something going for it:

And of course:

God, I love his voice!

lunes, 15 de noviembre de 2010

Reflections upon Setsuko's dressing scene

The first time I watched Grave of the Fireflies, one particular scene caught my attention. I think it was the scene after the beach, where both siblings have a nice day by the sea. Anyways, the thing is that after their day out, we can see a brief scene of the little sister, Setsuko, putting on her more traditional dress. Even though the moment is brief, it still caught my attention that they would so carefully animate such sequence and give it screen time.

The truth is that anime in general is filled with this kind of scenes that add nothing to the plot and tell us nothing new about the characters, but nevertheless are carefully crafted. They are the kind of scenes that you would expect in an Italian film, where the camera not only immerses in the fiction but acts as a documental witness of the reality it builds upon. Traditional cinema can have these shots easily by just filming what’s happening, but in animation they need to be crafted artificially; there’s a will behind there mere existence. So, why would a director take the time, money and skills to have them included in the movie?

miércoles, 10 de noviembre de 2010

Cartoonist Day

Alberto Breccia. AKA God.

Not long ago was animatiors day. Today I found out that here in Argentina, we celebrate cartoonist day (Día del dibujante).

It seemes that the date might have been selected to remember the passing of legendary comic book artist Alberto Breccia (there might be other reasons, but this one's the nicest). If you're Argentine, he needs no introduction. If you're not, go and google his amazing skills.

Well, once again, I'd like to congratulate everyone that can grab a pencil and make something beautiful. But with all this celebration around I have to ask: don't you ever work, people?

martes, 9 de noviembre de 2010

A method to its madness

There's a hidden email address.

Many of the things I like often get accused of being too random. This is a continuous debate among the fandoms of any given form of narrative: the one between the random and the you-just-don-t-get-it factions. Get in any 12 Oz. Mouse, No more Heroes or David Lynch forum thread and there’ll be people on both sides hurling their feces across the room. These discussions have become so clichéd that they are no longer boring, just plainly annoying. But I’ve been wondering if it was always that way.

Acually, I’ve been wondering a lot, lately. For example: I used to have to explain what “meta-language” meant, and now there are TV shows that self reference their humor as “meta”. We all know that nerd culture has become commercially successful, but we don’t, that often, ask ourselves how has that changed the way we perceive the world, and especially narrative, in its consumption and development. Don’t worry, I don’t even pretend to tackle such big subjects in one post. But I wanted to let you know this subject might become a series.

Anyways, back to the randomness debate…

viernes, 5 de noviembre de 2010

Bill Plympton – Interview

I know I promised it a long time ago, but it is finally here. Our interview with Bill Plympton.

The man needs no presentation at all. He makes and distributes his own films, all by himself. He’s kind of the king of independent animation.

A few things that were left out of the final cut:

    1) It seems that Bill is talking with some people at MTV that want to start a new internet animation channel, and they want to get him highly involved. There’s nothing official, but good luck with that, Bill!

    2) My beautiful voice. Now, seriously, that was a blessing in disguise. This was my first interview of this kind and I was kinda nervous. The new ones are coming better, but lots of thanks to Bill for his patience.

Also, he mentions in the interview the Guard Dog Double Jam, an effort to re-make his Oscar-nominated short with the help of 70 animators. Check it out! One of them could be you!

jueves, 4 de noviembre de 2010

Extra Credits - Facing Controversy

I was going to talk about last night’s South Park episode, about the reference to Miyazaki’s masterpiece My neighbor Totoro and last year’s reference to The killer joke (Thursdays are, after all, kinda my South Park days). But I’m not going to do that anymore.

In case you haven't heard of it yet, this is Daniel Floyd, James Portnow and Allison Theus’ show, Extra Credits, where they discuss different aspects of the video game industry. Daniel and James started making this kind of videos a couple of years ago under the name of “Talking about these”. The insight and the quality of their analysis set them apart from the rest of the video reviewers out there. They wrote some powerful stuff, but it took them ages to cook up new videos. Luckily, The Escapist cut some kind of deal and now we have them once a week.

The video I posted is a re-make version of last year’s show, and that’s why the references in it may not be that fresh. But I think it still is somewhat moving, and definitely worth a watch.

lunes, 1 de noviembre de 2010

Back to the Future, re-building the past

It’s been almost 25 years since Back to the Future graced the silver screen with its presence for the first time, and we’re bound to see all kind of homage and revivals. Luckily, this time around there are no revamped versions to stir up the fandom but, instead, we’re getting a video game from Telltale Games (Sam & Max, Tales of Monkey Island) based on the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown.

We all know that the translation from the big screen to the gaming world has one of the most infamous histories of our time. Most licensed titles tend up to be rushed and downright broken, due to the greedy efforts to milk the franchise of all that is worth while the hype’s still high. Nevertheless, there’s a new kind of game based on movies that doesn’t need to be butchered by release schedule of their film counterpart. These games are based on nostalgic and cult classics, revived to tell, once again, new tales from their dormant worlds. Among these we can count Evil Dead, Ghostbusters, The Warriors, The Godfather and, of course, the aforementioned Back to the Future.

jueves, 28 de octubre de 2010

International Animation Day

October 28th 1892, Charles-Émile Renaud presented for the first time his Théâtre Optique, the first public projection of moving pictures. In 2002 (110 years after the original event) ASIFA decided to declare that day the International Animation Day.

So I won't lecture you any further. Go and have a drink with your animators buddies. Celebrate. It's an order.

Here at Okam we wish a happy day to everyone that has worked on animation.

Congratulations & Cheers!

miércoles, 27 de octubre de 2010

Kill your Co-Workers

And now that I got your attention, "Kill Your Co-Workers" is the name of the psychedelic band, Flying Lotus', latest release. The video was animated by Beeple. But the story doesn't end there: what's nice about this news is that the models are open source, and there is an open invitation for animators to re-use them to make other videos. Here, the whole story from their page:

Flying Lotus and animator Beeple present brand new video ‘Kill Your Co-Workers’ taken from ‘Pattern+Grid World’ (out now).
In an open invitation to animators across the world to make new scenes and stories with the parade of fantastical characters that feature, the source 3D models have been made freely available for you to download and use in your own works.
Download the source files here – and
Upload your creations to this Vimeo group

More info at Warp.net

What I want to know if what do you think about this kind of initiatives. Good oportunities, plain fun or soulless marketing strategy?

Via: Flying Lotus

lunes, 25 de octubre de 2010

Annecy 2010

Sorry about the lack of updates, lately, but we’ve been busy with Max's (our very special covert-ops specialist and businessman extraordinaire) trip to Ottawa’s animation festival. And we take this opportunity to remember our experiences in Annecy, earlier this year.

After working hard on our project, The Undertaker Chronicles, last May we received a little note that confirmed that we were selected for Creative Focus. It was our first time at Annecy, and it served as a sort of rite of passage for us as a studio. Many of the people we know today we met during the trip or because of it. It was an experience that made us grow at personal and professional levels, and it meant a huge victory on the establishment of our brand-name.

But you probably don’t care about those things. What you want to know is how the festival was, who we met, and what was going on in there. So, without further ado, let’s dive into our perceptions of the festival!

jueves, 21 de octubre de 2010

The most awesomest thing ever: Prof. Layton vs. Phoenix Wright

OMG!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! It’s as if they made a Godzilla vs. King Kong or Superman vs. Spiderman or… Ok, I should stop trying to make comparisons right now.

So, in reality crossovers tend to suck, and for every Batman and Superman we get tons of Mighty Morphing Power Rangers vs. Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtles. And, let’s face it, the idea of mixing up these two game franchises sounds as awesome as terrifying.

More after the jump!

sábado, 16 de octubre de 2010

Killing Joke

While I try to gather my thoughts upon re-watching Perfect Blue and cope with everyday's life, I'll leave you to this little amateur, Lego, stop-motion version of the Joker's speach from The Killing Joke.

Now, I don't consider myself a big comic book fan. I like them alright, but I wouldn't be able to stand the simplest of trivia tests of comic book knowledge. That being said, The Killing Joke is one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. Alan Moore's script is so tight that the mood of the piece survives even a translation to Lego language. So why can't it survive Hollywood?

But the less I say about the movie adaptations of his works, the less people will be hurt.

Via: blastr

viernes, 15 de octubre de 2010

Okay, maybe I was wrong

Maybe South Park deserves back its crown of the edgiest TV cartoon in town. Not as surprising, but you can judge it for yourselves watching the full-episode here.

BE WARNED: It's South Park. You're bound to be offended.

jueves, 14 de octubre de 2010

Hilariously Stupid Commercial

Ok, this is a hilariously stupid commercial. Sorry, nothing intellectual, today. Let’s take a minute and play a game to see if you can recognize the song.

In case you haven’t noticed it yet, that’s He-Man’s theme song. I don’t think the original version had any lyrics, but you can check out the latinamerican version here.

The faces behind Tangled

Martina here will surely be happy with this. She's a huge Disney buff, and she's looking foward to Tangled.

I find the video intersting because it puts faces on the invisible people behind the product. It was made by Claudio de Oliveira and the story goes as follows:

“I had the great experience of working as an animator on Tangled,” writes Claudio de Oliveira, “and by the end of the production I found some time to put together this homage to keep some memories of the ‘people’ behind this amazing project. It would be great if you could pass it along and put some faces out, not only our work.”

Via: Cartoon Brew

miércoles, 13 de octubre de 2010

Only the good die young

By now, it should be no news that Satoshi Kon, at the age of 46, has passed away. And here, at Okam, we would like to bid our farewells to de deceased artist. We will be going through his works in future posts but, for now, we’ll pay our respect with silence.

Goodbye, maestro.

martes, 12 de octubre de 2010

Tale of a Forgotten Mascot

I found this video quite interesting.

I have not yet surrendered my love to Epic Mickey; years of gaming have made a skeptic out of me. But I have to admit that they know how to catch my attention. This video speaks about the inclusion of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in the game and I can sum up the ways this works up my pleasure-spots:

GEEK-TASTIC!: As any other geek, I love obscure characters, trivia facts and most pieces of information that have no real application on everyday’s life. This is no Kingdom Hearts. When they bring back a character that has no other target-audience than people like me, I feel loved.

GAMER CRED!: As a gamer interested specially in in-game narrative, I can’t wait to see how they worked out the relationship between the two characters. It seems that it’ll be determined through gameplay which, I think, is the smart approach for a gaming franchise.

SNOBISH CRITIC FEAST!: Oswald will be a character holding a grudge for being forgotten, resentful for living under the shadow of the replacing mascot. That’s pretty meta of them.

So, kudos to Warren Spector and Junction Point. We have yet to see if they can deliver in their promise, but at least they have me interested in this Mickey game. And believe me, that’s a hard one to sell.

lunes, 11 de octubre de 2010


I knew it! I always knew it!

Anyways, in case you haven't heard it yet, it seems that graffiti legend Banksy has created one of the edgiest things to hit TV this year. As a Simpson's intro of all places.

And someone at Fox greenlighted its airing.

Simply amazing.

PS: Am I the only one perplexed to find out that South Corea has unicorns?

domingo, 10 de octubre de 2010

Of Fritz and Bakshi

Ok, so we’ve made our first video-interviews that are still waiting to be edited. The interviewees are Bill Plympton and Ralph Bakshi, two names that carry a meaningful weight not only for the industry but also have a special space in my heart.

I’d like to talk about Ralph because, well, it’s been more than a decade since his last movie and he might need a bigger introduction. Thus I have decided to talk a little bit about Fritz the Cat. Don’t worry, I won’t be reviewing it, as many and better reviews can be found on the web. Besides, I don’t think I can be objective when it comes to Bakshi.

It’s a world of goo

By now, it should be no surprise that we love that little game called World of Goo. Going around the office and asking our staff about it, I was not very surprised to find out that everyone else shared my opinion. The conversation went something along these lines:

ME: So, what do you think about World of Goo? Like melted gold raining down my face.
MAX: That game is God!
LUCAS: Yeah, it’s the best game of the decade!

And the conversation went on from one hyperbole to another. Martina didn’t share an opinion because, as we all know from TV, girls don’t play video games.

Welcome to the next dimension!

So, this is Okam’s blog, a site where we can discuss animation freely, share some interviews with people from the industry we like, post some news about our projects and adventures and venture into some blatant self-promotion.

We hope you have as much fun as we do here, get to know us better and engage in the playful vibe that we intend to give to this site.

Still kinda sketchy, but working!

Sincerely yours,
Blog’s editor.