The Peak Oil Cartoon - Introduction (updated 2007, Sept 4).
Regular visitors will be familiar with the constant references to my Peak Oil Cartoon (filmed in glorious Doomervision). It's been in the works for a year and a half. By the time it's done, it will have taken over 2 years. To give you an idea of what it's going to look like, here are a couple of clips. The first illustrates the formation of oil during the Cretaceous era (about 95 million years ago):
The narrator is a temporary synth voice; I'll be replacing it with a human once I lock in the final script. These two clips are from sequence 1, a five minute primer on petroleum.
Barring thermonuclear war, I'm going to add another five sequences, dealing with Energy, Economy/Growth/Population, Food and Responses. The scripts are already written. I've assembled a ton of visual reference. Next, I do the storyboards, turn them into animatics, then start the animation. Animating the next 15 minutes will be gruelling. The first five minutes took about five months, just to animate...a minute a month. This was in addition to my full-time job (which involves 30 seconds a week of animation), updating idleworm, and the weekly "Worst Wing" cartoons, which each took a full Saturday.
Needless to say, this doesn't leave much room for a social life.
The second clip has a little character animation, and a more recent history lesson:
The last couple of shots are repurposed from the 1940s propaganda cartoons from Harding College. I re-animated the scenes from scratch, converting them to vectors. An excruciating process, but I now have the ability to re-time them, re-frame them, and export them at cinema quality resolution.
Once my move to Portland, Oregon is complete (late Oct/Early Nov '07), I'll be able to work on the film full-time, and try to achieve a two minute per month average. Assuming I can begin animation on the new sequences in early October, I think the whole thing should be complete next May/June, just in time for The End of The World.
This is a leap of faith. Giving up a full-time job to work for six months on a personal vanity project may seem nuts, but I need to do it. The goal of the film is simple:
To reach those people who lack the ability to visualise abstract concepts, such as EROEI, Exponential Growth, to name just two. It's one thing to read about exponential growth, but when you see it visualised as a simple graphic, the message may be more digestible. It's the only way to reach a generation that's been conditioned to process information visually...especially the younger cohorts, who have been neurally damaged by pop culture, music videos and trash food.
Here are selected screenshots from sequence 1:
I'll be releasing the movie no-charge (youtube/google video), and it'll be free for public screenings. I'm not sure how to make money from the blasted thing, as I'm no marketer, and I don't want to get into the business of selling more "stuff". If it drives traffic to the site, it would be nice to raise funds through the usual methods. If I can make around $800 - $1000 a month, I could pretty much live on that, and not have to work on commercial animation again...meaning, I can do a lot more work like this.
Comments are welcome in the Forum.