CBC interrupts Bento Box presentation – makes proverbial Bull & China Shop seem like Baryshnikov on feathers

If you heard Barbados can get first foot in a world-class industry which can earn desperately needed foreign exchange for the country, would you just snatch a microphone from the lecturer just because Government officials were getting ready to speak elsewhere?

(CLICK FOR BIGGER) Bob’s Burgers is an animated comedy about a man, his family and their burger joint. Part of FOX’s Sunday “Animation Domination” lineup

That’s what happened at Hilton Barbados over the weekend when Joel Kuwahara, the co-creator of Bento Box Entertainment (makers of the Emmy-nominatedBob’s Burgerson Fox), was letting Bajan media learn of his experiences in using Toon Boom‘s software to streamline his company’s productivity by saving on paper usage (many animators the world over still use hundreds of forests to create frames and frames of cels, these are 24 sheets for ONE SECOND!) by drawing direct to hard drive…

I was even more disappointed since you may have thought a cameraman would have a vague fascination about cartoons since animators and himself look at moving images?  Oh, hell to the NEIN! Don’t believe me – look at the video, all of it!

That said, Mr Kuwahara gave a fascinating insight behind the details which apply to Bugs Bunny, Pixar or Mickey Mouse… Storyboard Pro from Toon Boom allows his studio to be faster, less bulky in not having to fly suitcases of paper to Korea in one day and the  multiple illustrations can be fine-tuned and work in conjunction with Wacom Cintiq while backgrounds can be created off Google’s free “Sketch Up” to do furniture and buildings in the background of the various characters.

It was an uphill battle to get Yeson Entertainment to adapt to the new methods,  the Korean firm mostly had animators who were over 60 and spent at least half their lives in paper as opposed to digital techniques, but once they finally embraced the difference they suddenly found their company which was lacking a next generation suddenly had  younger cartoonists willing to use the digital styles!

Joel Kuwahara (still holding the mic at this point) is a co-founder and principal of Bento Box. Joel oversees the production of the company’s pilots, special projects and visual development. In addition, Joel oversees the studio’s digital production pipeline and work-flow strategy and is an Executive Producer on Bento developed projects. {CLICK FOR BIGGER}

In both Kuwahara’s view and Toon Boom, Barbados seems the most likely Caribbean territory to embrace animation and can easily generate 1,500 jobs by 2015 since with the simplified animation both USA & Barbados can use FTP or large file transfers to ship cels for final approval.

The area the Bento Box co-creator sees opening up is “X-Sheet Prep” which is short for EX-posure, this is where a description of each character is listed from how any blinks of each eye to how many steps in a walk from A to B and what mannerisms and so on…

He feels Barbadians can make it worthwhile if they offer a competitive price, decent quality work with constant communication and a reliability where clients insist on repeating with us as opposed to Trinidad who is the next most likely Caribbean animator.

An upcoming project for Bento Box is with HBO for what was a fictional cartoon within the series  “Entourage,” but now is a feature in its own right – “Johnny’s Bananas“… This video is one of three, two more to come this week! Another from Joel and the main address from Joan Vogelesang of Toon Boom!

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