Twisted Shadow Puppets Production Diary
November 1st, 2004
Twisted Shadow Puppet Show
by Michel Gagné
July, I had a meeting with Anissa Dorsey, director
of development at Cartoon Network. Anissa expressed
her enthusiasm for my work and asked me if I'd
be interested in doing shorts for CN.
my return home, I started thinking about the
idea of doing another short film. After all,
it's been almost ten years since I finished "Prelude
to Eden". After a few weeks of brainstorming,
I came up with a concept for not just one film
but an entire series: Insanely Twisted
Shadow Puppet Show!
couple of months ago, while visiting Vancouver,
I met a young and extremely talented Flash animator
named Jayson Thiessen. Jayson showed me his work
and I was very impressed. Upon my return home,
I received an email from him. We started communicating
back and forth and eventually, I invited him
to my house. I pitched my series to him and he
loved it. I told him of my need for an amazing
animator and how I wanted to push Flash beyond
anything that's ever been done before. A deal
was struck, and Jayson became my "Insane
series will use a combination of softwares such
as Flash, After Effects, Photoshop, Maya as well
as traditional hand drawn animation. I haven't
been that excited about animation in a long time.
here to see the teaser!
a couple of weeks, I will be pitching the series
to Cartoon Network, Disney, and Nickelodeon,
and upon my return to the Pacific Northwest,
I will be pitching to the National Film
Board of Canada.
November 10th, 2004
Twisted Shadow Puppet Show 2nd
teaser is on-line!
like to thank everyone for the astounding
support I've been getting since announcing
my new project "Insanely Twisted Shadow
Puppet Show". I never realized how many
people wanted me to do more animated shorts.
Thank you all so very much. I'll try to live
up to the expectations.
working extremely hard and I regrettably
do not have time to answer every one of your
emails. I promise that I DO read them all.
all those who have sent me Résumés
and links to your websites and such, thank
you. I currently have a dial-up modem and
It's just too slow. I'm planning to upgrade
to high speed internet in the coming weeks
and I'll make sure to have a look at all
and enjoy the second teaser!
June 2nd, 2005
Twisted Shadow Puppet on Nick
by Michel Gagné
delighted to announce that Nickelodeon
has ordered 12 short animated pieces
of "Shadow Puppet" for
their Halloween programing. I'll
be directing, producing and designing
all of them. I've managed to gather
a small but incredibly talented crew
who will help me bring this insane
and spooky vision to the screen.
June 15th, 2005
Hogue and Andrew Scott Join the "Shadow
by Michel Gagné
pleased to officially announce the addition of
two fantastically talented artists to my small
Hogue (president of Sketchbook
Animation) is now working full time on
my short series for Nick. I am totally impressed
with this guy. The animation he's producing
is nothing short of incredible. We're really
pushing the bounderies of Flash Animation and
Mike has an in-depth knowledge of the software.
With the combined talent of Mike, Jayson Thiessen
(the original Shadow Puppeteer) and myself
(hope I don't sound too much like a megalomaniac
here), I'm confident that these short pieces
are going to be visually stunning.
asset to our crew is Andrew Scott,
my sound architect. Andrew's delivering some
awesome stuff. Working with "Frankenstein" equipment,
he's accomplishing miracle on a budget.
receiving a huge amount of emails and I do not
have time to respond to everyone. This project
has practiquely taken over my whole life (I've
been working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day since
starting production). Thank you for all your
crew for Shadow Puppet is now complete and I'm
no longer looking at reels or portfolio. If we
need help in order to meet our deadline, I'll
post a notice on the website. In the interim,
please understand that I do not have time to
review work emailed to me.
August 24th, 2005
Puppets - It's a wrap!
by Michel Gagné
done it! We just wrapped up production on the
first 12 "Insanely Twisted Shadow Puppets" bumpers.
We finished post-production at Rainmaker Studio
in Vancouver yesterday and the broadcast masters
have been shipped to MTV Networks in New York.
small crew really came through on this. It was
a lot of hard work but it really paid off. The
shorts turned out beautiful.
first, I was a little nervous about using the
Macromedia Flash software as our main production
tool. I really wasn't sure if I would be able
to get that smooth, classical animation look
I was after. I didn't want to have that "cut-out" feel
associated with most Flash animation. Well, Mike
Hogue, who became the main animator
on the series, quickly put my mind to rest with
his dazzling skills. What he has accomplished
here is unlike any Flash animation I've ever
seen! I really have to give him a big tip of
the hat for putting up with all my nitpicking,
although I'm sure he will agree that it was well
props as well to Jayson Thiessen for being the
first shadow puppeteer and proving that my vision
could be done using Flash; and to Andrew Scott
for labouring over every details of the soundtracks.
bumpers will be featured on Nickelodeon as part
of the "Halloween Shriekin Weekend".
which will run from the middle to the end of
October. Working with the people from MTV Networks
was fantastic. I was given full creative control
and they were receptive to all my crazy ideas.
top it all, I was delighted to get permission
to feature all the films on my website starting
November 1st. So be sure to come back here on
that date. You'll be very happy you did!
November 1st, 2005
Twisted Shadow Puppets
on the banner below and watch the first 12 animated
interstitials I created for Nickelodeon!
Twisted Shadow Puppets Update
smoke! Thank you so much for the amazing feedback.
The response has been incredible. A lot of people
are really digging the spots.
out the responses to the notices I posted on Animation
Nation and the Flight
from all over are spreading the news. Check these
influx of traffic caused the website to choke
for a couple of days, but I quickly had the level
of bandwidth accessibility raised to accomodate
very encouraging to get so much support.
November 9th, 2005
Rejected "Insanely Twisted Shadow Puppets" Episode
the middle of producing the interstitials for
Nickelodeon, I started feeling like they were
not scary enough - so I decided to try and push
the edge a bit. The result was the first version
of the "Nightmare". (Read
August 15th, 2006
Twisted Shadow Puppets" at Siggraph 2006
it was announced that "Insanely Twisted
Shadow Puppets" would be shown at Siggraph
2006's Electronic Theater, Mike Hogue,
who animated on 3/4 of the shorts, immediately
purchased tickets to go partake in the event.
Unfortunately, I had other commitments and couldn't
attend, so I made Mike promise that he'd send
me a full report upon his return. Here
October 31st, 2006
2006 Electronic Theater in Montreal
you live in Montreal, you might want to check
out the SIGGRAPH 2006 Electronic Theater screening
on November 1st. From what I hear, this is a
superb program really worth your while. The screening
features several ground breaking shorts and clips,
as well as my Insanely Twisted
Shadow Puppets interstitials. This might
be your only chance to see these on a big screen.
We created a hi-rez master specifically for the
was also delighted to see that Siggraph used
one of my "Shadow Puppet" images to
promote the screening. Cool!
here to find out more about the event.
Twisted Shadow Puppets Wins Awards
at Flash Animation & Motion Graphics
happy to report that "Insanely
Twisted Shadow Puppets" has been selected
as a winner in the 2007 Best in the
SW : Flash Animation & Motion Graphics
Awards in three categories:
Best of Show
- Best of Show: Animation
- Best Animated Interstitial
see the complete list of 2007 Best in the SW
Award winners, click