Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Very First Noel & The Unflappable Cheneys



I didn't draw this, but I'm in this picture (twice)!

Okay, so I've been privileged to be involved with some cool projects in the 14+ years since I moved to California to make my fortune in animation (actually, I initially moved out here to stake my claim in the great Gold Rush, but quickly learned I'd missed the boat on that one), but THIS project takes the cake!!

About seven years ago, good friends Yarrow and Carrie Cheney (they're good friends to me- they're married to each other) got this cockamamie idea, that they wanted to make a 3-D animated film, about the Journey of the Three Wise Men to the Nativity. The cockamamie part is they wanted to do it themselves, that is to say, without outside interference. and without target demographics, focus testing, backward ball-caps, and without being told that baby Jesus needs "more attitude", or the suggestion that- in the interest of selling toys- couldn't the Wise Men travel on skateboards instead?

Well, suffice it to say, that seven years later, through sheer, unwavering determination, and many of leaps of faith, the Cheneys and their support team (led by Carrie's parents- The ever-stalwart Buells of San Diego) have emerged with a holiday video that is sure to by heralded for all time! (Cue the trumpets). With an all-original script by Carrie, imagine a Christmas special, with the heart and Warmth of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, or A Charlie Brown Christmas, coupled with the beautiful, lush Art direction of ...say...well- Yarrow Cheney!

This movie is a treasure. You should get it. In fact you should do what I'm doing, and get it for everybody on your Christmas list. They'll be your friends forever . I'll go one better- if you have a friend that you'd frankly like to ditch- start by NOT getting them this movie. That should go a long way toward putting a rift between you.

Q: What does this have to do with me, you ask?
A: I'm glad you asked! (Here's the privilege part). I was asked to voice the character of Joseph, and also "The Tall Shepherd" for this special, and my lovely wife Cathy voiced the part of Mary. You might say she was blessed among actresses. What fun! And before you go thinking that I'm promoting this so that Cathy and I can retire from residual income, forget it. To the best of my knowledge- residuals for DVD sales (and cable- This special is airing regularly on DirectTV) are still pretty negligible. I'm pushing this special because it's absolutely delightful, and deserves any exposure it can get.

Q:Didn't you promise in an earlier post that you wouldn't be really wordy on your blog?
A: Uh...yeah..sorry about that, but my enthusiasm for this special predisposes me to effusive rambling.

ANYWAY, watch it. You'll be glad you did.For more, go HERE, or HERE, or buy it HERE.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

~soybean said,

"without outside interference. and without target demographics, focus testing, backward ball-caps" Wow, real artistic vision wins the day. It's so rare in the business we call show. and Ernie, I'm still laughing at the backwards ball-caps line!

Morgan said...

Hey Ernie.
Nice work I always knew you would make it.
Man are you good.
It is a pleasure to say I was one stage with a genious.
later,
Matt morgan

tims.email said...

Hi, Ernie! You don't know me, but I just found your blog and had to give you a shout out because 1) I'm an animator, 2) I worked on the amazing "The Very First Noel", 2a) I love Carrie and Yarrow, and 3) I play the ukulele. How cool is that???? I'm based in Dallas, where I'm a freelance character animator for Reel FX. I love your blog, and the uke tune is fantastic. You can find me on YouTube, avec uke. Just search for Tim Hatcher. Cheers!

Fish said...

I got a basketball Jones, I got a basketball Jones...Does that ring a bell? Greetings from an old Eastsider! I received your email my dear old friend (40 years ago- yikes)! Touch base with me when you can!

Anonymous said...

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