Thursday, December 14, 2006

Very First Post

Our very first post on our very first blog about "The Very First Noel"!


This is a project that my wife, Carrie, and I have been working on since 1999 under our company, YCB Animation, Inc. Earlier this year we sold the project to Exclaim Entertainment, a division of ReelFX in Texas! We spent 13 weeks in Dallas finishing the project with the talented crew at ReelFX (check out the cast and crew).

They did an amazing job and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

Right now it's playing on DirecTV. You can also buy it at Wal-Mart or go to the show's website (or amazon.com, bestbuy.com, or familylife.com, etc.. ).


I thought I could lead off with some of my color script paintings from the show:




The image below is our "family portrait". We created this image before going to ReelFX to give them an idea of the feel and scope of the project.



Here are a few stills from the film:

These first two shots were lit and comped by Mandy Au...


If you compare the shot below with the seq. 9 color script above you can see how she nailed the lighting!


Jeff Alcantara, our super talented Lead Lighter, lit the shot below. He had to blend 3D grass with the grass on the matte painting amongst about a million other things to make this shot work.


This shot was beautifully lit by Jorge Obregon...


Another Jeff Alcantara shot...


There are hundreds of other shots that we'd like to put up, but this'll have to do for today.

Joy to the World!
Yarrow

99 comments:

Ernie Gilbert said...

The very first comment, on the very first post, on the...

YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!! This stuff is a good indication of why the movie turned out so beautifully. You are both ridiculously talented, and frankly, you make me sick. BUT- that said- if there's any way I can ride on your coat-tails?- I'm there.

The film is gorgeous, and charming, and touching, and clever, and funny, and very, very special. We're delighted to add it to our collection of holiday favorites- (A Charlie Brown Christmas, all of the Rankin and Bass specials...) You've really captured a genuine warmth, and heartfelt sincerity that is all but lost in the offerings of today, and I have to salute you. Plus those sheep are funny. Now stop reading, and go make another one!

...really.....go...

Jun said...

Wow, this is all really beautiful! Welcome to the blogosphere!

Yarrow Cheney said...

Thanks, Ernie. And for anyone who happens by this post, The above mentioned Ernie Gilbert is the voice of Joseph and Tall Shepherd in The Very First Noel (in addition to being a super talented designer and Art Director).


Jun!

Thanks for welcoming us to the blogosphere. Do you have a blog? See, two days into the blogosphere and I'm already pressuring other people to start blogs.

-Yarrow

Shane P said...

This is how its done folks! Those thumbnails are EXACTLY what the film looks like. BEAUTIFUL! This film is so unbelievable in every way!!! Congratulations Yarrow and Carrie. You guys are my heroes.

Jun said...

Ya of course I have a blog, but it's a blog-within-a-website. www.stonefalconproductions.com
=)

Anonymous said...

The Cheney's

Congratulations on getting this sight up and running. Hopefully even more people will become aware of your amazing work. We can't wait to see what you two do next.

Todd, Laura and Lucy

mike . . . said...

Yarrow and Carrie!!!
hope all is well!
i'm so glad to have found a way to get in touch with you. i was in Texas at Thanksgiving and around the last day, i found your film in Walmart. i immediately was drawn to the visuals,and bought it before even seeing your names on the credits. well, i crammed it into my suitcase to enjoy at home with the family.

wow. just simply, wow.

what an absolutely wonderful and charming and beautiful little Christmas special. nothing has come out in a verrry, long time that has captured such sweet charm and appeal. this definitely has become one that we will watch every Christmas . . . and probably more. :)
i wish you both the very best. i'm so happy and proud of ya.
good job!

take care,
mike kunkel . . .

Matt J said...

Gorgeous work! Looking forward to seeing the film. Will it be distributed in the UK & Europe?

Yarrow Cheney said...

Shane, Thanks! We need you on our marketing team. You're not busy, right? GO GILROY!

Jun, Oh yeah, I've even been there. I didn't realize it was a blog. I'm new.

Todd, Laura and Little Nacho, Thanks! You guys are swell!

Hey Mike, Thanks. It's good to hear from you! We love that you bought the show before knowing it was ours. It's fun when people just stumble upon it. Merry Christmas!

Matt J, Thank you. Right now it's only being distributed in the US. You should be able to buy it from places like amazon.com but the DVD will be NTSC and region 1. We would LOVE to see it over there in the future, especially since the Wise Men are celebrated so much more in Europe than they are over here.

-Yarrow

OV! said...

Y,
i saw this posted on storyboredom a couple weeks ago and ordered it on amazon. this is a great film man, and a classic in my household. thanks for doing a true and pure Christmas film about the meaning of CHRISTmas.
my 4 year old daughter loves it and i think ive watched it with her more times than you have making it.
anyhow, i posted a link to the website on my blog and ill link up your new blog.

great work!

cheers>oVi

Lo said...

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph - and the Sheep. Clearly I think "The Very First Noel" is the greatest thing since the creation of the Zinger (whatever with the sliced bread - I'll grab a hunk - but a Twinkie with frosting - hello). You guys are too legit to quit. I am with Ernie/Joseph - get back to work - we want more.

Yarrow Cheney said...

OV!, Thanks! I'm glad your daughter likes the show. And thanks for watching it over and over again! I was just over at your site. Your stuff looks great. Your designs are really appealing. Thanks for linking us on your blog, I'll do the same. Hey, a few of the people that worked on VFN are up at Laika now. Chris Tran (modeler) and Rogerio Mendez (TD). If you know them, tell 'em Hello for us.

Lo, We agree. Zingers are way better than sliced bread. Especially the vanilla flavored ones.

-Yarrow

OV! said...

Y!
hey man, thanks for the link and kind words about my work!
i dont know those two guys you mentioned but ill find them and let them know you say hi. im sure ive crossed paths with them already a few times. i dont really know too man CG people by name.
ill stop by regularly and if you ever need a hand building a project, im up for it!

Godspeed,

>oVi

Armand Serrano said...

This is fantastic and beautiful. Love the design and athmosphere. Honestly, I still have to see this for i've been hearing good things sbout it from peers in the industry. I congratulate you for coming up with this and i hope there's more to come the same genre.
Thanks for the comment on my blog and keep in touch.

SIM-R said...

Really love the warmth of the colour choices and the general overall direction that they bring to the piece . The lighting is working beautifully and gives an ambiance to the sequences above that is truly splendid .Sweet stuff and I can't wait to see more .

Marcelo Vignali said...

Merry Christmas Yarrow!

TotalD said...

Yarrow is the best %$^#@ cartoon art director on the whole planet ! Can't wait to see this =) You and Carrie RULE!

Leroy said...

Hey Yarrow and Carrie.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

The Very First Noel was absolutely the greatest...as we knew it would be.

Betty and I have watched in at least 15 times so far. We love everything about it. It was beautifully done.

I find myself humming "Angels We Have Heard On High" over and over. We love the Cazimero Brother's version.

Congratulations! You guys are the best! Have a happy and successful New Year.

Leroy & Betty

Yarrow Cheney said...

Ov!, Thanks, be careful what you wish for!

Armand, Thanks, we'd love to do something else in this style. We've got some other ideas, we'll see what materializes.

Sim-R, The color and lighting were very important to us. We like adding complex and full lighting to simple and clear designs. Thanks for noticing!

Marcelo, a belated Merry Christmas to you! Happy New Year.

TotalD, Thanks man. YOU rule!

Leroy, You guys are great. Thanks for the support all of these years!

Happy New Year everybody!
Yarrow and Carrie

Beezle said...

Beautiful colors! I can't wait to see this.

Carrie Cheney said...

Beezle, thanks but we're on to you. Just checked out your blog. We'll be monitoring your movements.

Down with Lord Grimthorn!!!!!

C and Y

pink hippo said...

You have proved it " Simpler the better " :)

Loved the characters.

Vin

Pooja said...

How can I get in touch with you? Is there an email address that I can mail you at?
Pooja, India

Lucas Ferreyra said...

FAN-TAS-TIC!

Songbird said...

Well I am six years late, but I absolutely love this movie (even though it's short). Thank you for putting your creativity to an awesome use!!!
I do have one question. The songs from the movie, are they available for purchase anywhere? That would be awesome!!!

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