best idea ever. seriously.
change = good, but not enough change here
First I'd like to start out by saying that a really great guy in the entertainment industry once told me that you've got to either take the compliments AND the criticism, or dismiss both -- you can't just value the good opinions on your work and deny the rest. If you are going to set a value on any type of review, comment or opinion, you've got to take them all into consideration. I think that applies here pretty well, and I'm just saying you should consider that in the future.
As for the cartoon -- I was never a fan of the original Toof series, but I wasn't on the "hate wagon" with everyone else, because honestly it was pretty immature to gang up on you like that, even if the awards and slight popularity were perceived as undeserved. That being said, I know one of your main selling points is originality in your opinion, but honestly, there isn't much here.
I mean, apart from the fact that teeth are talking (which can be spun to sound innovative, but we've all seen talking inanimate objects, including teeth) it's all the same ol' same ol' in the flash comedy world. It seems to me that you are staying in a safe zone in most factors of your series to safely secure a certain level of popularity. Examples include the witty banter filled with pop culture references with a hint of degradation/sexuality-based insults -- I've got to tell you, this is one of the most overused formats of dialog in Flash. I should know, I'm telling you from experience -- my first series ever was based in this practice. At first it seems like it is a great format abundant with comedy since it happens with your friends every day, but it is so stale and overused at this point that it's disappointing to see an artist use it.
Another example, albeit a smaller one, is the kind of "legendary" mood set whenever there is a plot abound -- you know, hard rockin' music, slow motion violence, explosions, staredowns before the big fight, etc...I know you haven't used most of these yet, but I can tell that they are waiting to be used in the upcoming episodes, so I just thought I'd let you know that trying something different would be really awesome.
I mean, I can see that you are putting changes in here, which is great, really, it's good that you can do that as an animator; the thing is, it's not enough. Like I said before, it seems like all of your changes are still retained in the "safe zone" of flash -- that is, the devices and styles which generally do well emulated to ensure a baseline level of popularity.
If you are happy with the level of success that you are at now, and if that is why you are doing this, then taking my advice would be almost pointless. But if you really want to do something new and fresh and respectable, be innovative -- be unique -- be original. No more contrived, canned devices or elements, no more imitation or emulation. Success isn't everything, and I know it takes a while to realize it, but there is a greater level of satisfaction and self-respect when the end product is something truly admirable, unique and solid.
I did not write this to bash you or "set you in your place" or bring your score down or anything like that. Every artist deserves respect regardless of personal opinion.
As you can tell, I have put time into this review, but only to help you out and give you advice, so as I mentioned at the beginning, I hope that you will at least take what I've said into consideration. I've been doing this for over 4 years, so I've seen a lot. I know that I would appreciate someone giving me objective advice in the beginning like this, and I hope you will too.
Holy CHRIST this is a long review! Okay, I'll start reading it now...
Okay, done with the first paragraph. The way I'll respond to this review is paragraph by paragraph...'cause this thing's a damn novel! :)
I get what you're saying man, and I don't have a problem with criticizm at all. It's the people that make the reviews like "Probably sucked, didn't even watch it, 0" that get to me.
The originality has faded for sure. This is like the 15th TooF flick or something...it's impossible for the whole "OMG TEETH ARE TALKING" to still happen. However, I thought I'd introduce something new by giving it a storyline...we'll see how that pans out in a few episodes.
I'm going to be 100% honest with you right now man...I didn't want to start with that material. It was my friends idea, and this is just being honest. But I can't really say that I've been doing better...I kind of have been sticking with the same formula lately, and you're right, I should be thinking of more ways to keep it fresh...I'll keep that in mind when scripting 1302. Thanks.
You have to draw a line somewhere, and yes, there are basics that are used in most fight flicks, the staredowns, fight music, same old...but you have to wonder where you draw the line? I mean, to a certain degree, most fight sequences include a weapon...so, take away weapons? Most fight sequences inclue one person losing...make no one lose? At a certain point you're hurting the animation just to be different...and I know you don't mean I should do anything crazy like have them do a hodown to decide victory, but I kind of had to make an example...
I can agree with you. "Safe Zone" I think is an irreplaceable word regarding my latest TooFs...I really haven't made any big changes, and I can see how you'd pick that apart. I'll think of ways to freshen up the series in upcoming productions...sometimes easier said than done, but I'm going to try.
Believe me...if I could do what would make me happy, you wouldn't see most of my animations that I've done...can that, all of the animations I've done. I actually want to be a serious animator (Yeah, who sould have guessed huh :) ) but if you go watch my first actual attempts at flash (My Fate series) I was trying serious, and failing. I just wasn't experienced enough to be able to set the right mood for serious animations. That's why I've done these comedy flashes, to tune my skills to head back to my roots...serious animation. There are still steps to be taken, and a storyline with TooF is one of them...if I can do well with this series (which I want to make more serious than it seems) then I'll be confident to start something with less retarded looking characters.
I know that man. This is one of the best reviews of anything I've ever seen, no bullshit. I don't know where you got the impression I was easily irritable, but I'm not. I respect the people who think I should improve on this or that, it's the people who hate me for no reason I can't understand...but that's just life. All in all, you're spot on in a lot of points in this review, so no, I don't take it as bashing man.
4 years is a long time. I've been animating, in total, for 1 and a half years. That's it. But as time goes on, lack of time to develop my skills is becoming less of an excuse, so I really need to start stepping it up. Another thing is though, I never want to only be able to do 1 animation a month...To me that's too infrequent. So I do want to step up quality, but I'm definately not willing to sacrafice huge amounts of production time for it. I wish I could do stuff like Xombie and such, but for a 3 minute episode to take 3 months...I don't know if I could live with that...
Overall, you're right, and I realize that. I can't damn believe I'm running out of space in a reply to a review, but low and behold I am. Excellent review man. I hope to see your opinions change in upcoming episodes as the plot expands...I miss storytelling, so that's why I'm taking this turn with TooF. In my own opinion, story telling is what I'm best at, so hopefully I can captivate with this one!
don't try so hard
Alright, so first I'll go over the negatives, then the positives. I like to end on a good note.
First of all, I just wanna say that I was not offended or shocked or anything by the "racist" jokes. They didn't affect this review whatsoever. But what did come into play is the fact that you try WAY too hard to cram in as many unrelated references to pop culture, current events or video games. I know others have said it before, but it's the Family Guy formula, and it shouldn't really be used. It's tiring and desperate. Some of the jokes weren't half bad and made me smile, but it's just the attempted rapid fire that gets annoying.
Put a solid story first, then put in jokes where they can fit. Don't force so many.
Additionally, before creating a series, make sure you have an original concept. The whole "generic bunch of sarcastic average teens being dorky and funny" scene has been worn out. Create some original, complex characters, and THEN insert the humor. I can tell you had a strong drive to do this for the jokes and stuff, which isn't bad at all; just make a suitable environment for you jokes and it would work a lot better.
Okay, so now the good points. You are a REALLY good artist, and I respect you a lot for your drawings. The facial expressions were excellent and you are pretty darn good with drawing hands. Mad props for that. Also the lip synching actually matched up which is a rarity here.
The interface was great too - with the pause, play, rewind, etc. and the timeline AND subtitles, it was so user-friendly and such. That was a really smart move dude.
It was also good to see that you weren't afraid to do a longer cartoon - I know how long it takes to make a 6 minute, accurately lip-synched episode. I can tell you worked really hard on this and I don't want to discredit you there. I know how reviews can affect an artist, and by all means don't take this review as negative, or against you in any way. I'd just like to ask you to take what I said into consideration; these can be really awesome with some work.
(Dang this is a long review; sorry about that, heh)
Glad to see your work on Newgrounds, Chloe. I freakin love this song, and I'm gonna use it in a flash soon. So nobody else beat me to it, ok? Ok. But yeah great work, It sounds so sweet, especially the cowboy deep guitar thing going on.
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