O'Callaghan Talks Coyote Falls
Bill Desowitz: What was it like taking Road Runner and Coyote into CG and 3-D?
Matt O'Callaghan: Once you get over the excitement of doing these, you go, "Oh, my God!" We all have such wonderful memories of these cartoons that we realized we all have to do our best to make it feel like the old shorts. My biggest challenge was not screwing it up: not showing off but honoring the sensibility that was created and let's embrace the new technology. The biggest challenge taking it into the computer was keeping the graphic nature of the original designs, even though you have all the tools for fur and feathers (down feathers for Road Runner) and special lighting treatments. But the thing was we never put down those model sheets from the original shorts. And even when we were in animation, we were constantly looking at the old animation to capture certain expressions and mimic certain timing.
What also changed was we went from a 7-minute format to a 3-minute format. So that presented a couple challenges and what we quickly realized is that we would have to do away with the opening free-frame intro. The other thing is that in the old shorts they would set up a gag, pay it off, fade to black and then set up a new gag. What we concluded was we'd be able to only have two of these gags, so it wouldn't have the pacing that I wanted. So we kind of do a little start and stop on Coyote Falls, but when we fade back in, it's non-stop till the end. So instead of using multiple props, we decided to use a bungee cord that's threaded throughout the episode. In doing that, it's constantly moving forward. It feels right for 3 minutes.
MOC: Reel FX in Dallas did both.
BD: What was the process like?