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Sedelmaier Switches To Digital

After a successful 10-year run, J.J. Sedelmaier Productions -- producer of the animated favorites BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD, THE AMBIGUOUSLY GAY DUO, THE X PRESIDENTS, FUN WITH REAL AUDIO and dozens of commercials -- has tossed out its film stock for digital technology. "It's not like we haven't been using digital techniques for years now," said Sedelmaier. "We've used Virtual Magic (formerly USAnimation) for some time, but now we won't be using film in-house, not even for pencil tests. We've now installed a system that allows us to do everything digitally, from animatics and pencil tests to modeling and color tests to final ink and paint." Sedelmaier Productions selected Crater Software's CTP, a PC-based system for 2D cel animation, in addition to a number of Apple Macintosh computers. "After considerable examination, CTP worked out best," said Sedelmaier. "We still use a video camera for some small things, but now we scan 90 percent of our drawings into CTP, which also allows us to e-mail QuickTime movies, and that kind of thing." According to Sedelmaier, the switch was precipitated by a combination of speed and economics. "There's simply no way to justify film costs any longer," said Sedelmaier. "The old ways are simply too cumbersome. Before, we had to messenger things from the studio to our cameraman in Manhattan. He would shoot it and send the film to Technicolor. Then we needed another messenger to bring it back here to cut it. Then we had to send it back to the city for transfer to videotape. If there was time coding, there were further expenses. Finally, we had to deal with Federal Express to send it off to the client. It was just too much trouble when you consider the alternatives." Sedelmaier is likely one of the last in the industry to make the move to digital production. "We stayed with film, at least for pencil tests, longer than most," said Sedelmaier. "I was editing and reading tracks, so nobody was particularly eager to do things at which I was already adept, but the novelty of cutting film really began to wane in the last few years. Some clients had never worked with film, so the whole process seemed archaic to them." J.J. Sedelmaier Productions' next project, THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN LINGER for Cartoon Network, will have all of its production aspects -- from board-o-matic to final pencil tests -- produced entirely on CTP. In addition to CTP on PC, the studio's numerous Macintosh computers make extensive use of Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, in addition to sending pencil tests via the Internet.