MIKE ROUSH / The Hidden Life of the Burrowing Owl / 5:16
I have always been fascinated by wildlife documentaries. As a kid I would take my mom’s camera and try and get as close to the neighborhood animals as I could. Most of the time this would mean long hours sitting motionless on the back deck with bird seed sprinkled on my lap and shoulders. I never got the shot I wanted, so when Chris and Shannon asked me if I wanted to make an animated film for Titmouse, I said yes before they finished asking.
Chris and Shannon Prynoski, Dik Pose, and I Line up a shot in the middle of nowhere. photo by Steve Kellener.
Early thumbnails of the burrowing owl.
"Owl" was animated in Flash. I used a technique where I would animate traditionally very rough, then I would take a second pass cleaning up symbols that I would be able to reuse later. Most of the final animation you see in "Owl" is puppeted symbol animation with hundreds of symbols and a different puppet for each shot. This way I could get the detail and animation quality I wanted.
The Flash break-down on one of the owl puppets. Lots of feathers!
One of my favorite parts of making this film was having to get out of the studio and go on location. I found an amazing place in central California called The Carrizo Plain using google maps. I spent the weekends driving all around taking pictures and exploring. Fun fact: The burrow used in the short was an actual owl burrow. On one of the days I was taking photos of the burrow one hissed at me from inside the burrow with it’s rattlesnake like call. It scared me nearly to death.
This is how I made all the “live action” backgrounds. I drew a storyboard of what I wanted and photo collaged lots of pictures together to make it look like what I drew. Unfortunately these places don’t exist in real life.
Whenever the owl had to touch the flower or fork, I took hundreds of photos, cut them out in photoshop and animated them. Fun.
On location I used a couple stand-in models to get the lighting right and a maquette when animating for inspiration.
I had a great time making this film and when I was done we were lucky enough to show it at festivals around the world. After 4 years the “Owl” showed at more than 40 festivals, in over 25 countries.
Can’t wait to do another one.
Mike Roush’s incredible short film is now online!!! Don’t miss this one, folks! It’ll stick to your ribs likes delicious cartoon BBQ!
I was lucky enough to catch this at an animation festival a while back and it blows my mind as much now as it did then
stop oikawa tooru
aka im a terrible person
I JUST CUT MY HAND ON MY OWN BRA WTF
AND I GOT A PAPERCUT FROM THE BANDAID PACKAGING?!?!
Next Time: glassbottledemon breaks their knee on a pillow and gets pneumonia from a soothing cup of tea
The worst part is that actually once I broke my arm by tripping on a pillow and another time I got pneumonia from sharing a water bottle with someone who had it. ;U;
IM CHOKING ON MY OWN LAUGHTER
I need feminism because “Who hired a stripper” shouldn’t be the first thing said to me when I walk into a welding job.
women in trades are treated like such fucking shit.
NO I’M STILL STUCK ON THIS WHY WOULD ANYONE SAY THIS TO A WOMAN HOLDING A BLOWTORCH