Shake Your Bunny Maker, part 2

Welcome back to the Cold, Hard Flash interview with Jennifer Shiman, the creator of ’30-Second Bunnies Theatre.’ In this second half we learn about Jennifer’s interest in actionscripting, her upcoming travel schedule and her love of ‘Homestar Runner.’

AARON SIMPSON: Were you using any animation software before you picked up Flash?
JENNIFER SHIMAN: In 1998, I made my first animated short film using US Animation ToonBoom software on an SGI workstation at a studio I worked for at the time. Using Flash has cut my production time drastically for a number of reasons. It took me about 3 years to finish that first six-minute short, whereas it takes me 3-4 weeks to make a 30 second ‘bunnies’ re-enactment. Of course the first short was also 24 frames per second of all hand-drawn animation.

AARON: What was your first Flash project?
JENNIFER: I used Flash to create three webisodes featuring longtime characters which had also starred in my first short film.

AARON: What aspect of your animation skillset has most improved since then?
JENNIFER: I actually just revisited those first files to optimize them for broadcast use, and man. I saw that I’ve improved in my line quality and use of color, as well as file organization and production effects.

AARON: Where do you turn to if you’re aiming to learn a new Flash trick?
JENNIFER: I belong to the Los Angeles Flash User Group (laflash.org), and they have a very helpful forum. Flashkit.com offers helpful tutorials, and Moock.org has lots of neat stuff.

AARON: I’ve heard a rumor you’re teaching yourself actionscripting. What spurred this interest?
JENNIFER: I’ve been interested in actionscripting all along. I’ve wanted to create more interactive little worlds and toys using Flash. I think of neat content uses and then try teach myself the actionscript to implement them.

AARON: Have you found any time between ‘Bunnies’ shorts to dream up new project ideas?
JENNIFER: I haven’t had time to deal with the ideas that crop up here and there, so I’ve been netting them and saving them in a notebook for later reference.

AARON: What’s the most gratifying aspect of the ‘Bunnies’ experience?
JENNIFER: The most gratifying thing is people viewing my work and emailing me to say how it made them laugh. I feel incredibly grateful that Starz has given me the opportunity to pay my bills while working on what I love, and likewise that I got recognized at Ottawa, one of the finest animation festivals around. It is all kinds of good.

AARON: Do you plan on traveling out to the Port City Animation Festival, where one of your shorts is appearing this Fall?
JENNIFER: I won’t be there, due to schedule conflicts. But I will be on the east coast in late August giving a talk at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY.

AARON: I’ve read that you’re a big ‘Homestar Runner’ fan. Who’s your favorite character?
JENNIFER: The world of ‘Homestar Runner’ is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. My favorite characters are StrongSad and Bubs.

AARON: Over the past few years, what animated features have you enjoyed most?
JENNIFER: ‘The Incredibles,’ ‘The Iron Giant,’
‘The Triplets of Belleville,’ and Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Howl’s Moving Castle.’ Miyazaki’s ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ and ‘Spirited Away’
and Richard Linklater’s ‘Waking Life’
are some of my favorite movies of all time.

AARON: Thanks, Jennifer. Best of luck at the festivals!

4 Comments

  1. Mark"Mom"Finley September 11, 2005

    Ms. Jennifer is singlehandedly changing the way we spoof, satirize or parody films. The intelligence of the humor within each ‘movie’ is honest – yet never taking itself all too seriously.
    I laud Ms. J with all the blessings she could ever wish, hope or desire!
    Keep spreading the Bunny Love!!

  2. Anonymous February 12, 2006

    I could never have believed any of those films could be summed up in 30 seconds in such a way that the flash ended up better than the film and the trailer in one shot.
    I don’t think either they are intended to parody anything more than the time they were made in.

    Jennifer Shiman -
    You
    Are
    Absolutely
    Amazing
    Gifted

  3. PCFerret July 11, 2006

    I’ve been following the Bunnies for some time now. There is no other way to describe them! Unadulterated Genius!
    Keep ‘em coming, PLEASE!!!

  4. Hey! I love angryalien. So cool! I just have one queestion. How do you make your voices so high and funny without them speeding up? Thanks! My email is smidget_904@hotmail.com

    Thanks for everythiing! Cya

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