Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lev's Lovely Loneliness

Years ago, I worked with this peculiar guy Lev at a dot com animation company in San Francisco called Protozoa that went out of business not too long after I left it. I was getting paid $15/hr to do not much of anything. It was the dot com boom and I was loving it.

I spent my days talking to the writers who were quirky and talented. I twiddled my thumbs and sometimes I surfed the internet. There was a lot of money flowing into the company at that time and they kept hiring more people. More people to twiddle their thumbs with me.

Their talent pool was pretty impressive. Artists like Lev and his brother Emre Yilmaz (gotta love a brother team), spoken word rockstar Bucky Sinister, filmmaker Molly Lynch (who got me the gig, thanks Molly!), Renaissance man Buzz Hays (he produced Swimming with Sharks!) and musician and writer Beth Lisick. The place was hopping with talent but the funny thing was, during the period of time that I worked there, we rarely turned out much product.

Located in an old mayonnaise factory, DotComix has three motion-capture stages, a blue screen set-up, plus a portable performance animation stage for producing certain live events out-of-house. They are in the process now of retrofitting their space to accommodate the brisk expansion of programming and requisite creative personnel. Hayes is keen on ramping up to an even greater series output, confident in relying on the fast turnaround of DotComix’ production style. - Lee Dannacher

Dotcomix did have a super cool motion capture suit and they pioneered Alive!, motion capture software that could bring animation to life fast and cheap. This silly looking suit was the company's main draw and what they used to animate hundreds of cartoons such as Sister Randy and Duke 2000. One afternoon, actor Michael Keaton, AKA Superman and Mr.Mom, came in to the shop to try on the suit. I recall his lips being even puffier in person than on the screen.

In those halcyon days, there were lots of parties on the Dotcomix rooftop with free flowing booze and barbequed meat. We car pooled to the city from the East Bay and sometimes Beth's roomate, the uber hip rock star Miles of Beulah would join us. Oh how I hated being stuck in a car with so much coolness oozing out.

I only worked at Protozoa for a couple of months but I enjoyed every damn lazy minute of it. I wish the salad days could have lasted longer but I agreed to work a gig at a non-profit down the street in So Mo. Sorry to hear the company went out of business but all its talents are doing fine elsewhere.

Wait a minute, where was I? Traipsing down some dusty corridor of water-colored memories yet again? Oh that's right, I started remembering this job and these artists 'cause I recently rediscovered Lev's work on MySpace (also known as, My New Addiction).

Lev's comics are sharp, witty, painful, and honest. Quite refreshing. And Lev can sing some bad ass karaoke so watch the hell out. He also makes brilliant movies that have played all over the world. And let's not forget his Eraserhead-hair, his crafty t-shirt advertising schemes and his supreme self-love mixed with excruciating self-loathing (lovely combo).

Man, I forgot how much I love this guy. I am gonna have to indulge in a mini-Lev film marathon this weekend. To see more of Lev's work, check out his website and do not miss the best piece of fan mail ever received. Below is the reason why girls all over the world love Lev:

And for the fellows, some HOT HOT cartoon SEX:


Q_Monroe said...

shit, i think i'm a good apple.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

oh HELLS yeah baby, i knows you a good apple, the very best!

Snarky Boy said...

Thank you, Eve. I needed that.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

Yep, nothing like cartoon sex for a 'lil pick me up!