Wednesday, December 02, 2009


The new wraparound DVD cover
click to enlarge
Front and back


Inside



Friday, October 30, 2009

Hi Fangsters,
and welcome to the show.
Click on the following to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Hi Fangsters,
And welcome to the show.
There's something pretty profound about rewriting the Bible but that's exactly what I'm doing. The "Fango Fables" Bible that is.
There's something kinda poetic about the fact that the word "fango", which I'd thought we'd made up as the title to an art show we held in Bathurst in race week 1995, to combine fanging (FANG v.i. to drive ones car at a very great speed [from Juan Manuel Fangio, Argentinian racing car driver, five times world Champ] Macquarie dictionary), with a little bit of "fandango", a little bit of "Mambo", and a dash of GO, why heck it just sounds good, well it's also an Italian word meaning mud.
My name is mud!

Fango Art Show 1995
Yes, the stuff we crawled out of, and sometimes slide into, and along with the "Big Banger Theory" (see Fango Fable's A Day at The Races) it's all a part of Fango mythology.

ANYWAY, it's hard work, but necessary, to play God here, and clarify in my own mind at least the top to bottom, side to side consistency and population of the Fango universe.

Here's a record of the third Fango Art Show from 2005.
Funny how many similarities there are with Roary the Racing Car. Great minds...I guess.
Is it not possible that the original creator of Roary, who had managed both Silverstone and Brands Hatch race tracks in Britain, visited Bathurst for the "Great Race" in 2005, and happened upon our art show which was running at the same time and was promoted all over town?
 Roary was first broadcast in May 2007.
Theirs 2007
And mine 2005

Excellent that the upload date of the video on Youtube acts as proof of my projects originality.
I'm not getting too caught up in all that.
Oh ok, just a little.
When the Roary people announced that their new character named "Conrod" will be voiced by Craig Lowndes, well, it just felt like they're straying onto my patch a bit.
After all, I've had McPhillamy since 2004. 
nb. McPhillamy Park and Conrod Straight are both named features on Mount Panorama race track Bathurst.
I still much prefer my character Gonzo's design to Roary's, and because their program is aimed at toddlers it can't be (in their minds at least) as funny, intelligent, or absurd as I like to make mine.

Going through my films, digging out some screen grabs to illustrate the Bible, I've been quite delighted with the aesthetics of the thing. Most encouraging.
I'm having fantastic daydream "visions" of scenes and story elements, busting to get back onto the scripts to apply some structure and dynamics to improve the storytelling.

And here's the original "SPEEDY GONZALES", that's right, Warner Bros. based their character on this bloke, FROILAN GONZALEZ, a fabulous historical character.
He was an Argentine GP racer of the 1950's and early 60's.

This is him on the left, beside his good friend, and fellow countryman Juan Manuel Fangio.
His Argentine nickname was Cabezon, literally "big-head", a play on both his courage and his obviously large noggin, and his English nickname "the Pampas bull", both his origins and aggression on the track.
He was the first ever Grand Prix winner for Ferrari (Britsh GP 1951) , and you can see Enzo Ferrari hugging and kissing him at the end of the race.
video

The extraordinary thing is that I didn't know about this fella until well after I had created my Gonzo, in a red car, with the number 2. Love it.
I reckon number 2 is a far more interesting number for a character than number 1.
I was actually referencing the go-for-it nature of "Gonzo journalism" and the Warner Bros. character, and was prepared to change his name if they came after me as it would be a sure sign that the project was getting somewhere if they felt it was a copyright infringement worth pursuing.
Also on the shed wall is another beautiful coincidence.
In about 1997 I painted a large picture of Forest Elbow at Mt Panorama, a tiny reproduction is above Gonzo's left front tyre. Here's a close-up.

It turns out that the carved gum tree I copied from a book is actually on my great grandfather's property at Molong, NSW. Nice.
I think of coincidences as a cosmic thumbs up.


(is Roary a coincidence?)




Great minds 2...
 A page of Fango Fables ideas from 2001, 
exhibited in the Fango Artshow 2005. 
 
 
 
My tyre bridges combining two tyre brands
Their tyre bridge, combining two British race tracks.

I've selected a few elements from my 
sketches, and look how well they go 
together to make Roary's mate 
Tin Top.



And Conrod...



And of course Roary's Australian friend Breeze.
And my beach buggy character...
Roary's Australian website contains neither
Conrod or Breeze.


Ah well.
See how many coincidences you can find.
Fang on,  Jock

Wednesday, September 30, 2009



Hi Fangsters, and welcome to the show.
Well our second season of Fango Fables (on Warp TV) has just finished on TVS and Ch31 Melbourne, and the ratings were most encouraging. 34,400 on Ch31(audited) is pretty darn good, a Top Rating Show no less! and I wish that TVS had audited ratings as well.
Modest numbers by commercial broadcast standards obviously, but we actually had the highest average reach of any show on CH31 for Thursdays in July 2009.

The show was broadcast at 8.30-9pm therefore is true to say we had a

TOP RATING PRIME TIME TV SHOW !

Here's my latest film "Plectrum", which is the first time I've tried to apply story theory to a film, and I'm quite happy with Marty's movements and emotional range, though there's a long way to go in all areas of production.

I've now got Marty a fabbo collection of beautiful scale instruments, though of course, as far as the films go, they're nothing without a story.

Here's the screen test of Marty in Fanging about mode.

I've been carving a new marionette, a girl called Grace, and it's as if I'm being directed by a higher force.
She's coming together quite quickly, though there's a heap of finessing to be done re. eyes, clothing, stringing etc.

A lot of marionette co-incidences are happening around me at the moment. I went to "Billy Twinkle" the stage show by Ronnie Burkett, nice puppets, but it was too show-offy or something, more a show about puppets than a story told by puppets. Anyway, I still found it very inspiring, and useful, to be in the first row eyeing off his puppet construction, stringing and controllers.
Then "The Sound of Music" popped up on TV on Sunday and the emotional impact was extraordinary. Not so much "The lonely Goatherd"( here's the only one I could find in English, but it has lyrics, so SING-A-LONG, you know you want to)

...as the places where music itself bought about plot turns, hope and redemption. A huge lump in the throat, and tears in the eyes, just shaking my head going "how the heck did they do that to me"?

This re-inforced for me the primacy of music as an emotional trigger in film, when it's used to it's full potential.

I then came across the production "The Grimstones", a stage show by a deaf Melbourne girl going by the name of Asphyxia featuring her marionettes, which again carries enormous emotional force.
I discovered her work a couple of years ago when first trying to get Marty to paint. I typed "marionette painting" into YouTube and blow me down, there it was, a marionette painting! And it was by an Australian girl working in Melbourne.
She's a really intriguing and admirable character, worth exploring her website.
So very inspiring!
I've also just discovered the Handspring Puppet theatre from Sth. Africa and their beautiful large horse puppets, extraordinary, and by all accounts, producing an intense emotional response in their audiences.
Tooling around with the idea of a kids (of all ages) TV show "Marty and Grace", with segments "Getting Arty with Marty" where he makes art and music, and Gracey makes and edits little films, and "Fango Fables" is a show that Marty loves to watch on tv, like the Simpsons kids love to watch "Itchy and Scratchy".
video
It actually feels like something's going to happen pretty soon re Fango Fables, the stars are aligning, all those sort of things. The difference is, I'm actually ready now, when I most definitely have not been up to this point.
And here's my first Fango film, from 2005, filmed mostly in the park around the corner, which is the only film in which Peppi appears. She's been the most challenging "puppet" to bring into being. Lucky I'm a patient man.
video
Better get on with it then.
Fang on, Jock

Friday, May 01, 2009






Hi Fangsters, and welcome back.
We're working on season two of Fango Fables on WarpTV for TVS and Ch31 Melbourne, which will include the exciting new segment "Getting Arty with Marty". Here a screen test.

Last weekend I attended a screen story workshop by the esteemed script consultant Karel Segers http://www.storydr.com/about-me/ which was a revelation. I've read many screenwriting books including the screenwriters bible "Story" by Robert McKee, but it hadn't clicked until Karels' workshop. His encyclopedic knowledge of film and story structure, illustrated with many film excerpts, was astounding, in that the grammar of SUCCESSFUL screenplays very rarely diverge from classical three act structure (though there's much more to it than that). I won't go into it here, suffice to say I am hugely energized.
Whipped out my first screenplay with this new knowledge, and am really very excited, so have reorganised the house to create a set on the dining room table. I've been watching a bit of "Panique au Village" http://www.paniqueauvillage.com/ which I've always found really inspiring, because they "just go for it", with their absurd stories and hilarious action sequences masking very a sophisticated technical facility and aesthetic. It's right up my alley.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Hi Fangsters,
and seasons greetings to you both.

I've made and shown a couple of short films to my fellow illustrator/ cartoonists at our "Art Dept Short Film Festival". It's always good to have a deadline.

I'd not made any films for a little while. Films with a beginning middle and end that is. There's been plenty of screen tests of various character developments, camera and lens experiments, and location scouting (some more fantastic mountain bike tracks near Mt Panorama, Bathurst).

Shot these latest films using the Sony Z1-P HD camera (using the production subsidy I won in a pitching comp at Metroscreen in Paddington) in high definition wide-screen. Learnt a lot about production values, and the difficulties of working alone.

Very keen to bring every aspect of the project up to speed.

Very excited that Gonzos' head now tilts into the corners, his head is now connected to his steering mechanism, which gives him an improved physical "attitude" when cornering, and a lot more expression when he's talking, though, of course, making it a more complex operation when operating the "puppet". Visor, eyes, head-tilt and throttle, all going at once, requires some serious puppeteering skills.

Enjoyed very much carving some arms for one of my old puppets, to enable him to play the guitar, and to have every appearance of painting at an easel, in a beautifully appointed studio.

I've made a film of him playing guitar along to my Uncle Pats' song "Tickling Trout in the Long Arm Creek", a true story:

A big hit at our little film festival, and an even bigger hit with Uncle Pat!

The other film was "Oversteer", to complete the Understeer/Oversteer "educational" series. I was really keen to make it fast paced, more slapstick, with a different twist to "Understeer", and in HD widescreen. Quite ambitious. Pleased with the action sequences, storytelling not quite there yet.

Keen to build McPhillamy a new body, he's still made of cardboard, always was just a prototype, which has lasted remarkably well, but always planned to make him a much better designed body, with working, turning, lights, and perhaps a mouth of some sort.
Here's a pic of a design idea.


I've always wanted Gonzo to have a faster looking, more up-to-date body and wings, still cartoony, like a caricature of an F1.
This is the original concept drawing from 2001.

His current body is too square, and his chassis has no suspension or 4wd, necessary for controlled oversteer (or drifting).
I'm also planning to build him a real, scaled-down, shed, timber framed, corrugated iron roofed, with lights, window sashes etc.
I imagine shots of, for example, the shed in pouring rain with water streaming off the corrugations, nocturnal scenes (interior and exterior) on location, and shed interiors with tools etc. hanging on the noggins of the exposed internal timber framing.

I like the idea of hooking up with a sympatico existing production company, with professional production facilities and expertise.
I've always thought than one of the potential directions the project could go would be as a segment in a motoring or motor racing TV show.
On my YouTube channel, the more "hard core" motor racing Fango films are the more popular ones, bit of a clue there.