Come Christmas time we are always so busy buying presents, chocolates or turkeys, that sometimes we forget that some people won't be able to have any of those things. The Lady of the "House", (Kate Moo King - Curtis) decided that it was time to give back. This holiday season House of Cool collected money from our little elves in order to support the Shoebox Project.
The Shoebox Project (http://www.shoeboxproject.com/index.html) collects and distributes gifts in the form of shoeboxes to women in shelters in Canada. Each shoebox is filled with items valued at $50 that a woman would enjoy but would not splurge on for herself in difficult times.
With the money collected we were able to donate five shoe boxes, each containing toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, hat, gloves, scarf, a chocolate treat, and a $20 gift card from Walmart.
Ok I know we post allot of silly stuff up here, but lets be real Xmas shopping is uber serious! The malls are war zones and the parking lots aren't any better. I don't know about you guys but I am not ready to get into it with the 75 year Grandma threatening to run me over with her enormous Odsmobile that she somehow manages to park?
Getting to my point, why not spend your free time at home with a glass of < insert favorite drink here > , your favorite slippers maybe some family guy as background noise and turn on your computer. We live in the world of technology now and nothing has made it easier to avoid the crazy christmas shoppers then Online Shopping. You can even shop in your PJ's if you like and you don't even have to do your hair or put on makeup.....or pants! AMAZING!
So we have compiled some neat and funny gift ideas to help you out and if you hurry your butt out of bed and onto your computer chair (for me thats my sofa), then you can get all your gifts delivered before Santa arrives.
On a more serious note, Laptop Bags are a great gift to give! Almost everyone has one and as much as we love those cute little laptop sleeves, one can get some serious shoulder and back pain from lugging that thing around. Also most computer bags are just ugly! I did some research (thank you google) and found some really stylish backpacks meant to help out your body while lugging around your portable office!
Allot of people think that Ricardo is the "good looks" of the company. His dashing smile, great hair, and amazing athleticism might sway people into thinking, "what else can this guy do?".
Well here are a few trailers that HoC's amazing talent has been working on, yes that includes Ricardo, I know who'd thought?
Escape from Planet Earth! (2013) - Director Cal Brunker (Cool Dude & HoC veteran), Storyboard Ricardo Curtis (Dashingly Handsome HoC President)
Epic the Movie (2013) - Storyboard Norm Lemay (Blue Sky Studios, but inappropriately hilarious HoC veteran), Warren LiondHeart (Blue Sky Studios, our dutch lion HoC veteran), Ray Xu (Blue Sky Studios, HoC's 2nd most amazin' asian), Myke Bakich (HoC's Original M to the Y ), and of course Ricardo Curtis (HoC's one and only Jamasian!)
Consolidating two companies to form one super
creative digital laboratory.
2012 – Toronto, Canada - House of Cool is excited to announce
recent company restructuring plans.
By consolidating our pre-production studio with our previously acquired
commercial studio Red Rover, we intend on creating one dynamic creative hub. Operating
as House of Cool we are equipped with imaginative concept to final delivery
capabilities in animation and visual effects.
Cool has been rocking the feature film world with exceptional creative
direction, story development, concept design, boarding and pre-production
services. With an impressive credit list of over 20 features including; Hugo,
Rio, Despicable Me, and
Ice Age 3 in
addition to a strong slate of work in place, the time was right to build upon our
injecting new technological upgrades and featuring a creatively versatile roster
of commercial directors. House of Cool looks to offer the advertising industry
film quality, artistically driven work in both traditional and 3D stereo
commercial expansion are directors, Greg Court and Matt Whelan. Greg is an award-winning
director, with a strong eye for storytelling, animating and character
development skills. Matt is a technical wizard with a diverse background in
both live-action visual effects and animation. Together they lead a talented team of artists capable of
creating brilliant 3D and live-action vfx for commercials.
Cool was founded by animation legend Ricardo Curtis and business partner Wes
Lui in 2004. They have built a studio where outstanding individuals come
together to bring extraordinary entertainment to our clients and audiences.
Halloween like any other celebration has a very interesting past, and as like most north american holidays has nothing to do with what we find traditional about them.
"On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter." - http://www.history.com/topics/halloween
Now a days we dress up in cotton and polyester costumes and go door to door for candy............I think we have the better idea!
I know this is the age of technology and now a days computers and keyboards are what we use to drain our brains of thoughts. Weather they be in the form of an angry e-mail to an ex-boyfriend, business deals, dentist appointments, or finding that special someone through an array of PM and POF chats. I think we can all say it is still frustrating when you go to jot something down the ol' fashioned way, and you realize all your pens are gone. All you have left is a pair of scissors, 2 fat sharpies that will definitely bleed into the next 5 post-its, a white out pen...... I guess I could use that but really? , 2 dry erase markers that will do the exact same thing as the sharpies, and a really ol'fashioned orange 1 b pencil with no tip and no sharpener in sight!
I have bought countless boxes and packages of multiple pens, and for some reason I don't have one on this desk! ARGH!!!!
My Goal: To find the House of Cool culprit destroy him/her and regain control of my pen empire!!!!
I'll be posting suspects in a week, I need to do a really thorough investigation, I don't want to miss my chance to catch them, too much heat and I might scare them off. Crap I don't have a pen to take down notes ugh...............white out pen it is I guess?
Well I think the title says it all! If you fell in love with the adorable clown fish Nemo then you'll be happy to know it will be playing 3D style at the Toronto International Film Festival. Schedule is announced August 21st!
Today was a very special day! We got to celebrate Rodrigo's 25th birthday and the "graduation" of our Interns! We filled our glasses, sang a song and then devoured the "Red Velvet" cake (which is a real flavour btw). Happy birthday to our favourite mexican artist and good luck to our interns as they take their first steps on their own.
Rodrigo and the interns........
Those look like allot of candles..........
Taking the first cut!
the wonderful cake!
and even more wonderful wine!
Best Family Friday the 13th! Have a great weekend everyone!
If you guys haven't bought your tickets/passes yet better hurry! TAAFI starts in less then 2 days. Here's some info on this amazing event. Don't miss out!
With more than 100 local and international shorts 2 feature films 2 retrospectives and much more
Take advantage of first year pricing on PASSES at $99* ($175 value) and enjoy:
John K. will be here for a weekend of cartoon keynotes, first-time master class and discussions on style!
John Kricfalusi creator of The Ren and Stimpy Show for Q&A's and story master class!
A Live Almost Naked Animals cartoon script read featuring Sean Cullen and Emilie-Claire Barlow
May the oily gods help his soul.
Ronal the Barbarian The North American premiere of acclaimed R-Rated Danish film in 3D
Rock And Rule Nelvana's 1983 cult classic and Toronto's first
animated feature film (followed by a special film maker reunion Q&A)
RETROSPECTIVES The Monster of Nix, a visually overwhelming dark musical from Rosto A.D
Rosto A.D: So Far, So Evil including The Monster of Nix featuring the voices of Terry Gilliam and Tom Waits
Kaj Pindal a retrospective of the NFB master's work followed by a Q&A with the living legend himself
STASH Magazine Presents: The Best in VFX
**Family Screening and Workshop at the NFB Meditaheque
(different venue, 150 John Street)
PITCHLAB and PITCH-A-PALOOZA
Sign up soon for TAAFI's Pitch-A-Palooza and Pitchlab for the
opportunity to speed date with development executives, have your idea
heard and maybe even picked up. Each participant is guaranteed a minimum
of three (3) face-to-face speed meetings with some of the industry's
key decision makers from broadcast and development.
With all of this plus workshops, master classes and more films than
we can sanely list here, TAAFI promises an awe-inspiring weekend of
For passes, tickets and information visit taafi.com
*Festival pass does not include the workshops, or master classes.
**You must call (416)-973-3012 to REGISTER for Family Screening and Workshop at the NFB Meditaheque
Do not hesitate to get in touch!
I figured most of our posts are about food and ping pong games and
rarely about cool animated pieces, so I wanted to write about this and
give the pie and cheesecake a break for a bit. So humor me as I try to delve into the world of animation...... that is what we do here right? :P J/K
So I have recently been missing Harry Potter in my life, now that the movies are finished and I've read each book at least 3 times, I was feeling a void. To fill this hollow emptiness I turned to the LEGO series of Harry Potter for XBOX 360. I have finished both games now and have started working on unlocking all the extra goodies in order to reach the 100% mark.
In the Deathly Hollows movie they had added a "beautifully cool" animated bit to tell the story of the Peverell Brothers and the 3 deathly hollows. The story originated in the Tales of Beddle the Bard, a separate book written by "Beedle the Bard" (JK Rowling) depicting young wizard fairytales. I fell in love with this section of the movie and was delightfully surprised when I got to the "Luna Love" level and found that they had Incorporated it into the game. As I played the level, which was extremely frustrating at times, you meet Death like 4 times, that is like meeting bowser 4 times in one level, I realized though through gritted teeth and loss of LEGO studs that the beautiful art on my T.V screen was a video game! Amazing what we have done with the mix of art and technology!!!
I have added a video of the level below (skip to 5:00), it does not do it justice, but I thought you might enjoy!
Our Interns Seema and Perrin have been hard at work for the past few
months. They have been learning the ins and outs of the business. I
decided it was about time to show off what we've been teaching them here
at House of Cool. All art work is up for sale except the octopus, that was made specifically for Collin as a token of their appreciation for his teachings. Apparently he reminds them of a slimey top hatted 8 tentical bow tie wearing creature? The wiener dog pieces were inspired by a dog used by a fellow artist to attract more attention from the female race. The Interns felt the need to stand up against animal cruelty!
Ok so the title might be a bit drastic. But If you are a big fan of the TV show Community, then to you this might be the Best Game Ever!!
If you don't watch the show you definitely should. It is a big part of my TV followings along with Game of Thrones, Adventure Time, Archer, Family Guy.......... you get the point. Its a great show! Recently they delved into the animation world and made an episode in the form of an 16-bit video game. Here's a clip from that episode.
Now after this episode Reddit user Derferman has actually taken the time to turn the episode into an actual game. He took no favoritism and made the game compatible with both Windows and Macs, here is the link to the game enjoy! And if you haven't watched the show yet you should probably get on that!
A little while ago and incident happened at the studio. It involved a promise that was never fulfilled and then a protest that was definitely answered.
A certain Ricardo Curtis had decided to promise the people of House of Cool that there would be pie last Thursday. Well as you can guess that did not happen. There were allot of grumblings and unfulfilled cravings for the sweet and tart dessert. By Friday there was nothing Ricardo could do but give the people what they deserved. PIE!!!
Today's employee of the week is Vivian Ho! Our accountant extraordinaire! She keeps everything running smoothly. Besides counting the beans and cutting the chqs Vivan has a love for plants! Most of the greenery in the office was donated from her green thumb. Without her our plants would be nothing more then brown dead leaves on the floor. So thank you Vivan for getting us paid, keeping our plants green and always having a smile on your face!
Beer and Star Wars, 2 amazing things in this universe brought together with this amazing article called "What would Darth Vader Be Drinking". I cannot take any credit for this except in knowing the writer of this beer blog, Mr Stephen Rich, Craft Beer Mastermind Extraordinaire. I did notice that we missed the intergalactic Star Wars day "May the 4th be with you", so this is in honour of that very special day.
Well all the way up here at the front of the studio it seems pretty quiet, and really the rain has been the only eventful part of my day. I have decided to write today's blog about the "Avengers"!! Yeah!!! (I am sure there are things going on in the back but that's a far walk for a Wednesday)
Pretty much if you haven't seen it you definitely need to even if you are not the comic book type. A great cast, excellent writing and tons of action sums up a recipe for something very entertaining.
The only thing I didn't enjoy was watching the movie with glasses on that makes things look semi-cooler. I am an asian which = no nose bridge to wear those ridiculous plastic glasses.
If you do go in the next week AVX is the way to go, no line ups and reserved seating is awesome. If not I would opt to see it minus 3D. After watching Avatar all other 3D movies seem a little bit under the bar. If your girlfriend is not convinced just remind her that Chris Evans plays Captain America, who doesn't like hunky men in blue tights running around?
We all know how the weeks fly by and the projects pile on. We loose touch and work too hard. Even when working in the same building we can forget about the importance of being a family. Fridays better known as "Beer Fridays" have now been re-named as "Family Time Fridays".
Thank you to our gracious host and hostess, Rodrigo & Kim, who brought us together with Cheese, Wine and Patte. Everyone was "forced" to take 10mins today and catch up with each other and talk about the origins of cheese, how wine is hardly a substitute for beer, play a few rounds of ping pong (Even though the broken elevator has given us all of our exercise for the day), and discuss the video of the hungry lion at the zoo. The Reluctant Jason was even happy to grab a few crackers and slab on some creamy Brie and join in on the not so "manly" event.
Don't forget about your "work" family, they're the ones who listen to your stories about your "home" family and show you the latest videos on you tube!
Our hostess Kim!
Everyone digging in!
The Cheese is a hit!
Yup that says "Duck, Pork, and Pistachio" patte........ Yum!
With the ever changing world of technology we must constantly keep up. So with that said check out our NEW FCBK Fan Page! great stuff is happening there everyday, so make sure you don't miss out! Come on you know you LIKE us! http://www.facebook.com/houseofcoolstudios
So the Battle continues........ Our tournament has come down to 2 people for the Ping Pong event.
Ann and Alex
Which one will come up on top? Who knows? We do know that Ann loves to win, and when Ann wants something she usually gets it!
I believe someone in the office is taking bets........
Alex with his Game Face on! Watch out Ann this guy apparently means business!
And I am not talking about the ones you find when watching shows like LOST. The Easter Bunny has left us some treats to hide for our employees (Even the Easter Bunny is outsourcing his work now).
Lots of awesome chocolate and treats will be tucked away in corners, plants and behind computer screens. Oops I think I just gave away all the hiding spots. Well the early bird will get the treats then, I guess some people will be coming into work a little earlier then usual.
The HoC and RedRover family is starting up their very own Studio Triathlon! Each player will be put through the grueling events of: Ping Pong - this sport requires you to hit a miniscule target traveling of speeds up to VERY FAST with and equally tiny paddle Pool - not the swimming kind, I wish we could fit a pool in here Foosball - in the words of Abed from Community "I think its European, It's probably a more important game over there, it's like the soccer of pingpong....."
Only the fit will last and only one can reign champion.......... who will it be?