Behind the Scenes of “Elf Fun Factory”!

This holiday season, JibJab whipped up not one, but TWO eCards! One uses cutting edge CGI technology (computers and stuff), while the other went more old school (stop motion animation). It’s the best of both worlds! First up, we’ll get hi tech with our CGI card, “Elf Fun Factory“…

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All of our productions start with an animatic. This one was created by director Jeff Gill, who loves elf fashion and dancing to calypso music, particularly the Harry Belefonte classic “Jump in the Line.” Thank goodness the holidays give him a creative outlet for it all…

Next, Jeff works with our 3D modeling and animation team to bring his animatic to life. Animators Taylor Clutter, Michelle Kwon, Reece Porter, and Kevin Temmer had to literally think like elves in order to achieve Jeff’s vision. No small task, despite any elf puns that might’ve popped in your head like so many sugar canes…

Once the action is all in place, our animators add finishing touches like lighting and texturing are added to give it that hyper-real cartoon flavor discerning audiences love, while still retaining that scrappy JibJab charm — but then there’s still one important, unseen step… sound effects! Our resident audio guru Nick Ainsworth adds this finishing touch to the production. The best way to truly appreciate it is without music…

Finally, designer Jaime Williams created the logo at the top of this post and the casting card at the bottom of it while tech artist Robbie Harrison finished and bundled everything for uploading to JibJab.com!

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Send this slice of holiday hilarity to someone you want to make laugh today!

(And stop back next week for a Behind The Scenes look at our epic stop motion holiday card, “Twinkle All The Way“!)

BEHIND THE SCENES of “Bird is the Word”!

JibJab Thanksgiving eCard this year uses the rock ‘n roll classic “Surfin’ Bird” for… “Bird is the Word“!

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Check out some exclusive behind-the-scenes shenanigans with quotes from director/turkey Jeff Gill below…!

A video like “Bird’s The Word” can’t just be shot willy nilly, so Jeff shot test footage with game JibJab artist Megan McShane in the turkey role. Together they mapped out the shots that made up the actual card. (And Megan finally had a legitimate reason to run around Venice, CA flapping her arms like a turkey.)

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Meanwhile, JibJabber Clinton Fanelli went full-on MacGyver to create a GoPro camera rig for some of the crazier shots in the video.

Next step was testing it out with a JibJab-style “cast yourself” head. The results were delightful!

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So, with the knowledge that his vision could be achieved, it was time for Jeff to go full-turkey. “This was probably the most difficult eCard I’ve ever preformed in,” Jeff said. “Wearing the insulated turkey costume on a hot summer day in Venice, CA made me so hot that I nearly passed out.”

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He says that at one point Megan and JibJab artist/cameraman Nate Swinehart “had to actually rip open air vents on the side of the outfit so that I wouldn’t overheat.”

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Though he survived, he must’ve lost about five pounds in sweat. “It was like baking in an oven, but in a turkey, which is in some ways ironic.”

Despite the dehydration, Jeff says, “It was a blast getting to run around the city and get friendly catcalls of people who enjoyed seeing a giant turkey. Because who doesn’t like to see that?”

Seriously, if you haven’t seen this video, check it out, and send it to a turkey in your life for Thanksgiving!

Last week’s new releases! So much fun…

Not one, but TWO new videos from team JibJab & StoryBots last week!

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Thanksgiving hilarity ensues early with “The Bird’s the Word“!

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And The StoryBots Number Songs series continues with “The Number 4“!

3 Quick Q’s with the GRATE Megan Nairn!

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Megan Nairn, or “Meegs” as we call her around JibJab HQ, is the brains behind our latest YOU ROCK eCard: “You Are Grate.”

She kindly A’d a few Q’s about how how she came up with this fun bit o’ cheese…

How did you come up with the idea of this charmingly “cheesy” card?

Ate a bunch of cheese before bed time!

Do you enjoy cheese? If so, do you have a favorite?

I’m actually lactose intolerant :( But back in my carefree consumer of Camembert days, I would have to go with a good ol’ squishy brie at room temperature. I miss cheese.

What is a rocking thing one could do to earn a “you rock” eCard such as this in one’s inbox?

Make your best friend a pizza. With extra cheese! With extra vegan cheese if they are lactose intolerant!

Thanks, Meegs! Someone make her a vegan ‘za stat!

And thanks for reading this lil’ Q&A, JibJabbin’ Blog enthusiast! Don’t forget to tell someone who rocks “YOU ROCK” today…!

JibJab and StoryBots’ big Oct. 20 releases!

A week ago today, JibJab and StoryBots both released a couple videos, one delightful (StoryBots’ color video “When It’s Black”) and one heeeeelarious (JibJab eCard “You Are Grate” [misspelled on purpose])! Check them out by clicking on the snazzy pics below…

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Lots of fun things come in black, but when the sky goes dark, it’s time to turn off the light and say good night.

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This eCard may be cheesy, but it’s extra sharp and just curd make someone feel really gouda about themselves!

 

 

Last week’s JibJab and StoryBots releases!

Team JibJab and StoryBots unleashed a couple new bits of fun into the world last week. Click on the pics to check out the videos!

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A great rock ‘n’ roll beat will make anybody want to monkey around. Crank up this video and go bananas with Spider Monkey!

 

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Great moms and dads are the REAL heroes. Congratulate the expecting parents by showing them how SUPER they’ll be!

 

Happy Ba-Ba-Ba-Birthday!

 

We all know the “Happy Birthday” song, right? According to Wikipedia, it’s the most well-known song in the entire English language — even more than that Iggy Azalea song!

It’s also been around for over one hundred years. That’s like the equivalent of ninety-four Kardashian marriages.

We all certainly love a good classic melody, but maybe it’s time for something a bit… new?

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With that, we present a brand new birthday song with Ba-Ba-Ba-Birthday! It has singing animals, awesome dance moves, and cute hats!

So go ahead and send to a friend today. It’s free, all this week.

Speaking of “free,” feel free to help us make this the new, official birthday song. Just sayin.’

“This Land” Turns Ten!

This week, JibJab’s seminal parody video “This Land” turned ten years old. The Atlantic even wrote a very thoughtful and interesting piece about it, which definitely makes us feel smarter about ourselves. Maybe we’ll get a smoking jacket and a pipe, come to think of it…

Anyway, we think this is cause for a birthday celebration of sorts. What better way to celebrate than with Kool & the Gang’s classic hit, “Celebration“? No seriously, we’re asking. Any ideas? That’s right — there IS no better way to celebrate.

So be sure to cast some friends in this prom-tastic Birthday celebration today!

Say “Ha-plié Birthday” with Candle Ballet

Every little girl wants to be a ballerina at some point, right? Maybe every boy, too… And there’s nothing wrong with that, Dad!

Ballerinas. Such style. Such grace. Ballerina1Such ridiculous costumes, when you really think about it.

Well, we at JibJab have been pirouetting in our chairs to unveil our brand new birthday card, “Candle Ballet.” It’s elegant, simple, and sweeter than the frosted cake upon which these beautiful little candles dance.

So go ahead, and send Candle Ballet tutu — er, “to” — a friend for free, during a limited time only!

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching. Or Maybe Don’t.

There are some common phrases out there that really don’t make sense.

“Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.” Huh? Sounds like someone needs a lesson from Smokey the Bear. You aren’t preventing any fires if you think you can put a fire out with… more fire. Sometimes, you have to fight fire with water.

“Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land among the stars!” Whoever came up with this phrase lacks even the most rudimentary concept of space. If you shoot for the moon and miss, you will continue to careen forever into nothingness, with no way of slowing down. AND, if you do “land among the stars” after however many billions of years of floating through space, you will burn into a fiery inferno long before impact. Just don’t do it.

Another of those phrases is “Dance like Nobody’s Watching.” After watching a weird old man do just that, JibJab’s latest and greatest eCard suggests that you should probably dance like EVERYBODY’s watching. Just sayin.’

I mean, look at this collection of people who seem to be dancing like nobody’s watching. It’s not a good look.

We love Adam West, but this dance makes him look much more like a “Joker” than a Batman.

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Next, who could forget Buster from Arrested Development? He definitely is dancing like no one’s watching, and we can’t condone the end result.

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Here’s a crazy dance from Christian Bale in American Psycho. I mean, he was dancing like no one was watching, and his character is a psychopath. Case closed.

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Speaking of crazy, here’s Gary Busey dancing up a storm of just straight wrong.Image

So as you can see, be sure to dance like everyone is watching — and be sure to send this birthday card for free, all week, as a reminder!

Birthday Wishes? There’s an App for That.

Ain’t technology grand

We all sometimes pine for the “olden days” when things were simpler, but the honest truth is that we didn’t have grumpy cat memes back then. And that, my friends, is a world in which we don’t want to live.

Take this, for example. Who would have thought that there’d be a robot that could do calligraphy?

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Just your typical, tortured robot artist, we presume.

Or, perhaps you’d prefer a 3D printing pen! That’s three dimensions, for those of you counting.

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Perhaps most impressive of all is the new JibJab Birthday eCard: App-y Birthday! Technology has made it as such that you can send an entire party in a fifteen-second card. Genius? Perhaps. Revolutionary? Probably, but we don’t want to brag because we’re way humble like that. Amazing? We’re just doing our job. 

Check it out, and send it to a birthday friend who is the “Apple” of your eye today.

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling Older? Don’t Worry: You’re Still Delicious.

Can you believe it, folks?

Easter is over, Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and the year is flying by. It seems like just yesterday we were working on twerking elves and the 2013 Year in Review! Time just moves too fast.

Speaking of which — that’s the very feeling we often experience when it’s our birthday. How can we be another year older, already? Didn’t we just have a birthday? And what kind of moisturizer do I need to keep my youthful glow that dissipates with every second?

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Fear not, because we have the answer! Send a friend “You’re Still Delicious,” our brand new birthday card. Just like a fine wine (or, in this case, an amazing birthday cake), it turns out that you only get better with age. We must warn you that this card features a dancing cake, and some serious rump-shaking.

Age ain’t nuthin’ but a number, and birthdays ain’t nuthin’ but an excuse to send an amazing JibJab birthday eCard! Send “You’re Still Delicious” to a friend with a birthday free all week.

Brand New eCard: Quiet Birthday!

This week, we have a brand new Starring You® birthday eCard that really makes some noise, animated by the fantastic Megan Nairn. Do you ever have those friends who just want to have a quiet, low-key birthday? 

You say, “How about a party?” Their reaction:

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Just the mention of any sort of social interaction on their date of birth seems to send them into an anxious tailspin.

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We’re sorry, but that simply won’t fly. Sooner or later, they’ve got to realize that your birthday is a time to party hard and make some noise!

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Remember your birthday rights, and send our brand new birthday card today! It’s loud, proud, and free — all week long.

 

 

 

The Top Ten Things David Letterman Will Do In Retirement

We just heard the news that legendary comic and late night host, David Letterman, will retire in 2015. Say it ain’t so!

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In light of this news, we figured it only made sense to let everyone know the Top Ten things Letterman will do in Retirement:

 

10. Get job as straight man on all-new Late Show with Biff Henderson.

9. Drink beer until pants are actually world wide.

8. Pick remains of Hello Deli Platter out of gap in teeth.

7. Learn smarter human tricks.

6. Determine if Jay Leno will float.

5. Sell 20 years’ worth of tailored suits on eBay.

4. Keep introducing Oprah and Uma to each other.

3. Write fake songs to stump Paul Shaffer and band.

2. Light cigars with royalty checks.

1. Spend more time subtly insulting his family.

 

We’re sorry to see you go, Dave — but at least we have another year and a half to soak it all in. Thanks for the memories!

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The Making of “Leprechaun Rap”!

Rappers and leprechauns have a lot in common: they both love gold, wear crazy hats, and want a lotta green.

That’s why this St. Patrick’s Day, JibJab unleashed a brand new Starring You® Video featuring the best rhymin’ leprechauns from here to Killarney in Leprechaun Rap.  We checked in with our amazing artists to see how this St. Paddy’s Day Smash came together.

“We learned a lot about completing CG e-cards from Santa’s Twerk Shop that we were able to apply to Leprechaun Rap,” designer Taylor Clutter explains. “We wanted Leprechaun Rap to fully engage the sense that these were some crazy rock stars. Great detail went into the bling prop modeling to make these guys sparkle. For animation we just wanted them to be poppy and fun.

“It’s kind of ridiculous seeing your family and friends dancing around as CG Leprechauns, and we wanted the animation to reflect that.” No kidding.

Taylor and the gang let it all hang out, and even danced to give frames of reference for the characters:

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I think we’ve found our new Lords of the Dance!

Here’s a look at the early storyboards for Leprechaun Rap as well:

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The team even took pain-staking detail when it came to the bottles the leprechauns are holding:

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Celt 45? I mean, we can’t even…

We hope you remembered to wear your green today, and most importantly — be sure to make and send Leprechaun Rap to your favorite lads and lasses on this special day ‘o days. Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you!

 

 

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