New eCard – Birthday Rap!

There’s no better way to let someone know “It’s their birthday and you’ll party down cuz it’s their birthday” than with Birthday Rap, our newest eCard. This rapping 8 year old with attitude was created by the guys at Surf Monkey Films. After receiving the rap mp3, Max Well, Nolan Wang and Alex Lamb took it upon themselves to create a vision to match the fun lyrics of this birthday rap. We got to talk with the guys more about their process and where they came up with this concept.

1) Where did you all go to school?

The three of us, Max Well (Producer), Nolan Wang (Cinematographer) and myself (Director), all graduated from Chapman College of Film and TV.

2) Where did you shoot?

We shot this particular video in a park in Anaheim Hills with kids from Nicole Manly’s class at Orange County Song and Dance.

3) How long did this card take to shoot?

This card took about a half day to shoot. There was a lot of time spent getting the kids comfortable in front of the camera. Once they were comfortable, we even went back and reshot some stuff we thought we had already gotten, simply because it came out so much better once the kids dropped their guards. Also some shots took a while just because of the setups and timing required. I think the longest shot we had to get was the opening dolly move at the birthday table. Synchronizing the kids performances with the camera move was the ingest challenge.

4) Where did your inspiration come from?

I think that Nolan really liked the idea of shooting a Beastie Boys style video because he was a huge fan of theirs. That’s where all of the low angle track back shots came from. With that idea in pace for the style, I really liked the idea of using kids in a hip-hop environment. I really like Spike Jones’ “Sky’s the Limit” video for Notorious B.I.G.

5) Do you guys have a favorite rapper?

Nolan’s favorite rappers include: Beastie Boys, Biz Markee, Will Smith, and Rick the Ruler.

Max’s are Jay-Z and Ludacris.

My favorite rapper is Mc Chris. I didn’t realize that I liked rap until I heard rap songs about things I could relate to. Mc Chris has an ironic way of using a hip hop persona to express very nerdy experiences and feelings.

Bust out a Birthday Rap to a friend today!

Interns Join the Team This Summer

It’s that time again, when the summer sun heats up the beach and the days are so long it is light until 8:30pm. It’s also the time of year we fill our office with the fresh faces of the interns. We had an extremely difficult time narrowing down the talent, but after multiple school visits, portfolio days, interviews and miles of traveling, we’ve added a WHOPPING 10 new artists to the production team! Though this crew has the title of “intern,” they are valued members of our ever-expanding team. With much to learn and practice we are sure to see some amazing new content come from them! Meet the new additions:

Amelia Lorenz – CalArts – http://gogeckogirl.blogspot.com/

Dana Terrace – SVA – http://dana-draws.blogspot.com/

Jeremy Bondy – Sheridan – http://cargocollective.com/jeremybondy

Lauren Duda – SCAD – http://laurenduda.com

Eusong Lee – CalArts – http://eusong.blogspot.com/

Jacob Streilein – CalArts – http://jcstryline.blogspot.com/

Julia Srednicki – CalArts – http://srednicki.blogspot.com/

Kristen Gish – Ringling – kristengishportfolio.blogspot.com

Jason Reicher – CalArts – http://jasonreicher.blogspot.com/

Samantha Wei – Otis – http://cargocollective.com/sammiewei

New Birthday eCard – Old People Smell

In our newest birthday eCard, Old People Smell, you can let that someone special know that they are getting older & beginning to develop that old person smell. We talked more with Neil Housego to learn about the artistic ability reeking from him.

1. Where did you go to school?

I went to school at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication and graduated with a BA in Three Dimensional Design, way back in 1997. I’m a self taught animator, but in recent times I’ve been lucky enough to get to know the amazing Matt Williames (Coraline, Princess and the Frog). His advice and passion for the discipline has really helped me to grow as an artist.

2. How long did this card take to animate?

I took one weekend to complete all the character design and development. Then the following two weekends to take it from the pencil test stage all the way through to painting and compositing.

3. Where did your inspiration come from?

As with all my work, the main inspiration for the piece comes from life and observing the things going on around me. It sounds so cliche but it really is an endless source of inspiration. Also I think one of my favourite artists the legendary Playboy cartoonist Erich Sokol may be in there somewhere.

4. Do you think old people really do smell?

Just a little bit, but that’s endearing, right?

If you would like to see more of Neil’s work you can visit his portfolio here: www.cargocollective.com/neilhousego.

Have a friend with a birthday? Send this eCard or another one of our funny birthday eCards. Smell ya later!

Katy Perry Becomes Part of JibJab

Looking for a new, FREE, fun Starring You video? How about one set to a number one song on Billboard ‘s special The 30 Summer Songs of All Time list? And one you can appear in alongside international pop superstar, Katy Perry?

Well, look no further than JibJab.com and cast yourself and friends in Katy Perry’s California Gurls music video! It is brought to you by the new movie: KATY PERRY: PART OF ME 3D in theaters July 4th weekend!

We Want YOUR Opinion on Our New Site Navigation!

We changed the navigation our site to make it easier to find all the categories we offer! We really like it here at JibJab HQ but, more importantly, we are wondering what you think.  Please let us know here in the comments if you have an opinion.  Thanks in advance!

New Birthday Card – Robo Years

Our newest birthday card, Robo Years, comes from the brains and hands of Nate Theis and Ken Turner. After Nate whipped up a robotic animatic, Ken went to work putting his own spin on it. We talked with Ken to find out a little more about the man behind the robot.

Where did you go to school?

-I went to Sheridan College for Animation and graduated in 2007.

How long did this card take to animate?

-The Robo Years Card took about 1 – 2 days to animate.

Where did your inspiration come from?

-Well the design wasn’t that far off the rough story reel design, but I wanted to change it a bit.  I gave him a round head, a mouth, more antennas, different hands (one is scissors, and the other has fingers), and redesigned the circuit board on his chest.  I think I had just watched the film Forbidden Planet and really liked that dome head design.  There is also a certain amount of charm to that robot that I wanted to bring to this eCard robot.

Favorite robot in the media? (The terminator counts)

-If it’s robots in pop culture, I’d say the UFO robots from 80’s film “Batteries Not Included.”

You can check out more of Ken’s awesome art and more videos here: http://kenturner.blogspot.com.

Our Hero Dad

Father’s Day is Sunday and we have a great new eCard to send – Our Hero Dad! To learn more about the creative process behind this card, we spoke to Jeff, our Director of eCards.

-Did you have any direction in drawing the animatic of Our Hero Dad? Or as you listened to the song did it just come to you? 

           After hearing the track that Scott wrote, the first thing that came to mind was the old Monty Python song about being a lumberjack. I used to love that song as a kid, so I thought this would be a great homage of sorts.

-Did you pull any inspiration from a family member?

          My Dad has always been somewhat heroic in my eyes, whether providing homes to rescued animals or helping his stranded son during a cross-country trip. Most of the gags are jokes based on other stereotypical fathers (my Dad actually works wonders when behind a grill) but when it comes to being there in a pinch, my Dad’s da man!

-Are you planning on sending it to your Dad?

         Heck YEAH I am! Our Starring You cards are always 10x funnier when you put faces of people you know in ‘em, so I’ll be sending this card to my whole family!

Watch the animatic below to see the first stages of Our Hero Dad.

Jeff laid this ground work then Alex and Romney illustrated. While 2 of our other artists, Jeff and Nate then took over to provide their animation skills. It was a team effort to create this awesome tribute to Dad – make one for your Dad today! 

Party Your Arrr’s Off

Pirates seem to be the summer theme at JibJab. Not only do we call our office a Pirate Ship, but our new Birthday card this week features pirates celebrating in Party Your Arrr’s Off. The artist behind this eCard, Eddie, had a great time preparing for it by drinking rum, watching pirate movies and scouring the beaches. He drew a lot of inspiration from his girlfriend’s style of art, check out her unique cartoons at http://blog.instantdoodles.com. Watch the animatic done by another one of our buccaneers, Nate, to see the beginning stages of this swashbuckeling eCard.

Eddie has been a member of the JibJab team for just about a year. He started as an intern here last summer after picking up some serious animation skills at Sheridan College. His favorite artists include Seth Engstrom, Peter De Seve, Nicolas Marlet and Sylvain Marc. He’s teaching himself how to play piano and his favorite book is still Dinotopia, a story about a father and son who discover an island inhabited by people and dinosaurs living together. See more of his work at spottedart.blogspot.com.


Check out what our friend Mauro made!

Our friend Mauro Gatti is a brilliant designer / artist / animator and he recently self published this book…

SUPER BEST FRIENDS

The thing that makes Mauro awesome is that not only can he draw like nobody’s business, but he’s FUNNY!  Unfortunately, for this project he could not find a large publishing house that would agree to print it on recycled paper so he self funded the production.  How’s that for sticking to your guns?

Check it out – if it makes you smile (and you can spare a few bucks) support the artist.  Grazie!

Team Photo Day!

We were brought back to our school picture days this week when we had Team Photo Day here at JibJab!  During the photo shoot, we had the bright idea to animate the group photo of us. Check out the team in motion…

We are a pretty good looking bunch, if we say so ourselves! Wanna join our team? We are hiring!

Rest in Peace, Mark Ryback

We tragically lost one of our own last week. Mark Ryback, our System Administrator, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.  Mark, a devoted husband and father, had a passion for skateboarding, loved jammin’ out to the Greatful Dead and was extremely dedicated to his work here at JibJab.

Mark was a part of the JibJab family for close to four years and will definitely be missed. Consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society or Grind for Life in memory of Mark or for someone you know who has been affected by cancer.

Where Do the Ghost Heads Come From?

Do you ever wonder who’s head you are covering up when you make one of our many fun Starring You eCards? As you know we typically use an employee as an actor or model for a new video, but did you know our faces are also the grey default heads? We recently had a photo shoot of some of us here to make some new ghost heads for the site. It was school picture day all over again and with the help of our trusty photographer, Anthony, we got some great faces!

So go ahead…cover up our mugs with your faces & make some Starring You videos!

ATTENTION!! Drill Sergeant Mom

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching this Sunday we are in no shortage of fun cards to make Mom feel special on her day. In our newest Mother’s Day eCard, Drill Sergeant Mom, we see a cartoon mom singing her way through a day of keeping her house together. It is animated, but did you know we actually photograph every move our characters make to help the artists animate in a realistic way?

As an employee here it is not unusual to be asked to put on a costume to help make an eCard. Here we see our Director of Production, Corey, dressed as the Drill Sergeant Mom and one of our animators, Nate, as the child.

Now check out the cartoon storyboard below. Can you see art imitating life?

Have you sent your Mom a card yet? Create Drill Sergeant Mom today & we will deliver it to her on the 13th!

Ben & Jerry’s Stopped By!

After reading about the Ben & Jerry’s truck tour in LA, the JibJab team instantly got on Twitter to ask them for some free Ben & Jerry’s!  They stopped by last week to share with us their new Greek Frozen Yogurt. We took a break and escaped to the parking lot to try out their flavors: Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Peanut Butter Banana and Strawberry Shortcake. They were delicious! OPA!

Want Ben & Jerry’s to stop by your office? Check them out on Twitter.

MLB Uniform Changes!

It’s baseball season which means it’s time for you to represent your favorite Major League Baseball team in our Take Me Out to the Ball Game video!  Did you know many of the teams went through official uniform changes during the off-season?  We followed suit (and uniform) by adding updated logos to the hats and pin stripes to home uniforms…it’s a good thing we created a smooth science to create all 30 videos!

The biggest change definitely was the re-branding of the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins. Check out the difference here:


Has your favorite team changed up their uniform? 

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