CTN Animation Expo - Next Weekend! + Bunch of Other News!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hey guys!
Even though Okay Place is done, we're moving forward at breakneck speed! We've spent the greater part of our time recently prepping for the Creative Talent Network's 2nd Annual Animation Expo, which is being held in Burbank Nov 19-21.

The Burbank Marriott Convention Center
2500 N. Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505

If you're in the area, you should come out! Here's a link to registration and a 10% discount code:
So what can you expect to see at the Sonic Bunny table at the expo?
  • HUGE TV display with sizzle reel and clips of An Okay Place To Eat and Sonic Bunny's 2nd project: ZOMBIE MURDER EXPLOSION DIE!
  • Listening station where you can explore the Okay Place & ZMED worlds!
  • Posters & art from both shows
  • Postcard take-aways
  • Andrew, Evan, and Scout in person....golly gee!
  • Free chupa-chup lollypops to everyone who stops by!
  • Biz card bin for a chance to win free lunch with the Sonic Bunny team

In other news...Okay Place is also on imdb now, which is super awesome that everyone can get credit, including all of those who donated and helped us get this thing made! Check it out on imdb: 

Lastly, we're in the process of setting up meetings with agents so we can get all the network meetings we want for Okay Place...so stay tuned!

Tag + Screening Results

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hi everyone!
Thanks to the 100+ people who came out to our screening at Busby's East in Hollywood last week. It was freakin' rad to have so many people there supporting us. Thank you so much!

For those of you who couldn't make it...here's the play by play: We started around 7. By 8 the party was kicking! 8:30, we screened Okay Place. Then we screened  a sneak peak of our second project: ZOMBIE MURDER EXPLOSION DIE. The sneak peak is on the ZMED website, so click to see it.

Both of them were well-received and we are happy to say that regardless of people's age or background, it seemed as though everyone laughed and found something they really liked about Okay Place. We are very optimistic about the future. It's been submitted for consideration to the Annie Awards (the Emmys/Oscars for animation) and we'll be pitching it to networks in the near future. Unfortunately, you won't be able to see Okay Place in its entirety online until we're done pitching it.

In the meantime, here's a bit of animation to keep you going. The clip below is the tag that plays after the credits. We discovered this little gem of improvisation during our editing process and just HAD to animate it.

Bang is one of the chefs, who works in the kitchen at Okay Place. He's a curmudgeon, but when Colonel promises a week's vacation to the person that discovers who did the five-finger shuffle in the kitchen...he's totally on board. Hawaiian shirt and all! Enjoy!

Official Trailers + Screening Party!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hey guys! We're going to sound mixing on Friday for Okay Place, you know what that means? We're almost done! 14 months, 10 actors, and 20 crew made it happen. We want you to come out and celebrate with us at our first screening:

7:00-9:30 PM


Busby's is awesome. They have a huge swanky ballroom, 20 kinds of beer on tap (so 21 and over please), and free parking in the back! Please come out and bring your friends. Everyone is welcome!

To celebrate, here are our two trailers...you've probably seen them before, but just in case, you haven't here they are with our new logo!

See you at the party!

Dragon*Con Trailers!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hey guys! It's going to be an exciting weekend. Andrew, our writer/director, and Evan our other brilliant writer (he made me say that), are going to hit the floors at Dragon*Con in Atlanta to promote Okay Place and Sonic Bunny's other project Zombie Murder Explosion Die.

This is not a random occurance. In fact, Andrew's short film, TOBACCO MAN (click it to see it) is playing at Dragon*Con in their film festival. If you're going to be there, it's playing Friday at 5:30pm and Sunday at 10:30pm.  So cross your fingers for a win!!

We're very close to wrapping animation on Okay Place, so we had enough fun stuff to cut into a couple of trailers. They'll show in between short films at the festival. We couldn't wait to share them with you, especially because they contain a little taste of our Okay Place theme song. Enjoy!

Peek Inside An Okay Place To Eat!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Below are some of our interior shots for An Okay Place To Eat, done by our awesome storyboard/background artist, Chris Paluszek, from Robot Chicken, Titan Maximum, among others! Q&A with Chris after the breaks!

1) You've been with Okay Place since the beginning, what are your thoughts on the show?
C: I'm excited. There's a real wealth of content just waiting to be mined in later episodes (fingers crossed!). I think the best thing is how distinct each character is- no two serve the same purpose and they all have such great personalities.

2) What approach did you take when it came to backgrounds?
C: To keep them simple and not too distracting. A 50s-type diner has a lot of opportunity to be filled with a lot of kitsch and flair, but if it pulls viewer attention away from the characters and animation
you're hurting the show.

3) We hear you're going to be animating a pivotal scene between Sergeant Cereal & Hector Spector. What about it are you most looking forward to?
C: Any line from Sergeant Cereal is gold, but it's his reactions to Spector's timidity that I can't wait to animate.

4)  If you were stranded on a desert island with the employees from An Okay Place to Eat, and you could save one person, who would it be and why?
C: Juke-A-Tron, because if I were to murder him and hollow him out, he'd make the most stable raft. Crash is a close second, though.

5) Who was your favorite food or beverage mascot as a child?
C: The Noid, because he make the least amount of sense. He's a man in a costume? He has ears? But he's really tiny, so is he a goblin, or maybe some sort of demon? All I know is he wants pizza, and I can
relate to that.

6) Did you draw on your personal experiences to tailor the look of An Okay Place To Eat? If so, what diner did you model it on?
Back home in Norfolk there's an incredible diner named "Doumar's" that's been around since the 30s, I think. It still operates as a drive-in so they'll serve you in your car. Definitely worth it if you're ever in the Virginia Tidewater area.

7) If you were forced to have sex with either Ruby Gold or Delilah, which one would you choose and why?
C: Ruby, mainly because I'm afraid of Delilah.

8) Would you eat at An Okay Place To Eat? If so, what's your favorite thing on the menu?
C: Every food establishment gets a shot from me, and if I were to order anything it would be whatever's the chef special. Although having drawn the kitchen background I know that includes "the brown lettuce,
yogurt, and spices," so maybe I'd just have some coffee or something.

9) You were also the storyboard artist. Tell us a little bit about what that was like.
C: It's like a sampler platter of every role on the show. There's a little bit of everything: backgrounds, animation, character design...it's incredible to be in control of all of that at once.

10) Give us an example of how of your creative storyboard ideas were incorporated.
C: When Hector steps in water in the beginning, the script called for a puddle but I thought it would be outrageous if it were actually a deep hole in the middle of the diner. That way it both underscores the
quality of OK Place and gives the "Jesus walking on water" gag a little more clarity. I pitched that to the director, Andrew Racho, and he loved it.

11) Where can we see some of your other work?
I have some clips of my previous work at chrispstuff.com, and I have a blog that I never update at painguage.blogspot.com

Cheeseburger, Please, With A Side of Rabbit...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A couple nuggets of exciting news! Our director, Andrew Racho's, animated short film, Tobacco Man, will be playing at Dragon Con in Atlanta (Sept 3-6). Sonic Bunny is sending him and our other writer, Evan Dannemiller, to the Con to promote Okay Place. So if you're going to be there, let us know!
It's DOUBLE BONUS DAY at An Okay Place To Eat! One post, TWO clips! The lovelies below were animated by our wonderfully talented animator, Caroline Foley. Q&A with Caroline after the breaks. Careful! Clip 2 is not for the squeemish. Well, after the Ruby clip last week, you should have developed a tolerance by now :)

Clip 1 - Sergeant Cereal voiced by R. Lee Ermey

INTERVIEW: Caroline Foley - Animator:
Caroline, you animated a scene with Sergeant Cereal, so we're going to ask you a lot of questions about him...some personal. Okay? Okay. Good.

1) What was your initial reaction to Sergeant Cereal?
C: Who is this guy and why is he yelling at me!

2) Did you picture R. Lee Ermey when animating Sgt. Cereal? 
C: Yes, and it terrified the shit out of me!

2A) Did that influence the way you drew out his movements?
C: You don't have much say in a situation when you have a gun pointing at your
head... even if the gun isn't real... and by "isn't real" I mean "real".

3) Would you follow Sgt. Cereal into battle?
C: I have a feeling I wouldn't have a choice.

4) What do you think he's like in the sack?
C: Pudding. Kinda gross, right?

5) Do you think he has any illegitimate children with women from the South Pacific?
C: I believe all children of the world are legitimate! *sparkle hearts and rainbow farts*

Clip 2 - Hector Spector voiced by Scott Adsit

Alright, now that you're grossed out, we move on...

6) What was your favorite scene to animate and why?
C: The dead bunny scene! Because who doesn't love cute dead animals? Thanks for the reference, guys!!!

7) If you were stranded on a desert island with the employees from An Okay Place to Eat, and you could save one person, who would it be and why?
C: Tasty Bear because bears are people too! And I don't think he'd give me no lip, ya know what I'm sayin? Also, I think he would be great at finding food. And then eating it.

8) Who was your favorite food or beverage mascot as a child?
C: Tony the Tiger! He's grrrrrreat!

9) Where can we see more of your animation?
C: On my website: http://www.undressedanimals.com/

That's it on this end! Check back in a few weeks for one of our Okay Place Trailers! P.S. For all of THE ROOM fans out there...there's a throw back to the film in the 2nd clip. Can you spot it? Go, go, go, go, go, go, go...Alcatraz! <--That may or not be a hint.

Ruby Gold Will Quench Your Thirst!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ruby Gold tends bar-- we mean counter at An Okay Place To Eat. In her glory days, she was the hot young beer maiden for Saint Moon's All-American Beer. She toured around the country, promoting Saint Moon, until she got crow's feet and her boobs started to droop. And the rest...well, see for yourself.

After the break: interviews with Julie Amato, the voice of Ruby, and Vicky Lelgant, who brought her to life!

Drunk Waitress + Family Restaurant = Fun For All! from Sonic Bunny on Vimeo.

INTERVIEW: Julie Amato, the voice of Ruby:

1) What was your initial reaction to Ruby Gold?
When I first read her dialogue, I thought..."Oh, yes.....a COUGAR! I love her."

2) What kind of voice did you choose for Ruby and why?
I used the lower/bass range of my voice, as my experience has been that the "ladies" who have spent much time as bartenders tend to drink themselves, and the older they get, the deeper their voices seem to be. And SEXY, as well!

3) Is there anything from your life that your brought into the character of Ruby Gold?
The "flirtiness" that a woman in her [type of] job is used to demonstrating....if you're a social creature, you tend to flirt a bit...it's natural, and very much with her.

4) How old do you think Ruby will be when God or the Devil calls to her? And, which one do you think will call to her?
I think the Devil may call to her first, and it won't be long!....tee hee....if the right man appears, whether he's married or not! I think she plans to be around for a long time, and will make sure of it...

5) I heard An Okay Place to Eat is your favorite show you've ever worked on. Why is it so awesome?
Everyone involved is very talented, friendly, and ready to give it their ALL to make it happen....even the engineers, who are wonderful. Not to even mention the CARE and resourcefulness shown by Scout
Raskin....very inspiring.

INTERVIEW: Vicky Lelgant, Ruby's animator:

1) So um, yeah. You had a pretty gross scene to animate for Ruby...
I actually got pretty excited about it. A lot of my own work includes cute animals and fairy tales, so breaking away from that was pretty awesome. You know it’s good when you’re giggling as you work.

2) Were there any events in your personal life that helped you bring it to life?
I mainly thought about those times when you’re at a bar and some creepy drunk guy tries to pick you up. Except in this case the roles were reversed from what I’m used to. I also tried to think back to my own experience with alcohol to get Ruby’s movements and mannerisms, but I’m not going into detail about that. :) As for the particularly gross bit at the end of that scene, let’s just say, I think it was given to a girl for a reason.

3) What was your initial reaction to Ruby Gold?
I think I felt a little sorry for her at first, but in that way that you feel bad, but laugh anyway. Ruby definitely has a way of growing on you. The more I worked on her, the more I felt like, yes, she’s a mess, but she’s not about to apologize for having fun and I respect that.

4) If you were stranded on a desert island with the employees from An Okay Place to Eat, and you could one save one person, who would it be and why?
I think I would have to save the Colonel. He’s not the most fun choice, but he owes Jesus money so you know eventually Jesus will have to show up to get it. That’s when we ask him to get us off the island. We’re saved!

5) How is it working remotely with Jon Henshaw, the lead animator, and Andrew Racho, the director? 
It’s pretty nice because I’m in charge of my own schedule. You don’t really feel like you’re working when you’re working from home. It’s very freeing. The drawback is having to communicate something about acting or movement over email or phone, rather than just acting it out right there.

6) Who was your favorite food or beverage mascot as a child?
I think I liked the Trix Rabbit and Cocoa Puffs Bird. Mostly because I really felt bad for them. That rabbit tries so hard, and they just tease him. That poor bird is clearly an addict! Why won’t somebody help him?!

7) I heard An Okay Place to Eat is your favorite show you've ever worked on. Why is it so awesome?
Haha, lots of reasons. It’s stress free and I get a lot of freedom with the animation. The characters are hilarious! If you look at the mascots you grew up with, you just know that if they were real people, there’s no way they’d be right in the head.

It’s also really nice when I get a chance to work on something I actually believe in. It doesn’t happen with every job, but I really think An Okay Place to Eat has a lot of potential, so I have an added bit of excitement to see where it goes from here.

R. Lee Ermey - Most Bad-ass Drill Sergeant Of All Time!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hey guys!

Scout here. We were very fortunate to get R. Lee Ermey to play "Sergeant Cereal" in An Okay Place To Eat. 

 As a low budget production, we weren't sure if we could get name talent. For R. Lee, his foray into the world of animation was largely through the Toy Story franchise, which as you know, is very...well...G-rated. Okay Place is definitely not. Long story short, R. Lee loved the script and came aboard. We recorded him back in January.

Here's some Q&A from a recent interview about working with him:

Who's doing the voices for Okay Place?
Racho:  Scott Adsit from 30 Rock and Moral Orel,  voice over legend Jim Cummings, the ubiquitous and hilarious Jason Marsden…and of course R. Lee Ermey from Full Metal Jacket!
R. Lee Ermey, the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket?
Dannemiller:  Yeah, it was a real treat.  We wrote a character named Sergeant Cereal, a mascot for an Army-based cereal.  He's in-your-face and always yelling.  We wrote it with R. Lee's voice in mind, never expecting to get him to do it.  Scout talked to his agent, sent him the script and to our surprise, he loved it.  He came to the records and said, "you guys have some balls to write this."
What was it like working with him?
Dannemiller:  Awesome like a hot-wheels commercial!
Racho:  I was nervous to direct him at first.  I mean, he's worked with Kubrick and Pixar.  During the records, I had actors ad-lib a lot to help them get into character faster and R. Lee had fun with that.  In his big scene with the health inspector, most of his takes are ad-libbed riffs of the original script.  It was so much fun and we're lucky to have him on board.
Getting to work with R. Lee was one of the best days of my life, hands down. He's an all around great guy! Personable, talented, and warm. Can't wait to work with him again! 
We also want to congratulate him on Toy Story 3. So far it's made over $300 Million worldwide! Also, he's in a new Geico commercial, so check it out: 


Have A Little Taste of Okay Place

Monday, June 21, 2010

We have over 2 minutes animated so far, so here's your exclusive sneak peak at what we've been cooking up. After the break, learn about our process from our Lead Animator, Jon Henshaw! So please enjoy your family dining experience at An Okay Place To Eat!

Delilah Gives Hector A Hard Time from Sonic Bunny on Vimeo.
Animated by the lovely Dawn Nakama. Voiced by the every-funny Alicyn Packard and Scott Adsit.

Hey Everyone!

I'm Jon Henshaw. I'm the Lead Animator on An Okay Place To Eat. I've been an Animator for the past 12 years and have worked on numerous commercials for Cartoon Network, the Adult Swim series Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law. It was on Harvey Birdman that I was able to make the transition from animating with pencil and paper to the digital realm of Flash. It was also the basis for running a production where animators don't have to be in the same building, working on the same project. Through the power of technology, we have been able to create a virtual studio, where animators, directors, and producers can all work remotely at their desired location and contribute to the project.

Our Animation team consists of Vicky Lelgant, Dawn Nakama, Deke Wightman, Chris Paluszek, and Caroline Foley. Some are working Georgia, some in New Jersey, and some in Los Angeles. To set the style of animation, I did the first couple of shots. It's my job as Lead Animator to keep the style consistent across all animators and all scenes. I want the animators to have fun with the characters and the shots. I want them to follow the storyboards, but if they want to add little nuances to a shot or a character that will heighten the shot, then I'm all for it! It's my experience that if animators are happy and feel connected to the production they are animating, then it will end up being a better product.

Right now, we are deep into production and animation is going very smoothly. The show is looking great and we're gonna keep plugging away to finish up by August.

Jon Henshaw
Toonalooney Studios 

Sneak Animation Peak...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hey everyone! An article about Okay Place just dropped today in Animation Magazine amongst all the Toy Story 3 news, which is pretty cool. Check it out here:

Also, check back Monday, we'll have a sneak peak at the animation. It's something that's going to make you laugh so I hope you'll come back and check it out!


Meet The Characters And Cast!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hey guys! Scout, with Sonic Bunny Productions, here. I'm producing this puppy! Thought I would weigh in a share with you the characters of An Okay Place To Eat! The beauty of this project is how much time Andrew and Evan spent on developing the characters' backstories, motivations, and relationships with each other. Development like this is super important to longevity of what we hope is a successful series. So here we go:

This guy opened An Okay Place To Eat to relive his childhood and convinced his childhood heroes to work there. Colonel is often delusional about Okay Place and the mascots who work there. He also hates Jesus cause Jesus takes all of his money.

Voiced by none other than "Mr. Disney" himself, JIM CUMMINGS. IMDB Page Here

She's the hostess without the mostest at Okay Place. She has a growth disorder, which let her be the mascot for Little Delilah Snack Cakes for twenty years before they gave her the boot. She looks cute, but she's a crass, self-centered little bitch.

Voiced by the lovely and talented ALICYN PACKARD. IMDB Page Here

He's a true military man and a gentleman..well, sort of. He holds Okay Place to military standards. As a waiter, he recieves orders instead of giving them, but that doesn't stop him from treating customers like maggots. He's brash, in your face, and mixes metaphors your mother shouldn't hear. But damnit! He'll get your order right!

Voiced by the totally awesome R. LEE ERMEY! IMDB Page Here

Twinkles is a true cowboy and former mascot for a creme-filled snack food of the same name. He's lovable, simple, and senile, but be careful, this Texan keeps his pistols loaded!

Voiced by the hilarious JASON MARSDEN. IMDB Page Here
Tasty Bear pretends to the be the dish washer at Okay Place.  When he's not smoking up under the sink, of course. With his laid back attitude and distracted work ethic, it's a mystery why Colonel keeps him around.  Guess Colonel really loves Tasty Crisps Cereal...a lot.

Voiced by our very own deep throat, ADAM JARED SMITH. IMDB Page Here

Biff is the mascot for a seasoning packet that makes even lima beans delicious! He's innocent, eager to please, which makes him the whipping boy for his coworkers. And he wants to make everyone happy, just like Mickey Mouse.

Voiced by our director, ANDREW RACHO. IMDB Page Here

These brothers are the three stooges of cooking. Bang: curmudgeon, Crash: nitwit, and Smash: leader. They had their very own boy band in the 1950s, but success was short lived, so they're bitter at everything and each other.  They pull pranks on each other and the rest of the staff. But in times of danger, brothers stick together.

Voiced by ANDREW RACHO and the coolest VO guy around, SCOTT HOLST. IMDB Page Here

George is a regular teen with the misfortune of picking Okay Place as his first job. He's a reliable busy boy and has a good work ethic, but he's naive about the world. The one thing he does know, Okay Place is a frakkin' insane place to work!

Voice by the super talented JARED HILLMAN. IMDB Page Here

Ruby got her start as the hot, young beer maiden for Saint Moon Beer. As she aged, her sanity went the way of her looks. She's desperate for male attention and a bottle of whiskey between her lips.

Voiced by a really cool chick: JULIE AMATO. IMDB Page Here

Jesus is the property owner of An Okay Place To Eat. He rolls in style; the ladies love him and they guys want to hang with him. He's the nicest and friendliest guy around. If you're in trouble, Jesus has your back. Everyone loves him except Colonel...cause he has to pay rent.

Also voiced by the hilarious JASON MARSDEN. IMDB Page Here

Hector Spector is an anal retentive neat freak with a tendancy toward hypocondria, which makes him amazing at his job as a health inspector. His mission to rid the world of deplorable eateries such as An Okay Place To Eat. Yes, ladies, he's single.

Voiced by the funny and talented SCOTT ADSIT. IMDB Page Here

That's the whole gang! Stay tuned for sneak peaks at the animation, cast and crew interviews, and other exciting news!

Hey Everyone!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thanks for visiting our blog! I hope you’ll follow us as we’ll be updating with awesome news, stellar interviews, and video sneak peeks into our project. We are about half-way through the production process of our animated short, An Okay Place to Eat! Our animators are hard at work and have over a minute of animation completed! Nine more to go!

What is this Okay Place project? A while back, co-writer Evan Dannemiller and I developed an entire animated series. We wrote two scripts, planned out a season, and wrote elaborate back-stories for the characters. We felt the next step would be to animate the pilot. We collaborated with Scout Raskin of Sonic Bunny Productions to produce the first half of one of our episodes of the show we dubbed, "An Okay Place to Eat."

So what’s the series about? The series follows Colonel Jeremiah Jessup, the owner of a failed diner. One day, he realizes he's all alone and never amounted to anything in his life. So he makes a bold choice to revamp his diner into a themed restaurant where his favorite food mascots work. In a sense, he wants to relive the happiest time of his life: childhood. He manages to convince all the real mascots from his youth to work for him. Unfortunately, his heroes are old, senile, bitter, and definitely haven’t aged gracelessly.

What happens in the pilot? We chose to produce the first half of one of our episodes, "Who Came?" as our pilot. In this episode, Hector Spector, the health inspector, comes to secretly inspect the diner and accidentally falls face-first into a pile of man goo. Yes, you read it right. Man goo. As a result, Colonel has to confront the realization that his childhood heroes are sexual beings. That's certainly not something he thought about when he was a kid. In the second half of the episode, which we aren’t animating just yet, Colonel hires a private detective from his favorite cop show to solve the mystery of “Who Came?”

I hope you get a chance to check out the animation stills, character art, and everything else we're putting up. I'll post more blogs coming up, too.

Also, you can look forward to blog postings from our animators, artists, actors, and everyone involved. Everyone working on this project is doing such an amazing job! We can’t wait to share the project with you as much as we can.


Andrew Racho
Director, Co-Writer, Editor, Actor, blah blah blah blah blah "that guy" blah blah blah