The Incredible Animation of the New "Cosmos"

Bringing Cosmos back is one of the best things to happen to television since Walter White decided to break bad. The series was rebooted by FOX with the help of Seth MacFarlane, the maker of Family Guy, American Dad, and the upcoming movie A Million Ways to Die in the West.


For Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, MacFarlane tapped one of his animators. Victoria McNally at Geekosystem has the interview:

Kara Vallow might not be a name you’re very familiar with, and that’s okay; she tends to stay behind the scenes on the production side of animation. Her resume, however, is pretty stacked: she’s worked on Dilbert, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Johnny Bravo and Drawn Together, as well as the Jessica Yu documentary, In The Realms of the Undead, about the life and work of painter Henry Darger. Of cours, she’s probably best known for her work with Seth MacFarlane, which includes Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show. She was kind enough to speak to us this week about her involvement with Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, and what went into creating such a distinct, integral part of the series.

From animator Kara Vallow:

When I first talked to Seth about what he was imagining, he threw a few key words at me: “adult” and “sophisticated” and “noire.” And then he sort of left me on my own to figure it out, which was a little intimidating. I’ve been working on television and animation for so long and it involved thinking outside of that arena completely. I hadn’t really done that in a while!

So I went to a lot of independent and non-American animated films. I hadn’t really seen any non-commercial cartoons in a long time and felt out of the loop! But I saw a lot of really interesting stuff that really inspired me to start thinking about different modes and styles of animation. The Secret of Kells was a big one—flat and sort of primitive but stylistically really distinct, like a painted mural. Another one was called The Invention of Love, a short by this art student. It had this really beautiful romantic story told all in silhouettes. I showed stills from some of these films to the producers and they loved a lot of them, and we sort of went from there.

To read McNally's complete fascinating interview, head over to Geekosystem.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

Videos
  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less