Indie Films

The Chore animation

The Chore

Released 1988
Running time 3:08 minutes
Newt Street Pictures – Joe Murray Studio

The Chore was Joe Murray’s first film, completed in 1987 and released in 1988. It was done with felt pen on typing paper merely as an animation exercise for his college intro animation class. Once completed, it won a 1989 Student Academy Award, and a Focus Film award, was shown on NBC television and was picked up for distribution by both Spike and Mike and Expanded Entertainments Animation Celebration. It had a long festival run, screening at such festivals as Sundance, Annecy, Ottawa, Hiroshima and many others.

Joe Murray - student Oscar
Joe being presented with his Student Oscar by John Lasseter, himself a two time recipient of the student Academy Award.
My Dog Zero
My Dog Zero
Play Video
Milo and Zero
Shooting My Dog Zero

My Dog Zero

Newt St. Pictures presents:  My Dog Zero
a Joe Murray Film
Running Time 11:00 minutes

“My Dog Zero” began production in 1989 and was completed in 1992, as a follow up to the award winning film “The Chore”. During early production, a fellow animation student named Nick Jennings walked into my studio and asked if there was anything he could do to help on the film. He ended up doing all of the backgrounds. After the film received a small grant to complete the cel painting, Nick urged me that the quality would be better controlled if we did it ourselves and spend the money on feeding a student painting crew. Over the course of 16 weeks, a group of 10 to 20 students and friends including Les and Teresa Hedger, Scot Shearer, Rob Ripplinger and George Maestri gathered each weekend to paint cels in exchange for breakfast, lunch and gallons of Turkish coffee. Once completed, Nick helped me film the cels and George Maestri and my late wife Diane recorded a song for the end credits. Tom Schott and Kim Tempest were also an enormous help.

Around the end of production, I got the order to produce the pilot for Rocko’s Modern Life, and I asked Nick Jennings and George Maestri to help. They both became co- producers, and then went on to work on the series. Nick Jennings not only art directed on Rocko, but he went on to an amazing career as an art director on Spongebob and Adventuretime, among other shows.

The pencil test for My Dog Zero was what the Nick producers saw and asked me if I had any ideas for a TV cartoon show. Although I was deeply entrenched in Rocko by the time Zero was released, it went on to play at many festivals including Ottawa, Annecy and Hiroshima as well as inclusion in the touring Spike and Mike Festival.

My Dog Zero
Zero pull hair off
frog in a suit
Frog In A Suit
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Frog still

Frog In A Suit

Paid for by the People, for the People

The history of Frog in a Suit goes back to my quest to start a new animation web channel called KaboingTV. In an effort to kickstart it, I tried to find funding to produce 3 new original episodes of a series I developed called “Frog in a Suit”. After countless rejections by possible investors, I turned to Kickstarter.com to see if we could get some group funding to produce the episodes. I asked for $16,000. and received $20,000. That combined with my own substantial investment, and a very fair price from Jantze Studio for a bulk of the animation, and donated voice contributions from Tom Kenny, (Spongebob, Heffer, Lumpus) Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911, Rocko, Lazlo) and Jill Talley (Nina Neckerly, Second City Chicago) and 3 original episodes debuted, and gave birth to KaboingTV.com.

Frog in a suit
Jobless
Fish Head - A Joe Murray Film
Fish Head - A Joe Murray Film

Fish Head

An Independent Short Film From
Joe Murray Studio and Newt Street Pictures

The small Irish fishing town of Fish Head is turned upside down when Fisherman Blister McFlatus discovers a Magic fish, and wishes for,what he believes to be,his deepest desire.

As a loose adaptation of “A Fisherman’s Wife” by the Brothers Grimm, Fish Head also questions the impact of our “wants” on our overall quality of life. In a way a ‘Green film’, both in the message and the production methods, Fish Head is being produced with mixed media styles. Definitely a “darker tale”, the backgrounds combine a mixture of weathered paint on barn wood, hand made papers and cloth, with recycled cardboard for character coloring.

Fisherman and lantern
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Heds
Play Video

Heds

Joe Murray Studio
Directed and Animated by Joe Murray

Red and Ed are two brothers who were born without bodies. (which happens at times living next to a toxic dump site) One is always happy, and one is always bitter. More of an exercise into how quickly funny content could be produced for the web.