01 Jan Computers Arts Project Issue 93 – Flash Films
As Flash’s capabilities have grown, so has the scope and quality of movies created with it. We look at the growth of an internet phenomenon…
Flash may be a venerable ten years old, but films created using the medium are nearly as ancient. And not just the frustrating ‘Skip Intro’ movies which used to grace just about every corporate website; they range from in-depth, scripted and feature films to satirical take-offs of popular culture and anarchic videos put together by enterprising young designers.
In fact, Flash is everywhere, and it’s a testament to the medium that it’s been used for telling stories in so many different ways. Surprisingly, though, it’s generally reckoned that the first Flash-animated series produced for the web came not from an avid enthusiast, but a professional animator.
John Kricfalusi is the infamous creator of Ren & Stimpy and other shows mixing satire and cultural comment with typical cartoon ultraviolence. It was the willingness to be daring that led to one of his characters, George Liquor, being banned from the Ren & Stimpy show. Undaunted, Kricfalusi turned to the web and discovered that Flash was perfect for his rough style of animation and also cheap to produce. Thus The Goddamn George Liquor Program made its debut on the net in 1998, free from any censorship.