Monday, July 22, 2019

Crash and Spyro at Sony / MGM Studios in LA

There's a gift shop on the Sony MGM studio lot in Los Angeles. Actually it's the Culver City area to be exact. The studio has been around for many years going way back to the silent movie days. Many great movies were filmed there along with the many years of their cartoon studio producing Tom and Jerry and other animated shows over the decades.

A student of mine was touring the studio recently and when he visited their gift shop he saw some Spyro dolls and Crash toys on display. Their gift shop is not open to the public. It's a treat to find out they carry the characters there. He took this photo and shared it with me. Thought fans out there would enjoy seeing something unique and special.

8 comments:

Gabriele.T92 said...

It's always nice to see Crash and Spyro not only acknowledged but also beloved by Sony. Too bad they gave them away, they could have had their Mario and Zelda right there.

Charles Z said...

I never met a Sony or Sony / MGM exec but I did meet a few while Universal owned Crash and Spyro. Aside from Mark Biniaz and Mark Cerny the ones I had conversations / meetings with were not that impressive. I felt they didn't know what they had or how to handle it. One guy in particular struck me as exceptionally slimy. I don't remember his name but boy was he a creep. Hollywood is full of guys like that. Activision owns both franchises now and that's the way it goes. Maybe it was easier to sell off the characters than to nurture their continued development. Can you imagine Disney selling Mickey Mouse or Warners selling Bugs Bunny?

Gabriele.T92 said...

I was more talking about the current Sony execs, at least the gaming section of the company seems to be very interested in Crash especially, maybe it's because of the nostalgia train, but having the trilogy come out on the PS4 before any other console and having exclusive content for the new CTR for PS4 is a big sign that they now understand what they had in their hands and how big Crash is.

Charles Z said...

Yes... "now they understand what they had in their hands and how big Crash is." Boy these guys are really special. Executives are so smart! Anyway I'm just having some fun here. But I'm sure you can tell from my comments that I don't particularly hold executives in the entertainment industry in very high regard. And believe me friends I'm not the only one in the biz who shares this sentiment.

If these guys are brighter than a dim light bulb then why didn't they keep someone as unique to Crash Bandicoot as Joe Pearson on board? Don't you think the Crash franchise would've been much better over all these years if these geniuses would've engaged the talents of the individual most responsible for the creative vibrancy of the franchise?

Doesn't matter in the long run I guess since he went on to do great things in his career after his work on Crash. But imagine what it could've been like if they would've kept him involved.

Ripper Roo Never Jobs said...

Hey there, Charles.

After playing the new Crash Team Racing game recently and unlocking the Crash Nitro Kart boss cast I started to wonder how and why did you choose to design these characters like that? What was the philosophy behind such designs? Do you have any sketches/concept art of Crash Nitro Kart?

Charles Z said...

Hello Ripper Roo NJ. As with any project when it's in the concept development phase a lot of artwork is generated in a variety of different approaches. In the beginning it's an open frontier. Whatever comes to mind you get the image / images out and when there's a good body of work it's presented to the supervising individuals and decision makers who then start to point you in the direction they're inclined to go in based upon what they see and the general consensus of that group.

It's then refined and when you get a final design it moves down the production pipeline to the modelers and animators and so on.

Regarding the art for Crash Nitro Kart I made it a point to include in our contract that my school would own all the original art created by our design team for the game. So I have it all. I have what I did plus what Joe Pearson did and what John Nevarez and Alan Simmons and Snakebite Cortez did and whoever we were working with on our side of things.

Ripper Roo Never Jobs said...

That's pretty interesting.
Is there any link available for the Crash Nitro Kart concept art?

Charles Z said...

I posted some Emperor Velo art a few years ago. I think it was 2012. There's not much content from the development work we did on CNK online if any at all besides what I mentioned. I'd have to do a lot of scanning to get everything.

Do a search for "The Road to Velo" and you'll get some links. I posted art in several parts on my blog.

Also follow this link to see everything organized under one topic...

https://www.crashmania.net/en/games/crash-nitro-kart/artwork/charles-zembillas/