Lou Man Entertainment Media
Dude's Band: Animated Cartoon Series

"Dude's Band" is an animated cartoon series currently in production. The story follows a group of musicians in pursuit of rock stardom and the crazy cast of characters and situation they encounter on their journey.

The band pays their dues through basement rehearsals, performing live auditions, demo recording sessions and touring, as well as meeting crazed fans, celebrities and other music industry types. View the pilot episode below (still in production).

Story Springboard

Pilot Ep. #101: "Let's Start A Band"
- Childhood friends, DUDE, CLEO and MAN form a band with YO, a local music store owner. The band rehearses at Dude's house, where DUDE'S MOM offers comic interjections and a hand made stage outfit for Dude. The band then auditions at the local rock venue, CLUB 9, where they meet the club's owner, MR. COPPERSTEEN, local "talent agent", HARLOW SCARVEYDOG and a host of other characters.

Ep. #102: Battle of the Bands – Dude's Band competes in a Battle of the Bands against the local favorites, Band It, for a chance to win a promo package that includes a recording session, music video and photo shoot, plus a guest appearance on "The Scary Gary TV Show".

Ep. #103: "Get A Haircut and Get A Real Job" - Dude's Mom wants him to cut his hair and get a real job. After a few failed attempts in the working world (janitorial work and packaging tampons), the band convinces Dude to run for mayor and helps draft his mayoral candidacy manifesto. Harlow books the band to play at Dude's "pre-poll" party, though will he actually win?

Ep. #104: "The Band Bus" – Cleo’s older brother has to go to China on business for two weeks, leaving her in charge of his house, while Harlow makes a deal with the band to buy an old touring bus. The band throws a party at Cleo’s brother’s house to raise money to buy the bus. The party is a huge success, until Cleo’s brother unexpectedly gets home early from his business trip.

Ep. #105: "Rock, Drop & Roll" - Harlow books the band for a music festival at a local campground. They are not getting paid, though they are allowed to camp for the weekend for free. So, Dude and the band try their hand at camping, cooking out over an open campfire, etc. The band also meets a host of crazy music fans and even a few of their rock idols backstage.

From The Producer

"Dude's Band" is the story of life in band, that was inspired when I began performing musically in nightclubs in the mid 70's at the age of 13. As with most young bands, you had to be your own booking agent, publicist and roadie, as well as being a performer.

In those early days, you created your own promotional fliers for shows, drawing them by hand and/or clip art (no computers). It was during that time when I began sketching cartoons of my various bands.

The members in Dude's Band are a culmination of the various musicians I have performed with over the years. The stories are based on true life experiences as an aspiring musician, though not completely autobiographical.

Thank you for your interest in this fun and challenging project. Whether you gain a bit of amusement or possibly see a bit of yourself in the series, I hope you enjoy watching the show as much as I enjoy creating it. Feel free to contact me with any comments, questions or suggetions you may have. Thank you again.

J.P. Lewis
Creator / Producer


Here, I hope to answer some of the more commonly asked questions regarding the series.

Q: Are you Dude? If so, why does he have a British accent?

While Dude was drawn based on my image as a youth and many of the situations he will encounter in the series are based on some of my true life experiences, we are not completely one in the same. But, yes there will be many situations that Dude encounters throughout the series, that are based on my personal and professional life experiences.

Dude, like many young artists and musicians, is a dreamer from a small town, though he loves the music of the 60s/70s and would sit and watch Hard Day's Night for hours on end. Dude feels just a little different from others, though he has a close group of friends that also happen to be musician's, who just let Dude be Dude... even if that means emulating a phony British accent on a regular basis.

Q: Do you do all the voices for the characters?

As this was started as an experimental project, I do perform the voices for most of the primary characters; Dude, Man, Yo, Cheeze, Harlow Scarveydog and yes, Dude's Mom.

Dude, as mentioned earlier, is just kind of that hippie kid with a heavy Beatles influence, thus his accent is more of a cross between a laid back hippie and a Liverpudlian. Man is the wise guy street kid, so I use a bit of a New York accent. Yo, is an old school soul brother and musician with a deep baritone voice. Other character voices were influenced by guys I grew up with in the music scenes from LA to Ohio.

Casandra Rose performs the voice of Cleo and some supporting characters, while John Kaminski and Jessica Volke perform voices for additional characters in the pilot and upcoming episodes in the series.

Q: Do you plan to shop this project to Adult Swim or other studios/networks?

Again, this began as an experimental project and has kind of evolved from there. But, I do plan to release the pilot and other episodes via my website (Lou-Man.com), as well as social media channels (YouTube, Facebook, DeviantArt, etc.). If there's an interest, I would consider shopping the pilot to a network or studio for major distribution... or I may stay independent and release shows on DVD, subscriber networks, etc. Right now, I'm just taking my time and enjoying working on this project with a few close and talented friends.

Who plays the music? Is this your band?

All of the music tracks are original works written and performed by myself or co-written with other collaborators. Some of the backing tracks includes music recorded by one of my band's in the 80s, You Look Like Me (w/ Steve Norgrove, John Kaminski, Brett Wares), while other songs and soundtracks were written specifically for the series.

Recently, I've been working again with John Kaminski on the music tracks, which allows me more time to focus on writing the scripts, voice work and the overall production. I haven't written or recorded any music for this project with my current band, The Overtones, though it's not out of the realm of possibilities.

Ultimately, I would like to release an entire album by Dude's Band with songs from the series.

Q: What kind of software / production techniques are you using for this project?

The production is a hybrid consisting of limited animation (Pink Panther, Yellow Submarine, etc.), flash animation (Psychotically Yours, Happy Tree Friends, etc.), still life photography (music instruments, models, etc.) and digital video effects.

The original scripts were written with Final Draft software, however I lost the disc and keys through a series of location moves, but was able to save the format, so now I just use MS Word.

The characters and background scenes are drawn using a Wacom tablet with Adobe Photoshop on an HP PC (thus the pixelation) before being imported into the animation software. The pixelation gives the cartoon that rough look and I feel it portrays the image of a young unpolished band that is just starting out. I plan on transitioning to vector & 3D art as the band progresses through various stages of their career. Additionally, the band's instruments are photographs of my personal music gear, which are then cut out, recolored/touched up and inserted into the scenes. Additional modeling posters, band photos, etc. were shot by me at my previous studio or on location.

The soundtracks and voice characterizations are recorded using various methods since some of the voice actors are located in other areas. Jessica recorded her parts using a webcam and I just separate the audio from the video and insert the mp3 into the voice tracks. I use Song ACID Music Studio to compile the voice tracks in time, then import the final mix into the animation software.

The music is a combination of new and old. Though the compositions are all original, some of the material was written decades ago, while other music was written and recorded specifically for this project.

The animation software is a version of Swishmax, where the characters, key frames, background images and audio tracks are compiled to create the animation and sync mouth movements to the dialogue. I am currently animating at 15 fps, so the movements may look a little jerky and even the occasional ghost frame may be seen after the scenes are rendered to an avi format at 30 fps. Traditional animators probably hate this approach, but I happen to be a fan of limited animation and as mentioned, plan to use traditional and advanced techniques as the band / series progress.

Finally, the avi animation files are imported (without audio) into Sony Vegas Movie Studio PE. I layout the original mixed voice tracks and insert the avi animation clips, which are originally synced to the audio. Music beds and soundtracks are added, as well as special sound effects. Additionally, I may include some video special effects, color correction and/or overlays depending on the scene locations or environmental factors in each scene.

So yes, this is a labor of love and the process is very unorthodox, labor intensive and time consuming, but it is all worth it in the name of art... and/or personal therapy. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact me via Lou-Man.com.

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