Posts tagged ‘animation’
January 1, 2016
Happy 2016, faithful readers! With a new year shifting into gear, it seems like the blogosphere gets compelled to crank out ‘Best of‘ lists. And honestly? I’m no different. It’s just that mine tend to focus on stories.
That said, I’ve got some sticky truths I need to own up to from 2015: 1) I’ve been too swamped to read enough books (proofing your own ad nauseum doesn’t count), 2) I’m way too biased to share my fav TV (Mr Robot and Rick & Morty would sweep, son!), and 3) I’m too damn ‘fiscally challenged’ to rate any interactive stuff besides free Android apps (I love you, Piano Tiles 2!)
So…that leaves movies. Thankfully, the past year has been a stellar one.
Some points before cueing the drumroll:
- POST-OSCAR: I’m only counting flicks that were not up for 2015 Academy consideration, even if they were release after Jan 1.
- YET-TO-SEE: I still need to screen Carol, 45 Years, Beasts of No Nation, Macbeth, The Danish Girl, and a few outliers. I’m sure they’re all fine films, and will consider updating if one or more knock my flip-flops off.
- ‘BETTER AS DOCS’: I left out a pair of strong films – The Big Short and The Walk – because Oscar-winning documentaries on the exact same material (The Inside Job and Man on Wire respectively) were already rocking your Netflix queue.
- CRITERIA: I tend to rate flicks on the strength of the script, performance quality, direction skill, overall production…AND, most importantly, whether something ‘gives me the feels’. I shift this a little for non-fiction docs, but the structure remains pretty much the same.
Alrighty then…drumroll, please!!!
September 15, 2015
Apologies for the sparse posting this summer, my friends. Work, travel, and Life got in the way (as they so often do), but I intend to hop back on the blog-horse for regular features and updates over the next 6 months at least. As always, your patience with my scheduling weirdness is infinitely appreciated. And speaking of weird…
In my creative and my personal life, I see patterns.
Something as seemingly random as a rush hour commute with all-green-light intersections takes on prophetic business meaning. Pairs of butterflies circling the deck every morning for a week becomes a relationship omen. Monthly jolts awake after the same bonkers dream, only to see the same goddamn numbers glaring back at me:
(And the less a superstitious double-Gemini says about the thrice-annual shit-show of Mercury Retrograde, the better — back up those files and don’t sign contracts for a month, kiddos…the pattern of ‘Karmic fun’ starts tomorrow!)
Sure. It could just be my monkey brain’s way of making some desperate sense out of absurd, everyday, garden-variety chaos. But what fun is that? Especially when some of the greatest creative and scientific minds in history were/are ardent believers that recognizing patterns and potential connections between objects and events was the key to attaining higher knowledge and artistic excellence???
And that brings us to today’s topic: MEMOS from the MUSE.
Over the past six months or so, a common theme has reared its strange and fantastical head in the stuff I’ve been working on, as well as projects I’ve been brought in to help shape: the WHIMSICAL. The damn term keeps popping up in personal writings, in random conversations, highlighted in reference material, or even blurted out during conference calls. And it always came, it would seem, with the same qualifier: DARK.
How can you NOT smell a pattern like that? If the Muse keeps tickling your brain-balls, then it only makes sense to hear Her out over rib-eyes and a nice cab-merlot, amirite?
So I do what I like to call ‘tracing it back‘.
Follow the breadcrumbs of influence. Find the Alpha of the thought that’s recurring, which might help you predict the Omega of the path that you’re on — IE: the end result of the pattern — what it’s been trying to tell you from the start.
I recalled the shows and movies and books I loved as a kid.
I pondered the stuff I’m drawn to, and the tales I’m now driven to tell.
I revisited the last studio gig I agreed to, and the direction I gave to the team:
The music on that Hellboy 2 short is by my genius composer cousin, Tobias Tinker. We’d been making musical magic together for 7 years…and then that was that. I went off on walkabouts. He made more cool shit.
Last month, I flew my weary ass to his home in Berlin to see if our mutually-creative fires could be rekindled. It only occurs to me now that another 7 years had passed since our last big jam. And there we were, discussing the score on a massive (and massively daunting) audiobook project…
‘What’s the vibe you’re after?’ he asked.
‘Dark, of course,’ I said, ‘but there’s something else…’
I sat up, and I think I felt the ghost of a gear click into place as I spoke the word. And then, in one afternoon, we built the following piece around our masterful narrator‘s silky boom:
A pained music box. Flourishes of harp. Mysterious choir. Moody strings.
A month later, I couldn’t help but smirk when discussing part of a (secret = SHHH!) reality TV project’s score with its producers. There was a scene near the end that needed a special sonic touch — ‘heavier’ than the rest of the program, but still retaining a hint of playfulness and ‘hope’. I referred the editor to a section from Howard Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring.
You can probably guess what two words were exchanged. ;)
That brings us to just last week. A designer on a seriously epic (and another SECRET!!!) game thingie asked me for input on the soundtrack.
Let me say this — if you were privy to the IP in question and what these cats have planned for it? Then you’d barf up the same goddamn tags I’ve been chucking since springtime. But that might mean very little to someone not lost in the vortex of signs and symbols…you know…like yours truly.
Thankfully, since I’d been bashing my head on this whimsy trip for months (nay, a lifetime!), there was an easier way to communicate. To share the PATTERN, whispered long ago through the Chaos by the Muse…
To be useful in this moment.
Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away = bombs of whimsy, yo!
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen = fanciful theatricality and fairytale decadence to legendary excess!!
The Dark Crystal = ground zero for ‘dark whimsy’ from my childhood!!!
What are some of YOUR dark and whimsical favourites?
And what patterns have played a role in YOUR creative and personal lives?
Sound off in the Comments…right below the kitten in a top hat…
June 6, 2012
TIMELINE: 2010 – 2011
PLATFORM(S): Web, Videogame
GENRE: Animated Children’s content (stop-motion)
CLIENT: Karma Film
I was contracted to implement a ground-floor imagining of the design, interactive narrative, production management, and creative direction for a multi-pronged digital experience for this beloved Gemini Award-winning stop-motion animated children’s series.
- Designed user experience and overall media campaign strategy
- Produced/directed all in-studio production, technical assets, and audio/visual contributions
- Steered marketing strategy and ensured overall project timeline/budget adherence
- Secured additional national funding for ‘PHASE 2’ of the web experience: a Mariokart-inspired videogame, featuring hundreds of unique series characters and assets.
- Designed, produced and directed the game – Wapos Racerz – to completion with my recommended development team.
- Consulted on production and design for the Wapos Bay iPAD experience, now available!
Experience the heart-warming world of Wapos Bay HERE. (Flash required)
October 18, 2011
(Oct. 18, 2011) – Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes, based on the Gemini award-winning TV series, will have its world premiere at the prestigious imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto at its Closing Night Gala presented by Global Toronto. A co-production with the National Film Board of Canada, the movie was selected for the closing night of the Festival’s 12th edition and will screen on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W).
Fans from around the world will also have the opportunity to be part of the premiere via the Closing Night Technical Partner IsumaTV and a free live streaming at http://www.isuma.tv/nfb. Creator / producers Dennis & Melanie Jackson, actors Andrea Menard (The Velvet Devil, Moccasin Flats) and Eric Jackson will be available for the Q & A following the screening, moderated by imagineNATIVE executive director Jason Ryle who will be taking questions from the floor and via Skype for the online viewers.
“It is humbling to have our Wapos Bay finale movie screened at imagineNATIVE because it is one of the premiere indigenous film festivals in the world,” said Dennis Jackson. “It is always an honour to be recognized by your peers whether other indigenous people, animators, filmmakers or friends. This screening will be a unique experience because fans can log in online and they don’t necessarily have to be here in Toronto to watch the premiere.”
The night will feature a special tribute to Wapos Bay cast member, the late Gordon Tootoosis (North of 60, Legends of the Fall). Announcements of the future of Wapos Bay will also be made on the night, including the launch of several digital media properties. Led by Brooke Burgess (writer, director & producer of Broken Saints), properties include a Mariokart style video game, eBooks and episode downloads.
Tickets for the world premiere / imagineNATIVE are available in-person at the TIFF Bell Lightbox or
Phoenix Concert Theatre, by calling the TIFF Box Office at 416-599-8433, or online at
www.imaginenative.org. The national broadcast premiere for Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes is Saturday, Dec. 3 on APTN (8 p.m. ET on APTN HD and APTN East, 8 p.m. MT on APTN West, 8 p.m. CT on APTN North).
The movie has also been selected to screen at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (Oct.
29), American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco (Nov. 5), LA Skins Festival in Los Angeles (Nov. 16-
20) and Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.
July 28, 2011
July 26, 2010
Stuck behind a desk?
I will think of you fondly
as I play with dolls
May 28, 2010
Ask and ye shall receive – the first in a series of quick behind-the-scenes vids from the Saskatoon stop-motion studio – featuring David Suzuki! 8)
This is just the first stage in a cool little project that’s launching in the fall, so stay tuned…