Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a quick little art post

Here are some concepts for my storyboarding project where we have to come up with an original story of sorts. I'm thinking of doing something about a bright eyed giant monster who dreams of coming to New York City from Tokyo to start his career in stand-up comedy. Ultimately he is a horrible stand-up and winds up destroying New York City instead of setting the comedy scene ablaze but he also becomes the first giant monster to destroy New York City since Godzilla circa 1998...gaining the respect of his peers.

This idea will probably change a lot by the time I actually post the finalized storyboards for it who knows, I may do a different idea at the end.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rip Van Winkle Storyboard Group Project

I worked with a few other people on these storyboards. With the exception of a few panels, I drew all the characters for this while the rest of my group handled the backgrounds. Like all group projects, this started out pretty dreadful but I'm quite pleased with the final result, I really wish I could show you guys some of the full shots of the backgrounds my team made, they looked quite good. You should probably view the full sized version of the image, the text may be a bit hard to read but I had to shrink it down considerably to go up on here. It was ready to be printed out at 300 dpi.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crown Fried

Here's that movie I made last week for my Video Editing class showing a trip to Crown Fried Chicken, the sketchiest fast food restaurant on all of Myrtle Avenue. Make sure to click the "HD" button on the video or go to the Vimeo page. This is the first thing I shot high def.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

if your nice to me, I'll make you a blog layout

My amount of free time has increased drastically considering most of my intense classes are on Wednesday and Thursday and that there's no "Animation" class of sorts for this semester of Pratt's 3D curriculum. Not saying that rigging and story boarding class are any less of a headache than last semester, just its a lot less time consuming than doing 8-10 seconds of hand drawn animation per week on top of whatever 3D animation assignments I've had.

As a result, I'm able to get to work on the things that I've been holding off for months in the back of my head. The first of which being that I've made a new layout for The Movie Watch. If you've been following my Twitter feed, you'd probably know that I contribute a post or a review every Thursday alongside a few other people. While I loved the editorial content, I felt that the layout was a little too basic (and by that I mean, it used one of Blogger's default layouts) for the site to be taken seriously.

Hopefully with the layout out of the way we'll be able to start a podcast for the site this coming summer. Being on a podcast is pretty much my movie fanboy dream at the moment.

There's my new layout up there. The biggest change was that I added a scoring system to the reviews that are sorted out by tags on Blogger. I'm always cautious about adding a score to a review because I feel that it may force the reader to skip down to the number and miss out on the pros and cons mentioned in the review. In this case, I think it's working pretty well. I wanted a 2 or a 3 out of five to be about what the average movie should get and I'm extremely pleased to see that not every movie was given a four or a five.

My other layout was for Adam Warner's blog "Best Burger on Myrtle". Despite him being a vegetarian this should be a pretty fun blog which will review the food on Myrtle Avenue and record our adventures to the sleaziest restaurants that Brooklyn has to offer.

This new site will launch as soon as I finish my Video Editing project which is a short documentary of sorts on a visit to Crown Fried Chicken; the restaurant with the most health code violations and robberies on Myrtle Avenue. I went during the day, but as you can see in my camera work, I'm as nervous as ever after I saw a man pull down his pants and gesture at his exposed crotch towards my camera...yes, that will probably make its way into the movie.

Apart from that, yesterday I watched about six or seven hours of The Powerpuff Girls from that new complete series box set that Entertainment Weekly mentioned as their DVD pick of the week. I'm actually really surprised how well the series is holding up for me. Even though most of my Powerpuff Girls watching occurred in middle school, I feel as though I missed out on a lot of its sarcastic humor, either that or slight jokes get magnified when your surrounded by others laughing at it. The weird thing about it is the show both functions as a parody of formulaic Saturday Morning Cartoons and as just a fun action cartoon. I have no idea how they were able to pull it off so well.

I've also seen Coraline last week, which was totally worth the entire day's worth of looking for a 3D showing of it that was not sold out. Quality wise, the film landed somewhere between Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The writing was certainly better than Corpse Bride but the animation was a lot more rigid, relying more on replacement heads than rubber armature faces yet the visuals never really came off as strong or inventive as Henry Selick's other film The Nightmare Before Christmas or even parts of James and the Giant Peach. Yet as a 3D movie it was absolutely phenomenal and the chances are its one of the strongest 3D glasses movies I've ever seen, either that or IMAX's Deep Sea 3D.

I'll post the Crown Fried Movie up here whenever I get done with it. I'm pretty pleased with how my group project storyboards for Rip Van Winkle are coming. I drew most of the characters for the panels, while three or four were farmed out to a friend of mine. Also the backgrounds are looking quite nice I might add.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Back at Pratt and Superbowl musings

I've been back from the Christmas break for a two or three weeks now and so far this semester is looking pretty good. Aside from having a Monday class that ends at 9:30 PM (which I wouldn't really have much of a problem with if it didn't interfere with Heroes) things are looking really good. I'm really looking forward to checking out Coraline this upcoming weekend and if My Bloody Valentine 3D was any indication, I'll try and watch EVERY Real-D 3D movie coming out regardless of its inherent quality.

So far, the time back at Pratt has been fairly good. There's a lot of reading and writing for Mass Media and Society but apart from that the schedule is looking pretty solid. My three week break was as relaxing as usual and I got a good excuse go off to Fort Meyers for a week to visit my grandparents. This was my first airplane flight I've taken in 11 years and it was a lot more relaxing than I was expecting. This is probably because I'm used to the hustle and filth of the New York City subway system but apart from the ridiculousness of having to repeatedly take out my Xbox 360, Laptop, iPod and shoes at the gate (damn post 9/11 security) it wasn't really so bad. Most of my time in Florida the temperature was only in the 50s but it was still a good excuse to check out some artificially planted palm trees.

As for the Superbowl, every year I watch I get more and more disappointed with the advertisements that come with it. While a couple of years ago we've had that Grand Theft Auto parody Coca-Cola ad, there was not a single advertisement I really loved for 2008 and 2009. It would be a stretch to say I enjoyed the creepy Coca-Cola digital avatar spot or the Peter and the Wolf one with the bugs in it. The 3D glasses SOBE and Monsters vs. Aliens promo felt gimmicky at best. Last year's Superbowl, which seemed more content with '80s pop culture references as opposed to actual humor, featured a moderately successful spot from SOBE with Lizards dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller. While far from original especially considering the song's re-emergence as an internet phenomenon, the commercial was a modest success leading SOBE to continue the trend in the 2009 spot. The new spot felt incredibly disjointed first featuring football players dancing to Swan Lake...and uh, eventually one of the ballet dancing football players spilled a bottle of SOBE Life Water eventually leading to a dance sequence set to an original song (which they even had the gall to advertise it being available for a dollar on iTunes) featuring the HILARIOU$! ©HARACTE®$ from Monsters vs. Aliens and SOBE lizards dancing around for another thirty seconds often flanking objects immediately at the camera to emphasize the fact that this indeed, is in 3D. This was all topped off by a football player exclaiming "SOBELIEVE!" and turning into a hideous lizard man. Was that seriously the best they could come up with for $5 million?

As for the movie Monsters vs. Aliens itself, I'm getting more and more mixed feelings about the movie as its release it coming closer. On one hand, Dreamworks Animation crafted a pretty awesome original franchise with Kung-Fu Panda and Over the Hedge and Madagascar Escape 2 Africa were fairly good in my mind, so I'm sure they've learned their lesson from past script disasters...but on the other hand, this movie comes straight from the director of Shark Tale which was easily the worst big budget 3D animated film ever created. I guess JJ Villard did the character design and some storyboarding for it and I was sold on his enthusiasm for this movie when he spoke at Pratt. I'll probably see it because I'm still a sucker for 3D movies but I can't say I'm not just a little disappointed to know that this will steal the 3D cinema heat away from Coraline only weeks after its release. To add insult to injury, Coraline's getting very little promotion to mass audiences, with most of the excitement for it coming from animation geeks, Neil Gaiman cultists and technophiles, I doubt its going to make back its $70 million budget in its theatric release anyway.

I'll have rigging class later today(I'm digging the blog our prof, Sam has for it), so far I've been trying to get all my homework done long before the day its due and its been going pretty well so far. I wouldn't be surprised if I dropped this after I go full force into rigging but I'm happy so far. Oh! and I haven't had soda since I've returned to Pratt. I wonder how long I'll be able to keep it up before the terrors of Mountain Dew's Yellow Food Dye #48 come back to haunt me.