Last summer I had the opportunity to work with a talented team of fellow graduate students in Texas A&M’s Visualization program on a collaborative 30 second animation under the guidance of Reel FX. This summer at SIGGRAPH 2014, the work will be presented during SIGGRAPH Dailies.
This year I’ve been dabbling in t-shirt design and have several available for sale over at TeePublic. Please check out my storefront. The shirts make great gifts. Really great gifts.
Recently I was invited to participate in a design competition run by the online creative community Zooppa. The project was the design of limited edition cans for the Mike’s Harder brand of alcoholic beverages, specifically the new dragonfruit flavor to be released next spring. Since dragons are my favorite animal — they can fly, they can breathe fire and are simply the ultimate animal ever — I figured why not?
My five designs are below.
These are some sketches that were sitting around that I decided to tighten up a bit and post.
As much as people are lamenting the expiration of Titanic from Netflix streaming, there are some great new titles available. Among them is the documentary Drew: The Man Behind the Poster about illustrator and painter Drew Struzan who has painted film posters for many of the most popular films of the last four decades.
His work has always been an influence. Aside from his stellar draftsmanship, his use of color and texture are amazing. His work looks so realistic, but also effortless.
That ties in a bit with these two sketches. They are two figures from eight or so on a canvas that really had some lines and gesture worth pursuing. Nothing major, just quick and simple. And it’s practice, which is always good, right?
I love bootleg concert recordings, or ROIOs (recordings of indeterminate origin). Some of my favorite classic rock bands had a live sound that went beyond their studio albums. Other groups used their live shows as an incubator for their music, and worked out new songs on the road years before they were officially released. Bootleg albums captured Led Zeppelin’s long musical trips, Keith Moon’s stage banter, and early versions of Pink Floyd’s most well known albums. The Kernel featured an article about Mike Millard, a famous taper from Los Angeles. It was interesting to learn about this man, the fruit of whose efforts I’d been listening to for years. Mike and others like him caught so much history on tape, and added so much to bands’ legacies. Today people freely bring cell phones into concerts and post their often terrible efforts immediately to YouTube. Not too long ago you had band managers like Peter Grant who had anyone caught recording a show removed of their equipment, so to speak.
The article reminded me of another Mike, a guy I worked with years ago. Every year, Mike took a week or so off to follow the Dead and record those shows. When The Who toured Quadrophenia in the late Nineties, Mike and I caught their show in DC. He hid his digital recorder somewhere on his person and asked that I remain quiet during the show. I never got around to asking him for a copy of that show. Sadly, Mike passed away a few years later.
Facebook pointed me in the direction of this video:
From there I found the animator’s, David Lewandowski’s, previous piece:
And a music video he directed for Flying Lotus:
All in all, it’s an amazing and inspiring group of work. Here’s an interview with him.
The documentary Room 237 is an examination of the numerous theories that surround Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror masterpiece The Shining. The new film interviews five fans to present nine segments wherein the different theories or interpretations are explained. You never see the interviewees. Their dialogue is illustrated with clips from various films, mostly those of Kubrick. I’d only recommend it to real fans of the original film, or of Kubrick. Some of the theories proposed in Room 237 are interesting: the themes of genocide of Native Americans or in The Holocaust. Other theories seem more the product of obsessed viewers poring over their new blu-rays and using the reputation of a meticulous filmmaker to justify any conclusion with, ‘anything Kubrick put in the film is there for a reason!’
Ever wonder why Danny Torrance was wearing an Apollo 11 sweater? One segment, drawing from conspiracy theorists that believe that astronauts never went to the moon, suggests that Kubrick was hired by NASA to film the moon landing footage and that The Shining is not an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, but a veiled confession of Kubrick’s deeds. That was tough to swallow, but I was intrigued by the fact that Jack Torrance is clearly reading an issue of Playgirl magazine while he sits waiting to meet with the Overlook manager on the day the hotel shuts down. It’s tough to imagine that that was merely (as one writer suggested) a joke by Jack Nicholson that managed to stay until the final cut. A simple Google search led to a frightening number of online essays and examinations of The Shining and the Playgirl, and plenty of other bizarre topics.
I think Room 237 stands better as an examination of the levels of obsession that certain films can elicit.
I just learned about some of Arcade Fire’s interactive projects that are simply amazing. Both projects involve videos produced in concert with Google Chrome Experiments.
The video for Reflektor uses the viewers smartphone or tablet to interact with a PC or laptop webcam to control the visual effects in the video.
The Wilderness Downtown generates a personalized multiscreen video based on an address input by the viewer.
I don’t actively browse the web as much as I used to, so I’m sure I’m late to the party.
Still, it’s exciting to see some hi-tech art with real emotion and passion running through it.
I’ve played bass and guitar for a while now. Getting a 4-track and later using software really improved my playing. Here are some of the more memorable things I’ve recorded over the years.
- Nude (Low Expectations Remix) – After the release of In Rainbows, Radiohead held a contest to remix the song Nude. This is my version with added keys and guitars.
- Celebrate the Falsitude
- Down the Rabbit Hole
- Dry Land
- Dry Land (Remix)
- Just a Ride
- A Memory
- The Diver
- Suicidal TP Theme
- Torn (version 2)
- Torn (version 3)
- We’re On Our Way
- Weight of Nothing
- Whenever – This is based on Radiohead’s All I Need
- Yes, The Sea
I was lucky to have the opportunity to create a number of pieces for my friends in the alternative rock band Jerk Parade (formerly Minus Linus). This was one of my favorite projects.
All images © Todd Kale.