Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Bigger Picture

Writer's Thoughts
Ever go on a road trip without a road map? That's actually how I got into animated film. I didn't have a clue where it was going to go. Passion was/is the driver.There's so many directions. That's exciting to know. I think every artist has a drive to communicate their art. Some paint on canvas. Some on paper. The point is create.

That unfinished novel will not collect dust forever. It can't.

I look forward to connecting with other dreamers/writers/animators/musicians out there who share the passion of creating. Maybe we will work on projects together. Every road shows the bigger picture, but to get there you have to start somewhere.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Animated Music Video Project

I'm very excited about the Animated Music Video project. A total of six in all. The collection is very colorful with a lot of motion and rhythmic beats. All original music.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Character Design

I have a scientific method for creating character appearances. It's called. "The Random Method." Yes. That's what I call it. Think about it for a second. I've never seen these 'people' before. Therefore, designing their features is more 'out of the blue.'

I've discovered a funny thing. Sometimes, they actually resemble people. This is always totally unintentional.

There's also the lighting factor. Character appearances change in various lighting.
When I design characters, it's like this: "They have eyes like this. Nose like this. Lips like this. Hair like this. Wah-lah. Done. I usually spend no more than ten minutes in this area.

What? Didn't you spend countless hours laboring over what they would look like?... Uh. No.

I like this approach because, the writing process is a process of discovery. So, I'm introduced to these characters, and from there the writing unfolds who they are. Along the way, their 'inner characteristics' become more important than their outer.

Creating an imaginary world of people, especially when they are so realistic, is an interesting and sometimes complicated art. I need a hug.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Behind The Scenes

Writer's Thoughts
This is a still from "Candle Dance." It's a scene of Harley's Coney Island in the evening sun. This scene "structure" was built in 3D. Years ago, I became fascinated with architecture. I was not sure why, at the time, now I know. One of my fav's was/is Frank Lloyd Wright. Librarians would give me interesting gazes. Apparently, I didn't have that 'architect look.' They didn't know I was a hip-geek. Oops, now you know. Oh, the animated life...

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Pixeltunes In The Works

Writer's Thoughts
Animating music videos is an absolute fav of mine. As one who loves color and movement, I was a kid in a candy store last week. I hope to make another trip soon. Coming up on the new DVD/Digital project is a collection of artsy-topsy-turvy, blaring-daring, pixeltunes. Included is "The Mind Arcade," and new works, "Candle Dance Film Trailer," and four others.

Coming up next week, a sneak peak at some of the new pixeltunes in the works. You are so appreciated!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Candle Dance Update

Writer's Thoughts
I am really excited about the progress of the animated work "Candle Dance." The writing process has been going quite well, also, the storyboard images have been so much fun to create. I'm sure the first thing people think of when they hear the title "Candle Dance" is people dancing by candle light. Nope. Guess again. Scenes from the series will preview sometime in the month of December.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall Color Soup

Writer's Thoughts
It's fairly easy to see, I like color. Perhaps, it is because of the vibrant colors of the fall season. Everything is bursting with gold, red, and orange. There's intense color, and there is muted color. The more intense, the more energetic. The more muted, the more laid back, or classic.

Animating lately has brought out the 'intense color mode.' Although, I have been studying muted tones for a classic-look project. I tone-up. Tone down. A lot like my exercise routine.

Stories continue to unfold. Like a hearty fall soup, I launch them after the flavors/characters have had opportunity to meld. I am stirring the pot, or plot. And, cooks, and/or writer's love a good soup/story. Wouldn't you agree?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cartoon Or Animation?

Writer's Thoughts
What is the difference between a cartoon and an animation? When you say 'cartoon,' perhaps, the first image that comes to mind is of something such as Bugs Bunny, or Spongebob Squarepants. Then, if you say animation, the image may be Toy Story or The Incredibles...I think there is a conspiracy amongst adults. Why? Secretly we love animations. But we don't want them called cartoons.

"Mom are you watching a cartoon?" "No, dear, it's an animated film."

There is a difference. We think. Or, at least pretend.

In technical terms, being in animation. See, I said 'animation.' There is a difference in the process and the look between a classic-rendered cartoon and a digital animation. Roget's Thesaurus expounds on 'cartoon' as this; a sketch, drawing, caricature, comic strip, funnies...Am I splitting hairs? Is this apples and oranges? Yes. Cartoon apples and animated oranges.

Animation, simply means, the illusion of motion.

Animation is bringing things to life. It can be a cartoon-like look or realistic digital. It can be a painterly Monet-style, or a darkly colored Rembrandt-style. Animation is art that moves. Which is why it can be enjoyed at any age.

Go ahead, let the kids call everything 'cartoons.' And, adults will say 'animation.' But one day grown-ups might get to the point where they just don't care what people think of their enjoyment that moves with color.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bringing Animation To Life

Writer's Thoughts
I can't describe how awesome it is to take an animated object and watch it come to life. Birds are flying! One of the things I've become fascinated with is creating ambience with atmospherics in animation. I'm taking a 'painterly' approach with my latest project Candle Dance. This is a tricky feat, considering it's all digital.

The trend in digital animation, at this time, is how 'realistic' we can make things. But in some ways that defeats the purpose of animation. If it's too real, then it's just imitating live action. Then, why not do live action? I don't want to take away what makes animation it's own creative medium. I'll be sharing some scene-shots next week. Pure fun.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Candle Dance Intro

Writer's Thoughts,
In the process of writing the script of this story, I had to work really hard to figure out the storyboard process and color scheme. There's night color and day color. This scene opens in a mysterious blue light and remains fixed on the falling snow for caption sake. I'm very excited about this animated film! I hope you will be too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Videos Soon

Writer's Thoughts
I'm very excited to reveal the new video clips to my animated series with the theme of 'dance.' There is a storyline of course and can't you hear the characters shouting "Just dance!" "We'll get out of here if we just dance!" "I don't care what anyone says, I'm going to just dance!" Okay, maybe something like that....Dance!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dancin Up The Downbeat

Writer's Thoughts-
I am very excited about the animation projects that are currently in the works. Lately, the themes that keep surfacing to me is 'dance.' Perhaps, this comes from reading about the days during the Great Depression when some of the most inspiring songs, and some of the most popular dance steps were born. Was it merely escapism? Or, rather optimism? Life imitating art, or art imitating life?

Regardless of the answer, one thing is clear, creative people always look for ways to inspire, and celebrate the good, even in difficult times. My upcoming project includes an "emotionally sensitive" jukebox, and a teenage gang runner with a softspot for candles. No, this isn't a story about an arsonist. It's actually about a character from a previous story, that is in flashback mode. I hope I've whet your curiousity. And, there's the music-driven "Dancetown." Please stay tuned.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome To Dancetown

It's so cool to combine animation and music. While experimenting with some characters dancing in animation, an idea was born. Dancetown. It's an artsy, musical with a storyline of Eastside versus Southside. Notice, I'm being simplistic, but is life ever that way?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Surface Normal

The storyboard work for the new animated mini-series "The Surface Normal" is underway. The beginning of the process is creating the color scheme which is an important part of the mood of the story, and exploring the personality traits of the seven characters who find themselves stuck on a cargo train.

This piece is an action/drama/comedy that has a very surprising ending....More snipets coming soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Creative Freedom

Why does lemonade taste better enjoyed outside? It's amazing how the senses come alive when the environment is changed. Since stepping out of my regular work routine for the summer, it's interesting how things have taken on a new look.

I'm not as rushed, or, overly concerned about what I used to be overly concerned about, that is, all my life's plans. Just the act of creating something big or small has taken on a deeper meaning. Lately, I've been into dance. Not because I'm a great dancer, but because of the sheer nerve it takes to try, to learn something new. Stumbling in front of a crowd is not as bad as being afraid to stumble. Now, that's creative freedom.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Story With A Twist

A few weeks ago, I began the work on the next storyboard for a film to develop. Wanting a wide range of stories, ranging from simple, silly, and serious, I did a sketch of a 'serious' story inspired by some events in my life.

Keep in mind. There is a difference. "Based on a true story," means, verbatim, this is what happened. "Inspired by," means the story is inspired by some true events, but made into a movie. My sketch, "The Diary Of A Preacher's Kid," takes the jist of my early teen years and my experience living with a preacher and his wife, for a short time, before being reconciled with my parents.

It's also a story where grief is shown as normal, but the reactions to it need to be closely monitored to make sure the way back to the 'real normal' is clear. I grieve the loss of my sister. Will she be found? Or, was she found? Ahh.....

Like many writers, we occasionaly delve into our personal lives. It's sort of a way of saying, as I reveal the lives of characters with ease, I can include myself, too, as keeping it real on the homefront.

Needless to say, as I show, I had some issues with anger, that led to a rebellious 'can't-tell-me-nothing' attitude. Thinking having some 'near-death' experiences to teach me, it was rather something quite simple that saved my life. So, the story has an unexpected twist.

My future animation/creative team will have their hands full with projects. Yeah, my sleeves will be rolled high, too.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Scene From "The Hope Chaser"

This scene adds a much needed backstory to a previous scene of Donovan Dane's near-miss by a speeding car. Kendall Blair, his teacher offers him a ride home. Kendall Blair has a flashback moment. This film clip clairifies that Donovan didn't get into a car with a stranger, or psycho....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Recolorizing Film Clip

I recently posted the latest film clip to "To Chase The Heart." I didn't realize, the background poster in the scene was too blue, invoking the memory of Avatar. So, I'm in the process of either reanimating the scene or recolorizing it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Writer's Thoughts: When Men Cry

I wrote before about my desire to encourage more women to get into the arena of animated film. I cannot state that enough. Stories are going untold. Perspectives are going 'un-perspected.'

When the idea of Peppermint Village came to me, I knew it was in line with my passion of oneness, cultures appreciating each other. Also, about how women feel and react to the world around them. In writing, we add our emotions and 'wishes' to our lines of thought. For example, how often do men show emotion? In my previous film clip, Kendall Blair is caught up with emotion. His moment of toughness gives way to the 'reality' of his losing someone he cares about.

How would this scene have been written from a guy's perspective? Perhaps, Kendall Blair would have stormed into Dino Vintalli's office and punched him in the face. Surely, Kendall wanted to do that. But I've seen times when a strong man broke down. It happens, but usually behind closed doors. Notice that Kendall is behind closed doors, and thinks no one is watching....But we see him. We learn that men can be tender-hearted, and that does not make them wimps. I've seen my father's tears and I can't explain why that was such a moving thing....God cried for us....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Film Clip

In this scene, Donovan is a bit shook up from his near miss by a speeding car. Parker Vintalli is trying to convince him to cut ties with Kendall Blair. Also, Dino Vintalli flexes his gangster-like muscle at a popular music store. Meanwhile, Selena Mercedes struggles to be 'perfect.'

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Battle Dancin'

In this scene Kendall Blair stops by Maybelle's Jazz On Cue barbecue eatery to try to work of some stress. Maybelle challenges him to try to dethrone her from her self-proclaimed "Dancin' Queen" status.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Writer's Thoughts: Tough Subjects

One of the things I knew from the start of the project was that I would not avoid the deep or tough subjects. But that they would always be handled with tact and taste. In this story, To Chase The Heart, the character Selena is dealing with the pressures of trying to look a certain way, buying into the belief that pencil-thin is beautiful.

As a writer, you look around at the world and certain things prick your heart, even if it's not something that you yourself have dealt with. That's the beauty of being in tune to what is moving you at the moment. Art becomes your platform, at times, to address things that are important to not only yourself, but hopefully others too-Writers Thoughts.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Writer's Thoughts: Character Relationships

What I love about doing a village story is the opportunity to take the snipets of conversations between people in relationships and put them in animation.

One of my favorite relationship stories in To Chase The Heart is that between Kendall Blair and Maybelle Wright. In Maybelle's eyes, she's quite fond of Kendall and often speaks to him like her son, Bobby...Kendall comes by to fill in for Bobby, who helps Maybelle run the Jazz On Cue.

Maybelle, being 'wise' is often guided into 'today's way of thinking' by the progressive Kendall Blair, proving that both young and old can learn from each other. Maybelle plays a vital role as a main character. So often, the aged are rarely placed in important roles.

Which is why I want to encourage new voices to enter animation, especially women. New voices mean new characters and stories that rarely get told. More on character relationships-Writer's Thoughts

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

To Chase The Heart Film Clip

A musical montage to a few updated scenes from "To Chase The Heart."

Writers Thoughts:Naming Characters

"Naming characters can be a lot of fun. Sometimes the names literally describe a character, but that's sort of rare in character naming these days, as it can give away too much information about the character. And, if, for example, a character with a 'bad name' like, 'Imma Roach,' goes through a transformation into a nicer character in the story, their name no longer fits.

In naming my characters, I went for an inner feel, a name that just fit the personality. I did take artistic license in the naming of Maybelle Wright. Taking into consideration she is a character with wisdom of years, I liked the sound of her name. Granted, through Maybelle's eyes, because of her experiences, she does feel like she's always right.

I think back to my grandmother and even when I disagreed with her, because, yes, she was wrong at times, I did not openly, say, in her face, that she was wrong. I bit my tongue and let her THINK that she was right. Even in walking away, I knew, do not mumble-cuz she could hear. Real good. "Don't you back talk me."

Sometimes characters have ways that remind a writer of someone. That's cool, too. Because it does help to bring more heart to the story. However, I do refrain from taking too many liberties with making characters out of people I know. Sometimes I create a character and later say, "Wow. They remind of..." Thats cool, too."-Writer's Thoughts

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Story: To Chase The Heart

Chase Movie Poster

Peppermint Village Characters

These are the current characters in the first Peppermint Village story. Since it is a village, a city, as new stories develope, new characters will get introduced. For now, meet the cast....

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Behind The Scenes

I've uploaded some photos from my current film project my Peppermint Village series titled "To Chase The Heart." Coming up is a collection of writings on the inspiration, technique, and characters.

Inspiration: "To Chase The Heart"

So many things can be a combined inspiration for our work. With "To Chase The Heart," the first story in my Peppermint Village series, there were several sparks that led me to write this story.

First of all, my interest in music. I think all filmmakers start with a sort of familiarity. Something that is deeply engrained. So, music was key to build a story around. Secondly, my passion for things multicultural. I could not imagine creating a 'world' and not have it blended to reflect how I live, and what I believe.

Which brings the main thrust of the story, as it relates to one of the main characters, Donovan Dane, the classical piano player, who falls into this identity crisis after he meets Parker Vintalli of the band called Xkon, who, with his popularity, causes a joke to be made of "playing classical music." Donovan recalls a time in his life when he was excluded from the 'cool kids.'


Donovan thinks quitting and joining Xkon will make him 'cool again.' He even begins to play basketball, although sports is not his thing.

My premise is that, we are all chasing something. In my next blog, I will examine the relationship between Donovan Dane and his music teacher, Kendall Blair.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Film Blog Coming Together

I am currently working on some new graphics for my film blog layout. The new graphics will include my film projects and stories in the works, as well as those on the drawing board. I want to keep things 'free-flowing' so, I may bounce around from project to project. That's a good way to show how each work is going, and introduce 'what's new.'

Excited and feelin' the creative vibe!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Extreme Makeover-Blog Style

After countless going's back and forth on whether to keep writing personal blogs, the answer finally came. With many past writings, I've got to the point where I want to diverge into writing on films, both mine and other filmmakers I admire. Also the process. For all of you who read my personal thoughts, thank you, hope you weren't too scared. I appreciated your support.

Here, I will post film clips. Motivations behind story and characters. I'm very excited about making this blog known to my fellow citizens who are embracing a state geared toward filmmaking.

All future questions can be directed to the director. Hey. That's me.