Friday, January 28, 2011

"To Dance On Air" Video

Writer's Thoughts,
Here is the video clip I had promised a week ago. You may recall, I mentioned getting stuck on a technical glitch. I've finally settled on the look and feel, as far as the colors go. The style is more of a "film-noir." Which I love. Not all of the music is the final score. I hear more cinematic themes. Ennio Morricone. My wish list.

Basically, I wanted to share with you some of the behind the scenes process, and I look forward to sharing more. Glad you dropped by today and I hope you enjoy this clip.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Retrovision: Method Or Madness?

Writer's Thoughts,
Speaking of my RetroVision Stories. Why retro? Why now? Is there such a thing as peddling backward for forward momentum? I believe, yes. (I see blank stares and hear the sound of crickets). Let me explain the method or the madness.

It all began when I saw some characters in my mind's eye after waxing nostalgic over some classic black and white photos. This sounds strange, but I felt like I knew these characters...How do I silence the crickets? I began to wonder who these people were living in an era gone by? In retrospect, I had a RetroVision.  It's been said, every creative endeavor begins with a question.  If the question is intriguing enough, a passionate pursuit will follow. So, you see, we don't start with the answers. We chase them down with a good question.

Because these characters came to me from the past, I wanted the colors to convey that. However, there's a twist that weaves the story to the present. I think, this came about because of my constant sliding into full-on color. In other words, I just had to have the doughnut. The color wheel in all of it's splendor. I could have colorized the retro scenes more intensely, like the method in many black and white classics. Hint. I have some tint.

Here's what I know so far. It's a relationship story. The main characters are what I call "realist-romantics." Meaning, they don't deny the reality of their situation, but at the same time, they don't accept it as final. They wonder about a world beyond them and take steps to get there. Against this backdrop is the constant threat of war, fears, and families that don't understand. It sounds dark, but It's got a lot of light moments. This can be attributed to my 'Rockwell-ian' bent.

Please enjoy the animated still I created above. The animated video clip, I apologize, for this week, got hung up on a complex scene, in technical terms. I hope to have that worked out soon. If this is madness, gotta love the method. The creative journey. Your space is reserved. Thanks for being in my swirl today.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stories In RetroVision

Artist's Thoughts
All things retro. What is it about the decades past that fascinate me? The music? The dances? The fashion? Yes, yes and yes. One of the most fascinating periods of creativity, in my estimate, was the 1940's. Undoubtably, quite a few decades left their artistic mark. I think, what impressed me about the 1940's was the sheer determination of the people to rise from a difficult previous decade.

Jazz was huge, as well as the theater. Times were tough for many, but people found a way to laugh, dance and sing.

It's not uncommon to think about the future. Back 'when,' Orwell pondered 1984. A popular singer sang about 1999. MGM created 2001:Space Odyssey. Time is a classic subject. It can even be timely. I too am fascinated with time travel. My monochromatic project that I call RetroVision allows me a creative ticket to my favorite decades.

These are fictional stories and not created for historical reference. Every story has a setting. Sometimes things appear so real. I ask myself, "Was Jack and Rose really on the Titanic?" Don't laugh..."Were they?" The wonders of technology and awesome writing as demonstrated by so many great producer/directors. My inspiration, even though I'm in animation.

The animated still above, I created as an image to kickstart my visual gears. I discovered creating in black and white, is not the same as filming in black and white. Certain elements get lost without the film and have to be added. I created the city in all gray tones with a purple-ish sky. When I put in a character, and colorized to match the scene, their tones went a gray-ish-green-ish. I freaked out. This isn't Frankenstein City. All was not lost. I discovered something I liked even more. I'll share this with some stills and an animated video clip next week.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Classic Vibe

I love working in color. But in the back of my mind, I always wanted to do something in black and white. Shades of grey are also included. I began the background work to my classic look project this week, and wow, what a challenge. But I love it. A classic monochromatic vibe. Below is one of the scenes I created with a hint of tint to keep the contrasts from going too flat.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Project Updates 2011

Artist's thoughts,
One of the things that I'm sure everyone does at the start of a new year, is look back at the previous year to find what worked and what didn't.  During 2010 I had some stories that I loved at the onset, and a few I had to alter dramatically.

This is all okay. It's all "Part of the show," as they say. A few stories had titles change, for various reasons. Some I had to put on the shelf for a later date. Now, that the stack of story scripts is slimmer, the focus gets tighter. I'm grateful that this is my love. Long hours are but a sigh. A gasp until morning. Poetry? Uh, no. But how sad it is to say goodbye to a character you created. The cool thing is they find work in another story quite easily. I seldom have to convince the others to take them in. The interesting thing is the "Rewrite Phase." It's a head-banging-heartfelt thing. An inner knowing when it's finished, and a bold nerve to release it.

The animated DVD music project, "Candle Dance," "Dancetown," "The Heart Of Czardas," (formerly UNEX1), are already well underway and going well. "Dancetown" was/is tricky because the scenes were/are very labor intensive. My 'classic-theme' story has yet to be titled.

So, 2011 is ready-set-go. But remember, I'm right-brained. Before It's all done, I may have added an additional ten stories. The beauty of pixeltunes is they are short story form. With the exception of a few that absolutely need to be large team-oriented because of their full-length. The main thing is to keep things fun and hopefully entertaining. That's art swirl'd. Thanks for hanging out with this artist.

Kickstart Into Animating

Artist's Thoughts
Before the end of 2010, I began the storyboard work for the animated musical that has a classical look and theme. It takes place around the late 1930's to early 1940's. The scene I created below shows a dog that had to get in on the act. Animating the dog was tricky, as I do not have a pet. I had to carefully visualize it's movements. Thankfully, a neighbor's dog was a good 'stand in.' Dance continues to be one of my favorite themes. It's an amazing art in itself.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Back To Work

It's good to be back to work. The holiday season has come and gone. Managing to pick up from the last written line, or brush of color can be a bit challenging. Having been here before, I've learned, it's best to go easy in the new year, and not confuse the lack of momentum for the lack of motivation. It's the creative 'treadmill effect. One must clear the mind, and the dessert table. Let the ideas gel. Sort of like that green Jell-O mold with red cherries. Yeah, like that.
Every animator has 'pet' projects on the side that are created as a means to explore random artistic thoughts. These actually help the focus on the works in progess. I look forward to showing a few of these clips, as well as the current. I have an ever evolving menu.