Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hitchcock Is Coming

Hitchcock seems to be showing up everywhere these days, from HBO original movies to major motion pictures to an upcoming A&E original series. It's certainly an exciting time to be taking a "Films of Alfred Hitchcock" course at Fordham. Aside from studying the master technician's films in depth, the class also offers its students the opportunity to produce creative projects in the vein of Hitchcock.

For my project, I've been developing an animated medley of Hitchcock characters and tropes---from men on the run to antagonistic birds to strangers on trains. The final piece will clock in at about one minute and thirty seconds, and will feel a bit like a Pixar end-credits sequence.

To give you a taste of where the video is going, here is a look at some of the production materials:

Production stills from finished animation sequences.

A pre-production character sheet for characters appearing in the medley.

A sample storyboard sheet for the opening of the medley.

Check back soon to see the final product in motion!

Merry Christmas, Fordham University!

'Tis the season to be busy---with finals, end-of-year reports, holiday shopping, and just about everything else. Luckily, the Fordham Holiday Passport is here once again to help bring cheer (and great holiday city adventure ideas) to Fordham students everywhere! (But mostly just at Fordham).

You may remember last year's holiday ram-deer motif. While I loved those cute little guys, I wanted this year's cover to feel a little more "classic" (not to mention a little more "collegiate")---like an old Currier & Ives Christmas card, or something out of It's a Wonderful Life. Hopefully Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart---or at least Buddy the Elf---would be proud.

The Dark Dean Rises: Part 1

After setting up a students-vs.-Superhero-Dean-Rogers storyline in last semester's series of Ram article clippings, I've returned to a panel-by-panel style to tell the epic conclusion of Superhero DR's time at Fordham. This semester brings you Part 1 of "The Dark Dean Rises"---a tale of clashing ideologies, political intrigue, and anarchic plot twists. You can read the five collected installments below:

Stay tuned next semester to read the stirring conclusion!

Fall Poster Roundup

It's been awhile since my last post on here---I hope you've been enjoying the various city sketches over at NY Illustrated in the meantime! The last few months have brought a number great opportunities to collaborate on one-shot poster projects with groups around campus (and around the world, even). Poster projects are always some of my favorite design tasks to tackle, and I've collected several of the better ones here for a bit of a fall poster roundup. Enjoy 'em!

I had a great time putting my own spin on the classic (now Disney-fied) princess Cinderella for a production running through Wesley College's theatre program---located in Australia, mate (see the banner I made for my friend Lyle for a look at my previous "down-unda" collaborations).

Fordham's ever-impressive experimental theatre troupe, FET, put on a very entertaining rendition of Little Shop of Horrors earlier this semester. (Another Disney connection here---composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman would go on to revitalize Disney animated features with Broadway-style musical numbers soon after completing Little Shop.) For the poster, we wanted to create a piece of publicity material that might live in the universe of the show itself; and so we settled on an advertisement for the show's man-eating Audrey II, in the style of Coney-Island-meets-Disney-World.

The Residence Halls Association was all set to put on a costume contest in anticipation of Halloween---but then a hurricane came through town and shut everything down for the week. Luckily (or unfortunately?) the poster had already been completed pre-Sandy. The Charlie Brown influences are fairly conspicuous...

FET's second show of the season was an ambitious adaptation of the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The plot follows a man who undergoes a procedure to erase a former love from his memory, only to realize halfway through that he would rather hold onto the memories. Already trapped in the procedure, however, the characters must run through the inner reaches of the mind as memories begin to collapse around them. We decided to take a cerebral (literally), minimalist approach with the poster, drawing heavy influence from the amazing work of Saul Bass.

More posters to come next semester!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Cardinal & Colbert: Animation

Last Friday's "The Cardinal & Colbert" event at Fordham University was a rousing success. I had the opportunity to contribute my own small bit of joy to the evening with the illustration posted previously, and the animated sequence posted above.

Now that the animation has started making its way around the web, I thought I would share a bit about the process of creating this labor of labor.

The animation began with a very formal story process:

Once the story was worked out, I created some rough storyboards to denote when and where specific actions would occur.

Following the storyboards, I began painting backgrounds and animations in Photoshop.

Then I imported the 2-D Photoshop planes into the 3-D virtual space of Blender, and began building "sets." The Colbert Report studio and St. Patrick's Cathedral were especially fun to reconstruct.

After animating some camera movements and splicing everything together in iMovie, the video was good to go!

This project has been a true joy to work on, and I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity to work on such an exciting endeavor for such a unique event. The night of the event even brought a few of its own of which is summed up in the illustration below.

I hope you have as much fun watching the video as I had making it! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Cardinal and Colbert

Tomorrow, Fordham University will play host to what promises to be a very entertaining---and enlightening---discussion on the relationship between humor and faith. Joining two giant personalities of the Catholic and media spheres, the event brings Stephen Colbert and Timothy Cardinal Dolan together for a night of "Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life." Moderating the discussion is one of Catholicism's foremost joy-and-humor scholars, Fr. James Martin, S.J.---who literally wrote the book on the subject.

I have done my darnedest to contribute to the incredible excitement that has already built up around the much-anticipated event. I created the illustration shown to the left, trying to capture the overflowing, joy-filled spirits of the three participants.

Since its creation, the illustration has ended up in some pretty exciting places. Fr. Martin has been generous enough to tweet it out and post it for his many devoted followers to see and share; the Religion News Service discussed it in a blog post by David Gibson; and it even made its way to fan art of the week over at the Colbert News Hub! And then there are these guys, who arrived yesterday...

Needless to say, it's been great to see the artwork getting such a warm reception from around the country. While the event itself sadly will not be broadcast to the public, I hope that these three characters can at least give a sense of the spirit that will surely fill tomorrow's auditorium.

And be sure to check back this weekend to see a special animation project that I've been working on for the event itself!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Euro-Blog 2012 - "Eat Sketch Love"

So I'll be spending the summer drawing and painting throughout Europe, and (obviously) I couldn't be more excited! To chronicle the tales that are sure to ensue, I've set up a separate blog devoted to this summer: "Eat Sketch Love." Go check it out, and come back for regular updates throughout the summer!