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!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

So Long, Spidey

Yesterday marked my last day interning at Marvel Entertainment. After an exciting year of working with some very creative individuals, I figured there was only one way to properly say goodbye: via faux comic book farewell card. I was hoping to merge the wit of a New Yorker cover with the gaudiness of a classic comic, as only a Marvel-themed work could. Though not every day at Marvel involved fetching coffee from the Helicarrier, the spirit reflected in the office is fairly on-point to the day-to-day. I'll certainly miss it, but I couldn't be more thankful to have had the opportunities that I did.

So now it's on to new adventures. As Stan Lee would say, "Excelsior!"

Friday, May 4, 2012

Campus Classicism

A color study of our campus' lone neoclassical building, Collins Hall.

By day, Collins houses the ever-thoughtful philosophy department; by night, it plays host to several campus theater groups. Its Roman columns tend to look a little out of place next to the smattering of gothic architecture that stands nearby, but the building holds its own fairly well when it gets to be the center of attention.

Rose Hill Sunrise

Another color study of Fordham's campus, this time featuring the Rose Hill Gym at sunrise.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

University Lights

A sketch of Keating Hall at its most iridescent. I'll be working on more color studies like this one as good practice for the time-consuming task of background painting in animation.

It Came from the Radio

On October 30th, 1938, burgeoning media star Orson Welles made quite a stir when he and his Mercury Theatre repertory broadcast an all-too-real take on H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. The now-infamous radio play sent citizens fearing for their lives, and even compelled a few of them to take aim---with rifles---at telephone poles and watertowers, which vaguely resembled Martians in the moonlight.

As a final project for a film studies class, I've begun the process of setting Welles' masterful broadcast to an animated storyboard. Rather than tell the same story that Welles does, I want to tell the story of those he spooked. Following one Manhattan worker bee's personal odyssey home to his neglected family, I hope to trace the hallucinatory effects of the broadcast in an almost Kubrickian journey down the rabbit hole. You can view the current progress above. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Superhero Dean Rogers Can't Stop

It's the last issue of the paper for the season, so---in the great tradition of pulpy cliffhangers---I've decided to leave our favorite superhero administrator in a bit of a sticky situation. If Superhero Dean Rogers is to continue his stand against campus debauchery (and by this point, we know that he will), he's going to have to face up to a bold new power---heavily-armed student leaders! Cue action movie montage.

Be sure to tune in next semester to see the epic battle ensue...same Dean time, same Dean the paper!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Meryl-y We Roll Along

As the final portrait in my "New York: Portraits of City and Artist" series, I've decided to take on one of the most chameleon-like forces in the acting world: Meryl Streep. Originally from New Jersey, Meryl has taken on a number of iconic roles over the years (usually, about one per year). From Sophie's Choice to Woody Allen's Manhattan, she's made herself a true presence in the filmic New York; and with a number of Broadway and Shakespeare in the Park credits, she's no stranger to the New York stage, either. But it's hard to think of Meryl and Manhattan without immediately thinking of her wonderfully-icy portrayal of Miranda Priestly---the fashion world's fictitious "Dragon Lady"---in 2006's The Devil Wears Prada.

For this portrait, I wanted to capture Meryl's unparalleled ability to slip into a role, destroying all traces of the seams. Though I'm sure she can be quite the light-hearted presence on set, here I imagine her in the moments just before the marker snaps, when she has fully inhabited her character. The particular role of Miranda Priestly also allowed me to explore another oft-mythologized aspect of New York that my previous portraits had missed: the high-ranking Manhattan executive, whose office offers a striking view of the city's steel canyons. All in all, I think the portrait rounds out the series rather nicely. It's certainly been a fun run, and now it's onto new adventures.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jungle Boogie

The end of the school year is fast approaching, which means it's open season for school-sponsored study breaks. And the mother of all study breaks here at Fordham---RHA's annual Under the Tent dance---is shaping up to be the wildest end-of-the-year bash yet.

Playing off of this year's jungle theme, I thought it'd be fun to give the poster a bit of a Disney World land-of-adventure vibe. Whether advertising Tomorrowland, Adventureland, or just the Monorail, Disney theme park posters still manage to provide some excellent inspiration when it comes to projects like this one.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Citizen Rogers

It's student elections time here at school, and the new student body president doesn't look too happy about a certain campus superhero...things can only get more exciting from here! A special thanks to Orson Welles for the inspiring, iconic imagery of Citizen Kane.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ancient Aerobics

Another class assignment, this time depicting the theme of "endlessness." Rather than go with a spacial endlessness (the ocean, outer space, etc.), I wanted to work with a temporal one. Naturally, the ancient tale of Sisyphus---cursed to push a boulder up a mountainside for eternity---sprung to mind. The end result looks a little bit like a goblin yoga session, but it's fun all the same.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Monumental Me

A recent class assignment asked us to compose "monumental" self-portraits, along the lines of Emperor Constantine's famous busts. To facilitate "big thinking," we had to execute the project on 3'x4' sheets of paper. No stranger to self-portraits, I wanted to capture something unique with this one---and so it became my own little (or big, rather) "Ode to Mornings." Or perhaps "A Coffee Cup Manifesto." Or "The Infinite Struggle of Waking." Either way, I think it captures my workday trek from the Bronx to Manhattan at the bright hours of way-too-early. For a better sense of the drawing's scale, refer to the photo below.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Figuring It Out

A smattering of figure drawings from the past couple weeks or so. Prismacolor colored pencils used for all drawings.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Who Is Superhero Dean Rogers?

This week's alternate-reality The Ram (as printed in this week's actual-reality the paper)  features a hard-hitting exposé on your favorite super dean--and mine--Superhero Dean Rogers. True to form, alternate-reality The Ram's conclusions are as staunch and inventive as ever.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oklahoma This Ain't

Tonight I had the distinct pleasure of seeing the greatest student-produced show in the history of student-produced shows at Fordham University this month. Cowboys Don't Sing: A Western Musical tells the epic tale of the Old West that you never even knew you desperately wanted to hear---and it tells it in verse. Excellent cast (including the best on-stage horse performances you'll see outside of War Horse), superb set designs, smart comedy, and a rocking band made for one of the most enjoyable experiences I've ever had in a cramped black box.

I got to play my small role in this soon-to-be-historic production by creating the poster featured above. The creators of the show asked me to do my best rendition of Gary Cooper's High Noon poster from back in the day. It was a ton of fun to work on, and--after seeing the final production--a very gratifying experience to be a part of.