Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Climate Change?

I wish I had my video camera. The sound of the hail pounding on the skylites was quite loud. I'd have to say this is somewhat unusual for around here. Especially in July.

New Opportunities

So you might see more postings on my blog now that I'm not longer working at the agency. You see I was freelance and when you're freelance and working there's nothing better. Problem with freelance is at anytime you can be out of work. Seems there is a company mandate to eliminate all freelancers. So now on to the next opportunity. Maybe a career change. Did I, or have I ever had a career? Seems I've just been jumping around from job to job. Now with a wife and family a career sounds kind of nice. I'd really like to apply myself to something meaningful like educating people on the benefits and necessities of green living. Yup. I saw "An In Convenient Truth" and if you haven't you must go see it. It has changed my thinking about what is important in this world and if we don't wakeup then my son may not have a very nice quality of life when he gets to be my age. That is if there is even a planet to inhabit. While my first objective must be to get a paycheck, I really must find something to do with "greening" the world we live in. I've installed at least 20 CFL light bulbs, purchased 500 kilowatts per month of wind power from my power company, turned the thermostat up to save on air conditioning and I really want to see about solar and wind power for the house. Ultimately, I want to make this my business I just need to find the right avenue and people to do it with. I've started listening to a good podcast on renewable energy called Renewable Energy Access. You should also check out renewus.org. This being a video blog I've added the trailer for "An Inconvenient Truth". Whatever you politics, scientific fact can not be ignored. Please go see the movie and take a friend with you. The cover of Newsweek this week is about Going Green. Now I feel like I'm a bit trendy. Oh well. As I am writing this we have just experienced a very intense thunderstorm with hail in the middle of July. Coincidence?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

From Pencil to Toothbrush

I recently completed producing a spot with McCann-Erickson for Johnson & Johnson. The brand is Reach and the product, a new toothbrush called Clean & Whiten. The spot stars the lovable Mr. Reach who has been a part of Reach advertising since the early 90's. We hired J.J. Sedelmaier Productions in White Plains, NY to draw and animate Mr. Reach. J.J. is best know for his animated work with Robert Smigel on SNL. The 3D toothbrush and compositing was done by Spontaneous in NYC.

I'm including 2 versions of spot in the post. The first version is the pencil test. This is the rough beginnings of the animation and the first time in the production process we've seen moving images from the animator. At this stage you'll see, in rough form, the beginnings of the spot. Not until final animation will the nuances and true character of Mr. Reach come through. So the second video is the finished spot and you can compare the two and see what progress was made from the early steps to the end. On this job there was approximately 3 weeks going from the pencil test to the final animaton. The announcer on the spot is Jay Gregory and the voice of Mr. Reach is done by Bill Chesley. We mixed the spot at Audio Engine with Tom Goldblatt. For McCann the spot was written by Jack Spicer and Art Directed by Jeanne Ladias.

Great experience and great results. Apparently sales are up 40% over last year!

So here's where we started...
Click here to Play

And here's where we ended up...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Santaman

While Christmas may be past, here's a nice little piece of animation I came across. The Santaman was created by Pete Fritz and Mike Horan both from Ohio Edit where I've been working on a project. This little animated movie was born out of a job both were working on at the time and the inspiration struck them to create an animated short. Mike was the illustrator on the piece and Pete the editor. They used Adobe Illustrator and After Effects to produce the entire movie. Some music composed by Matt Dolven also of Ohio Edit. If you need any of your commercial work edited be sure to look up the guys at Ohio. Enjoy!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Verizon Vcast - The Madden Report

Whenever it's been awhile between postings you can be sure it means I've been working...which is a good thing. Many posts over consecutive days is a bad thing

So in December I was hired by a large advertising agency to produce some unusual content, video for mobile phones. While I've never been a believer in content for mobile phones, there certainly is a market for it. Having just gotten an iPod with video for Christmas I've been enjoying my commute on the train to and from the city watching The Office from the BBC. The phone screen still seems a bit small to me and the quality of the content is not the best, but none the less the client wants content so we produce some content.

The Madden Report is a weekly mobisode where we take John Madden's audio comments about some upcoming NFL games and put some graphics and pictures to it to make it look like a seamless show. The shows have been running around 2:30 in length and now we're 5 shows into production I'd say we've hit our stride. The real challenge is how do you make compelling video when you don't have the rights to use any NFL footage? We can't even call the teams by their team names only by their city. Well thanks to Manic, the produciton company producing the shows, I think for the hard core football fan we've found a way of making it compelling. The Madden Report is second only to the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders for Vcast sports video downloads. We're thinking about working in some cheerleaders to our show. Only 3 more weeks of shows and then that's it for this year. So go out and get your Verizon Vcast phone so you can enjoy all the great Vcast content. Here's the show from week 16 of the regular season.

Windows Vista - Never before seen features!

Heard about this on TWIT and had to take a look. Now we Mac people have always known that Microsoft was never very good at inovating and creating original ideas when it comes to operating systems. Now here's further evidence of those facts. Thanks to Maclive for putting up the original postings. Sorry I can't find quicktimes to publish into iTunes.