A couple of months ago I worked with Frosty Pops Corp to create a game trailer for their game Ten Large. I had a great time getting the ol’ motion muscles limber and offered my services for future games.
Fast forward to the present and I’ve created a second trailer for their biggest hit yet, High Dive. It’s already hit over a million downloads and hasn’t been even a week yet. After the trailer’s lured you in, you can download the game for free from the Apple App Store.
I recently had the opportunity to work with a local indie game developer, Frosty Pop Corps. Some of that know me might think I’d be working as a project manager, game designer or designing the UI. In actuality, I was flexing my visual design skills in a short game trailer promoting their most recent release, Fishes and Barrels. You can download the game for free from the Apple iOS store.
This past weekend I spent on a 2 day night shoot for a short film called Float. I got involved with the project through the director of Growing Up Julianne, who also happened to be the director on this short film as well. It was written by Adam Warren, and when the project was in it’s infantry back before Christmas, Juan, Adam and I met in a coffee shop downtown to discuss what they valued in the project and how we could go about funding it. Luckily, with Adam’s talent for writing, he managed to get a Bravo!Fact grant.
The story is about a woman in her 40’s suffering from cancer, and who’s dying wish is to swim with her husband. The only problem is, he’s afraid of the water. There’s not much to it, but it’s a beautiful story, and I don’t want to ruin the ending for you. I’m not sure when it’ll be on TV, but I will be sure to post it on all of my social media accounts when it does.
I worked with a crew of about 35, and a cast including about 45 extras. It was a great experience, super chill and professional group of people to work with. I hope I get a chance to work with them again in the future. You can see more of the photos from the weekend on my Flickr account.
I’ve been hit or miss on the blogging since I graduated from school. It seems a bit harder to figure out what to write when you don’t have a new project that you can talk about every week on the go. But I’ve been slacking, and now I’ve got some new stuff to show.
While I tried to soak up as much knowledge as I could while I was at VFS, when it came to the motion projects, during the later half of the year, I usually stepped up to take a producing role instead of getting my hands into After Effects and keyframes. I split a musical job with a colleague and friend, Shawn Hight, in the fall. He recorded and cut the first singer/songwriter, Chantel Upshaw, while I stayed later and filmed Nadia Von Hahn. It was a low budget gig, and most of the footage was for their eyes only, but I did spruce up one song with some stock footage and effects in post production.
Hopefully with a little more guidance from my motion buddies, I can experiment with motion graphics in the future and improve my skill.
While I do have a regular 40 hour, 9 to 5 job, I also like to expand my creativity beyond what’s expected of me at work. I’ve currently undertaken a probono position as an assistant producer on an EMB (Entertainment and Business Managment) student’s final project. Her name is Sandra Rojas Gonzalez, and she had a great idea to produce a whimsical webisode series catered to a similar audience as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We’ve got a great crew of 19 people plus a various assortment of PA’s that we’re working with, and we’re set to film this weekend. We’ve been trucking along, on schedule, and a little off in some places, but we still haven’t come up with a name for the proof of concept/short film.
Luckily, naming isn’t the only thing I’m in charge of for this project. I’m also branding the idea, and creating the website (using WordPress so it will be easily updatable by others involved), and keeping Sandra on track. Luckily, being the firstborn in my family, and having a mother with an organized, accounting background has given me some natural ability coupled with my first hand experience managing teams at VFS (while I was in the Digital Design Program), to keep a tight ship.
One of the more important tasks that I’m involved with is fundraising money for the project. There is no budget given to the students at the school, so they’re responsible for creating a budget and either paying out of their own pockets, or raising the funds to complete their final projects. Sandra is raising money through a well established site called indiegogo.com to pay for the expenses of creating the short film. They enable people with big ideas to create an account to raise money digitally, instead of the old school way of knocking door to door. I’d like to ask if anybody out there can afford to sponsor a mighty talented woman to help produce her final project, to please do so at the projects home page We’re looking to raise $5500, so anything that isn’t raised will be coming out of her student loans.
Thanks so much for your support. Keep checking back for updates and photos on our progress.
It’s here! We’ve worked together to write the story, storyboarded the motion and the interactive parts, created the shot list and today we’re shooting the entire motion piece in fronb of a green screen. We’ve got 14 people here on set, and only two ever appear in front of the camera. Project managers are here to make sure everything runs smoothly, motion designers to make sure we have the shots we need for motion, interactive designers to make sure we have the shots for the interactive parts, makeup, a sound guy, director, assistant director, camera operator, two people from marketing documenting the process along with a few other people popping in and out to check in. It’s a full crew and time is flying by.
We’ve already been here for three hours and we’ve got a maximum of nine left to get all of our shots. It’s a lot of work to get to this point, and it’s a great reward when the day is complete and we can see all of our planning come alive on screen.
Above, you can see photos of our actors in front of the green screen with orange markers to track the wall in post. You can see our setup in the second image with the screen that we’re all huddled around to see how the shot actually frames up. The last image is handiwork from our makeup artist did a super cool and crazy job at making our professor’s (who just happened to be her dad too) hand look severed.
We just got out of a very long (3 hours) but very productive brainstorming session for Call of C’Thulhu. We’ve decided to focus on bringing our story together in a storybook kind of style, all in a Necronomicon style of book. We’re focusing on breaking the motion piece into four different pages, with a layout that resembles something similar to the original Alice in Wonderland book. The first spread would include the starting scenes at the main gate as we follow Joseph up to the apartment door. The second takes place in the professor’s living room, and the third in his office. The last would include the scene where Joseph runs out of the office to …… (c’mon, really, did you think I was going to tell you the ending?!)
Similar to the hyped but flopped (or at least not living up to my expectations) Alice in Wonderland book for the iPad, the user will be able to flip through and turn the pages as if it was a real physical page. Unlike a physical book, the text will leave its static line and move to follow or repel (we haven’t decided yet) the touchpoints on the screen. The characters of the text will magically collect around the screen and in a flurry of magical particles and text, the underlying motion piece in a Sweeney Todd style will erupt out of the mix.
Within each of the motion pieces, we’ll have three different interactive components that the user will have to prod around for on their own and can interact with. We want to make it as intuitive as possible and leave it up to the user to figure out what elements are interactive, kind of like the game Windosill. Without giving away all of our secrets, three of the underlying themes seen throughout the story are bugs with tentacle like legs and feelers, worn out faces and souls, and bringing light to some of the chants traditionally associated with the story. Of course, if it’s the first time you’ve ever encountered the story, and you just want to watch it all from start to finish, you’ll be able to do that too.
The part that I’m the most excited about is actually the transitions from the storybook page to the playback of the motion piece. On first glance, the page will look like a regular paper copy of a storybook, only with a bit of old style charm, complete with a fancy dropcap and other embellishments on the page. But as soon as the iPad begins to tilt, or the user touches the screen, the characters will move. They’ll jump around the screen, either being drawn to the touch points on the screen or being repelled from them. The user will be able to play with the particles and smoosh them around the screen to create a bit of a magical soup where the motion piece will expand to utilize more of the available screen, and emerge from the deep magical depths to continue the story. Anyone who knows me, knows I have a thing for typography. I’m glad that we were able to incorporate and base typography both visually and with interactions. Check back in a few days; I hope to have a test done by week’s end.
VFS has a unique student culture in that while the digital design program is only a year long, they have three intakes per year. This means that every four months, a new round of 15 to 24 students hits the halls when the previous class graduate. We rotate through one of three main labs depending on how long you’ve been in the school. While we do see each other in the halls and check out the photo ids on the admin board, sometimes we don’t really network with each other as much as we could.
The instructors developed an event called Slam Day to help us out with that. In the middle of term 2, 4 and 6, all of the digital design students get together and are split up into 7 teams with a fair but random representation from each class. We’re given a design brief at 8:30 in the morning and have until 5 that same day to complete a project. This time around it was a teaser trailer for a thriller about a city that’s been overtaken with serial killers. We had a lot of fun all throughout the day and I can say I definitley made new friends. We didn’t officially win by vote of the judges, but we did manage to swing the viewers choice award.
For those of you have been following my blogging throughout my final project, you will remember a few days ago I posted an unfinished clip of an animation of the bunny character in our final project eating a rock. I’m now posting the final animation, which still has a loop in it, but is targetted at only the end “stuck” part of the animation. It doesn’t lend itself to as many giggles from yours truly, but will definitley benefit the project a little more than the previous version. 😉