Recently, we got a chance to do some work for George Clinton and P-Funk. I’ve been a fan for a long, long time and was naturally elated. From the day we began, from the first video tape I reviewed, I had a compelling desire to hug George and I kept saying “I can’t wait to hug George Clinton”. He just seems like such a groovy and warm person…sorta like a big, kind, teddy bear. Every time I worked with or talked to their camera guy, we would joke about “the hug”. The other night we went and checked out a P-Funk show in the Bronx and got a chance to finally meet the first family of funk. Unfortunately, we missed the first 90% of the show because of a late flight back from Hotlanta, but we did get a chance to see some of the show and go backstage to say hi to everybody. I was excited to meet George and get my hug. haha.
Awesome on so many levels! That’s a bold first sentence, but it’s so true. A chance to work on a Gil Scott-Heron music video…a chance to work with Blakroc (Damon Dash)…a chance to skate through New York City in the middle of the night with a small group of pro skaters from the Nike team, the Zoo York team and the founder of Certified Skateboards. But wait, act now and there’s more…we’ll throw in the opportunity to skate with these gnarly dudes at the world famous Brooklyn Banks…and…for the first 50 callers, we’ll paint you up like a demon skeleton and have a discreet/stealthy multi-camera crew follow you around. Needless to say, I was so in after the very first phone call. I was stoked to be able to skate and spook New York City.
Sometimes a project can be a real challenge to produce, yet extremely satisfying to design and create. This group of ads for the Carolina Chevrolet Dealers certainly fit that description. It was not a challenge due to any technically insurmountable requirements or anything…but rather, the challenge was in trying to design the visual look and feel of the ad, create all the elements needed, animate, render and edit the finished 30 second ad…in just a couple of days.
The request from the ad agency was to produce an ad that would be a melding of footage shot on location in the Carolinas and 2D/3D motion graphics and animation. The footage consisted of Carolina landmarks, as well as shots featuring customer and dealer interaction. The other requests were that the beginning of the ad feature a graph to provide a visual representation of the statistics being read by the announcer about current U.S. sales for several automobile manufacturers. Read More
Most of the 3D work I do involves “inorganic” shapes and objects. Hard corners, precise edges…big chunky blocks of text, etc. So when I get a chance to work on models that have smooth, flowing curves and natural shapes not determined by math…I am always delighted. The process of making this model was a lot of fun, the super-shortened description lives below.
To begin this project, I took photos of a banana from multiple angles for reference purposes, as well as for the surfacing of the finished model. For surfacing, some of the photos were digitally stitched together to create the surface color and texture that would then be “skinned” over the model. With my reference photos lined up and an actual banana on my desk, I was ready to begin.
Companies that have “balls” really get me pumped…hehe. But seriously, Nike is a company I already dig and seeing their funny, ballsy side just makes me dig them more. The materials for this project came from a hilarious and somewhat naughty campaign they were doing for their Hyperdunk basketball sneaker. It was shot by an incredible photographer named Dewey Nicks, who is insanely talented and his work is always amazing. A super cool “thing” about this project was the fact that it was actually “things”, as opposed to “thing”. By that I mean the project involved work of several different types — instead of just editing, or just 3D, or just audio, etc. For this project, I got to do a little 3D, some editing, created a custom music track, and I got to do some 2D/3D compositing and motion graphics. It was a seriously insane amount of fun and an opportunity I was excited to have.
Nike took a lot of heat on this campaign for supposedly “supporting homophobic ideas” but I think it is hysterical, as do my gay friends and family members. Ultimately, several print ads were pulled by Nike with a statement that was something like…
I can remember the looks I got the first time I said…”I sold my ovum online.” Technically speaking, I do sell ova online and they are definitely mine — I know they’re mine because I made them myself. Eeeewww. Thank god it’s not what it sounds like, I actually sell 3D models of ova online. In fact, I’ve seen this one used several times on The Discovery Science Channel. Think of it in the same way you might think of stock film footage or stock photography being “licensed” or sold.
Many of the 3D models I make for commercials or other projects are somewhat useless after the project is completed. They used to just collect virtual dust, sitting buried on various drives. I wanted to find a way to get more “mileage” out of the models and more “return” on the amount of work that goes into creating them. Just like agencies and distributors of stock footage and photography, there are distributors that specialize in 3D models and other 3D related elements. Selling my work through these brokers earns me a couple of extra bucks.
Some super cool shots for a super cool company. Roxy is a women’s clothing and accessories company, focussing on athletic girls with an active lifestyle…mostly surf, snow, etc. They are sooo groovy and started out as simply a women’s clothing line introduced by Quicksilver. Quicksilver is a great company and brand, so I was totally stoked to work on this project.
My sister AJ was working on a project editing some videos for the Roxy Surf Team, and the Roxy Snow Team. I created a few motion graphics shots that combined snowboarding footage with 2D graphical elements, illustrations and custom particle systems. The illustration elements were created by various artists and were inspired by and featured the Roxy logo. I’m personally a big fan of the logo, I find it to be thoughtful and clean. Read More
You wanna know a good way to blow off some steam? Take up skateboarding. I’m not even kidding one bit. When I was younger I skateboarded a little, but not a ton. As an adult, I recently decided I wanted to re-visit playing around with the injury stick. It all started because I was working with some surf footage and snowboard footage and it reminded me of how much fun I used to have when messing around with skateboarding.
One day, while editing with the surf footage, I blurted out, “I’m gonna get a skateboard”. Sooo…I got a skateboard. Immediately I recognized that familiar feeling…that unforgettable feeling…that intense feeling of…pain. Skateboarding involves a lot of falling. In my view, if your not falling, your not skating. But in all seriousness, and all pain stuff aside, it’s a great way to get exercise, have fun and blow off steam. hehe.
Check out this cool story and video from CNN about “Turbo Squid” Most of my commercially available 3D models go through Turbo Squid.
My Italian heritage has imprinted my double helix with a nearly obscene love of, and passion for, GOOD FOOD! Don’t get me wrong, I still live like I’m a college student and have been known to destroy some Big Macs or even run for the border at 3:00 am. However, when it comes to “real” food, I do not mess around. I spent several years cooking in Italian restaurants such as Enzo’s On The Lake, owned by the highly regarded Enzo Perlini. I worked beside some killer chefs, but I learned from my mother… I learned from the very best.
I’m the youngest of 6 children and because I was mom’s little baby (plz mock me), I spent a lot of time with her and a lot of time watching her cook. I’m an enormous fan of sharing knowledge, whether it be helping someone learn 3D modeling or how to load a motion picture camera and use a light meter, or even yes…share a recipe with someone. If you’re often disappointed by the lack of authenticity at even the finest Italian restaurants, and crave the real deal, this simple and delicious recipe is for you and it’s on the house.