These were a series of shorts I created for MTV’s 10-Spot Drop several years ago at Transistor Studios. We would quickly throw together a rough pitch with storyboards that we could animate in a day or two. Any idea was game, as long as it was clever and could be quickly executed. We submitted upwards of 20 pitches at once and then MTV would let us know which were chosen and for what musicians and tracks. It was great for me creatively because I got to be as weird as I wanted, use my particular illustration/design sensibility, plus I got to use Anime Studio Pro, one of my favorite 2D character animation programs, along with Cinema4D for 3D elements and After Effects for compositing. Even now, years later, I still love these and wish more studios would give their animators this kind of freedom. Unfortunately all these went away after some internal upheaval at MTV.
A blast from my past courtesy of my friend Jules. Not bad for a sketch we threw together at the 11th hour when our barbershop quartet didn’t quite gel.
This is the short I did for the Electric Projected event that was held in Beacon, NY on October 1, 2011. The animations were projected onto a massive abandoned electric blanket factory in downtown Beacon, with each filmmaker drawing their inspiration from a chosen mural that occupies each window. Each animation began and ended with its respective origin window, as we were given a template of the building from which to construct the animation in relation to the architecture.
I chose the mural “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” by Cern and Elia Gurna, who created the work onsite at the 2010 Electric Windows Event. I was drawn to the creepy characters and texture of the mural, as well as to the fatalistic, anti-war narrative of the original song by Pete Seeger. Plus I just loved getting to animate these critters and create a backstory for them.
I gave myself a week to work on the story and animation, plus a couple weekends when I could manage. While the event itself was accompanied by a live DJ, I had worked on the edit based on my friend Rob Hart’s song “Leaving the Plains”, which is in this final mix. Animated with Cinema 4D, Anime Studio Pro and After Effects. Hope you enjoy.
Thanks to Cary Janks and Daniel Weise for creating and organizing this event and Nicole Ashey for making the connection.
For more information and footage from the event go to:
I’ve been ripping DVD backups of ancient VHS tapes housing my library of youthful exploits. I made a ton of home movies, mostly horror comedies, and loved making gory props for them. My bedroom looked like the photo below, and thankfully I had a very understanding and supportive family who encouraged creativity, otherwise I might be blogging from a pray-the-gay away institute. [singlepic id=122 w=480 h=360 float=left]This was one of many films I made in high school with my friends, and I’m posting these mainly for their benefit/embarrassment. Most of these films involved us making fun of our fellow students and/or killing them in comedic ways, so the jokes tend to be subjective. Please ignore my mullet, it’s a long story but I was nicknamed “Brillo” for a reason.
The Cramm Murders
The premise is simple, everyone who is friends with Tim Cramm dies. This includes Andrew Deutsch, Julie Odendahl, her boyfriend (at the time) Deklan and myself. As the lavish story unfolds, we find that everything we thought we knew about our protagonist has been turned dramatically upside down. With excellent performances by Mark and Andrew.
Food was originally shot in 1999 with a digital video camera and animated/edited on a Macintosh with the crude, unstable software of the time. Since I was teaching myself the software, it took me about 2 years of intermittent work to complete. It had no budget other than a green sheet, some halogen lights and a bottle of wine (catering). Except for our dazzling actress Karen Shapiro, all sets, props and creatures were generated from stock photos or 3-D animation. This was my re-entry into animation after years of print based graphic design. While rough in execution, it caught the attention of enough people to wind up on PBS and in festivals worldwide, and ultimately connected me to the people who would open doors in the NYC motion graphic world. More information on the vimeo page:
2003 – Rencontrés Internationales Paris/Berlin – Paris & Berlin
2003 – Reel Noise – Seattle, Washington
2003 – Clone Digital Film Festival – Hameenlinna, Finland
2003 – CSAW – Commerce Street Artist Warehouse – Houston, Texas
2003 – KLJUN – Subotica, Serbia
2002 – Reel New York 7 – PBS
2002 – Coffee House Theater – McMurdo Station, Antarctica
2002 – D-Cinema Festival, Vierzon, France
2002 – Portable Pirate Cinema, San Francisco, California
2002 – Heaven Gallery – Chicago, Illinois
2002 – Strange Brew Coffeehouse – Springfield, Ohio
2002 – Tagawa International Short Film Matsuri – Tagawa, Japan
2002 – Featured Film – Disk – O.com
2002 – Madurai Collective – Madurai, India
2002 – VideoMedeja – Novi Sad, Yugoslavia
2001 – Ocularis – Brooklyn, NY
2001 – Two Boots Pioneer Theater – New York, NY
2001 – Fayetteville Film Festival – Fayetteville, AR
2001 – Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival – Hot Springs, AR
2001 – Nomad Film & Video Fest – Seattle, San Francisco, Berkeley & Portland
2001 – Wall of Sound – Seattle, Washington
2001 – Project 101 – Paris, France
2001 – Independant Exposure 2001 – Chicago, Illinois
2001 – Melbourne Underground Film Festival – Melbourne, Australia
2001 – Video Space – Metro Arts – Brisbane-Queensland, Australia
2001 – Multimedia Microcinema – Skopje, Macedonia
2001 – Czech TV – Czech Republic
2001 – Pacific Film Archive – University of California, Berkeley
2001 – da Vinci Film & Video Festival – Corvallis, OR
2001 – Bay Area Film Festival – Berkeley, CA
2001 – New York Animation Festival – New York, NY
2000 – Artists Television Access – San Francisco, CA
Memphis College of Art, 1992. This was a video I shot at MCA after wondering why artists don’t have their own television commercials. So I asked a few people to give me a basic outline for how they wanted to represent themselves, and I shot and edited the rest on good old fashion VHS. Naturally they tend towards parodies of infomercials or biopics.
Fork was a short art film parody I did while at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992. A meditation on eating and madness, with a dash of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Maya Deren thrown in for some post-modern feminist depth, it was the beginning of a pervasive fork motif that would haunt my oeuvre forever. Entertaining and intentionally pretentious. Starring the luminous Hazel Cox, a friend since childhood. We literally ran into each other on Haight Street one day, not knowing that either one of us were living in San Francisco. She yelled “Jack Myers!” We were roommates shortly after that.