Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Take, for example, the video above. This was an entry in the "Live and Love" Herpes Awareness Competition, where you needed to produce a 30 second "short movie" about herpes. Firstly, my movie was an ad, it wasn't a narrative, so I'd lose points for that. Secondly, the sound is awful, absolutely dreadful. Thirdly, frankly, it looks shite. And no matter what competition says it's all about the idea and not the production values, a shite-looking entry ain't gonna win.
So why did I enter it, looking and sounding and being so half-assed? Well, it took me so long to get to that point, I had just about lost interest in the project, and in the end, I just wanted to get it completed so I had something, anything, to show for the hours I'd spent trying to get a "green screen" setup in my lounge room to work, or drawing out and animating a bunch of figures.
Prior to the Herpes competition, I'd also entered the Doritos Make-An-Ad comp, making two ads that I thought were fun, funny and sellable.
The first was a two-hander called "Love. Doritos.", starring the beautiful Stephanie:
I liked how this turned out, but the production values are still woefully low. The sound recording quality is pitiful, which means that some of the dialogue is almost garbled, and I think most of the shots are slightly out of focus. But all up, I liked the ad, and I'd like to think that, reshot with actors and money, it would be funny on TV.
Once I'd entered that ad, I decided to have another go at something else.
OK, maybe not the most original concept ever, but I'd like to think the jokes and execution gave it a bit of a twist, and as a polished ad, I think it would retain the interest of the viewer for longer than the usual 2 second scan that most people give an ad, and would offer repeatability (How many of the suggestions can you remember?) It took two nights to shoot and another two nights to edit and add music (which fortunately was my own, so that was a bonus - another example of simple percussion and vocal layering).
Once again, I liked the final product, and I think the production quality of this beats the other two easily, mainly due to the audio, but I also think the editing plays a part: it's tight, well-timed and fluid.
When it comes down to it, maybe I should stick to getting my concepts down on paper and leave the production side of things to professionals. After all, everybody has their thing, be it writing or lighting or audio or really good make-up (or plumbing or baking or juggling - the list goes on, but I'm trying to stay on-theme here), and they deserve to let their light shine.
So maybe next time, I'll ask for help.
And maybe we'll produce something a lot less crappy looking. Something that dazzles with its wit, power, panache, structure and beautiful cinematography. And great sound recording.
And next time, it will win, because let's face it, everybody wants some recognition for their hard work. And cash. Cash is also nice.
Next time winning will be my thing.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Now I'm looking forward to seeing photos of people at a Disney park wearing the shirts. That would be brilliant.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
My brother-in-law recently got married to his new wife (now, but earlier, fiancee). From all reports everyone had a marvellous time. Unfortunately due to monetary constraints, we couldn't flight to the US to see the event LIVE, so we'll have to wait for the direct-to-DVD movie, or possibly the photo album.
As a memento of the event, Adam wanted to have a shirt designed for his groom's party, a thank you that was a little more personal than a pair of cuff links or ceremonial dagger. Being as I am a shirt designer, he asked me to provide a design that suited this most romantic and heartfelt of occasions.
Instead, I designed a shirt with boobs, sharks and gunplay.
We were both pretty happy with it.
Congratulations Adam and Rebekah!
The fortunate thing about the design is that it didn't take much to make it a design that could be used by any groom to thank his groom's party. All the important wedding-day elements are still there: boobs, sharks and gunplay. And part from Adam's initials, all I had to change was his red tie.
And now, huzzah, presenting… The Best Men.
It's a little bit wedding and a little bit Chuck Norris. And let's face it, isn't every wedding a little like Chuck Norris?
No. Probably not.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I have a lot of time for mothers, obviously. And I understand that there is a tipping point where they go from caring, loving, nurturing ladies to crazed, wild-eyed bunny-boilers.
It's usually about four minutes before Happy Hour.
And about two minutes after an offspring has decided, for the fifth time today, that taking their nappy off and/or spitting unwanted food is a form of communicating love.
At our house, we're not Jewish, but we do celebrate the Passover. It's the moment when I arrive home at night and Steph meets me at the door, we exchange brief pleasantries, and she passes over whichever child is causing her to Sea Red.
At some point, all mothers need to release the pressure valve. What better time than "Mummy Smash Time", when time is put aside for that quiet, leisurely glass of wine. Or six. Dozen.
Because nothing says "Don't bother me, it's Mummy Smash Time", than the official "Mummy Smash Time" t-shirt.
Except, of course, shaking the bottle and aiming the cork at the little bugger's head.
Also available in:
Friday, April 23, 2010
A little while ago, I entered a competition at 99designs.com to create a logo for an art gallery called "Twenty First Century Art Ltd" As part of their brief, they mentioned that they were thinking about something like the 20th Century Fox logo, which I thought was a bad idea, because they'd just end up being sued or publicly attached to a movie studio.
In my mind, as an art gallery, being thought of as a subsiduary of a major motion picture company would reduce your ability to promote truly ground-breaking work to the public, because people would probably expect your gallery space to be filled with framed copies of movie posters.
So instead I went for zombies. Of course.
I really liked this design for a couple of reasons.
Firstly I like the subtitle "Art for Brains".
Secondly, the 21 works as a zombie head.
Thirdly, it would work on a business card as well as the side of a building.
Fourthly, I like the eyes, because they can work in an art gallery setting.
Of course I didn't win the comp. The winner as a knock-off of the 20th Century Fox logo. Who would've guessed?
But I liked the design, and I would hold on to it for a future job, but when am I gonna get asked to design a zombie head for an art gallery using the number 21?
Commissions like that are rarer than you think...
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Surely if you cut work out, then there's less work to do.
Which is good, innit?
...unless you get paid by the hour...
Friday, April 16, 2010
If you are in the throes of a migraine, which can range from the inconvenient to the downright debilitating, here's something that can help to (maybe even slightly) reduce the pain.
Think of something new.
It's that simple.
I've found that when I've been battling with a migraine, the active thought of thinking of new thoughts, versus thinking of memories or previous thoughts, can help to reduce the pain in the head.
OK, maybe it's not that simple. Continually thinking of new things can be hard. It's very easy to drift back into things you've already thought of. But, at least for me, the act of creating new thought diminishes the acuteness of the pain.
"But," you say, "surely just thinking of something else just takes your mind off the fact that you're in pain." In theory yes, but I've tried taking my mind off the pain by thinking of fond memories and the effect isn't nearly the same as thinking of original thoughts.
Here's two processes I use:
1. Fly me, I'm free
Here's how I start: I picture my feet, standing on the ground, wearing green sneakers (I'm not sure why green, but it always seems to be green - go figure).
Then I lift off.
I rise up into the air, I take in the surroundings as they slowly shrink away. Where was I standing? What was over the fence? Who is that walking down the street? Where is that car going? Isn't it amazing how many people own pools?
It's all about the details.
Now that I've created this panorama, it's time to move. Where are I going to fly? Generally I think of somewhere cool, like Disneyland, or Niagara Falls, somewhere I recognise. And then I fly there, taking in the details of whatever I fly over.
The idea is that during you're flight, you have to consciously think of what you're going to see next. And even if you're flying between two places you know, the act of having to visualise the route between the two locations from above focusses your creative brain. You might be using some memory of what you'll see on the ground as you fly, but having to re-evaluate that data in your brain uses your creative centres rather than your memory centres.
2. Expected the Unexpected Pickle.
This is a pretty simple idea. Hall of doors. Walk up to a door, open the door. What happens?
OK, instead of that happening, what if the opposite happened, not what you expected at all?
Challenge your brain to create something you didn't expect. As soon as you start thinking you know what you're about to see, surprise yourself.
For example: "You open the door and see a man in a suit... except coming out of the bottom of his pants are... tentacles? And these tentacles slip and slide out of his cuffs, and each tentacle is holding an object - a golden ring, a necronomicon, a bottle of potion, a deck of cards, a pocketwatch. And then the pocketwatch... swells and morphs into an apple, which then peels open to reveal.... a flower, which explodes into a cloud of pollen, which forms the shape of... the Empire State Building... except halfway up, the building takes a 90 degree turn and starts building across the skyline. And then when you zoom inside the building, who do you see?..."
Choose an object, choose an aspect of the object that you take for granted, change that aspect. What happens next?
I'm sure there's a scientific reason for why this works in reducing pain, something to do with different sections of the brain, and how and where pain is interpreted. Maybe the pain is centred in the creative regions, and so if you're using that part of the brain to think creatively, not so much of that region is dwelling on feeling pain. I can't say the pain completely disappears, but it certainly diminishes.
I hope that these ideas work for you next time you've got a migraine, or even a bad headache.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I've set a ball in motion that could go one or more of many ways, if that makes sense.
Maybe it's a ball of water, which can split into different smaller balls of water which go into different directions, although a ball of water is kind of hard to launch.
Maybe it's a ball of mercury, which is sort of cooler, although the surface tension doesn't tend to let it split regularly.
If I could get a ball which had the splitability of water with the metallic finish of mercury, it would not only be perfect for this analogy, but also look damn cool...
Let's go back a bit...
A while ago, back when Steph and I were young and carefree and only had the one little pumpkin in the patch (oh those were the days, when we... slept) we discussed the idea of having another kid. I always said two was good, because one is officially the loneliest number, although 3 is also a particularly lonely number, since there will generally be a "ganging-up" of two against the remaining one, who would feel even more lonely when confronted with the chummy camaraderie of the other two.
And that's why people don't like mathematics. Because it's all about socio-political affectations of the individual components, rather than just counting. Maths is like communism: Good in theory, but once you get people involved, it falls over on its ear.
For example: 88 - Two fat ladies. Isn't that a little fattist? Sexist?
And if you think 13 is unlucky, spare a thought for "22 divided by 7".
How would you feel if everyone thought you were "easy as"?
We decided we wanted to have two children, so they would have someone to play with, protect each other and on the odd chance, supply an organ.
Fast forward a year (mainly so I don't have to explain the conception, pregnancy or birth) and we now have two kids, Honey and now Lilybelle, who are both beautiful and good-natured (pending), and we're happy with our decision to stop at two. For a start, they can never out-vote us, because in a split decision, we get the power of veto. Plus they're not old enough to vote, so that helps.
Plus, if we go out somewhere, there's one parent for each kid, so it is much easily to assert blame.
Also, how often do you see a family deal that states "2 adults, 3 children"? Never. OK, once, but that was a typo. "2 adults, 2 kids" is the goto ratio for Family Deals, the optimum, the golden rule, and I'd like to get in on some of that "Family Deal" action.
So what to do? Well if we didn't want any more kids, we could always do what my parents did and never have sex ever again (and if anyone thinks I'm being naive - SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP I'M NOT LISTENING!).
So instead, I decided to get a vasectomy.
Some people might think that's a little severe, but frankly it's the best option. Let's face it: If I was a superhero, whose power was the ability to get women pregnant, I could now say "My work here is done!" and fly off to my Fortress of Solitude (which is conveniently located in my shed).
Why not enjoy my progenitorial retirement?
Unfortunately, this superhero (I like the name THE IM-PREG-NA-TOR! myself. It's catchy) hit a brick wall.
Turns out a vasectomy costs over a thousand bucks!
Double ouch.That's a pain in the pocket, in more ways than one.
We don't have a thousand bucks to throw at my groin, so to speak. If we were gonna go ahead with this, I was gonna have to find a way to "make bank".
Fortunately, I came up with an idea, a plan so brilliant it verges on the dumb, a scheme so eye-googlingly stupendous, it could almost be considered idiotically stupid. And also a little embarassing.
Or it could just fail. There's always a chance.
It just so happened that I designed a shirt recently that would come in handy in just such an occasion.
The "MARRIED TO THE MILF" t-shirt was originally just a "love" letter to my wife. After all, she is the MILF for me. But I'm not the only man in the world who wants to have sex with his wife, am I?
So here's the idea: I sell the shirt, and the profits go towards me getting a vasectomy. What could possibly go wrong?
As I said, it could go one or more of many ways:
Possibly it could work, I sell enough shirts to pay for the snip, everybody wins.
Or it gets publicity, but don't doesn't transfer to sales, and I'm forever known as "Vasectomy Boy".
Or it doesn't work, and I still need to find a way to pay for a vasectomy.
But, as they say "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs", although in this case, the eggs aren't my eggs per se, but my reputation, and the omelette is... the vasectomy? Is that right?
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I have a soft spot for the Jon Pertwee era, considering it was when I first saw the show. ABC in Australia replayed Pertwee and Tom Baker episodes for what seemed like decades while I was growing up.
Roger Delgado's Master was the nemesis of Pertwee's Doctor, and the character was, even back then, a bit of a moustache-twirler, but Delgado gave it such style.
Delgado had a back catalogue of movie and TV roles, playing a range of swathy types and probably the odd vicar. He could play suave and sophisticated in his sleep. Narcolepsy aside, he had the chops.Delgado's Master had the same issues as the other Masters: a deep, seething hatred of the Doctor's ability to win both the day and the affections of everyone around him without resorting to underhanded dealings.
He also had the complete inability to kill off his nemesis with a simple bomb or gun, preferring the more intricate, ornate, sophisticated and ultimately escapable trap. Consider "Terror of the Autons" - the Master's first story. After cleverly disguising himself as a phone technician to infiltrate the UNIT base, the Master could just whip out a gun, add some witty quip, and blow his fellow Time Lord away.
But instead, he installs a phone.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
So begins the tour of The Haunted Mansion, a mainstay of Disney theme parks around the world, and one of my favourite attractions in any theme park.
Why? The Haunted Mansion epitomises the drawcard of attractions such as roller coasters, flume rides and dark rides: scares without danger.
While a roller coaster provides the scares of high speed and sudden turns (and if you're lucky, loops), it also provides safety from danger, in the form of seat belts, harnesses and safety brake systems. Thus, you can be hurtling to your death in a rocket car, but in the back of your mind, you know everything is going to be alright.
In comparison, hurtling to your death in an actual rocket car wouldn't have the same widespread appeal.
With The Haunted Mansion, you are dealing with all manner of scary spook, gruesome ghoul and a bridezilla, but the scares are balanced out by black humour and Charles Addams-style visual gags.
Alternatively, if you were just stuck in a creepy house where the rooms changed size, objects floated around your head and the paintings distorted into ghoulish patiches of their former beauty, you'd probably not enjoy it so much.
The "Foolish Mortal" tshirt above is in honour of one of my favourite all-time rides. The design resembles some of the motifs found within the attraction, most notably the unsettling wallpaper from sections of the ride.
What I really like about this design is the way the colours work. While there is a white version for other shirt colours, the purple design on the grey shirt is almost subliminal in low light, just the barest of glossy hints. However, when you step out into the sunlight, the design almost glows against the grey background.
If you're a fan of The Haunted Mansion, you could do worst than pick up a shirt and declare yourself a Foolish Mortal.
Sure you may have 999 t-shirts in your cupboard...
...but there's always room for one more....
If that happens, this should help.
-- Post From My iPhone
Location:Bendigo St,North Melbourne,Australia