One of my jobs during my days at TOKYOPOP was directing Motion Comics (then called iManga). Riding Shotgun and I Luv Halloween were both released shortly after completion. My favorite of the projects was Gyakushu. Unfortunately, for various reasons, it was never released. Thankfully, that has changed. It has been over two years since we completed it, but the Motion Comic version of Dan Hipp’s book is finally online at Hulu.
We may have finished shooting The Many Maladies of Marty Mitchell over a year ago, but I have only begun to do the time-sucking post-production work. I anticipate the final product running roughly fifteen minutes. Well, I have recently completed the first minute! It is online for everyone to watch and rebuke. That’s the video embedded above if you haven’t been paying attention.
I also decided one minute of footage must be enough content for an entire website to be built around. Sound reasoning, right? Visit ManyMaladies.com and you can follow the Marty Mitchell production blog as I slog my way through completion.
On an unrelated note, the movie that engulfed two years of my life at TOKYOPOP is online at Hulu. I was responsible for almost all of the motion graphics and visual effects. I also had a belligerent bit part as an actor. If you have two hours to lose, check out Van Von Hunter. You will never be the same!
Every so often we have to shake up our lives, take some chances, move on, take risks. The other option is complacency—stagnation. Four years ago, my life went through a drastic change. I underwent a huge break-up and accepted it as an opportunity to look at my life and aim it in the directions I most wanted to head. It was a rough time and the changes to my life were drastic. It has made all the difference. The life I am leading now is a proactive one and I am doing things I’ve always wanted to do. That being said, it is time for another big change (although a smaller one than four years ago—and no, Erika and I are not splitting up). After five and a half years at TOKYOPOP, I am leaving. I gave my notice last week. I have learned a lot, developed as an artist, and grown immensely during that time. Yet, it is time for that relationship to end. It has been time for a long time. There is little left for me to give there and little for me to gain there. It has been time for change for quite a while and I am openly embracing it now.
What are my plans? Many signs are pointing me towards that frightening path of self-employment. The skills I have been developing are generally most useful on short-term projects and the industries I’ve been pursuing are largely project-based. Being a full-time employee has actually cost me some opportunities in the last two years. I have often said that my hope was that TOKYOPOP would be my last full-time job. Now is the time to try to make that a reality.
Now for some requisite updates:
Things have been going well so far this year. I hope they continue this way. I’ve taken rock climbing lessons and finally invested in my own gear. Right now, I am trying to sport climb regularly in hopes of moving into trad climbing in the next few years. I’ll be off to British Columbia soon and I’m planning to hike the West Coast Trail I’ve been pining after. I’ve been busy on various video projects and entered a few festivals: Delivery is a short I co-directed with two friends, Third Degree is a piece I helped my buddy Shlain shoot, and I’m trying to forge ahead on Marty Mitchell. Some of you may remember the Duncan yo-yo spec commercial I put together with some friends. I am still waiting to hear if it places in the festival I entered it in. In the meantime, I have added it to my Vimeo page. The great news I’ve been keeping quiet about that spec spot is that it landed me a gig with Duncan for their 2010 television commercials. I finished up 15 and 30 second spots for them last week. Hopefully, they’ll be airing on TV this summer or fall.
I guess I better get to showering now.
I want to smell good for the encroaching future.
I’m still kicking. One of the things keeping me busy lately is toying around with DSLR cameras for photos and video. Expect to see a short soon called "Delivery" shot on a Canon 7D. I’ve also helped some friends with a couple of other 7D shoots and motion graphics. The big news: Thanks to my tax return I was able to buy a lower end digital camera with interchangeable lens options and full HD video capabilities. I have been spending some of my free time lately testing out my new Panasonic GH1. Some of the photos can be seen in an album on my Facebook page. I have also ordered a little camera I am very excited about, the Go Pro HD Helmet Cam. Weather and USPS permitting, I’ll get to try it out this weekend rock climbing in Chatsworth. I look forward to taking that little thing down waterfalls, diving, trapeze-ing, and anywhere else I can.
I’m done with the VFX for "Silver Moon." Travis is wrapping up its loose ends and it will be online very soon. Fan it on Facebook if you use that site. I’ve finally started editing my first "I Am Yo-yo" Duncan spec spot. That should be completed soon. "Marty Mitchell" is still sitting in the wings, but I plan to start working on its open right after. If you have ever been curious what some of the videos I put together at work look like, you can check out a YouTube playlist I’ve compiled with some of that work. I’ve embedded the Book Trailer I put together for the "Shutter Island" Graphic Novel below.
I’ll be going to small claims court in April to attempt to bring justice down upon the chick that lied about our car accident last year. Calcote was kind enough to serve her at her office last week for me. Blood work from my allergist claims I am only allergic to dogs, cats, and cockroaches. My lifelong sinus problems and itchiness tell me otherwise. I’ve been on a few hikes recently and I am really looking forward to an exciting March filled with canyoneering, trapeze, Death Valley, and whatever else I can fit in. The West Coast Trail in British Columbia is looking like a definite possibility this summer. I will need to start planning soon if that is going to be a reality.
Well, that takes the two of you interested up to speed. See ya.
2010 starts tomorrow and I haven’t finished posting about 2009. The last few months have been a blur of activity and compositing so Live Journal updates have suffered. Fear not, my three readers, a flurry of updates has arrived!
At work, for the last two years, we have been struggling to finish a low-budget feature called Van Von Hunter. Late this year, we succeeded. The movie is complete and numerous people all over the world deserve thanks. In November, I attended the “Friends and Family” screening where those people involved in the process and their buddies were allowed to see it projected in a theater. This was the first time I have ever had the opportunity to see any of my work on a large screen in front of an audience. It was also the first time in two years that many of the participants were able to see what all of our hard work had culminated in creating.
Finally, Super Mighty Mega Master of Manga is online.
We made this nearly a year ago.
Well, it’s only on TOKYOPOP.com, but I can now say that I have co-directed and co-starred in two Sega videogame commercials (even if it is internet only). Check it out on the website while they are still running. You may need to refresh a few times. Look for one of the images below and wait a few seconds for it to play.
Here is another music video I worked on at work.
It’s funny how long it takes for some of this work to get online, I finished this early in the year.
About a week ago, we put together a short pitch for a web show at work. It features artwork of giant robots from one of our books mixed with keyed footage of few of us acting like ridiculous jack-asses. It is pretty entertaining. Unfortunately, I can’t post it, but that won’t stop me from showing off a few stills. Steven (my supervisor) had a fantastic idea. He had me nab one of the images we used for the video and use it to create a shirt featuring one of our coworkers who played the villain as his birthday was approaching and we knew he would love it. One of his scenes from the short features him saying “activate super crush.” Today, Steven called him to a conference room where seven of us sat waiting to presumably castigate him. Instead, we revealed that we were each wearing a shirt featuring him and gave him one of his own. He was so excited he ran around the office showing everyone and taking pictures of all of us. At this moment, he is probably sending links to all of his family and friends in Japan.
Here is another music video I worked on. I didn’t direct this one this time around, but I am responsible for the editing and visual effects & color grading.