Sunday, 9 June 2013

You've Got Red On You

Shaun of the Dead is probably my favorite zombie movie of recent years.

George A. Romero's original 'Night of the Living Dead' from 1968 is still probably the scariest zombie flick.  Others have been fun but not as creepy.  And there've been a lot of them.  So 'Shaun of the Dead' stands out of the pack, a comedy with horror overtones instead of a horror movie with comedic overtones.  The movie's hilarious but manages to be scary at times too.  Zombie's in general at the moment stand out of the pack, in a time when Vampires and Werewolves are getting their teeth pulled and their six-packs exposed, someone decided horror should be romantic, but it's a lot harder to put sparkles on a zombie.  Earlier this year they did try with 'Warm Bodies' the zombie thing might be wearing a little thin now too.  Even if every incarnation is good in it's own right you can definitely have too much of a good thing but 'Shaun' beat a lot of them to the punch and rightfully so.  As you may have guessed, I rewatched it recently and drew this a couple days later.  Done with markers and red Uniball.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Marilyn The Vampire Killer

I actually drew this not long after the last couple that I posted but I'm just now getting around to posting it on the blog.
The idea for this actually goes back quite a ways.  I was brain storming a bunch of cool poster ideas one night a few years ago and this was by far one of my favourites to come out of that.  I was distracted at the time though, trying to finish animation on my movie and ultimately forgot about it until something reminded me recently, so here it is.  I can't remember if there was any specific inspiration that lead to this idea at the time, I just remember thinking it would be a really cool image.  And I still think it is.  The idea originally was just to have her in front of a solid colour background but I decided just before drawing it that I wanted to add some vampires.  They were gonna be recognizable movie vampires at first but I couldn't decide on which ones to use since I didn't wanna have her with more modern movie vampires, considering she died in the 60's and that greatly narrowed my options so I went with my own vampires.  Keeping them black and white was a last minute idea too.  I remembered reading somewhere that once Marilyn made it big, part of her contract was that she would only appear in colour films.  The only exception that I know of that was ever made was 'Some Like It Hot' because the makeup they used to make Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis look like women was much more convincing in a black and white image.  So I thought having Marilyn be the only an otherwise black and white picture would be cool.  So there it is.  Sometime soon I wanna set up on some website and sell some prints...this'll definitely be one of them.
I didn't like the way I'd originally drawn her face so I stuck a post-it note on the paper and used my light table to draw a new one.  Tricks of the trade.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Horror Fan Art

The last couple months have been spent mostly working on a couple freelance gigs and trying to finish up a few odds and ends on some other projects of my of which is Cowman related so keep your eyes peeled for that, things are gonna start shaking up over there in the coming months.  Now I'm working on a graphic novel idea I've been playing with for a long time...I had hoped to actually start actively working on that before Christmas but Pork Cops and everything else took longer than I'd thought and here we are in May.  I did manage to etch out some random drawing time though to do these two quick colour pieces of fan art.
The Creature!!!!!  Was watching a lot of old horror movies last month and definitely one of Universal's best was the original 'Creature from the Black Lagoon,' which was also one of their last notable ones of the genre.  I kinda wanted to do my own thing with his look but when I was putting pencil to paper I couldn't bring myself to mess with such an iconic character.  My two big new contributions were flaring out the fins on his forearms a little bit so they could almost double as weapons and an idea that I'm kinda proud of it I took the bones out of his legs, so they function almost more like tentacles or double fish tails.  When he's on land they'd get him around like legs but in the water they'd move more freely and fish like...which seems appropriate for a half man half fish missing link.
And probably one of if not THE best micro budget movies to ever come from Roger Corman is the original "Little Shop of Horrors."  It's one of the first true horror comedies and it works well on both levels although it's definitely strongest as a comedy.  It also features Jack Nicholson in a hilarious cameo as a masochistic dental patient who is only there for the opportunity to feel the pain of the drill.  I don't think this was Jack's first role but it was definitely close to that, he's so young he's almost totally unrecognizable, which didn't make him easy to draw.  I kept trying to incorporate his famous prominent features but then he looked like Jack from 20 years later and not the character that bellowed, "No novocaine!  It dulls the senses!"

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Midnight Murderer Strikes Fallbrook

Right now I'm in a hotel room in the Fallbrook Country Inn, which is technically Bonsall apparently, which is just outside of Fallbrook, California, where the Midnight Murderer has made it's public debut. I'm sitting on the bed with an iPad and a keyboard like a 16 year old girl writing in her diary. I feel like shit. My immune system has been acting like the Terminator on steroids for the passed 6 months, keeping me healthy while everybody around me complained about the worst flu season in years. I guess I bragged about that a few too many times without touching wood because this morning I woke up with a sore throat. The rough dried out kind that hurts when you swollow but also feels like phlegm is making a constant migration down the back of it. I don't know how something can be both dry and wet at the same time but my throat found a way. It's very talented like that. I'm also breathing through a filter of snot which periodically feels like it's filling my sinus cavity at a compression of about 4,000 PSI. I'm burnt out. But in spite of that things are pretty cool. My movie, "The Case of the Midnight Murderer," was screened publically for the first time tonight...the turn out wasn't huge...but the response was pretty decent...or hell maybe the response was huge and I'm just chronically humble.

My own movie is the third film I've watched at the festival since I arrived in Fallbrook and the turn out has been about the same at all of them. The theater was just over a quarter full I'd say. As ticket sales go it's certainly nothing to brag about. None of these movies are boasting known actors and directors on their poster. None of them have major studios backing them or promoting them, they're just movies made by people who love movies, and my flick, a film-noir send up of 1940's detective mystery movies fit right in. The movie's a comedy and when you hear the audience laugh at the moments you intended them to you know you've done at least part of your job right. The festival coordinators and techs raved about the film to me and gave me some advice here and there which will come in handy on future projects as well as this. They praised the artwork and the imagination. Oh and did I mention the movie is award winning now?

Flashback to Saturday...before I came to Fallbrook and checked into this hotel. Before my throat woke me up and started yelling at me. On Saturday was the Canada International Film Festival in my hometown of Vancouver. "The Case of the Midnight Murderer" won me an award for 'Excellence in Filmmaking.' The movie wasn't screened there though...this is a tiny festival crammed into one day...they screen maybe a dozen movies if that and honour the others that impressed them with varying awards. Because they cram it all into one day though the awards aren't handed out until 10PM. My flight to California was 6AM the next morning. I was tired on Sunday. VERY tired. Fallbrook's Awards Gala was Sunday night...I was tired, but I was there. My film had been nominated for 'Best Animated Feature.' It was the only animated feature nominated. It was the only animated feature playing in the whole festival. I figured I was a shoein to win...the odds seemed to be in my favour...I had a gut instinct it was in the bag. I was right...I won...and although I loved the idea of calling my movie and myself award winning and as much as I'm gonna love seeing that pewter film reel next to my Canada Filmmaking certificate I wasn't sure the award could grant me any additional bragging rights when I had no competition, I was mostly just pumped that people were gonna get to watch the movie. Flash forward back to tonight as I was leaving the theater to head back to this here hotel room when one of the coordinators who was offering me tech advice let me know that the festival has never given an award for best animated feature before. It's never been a category. They created it for "The Case of the Midnight Murderer." So maybe I earned some bragging rights after all. Not that I'm going to. I do have a tendency to be chronically humble.

So now as Letterman delivers his monologue on the TV in front of me and my eyes grow heavier with every keystroke I'm ready to call it a night. Hopefully you'll get to see the movie some time in the near future if you haven't already. There's still some festivals that haven't made their decisions yet and some others still that I've yet to submit to. Then who knows...when way or another I'll get it out there. Stay tuned.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Caricature Proposal

I've been really bad about updating my blog lately.  Been pretty busy with some gigs as well as some stuff of my own.  Over the next week or so I'll try to get this place up to date.  But first I'll dispense with one of the more recent events and also one of the more unique events of late.

So this guy named Gurj emails me like a month ago and starts a back and forth over several weeks.  He wants to propose to his girlfriend Neetu and he wants to do it in a special way.  His plan?  To hire me to pose as a street artist so the two of them can ask me to draw their caricature.  Meanwhile why they pose for the drawing I'm not just drawing them in any old pose, I'm drawing Gurj down on one knee in front of her with a talking bubble exclaiming the words, "Neetu, will you marry me?!"

The back and forth of emails was to figure out the details as you probably already guessed.  Location, day, time.  One major problem is I'm not actually a street artist so I don't have a busker's license.  I was a little worried about that because if I looked too much the part I could grab unwanted attention by nearby vendors who don't want me there or even the police.  My story would've probably saved me from any real legal trouble but my cover would be blown and the whole scenario would be wrecked.  On top of that I also didn't want other people lining up to get their drawings done before they got there...I didn't really think that would happen but hey you never know.  So the plan was for me to be a little more inconspicuous, just a guy drawing on the street who, when Gurj expressed interest, would offer a caricature and we'd be off and running.

The whole thing went down outside Rogers Arena near the box office where Gurj had told Neetu he needed to pick up tickets left for him by a friend.  In the meantime I was there drawing so they'd have reason to approach me when they showed up.  Gurj asked if I could be in the middle of a caricature, so that's what I did although in the end I don't think it mattered.  I didn't have any reference and there weren't any faces around me that I could get a very clear look at so I stuck with what I could maybe do from memory.  First, Groucho Marx.  Then a grizzled old Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I'm not crazy about the Arnold drawing but I do like the idea of drawing him all grizzled and geiserly so I might take another shot at that with some reference and a bit more time to play with it.

Next up of course was the main event and Gurj set up a camera for it.  He told Neetu he was trying to enter a Vancouver video contest or something.
She said yes!  I don't think she quite knew what to make of the drawing at first, I think it was just starting to sink in when she turned around and saw her now fiancee on one knee.  I think she thought maybe I'd drawn him proposing to her just to be cute, but then how would I have known her name?  That last question may have even creeped her out for a second before she realized what was going on.  Here's a photo of the two of them with their drawing.  It's a little out of focus.  You can see a better shot of the drawing at the end of the video.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Pork Cops is done!

Here's the poster...
This short ended up taking a lot longer to finish than I had intended but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  Although I can't resist tinkering with the edit a little bit every time I watch it.  It's pretty fast paced so a little can go a long way with that edit tinkering.  This'll probably pop up on youtube eventually but I'm gonna submit it to a few festivals first and see what happens.

Here's some stills.

On the move!

Mid-air skunk

On the run!


Stork at work

Mid-air pig

Quaint neighbourhood

Invading some privacy

Armed and dangerous

THE Pork Cops

A view of the stars

Local business