March/10/2013 Filed in: Commercials
Click to play the BLACK STAR BEER commercial!
One of the cleverest ad campaigns I have been involved with was for Black Star Beer in 1992. A "Make-Believe History" was created for the newly started brewery by the Wieden & Kennedy agency, directed by Alex Proyas. The ad featured a montage of pretend commercials from the past, presented by announcer John Corbett (of Northern Exposure fame). My contribution was to animate Zippy The Cap, an iconic talking bottle cap character, supposedly from the year 1950.READ AND SEE MORE...
February/19/2013 Filed in: Moviemaking
Running from vampires in the sewer. Note the pink and green eighties lighting.
Having moved to Los Angeles with the dream of becoming a professional stop-motion animator, I initially found it very difficult to get my foot in the door of the movie business. I managed to get a few gigs making miniatures as a model maker, but even those jobs were hard to come by for a newcomer. Then the opportunity came to work on my first feature motion picture, starting at the very bottom... the sewer! Okay, in actuality I was hired to build a sewer, as part of the construction crew on the horror movie VAMP in 1986.
Taking a break in the nearly finished Vamp sewer set.READ AND SEE MORE...
January/05/2013 Filed in: Sculpting
Frank Zane and Lisa Lyon, examples of classic bodybuilding physiques! CLICK TO PLAY
Some may call bodybuilding a sport, but it can also be an art form. Bodybuilders literally sculpt themselves by making conscious decisions about where to add and where to subtract, accomplishing their goal with focused weight training, exercises, and diet. The objective of their efforts is to reach the physical ideal, which is certainly subjective depending on the eye of the beholder.
When I was a very young man I attended the 1979 Mr. Olympia competition, and filmed many of the highlights with my trusty super 8 camera. In that event, the bodybuilders essentially gave stage performances as living breathing sculptures. Frank Zane, arguably the greatest bodybuilder ever, won the contest for a third straight year. There was also a unique guest poser, pioneering female bodybuilder Lisa Lyon. The show represented the end of an era, within a few short years the world of professional bodybuilding experienced BIG changes. More on that, but first some background on the featured stars of this movie clip.READ AND SEE MORE...
July/19/2012 Filed in: Special FX
CLICK TO PLAY Cup-O-Noodles commercial with Saber-Toothed Tiger!
Since the invention of motion pictures to this very day, the goal of many imaginative filmmakers is to combine animation with live action. One of the most successful methods to achieve that effect is the chroma key technique. This process removes a color background, usually blue or green, by electronically cutting out the foreground subject, which then is composited over a different image. Chroma key works exceptionally well with stop-motion animation, and Chiodo Bros. Productions in Burbank, CA are masters of the procedure. In the nineties I was an animator on numerous Chiodo Brothers projects, for example this Cup-O-Noodles commercial featuring a saber-toothed tiger.READ AND SEE MORE...
June/01/2012 Filed in: Animation
CLICK TO PLAY the Night Scorps animation sequences!
In 1994, animation legend David Allen (1944-1999) hired me to animate gigantic scorpions for the feature film Oblivion. The film was a bizarre space-western, the original "cowboys and aliens"! It was produced by Full Moon Entertainment, which was a very busy studio with many movies in production. At that time, David was running the Full Moon special effects department and rarely doing any actual hands-on animation. In fact his main concern was planning for his upcoming Primevals movie, which was his dream project. He trusted his crew to create the work for other films such as Oblivion, under his overall supervision. I teamed up with Joseph Grossberg, who was in charge of the visual effects camera work and lighting. My task was to bring the giant alien scorpions, called Night Scorps, to life via stop-motion animation.READ AND SEE MORE...