A few weeks ago, Scott gave a lecture to my fellow Academy of Art students. The talk was part of the Designspeak lecture series and was open to students and faculty (and 20 lucky blog readers). The room was jam packed, with a bunch of people even crammed in on the floor. The talk covered a wide range of topics: early influences, current design process, Tycho, the blog, and much more. We even got a glimpse of the first poster Scott ever designed!
The lecture was about 1.5 hours long, with a 30 minute Q&A at the end. In addition to the Academy film crew, I was on hand with my 5DMKII to capture some of the evening. Given the massive file size, and limited continuous shot duration on the 5D, I only recorded sporadically, and wasn’t able to capture everything I would have liked. I shot until my memory card filled up and was able to capture a total of 30 minutes of the talk. I selected the shots you see in the video above from this sample.
As I said in my intro that night, it would be hard for me to convey how much I’ve learned from Scott over these last two years interning at the studio. I consider myself enrolled in two design schools (Scott’s, and the Academy) and it was really exciting for me to see these two worlds combined. I’m very glad that everyone at the Academy was able to get a glimpse into Scott’s world and I’m also really excited now to be able to show you all at least a little bit of the talk. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to see one of the talks in person, I highly suggest you make that happen (I think Toronto is your next opportunity). In the meantime, hopefully this video will tide you over.
Recording the talk was another great test run with the 5D and I learn something new each time I take it out. This time, audio was the main issue as I wasn’t able to find a suitable solution before the talk. What you hear through most of video was from the Academy microphone — at the end is what it sounds like off the internal mic on the 5D. Basically the on camera mic is completely useless. It helps for syncing external audio to the video, but that’s about it. For future excursions I am definitely going to look into some form of either a mounted shotgun mic or wireless LAV.
A few selections from the artwork portion of these Science and Technology adverts. I often like the text layouts on these old advertisements, but in these cases it was the artwork that caught my attention. I see a little Matthew Lyons in that first one. Be sure to check out the rest of the set.
I am very excited about the work of Sulki & Min. I saw these on but does it float this morning and they jump-started my mind. I’ve been in a bit of a creative funk recently and these posters were just what I needed to get excited about design again. I’m not exactly sure what specifically it was, though I suspect the type lockup in the top right quadrant of the 2nd poster down may have had something to do with it.
I also love the subtle details in the first poster — the line weight of the circle around the D, the differences between the two fours — simple yes, but boring no. (I’m sure some may disagree with me on this, but I can’t help but admire the restraint/confidence it takes to call a poster like this finished.)
Sulki and Min are Korean designers who both got their MFA in design from Yale. They have an astonishing body of work and have been exhibited many times. I am also a big fan of a few of their typefaces designs.
You do not want to know how long I spent trying to rig a vertical stop motion set up this week. Duct tape was flying around everywhere, lights were falling and shattering from above, and I had to take at least one ‘cool down before I break something’ walk. Surprisingly, Google was unhelpful in providing useful solutions — though this may have had something to do with a confusion in terms (is it aerial stop motion? vertical? 90 degrees?) I never quite know what to classify it as.
Anyway, I’ve written this brief process post about how I set up everything. It worked great for me, but I do not intend this to be a “this is HOW you do it” type article. Classify this as a go-to “bootleg” option if you don’t have access to one of those crazy $10,000 rigs that lets you fly above your subject etc. If you are looking for a relatively easy and inexpensive way to complete this type of project, this is one way to do it. I’ll walk through the supplies and exactly what I did that worked best for me. At the end of the day, it’s actually pretty darn easy — but it’s always nice to get a peak at a successful process just in case you’re spinning your wheels. There probably is a better way to do this, but I couldn’t find one. (And do excuse the slightly blurry photograph above…unfortunately the camera that has the external flash capability was the one being photographed…)
I didn’t realize the other day, when I mentioned Spike Jonze’s “I’m Here”, that the actual film had already been released. The trailer was exciting enough for me I guess. Now you can view the entire 30min film on the website. They limit the amount of viewers per day, so make sure to take a look when you can. I haven’t seen it fill up recently, but you never know. Props for a smooth web interface too — feels like a video game without being frustratingly slow or clumsy like most Flash pages.
The film itself is great; the opening sequence is especially well done. The music works really well with the visuals throughout, and of course the whole thing stars robots. They are remarkably expressive, what for being robots and all. I really like the combination of animation and lo-fi costumes; it works really well for this, just like WTWTA. The story is a nice one, a little sad/mopey, but I enjoyed it overall. I found myself more attracted to the uniqueness of the whole project rather than any specific aspect of the plot.
My favorite part is when the bearded guy in the car yells “You’re a ROBOT!!” into the main characters head. Awesome. Check it out here.
Witness the unchained creativity of Julien Vallée. I suppose this is a little more whimsical than my average post here, but I can’t get over how awesome his work is. The combination of hand-made elements, motion graphics, and unparalleled ingenuity create some stunning work. He also does a great job documenting his process — his behind the scenes videos are just as entertaining as the actual finished product. The last video above is a “Making of” for Danse Dance. You can view the actual interactive video here.
As he says in his Gestalten interview about his work, “I got bored with the computer technique and a pre-formatted way of working”. Good thing he did — it’s refreshing to see work like this that jumps off the page in more ways than one.
I’ve been delving into the depths of the internet over the past few weeks; reading about everything from ultra high speed video camera comparisons to the best post production workflow for the 5DMKII to FCP. One of the best resources I’ve found is Prolost, the site of filmmaker Stu Maschwitz. The blog is generally about filmmaking, with a heavy lean on post production techniques, typically as it relates to DSLR equipment.
You may have already heard of it, but as was true for The Strobist a year ago, I had not and am very glad to have discovered such an informative resource. I came to Prolost by way of an article on color correction called Memory Colors. It’s not a ‘how to’ by any means, but puts forth some interesting information on the theory behind color correction and manipulation.
With the release of the new (now fixed) firmware for the MKII, it’s been hard to escape the buzz. Finally the MKII can shoot 24p! (In case you don’t see why this is awesome.) Of course now I am lamenting the fact that it can’t do 60fps (all of a sudden I had the urge to get some really smooth slow motion). Maybe next time.
If you can look past the periodic in-your-face product endorsements (I know you can!), these videos are actually very cool. I am a big fan of Danny Clinch, Wolfmother, Jay Z, (and John Mayer), so what’s not to love here. Makes me want to to quit everything and travel around the world with a band. That or quit everything and start a band and hire a photographer.
The Jay Z collaboration just came out a few days ago, while the Wolfmother one has been out for a while now. With both of these, they are obviously promos for Absolut, but they’re mainly just well-shot rock&roll mini documentaries. The class I’m in now is basically an advertising class and I have really come to appreciate it when a company put something like this together — especially compared to most of the nonsense you see out there. Just about all of the Absolut ads are very well done, most are up here. And if you haven’t seen the Spike Jonz “I’m Here” trailer you must watch it immediately.