Showing posts from 2016

Finally kicking up some dirt!

inDELLible has been going great- though I haven’t been as fast as I’d like. Speed will come with time, and since there hasn’t been an official ‘time-limit’, I’ve been making sure that the art work is the best I can do. I still feel like it’s rough, but it’s a great learning opportunity to work with the likes of Daerick Gross, Sr. I can’t show much right now, but here’s a tidbit I’ve shared on FB:
I still have a couple of other stories to do for inDELLible. The next story is for “The Masked Pilot”- I’m guessing he’s sort of a Lone Ranger of the air. I’m excited for this one because I get to draw my favorite of all vintage planes: The Grumman Goose!
I’ve been doing quite a bit of illustration for my day job. We’ve been developing a simulation for an economics course based on Dune. Here are some avatars I was asked to create: I’m continuing to work hard and hone my draftsmanship skills... nothing else really to report, though I’ll make a tighter effort to keep the updates coming more frequ…

inDELLible Comic Anthology!

I had posted this in September, 2016. It was my first real attempt at becoming published with a comic book anthology. The book is now being published in a limited print run.

I’m excited to announce that I am returning to my Comic Book roots and will be illustrating two short stories for the inDELLible comic book anthology!

inDELLible is an homage to Dell Comics, a Golden Age comic book publisher whose works are now in Public Domain. Their anthology will include several stories from many talented writers and artists. I’m humbled and honored to be part of the team.

inDELLible is headed up by Editor James Ludwig, Assistant Editor Dave Noe, and art directed by industry veteran Dærick Gröss Sr.

I will be working with Bill Cain on “Naza”- who is a prehistoric warrior looking for his lost love, and "Captain Tornado"- a two-fisted space opera adventurer; and with Brian K. Morris on the “Masked Pilot”, a 1930s hotshot aviator.

We’re in the beginning stages now, but I will be able…

10,000 DRAWINGS... will give you such a crick in the neck!

I always get excited when someone takes an interest in my artwork. I get even more excited when that person also likes to draw but needs some encouragement. It really is about convincing yourself it’s okay to draw and not be where you want to be. It should be exciting- it’s like looking out the window and getting ready for a roadtrip! I don’t mean to sound trite- but it really is about the journey. I had heard somewhere that we have 10,000 bad drawings in us, and it’s up to us to get them out. It’s similar to the 10,000 hour rule- spend 10k hours practicing a skill to become world class. I believe it. For me, it will probably be 30k… but that’s all on me.

I had realized something recently- and it’s taken me a long time to come to this conclusion… but if anything, it’s this: Art is more than the final result. You must ENJOY the method.
You have to like the act of actually doing it! The art is secondary to the act of putting pencil to the paper- of putting paint to the canvas. Once you f…

The Bookshelf Academy

I was listless and uninspired. I was sitting at my desk in a “Now what?” state of mind. I had just finished a large illustration project for work (a series of illustrations, title page above) , and although I was satisfied with what I had done in the time I had to do it, I felt that I could have done so much more. A large part of it was speed, and to a greater extent, I was severely out of practice.
As I reflected on my past week, I felt a bit empty. I had a vacation coming up which will involve travel, but I know how I am—I get antsy when I’m not doing anything creative. So I sat, paralyzed by the thought of my lack of time, lack of inspiration, and knowing full well I need to put in the hours to get better. “Now what?"
Some backstory: I’m currently in the middle of a personal project—inventorying all of my books. It’s a culmination of 25 years of collecting, and I own quite a bit. I haven’t used many of them. I’m on a long journey toward minimalism and I want to unburden myse…

Drawing is how I best connect with people

I have lots of interests. I mean A LOT. I love filmmaking- directing, cinematography, screenwriting... I love animation. I love photography- the craft of working with a manual camera, celluloid, and shaping light. And, I love to draw.

It's all cyclical to me. One interest gives way to another during the course of the year. I'll go for long stretches on something than suddenly change, much to the detriment of my career. Luckily, I am now in a position where I am able to be creative, explore and problem solve and have all my interests addressed.

However, the one thing I have noticed that really draws people in (no pun intended) is when I draw. I have very few close artist friends. I occasionally get freelance work, but I prefer to work on my own art at this point and will almost never take a commission. I don't have much personal time, so I'm not likely to give it up for someone else's project. But, it's the best way I can connect with people. They see something…

SLRs and Rangefinders and Light Meters... oh my!

My rekindled interest in film photography (by way of 8mm and 16mm movie film) has made me want to start shooting some 35mm film again. I went to play with my mechanical Vivitar SLR and it was missing. It wasn't in the case, and I began to suspect it may have either been stolen or I had left it somewhere. In any case, I had spent four days tearing our house apart looking for it, but to no avail.

It's upsetting.

Then I remembered something...

Ten years ago, I had purchased a Canon Rebel-X film camera from a classified ad for $40. I only wanted the lens and the body sat on a shelf collecting dust. So I picked it up, dusted it off, bought a couple of CR123A lithium batteries and added my nifty 50mm EF lens to it. I have just ran two rolls through it and I'm excited to see the outcome of them. I also became a little spoiled with the auto load, auto rewind, the easy exposure meter, and general fantastic electronics on it. I still want a mechanical camera, but again... so nice to…

Old glass: B4 mount lens finds new life

In planning my projects this year, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll need a new digital video camera of some sort. I’ve looked into video recorders, DSLRs, Mirrorless cameras, action cameras, iPhone rigs… you name it.

A quick note about iPhone cinematography: It's amazing- but it takes more work than you realize. You can get so much out of the camera that's already in your pocket. You can get a better picture than most 8mm and 16mm film (in terms of sharpness, resolution, and delivery of finished product), but the form factor needs assistance to shoot comfortably and correctly, and it's severely limited with zoom or depth of field. Sure you can get 3rd party accessories, but those costs add up—between the cost of the phone and accessories, you can have a much better dslr or video camera set up. I'll use my iPhone in a pinch, but I want to have better control over my image.

I was seriously looking at three cameras in particular: The Sony A5100, the Black Magic Pock…

Getting real about wants and needs

As much as I would love the form factor of the Redrock Micro Retroflex-S and the Sony a5100, I need to be pragmatic about where my money is better utilized. The cost for those (including cards, lenses, etc) would cost $1,500. That’s a serious chunk of change, and it’s not including audio. I may indulge at some point, but realistically I need to be more fiscally conservative.

Panasonic’s GH3 has come down in price considerably since the GH4 was introduced a year and a half ago. I’m sure a GH5 is in development… However, for what I need to do in the next year, the GH3 is more than enough camera to handle the needs of my next dozen or so projects- which DP demigod Philip Bloom shows in the video above.

The micro four-thirds sensor is half the size of a full size sensor, but it can use far more lenses- including old cine/tv c-mount glass and Newsie ENG B4 Mount lenses. How cool is that?

More than anything, I want to make a feature length film. I have had a number of attempts, of which I h…

Shiny: Redrock Micro Retroflex

You have no idea how bad I want one of these:
Redrock Micro is selling them for the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera AND the Sony Mirrorless a5000, a5100, and NEX cameras.

Here is UK Filmmaker Rick Young's assessment of the rig:
This is Retroflex - Now Available from Redrock Micro from Rick Young on Vimeo.

 I know what you're thinking: Why don't you just buy a pistol grip and viewfinder and save yourself $300? Well, for starters, I would buy it for the metal cage that protects the camera, and keeps stress off of the bottom tripod mount. Plus... it looks cool. For too long have I used DIY rigs and honestly, I'd rather spend my time shooting and ENJOYING the work that I do.

The heart wants what the heart wants.

See more here:

iPhone Telecine?

A little Robin Hood on Super 8. Note there is no flicker.
Like many other indie filmmakers, I am dirt poor. Because of that, I’m a diehard DIY fanatic. I have made cookie tin DOP adapters and have scrappy looking equipment. I make due with what I have, and I get very creative and resourceful if I cannot afford a method or equipment to accomplish a goal.
So, now I am trying to figure out the best way to make a film ON film. I am deciding the pros and cons of using Super 8 vs. 16mm. I have cameras in both formats- which is more than most people could say 30 years ago.
However, the price of film is hard to stomach. I’ve searched high and low on how to digitize footage after it’d done. Now, many places charge .17+ cents a foot. That can add up really fast. Again, looking at my means, I have been playing around with a simple telecine method using an iPhone and projector.

Super 8 is back in the limelight

I admit, I'm excited by Kodak's announcement at CES regarding their new digital assisted Super 8 camera. The reason? There hasn't been an affordable new Super 8 camera for more than 30 years.

But it's not the first new super 8 camera to come out recently. The superb Logmar Super 8 camera was announced last year, and despite it's incredibly beautiful HD quality footage, the $6,000 pricetag is prohibitive for most independent filmmakers.

Kodak says that the pricepoint will be between $400 - $750 dollars depending on the model. With it's c-mount lens system, you might be just as well to buy the basic model and upgrade the lens yourself. Again, all speculation until this hits the market.

It also houses an SD card and digital audio capture system. Chances are you will need to slate your shot or give some sort of audio/visual mark so you can sync your footage with your sound files. This is NOT a consumer camera, so there's a lot of work you'll need to do to …