Photo 3: And New Years in Paris!
Photo 5: Felicia Day came to me with a bare bones outline of the project when she first began writing so I could start figuring out how to bring BioWare's fantasy world to reality. It was a dream project, and I begged her to let me helm all of the physical visual aspects. I designed the sets, props, make-up effects, and Felicia's Tallis costume. I am honored to have been nominated for two IAWTV Awards for DA:R, Best Production Design, and Best Make-up Effects.
Photo 6: I worked with Sandeep Parikh on a Super Bowl commercial. I built this dinosaur puppet, and he directed the sequence. If you watched the game, you saw the commercial, but not the dino! The additional sequence was ultimately cut from the spot.
Photo 7: I made a bunch of random small hand props last year, too. For some reason I always get the snow globe jobs, like this prop for an episode of Happy Endings.
Photo 8: And because no year is complete without an 8-bit project, I painted the Tempest Free Running Academy to look like Mario World.
Photo 9: The thing I love the most about my job is the diversity. One minute I'm painting a gym for real life Spider-men, and the next I building a full size tree for a permanent installation in a Melrose store window.
Photo 10: I LOVED Voltron - Defender of the Universe as a kid. Apparently, so did Alex Albrecht. I designed Alex's directing debut in 2010, and I was ecstatic when he asked me to realize the interior cockpit of the Red Lion for his second film.
Photo 12: There was only about two weeks time between wrapping DA:R and going into full prep on Rock Jocks, a sci-fi comedy I produced with my Dog & Rooster Productions partner, Sheri Bryant. I did the production design and make-up effects on this one, too. Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. As is my friend Felicia Day! She came along for the ride, joining cast members Jason Mewes, Andrew Bowen, Jerry Bedknob, Justin Chon, and KevJumba.
Photo 13: Random Rock Jocks prop: Space Shuttle bong! If it makes you laugh now, wait till you see the movie!
Photo 14: This is kind of a secret, but Doug Jones joined the cast, making this the second project we worked on together for 2011. And it was only March!
Photo 15: I don't get a lot of time to paint for fun, but when things are stressful, painting sooths me. I had just finished the first milestone of a HUGE project, as lead designer on a Michael Jackson MMO, and I needed a break. It was director Sean Becker's birthday, so I decided to paint him a Boba Fett jacket. The gift was a big hit. The MJ MMO ultimately shut down, and sadly I cannot show any of the great stuff we created. Maybe next time!
Photo 19: Felicia is always on the move, and I'm so glad that I got to join in The Guild: Season Five. Honestly, I think it's her best work yet! For the whole team, actually. The script was amazing, the directing and cinematography were on par with ANY network television show, the acting was at an all time high, and the sheer volume of what we created was astounding. You completely forget that The Guild is a web show...
Photo 24: The other spot was inspired by Back to the Future, where Marty gets the Delorean up to 88MPH to send a pinata, well, back to the future! Naturally, it was a perfect excuse for me to drive my car as fast as possible. Unfortunately, I had to act, too. Put it this way: if you had to chose between having me act or making a pinata, you would want the pinata!
Photo 31: That wasn't the only Star Wars cosplay I helped with for that con. I made Brian Kameoka's Nien Nunb head. It's a fiberglass shell with a foam latex lower lip, and tinted eyes. Bryan loved it so much he never broke character for the entire weekend. Give the man respect, he DID blow up a Death Star, after all!
Photo 35: What made the project so unique was that we shot it in 360. This crazy Probe Droid looking device is actually an array of nine 4K cameras that shoot in sync to create a full wrap around image. One version of the film has no edits, my all star cast, including Breckin Meyer, Tamlyn Tomita, David Blue, Rachel True, Tony Janning, and Milynn Sarley, had to perform as if they were on a live stage! The project also stars...you guessed it...Mr. Doug Jones! That's number 4!
Photo 36: Last year almost had the sense of working in an office, in that every project somehow included people from all of the other projects I did during the year. It made things very fun, and very easy, since everyone knew each other and how to get the most out of every day. The Geek of the Week trading card kick starter video was one of those projects. I loaned them my Jabba the Hutt, and made the shocker collars out of velcro and spray painted water bottle twist spouts! I couldn't stay for filming, but they sent me this photo. If I was going to be locked up in a house, that would be the group I'd want to be trapped with! The "original trilogy vs. prequels" argument could go on so long we would never even know we were prisoners!
Photo 39: There is a long list of personal projects that I attempt to chip away at in my spare time, and there is usually never any of that! But in the wee hours of the night, or while I'm on conference calls, I whittle away at little things that make my inner geek smile. Always at the top of the list: Star Wars! I am helplessly addicted. I could be working on an original prop for a Spielberg movie, but completely daydreaming about recreating ANY prop from Star Wars. I try to at least make original pieces of art that are SW influenced. I have been dreaming about a full collection of Star Wars Smurfs since I was a kid, and this year I finally started started showing pictures of what I've created. There will be many more to come, plus a few other Star Wars inspired projects in 2012. If I can find the time...
Photo 40: I didn't get to travel too much mid year, but the few trips I made were very entertaining. I went to Wizard World Chicago, were Felicia and I premiered the trailer for Rock Jocks during a panel. I was happily surprised that people actually had a few questions for me during the Q&A. Felicia could be on a panel with the President of the United States, and people would still address all their questions to her!
Photo 41: Of course, you don't need to travel much when you have friends like James Kyson Lee. He brings a world of excitement right to your home. He asked if he could film a "quick video" at the BarnYard, and the next thing I knew I had a houseful of burlesque dancers and muscle cars. James loves my Delorean, so it still got center stage. Note Team Unicorn's life guard stand. Everything gets recycled around here!
Photo 42: Like Star Wars, there were several movies that triggered my imagination as a child and helped define who I am today. Even with a Delorean, it's impossible to go back in time to be involved with them, and it is very rare that you ever get an opportunity to re-create your favorite elements from them as part of your job. Last year, I got to bring one of my favorites back to life from scratch. I created a full size, fully articulated E.T. for a new project that comes out this year. I can't say what it is yet, but I got permission to show my favorite extra-terrestrial.
Photo 43: This was not a project, but definitely a major highlight of my year! I got to have dinner at the infamous Club 33 at Disneyland. It's a members only club hidden in the middle of New Orleans Square, and all of the furnishings were personally hand picked by Walt Disney and his wife. Kim Evey, Greg Benson, Sean Becker, and myself were all guest for this once in a lifetime meal.
Photo 45: I'll tell you what's not funny: working on a crime reenactment show. My friend needed some help on set, and I had a few light days. Usually I can separate script from reality, but knowing that all of these scenes were 100% accurate representations of actual crimes made for a really depressing week. At one point, as the actress was screaming for help as an actor was fake stabbing her, even the director had to yell, "Please, stop. We have enough."
Photo 47: We did a few trade shows along the way, too. I got to work with famed photographers, the Bui Brothers, to create the .TV booth for BlogWorld. We made it like a talk show set, and the Buis filmed a live stream of the booth activity all weekend.
Photo 49: I'm not really in jail, but I AM at the scene of a crime! Charlie Murphy was filming a pilot for his new comedy show, and the production was having some art department trouble. A good friend of mine recommended me to take over and get everything back on track. I brought my crew and a truck load of sets and props. We worked around the clock to get everything on schedule for the first day of filming, building a warehouse full of sets, including this jail cell. Unfortunately, the production had to shut down after the first week of filming, and before I was even notified, someone swept in and took all of my property!
Photo 50: I lost tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff, but what hurt the most is this painting of my dog, Print. Guild fans might recognize it: I painted this overnite during the season 5 shoot, after Sean Becker asked my to bring the most random painting I could think of to hang in the hotel room set. People seemed to love the painting, and I decided to make it a thing to see how many sets I could hang it in. You may catch a glimpse of it in a few others, including Husbands. Charlie loved the idea of having the painting featured in an office set, so I loaned it out. Now it is gone with the rest of my stuff. I usually don't "dish dirt" like this on my blog, but I am desperate to get this original piece of art back If anyone has any information on its whereabouts, it would mean the world to me!
Photo 52: As the year started coming to a close, hockey season started up. The LA Kings had some new people in charge, and they wanted to change things up a bit. They asked me to repaint the King's Castle I made a few seasons ago to match the new jerseys. Huh, I said New Jersey.