9Feb

The WGA Said It

From today’s letter to WGA members, regarding the new writers contract:

“It is an agreement that protects a future in which the Internet becomes the primary means of both content creation and delivery.”

There it is. And although nobody has quite figured out what the business model will be, it’s becoming clearer by the week that what we’ve been saying for years is indeed coming true- the Internet is becoming the primary means of content creation and delivery.

It is an exciting time to be alive for both content creators and audiences, and we’re very excited that our online sitcom “Couch Cases” is a part of this massive shift in entertainment.

4Feb

Tom Petty Looks Like My Uncle

I realized this, watching Tom Petty perform at the Super Bowl. His eyes and face really remind me of my Uncle Chris. Weird. Petty rocked out, I was especially impressed he went for those high notes in “Free Fallin'”.

In mid 2007, when I was directing a big greenscreen project at a local soundstage that also housed a world famous recording studio I found out Tom Petty recorded there. Sandy, the really cool manager of the complex, let me hang out for a while in the studio where Petty recorded. That experience was almost as cool as the fact that a client was paying me to direct a project for them.

Last week we soft launched a site, one that included a lot of video. We’re also still editing in the evenings, getting “Couch Cases” ready for its closeup. It’s not easy, editing at night in between client jobs. But we’re scrappy, we’re kicking butt, and we rock.

3Feb

Cutting Nights & SXSW

We’ve been editing “Couch Cases”, our web based sitcom (some call it a webisode, but it’s way nicer than any of those that I’ve seen)  in the evenings, in between client work. We have roughs of episodes 1 & 2, and we’re halfway through #3. It’s not easy, because Genius Monkeys is doing so well that it’s hard to find time to work on our own projects. But it’s worth it, and we’re scrappy- this project impresses me every day we work on it.

Brandon’s still editing Erica’s film “The Visit”, it’s going pretty well and he’s finding some really good stuff to add to it.

We’re working on some new video projects for our Adoption client, too. These involve flash video and some spiffy custom player apps for their website.

Also, Kathi and I plan on being at SXSW in Austin next month to learn stuff, network, and enjoy the awesome local scene. If anyone wants to meet up, shoot us an email or give a call.

31Jan

New Flash and Video for Website

We’re in the final hours of work before the launch of a major new client’s website. Empty Street did the database and design, and we came in to create the web video and Flash elements. 

Lately we’ve been trying to educate clients on how to embrace Flash without causing all sorts of usability and visibility problems. We’ve developed a pretty great workflow and design solution, which we’re using for the very first time on this web design project.

This particular project really pushed us, and I can’t wait until we get signoff from the client so I can tell you more about it. This project will probably end up as a whitepaper on the Genius Monkeys website at a later date.

31Jan

PSA for the Jewish Film Festival in LA

Today we did some post production work on a PSA for the Jewish Film Festival in Los Angeles (May 11th, 2008) to help out a friend who worked on “Couch Cases”.

There wasn’t a lot of heavy lifting needed, as the spot centers around a live action puppet show. It should be up on YouTube soon, though, and it was a fun couple of hours.

27Jan

Rainbows

I saw my first rainbow of the year, arched in technicolor across Lankershim and Vineland. I love Los Angeles when it rains. Everyone looks and acts a bit more New York than LA, which is a great change. I wonder sometimes if my perception is because generally in LA we don’t need “weather clothes”. So, when it rains, everyone gets out the stuff they had to wear in the crappy weather from back east.

In other news, we’re in the middle of cutting “Couch Cases”. And it’s really f’n good. We posted some photos at “behindthescenes.couchcases.com“.

And I’m also in the middle of some new projects at work. It’s good to be busy.

Speaking of busy, I’m taking a new class at UCLA. Eventually, I’ll get that damn certificate! But for me, this class is about tuning up and making some better habits that’ll help me get some stuff done. I’ve somehow become a working pro, but I have a lot to learn about a lot. I forgot how much I enjoyed UCLA classes, and I’m glad to be back. Nothing like a forced external deadline to drive one, eh?

27Jan

In The Edit Bay

Kathi, Brandon, and I have been editing the episodes for “Couch Cases”. It’s going extremely well, and we’re all surprised (in a good way) that our little low budget indie comedy is coming together as if it were a well-oiled show on a major network.

Today we worked on episode 2, which includes some really awesome flashbacks to a Mexican restaurant experience gone wrong. It was looking really good, but then we added our music track… brilliant!

How we got this music was a happy accident- while we were on set, a mariachi band came in to rehearse. I paid them $40 to record them rehearsing (once we were done with our shoot), and for the rights to use the recordings in our show. We had them play some traditional (royalty free) songs for us. They were awesome!

And the music adds a wonderful dimension to the storytelling. 

16Jan

Rendering…

I’m settled in a for a long night of rendering and writing.

What’s rendering are the final image sequences for my latest television commercial. The client’s really happy with just about all of the work, and that’s great. I’m sure there will be some changes before the spot airs, but it seems like we’re in the ballpark.

This was an interesting spot to create, the client only had a logo, 1 piece of product packaging (in Adobe Illustrator form), a concept, and 1 photograph. I turned that into a 30 second spot, making 3D elements where needed (such as for a product that doesn’t yet exist but which will be in stores this spring) and generally creating a world from almost nothing.

It was fun, if a bit frustrating at times.

We all feel that the CGI and voiceover/music parts of the spot are good enough to compete with spots that cost about 50 times as much. But, as always, there are things I’d have changed if we had the time or budget. That old saw about “Fast, Cheap, Good: Choose Two” really does hold true. Even with technological advances and really talented people involved, some things always just have to wait until next time.

At the same time, I’m pretty proud of the end product. And I can’t wait to get to work on the next one.

16Jan

Rendering…

I’m settled in a for a long night of rendering and writing.

What’s rendering are the final image sequences for my latest television commercial. The client’s really happy with just about all of the work, and that’s great. I’m sure there will be some changes before the spot airs, but it seems like we’re in the ballpark.

This was an interesting spot to create, the client only had a logo, 1 piece of product packaging (in Adobe Illustrator form), a concept, and 1 photograph. I turned that into a 30 second spot, making 3D elements where needed (such as for a product that doesn’t yet exist but which will be in stores this spring) and generally creating a world from almost nothing.

It was fun, if a bit frustrating at times.

We all feel that the CGI and voiceover/music parts of the spot are good enough to compete with spots that cost about 50 times as much. But, as always, there are things I’d have changed if we had the time or budget. That old saw about “Fast, Cheap, Good: Choose Two” really does hold true. Even with technological advances and really talented people involved, some things always just have to wait until next time.

At the same time, I’m pretty proud of the end product. And I can’t wait to get to work on the next one.

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