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.

13Jan

Zaxwerks Integrated Into Our Pipeline

Zax logo

Genius Monkeys has purchased Zaxwerks 3D products as part of our digital media production pipeline. Zaxwerks creates plugins and standalone applications that work with Adobe After Effects to streamline production and increase our creativity.

We’ll be putting Zaxwerks’ ProAnimator to work next week on a new television spot for Biotene PBF Mouthwash. Look for a step-by-step whitepaper on how we built this spot, once it’s complete.

12Jan

Couch Cases Wrapped

Couch Cases

Our new sitcom “Couch Cases” wrapped this week. Thank you to all of our cast and crew- you guys are incredible, and I hope you all had as much fun as we did. We’re going into post for the show, right after we finish up a new television commercial and film edit for clients.

We have a lot of “behind the scenes” stuff online in the meantime, at http://behindthescenes.couchcases.com.

12Jan

We Now Use Imagineer Products

Imagineer Systems

I’m happy to report that we’ve upgraded our pipeline to now include the entire suite of products from Imagineer Systems in the UK. Imagineer pioneered a new planar tracking system, and has integrated it into a suite of products that will help us do our jobs better.

We now have online suites with Mokey, Monet, Mocha, and Motor.

12Jan

New Television Commercial Project

We’re now working on a new television commercial, which you’ll be able to see on a network station near you very soon.You’ll also be able to see it online, of course. We wouldn’t be living up to our mission if we didn’t craft a multi-platform campaign for our clients.

12Jan

We’re in Beta

Welcome to our Beta Launch! 

Genius Monkeys is a brand new production company that does video and interactive projects. I founded Genius Monkeys after having run Empty Street Productions, a very successful web design and development company, for many years.

It’s clear that television and the Internet are converging. And people are getting used to enjoying their entertainment in new ways, from mobile devices like the iPhone and PSP to  YouTube and video sites like Veoh. People are finding out about products and services in new ways, too.

But things are moving so fast that companies don’t know how to take advantage of these new opportunities. Old style “analog” production companies don’t know how to make things work in digital land. And strict web and online companies don’t know how to tell stories effectively.

That’s where Genius Monkeys comes in. We leverage our vast experience with online and web with some of the best technical and creative talent in Hollywood to create projects that stand out. When you work with us, you’re working with a creative studio that understands how to tell your story.

And we understand how to get it out there.

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