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.

11Jan

Now Editing A Film By Erica Gabrielle

Brandon Balin will be performing final editing duties for Erica Gabrielle’s film “The Visit” starting in late January, taking over the reigns from Dave Craig.”The Visit” was shot in mid 2007, with me (Patrick) as Director of Photography, so we’re glad to get to work on the final cut of the project.

5Jan

Logic Rocks, A New Television Commercial, And Rain

I installed the new Logic Studio today on my music Mac, and it’s amazing. I spent a couple of hours playing guitar through the new guitar amp simulations, and I tell ya- if I end up playing out this year I think I may play into a laptop, not an amp. Wow.

In the meantime, I have been hired to create a new television commercial. I can only say that it’s for a consumer product in the healthcare side of things. It’s a low budget thing, but it’s another opportunity to create something cool for a client. And I love to do that.

It rained like crazy here this weekend. I’m hoping we get some relief until I’m done with this new project- it took out my Internet. And that’s not good. Gotta have hope, though!

1Jan

Happy 2008 / Belief and Pride.

I went to the ocean today, and despite the cold wind we saw at least two dolphin pods. The babies were playing, jumping over the grownups. It was awesome.

Today is a backing up day, so I’m babysitting the RAIDs while they back up our Couch Cases footage. There’s about a terabyte of footage to back up, and it’s spread across a few drives. I’ll be collecting that into one drive before I start editing. This gives me time to catch up with this blog.

Every time I get discouraged about how hard it is to get where I want to be, I take a look at the footage we’ve shot. It’s beautiful and excellent, I’m very proud of how it’s turning out.

I know my pride in our work is justified, but it’s a new thing for me. For some reason, until recently I was never the kind of guy who’d toot his own horn, so to speak. And it’s easy to look down at people who constantly do push themselves and their projects- so often, they’re full of hot air… especially in Hollywood. Maybe part of me figured I was too cool to push my work. And definitely part of me was insecure about my abilities.

Lately, I’ve figured a few things out. First of all, I’m learning that if we don’t talk about the project it’s as if it never existed. If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, it doesn’t matter how f’n awesome the tree was… so to speak.

But mostly, I’ve figured out that my work is good. It’s really good. Especially once you account for the fact that we’re doing stuff for $12 that studios spend millions on, and we’re doing it without known actors or the support of the hundreds of dedicated craftspeople from caterers to vice presidents of marketing that make a network show or studio feature film.

We’re a true indie production company, and while I do dream of/plan on getting our project out on a major network or in thousands of movie theaters I also realize that we’ve done something few people outside the system (or heck, inside as well) have successfully done- we’ve created something that’s worth watching. Our little show is good. And has enormous potential, if & when we can find the right partners to help us get it to the next level.

I’m not speaking from arrogance. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m still learning every day. Still, I know I’m starting to scare or upset some people with what we’re doing, because it’s clear that Couch Cases is a case study of how things will work in the future. For those who hide behind the old ways, we’re a little threatening. I wish that wasn’t the case. We’re just a ragtag group of people creating something really cool and fun, and we love to play with others.

I hope your 2008 is a wonderful, exciting and fun time. I plan on doing everything possible to ensure that mine is :-).

27Dec

I’m a Big Winner!

One of my Christmas presents was a lottery ticket this year, for the Texas Lotto. And I won! All of $3. But the amount doesn’t matter- this external validation is just what I needed, and now I know that I am… incontrovertibly … a winner.

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