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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Season 4

C'mon TFA fans. You know you want it...

I wanted it badly enough to write up my own treatment! It's rubbishy but give it a read and see if you like it! It's based off of information from the second Allspark Almanac, as well as Derrick J. Wyatt's Formspring, but...

THIS IS NOT CANONICAL. In all likeliness, this heavily conflicts with the ideas of the creative team of Transformers Animated.

Anyways, without further ado:


Transformers Animated Episode List
1.       The Trial of Megatron, Part 1
Attack on the Energon Farms of Cybertron! Optimus Prime and his crew, now honored Autobots, attempt to enjoy life on Cybertron. Meanwhile, Sentinel appeals to the High Council to officially become Magnus, while Megatron initiates his plans to escape captivity.

        Moments in the present are interspersed with Megatron flashbacks to the Great War.

2.       The Trial of Megatron, Part 2
Megatron initiates part one of his plan to escape prison: a campaign of fear! News of the attack on the Energon Farms reaches Cybertron. Optimus and his crew move to stop the Decepticon attack. Sentinel, continuing his attempt to seize power, uses the attack, and the trial of Megatron to garner popular backing.  

        Moments in the present are interspersed with Megatron flashbacks to the Great War.

3.       The Trial of Megatron, Part 3
With Optimus’s crew occupied, Sentinel absorbed in campaigning, and the commonwealth in panic, Megatron intiates Project: Triplechanger MKII. After subduing the attack, Optimus Prime and his crew, awakened by the attack, regroup their team to better suit their needs. Meanwhile, a reformatted Megatron escapes, transporting the entirety of Trypticon prison to Earth in pursuit of Optimus. Sentinel takes credit for driving off the Decepticons, and manipulates the story of Megatron’s escape to win the popular vote of the commonwealth.

        Moments in the present are interspersed with Megatron flashbacks to the Great War.

4.       Sector 7
The Earth Autobots find their hands full, as they must deal with the bothersome government agency Sector 7, led by a Mr. Witwicky. The Autobots suffer at the hands of paperwork, while trying to comfort an abandoned Professor Sumdac. Meanwhile, the human villain Octopunch wreaks havoc on Detroit. Fanzone must stick up for the machines to get help in subduing the criminal. The episode ends with Trypticon smashing into Lake Eerie.

5.       Gremlins in the Gears
The Decepticons on Trypticon are awoken from their emergency stasis, as the Minicons break free from the facilities, and wreak havoc on Detroit. Ratchet and Fanzone are once again teamed up to catch the rampant Minicons, who are deconstructing everything in their path to assemble parts to reconstruct Trypticon. The rest of the Autobots must deal with the escaped Decepticon prisoners Firecracker and Blitzwing.


6.       Class is in Session!
Sari attempts to skip out on Arcee’s classes to learn more about energon, and live Cybertronian life, like a teenager. Sari sees both ends of Cybertronian society, getting into trouble with Rattletrap, and joining a posh party with Tracks, and eventually running into Decepticons in hiding, Skywarp and Thundercracker. Bulkhead tries to keep her out of trouble, while Arcee tries to cope with post-traumatic stress as a former Decepticon prisoner.

7.       Allspark-alypse Now!
With Megatron on Earth, Sentinel Magnus is determined to use the Allspark Matrix to defeat Megatron. Prowl, now one with the Allspark, must inhabit the bodies of Allspark created bots to warn Optimus Prime of the dangers of using the Allspark as a weapon. Optimus and Prowl set out after Sentinel and his new ninja-bot partner Springer, in order to stop them from accidentally destroying the city. Jazz must face Sentinel, as well as the ghost of Prowl, and decide where he stands. Meanwhile, Shockwave attempts to synthesize enough energon to power Megatron’s new body before the Elite Guard arrives at their doorsteps.

8.       Working Overtime
Ironhide must deal with Bumblebee’s complaining, as they assist in repairing the city. The Constructicons, searching the wreckage of the Lugnut Supreme on Dinobot Island, find an Allspark fragment. After stealing materials from Ironhide and Bumblebee, the Constructicons construct a new Constructicon: Long Haul, the complainer! Itchin’ for payback, Ironhide and Bumblebee get in over there head tackling the Constructicons on Dinobot Island.

9.       Mirror, Mirror, Part 1
On a trip to Earth, Bulkhead, Sari, and Arcee are involved in a freak space bridge accident. Bulkhead finds himself in an alternate ‘shattered glass’ universe, where the evil Professor Sumdac leads the enslaved, evil Autobots in a dictatorship against the Decepticon freedom fighters. Meanwhile, Arcee and Sari find themselves fighting alongside the unanimously elected Rodimus Magnus and Bumble Prime, and Galvatron to fight the Predacon forces, lead by Queen Blackarachnia and General Megatronus (BW Megs). (Sari learns how to transform!)

10.   Mirror, Mirror, Part 2
Bulkhead, finding it difficult to trust SG Megatron, runs away from the Decepticons. Megatron personally reaches out to Bulkhead, promising to help him reach home if he assists the Decepticons take over Sumdac Tower. With Bulkhead’s help, the Decepticons prevail, and Bulkhead uses his spacebridge expertise to find Arcee and Sari, who have been battling the Predacons in a guerilla war. Sari sees the power of techno-organics, and also questions her allegiances. Bulkhead, already having gone through such a trial, reassures Sari of her sides. All are able to reach home.

11.   It Came from Planet Cybertron
Cosmos, travelling to Earth with a special message for Optimus Prime, injures himself in a crash landing after scanning a flying saucer movie prop. Forgetting his special message, the Autobots try to jog his memory. Ratchet, having been absent the entirety of the episode, appears at the end. Cosmos is reminded that his message is to Ratchet, who has been tasked with assisting in Project: Powermaster. Meanwhile, Scalpel and Firecracker embark on an undercover mission to steal energon from a manufacturing plant.

12.   You’ve got the Power!
On this episode of Mythbusters! Can a minicon truly serve as a viable power regulator for an upgrade suit of armor? The old team behind Project: Omega is tasked with creating a power suit for Sentinel Magnus. Hilarity ensues, and the minicon Hi-Q is created. On Earth, Shockwave receives news that the Autobots are short one member, and decides to lead a guerilla assault on the Autobots, with the newly released Decepticon prisoner Demolishor, who proves to be too destructive for such an operation.

13.   Truck vs. Monkey
Blackarachnia has found her way back to Earth, determined to create a new Predacon army. Her first plan of action, after making base in the Lugnut Supreme, is to create an Optimus Prime clone! The clone becomes the black, savage Optimus Primal. Using the Dinobots as ransom, Blackarachnia calls out Optimus Prime to do battle with his savage counterpart. Unbeknownst to everyone, the Dinobots are cloned to create Sludge and Slash.

14.   S.T.E.A.M.
Soundwave, now with two more minions, Rumble and Frenzy, take the radical luddites of Save the Earth and Mankind, enemies of technology, hostage, including their leader, Porter C. Powell! The Autobots are now forced to save their biggest enemies from Soundwave. Taking note, Shockwave moves to recruit Soundwave, after his defeat at the hands of the Autobots.

15.   Turf War
During an attempt to siphon energon from the plant, the Constructicons and the Decepticons meet head on in a gang confrontation. In a near West Side Story style, Megatron and Dirt Boss agree to hold a war council. Should the Constructicons win, the Decepticons have no access to the energon facility. Megatron, seeing the Constructicons’s potential, states that should the Decepticons win, the Constructicons must fly under Megatron’s direct rule. The Constructicons kidnap Bulkhead in their attempt to gain an edge against Megatron, bringing the Earth Autobots into the fray.

16.   Megatron Must be Destroyed!, Part 1
The Constructicons, now under Decepticon rule, complete project Devastator, creating a new Construciton: Hook, the prick. Sentinel Magnus on Cybertron declares war on Megatron. Before he can leave for Earth, Ratchet takes the Powermaster suit on Omega Supreme to Earth, bringing Arcee, Bulkhead and Sari with him. Sentinel cowards out, and instead commands Optimus and his crew to embark on this suicide mission, hoping to nix them from the equation. The Earth Autobots battle against the Decepticons. Omega Supreme attempts a direct assault at Trypticon prison, determined to destroy it before “it awakes”. Too late, Shockwave activates Trypticon’s sentient battle mode (not a giant dinosaur), offlining Omega Supreme after an epic struggle. Things look dim for the Autobots. The Decepticons gain the upper hand, as the Autobots are preoccupied with running from Trypticon. Having observed the incident from Hi-Q’s monitors, Sentinel arrives dramatically in the Steelhaven.

17.   Megatron Must be Destroyed!, Part 2
Jetfire and Jetstorm distract Trypticon, while Sentinel and Springer enter the complex. With Trypticon distracted, the Autobots manage to defeat the Decepticons. Meanwhile, Sentinel and Springer fight their way to Trypticon’s controls to power down the battle base. All that is left is for Megatron and Prime to duke it out. Prime, recalling all who have suffered at Megatron’s hands, uses his determination to finaly destroy Megatron, by shooting him spaceward towards the sun. The episode ends with Ratchet recounting one of his first conversations with Optimus Prime. “Do you ever get the feeling that you were programmed for something more than repairing space bridges?” All return to their respective homes. Sentinel Magnus makes an uncharacteristically solemn speech across all of Cybertron, recounting Optimus Prime’s great acts of bravery. 

18.   Epilogue, Mini Episode
The series ends as it began, with Optimus narrating transpired events. Sentinel Magnus has proven himself to be an effective Magnus, arrogance aside. The Decepticon prisoners have their consciousness removed from their bodies (ala the G1 Combaticons), and Optimus remarks that there remain many Decepticons out there and that as long as the Autobot emblem remains on his chassis, he’ll find them…

The series mysteriously ends with the cut Slipstream scene where she rescues Starscream.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Close Encounters of the Love Kind

So, it's been a while. Dropping Tri-Daily Tru Dat Todays.

Anyways...tonight, I felt artistically inspired. It's currently Tuesday night (6/21/11) in Korea, where I'm vacationing, and I had a stroke of something. Maybe it was the Koreaness of Korean beverages.

So, I've been working (thinking about) doing some sort of drama-ish thing. Maybe a comic or a flash animation. The initial thing was about a kid about to commit suicide. I didn't plan out why he was gonna kill himself. It was some cynical, stupid reason. It was gonna be a first person narrative where as he'd record his suicide tapes, he'd revisit changing moments of his life. Before all that, he was a hopeless romantic. Something made him the cynical way he is. Thus, he becomes weirdly suicidal. The character was a cynical mess. Though his character development would have been presented through an interesting narrative format, I didn't like what the character would become. I pretty much dropped that project.

Tonight, I sort of revisited it. Planning on focusing on the hopeless-romantic aspect of the character I originally envisioned. That was the part of him I liked much more. It's not meant to be a prequel or anything to that crapfest I mentioned previously.

Yeah, I'm thinking of calling it "Close Encounters of der Love Kind". Working title. Maybe it's a romantic comedy, but I'd rather call it a romantic adventure. It'll mainly be about a kid named Kevin Ahn (Korean boiiiii) and his attempts to make friendly with a lady (make friendly does not mean the sex). He legitimately likes her. He's not looking for freaky times or anything. Each episode (Encounter) will detail each meeting he's had with her, up until what he believes to be their first date (foreshadowing). Ends after five Encounters.

I want it to have a similar thing as "Say Anything". For those of you who don't know this, "Say Anything" is a romantic movie from...the 80s I believe. There's an over-arching metaphor in the movie that compares the relationship between the two main characters (who are lovers), and the personal development of the girl. SPOILERS - They both just got out of high school, and the girl got admitted into a prestigious school overseas. She's never been on a plane before and is scared. Over the summer, she meets a boy. They have a rough relationship, but by the end, they're all good. He accompanies her on the plane ride to Europe or wherever. She's worried as hell cause the plane's shaking. He consoles her by saying something along the lines of "don't worry, the first few minutes are rough. Once the dinger goes off, everything's going to be all right." The movie ends with the ding. First five minutes are rough but once dinger goes off everything will be alright is a metaphor for their relationship, which had a rought beginning, but is implied will be alright.

Yay.

So yeah, want some sort of overarching metaphor like that for my thingeh.

It'll be sort of autobiographic. I hesitate to use that term because A) my life does not merit biographies of any sort (yet) and B) if any of my personal friends saw this they'd be like "SO HOO DOEZ U HAVE LIKEZ 4?" which would make me sadface.

Anyways, yeah. May put up some artwork for it. Or something. I dunno.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: Procrastination

Procrastination

Everybody does it. Even smart people. Sometimes they procrastinate so hard that they procrastinate procrastination by studying. True dat.

I have finals and I procrastinate. I die. 

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: Missing 2

Missing 2

I missed the last TDx3 again. True dat.

I missed the last TDx3 again. True dat.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Need to Watch this Show

This young student takes a marvelous show, and RIPS IT TO SHREDS! SCIENCE!


I joke. I hear it's a great show. I should watch it.

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: Missing

Missing

I missed the last TDx3. True dat.

I missed the last TDx3. True dat.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: Fencing

Fencing


Say it's not a sport.. It's still badass. True dat.

"Bro, fencing isn't even a sport."
"I'll stab you."
"BADASS"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Aww, dude. Livin' the dream, baby. Livin' the dream.

Today, the Transformers: Dark of the Moon toyline hit the streets. Woohoo. But ignore that, cuz there are 3D cinemasks!


















Let me just say that that nerd fellow there is living the dream. My dream to be exact. If procuring one of those masks automatically enables you to become the sort of man with the self-confidence to get a nerd girl like that, then count me in. Hasbro's marketing team, you smarmy devils, you.

Go get your TF3 on, while I still try to track down Generations figures -.- (If you actually know what I'm talking about, then kudos to you; you're at the right blog)

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: Season Finales

Season Finales

They best not disappoint. True dat.

Season finale of HIMYM Season 6 is on tonight. High standards, man.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: Not-Sneezing

Not-Sneezing


There's not a thing worse than beginning to sneeze, but not being able to go all the way. True dat.

"aah-aah-ahh...nothing"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: Spoilers

Spoilers


There's nothing worse than spoilers when you don't want to be spoiled. True dat.

There has been a recent fiasco in the Transformers fan community. Amazon recently released a ridiculous amount of pages from the Transformers: Dark of the Moon comic adaptation, containing massive amounts of spoilers. Though these pages were meant to be simply a preview of the book, they instead revealed the story of DOTM in its entirety. While an occurrence such as this would not have affected me during Revenge of the Fallen's lead up weeks, this occurrence did, as, unlike ROTF, DOTM seems to have a rather impressive storyline, complete with a great plot twist. I'm profoundly saddened by the fact that what would have been an awesome revelation in the movie theater was prematurely shown by Amazon. End rant. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: Waiting

Waiting


Patient or not, waiting for stuff can majorly suck. True dat.

"Your package is now in CUSTOMS. Expect it in three to five weeks."
"FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: Pigs

Pigs


Any food made from our curly tailed friends is delicious (sorry kosher dudes). True dat.


















"Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Some Art Previews!

Hello, peoples. Here are some preview squares for my upcoming TFA pieces. I've been doing this project since... maybe 2008. I've been posting pics of the Autobots featured in Transformers Animated, and hope to get to all 120+ of them. I've already started posting some of these guys, below. Three of them are from the Cybertron Police Defense Command, and the other six are from the Elite Guard.



Here's another set. I haven't published any of these yet. They're all apart of the City Bots series.


If you want to check out these pieces in their entirety, head on over to my deviantART.

Tri-Daily True Dat Today: TDx3

Welcome back! It's been a while. And welcome to the first Tri-Daily True Dat Today, or TDx3 for short. Every three days, I will post a nigh undeniable truth that merits a "true dat". The TDx3 will follow the follow the formula established today.

TDx3


Tri-Daily True Dat Today abbreviates into TDx3. True Dat.


"And welcome to the first Tri-Daily True Dat Today, or TDx3 for short. Every three days, I will post a nigh undeniable truth that merits a "true dat."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Workspace

So, it's Spring break, and I have loads of time to do artwork. I've finished 4 pieces in the past two days. Hoorah!

Anyways, here's the workspace:

1) So that's my sketchbook. That's where the magic happens. I get sketchbooks from school for my art class each semester. Because my sketchbooks are never finished by the end of each semester, I usually have half of it left to use for personal art. The sketchbook on my desk is labeled "02: 2010 9th Grade Semester 2 + 8/4/10, 3/6/11-" if that means anything to you.

2) My primary monitor, the one attached to my laptop, is where I do the work on Flash. My laptop's name is Betty.

3) The secondary monitor I use for pulling up ridiculous amounts of reference. See, when a character isn't featured in the Allspark Almanac, I have to use 9 different images from the comp...

4) Piggy! The first stuffed animal bought for me. As a matter o' fact, he was bought for me before I was born.

5) My MP160. The scanner/photocopier/printer extraordinare. I usually use it as a scanner, cuz she's not a laser printer. I still love her though.

6) Those are my Prismacolours/color pencils/crayon pencils. They don't get used as often as they should.

7) That's my broken secondary laptop. The monitor doesn't work, so I have to hook it up to my other monitor. I don't use it for much/anything, except when internet/tech problems require me to.

8) The Allspark Almanac books. If I didn't have them, my DA would be a pile of cartoon inaccurate, assumption-based drawings.

9) A little sketch from the good ol' sketchbook. It's Warpath! The final product looks dramatically different from the sketch. As you can see, there are some arrows and words around the drawing. These are notes I use for when I put it up on flash.

Anyways, yeah. The desk...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Les Miserables and Adapting Musicals into Movies

Since a young age, I've been drawn into the world of musicals. The first musical I had watched was The Lion King. Obviously originating from the Disney movie of the same name, I had already had an emotional attachment to the production prior to seeing it. However, for whatever reason, the musical had been much more meaningful to me than the movie. While I have tremendous admiration for the masterful source material, watching the musical was a simply magical experience for me. Though I could not articulate this idea at the young age I was, I now realize that what has always struck me about that production was the sheer ingenuity and awe-inspiring nature of the theater. 

The theater is an extremely delicate realm of entertainment. As opposed to movies or animated features, productions with no artistic limits, thanks to post-production and the complexity of modern animation, the theater must rely on the talent of its crew, engineers and stage managers every night for many nights. Not only did the musical adaptation of The Lion King emulate the high-spirit of the movie it was based upon, but it also drew me into the world of the musical. Whereas the scene transitions and changes in camera angle of movies constantly remind you that you are merely a spectator to a fictitious world, musicals and theater performances draw its audience into the miniature universe that is created by the sheer fact that each and every night, real human beings recreate these events in front of your eyes for your viewing pleasure. The experience becomes so personal that it is difficult to remember that, in reality, you are simply an audience member. 

It was these reasons, the magical properties of the stage, that I had been drawn into the majesty of musicals. Since, I would watch many other musicals, on stage and as film adaptations. Among them was the musical Les Miserables. I saw it on stage perhaps in the early 2000s. I could not fully appreciate the musical at such a young age, particularly because I had been more used to the upbeat scores of Andrew Lloyd Webber. However, very recently, my interest in the musical had been reignited. I happened upon my Dad's copy of the original Broadway cast recording and decided to listen to it. Quickly, I had been hooked. In addition to listening to the album constantly, I obtained a copy of the 10th anniversary concert DVD. However, there was little to no way for me to re-experience the majesty of the live performance. 

Tonight, a glimmer of light emerges. 

A favorite move website of mine reports that Tom Hooper of "The King's Speech fame has been approached to direct a movie adaptation of the musical. Tom Hooper has stated that he is adamant that this will be his next movie. However, one must ask how a director, even one as talented as Tom Hooper, could meet the standards that Les Miserables, or musicals in general, have set. While I must admit that I have yet to see The King's Speech, I understand that Tom Hooper excels at making historical dramas, making Les Miserables a very logical production for him to direct. The thing that concerns me the most, however, is that directing a movie adaptation of a musical means much more than creating a good movie. Such endeavors require a whole new level of artistic mastery to produce a believable product.

What I mean by this is best explained through examples. The Disney animated features, all essentially musicals by nature, are "believable" in that they exist in the realm of fantasy. Therefore, the tendency of (sometimes anthropomorphic) characters to spring into song and dance hardly seems a shortcoming. However, in live-action adaptations of musicals, much more measures must be taken into consideration. The first component that must be addressed is the sheer fact that people, in reality, do not sing out the events of their lives. There are two different ways that movie adaptations of musicals have handled this.

The movie adaptations of the two Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and the 1961 film West Side Story approached this challenge similarly, and yet had very different results. The musical hereby abbreviated as Joseph very much acknowledged the idea that people do not break into song. It should be known that this decision was made based on the fact that there is not one single line of dialogue in the musical in question. The musical is entirely comprised of songs - an impressive feat for one of Webber's first major productions. The movie adaptation, in my opinion, failed to successfully capture the aspects of a musical that make them so well received. The format of the movie was based around a component of the music: the inclusion of a children's choir in most of the songs. The movie begins with the character known as "Narrator" making her way through a very modern school, towards a gym, where assembled students await her arrival. The narrator begins singing "Prologue", a piece similar to an essay introduction: intended to draw in the audience's attention with a hook and a major theme of the following piece. The narrator then transitions into the world of Joseph, as the set transforms into a cartoony looking dessert, complete with palm tree props. This is yet another example of how the movie adaptation of Joseph attempted to embrace the unbelievable nature of musicals. The set of the movie was meant to evoke the stage of the Broadway production, which was created with very unrealistic aesthetics. The movie continues, using little to no post production effects and the student audience transforming into the children's choir. Joseph dissolves into a bloody unrealistic movie, and instead becomes a direct translation of the musical into a movie. However, Joseph did not retain the magical nature of the stage because it could not create a realistic world, implementing movie tactics into a production originally created for the stage. As it's already been established scene transitions, set changes and changing camera angles constantly remind the viewer that this musical is not real. Consequently, the world of Joseph dissolves into what looks like a low budget movie.

Meanwhile, the 1961 feature film adaptation of West Side Story took a similar approach, that resulted in very different results. While the movie adaptation of Joseph attempted to simply capture the musical point per point using movie techniques, West Side Story was a movie that used musical techniques. As a movie, West Side Story excels, as expert character development and a wonderful story allow it to create the sort of world one expects from a first-rate piece of cinema: seemingly real, but dramatically fantastical. The hip and happening gangs that inhabit the streets of the world of West Side Story are presented as cool, greasy cats, the kind you'd expect to break out into song, as are the romantics, Tony and Maria. Consequently the songs and signature dance sequences work to enhance the movie experience, rather than detract from it, as Joseph's did. 

A different approach to the creation of movie musical adaptations involves the use of heavy creative liberties to create a world believable as both a musical and a movie. The movie adaptations of The Phantom of the Opera and Rent do this extensively. The Phantom of the Opera musical portrays the Phantom as an ethereal magical genius. The movie adaptation makes him more worldly, doing away with the supernatural aspects of the character in not only the actions he commits, but also in such subtle things as the costumes he dons. A prominent example is the confrontation between the Phantom and another protagonist, Raoul. In the musical, the Phantom, displaying his powers, shoots fireballs at Raoul, while the movie has the Phantom engage in a duel with Raoul. Also, the phantasmal ability of the Phantom to appear and disappear at will is done away with, as the movie shows the trapdoors and hidden passages implemented by the Phantom to do such things, while the musical would literally have the performer disappear in clouds of smoke or flaps of his cape, without explanation. To further sell the Phantom, and the world he inhabits, as realistic, the Phantom's visual appearance is much less fantastical, as the movie representation of the character rids himself of the menacing hat and the flamboyant guise of Red Death, substituting it with a much less theatrical costume.

Similarly the movie adaptation of Rent's taking of creative liberty in terms of directing (rather than plot) detracted focus from movie. The result was neither a good standalone movie, nor a magical adaptation of a musical. Two directing choices that I found poor were the choices to use the musical moments in order to visually depict past events, concurrent events, and/or events over a long period of time. While some music sequence take place in the immediate present, others are akin to a music video, wherein interspliced shots and somewhat cheesy effects cheapen the artistic experience. For example, during the song "One Song Glory" in which the protagonist Roger details his troubled past and his hopes for his bleak future, the shots shift from the singing actor to reenactments of the past events he is describing. The sequence for the song "What You Own" shows events that transpire over several months using the shots to tell the story, rather than the music. Furthermore, the shots use effects not dissimilar to those of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Though the character Roger leaves to Santa Fe to find his song, and escape the problems of home, he cannot stop seeing those he loves. A crowded shot for example would show his lover, Mimi, only to have her disappear once a person walks in front of her. These poorly created musical sequences detract from an otherwise well constructed movie and also makes it ineffective as a musical.

With all this in mind, I bring us back to the point of this article: the movie adaptation of Les Miserables. Considering the nature of the story of Les Miserables, it very much is in tone with the "dark and gritty" nature of modern Hollywood movies, making me believe that it could be very effectively created as a movie, supplemented by the music, in the vein of the movie adaptation of West Side Story, the movie I consider to be the most effective adaptation of a musical into a movie. I have high hopes from this production, and am certain that Tom Hooper will handle this production with the same delicacy and finesse that the magical realm of theater requires.

...

AND the US tour is hitting LA the day before my birthday. Oh HELLZ yes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

HAN SHOT FIRST! in G major!

The levels of awesomeness in this video aroused me in a way sexy things never can. Frgghhhh...
Urgh...
Rargh......
FFFFFF.........
NERDGASM!

A group of exceptionally nerd-tastic nerds in 1996 created a feature length musical about Star Wars! The following clip, depicting the scene where Han initiates negotiations with Obi Wan and Luke with musical flare, features rewrites of the songs "Master of the House" and "Greased Lightnin'" of Les Mis and Grease fame. It's awesomeSAUCE!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wikipedia is AWESOME

One thing that irritates me is when people state that Wikipedia is an unreliable source. According to Wikipedia, Wikipedia is super reliable, and why isn't that enough for you people?

Jokes aside, I am an actual defacer of Wikipedia pages. I've added random stuff with no meaning plenty of times to articles, both obscure and prominent. Literally, within a minute, the Wikipedia programming takes note of these changes, and an automated messenger restores it to its previous settings, then notifies the IP address that changed the page, sending a warning. Within a minute! My efforts have been tarnished!

Wikipedia is a reliable source. They keep themselves tight and clean. Teachers. Chill. Pretentious students. Chill. Wikipedia is awesome, and even if that's not good enough for you, the citations at the bottom of the articles should suffice.

Anyways, cuz you expected something fun:



Friday, March 4, 2011

A Typical Day in Japan

Back in 2000something, I went to Japan for summer vacation. Despite the fact that the ramen noodles and soba and udon were hella delicious, that was not the best part of said vacation.

The best part was interacting with the residents. Japan was a truly, magical experience. I met several ninja, on a mission to retrieve some sacred scrolls out in the countryside, as well as some samurai, wielding magical swords with elemental powers. While I was there, I also got to play holographic card games with some game enthusiasts, and some animal trainers looking for monsters in the grass. Also, there technology was amazing. There was a super genius with the ability to kill people with his notebooks, and some guy riding what appeared to be a cloud.

Just so you guys can partake in the awesomeness, here's a clip of a typical Tuesday in Japan.

There was also inappropriately dressed, pink haired school girls. And cosplayers. Lots. And lots. Of cosplayers.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dark and Gritty Trololol

It seems that successful movies as of late, especially adaptations of already established franchises (comic book movies, movies based off of old cartoons) have a very common trait of being "dark and gritty", a trait I find to be lame and overused. Since the release of "The Dark Knight", it seems "dark and gritty" has become practically synonymous with success. Christopher Nolan took great care to create a believable world for Batman to inhabit, ensuring that no fantastical elements could compromise that world. His use, and arguable creation of mainstream D&G (Dolce and Gabbana, of course) was, in that way, well used.

Now it seems like every movie or pro Youtube video is taking this silly ass approach to everything. The first Transformers movie, which came out in the same year as "The Dark Knight" took a turn for the worse in its sequel "Revenge of the Fallen". In addition to having an already flawed script, the enforced D&G of the second TF movie took away from the fantastical vibe of the first Transformers movie. Trust me when I say that no matter what Michael Bay does, 30 foot tall alien robots will not be more believable.

A hallmark of the D&G approach is the use of realistic elements in the movie. The new Spider-Man movie is apparently taking this approach. Several promo shots revealing the Spidey suit seem to compound on this statement, showing that Spidey has acquired webshooters and has yellow eyes, something more akin to a nasty bug than the classic, retro Spider-Man.

Light hearted movie have proven themselves to be phenomenal. D&G is highly overrated, as proved by the critical success that was the 11th Star Trek movie. The extremely Hollywood take on the classic sci-fi franchise enticed an audience made primarily up of not-Trekkies. For a franchise as based in its fans as Star Trek to create a movie that attracts a non-Trekkie audience is extremely impressive. Iron Man was also another highly enjoyable, though somewhat flawed, non D&G movie that was a success.

Anyways, the primary purpose of this post was to show you all three D&G Youtube fan trailers that I really liked. While I contend that D&G is not always the way to go, I enjoyed these videos nonetheless. Hope you do too.

D&G Pokemon!


D&G Mortal Kombat!


D&G Super Mario!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Toys, Glorious Toys!

Well, I got a rather impressive haul this weekend. Thought I'd share it with you all. I'm experimenting with a method of photography which uses a lightbox. For me and my limited budget, that's two pieces of paper folded up against each other. Considering that I don't use a professional camera or Photoshop, I'm rather pleased with the result.

Without further ado:


The first of the three items I received on Thursday, the ever snobby Turbo Tracks from Hasbro's new Transformers Reveal the Shield line. Just look at how pompous and arrogant he looks. "OOooh, look at moi~. My figure and my handgun have one thing in common. They're both killer~ yes." Gosh. This guy.


Blurr, the second of my Thursday package. This guy's a badass! Look at those guns! He's ready to blast some fools, at the speed of sound, no less. Fun fact (if you care): Forbes magazine named Blurr the fastest fictional car of all time. Take that, Mach 5. 


The last of the Thursday trio. This guy is just too damn hip. Special Ops Jazz has the distinction of being practically the coolest guy of the Autobots. You totally want to hang out with this guy. That said, I wanted to thank the guy I bought these three from, Sideswipe1954, from TFW2005. I mistakenly thought he had Turbo Tracks and Special Ops Jazz for sale (I was looking at an outdated thread), even though he did not. After informing me of this, he offered to go out and buy them for me, and before I even responded, he told me it had been done, and that he had them waiting for me. What a guy. 


On Friday, I got this guy to finish off my Dinobot trio. Him Grimlock! Him king of Dinobots! I've been regretting not getting this guy back in 2008. Luckily, a good ol' Ebay seller had this guy for cheap. 

Bumblebee! I got him tonight at a Target. Who doesn't love this little dude? He's just so kawaii desu-ne (gets strangled and died). 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Listen to Me Rant S'More About Transformers

I posted this comment on Firstshowing, an absolutely fantastic movie news website. If you have the time, I highly recommend checking it out. It is so choice.

Without further ado...listen to me essentially compliment Michael Bay's films by insulting his prowess as a filmmaker!

*Additional commentary will be added in [brackets]*

"I don't understand why people praise movies like Piranha 3D for being fun with no plot (humor, sex, violence) while they bash Transformers for that. Despite being a hardcore Transformers fan, when people ask me about the movies, my default response is that they're "fun, but not at all good". And I think that's all that people should expect from a summer blockbuster of this nature. For properties such as DC or Marvel that are based on well written comics, it's fair to assume that the writing in the movie should match the nature and caliber of the comics. [If you were disappointed with Iron Man 2 because it did not match the emotional intensity of the "Demon In A Bottle" arc, fair enough.] However, Transformers has never been about plot or story telling. The rich history and mythology of Transformers developed out of the initial popularity with little children, and later fan nostalgia, not out of genuine goodness. This is a direct quote from the story editors of the 80s series:

"...we feel action should be emphasized over plot—especially avoiding any complicated story lines—to ensure the success of this series with its intended viewers." Intended viewers, of course, being children.

The current Transformers movies, while obviously not entirely appropriate for children, are designed to cater to the child inside of the audience. The Transformers movie franchise is designed to be a good action series, emphasis on action, with plot supplementing, emphasis on supplementing, that action. Autobots and Decepticons fighting each other are a given in the Transformers mythos. There just has to be a setting or plot behind it. The staple of the Transformers multiverse is the fighting (and doing so on Earth for some bizarre reason), not the reason as to why they're fighting. [The plot simply adds a backdrop to the ensuing mayhem, rather than actual substance.] Are they fighting because of some all powerful artifact? Why not? Are they fighting because some cliche, evil, "Judas" character wants to destroy the Earth. Fair enough. Are they fighting because something of significance happened (coincidentally, I'm sure) on our moon? Just roll with it. [A little line that I particularly like is that "you can't lose what you never had". That being said, poor quality Transformers franchises are not a loss.]

What I'm trying to say is that people oughtn't judge the Transformers franchise on the same level that they'd just freaking Citizen Kane (not that I've seen it, I'm 15 for God's sake). The two movies aren't even on the same plane. To put this into a better perspective, people enjoyed Terminator and Aliens (earning them 100% on Rotten Tomatoes) because they were judged as somewhat hokey sci-fi flicks. Granted, I thought them to be damned good sci-fi flicks and definitely are less sloppy than Transformers as a sci-fi flick, I give Transformers the benefit of the doubt because I never entered the theater expecting a grandiose tale of the tragedies of intergalactic war, and the emotional strife of romance, and maturing (both from Shia, and the homeless Autobot vagabonds). I expected what, for the most part, Transformers was created to offer: action, child-friendly characters, and plot holes. In that sense, I was not disappointed.

[Even if you are not a Transformers fan, with a knowledge about the tradition of loopholes and poor story telling, you should have known what (not) to expect when you entered the movie house, especially if you had seen the first movie, or even any of the trailers (which were devoid of plot points).]

So before you wax negative lyrical about Michael Bay films, ask if he delivered what you expected of him, and if he delivered what he wanted to deliver. The critical reviews will answer the former, and the box office count, the latter."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

TRANSsuperFORMERSbowl (It's Subliminal Messagin')

So, the Superbowl was on today. And football and stuff...MOVIE TRAILERS! Transformers: Dark of the Moon aired a freaking movie trailer that could not have been longer than 20 seconds and holy hell, the nerd inside of me jizzed.

Last year's Superbowl wielded the trailer for the commercially successful, critically failing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. This years trailer follows a similar theme as last year, showing a series of clips, with a deafening, near siren-ish noise drowning out the noise of the ensuing Bayhem. However, last year's clips were so randomly strewn together that the teaser felt like it was all over the place, as if there was no plot or premise to last ROTF [oh wait there wasn't (oh the lulz)].

That brings me to point numero uno. EACH and EVERY clip featured in this trailer is from the final battle of the movie in what is assumed to be Chicago (the filming location for said final battle). Based on the damage of the scenery and buildings. I'd assume the bombardment begins at night, and lasts til the next morning (pretty legendary).  I really liked the clip featuring the Decepticon airships attacking the city. It evoked images of kaiju-esque cinema where those cheesy UFOs would shoot noodle looking lasers at plastic buildings.

Needless to say, you're may be wondering where dem ships be coming from. According to the previous announcement trailer Bay released, TFs exist on the moon. According to rumors (-----SPOILERS-----) the present day Autobots and Decepticons (-----TURN BACK NOW MORTALS-----) are racing to (-----"THE VIRGINITY OF YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH UPCOMING TRANSFORMERS RELEASES IS AT FATAL RISK"-----Vangelus) the moon because something of some importance is up there. Whether or not it's this airfleet of presumably ancient cyber blimps is up for us to find out, but it's fruit for thought. Needless to say, the Decepticons weaponize these cyber blimps for evil purposes and, if history is a good enough precedent, logic (hoho) would dictate that the one leading this assault would be Shockwave, the new TF3 villain! The Generation 1 (80s) Shockwave was essentially the dictator of an uninhabited Cybertron, tasked to monitor the planet in Megatron's absence. The utterly logical, calculating Shockwave would very much be the one to hatch a plan of this scale.

NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE SPOILERS CONTINUE!

Next point! There are some crazy-ass things going on in the battlefield below. It appears that Ironhide gets in a head on collision with two Chevy Tahoes customized to look like police cars. These Tahoes are Decepticon  enforcers, rumored to be called the Dreads. There's also a veeeeeeeeeeeeeerrry sketchy rumor that an Autobot will bite the dust in this battle. And the fandom thinks it'll be veteran veteran, Ironhide. a logical choice. He's been a badass throughout the entirety of the movieverse franchise, so his death would be quite impacting. I'd like to think that Ironhide could take on one Dread with ease, but perhaps not two. According to leaked toy photos, the Dreads feature some wicked mandibles, not only on their face, but on their backs. These huge ass claws could crush the light out of some dude. Perhaps Ironhide will barely make it out of that confrontation.

OKIE DOKEY! The spoilers march on. We also get a glimpse of some funky looking things. Featured in the trailer is a bird thing we (the fandom) assume is Laserbeak, a minion of Soundwave. Soundwave has been confirmed to appear on set in the battle of Chicago, so it's not unlikely that Soundwave dispatched Laserbeak to do evil minion sh-t. Even more interesting is Laserbeak's presumed target.
The car this mofo is going after is a nice-ass car. John Turturro's character, Seymour Simmons, is rumored to have struck it rich, as he was seen on set driving a Maybach, which is no easy car to come by. Equally probable is that this car belongs to the new character...Dylan. Some dude. Apparently he does important technology stuff, but he's a human so... NO. Let's actually talk 'bout this. Patrick Dempsey, who's playing Dylan, stated that his character is dark and stuff. A set photo had Dempsey pointing a gun towards Shia. Dylan's technological prowess {he's rumored to have created the Wreckers as an Earth experiment [I personally don't buy that one (Rather, I think he made the "MechTech" in conjunction with "Wheeljack")]}, and his dark motives make him an excellent Decepticon target. Who knows? Michael Bay...

A lot of misc. extras pop up in the final battle, ala ROTF. These guys don't matter and are just cannon fodder. Let's take a look. On the Autobot side is a green and white Ratchet, and a Bumblebee. No news there. The Decepticons feature a recolored Brawl from the first movie. T'was a really cool model. Glad they're still putting it to use. On top of that, there are a a few protoforms, nakey Transformers that chilled in Egypt in TF2. Yay. And there's the dude in the back left who appears to have a knife arm and one eye. Let me tell you why this isn't Shockwave.

1) Shockwave isn't gonna get ripped up by OP in his fly-by.
2) Shockwave has a much taller stature. He has a neck.
3) This poser's not even purple.

Ok. The real highlight of this was seeing a powered up Optimus Prime tear sh-t up. Optimus is sporting some fancy ass equipment there. The trailer that he totes in vehicle mode transforms into a sweet jetpack, as well as assorted weaponry which Optimus utilizes in different ways, picking 'em up and droppin' 'em off like this is a game of Counter Strike...like a boss. Look at that OP. Doin' a flyby, droppin' his jetpack, now sporting two guns, shooting while doin' a 360, shootin' up Longhaul, ejecting his sword mid firing, impaling Sideways, flipping him around and tossing him to the ground then dropping them guns and sheathing the next sword and swiping the next dude's legs out from under him. Boss.

Among the people OP tears up are Long Haul and Sideways, two models from the second movie. New Decepticons are looking sparse, especially in comparison to the Autobots. Truly, there are only seven big Decepticons confirmed (Megs, Starscream, Soundwave (and co.), Shockwave, the Dreads, a helicopter, an armored car), as opposed to the Autobot's growing cast.

And then there's that weird drill tentacle thing. Who knows what they're drilling for? Is it just a destructive drill, or is there an actual purpose to this thing? Who knows? If it's the latter, that makes me
happier.

Anyways, it was cool...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sacha Baron Cohen, the Queen

So, being the savvy musical genius that I am (oh lawl), I contributed to a discussion on an upcoming Queen movie, on some music website. As a big fan of Queen, I thought I should share my thoughts here as well.

So, there's a movie that's gonna be about Freddie Mercury. The movie covers the rise of Queen to their legenDARY performance at Live AID. Obviously, this doesn't cover Freddie's controversial death at the hand of AIDS. The role of Freddie Mercury was given to Sacha Baron Cohen. Other things of note is that this project has the full support of the rest of the surviving members of Queen. Anyways, here's a c/p of my post on that (hip) music website:

"While I agree that a biopic about Freddie Mercury ought to include the story about his death, especially considering how eye opening it was to the world, to make the movie about the formation and rise of Queen, and have it culminate in what is undoubtedly Queen’s greatest performance of all time (Live AID) would create a very epic feel to it. Ending the movie with a remake of that performance would simply and perfectly exemplify the rise of Queen. That being said, I could imagine some distortion or exaggeration of history taking place here in this movie to over dramatize it.

The topic of Freddie Mercury’s death, if it is not covered in a sequel, will probably be briefly mentioned at the very end. Text describing how his “controversial death at the hands of AIDS shattered the world, opening its eyes to the etc.” would be accompanied by a freeze frame of the last shot of the movie. Something like that.

As for the casting of Sacha Baron Cohen, I must say that were I directing a movie of this variety, I would never guess to cast him. Sacha Baron Cohen does look rather similar to Freddie Mercury, and also shares his stage…gusto… if you will. His singing in Sweeney Todd reached a very impressive falsetto range. Of course, his singing in that movie was geared towards a more comedic effect, but still it showed that he could hit some notes. I think Sacha would be very capable of expertly singing the songs of Queen, but maybe not as a direct copy of Freddie’s singing. Rather, it would be [sung] as an homage."

After doing a little more research on the topic, I learned a bit about the singing dynamics of Sacha and Freddie. Apparently, Sacha sings as a bass. Meanwhile, Freddie was capable of singing as a bass, falsetto and tenor, a range of four octaves. Hard to top that. I still place my confidence in Sacha Baron Cohen, for some inexplicable reason... Worst case scenario, they'll hire someone else to sing the songs, or simply use existing recordings and have Sacha lipsync it. Only time will tell!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Is Gavin a the Gay?

Gavin, huhuh. More like...GAYVIN. Amirite? Amirite?

If the line above, or the title didn't tip you off by now, reader discretion is advised...

So, today I was browsing a the Facebook, when I happened upon a certain advertisement whilst leaving a praising compliment on the wall of a TF news website. The ad, pictured below, asked if I wanted cheap thrills in the world of gaydom:

Wow. Sounds like...fun?

Allow us to examine some evidence that may lead one to assume that Gavin is a the gay (in the third person!).

1) Gavin has a fondness for gay celebrities: Neil Patrick Harris, Sir Ian McKellen, Freddie Mercury, that Chinese dude who voiced Captain Shang from Mulan.

2) Gavin is apparently well educated in the realm of Yaoi. Ask him what a seme and uke is, and he might be able to tell you (o.o). Plus, Gavin watches 'yoooowwiiiiieeeeeeeee' (<.<).

3) Gavin cries too easily at too much sh-t. Toy Story 3? Tears. That Yaoi thang up top? Tears. Some random episode of How I Met Your Mother? Tears.

4a) Gavin is too artsy and stuff.

4b) Only sport Gavin does is fencing. And fencing is gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay*.

5a) Gavin was once Facebook married to guest-blogger Kazoo. Scandalous.

5b) Gavin has never had a legit girlfriend. Partially because he can't get one but mostly cuz he's a the gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

6) Gavin randomly bursts out singing Disney songs, and excels at singing the girl parts.

7) Gavin can cook.

*Fencing is not gaaaaaaaaay, or even gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, and especially not gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

And there you have it! Undeniable proof that Gavin is a the gay.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

JFK

John F. Kennedy? No! Just for kicks, foo! JFK is an acronym that stands for 'just for kicks'. While someone else out there has probably came up with the same acronym, I thought of it independently, and without influence.

Sadly, the acronym, which will one day be synonymous in fame as 'lol', has not yet taken flight. I have been told that it's a little bit racy to compare a highly revered president to an attitude as passive as 'just for kicks'. Yeah, slight allusion to a president is more racy than saying 'for sh-ts and giggles'...Ok...

However, with the assistance of my Johns-Hopkins bound bro, I hope that the acronym will become widely used by 2013. My brother has told me that he's been spreading it around Brentwood school amongst his friends.  Hopefully, they well catch on...

Anyways, spread the word! Even if you're not as emotionally driven as I to spread it, do it jfk...

Friday, January 21, 2011

ArtProj HCJ Part 4 Supplemental

Art Project - Hazy Cosmic Jive, Part 4 Supplemental

There are a few things I want to point out about the previous blog post:

You'll notice that I named the collection after ze bloggy, Hazy Cosmic Jive. I provide a pretty good reason for it in my proposal, but the real spark of inspiration was this blog. I suppose you could say that I considered 'Hazy Cosmic Jive' as a name for this blog for the reason I chose it for my collection. Other than the fact it sounds cool, it's kinda like a state of mind, like nirvana. It's like a half dazed, half knowing kinda thing, and don't we all live life kinda half dazed / half knowing? Such things appease me.

Point two, you (probably didn't) notice(d) that the 'Fight Club' inspired piece was changed to one based off of Dr. Horrible. This was done because Neil Patrick Harris is awesome. Yes, even awesomer than Brad Pitt/Ed Norton.

Lastly, I noticed something spooky when I finished the write up.

 Yeah.

Anyways, that should be my last ArtProj HCJ post for a while now. I'll post up WIPs (work in progress) of the pieces as I'm doing them, as well as some insight to the process. Should be fun.

Art Proj HCJ Part 4 - What a Lovely Proposal

Art Project - Hazy Cosmic Jive, Part 4

Another c/p post. This is the proposal that's being turned in. It's a sort of pitch that is to be turned into ze teacher, before starting the actual project. Anyways, without further ado, PASTING POWER!

"January 19, 2011

Proposal

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” – John Lennon

My collection, hereby titled ‘Hazy Cosmic Jive’, will be a collection of nine 16x20 oil paintings, possibly supplemented with the use of sharpie and colored pencils. It will be named as such for a various number of reasons, the first of which being that it plays with the theme that I hope to address in this collection.

The primary theme that I will be touching on is the differentiation between reality and imagination. Imagination and reality live co-dependently on one another, as reality can be changed as a subject of one’s imagination, and yet one’s imagination is somewhat confined by what that person has experienced or learned of in reality. Neither force dominates the other. Several aspects of my collection exhibit this idea.

The name ‘Hazy Cosmic Jive’ finds its origins in the David Bowie song, ‘Starman’, which details the efforts of children to meet an extraterrestrial being, whose extraordinary powers prevent him from coming to Earth as he fears that “he’ll blow [the children’s] minds”. In a sense, this song conveys the message that we all need to tap into what is beyond believing in order to receive the awesomeness that is Starman, just as we must look beyond reality to imagination to see our complete picture. The phrase ‘hazy cosmic jive’ personifies this idea, as it describes a universal harmony that remains elusive and hazy to us – the harmony between reality and imagination.

As a brief visual overview, the nine pieces can be assembled together in a 3x3 configuration, or lined up across in a panoramic landscape view. The purpose of this is to convey the idea that one’s perception of the world can be altered by a simple change of perspective. Each piece will focus on a character, all of whom will be drawn from popular culture, with the exception of a self portrait, which will be the center piece. Rather than create original characters for the pieces depicting fictional characters, I have decided to depict characters from the media and popular culture to reiterate the idea that all things of our imagination are drawn from what we’ve experienced in reality.

The aesthetics of the art will be lined in pencil in the style of cartoon art director and character designer, Derrick J. Wyatt. As it is my intention to push the boundaries between what is possible and impossible, I decided to use Wyatt’s design philosophy because of its extremely stylized nature. There is no doubt that it pushes boundaries, in its organic, flowing style. However, to incorporate some form of reality into this artwork, my detailing will be based more heavily on the art of Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki. Despite the extremely fantastical subjects of his work, his signature art style incorporates his creatures into a very realistic believable world. While his style is not particularly  detailed, its attention to the defining characteristics of its subjects, particularly texture, creates a very realistic, yet imaginative style. Though both of these artists work in animation, their approach to representing these characters is extremely different. I hope that my fusion of their two signature styles will effectively represent the idea I’m trying to convey.

Emulating the style of artist Drew Struzan, a painter most known for his work of painting movie posters, the pieces will primarily be painted in oils, with minimal colored pencils used for touch ups, or detailing. Struzan’s composition creates a very epic vibe, adding a lot of power to his works. His combination of portraits of main characters, coupled with small scenes depicting pivotal moments in the movies his works are based on exhibit a uniquely overpowering vibe, as each portion of the poster carries surplus emotion. The sharpie may potentially be used to outline the focus points of the pieces (the characters). The purpose of this is to contrast the very realistic oils with thick black lines that would not typically be found in real life. Outlining the pieces with sharpie, I hope to achieve an effect nearly reminiscent of animation cels or frames from a cartoon, further working to incorporate the idea that reality and fantasy are codependent.

For reference, the icons that will be featured, from left to right, are:
The Death Star (Star Wars), Iron Man and Captain American (Marvel), Godzilla (Godzilla), Optimus Prime (Transformers), me, Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro), GIR (Invader Zim), Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), Pikachu (Pokemon)"

A note that I didn't put down in the proposal is that all the characters on the right side of the portrait find their roots in Japanese fantasy (Godzilla, Totoro and Pikachu). Cool coincidence. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Art Proj HCJ Part 3 - The Artist Influenzaaa

Art Project - Hazy Cosmic Jive, Part 3

This'll mainly be a direct copy/paste of what I turned in for schooooool. On a side note, my folders on my computer are extremely organized. Two of my many folders are 'Projects' and 'School'. I still can't believe I have to go to my school folder to find something as fun as this art project in it. Anyways, without further ado...


January 14, 2010

Artist Research

Derrick J. Wyatt (August 10, 1972 - )

Raised in Paw Paw, Michigan
Attended Joe Kubert School of Art, New Jersey
Art director and/or lead character designer of such cartoons as:
                Teen Titans
                Transformers: Animated
                Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated

As a hardcore Transformers fan since 2007, I’ve actively kept up to speed with the continuous waves of upcoming TF merchandise and media by joining an online fan community. When word first caught on about a new TV show being produced (Transformers: Animated), and images started springing up on the web, I was incredibly excited. However, the majority of the fan community, largely comprised of fans of the original 80’s show, was up in flames. The new stylized aesthetic that art designer Derrick J. Wyatt implemented in his designs of the new robots were unlike any previous incarnation of Transformers. The more organic, flowing line art was in complete contrast to the blocky, geometric design style implemented by all previous eras of Transformers.

I, a part of a small minority of people who liked the new artistic approach, was stupefied by the negative reaction to the new approach. While still paying homage to the original Optimus Prime, this stylized nature of the new design was a breath of fresh air, and would immensely influence my style of drawing. 

Once the TV series actually began to air, the fandom began to better receive it, praising it as the most emotive (in terms of story and art) of the 25 years worth of Transformers fiction. Derrick J. Wyatt’s art style had brought the characters to life, giving them much more emotion and character than one could imagine a robot could have. 

Drew Struzan (March 18, 1947 - )

Born in Oregon City, Oregon
Attented Art Center College of Design; Paid off school by selling artwork and accepting commissions
Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree

Began work by painting album covers; became highly acclaimed after his cover of Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare was voted one of the Top 100 Album Covers of All Time by Rolling Stone.
Started small company called Pencil Pushers; during the 8 years the company lasted, Struzan developed his signature airbrush/color pencil detailing style
In 1977, a colleague of Struzan was asked to create the poster for the re-release of ‘The Star Wars’. Uncomfortable with portraiture, Charles White asked Struzan for help on human characters. Struzan oil painted all of the distinctively human characters of the poster.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Struzan would create posters for such films as ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Back To The Future’, as well as continue his work with LucasFilms, creating the posters for the Star Wars movies, and Indiana Jones movies.

Struzan, despite the decline of traditional art and the increased popularity of digital art, continued work by creating collectors memorabilia, comics, and a few movie posters for the first of the Harry Potter movies, Hellboy, and, most recently, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. That was his last piece before retiring in Septemeber, 2008.

Growing up with VHS copies of Indiana Jones and Star Wars, I’ve been more than familiar with Drew Struzan’s signature style since I was three. Struzan’s incorporation of movie scenes with the ‘floating head’ motif creates a rather gallant, epic vibe to his posters.


Steve Ditko (November 2, 1927 - )

Studied under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, New York
Comic book artist and writer; Most famous for co-creating the character Spider-Man
Art has always been a very prominent part of my life. Since I was little, I as drawing made up characters fighting epic, legendary battles to the death. I was a sponge, absorbing any movie or TV show I watched, and drawing it out on paper. Imagine how much I flipped after seeing the Spider-Man movie.

My mom, knowing my love for those types of things, bought me a reprinted collection of the first 20 issues of the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ series. It was through imitating Steve Ditko’s realistic style of art that I was able to grasp the fundamentals of drawing. The dynamic postures of Spider-Man and his enemies granted me much practice, as I unintentionally learned the anatomy and workings of human beings. The settings revealed to me the intricacies of geometric shapes, as well as perspective and vanishing points. The complex inking showed me the importance of adding shades of color to illustrations.

I even began creating comics of my own. A whole new skillset came with that, as I learned the importance of composition and foreground/background.


Hayao Miyazaki (January 5, 1941 - )

Manga Artist, Director, Screenwriter, Storyboarder, Animator, Character Designer
Grew up in Akebono-Cho, Japan
Studied at Gakushuin University; did not study art, despite his already growing interest in the subject
Co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985
After my Spider-Man comic book drawing phase, I got into a manga/anime phase, during which I was heavily influenced by the works of manga artists such as Masashi Kishimoto (most famous for the series ‘Naruto’). Now a little older, and a little more observant, I was able to hone my drawing skills more and began getting the hang of human form. Despite all this, my anime phase had come to an end during 2008. I would sporadically and selectively return to that style of art for a few personal projects.

I took note of the works of Hayao Miyazaki after my anime phase had ended, and was simply marveled at the intricacies of the art. Hayao Miyazaki’s film company, Studio Ghibli, created some of my favorite animated features, including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, and Ponyo. The way Hayao Miyazaki masterfully implemented the dynamics of anime to enhance the storytelling experience simply stunned me. The pseudo realistic style of anime simply astonished me, in that it can appear both real and completely fantastical at the same time.


Other Influential Artists:

Jhonen Vasquez
Creator of TV series ‘Invader Zim’
Very stylized, highly geometric artwork; nearly surreal
As Wikipedia expertly put it, “Happy faces are often found in his artwork, trying to evoke an ironic sense of happiness in a world of chaos and darkness.” Well said.

Nick Roche
IDW comic book artist and writer
Very clean linework and inking; overly emotive faces create a strangely realistic presence to his drawings

Ben Procter
Movie concept artist
Has worked on many sci-fi movies such as Tron: Legacy, Transformers, Star Trek
As a movie concept artist, Procter expertly incorporates objects of fantasy into the real world

Mark Crilley
OEL (Original English Language) manga artist
Revered (and loved) by the online amateur artist community for posting detailed and intricate drawing tutorials on open websites such as Youtube and deviantART