The Sword: Warp Riders video trilogy

This post is a bit overdue, but has to be done. You’ve probably heard me talk about my favorite metal band on the blog and Twitter, those heavy rockers from Texas, The Sword. Been a fan of these guys since hearing Age of Winters for the first time back in 2006. Fan for life. Instantly.

The years following I’ve watched the guys explore their own brand of metal, with the raw power of Gods of the Earth (2008), and my favorite to date: Warp Riders (2010). They’re always in my music rotation. Not a dull moment on any of those albums. Just this year I’ve been lucky enough to work with the guys on an official t-shirt for their tour with Kyuss Lives and my poster was used to promote their tours in Australia and Europe earlier this year. Pumped.

This post is to show off their 3 most recent videos, the Warp Riders trilogy. Not only do I love The Sword’s diverse musical ability, but they’re wonderful storytellers diving into myth, legend and in the case of these videos, the cosmic. The videos above for Tres Brujas, Lawless Lands and Night City are in the order you should watch them. They released them in chapters, wonderful bit of forethought right there.

So throw on those headphones, turn up the volume and rock these things.

Action Thriller 4: Time-lapse process

I recently completed work on a CD cover for my friends over at Imagem Production Music for the 4th installment of their Action Thriller series. In short, stock movie trailer music for action films. Awesome. So they had me come up with a concept for the cover and go to town. I had this image of a leather-clad biker in my head for a little while and this seemed like a suitable stage for the guy.

Just before I started the labour of creating elements in Illustrator, I turned on the screen recorder in hopes that I’d have enough footage to create a time-lapse video of the process. It worked, and stands at a full 12:43.

You can see my entire 6-hour stint creating the cover you see above, from concept to final as I flew around Illustrator and Photoshop building the image from scratch. I didn’t cut anything out of here, this video is complete with screw-ups, experiments, good ideas, bad ideas, menus, buttons, layers, stock photos and the occasional iTunes appearance. All of the little decisions I made along the way. Nothing to hide, here. All secrets revealed. What you see is what I saw.

I’m a big advocate of helping people out, so I hope this video does just that. These things take time, some planning and a LOT of messing around along the way. I’m constantly telling people to have fun with what they do, and I hope this video is a testament that I’m still working under that mantra. If it looks like chaos … well, it is. The good kind.

Sidenote: this is the second piece I’ve done that features this leather-clad biker character, the first being my fake Signalnoise movie poster back in December. He’s my own 1980s indy action film character, perhaps a pseudo-Signalnoise mascot. You’ll see more of him in the future.

Montreal Meets recap video

Check out this excellent Montreal Meets recap video put together by event founder Francois Hoang. In all honesty, I didn’t even know there was a video camera around for a lot of these shots so I’m seeing this footage for the first time. Francois did a great job of capturing the vibe of the event while adding some nice sentimental moments in there. Watching this makes me wish I was back in Montreal hanging out with my pals.

So, have a watch then check out the interview with Francois over at Oakes Design where he discusses Montreal Meets 2012.

The Hudsucker Proxy poster

Here is a Signalnoise poster for the film The Hudsucker Proxy by the mighty Joel and Ethan Coen. My pal Dave Howlett gave me the DVD for Christmas of last year as I’ve been talking about wanting to see it again for quite some time. So a few weeks ago I threw Hudsucker on and had a sketchbook close by in case any poster ideas hit me.

I sketched up the initial ideas for this poster after watching my favorite part of the film, when Waring Hudsucker runs down the boardroom table and dives out the window (not a spoiler, happens at the beginning). He does this after hearing a record breaking financial report, and doesn’t say a word for the entire scene. Love it, see here:

The Hudsucker Proxy is rich with visuals and I could have went in any direction, but I wanted my poster to be specific to that scene as it’s the catalyst for the rest of the movie. If you watched that clip, you’ll see ultimately where the design came from, what elements I took and the moment I wanted to capture. Needed to be clean, almost cold, like the 1950s Hudsucker boardroom.

Now, fans of the film might mention that there’s a key element, or “product” missing from my poster but I assure you there’s a good reason why. When I watched the movie for the first time with my pals Dave Howlett and Mike Holmes, whether it was intentional or not, they kept the DVD cover away from me and never mentioned the big idea Norville Barnes had up his sleeve. So while watching the film, Tim Robbins’ character looked absolutely nuts for the first half. I was in stitches, best way to experience the film in my opinion. So for that reason, I left it out of my design as to not ruin the surprise for those who have not yet seen the movie.

Going to send this off to the print ship for proofing in the next few days, and going to see what I can do to make it available.

HP + Daft Punk interface tests

Here are some test images I did for a job a while back. The mighty Psyop hired me to create some interface mock-ups for the new (at the time) HP touch computer for use in a television ad featuring Daft Punk onstage. The idea was to create some abstract shapes and color which would be put to motion as Daft Punk manipulated the shapes to trigger music during a performance.

Even though the idea was super cool, it was unfortunately one of those projects that didn’t see the light of day. I was involved early in the pitch stage and the project was either abandoned, or a different concept was picked which is quite common in the turbulent land of advertising. Either way, it was fun to work on and I wanted to post these mock-ups to show the early stages of conceptual when dealing with a television ad.

As I said these were test images for the interface, just raw ideas I threw to Psyop in the early stages. They were great to work with.

Film logos from the 70s and 80s: Parts 4 to 6

Here is the second installment of film logos from the 70s and 80s, full of even more awesome lasers, chrome and glowing effects from back in the day. I have a soft spot for the Disco Vision spot located in part 6. That includes stuff from the 90s as well, but I’ll let it slide.

If you missed it yesterday, check out the first installment, Film logos from the 70s and 80s: Parts 1 to 3. Enjoy!

Film logos from the 70s and 80s: Parts 1 to 3

Here is the first installment of some motion inspiration, saturated with styles, sounds and animation prevalent from when I was a kid in the 1970s and 80s. I talk a lot about logo animation being a big influence on the work I do today, and these clips are nice compilations of many of those memories.

If you were a kid in the 80s you will remember all those awesome (and often hilarious) intro logos at the beginning of VHS rentals, specifically if the movie was off the beaten path. There was a certain charm to the dusty sounding synth, the cheap motion and the distorting tracking lines at the bottom of the screen. It felt real and human, and most times were watched late at night with a group of friends. I started challenging myself back then with naming the film company before their full logo was revealed.

So, have a look at these amazing compilations and enjoy the many lasers, chrome elements and lightning blasts that made up a good chunk of my childhood.

Yer Dead Productions logo

As the Hobo With a Shotgun boys are busy completing the movie in Toronto, they decided to launch my design for their production company called Yer Dead. We started talking about this logo about a year ago but we really started moving on it over the last few months as the film came closer to completion. I really enjoy working with Jason Eisener and Rob Cotterill because they have a really clear direction in their head, which mostly revolves around stuff they were into as kids . . . 80s action awesomeness. Which, as you can imagine, I’m all about.

We went through a few designs before landing on this one, here are a couple:

The guys liked these initial concepts, but they were looking for something that, in their words “would look badass on a t-shirt”. Once I heard that it really set me free. I had a great time working on this logo for my pals and I’m stoked to see it on the big screen really soon.