Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More Motionographer Love...

One of my best friends and lovers Mark Theriault got his very own shout-out on today. If you haven't checked out his site Partially Frozen yet, check it out here or better yet check out his Computer Beach Party VFX reel here.* You'll be so engulfed in particle-sex that you'll need to see a doctor and a lawyer.

*note: Mark Theriault's CBP reel has made members of Locksley cry. No joke, right Sam?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lifelong Friendship Society (We Go Hard)

Own Your C, a project I worked on with Lifelong Friendship Society got some love on today! Not only did I get a chance to animate and help out on set, but I fulfilled my day-long dream of dressing up as an underground elephant king and dancing on a television set.

... and apparently I work for a company with " lo-fi hipster aesthetics." If only that applied to Burger King spots as well.

ALSO: The music video All Over Again that I directed last year made it into the finals for "Best Music Video" at this year's Midwest Independent Film Festival! Hopefully that works out. If I had known about it sooner I would've tried to rally everyone into an online voting frenzy but alas I was unaware. Check out the trailer for this year's nominees here.

UPDATE: Alas, we didn't win... but there's always next time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been tying up all the loose ends with boarding out new projects these past couple of days so I can have my first real vacation in half a year. This particular animator is heading back to Chicago 'til next week, and is going soak up all the love and nostalgia that his social sponge can absorb!

... but maybe more so in a way that sounds less gross.

Nacho pie here I come.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Public Service Announcement

(click on image to enlarge)

I had some free time and doodled this up in Flash. I'm a sucker for its vector paint tool.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

88-Keys "True Feelings" is online!

Yes, it is available for viewing on my site as well but clicking on the link above will give the Computer Beach Party site a little more love! Hope you guys like it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Coming Soon. Very Soon.

Well it's been awhile since I've updated this blog and I apologize to all four of you who read it. However, my absence from the bloggurobble doesn't mean I've been unproductive by any means. After weeks of no days off and late nights at the office, I can finally say that the music video for 88-Keys' mixtape song "True Feelings" is in the final stages of completion. In the next few days we'll have it posted on both Marked Animation and Computer Beach Party so be sure to check back at your leisure! Until then, here are a couple more screenshots of the beast:

This project was a lot more texture-heavy than other things I've worked on. Graduating from the School of Stealing Images Off of Google Image Search, I instead went around Williamsburg taking a series of close-up snapshots of the gritty & grainy for this video to dirty things up a bit. There's a lot of high school, neighborhood bodega and traffic signs plastered all over 88. I can only assume that's why he got into this business.

Special thanks to Lifelong Friendship Society, Anna Maltezos, and Ben Myers for lending a varietal of hands on this project.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

First Screenshots from 88-Keys' "True Feelings"

Sup fam!

Here's a couple of very vague & ambiguous screenshots from the upcoming music video for 88-Keys that we're working on. The video should be done in less than a couple of weeks (shit!) so be sure to check back soon for the finished product!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Landing Gear" in stores today!

A friend of both the Computer Beach Party family and hip-hop lovers everywhere, Devin the Dude's latest album Landing Gear hits stores today! One of the funnier rappers out there, longtime fans will be able to rest-assured that he mentions shampooing his testicles within the first 2 minutes of hitting the play button.

Here's a song off of his previous album, Waitin' to Inhale...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Casualities of Animation Part 1 - Gastritis

I know I can speak for the majority of animators & graphic artists when I say that we all sacrifice a lil' somethin-somethin for our careers. Some of the more common consequences involve moderate to severe weight gain, a little too much hair in and around the keyboard & eating ramen noodles well after graduating college. These are things that we all must deal with in order to convincingly render a sack of flour feeling sad on screen.

In other words, we as animators do some of the most important work in the world.

In the day following another late night at work, I had a sudden loss of appetite & some mild stomach pain which quickly escalated into a fever & what felt like performing sepuku from the inside out by nightfall. Days passed and things only got uglier... things that I'm not quite willing to share in a blog on the internet (yet). Incapacitated by the end of the weekend, I finally went to the hospital to get things checked out. What I initially thought was food poisoning turned out to be something called gastritis. According to the handy lil' fact sheet that the doctor provided me, gastritis is caused by ingesting too much spicy food, medications, consumption of alcohol, drinking too much caffeine and "emotional distress." It's not quite an ulcer, but probably worse than taking part in the Hollywood Diet.

Well... at least I wasn't on any medications?

It didn't help that listing the causes of gastritis was basically like reading a summary of my day-to-day routine, and since I've found it easier to work without burning kidneys... I have since modified what goes into me on a regular basis. Gone are the days of red bull and coffee, my friends. I've had a few cups of tea when things get rough, but for the most part I have actively avoided caffeine.

As for the spicy food, stress and beer... maybe next year?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

oh so inappropriate but oh so right.

(video removed from Youtube)

This really isn't appropriate at work or if your mom is watching this with you over your shoulder. That said... mom, if you're reading... don't watch this.

EDIT: The video kept getting removed from the various links I posted, but it looks like it is being permanently posted at the following URL:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Computer Beach Party is LIVE

After roughly two years of talking, concepting, forgetting & procrastinating, the beta site for Computer Beach Party is finally online. CBP is a collective effort between Marked Animation, Mark Theriault of Partially Frozen & Skylar Wesby of Convivial Enemy. The site is in its infancy at the moment but be sure to check it for regular updates of new animation & visual effects work.

I'm also a little late on posting these, but the music video shoot for 88 Keys went relatively smoothly especially working under the hungover and sleep-deprived conditions that we subjected ourselves to! If all goes well, we'll start posting a few previews & test shots for it later this month. Here's a few behind-the-scenes* shots:

... other than that, Locksley's video for All Over Again is revised and back on the web with a vengeance. If you're not a regular MTV watcher like everyone else I know (lolz jk omg), be sure to check them out on the MTV site! They're artist of the week!

* "behind-the-scenes" = Mark trying to feel useful on set with a camera.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

AOA on iTunes... coming soon!

Why watch the video for "All Over Again" for free on my website after I repost it when you can just as easily pay for it on iTunes?! Godspeed.

Friday, August 29, 2008

End of August Updates

Own the game Rockband? You should add Locksley to your repertoire.

In other news, you may have noticed the dead link to Locksley's music video on this site. Fret not, friends! It's only temporary and things will be back to normal in a matter of weeks. In the meantime we'll be shooting a lot of new work this weekend, including the new 88 Keys video and some impromptu promo work for Locksley to keep the kids at bay. We'll be making musical babies, as I like to call it. Co-director and Convivial Enemy founder Skylar Wesby will be in town for everything, so check back soon for random behind-the-scenes videos and tomfoolery!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Levi's BMX "Choose Color" Campaign

Last month I had the pleasure of working on the new Levi's BMX spots which feature hand-drawn animation over live-action footage. The spots are now being aired in broadcast as well as online at the Levi's website. I was in charge of animating all of the elements for the purple spot but also did a bit of character animation for blue & green as well. While I don't necessarily agree with the color correction of the drawn lines or the decision to remove certain elements, I think the commercials still turned out well enough! They also justified my college education for a solid 4-5 weeks' time, so that's good too I suppose.

... and I'd totally wear the red pants.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in Time Warner Cable

This morning I had the pleasure of missing a few hours of work in order to wait for the cable guy to drop by with his bag of electronic jollies. Since I moved to Brooklyn, I've relied on a shared [read: "iffy"] wireless internet connection with the floor below me and no cable television to speak of. I rely on the internet to get a lot of my freelance work done, as I'm generally online either transferring large movie files or discussing work with my associates. Today was the big day that I'd finally make my triumphant return to ultra-fast hand-blistering internet speeds, and on top of that subscribe to digital cable for first time in my life (as per request from the roommate). Unlike most cable-installation stories (... are there any?), the cable guy was punctual and finished his work in little over half an hour.
Before I go on, let me just say that three days don't pass by in New York City without the City reminding you that yes, you do indeed live in it. The City rubs your nose in it everywhere you go, whether it be a couple in their seventies making out on the subway or a mass of panda bears gathering for no apparent reason. New York City sure likes to flaunt itself.
I was reminded of this once again when I walked into my bedroom this morning to check on the cable guy, who was now seated at my computer. I saw that he had the internet up and ready to go, at which point I thanked him for his time. The conversation then went something like this:

Cable Guy: "... so, do you work in stocks?"
Me: "Um. No. I'm an animator... much less glamorous."
Cable Guy: "How much do you spend on lunch every day?"
Me: "... well, my job generally buys everyone lun --"
Cable Guy: "Well if you had to pay for it, how much do think you would pay?"
Me: "I dunno, I guess like $7-10?"
Cable Guy: "You should check out this website I run, you can find a lot of really good deals on groceries and full meals delivered to your door!"

[ Cable Guy brings up his website on my computer. ]

Me: "I don't think I'm that interested... I --"
Cable Guy: "Well you can actually order a lot of different things on this site! Like if you're shopping online at Best Buy or the Apple Store..."
Me: "Um. Okay?"
Cable Guy: "How would you like to earn three thousand dollars a week for doing just a few hours worth of work?"

It was at this point when the Cable Guy presented me with a "business opportunity" for running my own website and having the internet company do "90% of the work for me." So easy! Thanks random Cable Guy for trying to bring me on board for your pyramid scheme. From there I tried to wrap things up as quickly as possible.

Me: "Well thanks sir, I gotta get to work."
Cable Guy: "Cool man so would you be interested in coming to a company seminar
this weekend?"
Me: "Um..."
Cable Guy: "It's up in Queens but I can drive here and pick you up!"
Me: "... sorry man, I got a... thing I gotta do this weekend."
Cable Guy: "Oh that's cool man can I call you follow up then? What's your number?"

... and so was my New York experience of having cable installed. After he left I turned on my television to see what this fancy "digital cable" was all about. Then it hit me: Why the hell do I have 900 channels? Honestly, what the fuck am I going to do with that many channels? I watch maybe about 5-6 television shows total. So why do I have a Korean channel that features a show called Bare Feet Love? Once I double-check the bill to make sure that I'm getting what I'm supposed to, it should prove to be an interesting few months discovering television.

SIDENOTE: My biggest problem with Williamsburg was summarized in one lunch menu option today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Marked Animation on MTV

Well it sounds like the day may finally be here...

After more than 11 months after completion, the Locksley Music Video "All Over Again" will be finally receiving its broadcast premiere Monday, September 8th on MTV! I know what you're thinking, "Wow Mark, they still play music videos on MTV?" My answer to that is a resounding "Maybe!" The video will be shown in conjunction with Locksley's appearance on MTV's "52 Bands/52 Weeks" feature, so it'd probably be better to just TiVo the whole week of programming. You never know when those boys pop up during an "America's Next Top Model" marathon!
In other news, I just finished up some storyboards for an upcoming project this morning and felt really good about them until I checked out the new United Airlines spots on Seriously, what's up United?! Why you gotta make everyone else look so bad?
They're great animated pieces, check them out if you haven't already!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

88 Keys

Marked Animation is reuniting with brothers-in-creativity Convivial Enemy and Partially Frozen on a new music video collaboration with the artist 88 Keys. It will be the first project we've worked on together since Locksley's All Over Again video of yesteryear. The new project will include a mix of animation and live-action footage... so really, everyone wins. Production begins at the end of this month and things should be wrapped up by the end of September.
For those of you who aren't hip on the hippo hop, 88 has produced and worked with artists like Mos Def, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, and Musiq just to name a few. He's also a fairly dapper guy and highly excels in general gentlemanliness.

Feel free to download his latest mixtape, "Adam's Case Files" for free here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Love Affair with Tim & Eric

I'm not going to try to defend Tim & Eric Awesome Show: Great Job! by any means, because I understand that calling it an "acquired taste" is an understatement. I think the show's irreverent humor is brilliant, and the way it embraces and champions poor & ugly-looking broadcast production is icing on the cake. Here's a favorite clip of mine from this week's episode:

Thursday, July 31, 2008

e2 Transport

Recently Marked Animation had the pleasure of completing some animation & graphical work for the upcoming season of e2 (pronounced e-squared, not e-two...), a documentary series discussing the future of environmentally conscious transportation. The show is shot beautifully and the production seems to spare no expense. It's a very engaging program, and I found myself really being drawn in to the subject matter that I was working on. Season 3 is set to air on PBS later this fall, but until then, check out Season 1 on if you haven't already!

Congratulations, Traditional Animators!

... it looks like there's still jobs available out there for you after all. Check out this teaser trailer for Disney's next movie, The Princess and the Frog.

I haven't really paid Disney that much attention lately, so while that I'm a bit surprised that they're venturing back into the traditional animation, I can understand that they'd like to give it a better sendoff than their previous effort.* Unfortunately I'm a bit skeptical of this trailer and just how beneficial this movie will be to the company. It seems like Disney is in a creative rut, and while other animation companies like Pixar offer audiences a wide array of styles and storytelling, Frog looks like many other Disney works, complete with the princess, the watered-down "humor," and the loveable-yet-subtly-racist supporting cast.
I'm not a Disney-hater by any means. Up until the last thirteen years, their animation reigned supreme and stood ahead of any real competition. The wildebeest scene in The Lion King still holds up today and is as breath-taking to watch as it was in 1994. I watch the original Fantasia on a consistent basis and I think it's one of the most artistically and technically advanced features that they've ever put out. The Emperor's New Groove was one of the biggest surprises I've ever experienced watching a movie and I think it's a fantastic comedy with great writing and chemistry between its characters (Patrick Warburton steals every scene he's in). I just think that the fairy tale formula is a little tired, and the "updated & hip" fairy tale is just grating. I'm hoping for the best, but I'm not expecting anything spectacular.

* If it's any indication of just how successful Home on the Range was, I couldn't even remember the name and only came across it by googling "Disney" and "Farm" (I remembered that there were cows on the poster).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Marked Animation: Now Available in Blog Form

What up everybody!

In order to better serve you with updates and the latest whatnots concerning the inner-workings of myself & Marked Animation, I have started this blog as a glorified announcement board as a way to keep up with the times! Be sure to check back from time to time so that you may bask in the all-too-professional and all-too-personal information I delve into on these virtual pages.


Mark [of Marked Animation]