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: