Hi! So here’s a fun one, if, I guess, you think war and conquest is fun… just kidding, of course you do! What could be more fun then kicking your friends’ butts in online multiplayer combat via iOS or Android device? NOTHING #LOL
But seriously, I LOVE DRAWING WAR, something about it just flows out of me, even easier than all the other stuff that I enjoy drawing. It’s just FUN drawing stuff blowing up!
The spots for this project kind of distilled down from 4 spots, to 2, to 1, so there’s some splicing and melding going on in some of these boards I’m about to show- but it’s helpful (I’m sure) to see how this kind of thing can happen! In these modern advertising times, client needs and specs have to pivot on a dime! New apps/smartphones are released every day and that’s your ENEMY out there! That’s WAR for you!
My favorite part of this project, aside from the ‘realistic’ treatment of the weaponry and setting- was the emphasis put on the various commanders as CHARACTERS – which always inspires as being a board artist forces you to become part ACTOR as well as ARTIST. Enough said, let me know what you think of my ‘performance.’
And another ‘take’:
Not bad eh? Well, you’ll see in the video to follow: They’ve pivoted among other things, the TITLE of this project! So now we are WAR PLANET. Good to know! Hey, first thing’s first, right?
I think it turned out great! I’d play, but it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else, you know? Hey, I’m just being honest. See you next time!
Earlier this year I had a blast working with the good people at BLIND on their amazing project: The Xbox “Scorpio” debut trailer. This officially introduced the world to the Xbox One X, and it’s always an honor to be included on such high-profile assignments. I’ve generously been given permission to show some of the storyboards I created for them- I think this is some of my best work!
Woohoo! Here’s another fun project from earlier this year that I’m very proud to show- fun video game racing action! The “Asphalt” Series is well known in gaming circles as a premium racing product and I was very excited to be involved with my clients at PSYOP for their pitch and production of this great spot.
Conceptually, it’s very simple: Showcase the main themes of the game series: Racing, Mayhem, and Variety. Variety of cars, and variety environments. Hate to say it, but this was kind of an easy one for me… A commercial like this has no room for subtlety, so it’s just a matter of attempting to give equal weight to the important elements (variety of cars and environments) and balance that with a ramping of the action to an ultimate climax, all within 30 seconds!! EXTREME!!!
This project had two parts- the pitch and the production. For the pitch (in which we try to “win” the job), we kind of had a looser goal- wow the client with, well, creative compositions to showcase the action and variety. Promise them the moon and see if we can deliver. There were all kinds of different ideas being tossed about- mostly the idea was to bring a realistic visualization of the gameplay to the screen. Also on the job were some very talented 3d and concept artists, and we all pitched in to contributed pieces of the final puzzle. The pitch was won on the merits of this collaboration- some of which I’ll share with you below (they didn’t make the final cut, but helped advance the job along, and look cool, besides!).
It was a great team effort, and we won the job. Now comes the hard part- execution. They had me back to refine some concepts and nail transitions into something that hit all the marks. You ready for the boards? Here you go!
And here’s the final spot!
What a wild ride! Soo….. Sometimes I have a massive amount of input on a job, and I feel like I get to pick all the shots, and control the pacing, and the visual storytelling (remember, for many jobs, and certainly in this case, I’m not even given a script or shotlist). BUT in this case, much of the concepting was done by talented 2d and 3d artists working concurrently- and so about the only idea I want to point out that I specifically contributed was the opening transition where the camera appears to be POV from the view of the bumper, but pulls out to be the POV looking into the reflection of the bumper. As far as I know, I “invented” that, at least in this kind of car/racing/bumper context. The thing about that kind of camera move is, it’s something you can only pull off in CG, so you’d never see that in classic cinema- since you’d have to magically “erase” the reflection of the cameraman. So, there you go, I did something cool. But even so, just as much if not more credit goes to the director and the CG artists for actually pulling it off and making it look amazing- you never know with uncharted territory, but that’s life… TO THE XTREME!!!!
Here’s a quick sweet little project I boarded a while back – one of those synergistic multi-product subtle mega-mercials masquerading as a network PSA – tips for a fun “date night!”
Here, a couple starts out there morning routine as usual- but then in a moment of whimsy, it strikes them to spice things up a bit and go on an impromptu date night! All with the help the Hallmark Channel’s suggestion of a “Date Night” jar of fun date activities, and of course, great products from Proctor and Gamble, like Crest toothpaste and Pantene hair spray.
They dress their best, pick from the date night jar, and the winner is: ‘Rent a Convertible and Buzz up the Coast for some Seafood!’ Sounds like fun! Here’s the boards:
What I like most about these boards is the great way I pulled off a natural depiction of the “everyday couple.” The first couple frames of the pair brushing their teeth, being casual/typical/routine, and then simultaneously coming to the same notion- “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Blowdrying their hair, picking out clothes, checking their makeup- it’s really important to be able to convincingly draw the normal, everyday stuff, and making it appealing, and I was lucky to have this practice.
I don’t know if they ever did make this commercial, so I don’t have the final vid to show you either way, but no biggie, it’s all about the boards anyway! See you next time!
Here’s a very fun spot I did a while back for Red Bull/Audi; a little cross promotional effort to reinforce mutual branding and associations. Basically, it’s a mini-documentary of an extreme sports spectacle: a never-before-seen coordinated group of stunts with multiple flight technologies being expertly demonstrated, and beautifully shot.
This kind of event is more “captured” than executed according to shot list, so there’s some amount of looseness between what’s intended and final outcome- but I was able to help out by drawing up some nice presentation-style frames to help sell through the concept- and these shots were detailed very specifically by the director, who included great references for the planes, vehicles and locations. That helps a lot in making the boards come through as intended and being the most helpful in terms of advancing the production. I like that storyboards can be useful in a production like this, even though it’s also a known thing that on the day of the actual shoot, they’ll have to just roll with however things come out. If you ask me, that’s the REAL stunt! Ha! Here’s the boards:
I had a good run a couple of years ago getting hired to draw storyboards for an ad campaign for Labatt Blue, a Canadian Beer brand. They have a Bear character (just an actor in a bear suit) who is their Party Champion – a “Duff Man,” if you will- who shows up at opportune moments to take the party to the next level- and make it EPIC.
I think I’ve detailed before that I prefer commercials that don’t rely on dialogue or voiceover to convey the narrative- and so it is in these commercials that all the entertainment and message is contained the fun, active, silly visuals. In this campaign, I was called to draw sexy girls, sports, action, humor, nature, and of course, beer. It was very fun.
Spot 1 – “Wakeboard”
Here’s the first spot! For all the spots, we start on a great beer/branding lineup. Always good to have some clear branding, but it comes at a cost- it clearly shows the viewer that they are watching a commercial, which is often something we’re called to make less obvious- but owning it upfront and then making a spectacular entertaining spot immediately follow is also a great strategy- either way, your mission is to keep them watching for what happens next.
We open tight on a lineup of the Labatt Blue beers, which are lifted from frame to reveal an awesome wide shot of a beautiful blue lake, and sport boat with wakeboarder coming right at camera- after a series of tight shots of boating and boarding, we reveal the Bear in a frozen epic moment superimposed with the message “Get Undomesticated”. This is their slogan/call to action/mnemonic – a brand message to reinforce association and clarify intent- this beer is for wild and crazy Canadian party animals and the sexy girls who love them!
We see more shots of extreme wakeboarding skills, and some party shots, and it’s on! Labatt Blue is the choice of the truly undomesticated. Here’s the boards:
And here’s the final spot!
Spot 2 – “Pond Hockey”
We open tight on a lineup of the Labatt Blue beers, cold as ice, which are lifted from view and reveal a frozen pond- and a bizarre sight- a bear in hockey skates and stick doing perfect puck handling and closing in on us- it’s our Bear hero and the message is clear – Get Undomesticated. He crashes the pond hockey game and single-handedly schools the other players, deft skills outclassing these hopeful amateurs. He shoots, he scores, they celebrate! It’s a hot time on the cold pond tonight! Here’s the boards:
And here’s the final spot!
Spot 3 – “Dune Buggy”
We open tight on a lineup of the Labatt Blue beers, which wipe frame, revealing our dune buggy race- a sexy flag girl starts the race and they’re off! We have fun action shots, quick cuts of dune buggy racing action, and we catch a frozen moment glimpse of the absurd- the lead buggy is driven by our hero, the Labatt Bear. He wins the race, the crowd goes wild, and it’s a fun, sexy part to celebrate right after. Win! Here’s the boards:
And here’s the final commercial – or at least, it would have been here- I can’t find it online, and I’m not sure if it was even made, or made but never posted, or posted but then removed. Probably the latter.
Sometimes things get muddled after the fact – as an example, limitations on music licensing, or perhaps more likely, revised guidelines on advertising standards and practices, or perhaps most likely, maybe it was “tested” by a focus group of viewers, and tested poorly, for whatever reason, and thus was cut. It happens all the time, and it’s expected. I’m only speculating, but maybe it was a bit of a conceptual reach to go with the Baja Beach / Sand Dune scenario- its kind of a disconnect from where you would normally think a Canadian Bear would spend his free time. So, maybe someone had a concern that this spot wasn’t as relatable to the target demographic as the other spots were. Just a guess!