Here’s some of the not really award winning in the literal sense short film and animation work I’ve done in my whirlwind post college life. They’ll make you laugh. They’ll make you cry. They’ll make you think. In that order too, I’m almost positive.
Citizen Magnificent Productions
Any good witty, strange, esoterically meaningful bordering on pretentious production logo/vanity needs an equally vainglorious animation to go with it. I started this way back in 2003 and lost interest because animation is tedious and hard and I’m not a very good artist. But in the following years I’d revisit it in fits and starts, finally completing it in 2015 when I had some practice under my belt. It’s all superhero/Street Fighter II style nonsense. I did the ridiculous music in Garageband, trying to emulate the over-cranked, hyper active UHF broadcast muddied stuff I remembered from the ubiquitous 70’s era PSA’s and the like frequently seen by many a Massachusetts youngster while watching cartoons on WLVI 56. And there’s a smattering of Konami NES game music for good measure because they always had the best drums.
I woke up one day to find my friend had sent me audio of him taunting his 2 1/2 year old about the internet. I didn’t honestly didn’t recognize the voice as being his and legit thought he was repeatedly playing audio at his kid from some sort of internet training tutorial. That, coupled with my not quite being able to parse what his kid was saying, lead me to envision what you see here.
I was unemployed at the time I made this– well, finished it anyway– and needed a project to keep my spirits up. I started this one in 2003 as well. Basically all I had out of that first session was the “newspaper sky” background, so that’s actually 2003 news. At the time, I had envisioned for a water creature to come out of the pool, basically like a surly version of the water tentacle from The Abyss, and something involving a vaguely rubber hose style boxing bird. In 2013, 10 years after starting it, I ended up with what you see here.
It took several months to complete the whopping five seconds of wonder before you. I made this back in 2012. That was the Carolina Panther’s logo at the time. What I believe was intended to be fierce and threatening– like you’d expect a representation for a professional NFL team to be– actually looked to me to just be simply perturbed by some minor offense. It always made me laugh every time I’d see it and so I made this. I might add, they changed their logo mere months after I posted this on the old site. Yes, I think I had everything to do with that.
Nope, there’s really not much more to say about this one.
In 2002, I made an actual professional looking short. I had a whole crew and everything and we shot over two weekends. I also ended up in the hospital with a-fib due to the stress of spending over a grand of my own money per weekend and therefore needing everything to go perfectly to get it all done and also knowing that my crew was working entirely for free and therefore striving to not keep them longer than 12 hours a day. (I was also smoking like a chimney which more than likely is what actually caused my a-fib, drama queening aside). So I spent Sunday morning of the first weekend in the ER on the phone with my amazing producer discussing what needed to be shot that day because we had to shoot whether I was there or not. So the majority of the montage stuff was handled without me. I had an amazing cast and crew for this.
BloodyMaster & Half-Body
As a college graduation present, my parents were going to buy me a 16mm film camera. I had fallen in love with the Arri-S and so that’s what I’d hoped to get. I set out to plan the camera’s inaugural film and came up with this superhero duo named after a recollected unintelligible, overly excited drunken uttering of a high school friend. Since the Arri-S doesn’t do sync sound, I designed the movie so that one of my heroes has his mouth covered and the other is chronically stressed out and speaks through gritted teeth… And then I ended up getting a CP-16 which totally can do crystal sync sound. But I decided to keep things the way they were. I was inspired by the creative solutions to budget limitations of things like Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Repo Man, and the old John Spencer Blues Explosion video for “Dang” and adopted that sort of purposely cheap aesthetic. I realize I’m really talking up what is ultimately just a dumb super hero romp but I’m merely illustrating that a great deal of thought goes into even stupid movies.