Well people, I think I've teased you all enough, so I'm finally revealed one of the big secret projects I've been cooking up for the past month or so. I've prepared two trailers, one an introduction and one an overview, for a new animation project...
TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise.
So for those of you who aren't aware of the history behind this, at its core, TOME is a re-branding of the very first big Flash Movie project I ever did on Newgrounds, TvTome Adventures. Back when I was a teenager and really obsessed with "cyberpunk" stuff like Reboot, .hack// and MegaMan Battle Network, I created a series with characters all inspired by friends I'd made on the very first message board I ever posted on. The series, at the time, was using mostly ripped sprites from various video games edited to look like the characters I had designed, as well as some puppeted animation with graphics I had drawn myself.
My original plan from the beginning was that I had always wanted this concept to be a game. However, I had realized that I'm still far too inexperienced to know how to properly develop design for a full-fledged game and instead decided to try what led me to doing animation in the first place...producing it as a webseries! This new incarnation of TOME features all original content, including writing and animation from myself, some incredible music by Kajetokun (the "Over 9000" guy who's a VERY talented musician) as well as some beautiful artwork and backgrounds by Dave Smith (known for GG-Guys and his work on the NiN10Doh! collabs) and Fooly (who's been a longtime artist on Fireball20xl). This version will also be FULLY voiced, by a very stellar cast of actors I'm proud to work with. We even did a cheesy "Theme Song" performed by lead actor Blake Swift (Shadyvox) and myself. From the first episode I've completed thus far, the style of animation is a combination of traditional cinematics and "machinima"-like movements, in the sense that you're seeing the in-game engine of the TOME world with conversational and action sprites. This time however, everything is hand-drawn by myself and the small crew I'm working with, no edited sprites from pre-existing games, no ripped music, this is ALL us. The cast of characters have all been COMPLETELY updated or in some cases totally reimagined, especially the main group of five. Alpha and his friends are all really entertaining and fun from the response I've gotten behind the scenes, so I think you guys will really enjoy what I've done them all now.
The first episode is going to be an officially endorsed Newgrounds project, so major thanks to Tom Fulp, Mike Welsh and Mindchamber for the help. What I would LIKE to do with this project is produce one episode per month and have it be an on-going series, but that will all depend on how the reaction is to the first episode, so I'm depending on all of you to spread the word! I'm going to be premiering the first episode at Youmacon during the "Kirbopher Flashstravaganza" at 9 AM on Saturday. The first episode will then be viewable online for all to see hopefully the week after that and then I'm leaving it all up to you guys! If you were a fan of the original series and are excited about this new incarnation of "TTA", spread the word and support the project! I have a LOT of plans for some cool stuff to do with this series, including a way for people to have interaction with the world of TOME itself, but you'll have to stay tuned on that one. In the meantime, enjoy the trailers, hope to maybe see you at Youmacon and look forward to the first episode being posted this month!
Oh yeah and don't forget to like the official Facebook page! There's some neat stuff on there too. ;]
Hey guys! So I finally got the word from the con staff for when all of my events are gonna be next weekend during Youmacon 2011! Saturday's gonna be Kirbopher day, but I'll be doing a few things throughout the weekend. Here's a quick vidja EXPLAINING IT.
(My schedule for easy reference)
LittleKuriboh Roast - Main Programming - 10 PM
Kirbopher's Flashstravaganza - Panel Room 1 - 9 AM
Autographs - 11 AM
LittleKuriboh Movie Premiere - Main Programming - 1 PM
BALANCING ACT: Creating an Animated Short - Panel Room 2 - 3PM
Hope to see y'all there!
I apologize for the silence on my end the past few months. I've been absolutely SWAMPED with projects and work; all of it is secret stuff I can't reveal until the time is right. What I'll start off with first and foremost since I was finally just announced, I'll be a guest at Youmacon this November! I'll be there alongside some fine folks I've had the pleasure of working with on my animations before, and even Pokemon from a couple years back! Waiting to hear details on a couple panels that I'm trying to set up, but I'll provide details as soon as I can.
I'm hoping that by the end of this month I'll have both of the two big personal projects done and able to be shown to the masses. That said, if I can get them done in time, I also plan on premiering them at Youmacon come November 3rd to the 6th, in which case if any of you guys can make it you're in for a real treat. I can give some basic information about the two projects to whet some appetites:
-The first project is one I'd thought of near the beginning of the year; a concept for an animation review show. Everyone and their mom's doing review shows these days, but I think this concept has a unique "hook" that everyone I've talked has had major positive response to so I'm confident people like this one. I'm thankful to say I have the help of ThatGuyWithTheGlasses' 8-Bit Mickey to help me with video editing while I provide the writing and animation.
-The second project is a...revamp, of sorts. That's probably giving far enough away as is. I was plotting trying to make this project into a game for a couple years after drawing up a whole truckload of character designs at SDCC a while back, but then put it on the backburner. After much deliberation I've decided to give it a shot as a webtoon. Admitedly, I'm not sure if people will "dig" this one as much, but I hope they do because I'd really like to continue the story of this one.
As of now, I'm over halfway finished with animating both of the first episodes of these projects. In my perfect world, I'd love to be able to produce an episode of both every month. That's a tall order, but I'll be measuring the response when they're both finished to see where to go from there. Last couple things, two characters I did a bunch of animations for on the upcoming "Skullgirls" game, Parasoul and Ms. Fortune have both been officially revealed! Search around and I'm sure you'll find some trailers and gameplay footage featuring their sexilicious moves that I helped contribute to these last couple months. Big hand to my fellow animators and clean-up artists that helped bring out the shine in these babes! I need to come up with a "schedule" for myself, but I'll also be going to New York Comiccon/Animefest this weekend bouncin' around doing a million things, I'm sure. Stop and say hi, if you see me!
Balancing Act has been received into its first film festival! Tomorrow night, on Tuesday, August 16th at the Islip Arts Building of Ammerman Campus, Suffolk County Community College in Selden, NY...Balancing Act will be playing at the Suffolk County Student Film Festival at 6 PM alongside a slew of other great movies. If you're a Long Islander and can make it out there tomorrow, please stop by to check out my biggest animation project to date! There will also be a Q&A panel afterward where you'll meet the film-makers, which I'll of course be a part of. All of the details can be found on their official Facebook page, check it!
I'm also currently looking into doing some panels for screening Balancing Act, as well as showing the process of creating an animated short, at a few conventions. Nothing's been 100% set in stone just yet, but keep an eye out! In the meantime, I've still been doing lots of work for the Skullgirls project, which is continuing to get lots of great press and some of my animation can be spotted in recent videos of theirs. I've also been doing a LOT of writing and conceptualizing for some exciting original projects that a few of you out there may know some details about already. All of this is stuff I can't get too in-depth with just yet, but your patience will pay off! Lastly, big thanks again to everyone who supported Waltz of the Forest!
I can't remember what originally compelled me to make the Rawest Forest music video. It was my final project for my Animation class in Senior year of High School, I had a week to do it, and for some reason I just up and felt like paying tribute to what is probably my favorite game of all time.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars has been a gigantic inspiration to me from the time when it was being talked about in gaming mags, to its initial release, to the decade long after it had come out, to even now. Doing the Rawest Forest animation was not simply my transitional piece from High School to College, it was something very personal and meaningful to me. After its takeoff, the fact that it's one of the first things that pops up when you Google-search "Mario RPG" is incredible to me. Everyone who's ever played the game has seen it and holds some level of appreciation for not just the video, but the song that Märta and XBrav had created.
I knew I wanted to do another Mario RPG music video, in the same spirit as I had done Rawest Forest 4 years ago: to mark my transition from College into the rest of my life...unfortunately the time frame for that has long-since passed as of 2 months ago, due to the song itself being finished very late in the mixing process. That aside though, I'm really happy with how it came out and I owe all of that to Psy for scoring the BGM, Shady for his rapping and mixing and even Musical Mike for lending his last-second element of awesomeness that is his opera singing. Special thanks as well to Mike Ruocco for engineering my recording session on the main vocals several months ago. I was considering taking a different pre-existing Mario RPG song and animating to it, but I'm glad the decision came to doing a song built from the ground up, plus people have a real affinity for the Forest Maze. ;]
I know to most people this is just "another video game Flash Movie" and I get that. For me, it was simply a personal venture. Between freelance work and everything else going on in my life, I wanted to make sure it was done quickly, so I set my aim on two weeks at the most. I certainly wouldn't call it a piece of "art", since I absolutely could've spent more time on it from a visuals standpoint. I almost wish I animated the full-length song, if only to throw more geeky references and tributes to the characters and worlds that made that game so special. All that aside, I'm content with it; proud too. Other people who had a real connection to this game like I did have gotten something out of it and that's what matters most to me here. To everyone that's been telling me about how much this video means to them personally, I truly thank you guys for that.
Also, worth addressing: No this is not my "final animation ever". Some people seemed to misinterpret the Author Comments on the video as this being my Newgrounds swan song. It isn't. I'm working on and developing SEVERAL projects right now, all of which are original concepts. Most of it is secretive, but in the near future I'll hopefully have something to show all of you guys. In the meantime though, I hope you all enjoy Waltz of the Forest!
I HAD A BABY no wait that's nine months. My mistake. Well I may not've had a child, but a LOT has happened in the time since graduation. The first week was a little hard. I went through all of the stereotypical post-college blues and was a bit unsure of everything. I didn't know what was gonna happen from there on, just tried to look around for a few things, most of which didn't seem like they were working out...then I struck GOLD.
I'm very honored to say I'm on board a very exciting project that's been making a bit of a splash in the video gaming world. Along with quite a few other artists I know and respect, I've been hired to work on the very awesome Skullgirls fighting game, designed by the equally awesome Alex Ahad. I've been working for the past month or so as a Character Animator and it's been quite a ride thus far. Very fun and simple, but still challenging. That's been going great thus far and I've been doing a lot of other stuff on the side, as well.
Voiceover has been getting more and more frequent for me in the last year and I've been doing a pretty good amount of professional work as of late! Most of the stuff I've been doing I can't go into too much detail, but I've booked my first pre-lay (where they animate to your voice) as a very cute character for a really endearing project. Been auditioning for and recording for a LOT of indie video games, which is always cool. Then, a gig that's been strange in concept but strangely fun, is dubbing for Turkish television shows for a studio called Everest in New Jersey. Thanks to the awesome, incredibly-talented Michele Knotz, I've started recording for a couple projects there in the last month. One of these projects in particular, I've recorded a LOT of material for and still have quite a bit to finish up in this next week, so I'm lookin' forward to that.
That said, I'm sad to also say I haven't been able to post a whole lot of material online for people to see, since many of the things I'm working on are secret, even the drawings in my sketchbook! Most of what I can show has been on my Tumblr, including one little side-venture that's always quick and easy to produce: music! Not sure where this spurt of Rareware nostalgia's come from, but I just recently wrote and performed a bunch of lyrical versions of tracks from the Banjo-Kazooie series. The first one is of an old song I did back in 2008, where I did an acapella cover of "Witchyworld" and then just a week ago did a vastly-improved version of it. Then followed a lyrical "Gobi's Valley" and then just a couple days ago, "Spiral Mountain", which I'm the most proud of.
Here's one of 'em, take a listen!
Lastly and most importantly, and this ties in with all the secretiveness going on, is that I've been doing a lot of personal creative works. Very happy to hear people are interested in Balancing Act, which I've been submitting to a bunch of festivals. No word on any of them yet, but of course I'll make an announcement when the time comes; most likely through my YouTube page that I'll been trying to make better use of lately. Also, I'm picking up where I left off on a TV series concept I've been developing for the last several years. I've written a pilot script that's currently being reviewed and fine-tuned, then I have a few plans of what I'll be doing next, but let's just say I'm counting my blessing for the people who believe in my work and that want to help me. If any of them are reading this, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Sort of related: I haven't talked much about this online, but I really, really think I wanna get out to California. If I can help it, I'd love to be out there within the year. I dunno if that's gonna happen, but I'm playing around with a few ideas and am in talks with a couple people. I realize all of this is very vague and I'm sorry I don't have much to show right now, but figured after staying quiet for a month I should give a proper update. Hope this whets a few peoples' appetites!
This week's been CRAZY. The Dusty Film & Animation Festival kicked off on Sunday night with the screening for all of our films. 4 straight hours of animated shorts by myself and my classmates played that night and it was a BIG hit. Many of which included some of these fine folks.
My film, "Balancing Act" was early on in the screening, #6 to be exact. Hundreds of people sitting in those seats finally got to see what I've been working on for not just a solid year...but in a way, what I've been working on for over a decade. Finally, my biggest project yet, a story I've been developing since I was in Elementary school, has made its first big step into the world. Here's the trailer for my thesis film: "Balancing Act"
I know I've been saying this on all of the last several blog posts, but huge thanks to EVERYONE who helped me with this. Everybody from my thesis adviser Richard Gorey, my classmates and teachers over the last 4 years, the folks that worked on the NiN10Doh! collabs who assisted with some clean-up, coloring and a LOT of backgrounds, my amazing cast of actors and sound designers and everyone who provided helpful feedback in making this thing come alive.
I also wanna congratulate everyone else who was part of my graduating year. You all did a fantastic job and we made a really strong year of students to represent SVA. In particular, BIG congrats to two of my best friends from school, Zach Bellissimo and Michael J. Ruocco (whom some of you know from their work on the first two NiN10Doh! collabs). The two of them tied for "Outstanding Traditional Animation" and Zach won "Best 2D Character Design" Dusty Awards on Tuesday night when the award show took place. MAJOR props to them, as well as Mirella Toncheva who won "Best Production Design" and Zack Williams who won "Outstanding Stop-Motion Animation" and "Best Stop-Motion Character" Design awards. You guys rock!
Yesterday we had the ceremony, took lotsa cheesy pictures, had one more party and headed our separate ways as graduates. Now it's time for the game to REALLY begin. I've got a LOT of things already on my plate, but I'm really excited to start working. I hope everyone who's reading this will stick with me and look forward to some of the stuff I have in store!
Okay so a TON has happened since the month started. Wow. As I'm typing this, I have one measly class left. Just gotta type up a report for Dave Levy's Career Strategy's class and I'm all done. My thesis, "Balancing Act" is all turned in and I'm set to premiere at the Dusty Film & Animation Festival on May 8th, at 7:30 PM in the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street). I'm, as of this post, in the #6 on the list of about 40 animated films that will be screening that night, so I'm nervous to be so close to the beginning! But I'm also really excited. Those of you who are fans of the NiN10Doh! collabs will be happy to hear the likes of Zach Bellissimo and Michael J. Ruocco will also in the screening. They have some kick-ass films that I've seen first hand; in fact our entire graduating year has done an incredible job! Those who can make it to the screening are in for a real treat.
So lately I've been trying to make better use of my YouTube channel and I've been creating a few videos that some of you might enjoy. The first of which is a trip down memory lane with an old book I found huddled in my basement. BEFORE GO! GO! PARODY RANGERS, THERE WAS THIS:
This was a birthday present when I was 7 years old. An old company called "Chimeric" would take commissions for "publishing" custom-made picture books, with drawings done by kids, sent it, printed and hard-bound like this one. I "wrote" and "illustrated" (I use those words lightly, in this case) this short-story about the Power Rangers.
I also mentioned last post that my cousin Lucciana, who scored the music for my thesis film, was in my hometown here in Long Island to perform with her band "The Lucky Bastards" on April Fools Day in a local pub:
Then recently, on a complete whim of venting on my tumblr, I decided to record an audio-version of a rant I did called "Unwasted". Surprisingly, it got a lot of really positive response from people, which I was NOT expecting at all. Feel free to listen in and I hope you might take something away from it too!
Some of you guys may know I've had the pleasure of working with Mr. Mike Pollock, known for his illustrious voiceover work in NYC, but most particularly as Dr. Eggman from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Recently, he wrote an original song parody about the death of Elizabeth Taylor and the tales of her many husbands. I illustrated a video to go alongside it, which he was quite pleased with. I haven't done any typography animation in a few years now, but it was interesting experience to say the least:
Speaking of Mike, I've gotten the chance to do some more professional voicework as of late! I just got my first gig at Edge Studio, thanks to some help from the wonderful Mick Lauer of DotDotDot fame. Can't talk much about that one just yet, but it's a project I'm REALLY excited to be a part of. On that same note, another big project I'm majorly excited about is ReincarnatedParano's animation called "Monster Boy", in which I voice the character ironically named "Chris". She's just finished the animatic for it, which you can view here:
...now I know what you're all thinking, BUT...the truth is, Rebekka and I hadn't met before I auditioned for the part (thanks to being told by D-Mac about a month ago), although apparently I won it by a landslide. To be fair, I think I fit the part of a lanky, hoodie-wearing art student with a big nose and an attitude problem pretty well, don't you? But yeah, Rebekka worked really hard on this and I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished product! As you'll also hear in the animatic, it features the talents of Kira Buckland, Martin Billany, Blake Swift and Xander Mobus. Check it out!
That's about all I can think of, but DAMN that's a lot. I'll probably have a few more posts in the month of May, since I've got a lot planned to tackle once graduation is through. In the meantime, I hope you guys enjoy all this stuff! Latah!
I went in being all like YEAH THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOME THIS IS MY YEAR YEAH TOTALLY COOL and it's...not really turning out that way. At least not yet. I feel like if I can stick it out for just one more month, I can make it. The Dusty is coming up soon, "Balancing Act" is done and I just need to finish up April and then I just gotta hope that things will start to turn around with the release of my film.
Surprisingly, my Newgrounds love hasn't been neglected as of late. I have a few things in the works over the next month to keep me busy. With the start of the month, I've held my tradition of doing an April Fools flash movie in the form of Turbo: A Parody Rangers Flash Movie. Due to a very short amount of time I had to make this, it's very shoddily put together, but I'm glad I at least got it outta me. I planned it for a very long time and teased about it in "Kirb Stomp". Special thanks to all of the cast for coming back again for this quick bit. I've also got a typography animation I can hopefully do in this next week or so, plus maybe another little thing for LittleKuriboh. Then, if a certain someone finishes cutting together a song I'm working on with some friends, maybe even a new music video by the time I graduate. We shall see.
I've also been doing a lot of voice-related stuff lately, which has been pretty fun. Mostly auditions for things, but a few projects I've been lucky enough to be cast in. One of these is being released right now, which I'm very honored to be a part of. Rhete has been working on an incredible 2-D shooting platformer game called "Hunters: Relic of Stars" that I voice a very cool character in. As of now, he hasn't shown up yet, but you can hear him in the game's kickass trailer.
The first few stages are released, so give 'em a go and I'm sure you'll enjoy it! Rhete did an outstanding job on the programming, making a truly fun old-school game that lovers of stuff like Metroid and Contra will really get a kick out of. Major props to D-Mac for the great casting and directing too. There's some wonderful voicework in there, not to mention AMAZING choices of music from the Audio Portal.
Thought I'd have more to talk about, but I guess not. Hopefully I'll have more blog posts this month though, I've been wiring down to only one a month lately and that's no good. Look forward to more!
A lot's happened, a LOT. Most of it's been stuff that's not warranted a blog post, however. There's been a ridiculous amount of change going on, but as I've often spoke of, I've been trying to deal with it the best I can through productiveness. To begin with, I'm on Spring Break right now but am I extremely close to finishing "Balancing Act". All of the character animation has been officially done for well over a week now. All that remains is the Background art, of which I'm starting to do some of myself now! I spent two days on a super-detailed one last week. I've also got some much needed help from Steve Bryant with a bunch of them. Scott Frerichs will be doing my Sound Effects design and Lucciana is nearly done with the final mastering of the music. Just about one month left now until we hand them in. Once I have these last few details finished, I'll be showing it to all of my classmates and basically ask them to nitpick the living crap out of it. That way I can take the remaining time I have left to fix up anything I can that's within my power.
This past weekend I took it a bit easy and didn't really do any work outside of some minor sketching. Martin Billany and Marianne Miller flew to NYC to spend "The Weekend of Kids WB nostalgia" with me. Saturday was the Pokemon-specific day, where we went to the Black & White Mall Tour with Michele Knotz and company. Martin also picked me up a copy of Pokemon: Black Version from England, so I got it two days earlier than the rest of the country, HA! Then Sunday was the Yu-Gi-Oh! specific day, where we went to see the ridiculously over-the-top 3D 10th Anniversary Movie for the series here in the city. Pathetically, I've now seen this Movie TWICE, because I went to the premiere a couple weeks ago since it was walking distance from my dorm. The flick itself aside, I DID manage to do some networking there, so that was pretty choice. Just saw Martin and Marianne off and they're on their way back to the airport now.
Anyway, so this weekend was MUCH needed for me between all of the major amounts of stress I've gone through. Long story short, let's just say 2011's not been off to such a great start like I imagined it would be, not just for me, but for several of my friends. That said, I'm not simply gonna sit and mope, especially over the break. I plan on spending some time working on a portfolio to submit to DreamWorks. Apparently they're conducting an internship program for storyboard artists and are specifically looking at people from my school. The portfolio's due around the same time my film has to be turned in, so I'll be giving them a whole bunch of material. If this works out, this'd be a good starting point for me if I plan on going to California someday to pursue my career. Maybe I'll post some of the required stuff online for you guys to see. In the meantime, check tumblr for more drawings I've been working on lately.