Looking Down the Barrel

The latest music video I’ve edited for Gone Troppo. Highly impressive surfing action!

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Last Wave at Waitpinga music video

Last Wave at Waitpinga
Music video for Gone Troppo‘s surf-rock instrumental Last Wave at Waitpinga. The video was a simple production shot quickly with a basic camera and then edited within iMovie, showing the story of local beach culture and the surfing journey from novice to professional on the fabulous beaches along the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia. We visited beaches at Middleton, Port Elliot and Waitpinga, recording footage from late morning through to the evening, capturing the people, the landscape and all of the superb ocean views available.

 

A Snake in New York

SNAKE PLISSKEN print
I recently watched John Carpenter’s classic sci-fi film Escape from New York again, and was inspired to create a design featuring lead character Snake Plissken, played with rebellious coolness by Kurt Russell.

In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don’t come out.

I’ve always liked the setting, atmosphere, music and general style of this cult movie since first seeing it back as a young teenager. Snake is a great hero character and was to later be the inspiration for Solid Snake from the popular Metal Gear video game series.

The typography I’ve created is based on the font style used in the film for the prison signage, which I think really captures the unique 80’s look of type design during this period and is what I believe to be the signature font for this great film.

Prints, t-shirts and more available to purchase at søciety6.

Snake Plissken tees

Animated birds

Seagull Pelican Sparrow Eagle
Early last year I worked on a home-made music video for local artist Gone Troppo, drawing four bird animations for the clip Make This Thing Fly. Unfortunately I couldn’t animate them as well as I desired due to limitations with the editing software that I had available, so I’ve now created these animated GIFs to show them off as intended.

They’re all hand illustrations, with the seagull drawn with a brush pen on paper and the remaining three all drawn on my Wacom tablet directly into Photoshop.

Film typography

To Hell with the PreacherThe Cryptozoologist
Custom logotypes for two film projects. Both of these designs started as quick pencil sketches, which were scanned and placed into Adobe Illustrator, where I used them as a guide to begin the process of building the vector shapes of the characters. To Hell with the Preacher is a western genre film, so I was keen to create a handmade style referencing typography of the late 1900’s, as was regularly seen on all forms of signage, printing and advertising. I’ve deliberately incorporated a few unusual adjustments to the letterforms and approached this concept with both a historic and modern outlook to match the storyline of the proposed film.

The Crytozoologist is a documentary style short film, telling the story of a retired man living in the Adelaide Hills, who believes in mysterious creatures, and obsessively strives to locate proof of their existence. My logotype references the many powerfully dramatic advertisements and handbills from the 1800′s and early 1900′s, where promoters used ornate theatrical typography to publicise their attractions to an audience eager to witness remarkable wonders from around the globe. The background image includes a photo taken of a full moon together with multiple texture overlays, and visually captures the hidden and mysterious nature of these curious creatures.

Pro pellere (propulsion)

 

Propulsion started life simply as a musical composition project for me to experiment with in GarageBand, but then grew to include a supporting video clip and poster design. The song itself triggered a lot of imagery in my mind, particularly about motion, force and energy, so I felt quite compelled to go beyond just the tune itself and to make this a much larger venture than originally intended.

All of the space imagery and audio files are from NASA via the DVIDS (Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System) website, which allows anyone to create an account and freely download content for use.

The clip was produced in iMovie, with all of the various typographical elements created in Illustrator, and the images edited, altered and prepared in Photoshop. The poster and icon design captures all the impressive power and spectacle of a space launch, and is another Illustrator/Photoshop piece.

 

 

Propulsion

Gone Troppo: Make This Thing Fly music video

 

Over the last few months I’ve been working with local songwriter Ray Rains, to produce a video clip for his song Make This Thing Fly. This is a real homemade effort, using my still camera to shoot all the live footage, iMovie to edit the clip, plus Illustrator and Photoshop to create the bird animations featured throughout. We shot a lot of footage – you should see all that has been left on the cutting room floor! – and even though we had no specific script, the final composition was pieced together to maintain an appropriate feel to match the mood and intent of the song.

Below are a few still shots taken from the filming nights, which taught me a lot about working with and directing musicians. A special mention should go to Peggy for her help in providing the angels, assisting with candles, and putting up with endless retakes.

 

living microphone piano

Perforated Cultures: Neville Assad-Salha


I’ve recently started volunteering at the Barossa Regional Gallery in Tanunda, which this weekend officially opens a great new exhibition of outstanding ceramic art by Neville Assad-Salha. This is part of the 2012 SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival – South Australia’s community based visual arts festival.

Neville is currently a Professor of Fine Arts at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and has a home here in the Barossa Valley. About his work he notes:

My work over the past several years has looked closely at cross-cultural references. I have traveled extensively to many countries working with other artists. This has given me the ability to work across different cultural identities. My works look closely at space (not what space is but what it represents – a metaphor to space). Many of my works relate to the vessel form. This in turn, reflects the image of the human form being the vessel, along with some structural sculptural forms looking at architectural constructions being the tomb (a place of birth, a place of living, a place of death). Many of my pieces are constructed from steel, clay, bronze and sometimes stone. These in turn become a diagram of space.

Neville Assad-Salha

Neville Assad-Salha

After assisting with the setup, I decided to take a few photos (couple of hundred!) of the items on display and eventually had the thought of creating a small video presentation of my photography. The music was assembled in GarageBand, titles were designed in InDesign, and iMovie was used to edit the video.

Neville Assad-Salha

Tales of Quahnarren: The Silent Tower

The Silent Tower from the Tales of Quahnarren

This digital illustration is a brand new addition to my ongoing fantasy universe ‘Tales of Quahnarren‘. Located in the more populated eastern region of Quahnarren, The Silent Tower is the locally given name to the Tower of Xaanagh – a landmark structure sitting in the fertile Dehanthor Valley.

This illustration, completed in Photoshop CS5, was slowly completed over the last 6-7 months and became quite an extended and laborious project in many unexpected ways. Originally proposed as a more fluid and sketchy landscape image, the illustration quickly became heavily detailed after experimenting with standard brushes to form the foreground grass. As I was happy with this unanticipated level of micro detailing, it now set the direction for all the remaining areas and the creative process took itself off down a different path.

To visually document my techniques and approach to image creation, I’ve saved versions of my progress throughout the completion of this illustration. These files were combined into a short video, recording the evolution from the original idea through to the final finished illustration. Here you can watch the early basic forms of my initial layout gradually change into fully detailed areas of colour and interest: