@froehner we were so preoccupied with whether or not we could that we didn’t stop to think if we should…
Test for Don’t Feel Bad! #levelup #greatthingsarecoming (at Don’t Feel Bad)
Jan 23-26, 2014
5 years is way too long to go without seeing Anna and Sara!
From Left to Right:
Me, Anna Landa, Sara Potter, Daniel Dove playing Ping Pong, Sexual Chocolate, Kurt Brown, Quinoa Bowl, Bob Howell, Tofu Soup, Russell Shinpo showing off, Colin Goodridge and sushi, Josh Cho eating a pita sandwich while watching 2Girls1Cup, and a Chocolate Cake Fail.
I am starting a shojo manga called “Shuttlecock Blues.”
Come 2014, I will give any spare time I have to create this animated web comic.
And ohmygod, I will relish it.
Because it’s been *years* since I’ve drawn this type of shit, and revisiting it has conjured up a lot of nostalgia and sentiments I had for this particular genre.
Some elements will pay homage to old 80/90’s manga I’ve read growing up.
But most of it will be conglomeration of stupid shit I loved growing up, including a crossdressing main character, prestigious high schools with hot rich boys, a tortured male character with a mysterious past, magic powers, talking animal sidekicks, mechs and badminton.
It will be awesome.
This project is still in the preproduction stage… I’m mapping out the first chapter and still need to come up with character names, but here’s some concept art that I’ve drawn vigorously.
Unlike everything else in this blog, I will try to update this project every now and then. It’s been a while since I’ve been super excited about drawing again, and I hope this will carry it through!
Mapping out character relationships and their Myers Briggs, as well as developing new ones. Big, big things are happening!
Late last month, I had to quickly figure out if this show would be dialogue driven or have a sort of omnipresent narrator a la WellCast.
This was an early test with talented voice actress, Caitlin Cutt, to see if lip syncing her character with her voice would work.
Building the world of HR Cloud, from concept to final render.
This is the first pitch made to demonstrate what WellCast could look like. I had only 3 days to do this, so it’s very, very rough. Despite that, this video was important in several ways:
-It solidified an art direction that became a template for the episodes to follow.
-The scripts started to become more cohesive and personal.
-This green-lit the process for me to start finding animators.
The last point nearly didn’t happen until I told Will that WellCast needed to be have more traditional animation instead of being an ‘illustrated slideshow.’ The original idea was to have all the artwork done in an iPad, which could export an animation of the artwork being ‘drawn in.’
The next day Will came up to me and asked if I knew any animators. I showed him this:
Sarah is a gifted animator who often pulled all-nighters in the same lab as me back at school. She also talks a lot.
So in my second week at Mahalo, I invited Sarah over and we cranked out all the animations for this pitch. I couldn’t have done it without her… and her 85 degrees bakery goods.
Sarah and I have never actually talked or hanged out before this, so… if anything, Mahalo brings friends together!
…in a sick way.
After we showed this pitch, things were in motion to begin production on the first 8 episodes, ready to be released by mid-September.
Fun story behind this:
Caitlin and I have known each other for about a year and a half, but never actually met prior to Mahalo.
Our interactions were kept on the phone and email when I did some editorial art for her feature articles in The Union Weekly.
So when I started assembling a team for WellCast, I freaked out about finding a voice-over and didn’t know where to start. I posted my dilemma on FB hoping for some guidance, and the first person who responded was…
We still look back to that day and how weird it was. Caitlin later told me she was like “WHY NOT?” when replying to that post and didn’t think anything would happen. Hah. Hah. Hah.
After our first recording session, the CEO had doubts about her. I kept pushing back for Caitlin and it paid off.
Now, it’s hard to imagine WellCast without her in it.
Tomorrow will be the last recording day for WellCast, a show produced by a company that had my life by the balls for the better half of this past year.
For a show that’s consumed most of 2012, I find it odd to be writing about it now. So, let me just start at the beginning first.
August 6, 2012-
I got an email from Will, a classmate I knew from grad school, inviting me up to Culver City for a freelance illustration job.
I drove up, got lost, and was a half-hour late to the interview. I managed to get the right directions from the cashier at Panda Express (which I later learned is in the same plaza as Smash Burger).
When I finally got there, Will came down and gave me a tour of the place. We walked around the set where MMA Surge was being filmed. I was told that they finished their first episode just last week.
We went up the stairs to the loft area where the rest of the production team worked. There, I met the video, writing and design team- a cool bunch of peeps.
Will and I sat in the conference room and talked about the company, Mahalo, and its upcoming shows, especially one in particular called WellCast.
He talked about the potential of WellCast and how it would be different from the rest, mainly that it would rely heavily on illustrations.
After showing him my demo reel and having lunch with the design team at Rush St, Will and I went outside and sat at the front picnic table.
Will: “So I brought you here today because I wanted you to be a freelance illustrator for WellCast.”
Will: “But after seeing your reel and how you know AfterEffects, I want to offer you a full time job…”
Will: “…to direct WellCast!”
We talked a bit more in detail and I thought about it. OH YEAH, he did sort of mention a tiny fact about a crazy CEO, but that’s not important at this time, not important at all. At the end of the conversation, I smiled and extended my hand.
Me: “I’m in.”