Monday, June 30, 2008

Lane Publications Open for Business Part 2

Still no time talk, but publications keep getting made which is huge in the grand scheme of things. Notice I'm using alot of old school fonts and looks on the mags...? I loved the old noir style way too much.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lane Publications Open for Business

No time to talk, (if you can believe that one,) but dropping by some more magazine art and the sunuvabitch newspaper prop. This is not even done and I'm looking at 15 hours thus far. I got three more facing pages to do of it. AAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Look at Doug and Manish.... Bet they had no idea they'd make the cover of the newspaper. HA HA!

Look at my wife. Bet she didn't think she'd make the cover of a mag. Angel is a Centerfold, la, la, la,la, la....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

After Two Years on the Bench...

I know it seems like a winded email, but it is a good story if you got 3 minutes

Everybody knows my deal at work and how I've always complained that my boss and higher powers have left me sitting on the sidelines for almost two years of employment there. It has been very frustrating to see a gazillion ideas for marketing gimmicks and campaigns get completely ignored for so long. It had/has made my employment with Legacy Furniture quite stale. Well, about 3 months ago, Todd hired a MARKETING MANAGER. An older semi retired marketing guru named Tom Freeman who is a brilliant guy and is a dictionary of knowledge when it comes to how to sell a product. Todd basically made Tom the man I answer to unlike before where everything had to go by Todd which of course was always a dead end for me. Well, it just so happens that Tom also had a past in TV so him and I despite the 25 year age difference hit it off.

As the big trade show, (market for commercial furniture,) NEO CON approached, Todd had designed a new frame that was interchangeable meaning you could change the arms and leg's finishes of wood, or metal or whatever and with a lifetime warranty added, this was basically going to be the coolest thing in commercial furniture since the invention of the "corporation". It was basically a chair that could chameleon to any room's color, theme whatever without ever having to be removed from the facility. They called it (against my wishes,) The Transformer Collection. Tom started talking to Steve, (the other Marketing guy,) about making a quick flash or power point presentation doing like a dissolve between the different styles the chair could change into to project on the wall of our booth at NEO CON. Steve being the loyal coworker who was probably the only one in the office that knew Todd was making a mistake with me like the Atlanta Falcons did with Brett Favre, (Not to that caliber though,) passed the project to me "claiming he was just too slammed to do something SO expendable." Tom came to me and told me what he wanted to do. I said that the dissolves and fades were "Sissy TV" and said with this product, the name, the options, we needed something much bigger. I kind of storyboarded it out and Tom was reluctant, but again, thanks to Steve briefing him on my past history sometime during his 3 months here, he took a chance with me. I told him it would take 2 days and if it took more, I'd work from home. Todd hit the roof about it, but Tom stuck to his guns and made Todd put me in the game. Todd bit his tongue and steered clear of my office for two days because I don't think he could take seeing me doing this animation on his dime for 16 hours.

Well, the animation got finished. I rushed it of course like I have to do all my work and there were some things I really wanted to do and couldn't but that's the story of my life. And in perfect Todd fashion, he waited 3 days after I had finished to finally give me a minute of his time. That meant if he had changes, AND TRUST ME, Todd always had changes it would leave me 24 hours to have it finished for them to go to Chicago.

Note: Nothing from the marketing department went out without at least five passes. Heck, the product we were doing a piece on sometimes would be discontinued by the time Todd signed off on the brochure for it.

Anyway, so Tom puts me in the fire and invites the whole office in to give their input on this 1 minute animation. I always lived under the theory that it is much easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. (Dad, I'm sure you know this,) so I had put up my entire 2 years of the proverbial employment benchings on a presentation that was not even close to anything Legacy Furniture had done before. Unlike the past, nobody had seen a frame of this. I had not run any of my ideas by Todd or Tom. I had just said, "it needed to be bigger." My presentation was in your face with surround sound, lighting effects, and modern day grunge animation that was pushing the envelope something fierce. I cranked the speakers in the conference room and cut the lights to hear Todd say, "Is all this really necessary?" I ignored him and started the video. I was in the back and saw only the backs of my boss and coworkers' heads. A minute later the presentation faded off and it was silent. I was doomed I thought. I walked to the front to turn the lights on to see Todd with this crap eating grin on his face. He snapped out of it and without taking his eyes off the screen said, "Run it again." I ran it again but this time I stayed in the back. When it went off everybody just turned around to me. By the looks on their faces I knew I had scored. After a beat I said with confidence, "And that my friends is what I DO."

Todd had one wording change that took seconds to fix and not to me of course, was caught stating, "Garrick may just be on the verge of greatness in this company." Todd and Tom immediately ordered 4 more animations like this for other lines AND EVEN bought me the After Effects software so that I wouldn't have to bring my computer to work to do them. What's amazing to me is, as carelessly as I had thrown it together with no plan, no prep and no time, I couldn't help but think how good it could have been with a week to work on it. Makes me wonder how good my work, whether it be weddings, animations, films would be if I was allotted the time to do it right.

Anyway, at the Chicago show one of the reps came up to Tom and said that the presentation was amazing and inquired that we must have spent in upwards of ten grand for that 1 minute spot. Tom turned to her and said, "No Garrick did it…. And we didn't pay enough."

I'm not trying to be arrogant or cocky with this. I just had to share a little piece of happiness as you will all know the struggle I've had trying to do this thing that I do. From the Charter Debacle to having to give up side jobs because of the 40 hour, it's been a frustrating ride but little moments like that one breathe hope to a future that I've spent the last 5 months doubting.

Here's the video. (Looks much better in HD format but this will give you the jest anyway.) ***Turn your speakers up. It's not cool without the sound.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Good, but the Worst of the Four

WARNING: Indiana Jones 4 Spoilers in this post. If you plan on seeing it, and haven't, don't read!!!!!

When I'm wrong, I'll say I'm wrong. I may just have been real wrong here. The last time this sort of thing happened it was like 1999, I believe. I went to the theater and watched 'The English Patient.' I walked out of there hating-- scratch that-- loathing that movie. I don't know whether it caught me on a bad day, or I was expecting more than I got, I don't know. The two weeks following, I began to think about the movie. (This one had already won Best Picture and gotten the rave reviews by the time I took my turn so I had high hopes and when it didn't deliver, I couldn't help but think what went wrong.) Well the more I thought about the story, the film, the characters, the more I realized maybe the film was OK and I had just experienced it during two bad hours of one bad day. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Finally, I snuck out of work and went back to the cheap matinee to watch again. I loved every minute of it the second time around. In fact it still rests on my Top 20 of all time and I own the Deluxe Edition DVD that gets watched at least once a year. (I also watched it 5 times in the theatre total. Sorry, I was a film geek and with a Student ID we went to films for $3.00 and $5.00 anytime in LA.)

There has only been three times in my life that this little belch in perspective of a film has occurred. Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and now…. YES, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

To refresh you, Raiders rests at the 1 movie of all time in my book and was the film that started all this ridiculousness for me. So best believe, twenty years in waiting from 'Crusade' to this one…. My hopes were high. I watched the film with my buddy Doug, and I could tell half way through he was miserable. I on the other hand, felt that there were massively cheesy excerpts, but I kept an open mind and didn't let the cheesy one liners and transparent plot twists deter me from enjoying the film. But as the film creeped into its final act some shananigans happened that made it hard for me to keep a positive perspective. First, Shia swinging from the vines with his monkey cousins following him, coincidentally helping wreck the bad guys? C'mon man. And then, freaking Lucas you asshole…. You just had to do it didn't you? Isn't there enough starships and freaking space pods in your other franchise? You had to go ahead do it here and Speilberg, don't think you are in the clear here with your 'Close Encounters Ship' replica showing up to offer a "corridor" at the end of a INDIANA JONES MOVIE!!!!!

OK, so with that crap said, I left the theatre hurt, broken, and betrayed from what I had seen. I was so hurt in fact that I vowed to never speak of Indy 4 again. Well, two weeks has gone by and I haven't been able to take my mind off that film. The more I think about the film the more I feel I gave it a spiteful impulsive review, because honestly, cheesy one liners and stale references of Indy adventures past, I had a good time and that honestly is what Indiana was all about. I had originally predicted that this film would be good, but the worst of the four and that to me was a dead on take of Indy 4. If I completely block out Jones Junior swinging from the vines with the monkeys and the Close Encounters mother ship barreling out of the Amazon Jungle out of my head, I can actually retort my original review and say, "It was Indiana and that's all that matters." It will not get a spot in my Top 20 nor will say it's gonna' be a movie I'll make time to see again in the theater. I will own the Deluxe Edition DVD and I may just go buy the Barnes & Noble Graphic Novel, (I own the previous three films comics as well.) I will just stop reading after the big Jungle Chase and I'll make sure for the DVD that my player's remote is fixed by then so I can hit stop about the time Shia is sprung up in the tree after fighting off Cate Blanchett's Russian Antagonist character on the back of a Jeep.

A Note to George: Dude, a spaceship does not belong in an Indiana Jones movie. Get off your high horse. That stunt nearly crushed a young kids' dream and aura of the Fedora and whip…… NOTICE I SAY, 'NEARLY.'

The Best Film of All Time

16th of All Time (Mostly because it's Indy)

In the low 30s... Until now was the worst of the three.

Fun. Good. But like I said, the worst of the 4 and not planted on SSG's list.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I Finally Own a Keypad Time Teller

Henry to me was a guy who has been cut off from the world for a very long time and has been so deep into his job that he kind of just woke up one day twenty years later and he’s still completely oblivious that twenty years has past. I mean like the last date this guy went on was Dirty Dancing… In the theater. I remember back in my Dirty Dancing days of hanging in my friend Russ Russell’s basement, scaring the shit out of myself watching Jason movies. Back then there was a very cool watch going around that had a calculator on it. I had always wanted one. They were the coolest thing ever back in the day BUT were expensive and I had always been real tough on watches, necklaces and stuff like that so my parents had always shunned the idea of me “macking” a calculator watch. No where in the story does it incenuate that Henry sports or even WOULD sport a Casio Key Pad Time Teller. This was completely my addition. I just felt it was one way to show just how out of touch with current he is and obviously show his lack of care for whatever that means. It also pays tribute to the Dirty Dancing/Horror Movie days where I longed to multiply percents on my Casio.

What’s amazing to me is that, I went to Wal Mart to buy one of those banded computers and they were still twenty bucks!!! I bought it of course without hesitation and actually wore it all that day. When I walked in the house at the end of the day, I don’t even think I got out, “Hey honey,” before my wife had me remove it from my wrist. Guess like Henry, I hadn’t realized things had changed that much.

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