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Hidden Pages

Dealership The Series

Dealership was a unique project for me... I initially came onto the project to create original music for the pilot episode back in something like 2006. It was a great experience and when the guys decided to create a web series out of the concept, I signed on to score the episodes.

Basically, once everything was under way, and the guys were starting to work on promoting the upcoming release, it became clear to me that they needed a designer in the mix, so I offered my services. At this point, I believed in the episodes and was obviously invested to some extent, so I wanted to do anything in my power to make the whole package 'work'.

It started as a simple website design, but eventually I was creating business cards, t-shirts and everything under the sun. The look and feel I developed even ended up influencing the title and credit sequences, which was really an honor. It was all fun, whereas few projects tend to be... and I feel like I got to contribute to something totally unique... so let's count this one as a win.

Below is one of my favorite episodes from the series, The Trip. The music turned out to be really great, but one of the most fun things I did throughout any of the soundtracks was an effect I did in this one. Not to give it all away, but the guys end up on an acid trip... so to accentuate the feeling of warped reality, I took the dialog and ran it through an analog delay, tweaking the delay time and feedback as it went. With an analog delay, when you change the delay time, the echoing audio speeds up or slows down as it decays, so it starts to sound really crazy and almost 'melty' or something. It started out only on a line here and there, but as the trip becomes more intense, I pulled the effect in more and more until it was on all the time at the end. Of course with the loudness of the chaos at the end, it's probably completely lost in there, but I like knowing it's in there.


Crossfit Gambit

Crossfit is a hot new workout regimen that has started to take off, but most gyms are still ignoring the idea of branding and identity, which is what made this project exciting... it's always fun to be the first. Crossfit Gambit is now one of the only Crossfit gyms in the country with a fully cohesive look and feel.

The name finds some influence from a comic book character, so (with the help of designer Michael Forbis, who provided the initial sketch pictured above) we decided to pay homage to that relationship with a logo that would have felt at home on the cover of a comic. It's a strong, yet not overly masculine logo, which does a good deal to sum up what Crossfit is about, and even more so what Crossfit Gambit is about.

Referencing comics again, the playing card idea surfaced as an alternative to traditional business cards. We had them sized and cut to match real playing cards. Our superhero of inspiration was known for tossing them as weapons, so they became a fun aspect of the brand, and a great way to inject uniqueness into simple print pieces.

A crucial element to the look of the gym would be the wardrobe, so there was great care taken in making sure t-shirts for the trainers and employees would look hip and fit well. It always helps when your client gets as much enjoyment as you do out of designing really cool stuff and helping brainstorm new ideas.

A Crossfit Gambit blog was also created to match the brand, and signage for the gym's new facilities is in the works currently.


Country Side Carpet

Country Side Carpet is a client of SteadyRain, and I worked as Creative Director on the project. I was pretty hands-on with this one, so I'm particularly proud of it. It's pretty simple, yes, but what I like to brag about is (design geek alert!) the fact that the shag carpet is a seamlessly repeating background. It also floats freely over the wood flooring, which is another slick, repeating background element.

I think it's also worth pointing out that the site is a good example of keepin' it simple and clean.


Cofactor Genomics

Sometimes, I get lucky to have awesome jobs land in my lap. This was one of them. Cofactor is a startup DNA sequencing lab, but since the beginning they have been heavily invested in doing things differently... which is what brought them to myself and my good friend Kevin Barry.

Kevin and I have been known to create some really stupid videos (click here if you need a reference point, but prepare to be disappointed), and these guys were into the general idea, so they asked the two of us to collaborate on a viral video intended to create interest in the genomics community. Sounds unlikely, right? Well, we worked with Cofactor to establish a silly theme that still allowed them to share some knowledge on what they do... but the key element was Kevin's character: an interviewer who was bored to tears by their every word. I mean, let's face it... science is boring to most of us, right? Hilarity ensued, obviously.

Anyway, I shot and edited this whole beast, and considering that 85% of the lines were improvised (based on a very loose script), it was quite the job. I'm absolutely happy with the end result, and despite the fact that I think we really glazed over the joke of shooting it in such poor quality, it remains one of the most fun video productions I've worked on. What can I say though? I'm anal about the details, so I remain bummed about our decision to shoot on DV, not HD. Rather than being funny, it's just sad. Now I'm just complaining.

Aside from being a great experience, Cofactor has since brought me back to do other media and design work for them. Yay!


The Butler's In Love

The Butler's In Love is a short film inspired by a painting (of the same name) by artist Mark Stock, directed by David Arquette. I got involved when I was hired by Converge Entertainment to create the artwork for the film, which was a thrill for me... and I still consider myself fortunate be a part of the project.

"The Butler's In Love" by Mark StockThey sent me the original painting and then some disparate photos taken on the set, of the wall, the actor, the table and the bottles on the table. They were looking to create a feel similar to the original painting using this imagery, so I worked to combine them into a similar montage, give it similar textures, and make it all blend into a seamless piece of art. It was also important that I add a bottle of absinthe to the table (which is not present in the original) since Le Tourment Vert Absinthe both played a part in the story and was one of the sponsors for the film. I also added a frame around the final image that gives it the feeling of a vintage film plate... that was my way of giving a subtle nod to the marriage of this work of art and the art of film.

Blah blah blah, right? We designers are such douchebags, aren't we? I wonder when my thick-rimmed Buddy Holly glasses are going to get here... how will anyone know I am a creative? Seriously though... how funny is it that I get crap for being one of the only designers I know with 20/20 vision and no need for hip glasses? Arrrgh, I digress.

David Arquette (and my poster) at Mann's Chinese Theater for the LA PremiereThis project was an absolute success, and I was thrilled to see the pictures from the premiere, with my poster in the background. That's the first time I had been a part of something like that... there was a shot of Courtney Cox standing in front of the poster too, but I couldn't hunt it down again. Boo to that. Google, you have failed me this time.

Regardless, it was a great project, and a decent challenge trying to make a bunch of photos look like a piece of artwork. It's definitely harder than I thought it would be. For anyone who is interested, you can grab the hi-res paint texture I used in this piece here. It's pretty subtle in the final version, but it gives that impression of brush strokes that helps give the feeling of a painting.

An interesting side note to this project is that I am currently working with David Arquette and Ben Harper's clothing company, Propr, to create apparel for another client of mine, laBar. I am loving their stuff, by the way.

What I find the most remarkable about all of this is how underrated I have come to realize David Arquette is, at least in my eyes. All I could think about before was Scream... but there's a lot more to this guy. Still, now that I'm thinking about it, I really want to watch Scream.