Oh man, I do not like making new reels. Does anyone?
First you have to find just the right music track. That always takes forever. I drove Robert -- my biz partner and master music editor -- crazy making :45 cut-downs of track after track.
At some point I was really close to using this mid-tempo cover of the classic John Denver song by Toots and the Maytals. It's a great tune, to be sure, but ... what was I thinking?
Luckily I stumbled across that killer instrumental track "Beats For The Listeners" by Erik B and Rakim from their sophomore classic Follow The Leader, and everything got a lot easier. After asking Robert for one more cut, that is.
My goal for this reel was to show only new work, and get rid of all those old projects that were awesome a few years ago and now seem dusty and dull. Luckily I've been pretty busy in the last two years since my last reel, so there was a lot of new material to choose from.
In the end I got very close to including only new work. Everything on the reel is from 2015 and 2016, except a few shots from the documentary Greedy Lying Bastards that I animated in 2012. Still, I'm considering this a success.
The opener and closer were super fun to make, and helped me push forward the collage/mixed media aesthetic I've been enjoying so much recently. Plus I got really into the idea of using as many different, clashing patterns as possible in one frame, while still looking coherent.
I built a simple little rig so I could control the X and Y Position and Scale, as well as the Copies property of a Repeater I had on the word REEL, all with one slider. Nothing too fancy. Depending on the size of the images I wanted to show on screen, I used different multipliers, positive and negative to move them in a range.
Collecting and assembling the vintage images and patterns was especially gratifying. Not sure why this midcentury American imagery inspires me so much, but I think it has something to do with the combination of optimism, glamor, and downright strangeness.
I still haven't worked out this collage bug I'm feeling, and want to play more with accidental processes. I might have to learn more about coding. Darn.
Finally ... gratitude. All this new work makes me realize how much amazing teaching and guidance I've been given recently. Thanks very much to Joey Korenman, Michael Jones, Jorge Estrada, Ariel Costa and Colin Hesterly for continuing to push me. Almost every piece on this reel was directly influenced by one or more of these super fellows.