Thursday, December 6, 2012

From Painted to Digital (Before and After)

Just a quick post, about what I'm doing to build my portfolio. This piece is best viewed by right clicking it, and opening it in a new tab, so that you can magnify.

These days, I don't paint a complete picture, now that I consider myself a more digital type artist. I paint just what I think I'll need as a foundation for my Photoshop work. As you can see, the difference is vast. This is from no particular comic. I just felt like doing something metaphorical for my current state of mind as an artist and a human being. Interpret as you like.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Designing Bradbury's From The Dust Returned

By way of Live Forever producer Michael O'Kelly's friendship with Ray Bradbury, I had an opportunity to pitch my idea to him, on how I would interpret his book, From The Dust Returned, into a low budget movie. Of course, I was thrilled to be able to do this and wanted to also possibly pitch this to the stars who are in Live Forever, including Edward James Olmos, Malcolm McDowell, and Joe Mantegna. Sadly, while I was working on this, Ray's health took a turn for the worse and not long after, MGM acquired the film rights to the book.

What fallows are an introduction video I made, to show how I would have liked to incorporate puppets, animation, and actors together, using green screen, as well as dummy posters for the movie pitch, and a select few designs I did, all with the hopes of showing them to one of the most brilliant writers in the last one hundred years.

I also owe a huge shout out to the band Death By Dolls and Dame Darcy at for letting me use her brilliant music for this demo video. It has been a long time dream of mine to have her score one of my films, and I think her music would have been perfect for this movie. Go to her website and buy one of her albums. You won't be disappointed.

Here are the dummy posters:
Beyond the would be posters, were these designs for Timothy's Egyptian mummy cat, his mother, and a random family member that might be a gorgon.   

This sketch would have been the beginnings of my Timothy design as well as another family member, but I never got around to putting it into Photoshop. Still, I like the design. See the rest of my PORTFOLIO BY CLICKING HERE.

I did send these designs on to the producers working on the film right now, but never heard back from them. That's not unusual. My understanding is that the film is already in production. I look forward to seeing it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

1st Mr. Electrico Storyboards

Just a quick post showing my early storyboards from when Live Forever: The Ray Bradbury Odyssey was a stage play, meant to incorporate video (which you can read about by clicking HERE) with actors in the theater. This was for the legendary Mr. Electrico scene. Of course, this was before I knew that there was no money in the budget for "lovely assistants" or even an electric chair. I had to throw together one of those using a dinning chair, cardboard, and an aluminum lamp for the cap.

Dave Grave played Mr. Electrico back then, rather than Malcolm McDowell, but in my opinion he did a damn good job. We shot it in his back yard with a green screen with the help of Jeremy Hanes and producer Summer Potter and creator of the project, Michael O'Kelly. You can see these storyboards put into action in a pitch-viz video on THIS POST. It's the first video. Forgive the quality. I did it a long time ago.

Monday, October 22, 2012

First Still from LIVE FOREVER (and my Comic Con documentary)

Just released is this still from my work on Live Forever: A Ray Bradbury Odyssey, with Malcolm McDowell as Ray Bradbury's childhood idol, Mr. Electico.

This is a moment where the two characters are flying through space (I won't give everything away) and go in front of the sun. I'm only one visual effects artist and I had about four weeks to do what should have had four months, but that's Hollywood, and I think it turned out well for the deathly deadline I had. The two actors were shot on HDV tape in front of a green screen, the bucket they're sitting in is a model, the books were also shot DV on green screen, and I had to do the rest. Can't wait to see how it looks on the big screen.

Below are some stills from my upcoming mini-documentary
(it's going directly to You Tube, where you can watch it for free)
Here's David Mack, in his interview for the movie. 
Since this was all shot with two very cheep little consumer style video cameras, with no additional sound equipment, I knew I had to do something to really liven up the footage I shot. I decided to go black and white, with dashes of color, and do what I could to make the footage look like it was shot on something like 8 milometer film.

Here is Camilla d'Errico at her Comic-Con booth.
For more stills from the movie, go to my Facebook page.

Birds of  Play at their modeling shoot.

The spectacular Billy Martinez of Neko Press Comics, and one hell of a live painter. Check out how the light catches his necklace.
Realistic? No, but I didn't want this to be another boring old You Tube video from Comic-Con. I wanted this stuff to look hot.

Batton Lash at his booth for Exhibit A Press. Another case in point. The light above him looked pretty average, so I decided to rev it up a little, as if JJ Abrams was directing.

Here's Constance Hall from Monsterman, as I work on her interview footage. I interviewed her for another project, which is not a part of this documentary, but I just loved this shot. 

The movie should be out soon. Stay tuned.

On one last note, I have two Girl In The Window T-shirts available for order. Just click the image and get yours today.

Girl In The Window: Ray  by Christopher Moonlight

Girl In The Window: Angela by Christopher Moonlight

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Updates for October 3rd 2012

There's a lot to keep my busy, ever since I moved production over to Austin, TX. There has been little time to work on my baby, my all green screen short film Girl In The Window, but I did manage to get this little look development test done.

I'm really excited to find some time to get this movie done. I think it's going to be really great, if I do say so myself.

With Live Forever: The Ray Bradbury Odyssey almost done (but not almost finished, it's a long story) I just may have some time.

Live Forever is going well. If you're interested in seeing an advanced screening of this sure to be classic documentary about the legendary writer, you can order them by CLICKING HERE.

It stars Ray Bradbury; Joe Mantegna; Hugh Hefner; Edward James Olmos; and Malcolm McDowell as Mr. Electrico.

If you happen to be at the Austin Wizard World check the schedule for us there. We're currently talking to them about doing a panel and and showing some sneak peaks.

If you can't make either, then at least we can show you the new trailer for the movie.

 ...and for an extra bit of fun, here's an interview with Malcolm McDowell from the opening of the original Live Forever stage play.

More press on the movie and Ray Bradbury can be found at Variety, News Blaze, The Ventura County Star, and The L.A. Times.
I wish I could show more at the moment and talk about another potential project that I'm very excited about, but I'm all bound up in non disclosures. Thanks for reading. I hope to post more soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CM Productions: Busy As Ever

Things are moving along, faster than we can keep track of, so look for a lot more from us, coming soon. As you can see from the picture below, things are progressing nicely with Live Forever: A Ray Bradbury Odyssey. Also check out Variety's mention of me, in THIS ARTICLE announcing the movies winter release.There's also News Blaze.

In these photos: Live Forever producer and writer Michael O'Kelly with Edward James Olmos, Devin O'Kelly (Michal's son), with actor Jeremy Hanes, and Malcolm McDowell. Joe Mantegna at the green screen studio. Michael O'Kelly with Jeremy Hanes.
Also in Production, Girl In The Window. I'm directing this one myself, and it stars (in order of photos) the bad ass Jeremy Hanes, the multifaceted Michael A. Thomson, and the ridiculously good looking Christopher Moonlight. Who writes this stuff? Oh yeah! Me.

Girl In The Window has almost wrapped production, and will be going  into post in July. It will be an all green screen, R rated, sci-fi, short film, integrating models, puppets, and computer effects.
Note: All photos have been enhanced by me.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RIP: Ray Bradbury 1920 - Forever

Today, the summer morning felt like October, Venus crossed the
sun, and a poet of a story teller has died.

Ray Bradbury.

He was the first author that I ever read that made me realize that books could be more than
just entertaining stories. When I picked up my dad's paperback copy of The
Martian Chronicles, as a kid, I realized that a books could speak to you
about your own inner thoughts and feelings. They could show you that it
meant something to have integrity, aspire to ideals, that you weren't alone
in your fears, and that we could live in a world of higher value than what
reality television, corrupt politicians, willfully ignorant people, tabloids, and cell
phone dependency had to offer.

 On one of the many times I met him, he said, "I charge you with making sure
that we go out into the stars, and continue on." He cared about what
happened to us, as a people, and knew that it was all in our own hands.

 For the past three years, I have been privileged and honored to work as
production designer and effects supervisor on the documentary about his
life. A movie, that he told his close friend and producer of the film,
Michael O'Kelly, will be, "The fireworks at the end of my life."

Even though he did see much of my work for the film, I am very sorry that he
did not live to see the finished product. I really wanted him to. I wanted
to know, that after he charged us with such great responsibility, that he
would see it, and be proud, not only of us, but of himself for showing us
all, that through our works and our deeds, and our desire to make the human
race a better one, that we can all Live Forever.

CLICK HERE for more about our work with Ray.

 "Would you not admit, child, that forty billion deaths are a great wisdom, and those forty billion who shelve under the earth are a great gift to the living so that they might live?"

-Ray Bradbury

From The Dust Returned 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Live Forever: A Ray Bradbury Odyssey (Extended Trailer)

This is (as the title says) an extended trailer for the documentary Live Forever: A Ray Bradbury Odyssey about the life of the writer, himself. Originally it was to be a short film, boiling down his life into fifteen minute for the You Tube Your Film Festival. Due to what was felt to be very one sided contest rules, dealing with ownership, it was decided not to enter to contest, so the movie was re-edited into what you see here.

 (Sorry, we had to take it down, due to re-editing. It'll be back soon.) 

Unfortunately, the continuity of the effects I created were meant for a short film, so they aren't entirely what I would have done for an extended trailer. However, now there is this sizzle reel, which shows (somewhat) what I had originally intended for the individual scenes, and their continuity.

(Sorry, we had to take it down, due to re-editing. It'll be back soon.) 

 This project was done on a micro budget, and wouldn't have been possible without the help of some super talented artists and producers, who's photos are below. I'll try to explain these photos, the best I can.
Here is producer Summer Potter, sitting on stage with Mr. Electrico (Dave Grave) projected behind her. Summer was a major contributor to the production, and did many thing to keep it from stalling.
Here's me (Christopher Moonlight) with Live Forever creator, writer, producer, and good friend of Ray Bradbury, Michael O'Kelly. What are we doing? Trying to figure out why his Mac isn't working how it's supposed to. Seriously, that took up half the production time.
 ...and this dapper fellow (he's single, ladies) is the AMAZING Rich Goddard, who acted as FX supervisor for the video portion of the original stage play, and consultant to me, for the extended trailer. He's a little camera shy, so this is the only photo I have of him.
Here is Mr. Electrico himself, Mr. Dave Grave. Not only is he front man for the death rock band Frankenstein, the builder of that epic Ferris wheel you see in all the videos, the actor who plays Mr. Electrico, but he's also a fantastic grip. Oh, and we shot all the green screen at his home.
These sketches are an example of Dave's mad genius. I give him the simple task of building a spooky old Ferris wheel, and suddenly I'm getting page after page of notes and design ideas. If you want a model builder who can take an idea and run, and run, and run with it. Get Dave Grave.
  Jeremy Hanes (who is first and foremost and actor) was also instrumental in the production of this project, working as director of photography, sound recording engineer, and stand in actor. Like Rich and Dave, I couldn't have made this project happen without him.
Here's some more on set silliness for you, (makes a great desktop) of us sitting behind the fish tank that was used for all of our puppeteer work, as well as the dining room chair that was converted, using cardboard, into Mr. Electrico's electric chair. I know, it's way budget, but did you notice, when watching the video? I don't think you can honestly say you did.

For all the extended behind the scenes work, click here and scroll down. Being resourceful on a budget is my specialty, and the specialty of all of my crew. There's plenty of videos, photos, and links that will show you just how brilliant they are. You can also read news stories on the project HERE and HERE. Enjoy.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cartooning for Passport To Explore (The TV Show)

A while back I had the honor of doing some cartoon designs, to be turned into cartoon segments, for the TV teen travel show, Passport To Explore... or PTX for short. I also designed the basic outline for their logo, which their animator added an earth behind, and the lettering.
Because the budget was extremely low per episode, I couldn't financially justify spending a lot of time on background paintings or cartoon people, who were only going to appear on screen for about 30 seconds, in between segments. I had to play it down and dirty, creating characters with interchangeable limbs so that the After Effects animator could make them do what the script called for, in a short amount of time.

Backgrounds, believe it or not, are easier for me to paint, rather than draw and put into photo shop for coloring. Again, they had to be painted fast and lose. In many cases, the concept drawing was what I painted over, to save time, using water colors, ink, pastels, and acrylic. When it cam to references Google Images was my friend.
Check out below, where I had to tell the story of Kentucky Fried Chicken, pioneered by Colonel Harland Sanders.
...and here are a few more of my favorite images from the show.
Special thanks go out to my wonderful intern at the time, Rebecca Kim. I couldn't have done it without her, scanning all of this stuff, and helping out with the Photoshop coloring.