Also, there’s a sale over at Humble Bundle this week. You can get a bundle of 2K video games, including The Darkness II. Attentive players may find my production of “H.P. Lovecraft’s The Other Gods” playing on a television screen inside the game.
The Darkness II game trailer:
Humble Bundle has weekly deals on video games, ebooks, and comics. This week’s bundle also includes the Bioshock games and others from 2K Games.
Here’s my latest reel of animation work, including clips from the documentary That Guy Dick Miller and the opening titles from TV show The Right Stuff. Also some character designs and magic burros from the feature 3.14… and much much more!
Mike stays as far from the camera as possible. Photo by Dave Barker
Earlier this spring, I took part in shooting the feature Hero of the Underworld. The story is deals with addiction and abuse, inspired by writer Tom Malloy’s experiences working in a hotel in New York. I acted as assistant director, and I’m also one of the producers.
It was a privilege to work with so many professional actors like Quinton Aaron, Catherine Mary Stewart, David Lawrence, Gabriel Jarret, and of course Tom Malloy. We’ve got some great performances, and director John Vincent, Tom, and the rest of the creative team are eager to finish the film and get it out to festivals.
Today I’m proud to announce that the Criterion Collection is picking up “The Ephemerol Diaries” for inclusion on their U.S. Scanners release. So, there you have it, my animation will be on a Criterion disc. Yowza!
Back when we were conceiving the piece, Elijah and I wanted to emulate the experience of a VHS industrial video. I took the Consec logo from the film and tried to imagine it as part of a 1980s era logo sequence. I added some bad tracking and warbly synth music, and it came out pretty well. At one point, we were going to start with a VCR blue screen that read PLAY in the upper corner, but we later decided that would be too much.
My animated opening:
In Scanners, Consec is the amoral drug company that the hero must eventually do battle with. We came up with the phrase “securing a better future today” as an example of corporate-speak that sounds vaguely ominous.
To create the animation, I first had to replicate the logo. So I started with some screen grabs.
I brought those pics into Illustrator and created a vector image to match. It took a combination of tracing, drawing, and an existing font (Exotic Bold, coincidentally a font I had used before for my Subterranea website).
I exported the vector art in grayscale, then applied color as an overlay in After Effects. That’s a method I’ve used out in several projects, especially when I’m unsure of what color I want until I start animating.
For the animation of the logo, I constructed a landscape of horizontal lines that recede into the distance. The final step was adding “bad tracking” artifacts, which came from an effects package I bought online.
Here’s some 1980s VHS logos I took inspiration from:
Next came the titles themselves, which I based on the original Scanners trailer. A red heart beep line, and the right font treatment were the challenge here. I went through dozens of “computer” fonts before finding one we liked. We chose to go with the red heart blip from the American trailer, but a green treatment for the font, more in keeping with some other Scanners artwork.
The Scanners trailer:
I won’t include all the title animation on this post, but here are some screen grabs from what I did.
I animated the blips using Flash, then made it glow in After Effects.
The titles were designed in Photoshop, then the glows and zooms were done in After Effects.
We were pretty happy with the resulting piece, which of course has a great interview with Scanners actor Stephen Lack. It’s a privilege to see that it has Criterion’s seal of approval as well.
Comfort Zone, a documentary about what the average person can do in response to climate change, is now available to purchase on DVD. The film was produced by three Rochester filmmakers, Dave Danesh, Sean P. Donnelly, and Kate Kressmann-Kehoe, and I contributed some animation of personified gases for the feature. (Some preliminary designs you can see below.)
The idea was to come up with a look for various gases you’d find in the atmosphere based on their dominant traits. The characters appear in the movie as “usual suspects,” sometimes in a police line-up. It was a fun challenge, and a documentary I’m proud to have contributed to.
Welcome to the central hub for filmmaker Mike Boas! Mike is an animator, screenwriter, editor, web designer, and sometimes a director. You can view MDM projects and sites by clicking the menu items at the top of this page.