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BATES MOTEL | Promo Pitch Boards

So here’s a riddle:  When are you HAPPY that your favorite binge-able show finally is finally axed?  WHEN IT MEANS YOU CAN FINALLY POST your storyboards for the promos!!!  I’ve been dying to show these off for a while now.  Of course, these were just pitches for promos, and as far as I can tell, none of the concepts I drew were produced, which totally slays me.

I thought these were some really killer concepts, but maybe the client thought we butchered the execution.  Ok, enough pun-ishment.  Wouldn’t want you to get “board.”  Lol!

First board set: Bates’ “Room”; The room seems to close in and crack under in intense psychological pressure:

And second board set: Bates’ “Stairs”; We follow our hero up a set of stairs and meet our horrific fate:

That’s some creepy stuff!  I hope you enjoyed watching these.  BTW, I did all these boards and MORE in a single 8-hour day.  What can I say?  I really do BLEED for this job!  Bwhahahahah!!  See you next time….

2:00 Action Animation B&W Females Males Pitch Boards Shoot Boards Software Storyboarding Vehicles VFX Video Games War

Xbox “Scorpio” Debut Trailer

Earlier this year I had a blast working with the good people at BLIND on their amazing project:  The Xbox “Scorpio” debut trailer.  This officially introduced the world to the Xbox One X, and it’s always an honor to be included on such high-profile assignments.  I’ve generously been given permission to show some of the storyboards I created for them- I think this is some of my best work!

Here’s a slideshow:

And here’s a link to the final video!

Thanks for checking in!

:60 Action Animation B&W Drink Food Humor Seasonal Shoot Boards Storyboarding VFX

Aldi “Christmas Carrot” Storyboards

In Los Angeles, Christmas starts in September.  If you work in commercial production, that is!  Indeed it takes a couple of months for projects to get greenlit and produced in time for airing during the holiday season.  So it was that last year I was working on a fun Christmas project for my clients at PSYOP- storyboarding the delightful tale of Kevin the Christmas Carrot- a character conceived for an Aldi holiday commercial.  Aldi, if you don’t know, is a popular European supermarket chain.

The commercial is really sweet and funny- a plucky little carrot just wants to meet Santa, and must brave the dangers of the Christmas dinner table in order to do so.  He dodges hazards of all kinds, and collapses next to Santa’s mince pie and brandy (it’s a UK commercial, so no cookies and milk in this one… in fact, it’s not Santa, it’s Father Christmas!).

It’s all self-explanatory and I’m really excited to show you the boards:

And here’s a link to the final video!


It turned out so great!  Looks like they opted NOT to go with the full widescreen aspect ratio.  I think it might have looked more epic if they did, but I can also see where the 16×9 is a little more suited for a sense of comedy, which was just as important.

There was a lot of brainstorming and tossing out all kinds of ideas that might work as potential hazards for the ‘journey’ montage.  Here’s a few that I thought were really clever (and well-drawn by me!)

What if he had to hop from a soup bowl past a few mugs of hot cider?

I had an idea that when the potato was about to fall on him, he could lay a breadstick across a gap to make a bridge.

It could be a cool action moment as he dashed across! Below, spiky hors d’oeuvres spell certain doom

He could even swing from the chandelier overhead!

It could be funny if he had to hide from a kitty!

Last one- What if we had a fun moment where he was intrigued by his reflection in the glaze of a fruitcake?

What a fun project!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  This campaign tested so well, the client decided to make a sequel!  I storyboarded that one too, so I’ll post that when I have more time.

 

Till then!

 

-Max

:30 Action Animation B&W Cars iOS/Mobile Nature Pitch Boards Shoot Boards Storyboarding Toys Uncategorized Vehicles VFX Video Games War

“Asphalt Xtreme” Storyboards

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Woohoo!  Here’s another fun project from earlier this year that I’m very proud to show- fun video game racing action! The “Asphalt” Series is well known in gaming circles as a premium racing product and I was very excited to be involved with my clients at PSYOP for their pitch and production of this great spot.

Conceptually, it’s very simple:  Showcase the main themes of the game series: Racing, Mayhem, and Variety.  Variety of cars, and variety environments.  Hate to say it, but this was kind of an easy one for me… A commercial like this has no room for subtlety, so it’s just a matter of attempting to give equal weight to the important elements (variety of cars and environments) and balance that with a ramping of the action to an ultimate climax, all within 30 seconds!!  EXTREME!!!

 

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It’s crunch time!

 

This project had two parts- the pitch and the production.  For the pitch (in which we try to “win” the job), we kind of had a looser goal- wow the client with, well, creative compositions to showcase the action and variety.  Promise them the moon and see if we can deliver. There were all kinds of different ideas being tossed about- mostly the idea was to bring a realistic visualization of the gameplay to the screen.  Also on the job were some very talented 3d and concept artists, and we all pitched in to contributed pieces of the final puzzle.  The pitch was won on the merits of this collaboration- some of which I’ll share with you below (they didn’t make the final cut, but helped advance the job along, and look cool, besides!).

 

a

I liked the idea of a rally car using a hidden rope bridge to find a shortcut to get ahead of the main pack! Many video games have hidden passageways, and this was in that spirit.

 

b

As above, so below; an early concept of the dune buggy jump- it was an earlier understanding that these cars would “find” the best route forward based on their natural abilities.

 

c

I really liked the sense of speed in this early frame- many of which were drawn based on other artist’s tight compositions.

 

d

Among the natural environments, we assumed there would be a mandate to have more urban or industrial environments as well, but not so much in the final edit. Nevertheless, we had prepared works in the case of that possibility. Here, the racers surge towards an active loading dock area.

 

e

Again, we see the variety of cars and car abilities in their approach to surmounting the dynamic racing obstacles before them.

 

f

Seeking to really emphasize the sense of racing through rally courses worldwide, we seized upon opportunities to utilize highly recognizable landmarks and locations.

 

g

Concept for a “desert” title composition.

 

h

Another alternate concept for a “Jungle” title composition.

 

It was a great team effort, and we won the job.  Now comes the hard part- execution.  They had me back to refine some concepts and nail transitions into something that hit all the marks.  You ready for the boards?  Here you go!

 

And here’s the final spot!

What a wild ride!  Soo….. Sometimes I have a massive amount of input on a job, and I feel like I get to pick all the shots, and control the pacing, and the visual storytelling (remember, for many jobs, and certainly in this case, I’m not even given a script or shotlist).  BUT in this case, much of the concepting was done by talented 2d and 3d artists working concurrently- and so about the only idea I want to point out that I specifically contributed was the opening transition where the camera appears to be POV from the view of the bumper, but pulls out to be the POV looking into the reflection of the bumper.  As far as I know, I “invented” that, at least in this kind of car/racing/bumper context.  The thing about that kind of camera move is, it’s something you can only pull off in CG, so you’d never see that in classic cinema- since you’d have to magically “erase” the reflection of the cameraman.  So, there you go, I did something cool.  But even so, just as much if not more credit goes to the director and the CG artists for actually pulling it off and making it look amazing- you never know with uncharted territory, but that’s life… TO THE XTREME!!!!

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

-Max

 

:30 B&W Family Food Kids Pitch Boards Products Samples Shoot Boards Storyboarding VFX

Nutella “Spread the Happiness” Storyboards

 

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OMG pancakes!!!

Woohoo! In addition to the previous Nutella spot, I happened to do the boards for the most recent follow up- “Spread the Happiness!”  Once again produced by my great clients at Brand New School.

They are playing this spot a LOT on TV right now- which is great, since it rocks!  It’s fun, it’s pop, it’s delicious.

The challenges involved in this spot were finding a fresh take on simple transitions and how best to style them in an appetizing way and choreograph them best to the music.  I drew a LOT of frames for it, as we would build many animatics to see what worked best- there was a lot of experimentation with different kinds of wipes and reveals.  But that’s the best way to get things perfect!

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I always enjoy drawing families having fun.  It turns out though, one thing that is hard to draw is people sitting around a table.  It sounds simple but it’s really tricky because you have to draw in near perfect perspective just to get the height and distance relationships right between the chair and the table, and then again for the people who actually sit in them.  If you draw it wrong, all your chairs will look like they are different sizes, or even like your actors are sitting on phonebooks or booster seats.  It’s tough!  One of those things that you only notice if you do it wrong, and since I think mine turned out pretty decent, I have to make a point about it 🙂  I left the extra “empty” space at the top of the frame because at one point we weren’t sure if there would be text, logo, or slogan superimposed there.

Here’s a great drawing of a product shot- always important to draw the product really well!!!

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Here’s the full board sequence:

 

And for comparison, here’s the final commercial!  Turned out pretty cool!

 

It’s a fun song, but when you work with the editors and animators that have to cut the commercial together, you have to listen to the song over and over and over and over again until it loses all meaning.  Yup, there’s a limit to how much happiness one can take!  Ha!

Thanks!  See you next time.

-Max

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Pine Sol Storyboards – “Powerful Clean, Lemony Fresh”

 

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Here’s a fun spot I worked on earlier this year for my great clients at Mirada.  It’s a charming commercial for lemon-scent Pine Sol, and to provide a brief backstory: the agency had “tested” a wacky concept of small soldiers and ballerinas chanting “powerful clean” and “lemony fresh” as they jumped into a Pine Sol bottle.  And it tested well.  Like, CRAZY well.  So we were asked to put together a pitch on how we might take that concept and flush it out into a fun character animation spot.

The concept is super simple so all the nuance and storytelling is in the directing and camera angles, and really making sure the characters are on target and doing their thing, and so the success here would come down to the execution of the concept.  Aside from the storyboards, there were character designers and concept artists working as well, but we were working concurrently so I didn’t have any direct reference for what anything should look like, so I had to charge forward as best I could.

We actually did have an “angle” if you will- the director was very interested in attempting to channel some of the very popular Taylor Swift video for “Bad Blood,” as in, to make sure we charged the lemony fresh ballerinas with a kind of kick-ass spin.  Something different!  I thought it was a great twist, and you can see in the frames, especially in this one:

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Hardcore Freshness Ballerinas and Scrub Soldiers (complete with assault mops), in Pine Sol style, and miniaturized, in a typical household kitchen.  I could picture that pretty easy.  Here’s the boards:

 

The client apparently loved the boards, because they were not only awarded the job, but they ended up not needing me to revise any of the frames- which is a pretty awesome deal!  Here’s the finished spot:

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Not bad!  Looks like they did away with the “Bad Blood” references- we are back to cutesy ballerinas, but I think that might be a good move, given the overall timing.  Spot looks great.  And I’m glad they kept in the “lemon” parachutes- that was my idea!

See you next time.

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