A while back, I got called in to my good clients at DirecTV (now AT&T) to work on a spot for their Adworks campaign- a commercial about commercials! How funny! But really, it makes sense to make sure your advertising dollars aren’t going to waste, right? That’s why you hire ‘Ol Maxy, right? and then you use Adworks to make sure the Ads go in front of your target audience! Otherwise, well… see below!
Our Hero “Ad Man” runs from setting to setting, doing his best to sell product to the most unmatched of buyers- with very predictable results. But the laughs are an easy sell! Lol!
Here’s the boards! I hope you enjoy them, this is some of my finest work!
Here’s the final spot!!
Yup, no matter how hard you try, Gladys at the nursing home isn’t going to buy your reduced price Lamborghini. You just have to face facts!
This project was a little more extensive than most and we had time to board out some “B-Roll” if you will, with options for other shots to help sell up the humor a bit. It was all optional and really, at the end of the day, humor depends on the performance of the actors and more, so you do a lot of alternative takes to see what works best. But I did my part and boarded it out my best, to give it a fair shot at success. So, next up you’ll see some boards that are disjointed in continuity but will hopefully spur a neuron or two and make you chuckle. Enjoy!
Whatever your thoughts on the for-profit school system, their services need advertising like any other. These commercials usually fall somewhere between the “Do YOU need an attorney?” commercials and the “But I cant AFFORD car insurance” commercials in the typical daytime TV commercial break. “Get YOUR career cookin! at the Center for Culinary Arts!” Yeah yeah, I watch a lot of daytime tv…
So, I’m generally Not A Fan of school commercials, but I worked on a few spots for Colorado State University Online Plus and I’m very happy with how they turned out. Story goes, the producer for this spot wanted a storyboard artist who could emulate the style of those Brand New School commercials. Well, BNS is one of my biggest clients and so that made me a natural fit. They had a lot of VO in their script but didn’t have any visuals decided upon, just a general notion of what the clients would respond to and the key points that had to appear on screen. That’s really enough for me to go on- I was amazed that they had a script locked at all; that never happens these days. Anyway, I roughed out some ideas and they loved ’em. Made ’em pretty and off she goes. Here’s the boards.
A few months later, the commercial aired.
Looks great to me.
In the early stages of my career (my “faking it” phase), I advertised my services on Craigslist and got involved with all kinds of fun projects that never amounted to anything.
I’m proud now to say that Lost Treasure Hunt, a project from those Craigslist days, has developed to a point that it has top-grade professional talent behind it, and has recently launched a Kickstarter that has just reached it’s funding goals. So proud.
Lost Treasure Hunt is about two precocious teenagers who sleuth for lost treasures using their profound knowledge of secret history and nifty spy gadgets. It’s designed to make learning history and science awesome by tying in all kinds of action and intrigue- and humor!
The creator of Lost Treasure Hunt, Matt Davis, is one of my fondest and earliest clients for storyboarding. I won’t show any of my drawings on the project yet, but later this year I might: The pilot episode of LTH should air in time for Columbus Day, and I’ll try and do a post to coincide. I helped to storyboard the LTH sizzle-animatic in one of it’s earliest incarnations, around 2007, so I’ve got plenty to show.
To learn more about this awesome project, check out the Kickstarter page link below, and read all about it. I really encourage you to contribute even a small amount- and as it has already reached it’s fundraising goal, I do believe you won’t be risking much, and you’ll have the self-satisfaction that accompanies knowing that you’ve helped improve impressionable young brains.
Behold, another set of pitch boards for a commercial that wasn’t awarded. You might be thinking, “Wow, you had a bit of a losing streak, huh?” Actually I pull these samples arbitrarily from past work as it “ripens” for posting, so there really was no streak per se, but I think it’s also a learning opportunity for anybody less experienced: a LOT of hard work never sees the light of day, and that’s just the reality of the business. For me, it’s ok, I’m paid well to draw well, and if something actually gets picked up, it’s just icing on the cake. Also, often pitches are accepted/rejected based on factors that go well beyond the merits of the creative- for instance, budget constraints or deadlines or prior developments. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taste. All of that stuff is out of my hands- I can only do as good a job as possible with the concepts I’m given and creative compelling visual narratives.
Back to the boards. These boards were pitched for a foundation that offers academic/athletic scholarships or something to young people who demonstrate proficiency in mathematics, music, arts, and sciences. I can’t quite remember the details of all that but suffice to say the object of the spot was to create an exciting visual representation of the potential for young brains to excel given the proper support and training- all tied together with professional soccer players demonstrating their teamwork and skills- creating a synthesis of achievement and success- a result of hard work and determination in all aspects of life, mental and physical. Wow, I should be writing these commercials.
Anyway, the visual hook is that the athletes and students themselves are fundamentally composed of iconic molecules that represent distinct fields of study/aspects of education. So, how the hell do you draw that? It’s not easy, but my technique here consisted of drawing the people normally first, and then creating appropriate “brushes” using my digital prowess, and tracing over my earlier linework, which resulted in a fairly appealing series of images. Check ’em out!
A couple of weeks ago I wrapped up Nathan Fowke’s Online Charcoal Portrait Drawing Class, taught (of course) by Nathan Fowkes (Fowkes, as in cow, as in moo) and offered through the good folks at Laafa. You can learn more about Nathan elsewhere, but let me take a moment to say that Nathan is the best art teacher I’ve come across. His teaching style is unlike anything I’ve experienced and his lectures are the best anywhere. Most art instructors just “wing it” class to class. Not Nathan. He’s always prepared with slides to accompany his lectures, and provides thoroughly researched examples of whatever he’s looking to communicate. He convinces you, proves it to you, and then demonstrates it before your eyes. It’s not possible to discount his approach. What’s his approach? I’m not telling you. Take his classes and find out. Or rather, don’t. I don’t want the competition! I’m very happy to present these as my student work.