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Sophos – Cyber Security

Boy, those viruses, huh? They’re everywhere, trying to wreck our lives. Luckily Sophos is there to scan and sweep them away. From our computers, at least.

Creepy virus stalking the digital shadows

This was a fun, quick job that needed a very specific tone in order to convey the sense of dystopian angst- the directors sent references that were very film noir, very old school sci-fi, and it was pretty inspiring. What resulted was I think a very effective hybrid of modern tech and monolithic awe.

This was also a great fit for a new set of brushes I’d developed recently, it’s a more square and hard-edged feel, as opposed to my more fantastic and cozy style. It fit really well and made things a little easier on my execution. This was a 3-day job. Take a look!

What are we looking at? We zoom in from overhead and find ourselves in a massive stark technological landscape. Things are orderly and calm- until a creepy little bug/virus finds a weak spot and weasels in. He quickly grows and seeks to evade the AI sensors, but is soon detected. The AI deploys countermeasures to destroy the virus. But immediately, from the dead husk of the virus, a new bug evolves and emerges, rapidly multiplying even faster than before. A new swarm of bugs converges on the AI and the battle is joined in an explosive burst of light… the eternal struggle between good and evil continues.

I had a lot of fun with this. Thanks for checking it out! -Max

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Lineage: Red Knights! Storyboards

A couple years ago, I had a great time working on a series of spots for a very popular (in Korea) game called Lineage.  The anthem spot was about a minute long and had lots of action and fun characters, and it’s the subject of this post.

The story goes- we find our hero protagonist “Bugbear” in the middle of a battlefield, who breaks the 4th Wall and calls out to us, the viewer, to witness he and his compatriots, with their powers combined, topple the evil Death Knight!  Though victory may be short lived- that’s the law of the land around these parts.  Witness!

And, here’s the final spot!

This spot had it all- fun characters, action, humor, sex appeal.  I love the sense of escalation, and the the way the final product came out is just really awesome- you can really see the quality in the craftsmanship of the animators and designers.  Such a great team!  Here’s some cool detail shots before you go:

Thanks, catch you next time!

-Max

 

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Talk, Read, Sing! First Five California – Storyboards

Here’s a very fun project I did a while back, that I’m excited to share- storyboards for the First 5 California “Brainy Birds” commercial, which was part of their Talk, Read, Sing! campaign.  Basically: talk, read, and sing to your kids, and watch their little brains grow!  What a fun message.  And I can attest (I’m a new dad myself), kids soak up your words pretty quick, and you gotta watch what you say! Lol!!

There were a lot of challenges on this project- very tight timeline, multiple layers of client approval, and of course, character designs and music lyrics all undergoing revisions as I’m drawing the boards- sometimes it’s like trying to hit a moving target!  But I’m used to it, so it never phases me.  I still had fun with it, and I’m sure that comes through in my drawings.  One particular storyboard issue when blending live action with animation, is whether or not the “animated” parts should be drawn differently from the “live action” parts- like how do you make the animated part of a shot look different from live action, when it’s all “drawn” by nature of the fact it’s a drawing to begin with? But in this case, only the bird characters were animated, so it’s wasn’t as much an issue.  At some point, people have to use their imaginations.

I really enjoy working on animated projects as well, and drawing happy families for me is a snap, so even with all the known and unknown unknowns, I remember this being a fun project.

Here’s the boards:

And here’s the final spot!

 

Hope you liked it!  See you next time.

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“War Planet” Storyboards

Hi!  So here’s a fun one, if, I guess, you think war and conquest is fun… just kidding, of course you do!  What could be more fun then kicking your friends’ butts in online multiplayer combat via iOS or Android device? NOTHING #LOL

But seriously, I LOVE DRAWING WAR, something about it just flows out of me, even easier than all the other stuff that I enjoy drawing.  It’s just FUN drawing stuff blowing up!

The spots for this project kind of distilled down from 4 spots, to 2, to 1, so there’s some splicing and melding going on in some of these boards I’m about to show- but it’s helpful (I’m sure) to see how this kind of thing can happen!  In these modern advertising times, client needs and specs have to pivot on a dime! New apps/smartphones are released every day and that’s your ENEMY out there! That’s WAR for you!

My favorite part of this project, aside from the ‘realistic’ treatment of the weaponry and setting- was the emphasis put on the various commanders as CHARACTERS – which always inspires as being a board artist forces you to become part ACTOR as well as ARTIST.  Enough said, let me know what you think of my ‘performance.’

And another ‘take’:

Not bad eh?  Well, you’ll see in the video to follow: They’ve pivoted among other things, the TITLE of this project!  So now we are WAR PLANET.  Good to know! Hey, first thing’s first, right?

I think it turned out great! I’d play, but it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else, you know?  Hey, I’m just being honest.  See you next time!

 

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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!

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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

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