Reel Breakdown - The Concept

The main visual driver of my reel was a dancing toy robot on a kids desk.

3D is the only way to fully realize your imagination - in this case I wanted to revisit the way I played with toys as a kid. I wished my action figures could come to life.

3D is the only way to fully realize your imagination - in this case I wanted to revisit the way I played with toys as a kid. I wished my action figures could come to life.

I wanted to create a bedroom set that resembled my childhood room, and decorate it with toys that eventually fueled my career - notably Star Wars.

Early render tests out of Octane. The scale of the scene contributes heavily to the shallow depth of field,  adding to the sense of this action figure being a small toy.

Early render tests out of Octane. The scale of the scene contributes heavily to the shallow depth of field, adding to the sense of this action figure being a small toy.

Used X-Particles to simulate the look of the robot coming to life.

Used X-Particles to simulate the look of the robot coming to life.

McDonalds - 'Paroled'

This was a spec spot written by freelance creatives Brett Landry and Brian Engleman.  

They approached Mad Box in early 2014 to shoot and do the post for the spot. Chris Williams, co-owner of Mad Box, directed it. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the process by working on the character design, rigging and animation of classic characters Grimace and Hamburglar. Charles Bevan did the compositing and other VFX. The webpage dedicated to this work, including press links and interviews, is here.

I used Cinema 4D R16 for the modeling, rigging, hair dynamics and animation of both characters. 



Here’s the VFX breakdown video put together by Charles Bevan.

May The Force Be With You

If it wasn't for Gordon Whiteway, Trey Trumble, and their amazing RVA drone footage, this wouldn't have happened.

When Gordon dropped the footage off, I wanted to track and animate a paper airplane gliding through one of the shots. When I showed it to Matt West, he said, "Make it an X-Wing." 

I was part of the edit and fully animated, lit and rendered the shots and did a large part of the rotoscoping and compositing of the final shots. Andrew Uvarov of Red Amp Audio jumped in to do the sound design. In true sound-nerd fashion he added a Wilhelm scream. 

The best part of doing this, for me, was that it was the first time I really creatively directed something in collaboration with Matt West. I used my education from the Brandcenter to seed the video online - the biggest hit was putting it on local news channels Facebook pages. From there it went viral. At least 100,000 views and more than 2,000 shares on Facebook. The local legend Byrd theater played it before all their movies between the opening of The Force Awakens and Christmas. 

It was amazing to see the Richmond community come together to share and support this. Seeing something go viral in realtime was such a rush. It was a real-world test of social listening and placement research.