Kid dreams can become adult realities

So proud to be working with the great people at Pippin Properties and (thanks to them) HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. I’m sure there’s no 8 year olds out there stumbling on this blog, but I’ll say this: KEEP WRITING AND DRAWING and doing all those creative things that bring you joy. And when you get older, whether you’re 35 or 75, don’t stop doing those things!

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HAND CLAPS

New dance band we’re starting in Portland, OR.

More details soon. But the first song, “Where’d You Go?” is in the bag. And we’re working on a few more for a possible opening set with our friends Electric Six this June.

The Path

“There is no direct path to the place you are going. You will have to make it yourself.”  - M.H. Clark from Remember This

Your path is actually under a lot of dirt.

Start clearing the dirt.

Dust off the old treasure map that you have forgotten.

In defense of fun

A few weeks ago Matthew Vaughn (who directed X-Men: First Class and the upcoming Kingsman: The Secret Service) mentioned that people have had enough of Christopher Nolan’s dark superhero films.

“Look at the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. I think Nolan kick-started a very dark, bleak style of superhero escapism, and I think people have had enough of it” he said in SFX magazine.

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In pointing out that audiences want fun and escapism at the moment, he’s absolutely right.

I heard more positive comments about Guardians and The Lego Movie or Grand Budapest last year than I did about any other films.

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Around Christmas time I remember looking up at the marquee of my local indie theater and saw on one side THE HOBBIT: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES and on the other side EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS. Hmmm….do I want fantasy war or biblical war? When those films went away they were followed by WILD, a based-on-a-true-story movie about a former heroin addict hiking solo and facing her demons, and the also-based-on-a-true-story film UNBROKEN – which (not to take anything away from this true story) looked like the equivalent of spending Christmas watching a man get tortured (I blame this trend on Tarantino putting DJANGO UNCHAINED out on Christmas). A few weeks later we got AMERICAN SNIPER.

It’s kind of a bummer. What happened to great family films like HOME ALONE coming out at Christmas time. Sure, you can stay home and watch an old DVD copy, but it’d be nice for Hollywood to put out some more live action films that are fun, and enjoyable – and not so darn intense.

It doesn’t mean they have to be cookie-cutter safe. CITY SLICKERS was a fantastic 90s comedy, that dealt with some real adult issues, while still delivering the comedy goods and an enjoyable adventure.

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I know why they don’t make these kinds of films anymore. Hollywood is no longer satisfied with funding a 30 million dollar comedy, and making a 70 million dollar profit. Now they make $250 million dollar budgeted films to make a billion bucks globally – and the scary thing is how often it works. Nearly every time.

Anyways. I’m tired of X-Men samurai movies, acopalyptic fantasy fare etc. So I was pleased with Matthew’s comments.

That said, I don’t blame the trend of intense or darker films on Mr. Nolan. I mean, sure, his Batman films were an incredible success and that does lead to more copycat films. But Nolan was simply reflecting the times. When his Batman films came out, Dick Cheney was President, 9/11 was a recent memory, the economy was headed for disaster etc.

The screen, is not just something that a film is projected on. It’s also a mirror.

Hawks Do Not Share – Break Even (Official Music Video)

Break Even

Here’s the new music video for the Portland, Oregon three piece HAWKS DO NOT SHARE. The band’s sound is a little like The Cure and George Michael borrowing a bunch of effects pedals from My Blood Valentine, driving to David Lynch’s house, and spending numerous evening hours making a soundtrack for one of his films (and if that doesn’t get you to click on this hypnotic and odd video, well nothing well).

Check it out over on Pop Matters.

Zita Saito pictured above. 

My Work

Bend Broadband – What We Share (commercial)

Role: director.

Agency: tbd

Duran Duran – Runway Runaway (music video)

Role: writer, director

Selected as one of the best music videos shot in Portland, OR in 2011 via OPB and shown on Duran Duran’s 2011 tour.

Otis – Jay Z and Kanye West (parody / viral)

Viral video done late one night at the office that found it’s way to the Huffington PostNew York Magazine, Playboy and Sundance website and blogs etc.

Role: creative, editor

Coraline – Doll Hair (branded content, shown on IFC and YouTube)

Role: Editor (Joint Editorial)

Client: Laika

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy

The Blow – Knowing the Things That I Know (music video)

Role: Director, Editor, and DP (concept by Mike Merrill, animation by E*Rock)

Voted one of the best music videos of the year by RES Magazine, and featured on the magazine’s monthly DVD.

 

Electric Six – Psychic Visions (music video)

Role: writer, director

HANGOVER

 Above: still from a recent assignment, recreating the ending of The Hangover with an all female cast to promote a new app

OCTICORN

UPDATE! This project was funded on Kickstarter and the book will be self published!

“Hello, My Name is Octicorn” is the funny, odd and charming story of an Octicorn trying to find his place in the world.

Created by Justin Lowe & Kevin Diller, the book is about an Octicorn who is trying believe in himself.

But that’s not easy when you’re half mythical.

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Take a look at our Kickstarter project here!