Archive for February, 2010


Busby Berkeley and the Gold Diggers of 1935

I love the old Busby Berkeley movies of the 1930’s and just picked up a big DVD box set.  Awesome way to get a good look at an era gone by…awesome music, movie making and unbelievable dancing and cinematography.  I tried to make my own youtube off the disc but couldn’t figure it out, HAAA!!!  Anyways, I found the one I wanted to share, and here it is…pretty darned amazing stuff.  Stick with it  and watch the whole thing!!!  What talent on all fronts of early movie making.  Hard to hold up with true human talent today with what is on the screen with this one, enjoy and happy Friday!


John Wayne, an American hero

Howdy all and thanks for all the great portfolios and interest in Andy’s computer game.  There are some amazingly talented folks out there, and I loved looking at all the awesome art and CG models.  I’m finishing my calender piece for Drexler today for his new ST, SOTL Calender and am finally getting to the final details

While listening to the internet radio “Live 365, Atomic City” often plays patriotic pieces recorded by John Wayne…Today was no exception and encouraged me to see if any of these pieces were made into videos via YouTube, and sure enough, there were a few of them to see.

Getting back to John Wayne, he was and is a true American hero, and he was a symbol of what Patriotic America was founded on…Truth, Love, Justice and Freedom.  He always remembered the everyday man and woman with respect, as well as our ArmedForces, to whom he gave great reverence.  So, in thinking of Mr Wayne today and all that he believed in, here are some videos to encourage your day, enjoy!!


3d studio max artists needed…inquire within


Howdy all! A good friend of mine is in the early stages of starting a computer game and needs 3D studio max folks.  I do not know what the story line or theme is, but if you’re interested, please drop a line here and I’ll hook you up.  I think I was talking to Buckaroohawk about this in November and because I’m old…have forgotten to whom I was talking too….. HAAA!  Anyway, Andy is a great guy and a blast to work with so give a go if you’re interested, and we’ll move on from there!!!



USS iowa/uss kelvin med evac shuttles

Well, it’s been a long time since there was a Trek issue posted, so here are a couple of concepts from JJ’s Star Trek from a few years ago.  These were some of the first ideas Scott Chambliss and I were working on.  The Kelvin was still called the Iowa at this point, and trying to keep in the design aesthetics of the original show, we started out with very blocky forms with rounded corners being the difference between today’s Trek and that of the ideas of the 60’s.  The profile was particularly thin, and the door way was about 3/4 of a full size door, making the interior squat with a low ceiling.  Scott imagined that these shuttles were to be very utilitarian, and function over comfort was the way to go.  This is very much what you would see in modern military design and carrying this point through to Trek was a great starting point.

The first pass of the craft has inset nacelles and is basically very rectangular in shape.  As Ryan Church was fleshing out the USS Iowa, we thought it would be cool to try a version with a single nacelle on top of the ship to tie in the ship’s design to that of its assigned starship.  This idea of architecture went for a while in various forms before we went in a whole different direction and more towards a Galileo style of ship.

Below are the two variations of the same ship and these were some very fun designs to flesh out.

evac concept one

evac concept two


30th anniversary of John Carpenter’s “the fog”

February the 8th, 1980, opening day, & I was a senior in high school.  I was just driving in my first car, had a job and a pocket full of freedom to go to the movies just about anytime I could squeeze them in.  I was pretty new to the rated “R” world of films, and the ones I saw were so vastly different from Star Wars, Bambie, and the Jungle Book which were what filled my movie time just prior to my first “R” rated film, “Alien”!!!!  I really had to pick carefully and work up a lot of courage to go because the territory was uncharted and unrestricted to what amazing or terrifying things it could show me…the gritty reality of  more mature movies was horrifyingly wonderful and  really captured my attention and imagination.

“The Fog” was my theatrical introduction to John Carpenter, and man was it a wicked little tale!!!  I went alone to this one between school and work, and it thrilled and scared me for quite sometime after.  From the film’s opening with the Ghost Story on the beach, to the revelation of the wicked story of how the town of Antonio Bay was founded, to all the horror that Mr. Carpenter so eloquently fashioned throughout this dark tale, I was drawn in.  Thirty years later, I have seen this movie countless times and love it more every time I see it.  “The Fog” is  a great film to see John’s talent in the early days.  He has a gift for storytelling, and I love that his talents are so broad, from writing, composing & performing, directing, editing and finally he’s especially gifted at scaring your socks off!!!  John’s work with Debra Hill make for some awesome productions and are amongst my very favorites of both of their early career films!!!

Lots of fun in-movie jokes in this one as well.  John Carpenter plays a young church worker named Bennet in the opening moments of the show; Bill Taylor plays the bar tender.  Bill Taylor, for those that don’t know, was the VFX supervisor on, and  wrote the song “Benson, Arizona” from, Dark Star.  He later went on to be one of the founders of Illusion Arts ( the optical and matte Painting facility) that just recently closed. Four of the characters in the film are named after friends and inspirations of John’s, Charles Cyphers plays “Dan OBannon” (Co Writer of  Dark Star),  George “Buck” Flower plays “Tommy Wallace” (One of the Coup De Villes and the film’s production designer),  Tom Atkins plays “Nick Castle” (the third member of the Coup De Villes, and film buddy of JC),  and finally Darwin Joston plays “Dr. Phibes” (a horror movie character played by Vincent Price).

This one is a must see for Carpenter fans new and old.  The film takes place in a coastal town and  is told over about a 26 hour period of time on the 21st of April, 1980.  The under story, as told through a diary read by Hal Holbrook, really sets the pace, combined with some excellent roles played by John Houseman, Janet Leigh & Jamie Lee Curtis (mother and daughter in real life), Adrienne Barbeau and, of course, Hal Holbrook.  Rob Bottin is the creator of the special make up and also plays the lead dead settler, “Blake”.  One awesome ride from start to finish, and the commentary on the DVD by John and Debra Hill really makes for a great movie both in front of and behind the scenes!!  Enjoy, and Happy 30th to John Carpenter and one of his many masterpieces, “The Fog”!

a few words by Poe start the film

11:55 and the ghost story begins!!!

Carpenter's Cameo

unhappy words from 100 years ago

Adrienne Barbeau owns the light house that has been converted into a local radio station

sometime after midnight on the 21st of April

look at what the fog drug in

Hal Hollbrook as Father Malone

Jamie Lee Curtis, fresh off the Halloween bus, Joins Carpenter for another scary outing

a couple of steps down to the Point Reyes Light House

a favorite Carpenter trademark, The dead are not always REALLY dead!

Tom Atkins, Bill Taylor, John Vic, Janet Leigh & Nancy Kyes

the fog

even if the killers hiding in the fog knock...don't answer the door!

The fog not only hides the dead but it, too, is a living character capable of doing it's own bidding!

Dean Cundey and the FX crew did some awesome work with the lighting and the practical Fog fx

even this cursed church is not holy enough to keep this evil out

awesome imagery!!! love this shot of Blake and his men

this is an anniversary cover created for the 25th. The 30th editions are at the post office getting canceled, so keep an eye out for the new covers when I get them back.


the 15th anniversary of john carpenter’s, in the mouth of madness


Today…February the 3rd, 2010, marks the 15th Anniversary of one of my many favorite John Carpenter films.  In The Mouth Of Madness is another team effort by John Carpenter, Sandy King, and writer Michael De Luca.  The cast is a brilliant ensemble of characters played by Sam Neill, Charleton Heston, Julie Carmen, David Warner, and Jurgen Prochnow.  The story is loosely based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and Mr. Carpenter again delivers a fine tale woven with his great talents and unique style.

This one is a heavy dialogue piece, and it is a journey that takes a normal, well grounded in reality private investigator and follows him deep into the realm of insanity as the apocalyptic tale engulfs and makes him the main character in the story of the world’s end.  Sam Neill plays John Trent who is an investigator/specialist at insurance fraud.  He is hired by a publishing house to find their best selling horror novelist who has gone missing.  Sutter Cain is the author’s name, and his books, if you read them, will somehow give you horrible nightmares that will soon possess you and make you a follower of Cain!!!  Sam Neill is convinced this is a publicity hoax even though bizarre things start to happen around him after he  leaves Charleton Heston’s office.  Hell bent on proving this is all a hoax, Sam Neil buys all of Sutter Cain’s books and starts to read…yes the nightmares begin immediately, and Carpenter’s magic begins to drag you in and scare you but good.  Neill’s character discovers that all the book covers have some unusual artwork and, with scissors, he cuts away revealing a puzzle that in turn represents a map that takes you to the fictional town from all of Cains stories called “Hobb’s End”.  It takes a hellish nightmare to get you there, but once in Hobb’s End, you can not leave, and this is where the real horror and twists begin!!

This is a very rich tale done with great skill and John’s very dark sense of humor. The score is a wild rock and roll piece written and performed by Carpenter and Jim Lange.  Carpenter is always maturing as a story teller, and unique to this film is that he frames buildings and architecture through his camera in such a way that they, too, become characters in the story!!!  Carpenter is definitely a master at what he does, and this one makes for  another fun Saturday night flick to watch with a bunch of friends!!  Below are some pics from the film, the trailer and a couple of links to fully immerse you into the Mouth of Madness, Enjoy and Happy Anniversary.

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February 2010