Archive for June, 2009

Jun 26 2009

Retired artsy Flash site for strange frame

The web changes and I’m busy making my movie.

Reed and I put together a very arty website a couple of years ago that really was a fancy blog (before there was WordPress). Mucho mahalo to Reed and his infinite patience on helping me put it together. It is very cool looking and you can still see it here.

Even before that I struggled with my limited HTML ability and put together a site back when strange frame was a TV show. Liz ended up working with it for a bit and that one is here.

WordPress (this site’s backend) is more flexible and I can add features without a lot of coding like on my old site, so that is why I’m retiring the old ones.

Jun 26 2009

strange frame on television

strange frame is featured on Hawaii’s Reel Stories
Premieres Thursday, June 25 at 8:30 PM on OC 16
Also playing 12 more times this week:
Friday at 2:30 AM
Saturday at 3:30 PM
Sunday at 10 AM & 11:30 PM
Monday at 5:30 AM & 6:30 PM
Tuesday at 12:30 AM, 10:30 AM & 10 PM
Wednesday at 4 AM & 4 PM
Thursday, July 2 at 9:30 AM

Jun 22 2009

Tiptons Sax Quartet & Drums Euro Tour

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Our Saxophonist – Jessica Lurie -
playing all the most saxiest sax
in strange frame: Love & Sax
is on tour through Europe
this summer in
Italy,
Slovenia,
Austria,
and Switzerland.

Check her out!

Jun 16 2009

The basics of how and why I do this style of animation

singOne of the reasons I love animation is the ability to control the mood of a shot through color (both saturation and hue)image , density, focal plane, motion (both camera and character), and, of course, sound.

I have shot many low to medium budget live action projects as well as a feature film. You rarely get the time and never have the budget to get all of the above. The shoots are always a compromise of time of day, shot lists for that day, local environment (rarely have I had the opportunity to build a set), etc.

With animation, I can have my cake and eat it too.

The feature I was director of photography on we did 20-40 shots a day. That’s 3-5 minutes of final screen time each day! Of course that is with a 25 person crew with 5-15 people on site as talent and extras. 

A good day at my animation workstation, I churn out 8 seconds. The 4 second shot on the left took me 2 days. Seems way slow, eh? But if you divide even our indie live action shoot screen time by the number of people it took to get that footage, you end up with a similar kind of progress.

After the Photoshop elements are ready, I do the rough animation. The camera motion and they way the character moves through the shot. This saves a lot of time down the line knowing what parts of the face/body will need to be animated and which will be framed out. 

Then I do the gross (large) character movements: The walk cycle, head tilts, arm motion. Also, any important foreground and background elements.

Then I do the beginning of the subtle movements and facial expressions: eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, eyes, eyelids, lips, teeth, etc.

These are done without effects so they can be viewed in real time at full resolution.

Then I start with the effects driven moments. These are done with distorting the Photoshop layer: the sway of the hair, the breathing, the deformation of the lips, the jaw, cheeks, neck, etc.

I have to do preview renders to check these, but these renders rarely take more than a few minutes.

Then comes the lighting, color, contrast, backgrounds and foregrounds. I play with the RGB curves, tint, hue, and add glows for atmosphere or lack thereof.

 

Lastly, I smile because nothing gives me more satisfaction that seeing my artwork come to life.

Jun 12 2009

Animation Final

From the final render. The guitar is built from 6 layers laid out in 3 dimensional space to give it thickness. The layers of the guitar are some hand drawn artwork and pieces of video. I used some video of television static for the strings.

Recent Reviews

“In the current climate of parody, pastiche, re-hashing, re-booting and recycling of films, it is so refreshing to see a film as unique, original and enjoyable as Strange Frame...a rare film: inspiration by other forms is noticeable, but it is not merely repetition or homage. It is a dreamscape, one that does not shy aware from the ugly, yet celebrates the beautiful.” - Shelagh M. Rowan-Legg, Twitch Film

"probably one of the most visually riveting movies released in recent years. The energy and beauty of the animation, and the strength of its vocal performers (particularly Curry, who is the definitive voice actor for flamboyant evil) keep this story of love up among the stars." - Adam Mohrbacher, FilmMonthly

"It’s thrilling, sexy, entertaining due to it’s massive amount of music and visual stimulation, but more importantly, a story that has a deep meaning and a refreshing plotline. This film has cult classic written all over it.” - AJ Garcia, Shakefire

“Some films are instant cult classics the minute they appear. G.B.Hajim's STRANGE FRAME is one such film.” – Heather Massey, The Galaxy Express

"Not since WIZARDS have I enjoyed a rock musical with animation this much. Speaking of animation the characters are exquisite…The smooth flow of this cutting edge film is more than sci-fi animation – it is an experience not to be missed." – Jeri Jacquin, Movie Maven

"an electrifying trip for the eyeballs, fully embracing a visual style that, at most, very few films share." - Tyler Foster , DVDTalk

"What the fuck? No really. What the fuck? I must have said that at least twenty times while watching this crazy, visual trip of a film…I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen and will be tuning in again for repeat viewings." – Mike Gencarelli, MediaMikes

"If youʻre a sci-fi fan this a must see…like a vintage issue of Heavy Metal come to life and given depth. The graphics alone could make Strange Frame a head-turner, but then add to it a legendary sci-fi voice cast…it's own beast, and well worth a look if you get a chance.” – Brett Cullum, DVD Verdict

"One could call Strange Frame the best animated motion comic, except that it is not a comic…the combination of the hand-painted, computer assisted animation and CGI results in a very unique look. This will draw in a lot of people, even if they are not drawn in by the story. Personally, I was fascinated with both." – C.S. Strowbridge, The Numbers

"If ever you wondered what a truly unhinged mash-up of the dominant production styles of Heavy Metal, Barbarella and Blade Runner would look like, here’s your chance." – Danielle Riendeau, AfterEllen

"The awesome does not stop….Wildly Inventive" - Tracy Gilchrist, SheWired
"The animation is very much like something out of a dream.” - Alexander Bustos, Comic Attack

“the film excels is with the music…soulful jazz riffs on solo saxophone that will make your heart ache just listening to them.” – Siobhan Greene, Fangoria

“ the visuals are what made this movie. Think 1960's acid trip meets dreamlike anime film and add in a futuristic space setting. At the start of the movie, you feel overwhelmed by how much is going on at once. Then, once you realize Hajim knows exactly what he's doing with all of these elements, it's easy to sit back, relax and let the story take the wheel.” -Jade Salazar, Tagg Magazine

“the movie goes out of its way for its consumers. It has danceable songs, spaceships, nipples, clever dialogue…it is not only a Blade Runner movie but also an A Star Is Born movie…” - Jason Rohrer, Stage and Cinema

“just what the doctor ordered” - Karman Kregloe, Huffington Post

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A Synopsis

Parker, a saxophonist, leaves a comfortable life to play music in dangerous Ganymede City. Rioting breaks out and a debt slave named Naia escapes and then rescues Parker from one of the regime’s thugs. They fall fast in love and form a band. Soon Naia is enslaved again, this time to the deadly stardom of the 28th century. Though down and out, Parker sets out on a quest to free Naia and redeem their love.

"...a dreamscrape..." - Shelagh M. Rowan-Legg, TwitchFilm

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