City 7, The Future and Ghost Stories


About two and a half years ago I began writing a screenplay.  Over the the next 8 months it was turned into the 14 minute long Action/Horror movie: City 7.

It was a blast to make, and takes place in the world I began writing in several years ago when I still owned and ran Ravenhorde Studios.  As we went into filming we planned to continue the story line with other short films, and web series releases.  I had written the majority of the story that followed another HAVOC.  However during filming we kept getting asked the same questions by our cast and crew, and the idea behind “Ghost Stories: The Package” was born.

Over the last 3 months I have written a new story arc and screenplay based on the same world.  This time we have a personal story, no longer focused on a team, but a single highly trained man, and his trials and tribulations in the wasteland that America has become.  The focus now is to reveal more of the setting of City 7, exposing bits of the world and getting into the uncomfortable questions of “who, when and why”.

With a finalized script, we are officially moving into pre-production.  Gears shift and I become a Producer and organizer.  Responsible for raising money, designing props, costumes, and figuring out make-up direction.  Peter, our Director, and I are also looking at filming locations and contacting the community to raise awareness about our project.  We have taken a different path this time, and will be making a 12 and 14 episodes web series.  Be sure to follow our progress on our Facebook page, as well as visiting out Indiegogo Campaign to look over our awesome perks.

I also started a production blog via Tumblr, and will be updating Worldcrafter with the art/development side of the project.

-TheGrav

 

City 7, The Movie.


Crunch time wrapped up sometime last week, and what I have really learned is, I have a lot more to learn!  But I so far have some good friends that are fairly willing teachers!  A lot goes into a movie, after the script is written, the props are designed and the cast is decided upon.

Editing is a huge job, and hopefully I will only become more of an asset as time goes on!  However our movie has been officially released!

-TheGrav

TheGrav!?!? Where have you been!!


The last few weeks have been a little crazy… I have experienced being laid off, experienced crunch time in City 7s timeline, and I have started to try and gather everything I do together to see if I can’t make it as a freelance artist again…

Long story short, I have been pretty busy, and really bad and posting…

The largest task I have undertaken is in the composting the first 25 seconds of our short Zombie Movie, City 7.  As an artist and graphic designer I have had some experience with matte painting, which is basically the term used to describe how an artist might help a director create a scene that just can’t be filmed.  Some of the greatest examples of matte paintings in film, are in the Original Star Wars films.

Matte Painting at ILM

When I was in middle school and lived in San Francisco, my Dad and Step-Mom took me to see an exhibit of the largest single collection of Star Wars props, it was pretty damn cool, and I think it was there that I really started down the path towards art and graphic design as a possible career path.  I saw a handful of these paintings in person and going back to watch the films was just impressed with how they did it.

There are several good examples of digital matte painting in this little clip from ILMVisualFX.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/L7r5mz9aTlA%5D

Of course with a budget somewhere in the neighborhood of only $2500 we did not have quite the number of resources these guys did!  But we do have a cool little intro!

Our movie is set to release in full in the next few weeks on our YouTube Channel Digital Raven.

More to come!

-TheGrav

 

Please make sure to follow me, send me any questions you have, or just in general keep and eye out!

City 7 Poster 1, Updates…


Nothing can be as rewarding as finally smashing your way through a huge chunk of freelance work, freeing up a few hours of the night, and sitting down to paint.

To be completely honest, I had painting in my plans for the last 2 weeks, but Minecraft is a sweet, seductive, and very time consuming mistress… However Most of this weekend went into a few projects I have been working on, so when it came time to do some painting I decided to keep the ball rolling and get back to work finishing the City7 Posters.

(After all the deadline is approaching so I need to get to it..)

I could go into massive detail on what I did here, but it is not really that exciting and I didn’t have the fore-thought to make a good play by play.  Basically I dragged the painting into photoshop, chopped it up a bit, re-sized here and there, erased about half, and then made it look like a zombie again.  I was really harsh on the piece as a whole, really tearing apart my work to get the look I wanted, rather than the look I was getting.

Here is another look, a bit farther along, and as you can see I have started to really add a lot of detail and color into the mix.  Next few steps will deal a lot with continuing to texture, detail and hone the image.  On this piece, unlike a few I have shown in the past I have not gone with a pre-canned texture, instead I have be working on all those small details myself.

This poster, along with two others are being worked on to support Digital Raven’s first film City7.  If you are interested in getting you hands on a signed copy of this poster(when it’s finished of course!) head on over to our Indiegogo page and check us out!

-TheGrav

City 7: Our Posters so far…


I have been splitting my time between all 3 posters, and my normal freelance workload.   It has really shown me one thing… I need a Patron!   Any takers?  🙂

Anyway on to my progress so far.

Zombies, City 7, Action/horror

As you can see in this screenshot, I am primarily just laying down my colors and tones as well as my design and themes.   I also tracked down the fonts I wanted to use.

Our City 7 logo uses Boston Traffic, I tracked down the Friday the 13th font to use for the tagline.  And a quick jump over to Google helped me track down a font called Steeltongs, that looks pretty good for all the promotional information!

This is as much as I have done for Poster 1!  Poster 3 will probably be the first I finish.

Keep an Eye out for more!

-TheGrav

City 7 Posters, Thumbnails


Most art projects start with thumbnail sketches.  This is true of my work, I like too work quick and dirty and small laying out the idea rather than focusing on the details.  This really helps to get the basic theme of what I am designing and I find it to be the one of the best starting places.

Illustration, Zombies, ThumbnailsIllustration, Zombiesillustration, zombies

Here we have the 3 thumbnails I choose form all the quick ones I did while trying to come up with the City 7 Movie poster.  I am trying to stick with a classic painted movie poster look, along with the classic 27″ x 41″ layout.   So as I drew these I tried to smash them into what I thought that box might look like.

Once I had decided on these three I took the first two and did a bit more detail work on them.  The third one will be done mostly in photoshop, with just some finishing work to make it look like a painting, as where the others will actually need a bit of painting and finishing.

Zombie, Movie Poster, City 7Here is poster number one in more detail.  The Scanner I am using is not the best, but still this should show a bit more of what I am trying to get towards.  I added room at the bottom for the movie bits, I have two fonts used, and I have more detail on the central and later to be painted figure.

My copy is very light so I can start to outline it and lay color down with Painter or Photoshop without having to compete with myself.  🙂  Realistically I will use my actual hand sketch as a constant reference as I work, making sure that the details I want on this Zombie come out just right.

Zombies, Illustration, City 7 This is the second poster done with a bit more detail.  This one is personally my favorite, because of the dynamic of having three zombies, as well as how I have gone a little over the top to really show off some of what So Cal residents know is San Diego.

All three posters will take a mix of work in Painter, Photoshop and possibly some 3d.  However I am going to try to stick with mainly just Painter and Photoshop.

All my elements are decided on and basically in place, so I will move onto the next step which is basically collecting some resource materials and setting up the “standard” poster elements.  Such as: size, credits, background color.

More to come as I move forward.  Also I am still doing #sketchaday work but I am not taking the time to scan it in!  Once City 7 work has calmed down just a bit more, I will begin to post those again!

-TheGrav

City 7: The Dead Never Rest.


We have officially launched our IndieGoGo Campaign for City 7.  To track our progress or to help us out please run on over the City 7 on IndieGoGo and nab one of our Sweet Uber-Cool Perk packages!!!  Which we have not gotten around to photographing any of yet.  🙂

Anyway it is time for me to buckle down and being to work on the movie poster!  I know I know, we are this far along with no movie poster.. WHAT!!

Personally I grew up as a Star Wars kid (My step-mom also really loved Star Trek, but I try not to hold it against her :P) so I have always been drawn to the painted style movie posters over the photographic versions.

Classic Movie Poster, A New Hope, Star Wars

Step 1 is the idea.. step 2 is GO TO GOOGLE!  A quick search for classic movie posters showed me all sorts of awesome old school illustration and painting posters, just what I was looking for!

But wait.. then I remember Left 4 Dead.  For anyone that read my blog and isn’t a huge gamer geek, Left 4 Dead had some amazing movie poster style loading screens.  All this research led me to step 3, which is the “…” part.  In this case it means I will be doing a bit of art!

It has been awhile since I have done anything this complicated and exact, so I set myself to collecting just a bit more information.  For instance classic movie poster(or those made before 1985) were 27″ x 41″.

Valve, Left 4 Dead, Video GamesWith my inspirations laid out, my size research completed and an idea of where I wanna be, it is time to set out!

City 7 takes place in San Diego, and features a cast of ten characters, plus an uncounted horde of zombies.  I will not be trying to crunch all of that onto one poster!  But San Diego, and some Zombies, now that is do-able!

Stay tuned!  I will be following my poster design process for the next few days!  Estimated time is around 60 hours for this entire project!

-TheGrav