PBS

Al Boardman Animates the Oscars Special Opener for Charlie Rose.

With the Oscars taking place a couple of nights back, the buzz surrounding the event and the movies is still fresh. For Charlie Rose ‘Oscars Special’,   was asked to produce the animated opening sequence. The one minute animated intro sequence features 8 Oscar nominated films with actors and directors that had previously appeared on the Charlie Rose show. The piece originally aired on PBS on 27th February 2014 a few nights before the Academy Awards event, and the look Boardman created for it is great. Capitalizing on the flat design look that is so popular right now Boardman captures the essence of the films with fluid transitions, smooth animation, and solid sound design supporting each sequence.

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The Power of Hash Tags on Photography.

OK Instgram users, have you ever thought about the influence of “Hash Tags” on your posts? If not you should. The video below explains the why, and how of what hash tags do to your feed. Why you should use them, and what might happen if you do. Brought to you by PBS Idea Channel, this short little film will make you think, and laugh a little too.

Oh and if you don’t subscribe to this YouTube feed, you should.

Remixing the World With Photoshop.

PBS has released a new Off Book video on YouTube, talking about how Photoshop has changed imaging, culture, and the way we interact with images. I use Photoshop 7 days a week. Anyone in a visually creative occupation probably does. The video is just over five minutes long, and at times feels like a great big ad for Adobe’s flagship product. None the less it’s worth watching, for the amazing examples of work, the commentary from artist, designers and photographers, and the ideas that it evokes. I say the ideas that it evokes, because in many ways this short film is spot on about how Photoshop has changed imaging for forever, and how it has had a global impact on how we perceive our world. Frankly, I’d like to see a feature length documentary on Photoshop, but then again, I am a design geek.

Photoshop has completely revolutionized our visual culture. Artists now use Photoshop to create complex imagery that would have been impossible 20 years ago. It has also profoundly changed the art of photo retouching, turning a labor intensive process into an artful and often controversial digital workflow. But possibly the most current and expressive influence can be seen in meme culture online. With the ability to alter any image in the media landscape, everyday people now have the means to critically comment on culture and spread their ideas
virally, leveling the playing field between traditional media creators and consumers. Photoshop has changed the way we communicate, the way we express ourselves, and the way we view the world and each other.

Featuring:
Jeff Huang, Art Director & Illustrator
Laurent Le Moing, Picturehouse NYC
Don Caldwell, Know Your Meme

Photographers Featured:
Matt Jones
Chris Buck
Robert Maxwell
Txema Yeste
Matthias Vriens

PBS, Off Book, on Illustration.

Thank you PBS, and the Off Book series for creating this wonderful short film on Illustration, and what Illustrators do. This seven minute short film is worth watching whether you are an illustrator, designer, artist, or anyone that is interested in the visual arts at all. It features Steven Guarnaccia, Sean Murphy, Yuko Shimisu, and Molly Crabapple.

Illustrators articulate what a photograph cannot. Using an array of techniques and styles, illustrators evoke stories and meaning in a variety of mediums, from editorial illustration in magazines and newspapers, to comics books, to activist media. And as their tasks over the years have become less informational and more expressive, their individual voice as artists becomes all the more critical and beautiful, revealing an exciting and awe-inspiring age of illustration.

Featuring:
Steven Guarnaccia, Professor, Illustration Program at The New School
Yuko Shimisu, http://yukoart.com/
Sean Murphy, http://seangordonmurphy.com/
Molly Crabapple, http://mollycrabapple.com/

Ban All The Political Ads For Forever.

I try not to be very political in this space. This blog isn’t about politics, and my political view point is really no ones business but mine. With that said though, I am going to post something somewhat political.

As we move toward the November elections, the mud slinging, hate mongering, misinformed bullshit of both parties political machines is kicking into full force. The first salvos of political propaganda are hitting the TV and Radio airwaves, and it is only going to get worse before it gets better. My email inbox is being flooded with spam from both Obama and Romney. Today I received 3 text messages from the Romney camp. How they got my cell number is a mystery, but they got it and they pissed me off.

I have a proposal. Something that might make the average American think, and actually have to listen to the candidates, and not the party spin machine. The propaganda factories, and superpacs spinning millions of dollars of TV ads trying to sway your opinion with half facts, and semi truths that paint their candidate in a better light.

The proposal is this.

NO ADS FOR PEOPLE RUNNING FOR POLITICAL OFFICE EVER.

Instead the candidates should be required to conduct one debate a week from June first until October 31st on Public Television and Public Radio. The Questions won’t be submitted to the candidates in advance, and can be emailed, tweeted, or phoned in by any American citizen.

Think about it. The candidates wouldn’t be coached on how to answer the questions. They would have to answer to the best of their ability. They’d be forced to show their true colors, spin less, and cut the bullshit. Perhaps the American public would become more involved, and stop listening to the talking heads and actually form an opinion of their own.

Think of all the money that would be saved. If you get rid of the billions of dollars spent on TV and Radio ads. On Facebook, Twitter, text messages, direct mail, billboards, news paper ads and every other media ad outlet, and applied it to something worthwhile, maybe things would get a little better.

I know it’s just wishful thinking, but damn I wish something like this could happen. I know I’m going to want it by November.