Sunday Sketchbook

The Halloween decorating continues but this year niece Devin gave me some sketched out ideas I might use (with notes from her Parents in the margins for stuff she didn't know how to draw)

Click on picture to enlarge.

"Officer, I can explain..."

A memory of Halloween past. Taking some decor to the Fiancee's for a party...

Halloween countdown #5

I've fallen behind on my Halloween decorating but starting to pick up the pace. The planned larger cemetery gate pillars were turning out OK, but decided to scale them back.

Instead of having them at the corners of the whole yard, I'm going to create a smaller cemetery centered on the lawn surrounded by other surprises. I love glued on moss. It's cheesy and typical but a classic Halloween decor finishing touch. Like tinsel on Christmas trees.

You should see my right hand.

Behold my working manicure. Gloves? We don't need no stinkin' gloves. Actually looks cleaner today than usual...

Happy Anniversary Megan and Paul

2 years ago today, my sister Megan and brother in law Paul married. It was a fun and happy tear filled day. I have many good memories.

At the wedding rehearsal, Mom helped Megan with the ceremony seating plan...

On wedding day, Megan only trusted Devin (her daughter and flower girl) to handle things right...

Devin ran a tight ship and kept the day moving along...

Even my Dad, the bride's father was under Devin's rule. He stood waiting to escort Megan into the church...

only to have Devin cut short his emotional moment....

It was a lovely ceremony. Devin had every beat planned out...

Although she was a ruthless wedding coordinator, Devin knew when to stop and make a memory...

Those moments had to be made up for in time at the reception...

It was a great day for who survived Devin's rule. I hope a good day for Megan and Paul as well...

Despite my humorous take on the wedding above, it was a wonderful time. One memory that stands out was walking my Mom down the aisle with my brother for her daughter's wedding that day...

The last time I wore a tuxedo was walking my late Aunt Joan (my Mom's sister) down the aisle for her daughter's wedding, my cousin Mary Alice. As I took my Mom's arm I thought of Aunt Joan. Growing up she was always my second Mom by default.

It was nice to be the same escort for both for the same reason.

Mom was nervous and asked me to say something funny as we walked. I said something like... "I never really liked you Mom". I was nervous too and don't remember what I said.

I love the photo above because whatever I said made her smile and was captured in the moment.

Sunday Sketchbook

Cheesus Crust

My friend Jason Garner has been in Boston the past month or so art directing a movie. We talked the other day and he told me a great story about some set decor he made for the film's Production Designer. He mentioned it got some local press. Well, I'm not going to try and write it the article in the Boston Herald.

Flashback Friday # 16

Tonight's RISD 20 year ago memory will be a short one. It's 8:30pm and I just got home from work after little sleep last night prepping, an early call time and a painfully long rush hour drive from a Newport Beach location. I'm wiped out.

My friend and fellow alum, Megan sent me these pics she took while in Providence of my old student housing for 3 of my 4 years. This is Congdon House. It looks just the same except for the fancy plaque on the wall above the front door. To this day I always call the house color Congdon yellow to myself when needing or seeing a shade like it in art or design.

I lived in the room on the far right second story in my Sophmore year...

Ahhh...the back porch room in my Senior year. My roomie Mike O'Bierne and I got official permission in writing from the Resident Director to use it. No one living there before was ever allowed, house security reasons (but it never really stopped them).

I'm going to update this post over the next few days with more stories and pics when I'm a little less weary and more focused. I'll let ya know when I do.

The Last of the Petty Cash

After a long week of prop shopping, with just a few dollars left in this week's budget, our hero uses up turned tiny plastic cups as bases for needed little flagpoles tomorrow (and because he lost the really good little wood bases today, leaving in the shopping cart, while unloading other stuff and only discovered just a few hours before needed after the stores are closed). Our hero's an idiot!

Kindergarden arts and crafts time just pays for itself over the years.

UPDATE to Prop Shopping

While at Omega Cinema Props today picking up stuff, these were outside. As I said in the previous post. You can rent almost anything...

Sunday Sketchbook

I've been using the same kind of sketchbook since high school. The black covered, CACHET CLASSIC ( 8"x 11") . My Aunt Ellen gave me my first one. Which has been sadly lost somewhere in my travels. I've saved every one since. They're my visual journals. I can recall smells, feelings, places and people in my life in every doodle. Some books I have filled in a month or two, others have lingered for a year or more. Some are only half used. They become chapters in my life and I find a need to start fresh with a new book. I've been slowly trying to restore many of the older ones over the past week or two.

I'm not guarded about their contents. I love letting folks look through them. Sometimes, artist friends come to a blank page and ask if they can draw something. Always fun to see what they do. I've re discovered many "guest" appearances like old friend, Henry Sato. We met while working together at Aaron Brothers Art Mart in the late 80's. Henry went on to be an animator at Walt Disney. One afternoon he came over to visit. He was working on ALADDIN at the time.

His doodles in my sketchbook that day...

Saturday Video

I just discovered a commercial for A.J.'s Time Travelers on FOX in the mid 90's on YOUTUBE. I was the set decorator. Although a short lived series, I did get to work on a Saturday morning kid's show which was always a small career hope of mine.

Watch for the throttle the "pilot" pushes forward (it goes by fast). One of the best things I've ever just slapped together and got a lot of focus on the show. It was requested by the director at the last minute. He wanted the "pilot" to do something more than just push a button (as written in the script) and have more dramatic action. His request came at 5pm in the afternoon and was needed by the morning. Far too late to find at any prop rental house. I had to think fast and went shopping. I bought a toy bull dozer, cut the body in half, added some glued on details and replaced the scoop on it's arms with a old video game joystick. Once painted and mounted on the control panel the next morning, it worked great. Sometimes the quick and dirty stuff turns out pretty good.

Flashback Friday # 15

The adventures and times spent with my friend Pete Whitehead while students at RISD in the 80's could literally be a daily blog unto itself. Let this "Flashback Friday" be a simple introduction to him. Today, Pete is a successful illustrator and card designer working at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. You've probably given his work to a friend on a birthday.

During my first week in college, I had to try and be friends with my roommate but I knew it would never be more than a forced polite relationship. With everyone else, I was shy and awkward, just nodding at in passing. There was a freshman class orientation field trip one day. On the bus ride someone referenced a old Bugs Bunny cartoon. The guy who lived 2 doors down the hall from me quoted a line. I quoted the next one and we went back and forth. That was my first conversation with Pete. Four years later he was the last person I said goodbye too boarding a plane home.

The one thing that stands out in our friendship was genuine, crying laughter. We worked hard trying to make each other laugh all the time. I'll tell many Pete stories in time. We keep in touch now and again. A great perk still being his friend was getting a hand drawn, original Hallmark card for my birthday one year...

...and no, the friendship was not just all drinking and partying...we cracked the spine of a book now and again...well Pete did for sure...and had intellectual discussions...well, sometimes, mostly about Saturday morning's Pee Wee Playhouse...or at least Pete told me about it after I woke up in the stall. Pete liked to go to bed early on Friday nights just so he could act all superior to me the next morning.

Love + Kisses, Brooke

My friend VALLEY GRRRL has a great story about meeting actor CHRIS ELLIOT on her blog. Her story reminded me of the time I met Brooke Shields.

Back in 1993, during it's final season, I was in the art dept. on ABC's The HOME SHOW. When not doing everyday prop person stuff, I was the "special set designer". I would design and create sets for fashion show segments or other unique needs next to the main set.

One day, segment producer at the time, Tracy Mazuer, came to me and said Brooke Shields was going to be a guest promoting a pet adoption campaign. The idea for the segment was to do a "tongue in cheek" version of the fashion shows we did once or twice a week. The animals up for adoption would come down the runway. I proposed, playing off the idea, that the set might look like a NEW YORKER magazine cover illustration. Sort of... humorously chic. Tracy liked the idea and sold it to the higher ups. The set came out pretty good. I want to kick my younger self because I didn't take any pictures. I still have the concept sketch though...

I was really excited to see Brooke Shields. I had a huge crush on her in my youth. I actually started to count down the hours when I would see her in person (quietly... in my head). I had told Tracy about my crush and she got a laugh out of it.

The morning of the show arrived, Brooke walked onto my set and sat down. Before the next part of the story, you should know... one of the duties the prop people did was provide water in "Home Show" mugs for talent/guests.

Tracy took a moment in prepping Brooke and called me over to introduce us, making a point of telling her I made the set. There I was looking into the beautiful eyes of a dream girl from my youth.

"Nice to meet you, the set is so cute" Brooke said

Nervous and shy, I asked her mumbling ...

"Can I get you some water?" almost in a whisper

"What?" Brooke said, leaning in closer, making my knee's weak.

"Wa ga, youb mont wa ga?" I said. My mouth had stopped working.

Tracy stepped in to translate...

"Dave's wondering if you would you like some water?"

"No, I'm fine, thank you." Brooke said smiling at me in a sweet way like I was the little slow and stupid guy on the crew.

I said "OK" and started to walk away. Tracy took my arm and walked with me. She was laughing knowing I got star struck.

"Are you alright?" she asked quietly.

"Yea, sorry, I'm just 12 years old again."

She laughed harder and went back to Brooke and producing the segment.

A couple of days later, Tracy handed me a large envelope.

"This is for you" she said and I opened it...

The Reality of Reality TV: 2nd season #4

I often do quick sketches to help the production team visualize things. Sometimes you get to have fun designing and drawing high concept ideas one afternoon...

and the most ordinary and simple plans the next.

Holy Smokes, My Friends...

Most of the world will talk today about Britney's so what comeback and the Kid Rock vs. Tommy Lee brawl at the MTV video music awards last night. The water cooler gossip for me was actor Shia LaBeouf announcing the title of Indiana Jones 4...

The Reality of Reality TV: 2nd season #3

So you want to work in the art dept. on a TV show? What things should you have in your arsenal? Here's all the stuff you need to handle any creative situation that might come up...

That's it, that's all you'll ever have to keep handy.

The Great Pumpkin's going to skip my house this year

3 month's ago I planted seeds again for this year's small backyard pumpkin patch. The unexpected arrival of Hurricane Grover has wiped out the crop. Too bad...the patch was looking like it was going to be the most sincere one ever.

Form over Function

A couple of years back with the help of friends Andri, Damon and Jason, I converted the shed/storage room off the garage into a small home office/art studio.

We put up drywall and installed a door to connect it to the garage, so I could do really messy work in there.

It's a great space except for one thing...I replaced the dirty ceiling panels with corrugated tin sheets for a cool look. Not so cool when it's 100+ outside. I built an oven.

When we put the ceiling in, It was a rainy winter so it was quite comfortable. Come summer I realized my mistake. Last summer I got a portable air conditioner and that was OK. This summer has been fairly mild so just a fan was perfect... until this week. Guess what broke down when I went to plug it in? UGH.

Happy Labor Day

It's hot. The world looks like a Dali painting. Come on Fall, where are you?

Friends, Romans, Countrymen and Family...

Over the past month or so, there has been recent "web" stuff going on with friends and family that I've wanted to point out for awhile.

Sometimes producer/director boss, friend and fellow "Star Wars" geek, ANDREW WOLLMAN is doing online film reviews and "red carpet" interviews at BROADCASTER.COM

MONICA, the sister I wish I could forget, has renamed her online store... THE FOG SHOP and added some cool new designs. Miss independent, just sold another work from a show in Portland. I can just imagine her in a Oregon hazy day sitting with her coffee with that smug...I'm so sophisticated and artistic look.

MEGAN, my other sister I have officially denied being related too, has just opened her own agency called CREATIVE 24 representing photographers, stylists, etc. She's got a swanky office in the "310" area code and runs her company the way she orders around my brother in law Paul. So I know she will rule this town one day. BTW...Paul, if your reading this, I feel your pain... you do know my fiancee right?

Eccentric past co worker, ALLEN McLEOD has created popular viral video at FUNNYORDIE.COM

Pure east coast attitude spewing former employer, VINCENT GUASTINI - make up fx artist, has a 14 part video interview at INTERVIEWINGHOLLWOOD. COM. See and hear Vinnie's behind the scenes info. In one segment, he talks about the Battlestar Galactica project I was a part of.

Fellow RISD alum and friend, MEGAN JEFFERY has a cool ETSY SHOP

Friend and demanding diva JENNIFER PERKINS, host of DIY's CRAFT LAB ( a set I designed) created a ETSY SHOP as well recently.

Fellow HGTV art dept. veteran and friend, JASON GARNER is living in Boston at the moment working on a movie but the ROB ZOMBIE HALLOWEEN re-make he worked on is in theaters now! When you see it, pay attention to the Dr. Loomis book cover and the mural on the side of the van....they were Jason's design among other details.

I know there are a ton of folks and things I'm probably forgetting and not mentioning today but I'm going to make this a regular post once in awhile.

Sunday Morning Video

I share 2 things with my Dad and my Grandfather, we are all named David and we all worked in TV. I never knew my Grandfather, he died shortly before I was born. His legacy as a producer, writer and director is well known. His most notable work was producing CBS Reports Harvest of Shame with Edward R. Murrow. He won Emmy's and Peabody awards. That is impressive but who cares...blah, blah, blah. If I had the chance to talk to him today I would want to know all about his time as a producer on... CAPTAIN VIDEO AND HIS VIDEO RANGERS!

Captain Video was one of the first children's TV series and the first space adventure TV series. It was filmed live in NY 5 days a week airing from 1949 to 1955. Although famously cheesy it was a huge hit. Adults loved it as well. Because it was old kine scope and not on film very few episodes still exist. It was also considered a silly kid's show so they were never saved for prosperity. I read once it had a prop budget of $25.00 a week! I can imagine myself working on the show having a blast making silly sci fi props out of cardboard...

The show was so popular it was a running gag on THE HONEYMOONERS and inspired one of it's classic funny moments...