I love the Dark Tower. I do. I even have an Unfound tattoo on my right wrist! I eagerly await the day when we get a proper adaptation of the novels, and while I have zero faith in Hollywood to do it justice, GeekTyrant has posted concept art for the Ron Howard adaptation. Even if it doesn't pan out (it won't), it's neat to see, especially the fly throughs. View the pieces here.
One of the most exciting things to come out of Google I/O was the announcement of what Google is calling "Material Design", better known as the new visual direction for Android, Chrome OS, and their web apps. If you've been following the Google scene in the last 18 months, you'll have noticed that the visual styling is slowly beginning to become cleaner and flatter; it looks as if a broader rollout is about to happen. The single largest complaint I have–at least as far as Android is concerned–is the lack of visual continuity on the platform. Perhaps we'll see a complete overhaul in 4.5 Lollipop. Here's hoping.
Read The Verge's writeup, including a handsomely produced proof-of-concept video, here.
Today marks the 25th anniversary theatrical release of Batman's first real big screen debut in Tim Burton's 1989 masterpiece, "Batman". While the movie may seem kind of chintzy when compared to today's explosion-fest superhero films, Batman started the supehero-as-blockbuster model. Regardless, the production and art direction of the film certainly set a tone that still holds up today–if not more now than then.
So what were superhero films like before Hollywood had the (mis)fortune of CGI to do the heavy lifting? Miniatures, physical set design, matte paintings...Batman had it all and this blog of the 1989 Batman spectacle will give you a good indication of all the hard work that went in. Check it out here.
At T-Mobile's Uncarrier 6.0 event last night, CEO John Legere lashed out (again) at his Verizon and AT&T rivals whilst introducing a zero-hit to your data plan when listening to streaming music (AKA "Music Freedom"). Take that, net neutrality! Being a T-Mo subscriber just keeps getting better if I do say so myself—I'm a fan of any CEO who publicly calls their rivals fuckers and rapists! Anyway, The Verge put together a supercut of Legere's better moments which you can view here.
I debated posting this simply because I try to avoid celebrity schlock, but as someone who is...let's call it "concerned" about theme park rides (ie. rollercoasters), my heart goes out to Kevin Hart who, despite being terrified, was coerced into riding one at Universal Studios for the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon. That poor, poor thing. Watch the clip and the feels here.
This here...this here is some smart advertising. I'll tell you that it promotes safer driving habits where it concerns texting, but other than that, I won't spoil the specifics. Just know it's effective. I would have loved to have experienced it for the first time in-theater while VW had mine (and everyone else's) undivided. See the spot here.
Bill Watterson, the off-the-grid genius behind Calvin and Hobbes, has been ghost writing on "Pearls Before Swine", a funny comic in it's own rite. I know...it's amazing, but unfortunately, it's not the glorious return of Watterson either. However, given the recent C&H documentary (which Watterson himself had nothing to do with), his inking the posted for "Stripped", and now this, hopefully it's the start of something. Read an article on this event here; the comics in question can be found here.
Fruit of the Loom has posted animated GIF certificates (get it?) that are good for the little things dads really want...like naps or the remote. The GIFs are a modern take on coupons kids have given their parents for years...they're also pretty awesome loops. See them here.
Solar paneled roads sound obvious enough, right? Renewable energy, cost-efficiency, etc. But then there's this Indiegogo campaign from adorable engineering couple Scott and Julie Brusaw that takes the immediate associations of the idea and adds just enough to make you excited about the prospect all the more. Features (yes, these roads have features) like custom LED patterns, snow-melting surface temperatures, and impact-resistant glass. The possibilities are literally amazing, though the pessimist in me says in won't happen only because no one will be making money. Check out the campaign and pledge your money here.
To promote the actual, physical act of being social, Coca-Cola/Leo Burnett Columbia have developed a cleverly simple design solution for a bottle that only opens when coupled with the same bottle (think a key or puzzle piece). While the idea was launched on the campus of a Columbian University to persuade freshman to "break the ice", this idea could go places in the United States...what with smokers being turned into pariah's and the overall narcissistic society we live in. Read more here and/or watch the video here.
Concert Hotels put together an interactive chart examining the recorded vocal ranges of some of the most iconic singers in history by plotting the octaves captured in-studio (not live). The chart visualizes vocal range and lists the songs in which each vocalist has hit their lowest and highest notes. Sitting atop the chart is...not who you thought, but rather Axl Rose (the frontman for Guns 'n Roses for you kids). View the list here.
Say what you will about the creation myth, Darren Aronofsky's Noah does the biblical account justice...and now you can see it for yourself! I guess you could technically call this a "spoiler", but it's a spoiler in the vein of knowing how Humpty Dumpty ends. View the clip here. Visual effects via the talented folks at Protozoa Pictures. View thew
Did you like Caroline or ParaNorman? Are you excited for The Boxtrolls? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, then you're familiar with LAIKA's work and you'll be happy to know that they're spinning off their ad division to work on more feature films. Being a fan of LAIKA's stylistic work, I'm all for this. Read the press release below.
(Portland, OR; May 20, 2014) -- LAIKA, the animation studio based just outside Portland, Oregon, is spinning off its advertising/commercial division LAIKA/house to concentrate exclusively on the feature film arena. Next up for LAIKA is The Boxtrolls, its third feature film, releasing domestically on September 26, 2014.
LAIKA/house President Lourri Hammack, Creative Director Kirk Kelley and Managing Director of Strategic Operations Al Cubillas will lead a new studio specializing in short to mid-form animated content for advertising and broadcast markets. LAIKA plans to continue operations under the LAIKA/house banner as it transitions work to the new studio over the summer months.
“We’re very proud of the entire LAIKA/house team and its heritage of beautiful, industry-leading work,” says Travis Knight, LAIKA President & CEO. “But as LAIKA finishes our third film and is in the process of actively developing an ambitious range of future projects, it’s become clear that we need to devote all of our artistry, innovation, and resources towards our feature films in order to craft the distinctive and evocative stories for which LAIKA has become known.”
“With Coraline and ParaNorman we set a high standard for ourselves and the entire animation industry,” Knight continues. “The Boxtrolls and our slate of upcoming films aspire to push the bar even higher. Our commitment to creating superlative works of art has been the force driving both of LAIKA’s divisions since our inception. We wish Lourri, Kirk and Al tremendous success as they carry on that tradition of excellence in their new venture.”
“Animation isn’t just a storytelling medium – it’s our life force and our passion,” says Hammack. “In just a few short years, LAIKA has created groundbreaking works of feature-length animated art that continue to inspire and amaze. We are honored to be entrusted with LAIKA/house’s rich legacy as we build the next chapter of our longstanding advertising and commercial division.”
At the Columbus College of Art and Design, two college students, known collectively as #dangerdust, sneak into an empty classroom each Sunday or Monday and create a staggering work of art out of nothing but chalk. Taking a page from Bansky, the unnamed pair are both seniors in Advertising & Graphic Design, but somehow have managed to spare time and energy to chalkboard masterpieces–some of which take 11+ hours to complete. View the article and some works here, and view their Twitter profile featuring more of their legit amazing works here.