Still available on Kickstarter for your supporting dollars!
So the great people at ADI (Amalgamated Dynamics); Have decided to form a Kickstarter campaign for a sci-fi/horror film by Creature FX Designer Alec Gillis, that will celebrate Animatronics and Makeup FX . Help keep FX real!
I’m a huge fan of practical effects work, and these guys are some of the best. They came out of working from Stan Winston, you know THE Stan Winston, that creative force behind The Predator® and Aliens® and The Terminator® to name drop just a few. These guys are kicking it into high gear and are going to make a full feature creature film using hand crafted make-up, scale models, suits and animatronics to show Hollywood that there is just no substitute for the real deal.
If you love Sci-Fi and creature films from the 80′s & 90′s, but are not too thrilled with the over dependence on CG then this is a project for you to get behind.
Donate what you can!
Find them on facebook, watch their videos on youtube, visit them online and watch the magic happen!
“ADI Concept Art by Mike Broom and Alec Gillis”
Tags: Crohn's Disease, Honesty, humour, living
This has been an entry I have meant to write since I purchased this blog space on WordPress, but I haven’t really managed to put what I want to say down in words as of yet. I came by Crohn’s Disease honestly (not sure there are other methods other than sudden trauma, sickness or stress, and in my case genetics). So why now, well I was fully diagnosed in 2005 after I graduated from University (I had all ready graduated from a 1 year college program at this point with some interesting developments in my illness & symptoms). Up until now, that had been the last year of a major flare up and a follow up colonoscopy. I haven’t had a flare up, but since it has been 8 years, and a new gastro Dr, and some changing symptoms we felt it best to have a poke round.
Part of why I am writing is that as a thirteen year old tween, I felt pretty different, and uncomfortable, and had some unpleasant bouts of depression, and low-ish self esteem. But Crohn’s isn’t a reason to give up on everything you enjoyed before being affected by it. Mind you, while I had a nasty and confusing case, I haven’t needed a Brookes ileostomy, or a colostomy bag (so I count myself as lucky). I do have a very ulcerated bowel, a mess of a Duodenum and ileum. The next step up in prescription medication are the Biologics, and that’s about $25,000 a year. So yes even with the pain, and blood and threat of a stress induced flare up I count myself lucky.
You can go to school, play sports (I wrestled and played soccer in between flare-ups in high school, and played Rugby and rowed a little bit in university) I also sang, danced and played trombone from grades school through until university. All in all, over my high school career I didn’t miss that much time to illness, although my roughest patch from what I recall was about 1-2 months off school. I had good enough grades prior to, and was doing homework issued to me by some understanding teachers, that I was able to pass on to the next school year uninterrupted. Yes there were a lot of sucky, sad, depressing weeks and months interspersed in there, but it gets better with age, and as you build character and gain a better perspective on what really is important. As shitty as I felt, I didn’t have cancer, and more likely than not this wasn’t going to outright kill me. Even when it felt like it was. So chin up. Find a hobby you can do sick or healthy. Drawing, painting, singing, playing a small to mid size instrument. These things will keep you in a happy place when everything else goes to pot.
I was about 13 years old when I had my first bout. I had been really ill over the Christmas Holidays (as was the usual case for me when vast quantities of food was available) I think I had a crazy flu, that led to some nasty night sweats and hallucinated dreams, and general unpleasantness. A few months later while on a school graduation trip (Grade 8 Wonderland trip). I ate some questionable items from a snack bar and then spent about 5 hours in the mountain toilet feeling like a balloon was inflating and then constricting in my bowels. By far not the worst bout I’d had, but for a first introduction it was enough. Then the big symptoms sort of went away, and I spent a great amount of time feeling bloated and uncomfortable after every time I ate (anything, could be fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, sugar, starch, water, rice etc etc…) all of it left me sore and in some sort of gastric distress. By the time I was sixteen, and in high school, I was going to the toilet about 16 – 20 times a day (Gas, mucous, and lots of abdominal pain). I had a few odd moments of throwing up in my principals car one time when he was the only one available to drive me to my Dr’s office. (Did I mention that at that time I lived in rural Ontario (Erin. Pronounced Air-in to those who weren’t born there, and Ear-in to those who were). Any way, I had a fair few occasions where I had to rush to one Doctor or another for a shot of Demoral or whatever in my hip/butt.
I was put on Diecetel, and had a stash of some other prescription that dissolved on the tongue and numbed everything from my mouth to my anus. (Levsin I believe) or some such like that. I had a few colonoscopy’s and gastro-oscopy’s (4-6) of them between 15 -18 years of age, and they all turned up inconclusive. Seems my body does a good job at camouflaging any internal damage. Later I would also find out that the effects of Crohn’s on your innards is very similar to that of Celiac Disease. Although with drastically different methods of control and containment.
There is about 20 years of stuff I can tell you. Gory details, and graphic explanations of things that happen to your body. Take vitamins early on, and although you may vomit an awful lot, protect your teeth with as much vim and vigor as you can muster. Hair grows back, and looks a whole lot nicer after a lengthy flare up, but your teeth & bones not so much. In between flare ups you should really try to maintain a work out regimen. Stay positive, and stay healthy.
Anyway, with a scope to under go tomorrow, I just thought I would take some time and put some thoughts down on paper, such as it is. I’ll have more to say on this at a later date.
Tags: amateur, artsy fartsy, sculpting, Side Show Collectibles
Yes, so here I am back again after a brief respite. I have been having a bit of an issue with all things art, and I have been trying desperately to rekindle a lost sense of joy and wonder with art in general. Not to say that i will not continue to draw and paint (I have a few items in the works for my wife and my nephews for the new year). But I have been trying to combat a sense of ennui that I couldn’t seem to shake. It isn’t full scale depression, nothing that serious. I think my main issue was that rather than doing something for the sheer joy of it I was always concerned about the final product, was it going to be awful, would it be a waste of time or a half hearted effort if it didn’t immediately click or work as an art piece. Recently I’ve really had to push myself to just do something, anything, to get back into the swing of things. Perhaps because my day job is producing commercial art for other people, based on their wants and needs rather than as my own artful expression (sounds artsy fartsy I know). This fear of doing something crappy, or not “up-to snuff” has left in its wake a fair few projects over the last year or two ( too many to mention) although my awesome room is littered with half started, partially finished items in a wide range of mediums. Pencils, inks, acrylics, pastels the list goes on.
However, during the summer I stumbled across this website called “Side Show Collectibles” and all of the amazing items on their just got me so excited, but they are also not cheap, so how do you get all of those fantastic items, without paying the $$$$$$? Easy, teach yourself to sculpt free standing figures, and make your own custom version of the pieces you just can’t get out of your head. Sounds like fun, and IT IS!, Although I am so not a sculptor by trade, training or inclination. But I just love the feeling of getting my hands dirty, and working with the clay in my hands. I like this because I work in a digital medium all week long, and as much fun as I have putting together very colourful 2D and even 3D displays, print ads and apparel, it is really something to see a creation come together in real time, in real space, with the work of your own two hands. Not that Graphic Design isn’t a major love in my life, believe it is. I wouldn’t do it 40 hours a week, plus evenings and weekends, reading and researching and refining my technique constantly. I’m far from finished learning about the many facets of digital & print design.
But with private art works i can really open up and tackle things I wouldn’t normally do at work, and that can be very freeing, and invigorating. Which is the point! To be inspired, and excited and to really get zoned in and not realize how many hours are just whizzing by. That is a tremendous feeling, and one that I have been trying to recapture since my days of drawing comic books and when I really got hooked on Photoshop compositing.
A really great sculptor at Stand Winston Studios named Steve Wang said “Art is a lonely life, so if you don’t love it, why would you spend you life doing it?”. I may have paraphrased that a little bit, but it is true. Art, whether digital or hand crafted usually isn’t a team activity, it is just you and the project for hours on end. If you don’t love it, why spend your life alone doing it? So there I was, working day in and day out, being very technically proficient, but not getting that rush, or feeling a zeal for it. You know what makes art more fresh and appealing, tackling new art in a format you are super unfamiliar with, that pushes you to try new things and get out of your comfort zone or “rut”. Now the lessons I am learning about proportion, and posing, and light and shape and form is really adding a new dimension to my design work. All I had to do was reawaken that love & lust for life that had been slowly leaking out of the every day experience. Does that make sense?
So the first three items that I tackled were : a generic super cop (sans head and hands), a Tinkerbell inspired fairy for my wife, and an as of yet uncompleted Ariel from the Little Mermaid®
They are far from perfect, and in most cases they are about capturing the essence of a personality and the pose rather than being show pieces with crazy detail. I only started doing these about 3 weeks ago, so I hope that in another 3 week I will progress a bit more, and maybe just maybe i’ll get to the point where I will use super sculpey and then bake & carve out a finished piece that I can sand & paint and display. Until then i will just continue to indulge my artsy side, and continue to hope that my zest for art will work its way further into my daily projects.
If anyone has any sculpting tips or tricks they’d like to fill me in on then just leave a comment.
So it is that time of year again. Time to shave your face clean then unleash all unholy hell across it in terms of garish facial hair. Last year i did the handle bars, this year i will stick with the classic and ever popular Tom Selleck. All upper lip baby, all the way all the time. Enter hilarious Ron Burgundy quote here. So i am raising money and awareness this time around. 2 years official but this is technically my 4th year growing a Mo.
Even if you don’t want to give any cash to support cancer research ( i know it is for prostate by why be so particular in this day and age. Cancer has affected a large portion of us. A quick side note here, i read this book once that said cancer and its mutations could be god attempting to usher man into its next stage of evolution. I wasn’t offended by the statement but i didn’t much care for the sentiment. End of side bar)
Long story short show your support pneumonia way or another. Be a Mo bro
Here i am all cleaned up for Movember 1st.
I am writing this on my Samsung so i apologize in advance for any possible spelling mistakes.
Search Mark holyome on http://www.movember
.com and help me out if you’d like.
Yes, I’ll admit it, I like nothing more on any given work day than to close my office door, and tune out the outside world so that I can concentrate; other people be damned. I have my moments when I want to stand at the water cooler and chat about this or that, but 98% of the time, I’m alone in my space, doing what I love to do, design, draw and create interesting images. It isn’t that I hate people, no not at all, I just find myself not caring so much about whatever they have to say if it should stray from the particular project I’m working on, or have scheduled to begin in the not to distant future. Perhaps I sound cold, or callus. I assure you I am not. Blunt like a grey cinder block? yes, I’ll give you that. My wife likes to refer to me as a robot some times, purely in jest I believe.
But words are petty and actions speak louder than words. Probably why I like to write out letters rather than speak on the phone. I’m sure that having the time to carefully choose ones words, and craft a funny, nasty, churlish, or instructive letter makes me fell smarter than I really am. I can come up with a decent vocabulary when I have the leisure to do so, but when I speak in person, I sputter and swear, and generally repeat myself and am at loss for words that actually say what I mean. A charismatic orator I am not. I did a whole slew of on stage performances when I was in grade school, high school, college and university, but the desire to be front and centre has withered and wasted away. I can give a clear and concise speech, hell I’m too worrisome to just try to wing it, so I’d write it out and learn it, like a good little thespian would. But as any director of mine will tell you, I tend to mouth the words of the other actors as they say them, so I know when I am supposed to speak next. Ha. Talk about losing the suspension of dis-belief. But I’m slowly edging off topic.
The topic, being some what anti-social in a world that is now dominated by “social media”. I imagine on all outward facing fronts, I seem rather social. I have a Youtube account where I post videos, a Deviant Art account where I upload artwork, a NAPP account for my photoshop portfolio, a facebook account, and I tweet some times. But to me, these things aren’t social. It ends up being something I can broadcast what I’m doing without actually having to call or speak to individual’s about what I have done, or am not doing. Remember when, back before ICQ, if you had something really great happen, or you had a birthday, you actually had to call every one of your relatives one after the other, to thank them for cards or gifts or just to say hello. Forever repeating the same sentiments over, and over, and over again, until your ears hurt from pressing the phone to your head for what felt like days on end? Do you remember that? I do. But now, I just post it, and then if anyone cares to they can read it and know what’s going on over in my corner of the country. I’m sure the term “lazy” fits into that lack of desire to call or make an effort to reach each friend or family individually. But, I tell myself, I’m busy, I commute several hours a day, I have this to do or that to do. Isn’t it just easier to broadcast messaging tailored to no one in particular so that everyone who reads it doesn’t feel like they are coming up against an on-slaught of private jokes and inside quips?
So, I know you, odds are I even like you, I just don’t want to talk to you. I’m hard of hearing, and everything these days is just way too loud. I can’t discern your voice from the stereo, or the train, or the traffic noise. I nod my head and say uh-huh a lot, even though I didn’t hear a word you said. I’m a terrible lip reader, so watching your mouth the whole time only helps a little. So, no I don’t want to talk to you. Bastard!, you say, Jerk! who do you think you are!?! you say. I say, I am you, because you do it too. We all have some of these anti-social social media tendencies. Facebook wouldn’t be at how ever many billion users if we weren’t. (Although many of you aren’t hard of hearing, just pacing and waiting for your turn to talk). Is that what your communications feel like these days, not collaboration, not listening, but hearing noises, waiting for a pause, until you have the chance to jump in with your two cents.
This is slightly off topic, but some times near the end of my commute when the train is much, much quieter, and there are two people sitting and chatting on my good side, I listen. Some times, two people are talking and having two very different conversations. Each one is single sided, but they flow together like the people are actually communicating. I found this to be astonishing at first, but it is like those “give away” scenes at the end of “The Sixth Sense”. When you see it the first time you think all is as it should be, but when the twist is exposed, so too do you see the holes, and you think, How Did I Miss That? How did you, indeed.
So to sum up. Do I hate people, Nope. Do I prefer constructive written communication over verbal, yep (Expecting that such foibles as emotion, sarcasm or some such isn’t employed as it tends to go a miss, unless expressed in a very poignant way [side bar, has anyone figured out a proper sarcasm font or type treatment yet???]). Are you being social when broadcasting via social media, Nope. When was the last time you had a decent conversation with your television set, or radio? The internet is different as you can achieve instantaneous responses, but with trolls and what not, is that a fulfilling social connection or experience? Hardly. When we are face to face, do we listen and communicate, or wait for a gap in the noise and jump in with our own two cents, not always, but I see it an awful lot more now than I did prior to the internet boom.
If we can find a quiet place to chat, and I’m not at work, then lets do so. Just turn your phone off and I promise I will listen to you.
I realize I am rather behind on my postings as of late, but some times I just don’t feel like saying much. You should thank me, otherwise I would splash an awful lot of meaningless drivel across these blank pages, and drive you all mad. Not that this post will rise much above the Christopher Hitchens classic word for less than stellar; “Piffle“. What a great word, I think I will work that into the roster.
So I had been debating on whether or not to bother with the FanExpo 2012 in Toronto this year, and when the Friday came I had decided that I wasn’t going to go. Too busy, too hot outside, no money to burn… blah blah blah. Then a construction crew outside our building mashed a gas line and the work day ended around 9:30am that morning. After waiting outside at a safe distance for a suitably boring amount of time, with no work being done, we were allowed to re-enter the building, which stunk of natural gas. I managed to get off a couple of important projects, and was then told to leave shortly after 1pm.
So here I am on a hot, sunny Friday afternoon, and I am unable to work in my office. So I figured, ah fuck it, I’ll catch the train back into the downtown core, and go check out the line up. If it’s huge, I’ll just circle around and head home. After a brief and unexciting walk I bought a ticket and wound up inside the convention centre with about 50,000 other people.
I was somewhat impressed with the scale of things, until I realized it was all contained in the one room, and that everything just about was cash only. Damnit, I didn’t even consider that. Can you tell just how much of a comic convention Noob I am? Saw some pretty awesome Lego displays, Ooh’ed & Aah’ed over quite a few statues from Randy Bowen and Side Show Collectibles. Looked at a whole lot of toys, and comic books, and bought a few graphic novels, mainly “The Walking Dead” 14 ,15, 16.
I saw Jose from EP and some other dude doing an on sight interview. Saw a lot, and I mean an awful lot of people in costume, and quite a few scantily clad ladies as well. I had a lot of fun. My one complaint was it was way too crowded, and I couldn’t find anyone who could tell me where anything was. I missed out on the guidebook with the site map, so I just wandered about for 3 hours or so. I now MUST go to a proper Sandiego Comic-Con. Any takers??
Man, do I love Las Vegas. The place is an insane asylum open 24/7, and cooking at about 110 degrees during the day (At least in Mid August). I wonder just how many light bulbs there are on the strip? Anyone care to go and count for me? Ha. Maybe next time then.
I went for a brief vacation last month, during monsoon season no less (read: humidity, extreme temperatures, lightening storms and rain in the desert). I had a tonne of fun. I usually do. Listen to me, speaking like I have a summer condo there that I frequent, really I have only been twice. Once with my brothers, and the most recent trip was with my wife, one brother, several friends and some acquaintances. Both times I have gone I have had an awful lot of fun, mixed in with some very long plane trips, lay overs, delays and general disarray. Next time I’ll pay for the direct flight, non-stop there and back. I would however have no qualms about staying at Caesars Palace again, that was very nice on the inside. Not only that, but the AC was pumping good & strong the whole time too. Not to mention the fact that the pool was almost empty and very refreshing. (I’ll glaze over the fact that people sit & drink in it all day and never get out once).
The main point of the trip was to do some touristy things, like see the Hoover Dam (we went, it was hot, but beautiful) See below pictures for further insight
. We didn’t stay long as we were on a tight schedule, and were heading off to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon as well. After a very long 5 hours of driving, and a sadly uneventful traipse along Historic Route 66 (the sucky end apparently) we made it to the largest hole in the ground I have ever seen. It is a bit more than that in reality, I just wasn’t in a terribly good mood at that point. Hungry, tired and I seriously needed to pee. After five hours of traveling we could only stay for 30 minutes or so before the sojourn back to Vegas, as some of our group had to catch a flight home back to Canada. (See below for more photo’s and possibly a video of the world’s prettiest ditch).
The real reason my brother and I wanted to head back to Vegas, was because the first time we were really hyped up to go to a shooting range and fire off some massive guns, but one of our older brothers put the kybosh on that during our first trip. So back we came, and on the Saturday afternoon, we hopped into a cab from Caesars car port and made a beeline straight to The Gun Store. I made a point of firing two smaller hand guns and a sniper rifle, (the 1911, a 20-something, and a .223 sniper rifle with scope). It was awesome!. I sucked for the first 4 of six shots with the 1911, because I made the rookie mistake of sighting with only the rear end of the site and not following from stem to stern. I got much better after I realized this. Although, never having fired a hand gun before I did manage to hit the clip release on the grip while sighting up with the 20-something style hand gun. I felt rather stupid, but you live and you learn. Even with the weight and strain of a real fire arm I have a fairly tight grouping.
Zombie clowns had best beware, as I prefer the head shot at 30 paces. As long as they don’t move more than a foot from side to side swaying in the wind, similar to the targets in the enclosed range we were in, then I will be just fine.
In fact I enjoyed myself so much, I am signing up to get my gun license here in Ontario, to go target shooting with a Springfield 30-o6 (or similar variation of) that I have got my eye on from the Pro-Bass Shop in Vaughn.
I’ll amend this later to add in the photos and
video. I’m tied up at home with a Hallowe’en costume project for my dog, and some Markham Fair art entries I have to start & finish for the end of the month.
Hey everyone, so it looks as though there is a long weekend coming down the pike, and I just had to share a fun image I put together in the spirit of all things “party”. Well as far as what the term party means to me anyway. So I say, enjoy the weather, the good friends, the great outdoors, music and refreshments in a safe and enjoyable manner.
If I could have worked my Moosehead Gibson Guitar into this I would have, but I think a flaming red Gibson is a very very close second (not too unlike my other Gibson for that matter).
Enjoy your time off, bask in the late summer suns glow, and raise yourself a Moosehead.
Oh yeah, and a big, huge, massive shout out to my friends ” The Good For Naughts“, who have a 19+ show coming up in Toronto later this month (August 16, 2012). The Doors open at 9:00 pm at the Smiling Buddha Bar, and a few other spectacular bands will be playing as well. The Low Hanging Lights (www.lowhanginglights.com) and Jessica Speziale (www.jessicaspeziale.com). Cover at the door is a measly $5 bucks, so go, have a beverage and enjoy yourself with other like minded individuals.
You can contact me directly if you would like more info about the show.