22 February, 2010

Hometown Heroes

I'm not entirely sure where my new fascination for vintage professional basketball is coming from, but it's settling in for sure. And even though Valentine's Day was a few weeks ago, I couldn't resist drawing hearts instead of basketballs.

From my Showtime-era Los Angeles Lakers Valentine's Day collection:

18 February, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day From the 1990-91 Chicago Bulls

When one really loves something, one loses the ability to offer up anything but the Best. For example, if you love cinema and you have the opportunity to make a film, you're going to do it the best you can. Otherwise it'd be dumb, and there's no point in being dumb when you don't have to be.

Romantic love and friendship should be no different. And that's why this year on Valentine's Day when I was looking for the Best way to show off my affection, I went straight to the source:

The 1990-91 Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls of the 1990s dominated professional basketball, winning the NBA championship 6 times. And the 1990-91 team was the team that started it all. Not only can you say in good conscience that the 1990s Chicago Bulls were the greatest basketball dynasty of all time, but you can also say that they're pretty much the pinnacle of being the Best in general. Godard, for example, was the 1990s Chicago Bulls of 1960s Cinema. Alexander the Great was the 1990s Chicago Bulls of conquest. They're the universal reference point.

If I really want someone to know I think they're the Best at being nice, how could I give them anything but all 12 Chicago Bulls + Head Coach Phil Jackson, hand drawn and colored on cardboard with oftentimes basketball-themed puns?

Here's a real small sampling:

On Valentine's Day, I hope you kissed someone with your eyes open. It's so daring.

16 February, 2010

SRL Identity by Sidearm Design

A few years ago during the spring of my sophomore year of college, I was given the opportunity to make a short film called Nate and Natalie. I was in the advanced play writing course at the time, and I remember the instructor, Bryan, let me alter my syllabus in order to write the screenplay. He had received his MFA in screenwriting from NYU some years before, and had been (and continued to be) my mentor all throughout college. By the end of the term the script was finished, and the film was in the advanced stages of pre-production. My friend Daniel had just composed the movie's main theme, and I was going nuts over it I liked it so much. I brought it to Bryan to listen to on my ipod before class. We were standing outside the Old Main theater and it was sunny. He put on the headphones and bobbed his head to the noise of synthesizers and girl vocals and drums; I remember how green the campus looked. After the song was over he handed me back the headphones and with a smile said, "The most exciting part is when it all starts coming together, isn't it?"

I agreed with Bryan then, and I agree with him now. The most exciting part is when everything comes together from wine bottles and ideas to tangible, sharable pieces of creation.

The Sirocco Research Labs is very lucky to have Karl Peterson of Sidearm Design on our side. Just yesterday he launched our website at www.siroccoresearchlabs.com. He is responsible for the Labs' graphic identity entirely. From our movie posters to logo:

The basic idea for our aesthetic is the retro-future. For one, it's a perfect contradiction, which is exactly what the Sirocco Research Labs is attempting to create every time we make something. And two, it taps into a time period when Scientists were society's heroes. These are the people we identify ourselves with: We're not artists or filmmakers anymore, but Scientists experimenting with narrative possibilities in constructed realities.

Karl has fashioned us an identity. We're fashioning worlds.

We're becoming better!

What's Next?

09 February, 2010

The People's Champ Series

The People's Champ II

I sat down to the laptop tonight and got ready to really-hunker-in-and-get-some-real-writing-done. Next thing I know: I'm water coloring Larry Bird. And frankly, I'm glad I did. It's a good companion piece to a painting of Billy Jean King I did last spring.

The People's Champ

07 February, 2010

Sirocco Research Lab Updates!

Here's a quick photo-montage of the past month and a half. It has been a real ride.

You can check out the rest of the images on our flickr account.

In other news, we have a revised cut of Cleo in the Universe put together. The idea is we'll have it finished entirely by the end of next week. Can you believe it?

Ben Sellon as Captain Ovechkin

This RED MOON cast and crew photo was taken after a scene where we had the crew act in a scene and the cast act as crew. I treasure this one a lot.



Like Mike.


04 February, 2010

Don't Worry. You're Not Forgotten About, Cleo.

Mike Wilson, Ben Sellon, David Drori prepping a scene at the YAKIMA, WA Lab

Katie Reardon and DeeDee Orlando in costume next to the Moon.

Jaro Savol rolling 8mm film, Me pulling focus in zero gravity.

With all the talk about Red Moon lately, you'd think that the Sirocco Research Lab's first movie, Cleo in the Universe, either doesn't exist, or maybe has been finished for some time. In any case, neither are true. But, it has been accidentally back-burned by reason of all of our other projects, mainly Red Moon. However, one of the Lab's resolutions for 2010 was to find better ways to balance our projects, and find ways to be in pre- and post- and production all at once.

With that said, Kelly and I have been taking some trips to outer space lately. It has been a fascinating experience watching Cleo come together in the editing room. The movie is shaped exactly like a stick of dynamite. A concentrated, linear burn, almost like a shotgun blast, moving forward, never to the sides, never looking back.

Then it explodes.

And it's painfully close to being done. And I cannot wait to share it with you.

On set photo credits in order: Abiel Hoff, Ben Sellon, Greg Boudreau

01 February, 2010

A Note From Russia

"It's too bad you weren't there," she said. "That is, not that you weren't in the room... I wouldn't have been so natural with you there... Now I am blushing much more, much, much more," she said, blushing to tears. "But that you couldn't have looked through a crack."

From Anna Karenina

From Katie's iphone.

One more night, and round two of production is finished. After that, we'll only have a handful of shots left. Red Moon has, without rival, been the most marathon exercise of creativity I've faced. I can't tell you how happy I am; it's truly impossible.