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People, by nature, have some interesting things to say. Here are some of my things. Some about acting. All about living ...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Comic-Con: Friday


Friday (July 27) was the first full-on "crazy day" of Comic-Con. Bodies everywhere. We showed up early again, and rather than wait in line for the exhibit floor, we were trying to find the line to San Diego's Hall H so we could catch the Warner Bros. showcase.

This turned out to be a bad, bad experience.


Because of the "Elite III" staff. Or, as I came to call them, "Those %&*^$#! Red-Shirts". Hey, they were nice and all; just incompetent, and gave very authoritative, contradicting information -- today and throughout the week/end. We were trying to find the line to Hall H, "if it wasn't too long". We got sent back and fourth to the two opposite ends of the Convention center -- two times each -- before I'd had enough. We decided to divide and conquer, and I had my friend wait in line for the Exhibit Hall while I tried to find the fabled "The Line to Hall H" (tip: It's not in the same location as Hall H itself).

This eventually led me outside to a line that wrapped around the entire San Diego Convention Center. I made it two thirds around the building, asking every %&*^$#! Red-Shirt I met if these folks were going to get it in. I finally found a guy who said, "No man. No way. Most of these folks are in line for the second or third show in the Hall. If they're lucky."

So I walked back to the front of the Convention Center, only to find the entry line even for badge holders now snaked off across the convention lawn. So I called my buddy, told him to go do whatever he wanted, and I would sync up with him whenever I got in.

After a half an hour in the sun, I ended up where I'd been an hour before -- just inside the front doors. And as I walked in, soaking wet from sweating (and angry), I was greeted by a smiling %&*^$#! Red-Shirt who said, "Welcome to Comic-Con! Can I help you with anything?"

He was so lucky I was out of hair gel.

That said, I'm a glass - is - half - full - and - how - do - I - fill - the - other - half kind of guy, so I quickly spun through the Exhibit Show Floor and met with people and companies that were on my list. As you can see from my Twitterings below, I was a machine, and really enjoyed touching base with these neat folks and companies with whom I'd really like to work.


In my "go this way, go that way" crisscross of the San Diego Convention Center, I did pick up my Comic-Con exclusive "Vanishing Bugs Bunny" from DC Direct. This was the "official" Comic-Con exclusive for the show, and I'd paid for it when registering for the conference. It's a slick, well-done little sculpt, but I'm debating what to do with it, as it doesn't really fit into my collection, per se.

I also picked up some Shockinis from Shocker Toys (a custom and the Wizard World skeleton exclusive), and talked to the guys about using their toys for my stop-motion efforts. They were really nice, and very supportive of me using their toys, carte blanche. Which is better than some other toy companies have been with me.

My buddy sneaked away and got me the Four Horseman figure "Gauntlet of Vaskkh", which is a bad-a$$ looking rhinoceros warrior action figure, and part of the Four Horseman's own "Seventh Kingdom" line of toys. This is a perfect gift for me, and another Comic-Con exclusive. And it makes me want the Four Horseman to do figures from the Hip Flask universe.


Mattel / DC Comics:

We attended the Mattel / DC Comics panel, which was fun, and way more upbeat and jovial than Thursday's Hasbro panel. They showed a lot of stuff from the Justice League animated series, and copped to the poor design that makes them top-heavy and tough to display. They also announced new six-inch figures (with build-a-figure components) from none other than Four Horseman Studios. Orion and Etrigan, in particular, look pretty cool.

I can't help but wonder if the fan support for Mattel is due to where they are with the license. They're comparatively in the initial stages, and haven't hit the over-under arc where the trade-off for collector and mass-market hits the fan, which is what I think was the tension under the Marvel / Hasbro panel.

Joel Silver: Return to House on Haunted Hill and Moonlight:

I only caught the last half of the "Joel Silver: Return to House on Haunted Hill and Moonlight" (the Moonlight part), which was a bummer. I'm not a gore fan, but I wanted to see the innovative "Navigational Cinema" stuff they're allegedly putting on the Blu-ray and HD DVD versions of the film. I'd like to see someone do something with the new technology.

Moonlight looks and sounds compelling, but it's going to need to work to stay out of Angel's shadow, and Blade's (the TV series) curse. This was my first time hearing Joel Silver speak, and he's pretty interesting.

Halo Universe:

I was semi looking forward to this panel, and semi expecting it to be a disappointment. Brian Michale Bendis doesn't disappoint, and he was talking about the new comic book series (I took picts, but I'm not going to post stuff before the series goes to retail), so that was good.

WizKids Brand Manager Mark Tuttle did a great emcee job, which was good, given his company had done the big Halo reveal the day before. The Topps trading card discussion was pretty mheh, and Eric Nylund, while a great author, was (like everyone) hamstrung by what he couldn't say. Since there were no Bungie or Microsoft folks on the panel, not much Halo 3 stuff was going to be revealed. (I did see them in the audience, about six rows in; with sniper rifles, I'm sure, should any of the panelists revealed too much.)

Warner Bros. Animation: The Batman / Legion of Super-Heroes:

This was a great panel, if for no other reason than Phil Morris, voice and on-camera actor, and comic fan; and Andrea Romano, single handedly responsible for casting some of my favorite voices in Batman: The Animated Series; Animaniacs; Pinky and the Brain; Superman; and Justice League. The next seasons of both The Batman and Legion of Super-Heroes looks to up the ante, get a little darker, and build on the intensity and team dynamics. I'm looking forward to it.

I even got to run alongside Ms. Romano as she headed to the Warner Bros. booth for a signing, so I could say "thank you" for her work on things like Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, and for the extras stuff she shares on her craft on many of the DVD extra features.

Ray Harryhausen and 20 Million Miles to Earth: 50th Anniversary Edition:

Ray Harryhausen is a hero of mine. I've seen his films. I read his coffee-table crushing book. I was inspired to do my own stop-motion as a device for getting my voice out there. And 20 Million Miles to Earth was a film he'd wanted to do in color, but didn't have the budget to do so. 50 years later, we were able to watch the newly colorized version of the film -- for the same first time as Mr. Harryhausen -- and have him give live commentary on the film, his processes, and his views on fiction and criticism. He will probably not do this again.

From a Biz perspective, I arguably "should" have been at the Doctor Strange premiere, trying to connect with Craig Kyle, Marvel's senior VP of creative development animation.

But this film, with Ray Harryhausen, was historical. It was being there for a guy that informed a part of my creativity.

Other Cool Stuff:

I spoke with Leinil Francis Yu, mainly to say thanks for his work on New Avengers in general, and issue #22 in particular. Really pleasant, talented guy. I also noticed he had forward-thinking, hopeful "Captain America: The Return" print that I thought I wanted, but needed to think about.

The Four Horseman "Gauntlet of Vaskkh" gift from my buddy absolutely rocks, and hit me in a soft spot.

And the 20 Million Miles to Earth screening was a piece of history, and getting to attend it with a friend who gets it as much or more than me? Awesome.

What Sucked:

Those %&*^$#! Red-Shirts. And not having hair gel.



(Reverse chronology.)

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Monday, July 23, 2007

New voice demo! Studio "wring-out" session!

The voice demo:

Big things are afoot on the acting front!

Besides last week's headshots (the number-one calling card for on-camera talent), I recently cut and mastered my new character / animation voice demo (the number-one calling card for voice talent)!

I'm very happy with this demo, and it showcases how my range and technique have grown since my original voice demos.

I've did a decent amount of pre-production on this, because there were specific things I wanted to accomplish.

Besides obviously showcasing my range and diversity, I wanted a demo that translated my recent film training intensity. The "Luke Cage" piece (from New Avengers #22, yo!) does this nicely (and that's the amazing Howard Shore / Lord of the Rings "Journey in the Dark" swell underneath my vocals).

I also wanted to do a bit of a tribute to inspirational voice actor Peter Cullen, who is the voice of the original (and Michael Bay movie) Optimus Prime.

Finally, as I've grown in my craft, I'm well past the point of creating voices -- I create characters. This adds a depth and authenticity to my performances that isn't commonly found in untrained voice talent. I think that's apparent in the demo, and I hope you think so, too.

So, head over to my Demos page to meet Luke, Eeyore, Optimus, True Brit, GhollimEsque, Panic Boy, and's Hedojo and Fae. Plus a nice little industry button (all in fun).

The Studio "wring-out" session:

I've mentioned Jason Young before, who handled the audio for the Pray with Thanksgiving film.

I'm not sure how to articulate that there's probably not a better example of a modern-day Renaissance man than Jason. Musician, sound designer, sound engineer, composer, conductor, singer, wood worker, and technical geek. And not just dabbling in each -- accomplished in each.

We were "wringing out" his new sound booth -- which he designed and built. It's an amazing, solid, sound-dampened (but not sound "dead" or "sterile"), incredibly well-engineered piece of work.

The wring out session itself revolved around the technical and the physical aspects.

On the former, this involved chasing down sound leaks, buzzes, and the like; adjusting levels, and making sure the studio is ready for professional work, without interruption.

The physical side of the wring out involved figuring out the range of the booth, angles for delivery (clean, muddy, echo-ey), allowable space for physicality (it's a cozy booth, but with plenty of room for work -- and even guitar performance, if it comes to that), sit / stand mechanics, and producer / engineer interaction (both for VO and ADR direction).

I really like Jason's new booth and studio (and not just because I get along so well with Jason). It's on par with studio booths in which I've recorded, and is one of the nicest home studios in which I've every had the pleasure to record. It's certainly got some of the best sound.

The pict below is snapshot after a pretty intense "Luke Cage" read (hence, "the shiny"). For this take, we were also checking the sound on my own MXL-990 mic (pictured) -- which turns out to be a pretty hot mic, compared to Jason's studio setup.

Adam Creighton during a studio wring-out session with Jason Young.

After the wring-out session, I went away, focused on headshots, pulled music and sound effects together, then Jason and I spent yesterday afternoon mixing / mastering / finalizing the demo.

Jason was adept at maximizing the sound (without losing the fidelity), and appropriately prioritized the vocals over the music and sound effects (without making the latter two sound like they were just "slapped underneath" the former).

Like I said, I feel great about this demo. Not just for the finished product, but because I ostensibly self-produced this project (with Jason's spot-on collaboration) -- I feel great about the product and the result -- and it's the demo I'm talking to Comic-Con this week.

Jason's available to do this for you. You should contact him. Or me, if you prefer an introduction.

And there's more to come, because we also recorded clips for my new commercial voice demo. But that'll have to wait until after I shake things up in San Diego.

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

More "SCHTICKFAS" test footage ...

Over on my site, I've posted some test footage for a contest I ran out of time to enter.

Footage is fun, though ...

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Monday, May 07, 2007

"SCHTICKFAS" is live!

The teaser trailer for SCHTICKFAS, a stop-motion animation project from my mind and mouth, is now live on the official Website.

SCHTICKFAS is labor of love -- one that I hope gets a long run. There are at least twenty-eight episodes currently written, so if I can keep the typical labor-of-love / life-keeps-happening challenges in check, we're in for a fun ride. And stop-mo takes a wicked lot of time.

But for now, enjoy -- the official Website also has a bit of history and technical details for the trailer.

Oh, and given my recent heartburn, this new site is hosted via WordPress. We'll see if I stick with that (since it's hosted on, it seriously screws up my Web stats).

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Monday, April 23, 2007

An Ode to the 80s ...

I am a child of the 80s. Sometimes that comes out it in … unique ways.

Below is an Email conversation a comic book buddy and I had, after I overheard two girls playing with My Little Pony’s in an … unexpected way:

ME: Since everything old is new again -- and 80s stuff is pretty hot right now – I thought I’d share this.

I overhead two girls playing with a wealth of My Little Ponies, and the residents of "Unicornia" were evidently (in the girls' created world) at odds with the residents of "Ponyville." More specifically, the unicorn MLP's were in the midst of a raid on Ponyville.

A raid that was (apparently) not going well. That is, until the unicorns had had enough, and one of the girls belted out:
"Unicorns! Transform!"
And I now have an idea for an MMO ...

HIM: Awesome!

As for the MMO, I claim leadership of the Shetland Janissaries.

ME: Yeah, well watch out for my cross-bred, multi-colored Smurf / MLP centaur folk.

They will seriously rip you a new smurf.

I was at Toys "R" Us the other day, looking at stuff for me, and saw something a little odd:

"My Little Pony Wysteria as the Crystal Bride."

Bride of whom, may I ask?

Seriously, I think all of the MLPs are mares, right? So who's she mare-y-ing? Or is this a My Little Progressive Pony kind of thing?

Which got me to thinking about another gender lopsided franchise.

The Smurfs.

Which is all dudes (I try not to think about Smurfette; that whole thing creeps me out).

So, should the Ponies and three-apple-high blue men hook up?

How would Papa Smurf serenade Madame Wysteria?

"I'm down with MLP (yeah, you know me)."

What kind of freaky, multi-colored centaurish things would that make? And would Hasbro license them? (Probably.)

I'm spending way too much time thinking about this...

And Jem sings their rock anthem ...

HIM: Jem I can handle. It's those blasted Holograms that I fear.

Did I fail to mention that The Shetland Janissaries are led into battle by none other than Teddy Ruxpin? My Buddy wasn't available and those accursed Monchichis have turned pacifist.
=( They shall rue the day...

Remind me again why we don't have our own development company?

ME: Excellent question. We would so own the world. Or destroy it.

Speaking of which, I'm off to have Smurftaurs trample the Cabbage Patches, and I've got a Garbage Pail Kids mutiny to quell -- they're threatening to ditch their pooper scoopers, and I need someone to clean up after those narcoleptic Pound Puppies since I fired Strawberry Shortcake and her tart friends for taking on-the-job joyrides in KIIT -- Hasslehoff knows no boundaries...

Why don’t we have our own development company, indeed ...

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Great animation ...

No voice over, but this "Animator vs Animation" short turned in by Tom Chapin (and hosted on is entertaining and slick.

Wonder who did it originally?

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Meisner and stop-motion animation ...

This is a stop-motion animation I created as an "activity" for my Meisner acting process training (rendered after the class).

Basically, at this stage of my training in Meisner, we're doing exercises where one person is at the "door", and one person is doing an "activity". Both people have goals. Both people are being blocked. Both people are supposed to honor the rule of improve, "Love your partner and believe everything they say."

The "activity" should be physically (or tactile-y) demandingand require extreme focus. I have a time limit. I have an extreme urgency to complete the task. The person at the door is interrupting me, potentially causing me to fail. I can't ignore them.

Stop-motion animation totally fit the bill.

That night's class wasn't that good (I wasn't bought into my urgency), but I learned important, applicable stuff about myself and my this process. So that was good.

Obviously, this is not normally the way to do stop-motion animation, and it's not the way I normally do it (no light box or tripod, the room wasn't light controlled, I didn't have my storyboards with me, I wasn't able to totally focus on the effort, etc.).

But because it required focus to do it right, it made for a good Meisner activity (though ended up with a horribly result).

Rather than just let the effort die, I compiled the thing real quick and posted in on YouTube for folks' viewing pleasure. And republished it here.


The Tools:

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

2D Stop-motion animation ...

I found another avenue to combine my voice acting with my love for comic books.

Over the holidays, I picked up a stop-motion animation "toy" at Toys R Us. It was Marvel branded, and included put-together cutouts of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Dr. Doom, and the Green Goblin.

This week I animated a quick scene (no storyboarding this round), recorded some dialog for the four characters, put it all together and uploaded it to YouTube.

Why YouTube, rather than encoding the video myself and hosting it on my site? Since Marvel owns the licenses for the characters, I'm not worried about losing creative control of this particular clip, due to YouTube's user agreement.

Besides, one of the goals is for me to try out YouTube, have fun with it, and see if it's a decent marketing tool to drive additional like-minded folks to my site. And I may be a bit of an eyeball whore. But only when I get paid for it.

My weekend review of my weekly Web traffic stats shows a noticeable upswing for the days following the clip posting. Oddly, referrals don't show anyone coming from to; I say "oddly" because I did this twice at set times to make sure it was working. Ah well.

The only change to my voice is a slight mechanization filter to Doctor Doom -- no change in pitch / octave /etc. -- that's all me. The sound effects are a bit tinny, which is probably due to them being sampled at a different rate than the other video audio pieces that went into the final product. Lesson for next time.

The Tools:

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Dialog that made me laugh ...

Here are a couple of snippets that hit me as funny today.

From Frank O'Connor's weekly update on the Halo 3 video game:
Elites look superbadass. Real word. Look it up. If you can’t find it, maybe your dictionary is too liberal.
A script snippet from a sketch book I picked up from Brock Rizy, for his and Reagan Blank's upcoming ¡BIKE_GANG! comic book / mixed media movie:
Clancy, if you could have sex with any celebrity, living or dead, which would it be?


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Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Animation Show 3 ...

I caught The Animation Show 3 tonight at the Paramount, since I got couple of ticket vouchers during yesterday's animation panel at STAPLE!.

There's some absolutely amazing stuff here, showcasing everything from 2D to stop-motion to CGI -- and mixtures of everything (including some live-action stuff).

There was so much good stuff, it's hard to pick personal favorites. Really, content is king, and the execution was a detail.

"9" is stunning, and a CGI film that turned Tim Burton's head to get a greenlight giving director Shane Acker the chance to turn his creation into a feature film -- with Burton. Seriously, an encouraging Biz story for everybody.

Don Hertzfeldt's "everything will be ok" is funny and poingant and just wonderfully ... Hertzfeldt. And he was there tonight, and is a cool guy to hear answer audience questions.

I'd call "Overtime" a poignant CGI slant tribute to Jim Henson, and is pretty powerful stuff. I think there's som Edward Scissorhands influence in there, too.

Another CGI offering, "No Room for Gerold", just cracked me up for the mundane roommate / relationship squabble -- except it's between a hippopotamus, a crocodile, a rhinoceros, and a wildebeast. Or maybe it's an African antelope.

And "Guide Dog" from Bill Plympton? Still freaking brilliant from when he first hooked me years ago on MTV. And he's getting better and better.

And "Game Over" scratched a video game itch, and "Eaux Forte" reminds me of something I saw animated in a downtown Tokyo setting, but I can't remember what that was.

Good stuff throughout, and clips are available on The Animation Show 3 Website, so check them out.

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