Friday, 9 December 2016

BEEF up your frame

The frame I had around the mirror was not looking very good anymore kinda wimpy. I liked the position of the mirror and did not want to take it off the wall so I did a total make-up job on the frame.
Here is what the frame looks like before.

I needed to add a slim boarder so that the wood tiles lye flat.

The finished mirror. The little sticky out boards make great little shelves for your little treasures!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

How to make a rock cave or mine

It is so great working with Mike from because I get pushed to do projects I have never done before. I had to help create 7 different sets for a @davidmorinmusic video.

Out of the seven sets I was worried the most about making a mine since we only had 2 days to build all 7 sets. I got it done! Of course with the help of some amazing film volunteers ... let's see how we built the mine.

I had no idea how to do this so researched YouTube and found this great guy who makes all kinds of amazing things ... you can check him out here: News Paper Rocks VideoFake Rock Face tips Video

My sample to see if it was going to work ... I think it will do the trick.

So, basically here are the steps:

  1. Pick an area and throw down a bunch of random objects,
  2. Using newspaper, paper mache' all the objects, I did 3 layers (Fist layer: only wet the top side, all other layers you want paper mache on both sides.)
  3. Let it dry completely
  4. Paint it all black
  5. Add a light grey colour with a dryer brush hitting all the raised parts
  6. Go back with a dry brush with a dirty white and hit only the highest points. (do this quickly without thinking too much)
  7. Hang it on your wall.

Many sheets drying
Next I needed to create the bones of the cave. The challenge with this was because there was 7 other sets I only had scrap wood to work with but I could not justify buying more wood so I used my pneumatic nail gun and scraped together a shape that resembled a cave.

nailing scraps of wood together to make the cave.

Started to hang all the sheets of paper

Started to paint it all black.

@SophyRomvari and I did the final touches to make the rocks pop.

The final Result with Lighting brilliance of  @ByronKopman

Here is the Video:

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Cardboard musical instruments

Other crazy cool music video with Mike Southworth from collide entertainment where I get to play with cardboard which I think is becoming one of my favourite mediums to work with.
The music video takes place around 1985 where the band The Matinée are around age 5-7 years old and are on their very first tour. My part of the music video project is to build all the instruments (Drums, bass amp, guitar amp, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass ) using household items. So the kids The Matinée put on a huge music concert for their parent and stuffed animals in the living room.

The biggest challenge with this is making the instruments be able to take a beating from Five, 5 year old hyper boys and still look homemade. I also wanted to replicate The Matinée’s real instruments since the video will switch to them in present time. I wanted the instruments to look like they fit the kids and so could not copy the actual size. Here is what I came up with.

The Cardboard Amps

Were made using cardboard boxes as the foundation then painted. For knobs I used beer/pop bottle caps and lego as power buttons and standby buttons. Then to finish off the amps used jump/skipping ropes as patch cords.

This is a play on 1980’s Marshall Stacks using cardboard, beer/pop bottle caps, and lego

Wanted these to resemble vintage tweed fender amps

The bass cabinet had to have a real monitor that was used to playback the song the band would be rock'n out to so I cut out some round holes and put landscaping cloth so the sound can still travel through it.

The Drums

These were the greatest challenge because they had to be strong enough to take a beating which they did and they stood up to it. I had to incorporate wood so I made stands out of wood with plywood bottoms.
Top view of the drums 80% finished
Adding The Matinee logo to the bass drum
I built a couple of different guitars because I was not sure which ones they were going to use in the video.

Fender Strat. almost complete.

acoustic formation backside

acoustic from front.


Had to use my daughter to give me an idea of what size to make it. even know she is way younger.

Power Wheels - re-paint

I also had to quickly paint this girls I jeep that was originally purple, pink and light blue princess designed power wheels. So Red, Black it changed.

The Matinée - The Road

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Won - Music Video Of The Year

Shake It Wins Music Video Of The Year at WCMA’s!

Sooo Great, one of the music videos that I had the opportunity to work on won music video of the year.

Congratulations goes to my good friend Mike Southworth from Collide Entertainment and all the great people (crew) I had the honour of working with.

If you want to see the elements that I helped out in, you can check out the other blog posts:

Visit: Collide Entertainment

Friday, 27 June 2014

Chemical Reaction - Chalkboard Animation Video

Hilary Grist strikes again. 

Mike Southworth and Hilary Grist asked me to help to make a video for the song "chemical reaction" from Hilary's album called "come & go" which got released June 26, 2014.

Album cover - Come & go
I was asked to help make some drawings and help with input for the story of the video. Mike and Hillary had a lot of amazing ideas and with a great brainstorm session between the 3 of us the video was starting to come to life.

Drawing by Dana Irving with help by Hilary Grist and Adam Thomas
Mike and Hilary transformed their whole apartment into a giant chalkboard. One wall was about 35feet long by 10feet high and the other wall was about 8 feet wide by 10 feet high.

Hilary's Skeletal by Adam Thomas
One of my concerns with this project was having too many "cooks in the kitchen" but everyone had the same end goal in mind ... it ended up all having the same look and feel even though there were 5 different people drawing.

The Grist mobile and parking sign by Adam Thomas

Who did what?

 It's really hard to break down what each of us did because there was so much overlapping in help with each others drawings ... here's a list of our main creations each of us worked on:
  • Hilary Grist - Equations, bird animation, music notes, wine glass / animation, plane animation, science lab, road animation, heart band-aid animation, Love birds animation, blimp animation, butterfly animation, helped draw city, chalk ladder, world, stars, planets. Hilary self portrait. 
  • Mike Southworth - science lab bubble animation, Science lab explosion, Swirl into blackness, road animation, heart band-aid animation, Love birds animation, blimp animation, butterfly animation. 
  • Adam Thomas - Hilary's Skeleton, X-ray cover, Science lab explosion, Swirl into blackness, the Girst mobile (Car), road animation, parking sign, Open sign, butterfly animation, roses falling, helped draw city, built real rope ladder. 
  •  Dana Irving - Rolling hills with the fence, clouds with the cupids and original drawing of the entire city. check out her amazing art work: 
  • Sitji Chou - animated Hilary's drawings. which were then hand-drawn a frame at a time in the video. 

How long did it take?

The video took a full two 2 weeks of trouble shooting, drawing, pain-fully slow acting (by Hilary), more drawing, erasing of the drawings, drawing, erasing, drawing, easing (repeat thousands of X's).

There ended up being 3,500 drawings to complete the video one frame by one frame at a time. I think it turned out amazing and well worth the time spent. I know you will like it!

Watch Chemical Reaction by Hilary Grist

Video credits: 

Published on Jun 20, 2014

All hand drawn on a 35ft x 10ft chalkboard! :)

Directed and Produced by Mike Southworth for
Drawing and Animation by Hilary Grist, Dana Irving, Adam Thomas, Sitji Chou and Mike Southworth.
Equipment provided by Waveform Media and Alterna Films
Additional photography consultation by Dan Jackson

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Smoke and Mirrors - Video

I had another opportunity to work with the Canadian band Scatterheart on their music video called "Smoke and Mirrors".

I helped the band build 3 - 8'X8' walls covered entirely with mirrors. We made a triangle shape with the walls which created this really cool kaleidoscope effect.

I also had to build some kind of opening/door so each band member could get in and out of the mirror room. The door had to also be covered in mirrors so you would not see it in the shot. The lighting guys took advantage of this opening by putting a stack of lights in it which gave a really cool effect in the room.

Opening to the triangle room of mirrors
Each of the crew got to have a quick photo-shoot in the mirror room.

Me in the mirror room
If you notice you can not see a video camera in the room ... that's because one of the mirrors is a "one-way mirror" so when the room is bright you can film through this glass and from the inside of the room it acts as a mirror.

Another very effective look was putting 4 full body mirrors together to form a tunnel. In the video you will see just how amazing this looks.

Watch Scatterheart - Smoke & Mirrors

Video Credits:

Published on Jun 11, 2014
Created entirely in camera with no additional special effects
Written Directed and Performed by Scatterheart
Director of Photography: Byron Kopman
A Collide Entertainment Production
Edited by Mike Southworth and Doug fury
1st AC: Kelvin Wong
1st AD: Adam PW Smith
Grip/Gaffer: Brooks Robinson
Set Construction: Adam Thomas and Scatterheart
Coloured by Mike Southworth and David Tomiak
Song produced by Scatterheart
Recorded and Mixed by Doug Fury at Fortissimo Sound

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Tea Tray for Gong Fu Cha

So I have been wanting to buy a tea tray for Gong Fu Cha (Chinese method of tea-making) but I did not want to spend much money since the ones I usually liked were expensive. I saw a really simple modern designed tea tray at a tea shop in china town called The Chinese Tea Shop so I studied it quickly, and thought that I might be able to just make one.

This is the tray that I studied for a basic design from The Chinese Tea Shop and the one I would buy if I could not make it. This tray is very reasonably priced, a good starter tray.
My grandfather had built a 3 legged table using a beautiful chunk of Yew. The table was left outside for a couple of years and the legs fell off but I kept the top. I thought it would be a good test piece that looked about the right size plus it had a nice natural feel being all beat-up and weathered.

I first tried hand carving the channels into it. After spending 30 minutes, not getting anywhere, I remembered that I had a router. I went out and bought a 1/8" round router bit and made the groves for the water to drain out.

Used router to make the grooves, sanded and varnished. 
For the drain I bought a 1/4" pipe connector drilled it into the side on a slight angle. Then attached a clear hose to drain water. I put the other end into a nice pottery vase to catch the water.

The Finished Tea Tray for Gong Fu Cha handmade and it works great! Oh and it's one of a kind!

Ha ha ... now I can spend more money on good quality tea which tends to be quite expensive ... but so worth it! I think it's TEA TIME!!! Who wants tea?