Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday recipes I can't live without

Ok, so this blog isn't entirely all about art and animation. I enjoy cooking, and Thanksgiving is arguably my favorite holiday, so each years I try stepping up my cooking game with a couple new recipe tryouts. If any end up being successful, I add them to the menu the next year (along with another couple new tryouts, and so on). This year I have three very solid appetizers that I'd like to share: mascarpone mashed potatoes, and the best cranberry sauce in the world.

Recipe 1: You've all eaten and probably have all made mashed potatoes before. The "secret" ingredient is usually extra garlic and butter. Time to get more imaginative. Try mascarpone as this year's secret ingredient. The recipe for mascarpone mashed potatoes is on the Food Network site, under cook Giada De Laurentiis. It's fantastic and you won't go back.

Recipe 2: The best cranberry sauce in the world (or as the site calls it, "Cranberry Sauce Extraordinaire") is so delicious I can't imagine any other version. This was the first thanksgiving recipe home-run I found on the Internet a few years back, and it has bowled over anyone who has tried it. If 1 cup of white sugar sounds high, sub it out with extra apples and pears or Stevia. Give it a try. Once you do, you'll look at this stuff as disgustedly as I do:
A vile monstrosity.
3. Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread. This is a tryout recipe for 2013, and the reception last night was terrific, so I wholeheartedly recommend it. The recipe calls for 3 3x7 pans, but I used a 9x9 glass dish and a 5x9 pan (distribute the mix so there's an inch or so from the top of the mixture to the top of the pan). I will make this every year from now on.

This year's other tryout recipe? Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese by Rachael Ray. I can't vouch for it yet, but I'm crossing my fingers that this will fill the mac and cheese spot on my Thanksgiving roster that's been empty for too long.

No matter what's on your menu this Thanksgiving, I hope you have a great time with family and friends.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Empty Streets Movie Soundtrack Now Available

In 2009, I contributed some graphic design work to Empty Streets, an independent short film made by my VFS roommate Paul Booth and other Hawai'i filmmakers. The movie is about the struggles a returning veteran has when he adjusts to life after the military. It was a passion project for Paul, and it is great to see its continued success well after the filmmakers completed their initial push to promote it. The film has played in film festivals worldwide and continues to raise awareness of how difficult it is for our troops to acclimate back to civilian life after the harsh experiences of wartime. As someone who has a sister in the military, this is a very personal cause for me.

I'd like to take this post to promote the project and include some of the print media/graphic designs I contributed to the project, starting with the movie poster:
Movie poster design.
Although the film did not receive distribution, copies of it are available to check out from the Hawaii, Sacramento, and Orange County library systems. I did the jacket design for the DVD, which at one time was going to be a two-disc bundle with the soundtrack (more on that below). I popped the levels on the oranges from the movie poster to help the jacket stand out more. Apparently it worked, because the film is constantly checked out.
DVD jacket design.
Now on to the soundtrack, which as of Veteran's Day 2013 is now available for sale online. 55% of all sales goes to The Veterans Resource Center at Golden West College, with another portion going to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The musicians on the soundtrack include Grammy winners and nominees, as well as several great young talents. Here is the CD album I designed: 

Album design.
If you would like to support the Veterans Resource Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center and pick up some great music, please buy a copy of the soundtrack or some singles from any of these online retailers:


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DIVERGENT movie trailer and teaser

Divergent is an upcoming young adult novel adaptation about a post-apocalyptic alternate universe set in Chicago (wow, that's a mouthful). I worked as a previs artist on it earlier this year while at The Third Floor. Some of the parts I helped on were included in the teaser and trailer, including the train jumping, hole jumping, and the sequence with the "group punch" shot. It is set to come out 3/21/14.


Trailer 1: