Friday, July 19, 2013

Go See Pacific Rim

I saw Pacific Rim, and I fucking loved it. Domestically it didn't do as well as I hoped it would, but it still did well. Plus, the reviews are all fairly good too! It's currently clocking in at 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's exciting for me to work on something that people are having fun seeing. I think most the people I know would totally dig it.

More than that, you can see it as a family. I think ten and above would be fine with it, but to be safe, maybe twelve and above. It features a strong female lead that isn't just eye candy, and doesn't need to fall in love with the boy to define her character. I really like all the characters, and I love the message of unity, and coming together.

It's a great film for that age set; kids and adults who aren't afraid to be a kid. It feels like it's made for that group, the adventure film goers. The Star Wars and Indy lovers. Instead of taking a comic book character and turning them into something strictly for adults, coming up with a dark and serious tone, while still selling toys to young kids; it feels like a film that caters to child like wonderment. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of those films, but I'm taking my daughter to Pac Rim, but won't let her watch The Dark Knight any time soon.

Here are two pieces I did for the film. They're both in the artbook. One is all me, and the one with the bones is based on a Oscar Chichoni sketch.

Anyway, go and see it. It's not going to be the same on your TV. Honestly.

Watch it with your heart and have fun.

Ron Perlman's shoes.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I use my blogs for fun, and to a lesser extent promote myself. I'm extremely uncomfortable with the promoting side of things. Naturally as an artist I usually like my work for about an hour before I begin to tear it apart. I'm constantly filled with self doubt and stress. So, usually it's a gag here or there and a post of a sketch I did for fun. Occasionally I push a project that I worked on and am excited about. That leads to this long winded, but quickly written, post.

I worked briefly on Pacific Rim.

When I began writing this I was worried that Grown Ups 2 was going to outperform Pacific Rim. Maybe it will. Does it matter? Not really. Guillermo will get paid (although, I'm guessing much more if it does well), the actors will get paid, I will get paid...uh, got paid. We all made our money, and worked hard  and had fun doing it. Of course, if GU2 does better, than we can be guaranteed that there will be a GU3. Maybe that's not a bad thing. I never saw GU1, so I really can't trash talk. I think most those guys in GU1 are funny too. But here's the thing about Pacific Rim, and why I'm rooting for it.

It's Guillermo's film. He treated it with respect. He made something that's fun and acknowledges what it is. It's a summer popcorn flick, meant to dazzle you and entertain. Maybe, maybe, it will have the same effect Star Wars and Empire had on me. See, the thing is, my dream was to work on a real Hollywood movie.

I had great success in games, and I guess I was greedy, but really wanted to work on a film. Sadly, I had given up on that dream. I thought, maybe my kid will be a director some day and throw Dad a bone.

I have worked on one other film, from home, and it was also an amazing experience; more on that in August. It gave me the confidence to try new avenues to get into film. So I made a book of art to present to GDT at a talk about his Strain books.

That shit usually doesn't work, or shouldn't, but with Guillermo it can. So I handed my book to him and months later got an email. I worked with Guillermo del Toro and an amazing group of artists in a small cramped room near Thousand Oaks on the film Pacific Rim. With Guillermo, you never doubt that he knows what he's doing. His artistic skills are top notch, and I felt like I learned more working with him than I could have learned in years at a school. He is incredibly hard working; he was there more than we were, and the few times he asked if we could work on a weekend, he truly asked. There was no punishment for missing it. No anger, no retribution. My family was way up north, so rather than spend my weekend alone, I was more than happy to show up. And it was crazy fun. We worked hard, but the atmosphere was a little lighter than on the weekdays. Maybe because GDT had been writing all night, and all day, and then again all night, and all day. He was a little punchy by Sunday. But happy; very happy. This was a fun project.

I do have another story about Guillermo. One that really matters to me.

When I was working on Pacific Rim we all went to lunch one day. It was this awesome burger place I'm planning on visiting while I'm down there this week. On the way out, this man recognized Guillermo, raced to his car and started showing him what looked like posters from his trunk. Guillermo said he'd catch up with us in a bit. I saw him talking with the man, shaking his hand, and even giving him a hug as we left.  I'm sure he made that guys day. That stuck with me. It would have been easy to say, "Thanks, but I'm very busy" and walked away. But Guillermo didn't.

So I'm rooting for this guy. I want that kind of behavior to be rewarded. I want to reward kindness, intellect, and brilliant artistic vision.

Plus, he's just a great fucking guy to be around.

If none of that matters, the flick is currently at 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. So, there is that.