Sunday, December 27

New Howcast video I directed/animated at BARK-BARK.

Thursday, October 29




This is a poster I made for my little brother's band. They're great. Go see them if you can.
Here are some more stills from my autobiographical work in progress.

This one is from the scene where my dad calls, but I don't want to talk to him. In the background you can see my mom's office from the drawing I posted earlier.



The following picture is a scan from one of my sketchbooks, where the above image was expounded upon.



I think there is something really nice about the basic black and white line drawing, just the three elements of story and character, super minimalist. It's hard for me to move away from that. But I'm also having a really good time making these backgrounds, and playing with color schemes, depth, and researching what kind of stuff we had when I was a kid. I vaguely remember a phone like this, but I think it might have been a rotary.

I've never done a project like this before, where I actually just talk about my personal history rather than masking it with monsters or complete caricature. It's extremely difficult, but so far really rewarding.

Sunday, October 25



Here's an image from one of the projects I'm working on. It's an autobiographical piece focusing on when I was a kid and my parents were getting divorced. This is my mom in her office in our apartment on Thompson Ave in Glendale, CA. I used to love that green-screen mac she had. I would draw pictures in the paint program and write stories.

I'd been drawing storyboards for this project, but then Nate died and now I'm really determined to make a Big Scary Monster Halloween animated special. Something I've been thinking about for a year now. I've got a lot of ideas, and the plan right now is to make a 2 minute trailer. That way I can experiment with styles, the overall look, animation methods, etc.



I've been jumping from project to project for a while now, trying to figure out what I really want to do. But I think these two projects are it. And somehow a sketch comedy thing with some friends. And a full time job, and buying a house, and getting married.

Someday I'll finish a cartoon.

Friday, October 23

I've been posing here lately:

www.remembernate.blogspot.com


a memorial blog for my friend Nate.

Friday, October 16

The Big Scary Monster in: "Behind the Scenes"



There are some really nice moments in here. I like when he tells the story about the girl in the bathroom, and when they dance for a long time.

www.remembernate.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 10




Presented here are two of The Big Scary Monster Movies: "Making Friends" and "Lemonade Stand" starting off with a trailer to "Making Friends."

These movies star Nate Niec as The Big Scary Monster, who passed away Oct 6, 2009.

I laugh every time I watch these movies -- Andre and Nate's performances together always make me happy. I am so glad to have this testament to how hilarious and good-natured Nate was. These films highlight his acute sense of the absurdly inapropriate, improvising most of the gags himself.

In his life, Nate was a thoughtful person with a sharp wit and a deep intelligence. He was the best kind of friend and the best kind of person. He will be missed tremendously.

Also Starring my little brother Andre Paraguassu, filmmaker Alex Orr, music by Sirius Bee, camerawork by Josh Fritz and Marvin Evangelista, and costuming by Mary Claire.

Friday, October 9

The (REALLY) Important Briefcase

Robert and Nate are in a room. There is a briefcase.

“Nate, I need you to take care of this briefcase. do not give it to anyone. do not let anyone take it, except for me.”

“what’s in it?”

“i can’t tell you.”

“why not?”

“because you have to trust me that it’s really important that no one takes it from you. no one. do you still have those guns?”

“wait. who’s going to want this case?”

“I don’t know yet. But someone will want that case. And I trust you, and only you, with it. I would take it with me, but I can’t. I need you to hold on to it until I call and tell you where to bring it.”

“i’ve got work in an hour.”

“don’t go. don’t call in sick. do not use your phone. i’ll text you. wait for that text, don’t do anything else.”

“what is this? are you fucking with me?”

“this is real, this is important, and I can’t tell you what it’s about.”

“if you’re fucking with me...”

“no one can have it except you or me. you can’t trust anyone. what’s in this briefcase is too important. you just have to trust me. and wait for my text.”

“when are you going to text me?”

“soon. few hours.”

long pause.

“okay. i got this. on a scale from one to protected, this briefcase is protected.”

“thanks, nate. i always said that if i ever had a really, really important briefcase and I needed someone to trust it with to protect, it’d be you.”

“Aw, thanks.”

“I’ll text you.”

“Cool man. Look forward to it.”

“Lock your doors. Don’t answer if anyone knocks.”

“Really important briefcase. Text. Got it.

Robert exits the room. Nate tries to open the briefcase, but it is locked. sits down on the couch and watches tv.

There is a knock on the door.

Nate looks at the door, thinks a moment, before getting up to answer it. He leaves the briefcase on the couch.

A woman is at the door. Somewhere in her early forties. “Hey,” she says peering past Nate, looking around his house. “I hear you have a briefcase. Can I have it?” She tries pushing past him, but he grabs her and easily places her back on his front stoop.

“Excuse me? Get the fuck out of my house.”

“I’ll pay cash. $50 right now. Please. Just give it to me.” She tries pushing past him again, and Nate shoves her back outside and slams the door.

A man is pressing his face against the sliding glass door looking into the living room. He shouts to someone, “I see it! It’s on the couch!” A trashcan smashes through is front window, shattering glass across the carpet. “Get it! Get the briefcase!”

“Oh shit!” Nate grabs the briefcase and runs to the garage. He jumps into his shiny blue mustang and hits the ignition, the engine roars to life. Taking a deep breath, Nate hits the garage door button. As it opens, he sees that his short driveway is filled with people, shouting and pointing people. Their crazy wide eyes flash in the headlamps, cheekbones sharp, their shouting loud and insistent. His neighbors, their children, dogs growling at him.

A knock at his window. His roommate Sarah. Nate rolls it down halfway. “This is insane! Get in the car!”

Sarah lunges as far as she can through the open window. She screams “Give it to me! AAAHHHHH! Briefcase!”

Nate tries grabbing her wrists, wrestling with her. She has the advantage of a superior angle and crazy flapping arms, screaming in his face. He would have never gotten her out, but the woman from the front door pulls Sarah away, “The Briefcase is mine!” Nate manages to roll the window up before anyone else can lunge in.

Nate’s phone beeps, the screen lights up. A text message: “carrousel.”

His big black boots jam down the chrome clutch, shifts to first, slams the gas. The engine howls, tires screech, drowning out the neighbors as they fly in all different directions.

Nate knows exactly where to go.


* * *

* * *

My friend Nate Niec died on Tuesday. He was the biggest Action Star I ever knew, and I wanted to make a movie he could star in where he could be the cool tough amazing gentle trustworthy guy he is. I've been writing him as the Big Scary Monster for a long time now, but I needed to see his face, write his name, try to capture the way he would say things. I want to see him save the day the way I always imagined he would.

I'm having an impossible time imagining the future without him, I keep thinking of funny things to text him, or making plans to play some music again, convince Bradley to playing a reunion show, a 10 year anniversary. I'm sure it would have happened, even though it might have been the 11th anniversary by then. I want to show him the DVD I'm working on, of concerts we played, movies we made.

I just want so badly for him not to be gone. I want to hang out with him again, talk to him about motorcycles or how good something is. He was always good at talking about why stuff was really good.

Nate was the guy I was always going to be friends with, always going to like being around. A man with dignity and strength, always knew the right thing to say or to do. He was often embarassed by how tactless I could be, how clumsy and unaware. You never wondered if he would be there for you, because he would. We would both survive until we were old, and we'd tell each other funny stories and talk about the fun stuff we did. About how it all worked out well in the end, despite our worrying.

Goodbye Nate. I do hope to see you at the carousel.

Tuesday, September 22

BARK-BARK's first Howcast video is up.



Working with Howcast has been fun, because we get to experiment w/ different kinds of animation styles, learn new things, etc.

Sunday, August 23




"Johnny and Little Brown Bear"


A Bedtime story by Selma E. Kuklinsky (my grandma)




As spring approached & the neighborhood resounded with the happy sounds of children at play, there was one three-year old boy that wandered from his own backyard & into the surrounding tree area in back of his home. 
 
Everyone in town spread out to different sections of the forest to locate the boy.  Johnny stood in his backyard, looking out at the forest spread out in front of him wondering how far the small boy had wandered. All of a sudden Little Brown Bear came from out of the trees, moving towards him with a tiny sneaker in his mouth. 

"Howdy Little Brown Bear," said Johnny. "What's that you got in your mouth?"

Little Brown Bear turned to face the woods.  Johnny understood he was to follow the Bear, though his parents asked him not to go outside the yard for any reason.
 
It took a lot of tramping over hills with plenty of shrubs & trees until Little Brown Bear dropped the sneaker in front of a dark opening in the ground.  Little Brown Bear hunched down & shimmied into the opening. Johnny paused before following. 

There was Jordan fast asleep on a bed of soft forest leaves, snug as a bug in a rug. 
 
Johnny gently woke the small boy. Jordan's eyes opened wide as he said, “Gee, what a swell time I’ve been having!  Little Brown Bear kept me warm up against his heavy fur coat all night & this morning he brought blackberries for my breakfast.  He’s my best friend but I miss my parents.” 
 
Little Brown Bear led them safely out of the woods & when Mountain Brown & all the others heard of how the Little Brown Bear cared all night to keep Jordan safe & warm--even feeding him a bear’s type of breakfast-- they no longer had it in their hearts to want to shoot at him. 
 
Little Brown Bear started to turn into one heap happy roly-poly bear because choice tidbits were left for him nightly by everyone in town.

And our hero Johnny made sure that they were always spread with Little Brown Bear's favorite sweetener, honey drippings over everything. 

The End.






 

Saturday, July 11

I just found this online, a movie I made when i was a freshman in college, back in 2001. I still love the music by Bradley Bailey, my friend who also did the Mr. Children-for-Hands and Bearplane scores.



there are definitely parts i have to skip over. but this was almost ten years ago, my first and only movie shot on film, black and white, the only movie i made through a class (audited a masters class, so I didn't even get credit). i had just discovered the concept of auditions, and held them extensively. People came scrambling to be in my little student film, it was amazing. one of the scientists from that scientist scene drove all the way from tennessee without knowing what it was about. and i paid no one. i had absolutely no idea what i was doing. and none of the dialogue was scripted. i only wrote the narration, which i ultimately cut.

the amount of effort i put into this thing amazes me now. i still work hard, but there's no enthusiasm like an 18 year old me. i even convinced Arby's, Subway, Papa Johns, and Einstein's bagels to donate craft service.

and now it makes me sad to see my friend Anna Gallaspy tied up with a noose around her neck, when for some reason it didn't bother me at all back then. i just thought i was so brilliant.

Wednesday, July 8



This is the first two pages of a comic I'm working on. It's part of a longer story that I hope to finish soon. I'm having to stay late at work to get them colored, and stay up all night drawing them at home. One day I'll be so good at this, so stay tuned.

Thursday, July 2

When my Mom and Dad met in 1981

My Mom was a reporter for the LA Times Newspaper. She wrote a column
about the cool shows and events that were going on in town. She saw a
band my Dad was in, "The Boys from Brasil." He played the Pandero, a
Brazilian type of tambourine.

Saturday, June 13

Here is the "Monster on Vacation" series I did for the Aurora Coffee art show. I took photographs from my recent travels to Arizona, California, and Hawaii and drew a monster in them. I printed them 22"X12" on 1/2" foam board. They turned out pretty good. I'm selling them for $50 each, so if you're in the ATL area this month you can stop by Aurora Cofee in Virginia Highlands and pick one up.

I already sold this first one.



This one is the beach where they shoot "Lost." This was very exciting. Nearby is where they shoot the survivor's camp and Mr. Ecco's church is still there.









Saturday, May 30



My little brother Andre is curating an art show. The last one he put together was really good, and this time a series I'm working on will be on display, "Monster on Vacation."

The piece above is titled "Superstition Mountain, Arizona." You can buy your very own copy of it at the show without all the words on.

Thursday, March 19

NEW MR. CHILDREN-FOR HANDS

Wednesday, March 11

IT IS SAID THAT WHEN RENDERING FROM AFTER EFFECTS YOU SHOULD INITIATE CAPS LOCK TO MAKE THE RENDER GO FASTER. I HAVE NINE MINUTES LEFT OF RENDERING BEFORE I CAN NO LONGER WRITE ON MY BLOG.


HERE IS MY IDEA:

A SHOW ABOUT TWO BILLIONAIRE TYCOONS WHO OWN A YACHT. BUT THIS IS NO ORDINARY YACHT, IT'S A TIME-TRAVELING HOVER YACHT THAT TALKS IN A SASSY VOICE. AND THE GOVERNMENT HAS ASSIGNED ONE OF IT'S BEST (AND HOTTEST) AGENTS TO WORK UNDERCOVER AS IT'S JANITOR. SO WHEN BADGUYS COME TO HANG OUT ON THE YACHT, SHE ASKS THEM POLITELY TO LEAVE, AND THEY USUALLY DO BECAUSE SHE'S HIGHLY TRAINED AT DEALING WITH BADGUYS.

MOST OF THE SHOW WILL REVOLVE AROUND THE LOVE TRIANGLE BETWEEN THE TWO BILLIONAIRES AND THE AGENT WHO THEY DON'T KNOW IS AN AGENT. SHE'LL TRY TO KEEP THEM OUT OF TROUBLE, MOSTLY BY REMINDING THEM TO NOT DRINK TOO MUCH, OR TO WEAR A LIFE VEST WHEN WATER SKIING. THEY TIME TRAVEL OCCASIONALLY, BUT USUALLY JUST TO A COUPLE DAYS AGO SO THEY CAN PAY THEIR CREDIT CARD BILLS ON TIME. BECAUSE THAT'S HOW RICH PEOPLE STAY OUT OF DEBT, TIME TRAVELING BACKWARDS TO AVOID LATE FEES.

AND THE YACHT WILL SAY SASSY THINGS FROM TIME TO TIME, LIKE "NO WAY," OR "I DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING."

THE NAME OF THE SHOW WILL BE "THE LOVE HOVER TIME YACHT."

SOMEHOW MY RENDER HAS GONE UP TO 16 MINUTES. I DON'T TRUST THIS CAPS LOCK TRICK.

Thursday, February 12





This my company's entry into the International 48 Hour Film Competition. I directed it with Layne, the Senior Designer here. It was a lot of fun, but it was brutal making a cartoon in three days. We got the genre, prop, line of dialogue, and character we had to use friday night at 7pm, and had to mail it off by Monday (yes, not actually 48 hours). So at least 3 days of 19 straight work hours, and then one of only about 14.

And you can watch it in HD at the vimeo site if you want.

Saturday, January 31



We made a cartoon last weekend as part of the International 48 Hour Filmmaking competition. It's sort of the style from this image, but with handheld video footage. Three days of shooting and animating and editing and making music and SFX. It was exciting, but I'm still kind of tired from it (and from working all weeek). I'll post it online soon.

Also, the new Mr. Children-for-Hands will be done very soon. Hopefully this week. It just needs some audio mixing and color correcting. I think I even like how it's turned out.