Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giant Human Sized Globe Suit Custom

Yeah, I know this one is a stretch but I've been getting a lot of messages asking what I've been up to lately. Well here are the answers...

1) I moved.
2) I've been working on a lot of commissions for clients. (Pics of those coming soon.)
3) I've been creating and producing games and "interactives" for events and trade-shows.
4) I've been writing and producing commercials and viral videos for consumer products companies. Sometimes, even making the props for these videos.

One such video was for Replogle. If you're not familiar with Replogle, take a closer look at just about any globe. That's right, more than likely Replogle made it. They are the largest globe manufacturer in the world and they approached me to do some demo videos for a new product called The Intelliglobe.

It's an interactive globe that comes with an electronic pen that allows you to touch anywhere on the globe to learn tons of interesting things about that place. The information is provided through audio so you can hear voices, music, and even animal sounds. You can compare different parts of the world in several different ways from life expectancy (one of my curious favorites) to population. The database is massive and you could literally sit and play with it for hours and not even scratch the surface of the information it contains. (You can check out here.)

After playing with it for just a few minutes, I felt it was worthy of more than a demo video. So I suggested that in addition to the demo videos, we shoot a commercial / viral video to give this product the attention it deserves.
They were open to the idea so I met with my long time collaborator and good friend Matt Wechsler of Hourglass Films. A few hours and two Kuma burgers later, we came up with the plot for the video that we affectionately called "He Knows Too Much." In the video "a giant globe runs through the streets of Chicago in a hilarious mad-cap chase" as I later explained in the pitch meeting.

Well Replogle loved the idea so I had to figure out a way to make it all happen. Luckily, I was able to secure a slightly imperfect giant globe from Replogle. It is the largest model that they make (and is the same model that's in the Oval Office). This globe normally costs several thousand dollars and here I was having to hack it up with a saw because it needed to be wearable by an actor.
It was so big (64 inches), it was going to be difficult transporting it to all the locations so I decided to cut it in half. Using the lines of latitude and longitude as a guide, and outfitting my Dremel with a special diamond tipped cutting disk, I started cutting. I only had one shot at this as this was the only one they would spare so slow and steady was the order of the day.  Any small slip could destroy the paper covering of the globe. The plastic walls were so thick, when I was finished cutting, the cutting disk was trashed.
I cut two arm holes in the sides and a viewing hole near the top so the actor could at least see in front of them. However, I attached a wire mesh in front of the viewing hole to obscure the actor's face. I sanded down all the openings to make them as smooth as possible but they were still a little rough because of the quality and thickness of the plastic. (Sorry about that rip in your shirt, Roy.) I cut a hole in the bottom so the actor 's body could stick out. To keep the two halves of the globe together, I attached industrial grade Velcro to the inside edges with super strong epoxy. The actor could secure the Velcro once he was inside the globe.
Matt and I scouted some fantastic Chicago locations like Zia's restaurant in Edison Park and drew from the stellar pool of Chicago area actors to form the cast.  It was a long, two day shoot but it couldn't have been better. The video below is the result and you can finally see the globe in action!

I hope you dig this little divergence. I promise more custom figures next week. My clients have commissioned some real beauties. Until next time, I remain The Insidious One.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Little Differences: Pre-Filmation Alcala Mini-Comic Style He-Man

Vincent: It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same $#!t over there that we got here, but it's just – it's just there it's a little different.


Today's installment of "The Little Differences" features a figure that has been a personal quest of mine since the Masters of the Universe Classics line began; a pre-Filmation mini-comic stlye He-Man as drawn by master illustrator Alfredo Alcala.


As you may have read in previous posts (Blond Teela and Eldor), my preferred version of the MOTU mythos is the one laid out in the first four mini-comics from 1981 where He-Man is a barbarian that leaves his jungle tribe to fight evil. (They call him Oo-Lar on the new MOTUC bios.)


In these books, He-man looks a little different than in other sources. For example; the bracer on his left arm matches his right arm, his skin is a little less bronze, his armor a little lighter gray, and the fur on his boots is a little lighter in color.


The differences are subtle, but to me, they are substantial. Here's the parts break down...

Head = Prince Adam (serious face)
Body = King Grayskull
Arms = Preternia Disguise He-Man
Boots = Preternia Disguise He-Man
Armor = Green Goddess
Trunks = He-Man
Weapons = He-Man

Here's a comparision shot that shows the differences between my He-Man (left) and the standard He-Man (right)
The challenge was finding a body whose skin tone matched the double bracer arms from Preternia Disguise He-Man. The skin tone of this figure is much lighter than regular He-Man. Luckily, King Grayskull's skin is lighter too. Prince Adam's slightly lighter skin tone head also was a good match and the slightly less intense eyebrows offer up a nice change from standard He-Man. (The hair piece was positioned a little high on this particular head and I plan to go back and reposition it.) The boots were an easy boil-and-pop swap. The slightly lighter armor from the Green Goddess was an easy fix. Finally, the trunks were, as always, a challenge to swap from regular He-Man, but nothing a little boiling water and elbow grease couldn't handle.


Based on the parts used, this was a fairly expensive figure to make but thanks to the awesome traders and sellers on He-Man.org and HissTank, I finally have the He-Man I always wanted. (Now I just have to find a good dagger to add to his boot!)


I hope you dig him as much as I do. If you do (or don't for that matter), leave a comment. Until next time, I remain The Insidious One.

***UPDATE 11/18/13***

I made a few changes to my Alcala He-Man including the replacement of the Preternia Disguise He-Man boots with the much more stable and more muted Thunderpunch He-Man boots. More notably, I also replaced the Prince Adam head with the Thunderpunch head. The skin tone is slightly lighter than the Adam head but the deco on the hair was so much better, I decided to make the change.
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Below is my new original mini-comic display.

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***UPDATE 03/19/15***

It's been a long road, but with the release of Oo-Larr...better known as "Pre-Goddess Meeting He-Man," I finally have my ultimate Alcala He-Man MOTUC figure! This is the He-Man that I wanted since I was a little kid. The only way he could be any better is if Mattel made a pair of boots that had yellowish tops and a removable boot-knife. photo real_heman_zpsj6xegbo6.jpg
Once again...I present The Insidious Kitbash Recipe for Alcala He-Man:
Head = Oo-Larr
Body = King Grayskull
Arms = Preternia Disguise He-Man
Boots = Thunder Punch He-Man
Harness and weapons = Goddess
Trunks = He-Man