Archive for the ‘film production’ Category

“Sketch City” Official Inspiration for 2010 Blender World Cup Animation Competition

June 5, 2010

Our “Sketch City” web series trailer somehow wound up as one of the “inspiration” pieces for Blender’s BWC animation competition.

Made it on the short list next to Aardman Film’s “Wallace and Gromit”

and Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride”. Nice company!

The Blender World Cup was started in 2004: to promote a competitive spirit within the Blender community while giving artists an opportunity to push themselves beyond what they know about Blender, composition, and storytelling. Learn more about 2010 BWC here

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Related Posts:
“Sketch City”
Shooting with Ray Flynn and T. Rex Lens
Building Paper Set


“Bullet Proof” Fashion Film

May 19, 2010

Just posted, “Bullet Proof”, a recent short fashion film I put together with Tal Shpantzer. She was photographing Marlon Gobel’s show at the recent NYC Fashion Week for The show was fantastic and at every turn Marlon offers up something unusual and interesting.

Part of the skill of any good creator is to make something really new and different ( and most don’t ), but the great ones do it with such thoroughness and subtly, that the “quirks” add richness to the impact of the work and nothing is gratuitous or unintentional. Case in point, love the “hazmat” slip on booties and id badges the models wore in the show. And just forget about the Dan Flavin meets Buckminster Fuller, meets Dr.No, mid century retro-future evil set!

We were both inspired by Marlon’s dashing secret agent tuxedo/jumpsuit and Tobias Wong’s Ballistic Rose, a bullet proof broach detail.

I wanted to create a 1 min short of an afternoon with our Agent X and Tal wanted to put together a stills editorial, so we joined forces and came up with this shoot with our Obscure Object Films creative team.

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Tal styled our heroine’s looks with the Ferrari red “Blake – Grenadine” dress from Hayden – Harnet’s current season and some pretty tough cuffs from the same collection. Tal shot their Fashion Week presentation as well.

photo by tal shpantzer

Thank you Patricia and Showroom Seven for the striking Erickson Beamon spiky cuff and mirror necklace.

The model’s rings came from Ayaka Nishi. Several short films lurking in her new collection too!

Miklos Buk got some great cinematic shots in a very impromptu “run n gun” shooting environment, mostly hand-holding a canon 7D. Al Arundel kindly offered us a steadycam rig to use, but the 7D camera was just too lightweight to work with the counter balance. Got to pilfer Aurora Crowley’s lens collection to get the “Ultra-Wide” shots. Miklos litterally just got the camera, no; follow focus, monitor, shoulder mount, nothin. Real-Deal-Hand-Held. Shot everything in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens, NYC

Our secret agents, Alex Geerman and Stephanie Passavant came to us via Major Models and rocked out all day long!

Masha Gvozdov did a great job getting the sexy spy look together with hair and makeup. Props also go out to Charles at Modacycle helping us connect with our great wardrobe. Cheers.

Not only did Francesco from Evandro Tech Motors lend us the Ferrari, but he stepped behind the wheel as our stunt driver. Nice job.

In composing the music, I wanted to go for a really straight forward action score a la John Barry’s amazing music for the James Bond films. I think I ended up hearing more of my favorite Kurt Weill vibe then Mr. Barry…

But wait…. we’ve got Alvin van der Kuech taking this edit to his studios to create another score variation. Taking a minute for us, A.V. is currently enjoying global dance floor domination with his latest release and is about a month away from the next EP.

A long standing friend and creative collaborator is bound to blow our heads off, so stay tuned for the next “Bullet Proof” post.

Produced by Obscure Object Films and Talfoto
Directed by Stephen Dirkes
Camera by Miklos Buk
Still Photography by Tal Shpantzer
Music and edit by Stephen Dirkes
Casting and Styling by Tal Shpantzer
Hair and Makeup by Masha Gvozdov
Transportation by Rebecca Trent
Production assistant Alvin van der Kuech

Special Thanks
Marlon Gobel
Showroom Seven
Erickson Beamon
Tobias Wong’s Ballistic Rose
Ayaka Nishi
Major Models
Evandro Tech Motors
The Creek & The Cave

Catskills Autumn Timelapse

October 26, 2009

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Back last night from a great weekend in the Catskills. Shot this on a Nikon DSLR ( Nikkor 24-200 zoom ) as stills. Manfrotto tripod with pistol grip head.

Extra fluffy water the at end of the clip was shot with 1.5, 2 and 3 second slow shutter.

Animated in After Effects, edited in Final Cut and graded in Color. Pine Hill, NY 2009


Making Spaceship Models for Music Video

October 23, 2009


Making a Spaceship exterior model for a few shots in a music video I’m VFX coordinating. (more…)


Obscure Object Films “Sketch City” Series

October 12, 2009

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Obscure Object Films is proud to present the “Sketch City” series. Welcome to “Sketch City” where a diverse community of people get to tell their own stories in an animated urban world. Fresh stories, to be served up twice weekly in 2-3min episodes. Enter a 3d graphic novel in paper, populated by graffiti artists, djs, models, fashionistas, hipsters and urbanites. Experience their raw, personal, unscripted stories from the Sketch City.

papercity overhead shot

We created a unique environment to function as a platform for user generated stories and storytellers, keeping the best of unscripted “Reality” and adding an extra large dose of production flavor. (more…)


the Object “Sneak Preview” 30 sec Trailer and Notes from Post

October 6, 2009

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Here’s a sneak preview of the latest Obscure Object Films release “the Object” to be screened this Friday at the World Premier Screening Party hosted by international burlesque star Dirty Martini at the Slipper Room ( 167 Orchard St. ), Lower East Side, NYC Friday October 9th at 8pm.

This 4.5 minute film, shot on location in Brooklyn and Long Island City by Tal Shpantzer with a Canon digital Still camera, follows the thwarted lust of an artist for an unattainable woman and leads the viewer from the stage and dressing room of a 1930s cabaret to an animated fantasy theatre of his injured and fragile psyche. (more…)


Recording Voice Overs with Rodrigo Galvan at HSR in Manhattan

September 20, 2009

studio scream 1
At Howard Schwartz Recording studios on 420 Lexington at Grand Central, recording the voice overs for the up coming Obscure Object Films release of Peter Bill’s animated short, “the Rat Who Stole the Sun”.
rat grab 1
LA gets a post-nuke-svankmeyer-vermin rife treatment in this dark modern adaptation of a traditional Native American Indian tale. (more…)


Location Shots for the Next Production

September 14, 2009

alter from organ loft

Some location stills for an upcoming Obscure Object Films production. Johannes Kirsch is a 19th century German church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (more…)


“the Object” with Dirty Martini in Post

September 1, 2009

the Object c3

Locking down the edit for the most recent Obscure Object Films release, “the Object” starring Dirty Martini and Paul Richard. This 5 minute short film takes us backstage to the steamy intrigue of a 1930’s New York City Burlesque Nightclub.

the Object c2

Photographer, Tal Shpantzer, successfully wrangled audience scenes, cast almost exclusively with French actors visiting NYC. These young Frenchmen were masters of; wearing hats, smoking lustily and the subtle skill of feminine charms appreciation. (more…)


Animating Stills for a Multi Channel Music Video

August 6, 2009

cloud comp 1

Working on an animated short to open the set for a band’s upcoming national tour. Here are some examples of the looks and how I got them from my first animation tests. (more…)


Meet My Little Friend – Honeywell Dual Filmatic

July 29, 2009

elmo 4

This super 8mm camera was also known as the ELMO C200, Honeywell marketed the camera in 1966. I just snabbed it in Greenpoint, NYC and its dirty, dirty, dirty, missing the battery and has some unholy “klunking” going on inside. (more…)


The Best Junkyard in LA

July 29, 2009


Just got back from LA where friend and colleague, Peter Bill, took me out to an amazing media-tech junkyard. Apex Electronics in Sun Valley. California is the electro-junk-repository to die for. Mountains of circuit boards, flight cases and random A/V equipment create a maze of corridors that wind through the outside area which is about a full city block. (more…)


Shooting with Raymond Flynn on a T Rex lens and RED camera

July 27, 2009

Ray lens change

Recently finished shooting a table top model set with T Rex. an interesting and unusual lens on a RED camera with cameraman/ D.O.P. Raymond Flynn. Aaron Fidan from CPT rental inc. provided the T Rex rig for the shoot. CPT designed the lens and its manufactered by P+S Technik in Germany. This specialty lens is perfect for scale model shoots, table top and macro shots. (more…)



July 9, 2009

Ste Cam 6

T.REX Lens hanging off the front of a RED cam. Nice. Pic from the latest shoot. Posting details soon…


“Give a Little Back” Eurotrash made in brooklyn 30 second spot

July 2, 2009

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This edit comes hot off the Mac. (more…)


$9 Fisheye Lens

June 30, 2009


I popped into a local hardware store in South Beach and grabbed a $9 fisheye lens originally intended to be a peephole for a door. (more…)



June 16, 2009

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more about “LIFEGUARDSTATION“, posted with vodpod

one channel v.

13 life guard stations from marina del ray to santa monica-
the length of venice beach, sept 23, 2008.

30 minute intervals of 30 minutes each, 7am-7pm.

thinking of ed ruscha, his studio turned into a parking lot,
and the California landscape.


Tal Shpantzer shooting with the Zylight Z90

June 12, 2009


Recently worked on set with photographer, Tal Shpantzer , shooting in a wide variety of environments, on a Canon 5d with 2 Zylight Z90 led lights. (more…)


Another Model Set!

June 9, 2009
production still from "the Object" featuring "Dirty Martini"

production still from "the Object" featuring "Dirty Martini"

The model theatre is featured at the end of “the Object”, a stop-motion-live-action-animated-short-film ( whew ), I’m currently working on. The model appears when the protagonist Hank’s delirium reaches its apex and he mentally projects the image of a Burlesque dancer he has fallen in love with, into the toy theatre he has made to contain her. (more…)


Amierinkz Makes Paper Model NYC Set

May 23, 2009

lu ste

Amierinkz and Stephen Dirkes on set.

lou WEB_7229 copy

Artist, graphic designer, product designer and all around good guy Amierinkz took on the challange to create a paper model NYC neighborhood inspired scale model for a recent production. (more…)