Timelapse for Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed used one of my timelapses for their latest YouTube video, “The Science of Being a Teenager.” My clip starts around 0:35 and is also the final shot. They made a great video, check it out!

Posted in Publishing, Video

“Sharper Tool; Bigger Weapon” – The RA Scion redux

Last Fall, Seattle Hip-hop artist RA Scion worked with a Brooklyn-based producer named Rodney Hazard and gave us all an album that defied expectations and elevated Hip-hop music. “The Sickle and The Sword” generated a ton of well-deserved buzz, but was quickly cut off due to some legal confusion and drama on behalf of the producer. The producer demanded that the album not be sold or distributed, and the album was cut off short.

Not so easily defeated, RA Scion and his team began searching for a new producer to bring to life the vocal tracks that had been abandoned by Hazard’s beats. Vox Mod‘s work caught RA’s attention, and “Sharper Tool; Bigger Weapon” was born.

Here are links to the album:

I’ve spent the last week listening to the new album. The old version was one of my favorite albums to come out of Seattle, and I’ve been apprehensive about what the new sound and the new take on this beloved material might be. Not knowing what to expect, I abandoned expectations and dove in.

The surprising news to me is that the essence of the first album has generally been transferred to the new album. Despite the fact that Vox Mod apparently hasn’t heard the old album at all (or at least he hadn’t when The Stranger interviewed him), the album achieves a similar vibe that is conscious, mystic, intelligent, uplifting, challenging, and incredibly clever.

Here’s a track listing that compares the new track titles to the old:

#
The Sickle and The Sword
Sharper Tool; Bigger Weapon
1Ex Oriente LuxPassage to Transience
2Constant (feat. Daniel Blue)Fixed (feat. Daniel Blue)
3In VenerationOpalescent Jetsam
4BackwoodsPlush Portal Stylings
5The Prospector's AppraisalIntrospector
6On Saturnalia Eve (feat. Blake Lewis)Venus in Transit (feat. Blake Lewis)
7MyrrhLaurel & Wine
8Hoof x HornHolly & Oak (Again & Again)
9BloodletterInterceptor
10Woodwalker (feat. Mark Shirtz)Finding Forbearance (feat. Mark Shirtz)
11Hungry Like (feat. Rodney Hazard)Patina Green (feat. GMK and Royce the Choice)
12Black FridayRun One Through
13OurSpace (feat. Romaro Franceswa)Interstellar Parish (feat. Romaro Franceswa)
14Seven Gen. (feat. Greg Cypher)Res Publica (feat. Greg Cypher)

I’m blown away at the contribution that Vox Mod gave to this project. Songs that didn’t quite land with me before, like “Hoof x Horn,” have evolved into some of my favorite tracks. “Holly & Oak (Again & Again)” replaces “Hoof x Horn” and brings far more to the table than the first version was able to bring. Vox Mod’s irresistible beat on that track turn head-nodders into dancers. The track flows and soars and drives through you, building and teasing and rewarding the listener.

Other songs feel so different from the original that I had to go back and listen to the Rodney Hazard versions just to make sure that I was remembering it right. Hazard’s “Seven Gen.” was a positive song but it never really resonated with me. At the Fall 2013 album release party, I was blown away at the energy of the live version and wondered why the recorded version was such a different experience. Its replacement, “Res Publica,” takes the song from a solid song to a classic. As it comes across in its place as the final track on the album, it feels like RA Scion has taken a trip to the future, through deep space, and is now coming back to Seattle with the same pragmatic intelligence that made Common Market so popular. One of my favorite tracks out of all of his work, “Res Publica” feels like coming home to the 21st-century answer to “Tobacco Road.”

RA Scion and Vox Mod

In some cases, I miss beloved tracks from the first album – “Woodwalker” and “On Saturnalia Eve” were two of my favorites. The tracks that replaced them, though they have identical vocal tracks by RA and Blake Lewis (Mark Shirtz recorded new lyrics), have very different feels. They are solid songs, they’re enjoyable to listen to, but I miss my old favorites. It’s bound to happen, and I’m just grateful that I was able to get a download of “The Sickle and The Sword” when I still could.

In the vast majority of instances, however, I can’t think of anything other than what I’m listening to. The album has a maturity, cohesiveness and sense of purpose that the old one never was quite able to achieve. “Sharper Tool; Bigger Weapon” is a start-to-finish journey that rewards listeners who like to sit down and soak in an entire album, start to finish.

“The Sickle and The Sword” was an ode to the harvest, reaping beats from the earth. It carried the mystery and melancholy of Fall, and was released near the Autumnal Equinox. Now we have “Sharper Tool; Bigger Weapon,” released almost exactly on the Vernal Equinox, which somehow takes the same vocal tracks and infuses them with new life. The album has grown, the Spring is here, and we’re all hoping that this new duo will last a long, long time.

Posted in Rants Tagged , , , , , , |

Garrett Gibbons Demo Reel 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my demo reel. Maybe I was just waiting for the right musical inspiration? This one is long – just over four minutes – but I also made a 90-second sizzle reel for those with less interest or shorter attention spans. Thanks for watching! It’s been an amazing last few years.

Here’s the full-length version, set to “On Saturnalia Eve” by RA Scion (feat. Blake Lewis):

Also, the 90-second version, set to “Woodwalker” by RA Scion (feat. Mark Shirtz):

UPDATE: Just for fun, here are my older demo reels!

Jan 2012 Demo Reel:

Jan 2010 Demo Reel:

Posted in Dance, Film, How-to, Portfolio, Publishing, Video Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Ayron Jones & The Way – Feedin’ From the Devil’s Hands

Here’s the latest music video I’ve directed, “Feedin’ From the Devil’s Hands” by Ayron Jones and The Way. This group was awesome to work with, and I’m also especially grateful for the other Seattle-based musicians and performers (including Sir Mix-a-Lot, Grynch, Davin Stedman from Staxx Brothers and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang) for being involved.

Feedin from the devil's hands Ayron Jones and the way

I highly recommend checking out some of their other work, including this bluesy jam, “Baptized in Muddy Waters,” produced by the excellent Session Seven Media in Seattle. Ayron Jones & the Way will be playing at Bumbershoot 2013, and their full-length album will be released this Fall.

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You don’t know what the word “Storyboard” means, do you?

You just said “storyboard” to refer to something that isn’t a storyboard. I’m not sure if you said that because you heard someone else say it incorrectly at some point, but let’s clear the confusion up right away. I’m telling you because I care about you, and I want to save you future embarrassment.

Storyboards are a series of pictures used to pre-visualize a story. They’re commonly used in Hollywood movies, but also are used heavily in advertising, interactive media, and video games. They help by providing a common visual understanding between the director, director of photography, visual effect supervisor, producer and other key creative figures in a production.

Here is a storyboarded sequence from The Amazing Spider-Man:

Here’s what some Dreamworks storyboard artists look like when posing for a photo at work: (usually they look much more tired, and are drawing on lightboards, drafting tables, or something similar.

If you want to learn more about the visual art of storyboarding, you can read one of a large number of excellent books on the topic.

So just now, when you used “storyboard” incorrectly, here are some things that you may have meant:
  • brainstorm
  • script
  • mind map
  • treatment
  • notes
The fact that it has to do with a story does not make it a storyboard! Storyboards have pictures. They take time. They’re often drawn by professionals. They are used for specific purposes.
Would you use the word Gaffer to refer to the person who refills your water while you’re eating at a restaurant? No, because that wouldn’t make any sense. It also doesn’t make any sense when you call your written notes a storyboard.
Posted in How-to, Rants Tagged , , , , , |