Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What it takes to make

Each still here represents months and months of hundreds upon hundreds of individuals working diligently. A Pixar film averages three to four years of production. Just imagine how much we take on and accomplish at Noir when we are only three.  I'm not saying we are  like Pixar in production quality... but who is? It is companys like them  that provide us with our gold standard.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mike Monteiro "How Designers Destroyed the World"

Inspiring is and understatement! His talk is absolutely the best I've seen in a long time. Nothing like a man brave enough to tell you like it is. 

Webstock '13: Mike Monteiro - How Designers Destroyed the World from Webstock on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Two Emmy Nominations!

I'm very happy to announce that I've been nominated for two Emmy awards!

We're all really excited! Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!! :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Cursed Nickel?

Today I saw a very cool Reddit post, titled "got this as change tonight am I cursed?" It featured a curious looking nickel which at first glace looks like and Indian head nickel. When you look closer the face is a skull  instead of Indian head or the more common Thomas Jefferson. Check it out below.

   This completely blew my mind so I did some quick "google-izeing" and found out quite a bit about this nickel.  The very first thing I should get out of the way is that this nickel seems to be worth close to $400 to a collector. So is this person cursed? No. Lucky as all hell to find a nickel worth $400? Yes! 
  There is also a huge community around these amazing reliefs, full of artisans, collectors, history and culture. These carvings are extremely rich and diverse with roots going all the way back the 1750's. I also saw a few articles siting influence of Greek antiquity and secret society membership tokens. The object in question is commonly known as the Hobo Nickel, more specifically the "skull Indian and buffalo carcass" Hobo Nickel. Here are a few examples I thought were interesting.

Pretty cool right? :) 




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How many jellybeans do you have left?

Zefrank posted a very moving video about jellybeans and how they relate to your life...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Making the magic: Nike Football Set

Once again I've teamed up with the amazing photographer Chris Razoyk for this set. His unfaltering attention to detail and well trained eye made for a really successful collaboration!

In this set Chris and I decided to go for the gold and really push the visuals. It was a lot of fun and hard work  developing this concept. We wanted it to be moody but still have that fantastical super-athlete feel to it. The most rewarding part of this process is knowing that what you are making is not only  a lot of fun, but it also sparks the imagination  and pushes the medium.

Making Of:

Nike Football Cosmic Fire from David Van Allen on Vimeo.

Nike Football At the posts from David Van Allen on Vimeo.

Check out Chris's blog for more details about his work.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Creating: A simple complication

  What I think about when I create

  When creating a piece, personal or professional I have found that there are skills and tools far more important than the software, a wacom tablet or a paint brush. If i'm fortunate the piece becomes art, but this is not always the case in the commercial world. My soul is rooted in process, craft and storytelling, all principals of fine art that apply to every medium. As a result of these virtues I hold dear, coupled with the fast paced, cut-throat, winner take all field I work in, it can be difficult to remember this very important lesson. A lesson taught to me by an amazing professor and a life changing foundation education.

   Nothing is precious, nothing is sacred and everything has purpose. Say something.  Know when to stop and when to start over. Walk away, take a deep breath and for God sake lighten up! Also, your work is shit try harder. Maybe smear some coffee on it.

Damn, I miss Fran and what I learned at Munson. I carry those lessons with me every day.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


This is water...Woah, A must watch... This may be the very first "first world problems" anthem and sound advice on how be not just exist.  :) This is a man right after my own heart.

This speech by David Foster Wallace is an inspiration with sound grounding and a wonderfully simple and potent message.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The proof is in the pudding

There is an unseen divide in the motion graphics industry... well not really a divide so much as a clash of ideals. There are many forms of art and design but the water has muddied as to which is which. I say they are all part of the same ecosystem. Real "motion graphics" also known to the more seasoned as animation requires years of expertise. It also employs varied artistic ability and a true collaboration of styles. The proof is in the pudding. Here is pre-viz art from one of the most successful animated films of all time.

Original Link: