Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cinema Memoir #26

Willow (May 20th, 1988)

I think Willow was another one of those movies I saw during a summer field trip with the recreation department. I didn't really dig this movie when it came out, perhaps because it was ruthlessly advertised as "a George Lucas movie" but when I finally watched it there were no light sabers or death stars.

This movie had a rebirth in my life after I acquired the VHS at a video store going-out-of-business sale. I watched it all throughout high school until it began to loose its luster - then I packed it away. I have it on DVD now but it's mostly for my daughter. I haven't watched it in probably about 3 years.

It's a good movie, but at some point it falls apart and looses it momentum - this is a common side effect of most Ron Howard films and I'm not sure why. The only Ron Howard film that doesn't loose it's momentum - in my opinion - is Parenthood, believe it or not.

(Image from

Traditional Animation

As the banner suggests, this blog is about Artwork, Movies, and Animation. Artwork and Movies have been covered so now I suppose it's time to post some animation.

This is a traditionally animated walk cycle I did sophomore years at Ringling. If you look closely you can tell the character is Gerty from the previous maquette post.

I'm not a huge fan of this - or any other of my traditional animations for that matter - but other people seems to like this one. I think it still needs a whole lot of work, but unfortunately, like most other abandoned works, I'll probably never revisit it - so it is what it is.

Enjoy for now, more to come later.

Copyright © 2009 Matthew J Killian All Rights Reserved
All images and content in this post are protected

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Maquette

An important part of the character design process is the creation of a maquette - a small, 3-dimensional study of a larger character. Until recently, maquettes have generally been sculpted in clay, but it's becoming more and more common to see digital maquettes created in 3D programs such as Zbrush.

This is Gerty - a maquette I did for my traditional animation class my freshman year at Ringling. She's made from Super Sculpy and miscellaneous other materials.

I haven't had the chance to do any digital maquettes yet, but I hope an opportunity will eventually present itself, as I really enjoy the 3D modeling process.

Copyright © 2009 Matthew J Killian All Rights Reserved
All images and content in this post are protected

Cinema Memoir #25

Critters 2: The Main Course
(April 29th, 1988)

Yup, that's right, I dig the Critters movies - all of them. Of course, they progressively got worse as they went along, nevertheless I still enjoy watching them - they're on my list of guilty pleasures.

The first Critters has always been a favorite, not only for me, but also for my long time friend Jeremy Farnell. As kids, when I'd spend the night at his house it was customary to watch Critters.

When the sequel came out I made my mom take me to see it. I'm sure she had a terrible time but I had a ball.

One a side note - The Tremors movies fall into the same "guilty pleasure" category as Critters. But the first Tremors is by far superior to any of the Critters movies. I didn't see it in the theater (1990) because I was so freaked out by the previews. I'm a little bummed about that today.

(Image from

Cinema Memoir #24

Police Academy 5:
Assignment: Miami Beach

(March 18th, 1988)

For the record, I really love the Police Academy movies - well parts 1 through 5. My brother and I spent many an hour watching the Police Academy movies on video, but part 5 was the first of the series we saw in the theater, and as far as I can remember it was a fun experience.

This is the first Police Academy movie that didn't star Steve Guttenberg as Sergeant Carey Mahoney, seeing as he flew off into the sunset in a hot air balloon with Sharon Stone at the end of Citizens on Patrol. Perhaps it was Mahoney's absence (I seriously doubt it) but Police Academy 5 seemed like a step down in quality.

Yeah, I know - "Police Academy" and "quality" aren't usually seen together in the same sentence - but for an eight year old these movies are totally RAD! (It's okay, "rad" was big in '88)

On a side note, Citizens on Patrol is probably my favorite Police Academy movie because of the awesome theme song and the skateboard scene at the beginning (Tony Hawk). Of course, Back in Training did introduce Zed and Sweetchuck as the dynamic duo, so it comes in a close second.

(Image from

Cinema Memoir #23

*batteries not included
(December 18th, 1987)

It seems that because I generally watch moves so many times on video or DVD all the viewings tend to blur together. This is certainly the case for *batteries not included.

I don't remember a whole lot about watching this in the theater but I do remember wanting to see it. The poster and trailers totally sold me on this movie. I was getting to the age where I started to recognize names like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas on movie posters.

Also at this age I was beginning to notice the impact of great poster art. This poster was created by none other than the great Drew Struzan. I didn't know that at the time but looking back I can see how much of an impact his art had on me as a kid and still has on me as an adult. (Check out the link to his page in the My Heroes section)

I can't say this movie is great - it's a little dry at times and kind of tedious to watch. The effects are pretty awesome though, especially for 1987.

(Image from

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Figure Drawing

Here are some figure studies I did my freshman year at Ringling. I really love doing long poses, but seeing as the quick gesture is much more beneficial to animators (or animation students like me) I have to really make extra time to sit down for a long pose.

I don't really consider these drawings long poses - probably no more the 10 minuets each. Hopefully I will be able to add some more "actual" long poses to my portfolio as the year goes by.

Copyright © 2009 Matthew J Killian All Rights Reserved
All images and content in this post are protected

Cinema Memoir #22

The Monster Squad (August 14th, 1987)

What can I say -- one of my very favorite movie experiences of all time. 7 years old was the perfect age for this movie, and it still remains one of my all time favorites.

My memories of this movie are very vivid. At the time, I was playing on a T-ball team -- well not exactly playing since all I ever did was stand in the outfield and kick up clay with my cleats. We (the whole family) were on our way to a game the night Monster Squad opened when out of nowhere my parents U-turned and took me and my brother to see the movie instead.

I'm not sure what provoked my parents to turn the car around like that . . . but it was one of the best decision my parents ever made for me.

Perhaps that was the day my film career began -- who knows? I do know for a fact that was the end of my amateur T-ball career. I never played T-ball again.

UPDATE: May 24th, 2010

Looks like it's time, yet again, for another remake. I guess I don't have a huge problem with remakes. I always like to give them a chance. The odds are I will enjoy them, but always end up going back to the originals.

And for all those people who spend countless hours online bitching about how Hollywood is threatening their childhood memories every time a movie is remade, just remember . . . you don't HAVE to watch the movie.

(Image from

Cinema Memoir #21

Masters of the Universe (August 7th, 1987)

He-Man was cool, but I never REALLY got into the cartoon. I had some of the action figures, yes, but simply because of their necessity in the childhood repertoire. But when this movie came out I was totally jazzed! Like all kids, I enjoyed cartoons, but I’ve always been a realist at heart and in my opinion nothing could be better than seeing these cartoons come to life.

Dolph Lundgren was pretty good as He-Man. He's always gotten a lot of flack but he managed to carry the movie pretty well. And I didn’t realize Frank Langella played Skeletor until recently -- and he did a really awesome job I think. I've gotta give props to the make-up guys and gals, because Skeletor's make-up really worked.

The movie is still pretty good. A little cheesy for today’s standards of course, but I think most kids today would still dig it. I’d like to see what they'd do with this movie today, and the way things are going it won’t be long before someone in Hollywood get’s the same idea.

Thundercats would be a pretty awesome live action adaptation I think, as long as it doesn't turn into a furry-fest.

UPDATE: May 24th, 2010

Evidently I wasn't far off in my original post. It looks as though a remake or re-envisioning of He-Man / Masters of the Universe is on the way. And it looks like Sony Pictures is producing, so I suppose there's a slight chance I might get to work on this one . . . if it ever comes to fruition.

(Image from

More Gesture Drawings

Here's another compilation of Gesture Drawings. These are more recent than the previous ones, so perhaps there is a slight improvement -- you be the judge. These are all 30 to 60 second poses.

Copyright © 2009 Matthew J Killian All Rights Reserved
All images and content in this post are protected

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gesture Drawings

Considering I've only been posting Cinema Memoir stuff for the last month I figure it's high time I posted some more art.

Gesture drawing is something that I seriously suck at, mostly because of how terribly inconsistent my technique is. Nevertheless I've picked a few gestures to showcase my incredible lack of skills. More to come later.

Copyright © 2009 Matthew J Killian All Rights Reserved
All images and content in this post are protected