caspar was recently interviewed for a podcast about the record covers he’s made for bands such as 65daysofstatic, alessandro cortini and big black delta. the interview was conducted by vic tory for his art of the sleeve podcast. you can listen to the interview now on spotify, google podcasts, and other streaming services.
it’s been a while since we updated this blog thing. it occurred to us that we really need to make a record of our gradual move into the world of film title sequences. unfortunately the way this website is constructed means that it’s hard to highlight this kind of work, and so we hope this article gives you an inkling of what we’ve done and hope yet to do in this field.
over the last few years we’ve been asked to do an increasing amount of motion graphics work for films, and whilst the work is often relatively rudimentary in terms of graphic design, the projects have certainly been respectable. in this regard it’s worth noting what kind of films we’ve worked on and observing the more subtle compliment a thing as simple as a typeface choice or type placement can offer a film. which isn’t to say we wouldn’t rather do something more explosive graphically, but more often than not a film doesn’t need that. not at all.
anyway, after a while in this business you realize that you need to just let the work speak for itself, rather than doing a whole lot of talking about your process or whatever. so here are a series of title cards and stills from various film productions, where you can see our motion graphic design work at play.
light up the night
co-directed by matt sundin and caspar newbolt. featuring drawings by john delucca and animation by josiah newbolt.
directed by rick alverson.
directed by tim sutton. featuring in-film poster design and ‘google maps sequence’ compositing.
take what you can carry
directed by matthew porterfield.
directed by logan sandler.
directed by tim sutton.
directed by jessica dimmock.
directed by tim sutton.
directed by distruktur.
stay tuned for more work from us for jonas carpignano’s a ciambra, matthew porterfield’s sollers point and ari gold’s the song of sway lake.
_tagscaspar newbolt, cinema, dark night, distruktur, entertainment, film, jessica dimmock, john delucca, josiah newbolt, light up the night, live cargo, logan sandler, matt sundin, matthew porterfield, memphis, motion graphics, muito romantico, pavilion, protomen, rick alverson, sequence, take what you can carry, the convention, tim sutton, title, titles, typography, willis earl beal
the new york thrash metal band activator are releasing their debut album in two weeks. i’ve known the guitarist jared drace for some time now. his apartment is like a museum version of my formative years. packed full of vintage horror film posters, action figures, comic books, guitars and a vast alphabetized collection of records, i spent the first half hour i was there just staring at the walls. i shared my first boarding-school dormitory with an english metal guitarist who had a redwood washburn N-series N2, with humbucker pickups and a floyd-rose tremolo. this guy had me listening to extreme, van halen,?steve vai and joe satriani. my first record cover was a pencil crayon copy of satriani’s the extremist sleeve. i’ve never told jared this, but i didn’t really have to. suffice to say i lept at the chance of creating the sleeve for his band activator’s debut LP.
almost a year ago i was in london sitting in my brother’s apartment scratching a rat’s nest of unwashed hair on my head, staring at a crude biro drawing of the image you see above. just days before i’d downloaded a mastered version of the record and it was once again upon me to try and make an image that might get people more immediately into the headspace the band were in with these new songs.
the album is a fast-paced and brutal affair with lyrics that delve fiercely into the bleaker side of personal relationships. it opens with the sound of rats screeching as they run through city streets and as a new york resident myself i was immediately transported to a place i’d seen many a rat in my days – waiting for a train as we all have on those sweltering summer nights. closing my eyes and turning up the music, i then tried to think of a way to step over the still fresh vomit of ?’tough love’ clich?s i’d seen on record sleeves of this kind in the past. for one, the failed love stories on this album had such a battering of a soundtrack that i knew i had to find a way of turning the gun on the protagonist somehow. badly sketching out a train platform, i drew in the dead body of a guy, blood streaming from his corpse. next up was of course the question of who killed him and why. if you were to sympathize with the lyrics on this record you’d certainly at least joke that a girl must have killed him. you know, metaphorically speaking … and that’s when it hit me.
i scribbled in the rest of the drawing details, took a photo of the sketch and emailed it immediately to john delucca. if there’s anyone on this planet who can not only whip up an incredible pencil rendering of a scene but also style it to a level that fits my particular idiosyncrasies, it’s john.
3 days later i had a finished pencil drawing in my hands. not one change was necessary – he had nailed it. immediately i set to work on colouring it in, adding textures, type and any other specific little details that i felt would really bring the concept home. i was already smiling – listening to the music as the image slowly came to life, i knew we’d nailed it.
so what was the big idea? well, take a closer look at the image above and you’ll see that the girl hiding around the corner holding the bloody knife is merely coincidental. she’s in fact just a picture of a girl on a poster. she didn’t kill the guy. she’s not really there.
the truth in fact being that something else killed him and the question of what or why that could be is open to the listener’s imagination. one interpretation might be that it’s a more supernatural, as-yet-unseen danger stemming from the bands own obsession with horror films and comic books. another could be that the girl in the poster is?a simply a metaphorical commentary on all the album’s ‘this relationship is killing me’ lyrical content. either way the visual allegory is there and we hope it provokes more than just a passing interest in all activator have to offer. the fact is you won’t find classic thrash this rad with ease, so why not let yourself be seduced.
activator is out on september 17th and you can pre-order it digitally, on CD or on vinyl here.
_categoryblog, grafiks, news
_tagsactivator, album, allegory, artwork, blood, extreme, floyd-rose, humbucker, joe satriani, john delucca, metal, N2, new york, rats, steve vai, thrash, van halen, vinyl, vomit, washburn
the above layout is a part of the latest in our ongoing collaborations with the protomen – it’s the inlay of the cassette single for their cover of roy orbison’s i drove all night. it’s been public knowledge for a while that the band have been working on a covers LP, and this marks the first release from that project. never a band to back down from going all the way in terms of developing a narrative around their releases, this covers record is going to be a very unique thing indeed. striving to be both the greatest covers record you’ve ever heard, it may also turn out to be the greatest soundtrack to a film you’ve never seen. either way we are yet again being pushed by the protomen to pull out the stops on creating the most immersive artwork experience we can in support of it.
the i drove all night cassette single, whilst just a teaser of what’s to come, provided a good warm-up to working on the larger release. you see for?the protomen?the process of selecting songs to cover?is a little more in depth than with most bands we’ve worked with.?i drove all night?was chosen not just because it’s a tough old jam that harks back sweatily to another time, but also because lyrically it echoes very strongly elements of the protomen’s own story. expanding upon this, what you see when you open the cassette up and turn over the inlay is this –
calling once again on the mighty talents of john delucca, we went back and forth on various different angles and layouts until we had in essence captured what we felt told the story best. once john had drawn in all the details we were after, he brushed in the colour and we took over with various aspects of post-production and layout work. all of this in order to bring it in line with the band’s reference-fueled vision for the overall package.
the cherry on top was of course including the name and logo for the film for which this covers album would be the soundtrack. aptly named?the cover up, we wanted with just a logo to give fans a little taste of what’s to come – what the story of the covers LP might be about and what sort of tone it might have.
only 1000 copies were printed of the cassette ?- you can grab a copy of it here whilst stocks last.
_categoryblog, grafiks, news
_tagsact II, cassette, covers, i drove all night, john delucca, LP, protomen, roy orbison, single
at 7:51 CST precisely last night (5/25)?the protomen activated an online portal to the world of act 2, their second album. 4 years in the making, the follow-up to act 1 is set many years before the events detailed in their first record. we were hired to help realize that vision for them, along with the powerful & visionary artist, john delucca.