About Projects News Contacts

Punch Pants

A Ghostbot blog.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Agency

Last November, we were asked by the Kenwood Group to come up with a teaser opener for the Day 2 Keynote speech of the Adobe MAX 2008 conference.

Kenwood already had a tongue-in-cheek spy/James Bond theme in mind for the whole presentation (called "The Agency") so they wanted us to inject that into the opening. After a few brainstorming sessions, we all agreed that the phenomenal credit sequence of "The Incredibles" would be a great stylistic reference to draw upon because it matched the tone and flare of what we were trying to accomplish.

We started by creating a couple of style frames to try and capture the look and feel of the piece:

Definitely the biggest challenge of this project was the aspect ratio we had to work at. The presentation was taking place in one of the main halls of the convention center and the video was going to be projected on 3 huge HD screens at the back of the stage.

Inside the conference room before the crowds.
Needless to say we've never output anything that big before so it was both a daunting and exciting challenge. One thing the client emphasized was taking advantage of the scale and width of the screens. So as we were laying things out, we tried to plan out sequences that had dramatic horizontal movement. The whole process was like plotting out a mural on a postage stamp.

Backstage it felt like NASA...
The best part was that we got to go to the actual presentation and see our work projected HUGE. Here's a video that was taken by someone in the audience. You can see the scale of the screens. They were so big the whole image couldn't even fit in the shot.

We also created the techy screens that appear at the beginning of the movie as well as the "virtual set" of the headquarters that is behind the speakers.

"Agent" Buntell getting his orders from "The Chief"

Final design for the virtual set

For those of you interested, Adobe posted the whole keynote presentation online, shot with wider lenses and multiple cameras. Our work starts at about 1:43.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Ghostbot Shop

After our crash course in merchandising for the con, we decided to open up our goods to the rest of the world through the newly launched Ghostbot Shop! Thanks to the magic internet elves, everything we were selling at the con is now available online and hand-shipped out of our humble studio (some products are more limited than others).

Check it out and feel free to email us with questions about any of the products. We're obviously new to this so we just want to make sure anyone who is plunking down money is satisfied (you'll need a Paypal account).

Finally, a lot of people have been asking us what the book looks like on the inside. Here is an exclusive pre-cut preview of some of the spreads:

Mmmmmm...smell the ink...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Con and Beyond

"When are we going to see the Ghostbot booth at the con?"

That's what we've been asked every year since we started the company. After almost 5 years of making lame excuses, we finally decided that 2009 was going to be the year.

So what were we going to show? That was the big question. All the previous years, we were content with wandering around the floor with the rest of the crowds and spending inordinate amounts of cash on everybody else's stuff. But now that we were going to be on the other side of the table, we knew we had to really think about why we were there.

Aside from our friends and peers in the industry, no one really knows who we are or what we do. It's hard for an independent animation studio to "advertise" to the public without something high profile under your belt. In this day and age, you don't usually get the opportunity to meet your audience face to face. This is why the con is such a great venue. It's a unique mixture of fans, artists, and everyday families all wandering around wide-eyed and looking for cool stuff. Nerddom knows no boundaries.

After some brainstorming we thought what better way to stick our collective necks out there than with an idea that is almost as old as Ghostbot itself. The concept is simple: a character who doesn't fit into her world. Mix in sci-fi, goth, robots, and weird creatures and you have the recipe for a Ghostbot property. Over the past few years, we've tried different avenues to tell her story but none really felt right. So when it came time to plan for the con, we realized we had so much content already developed for this idea that we could produce a bunch of different things to show. However, since the quality of independently produced products has gone up each year, we knew we had to do something special for our first time out. And thus, Little Lost Ghost was born...

Original Painting (Gouache, 8" x 11.5")

Books and Shirts

Prints and Buttons

Not for sale - just the insanity that is our Senior Producer/Caretaker, Corrine

On top of all the Ghostbot madness, we shared the booth with our crazy talented friend and Fellow Ghostbot, Arvin "Sold-Out-By-Noon" Bautista. Arvin was the perfect complement for Ghostbot, knocking everyone's socks off with his self-published comic "Bomb Squad". He sold those things so fast we didn't even get copies. Be sure to check out his blog for a day-by-day recap (and hopefully news on where to buy the next printing - hint, hint).

Meeting everyone and getting the chance to show them what we do was the best part of the con.

Needless to say, we had a blast. We sold some stuff. We met a lot of people. And we drew more sketches in those 3 days than we have drawn in 3 years. The whole experience was completely exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.

But I think it's safe to say, we can't wait to do it again.

Secret Base Fellow Ghostbot Portfolios