Dec 19, 2014

Brainstorm Community re-imagines Tony Stark as a "Steam-Punk Iron-Man"

Jason Kang (via)
I first discovered the Brainstorm Concept Art Community Group via social media a few weeks back. The thing that struck me the most about the group's atmosphere was in how inviting they were to artistic newcomers of all degrees of technical skill and aesthetic temperament. As soon as I saw the results of the group's last major community event, "Steam-Punk Iron-Man", I knew I had to shine a spotlight on them.

This project turned out a wealth of varying reinterpretations and re-imaginings of the venerable "Genius-Millionaire-Playboy-Philanthropist", from Jason Kang's Rockwellian portrait pictured above, to Giby Joseph's Pyromaniacal snow-trooper,  Cheung Chung Tat's Iron-Gojira and Daniele Orlandini's phantom-like aviator, there's a wealth of inspiring creativity and familiar weirdness just below the break!

GIF-JAM 2014

GIF-JAM 2014 takes some of the internet's most talented GIF artists and brings them together into 5-minute collection of mesmerizing loops. Accompanied with the music of the talented Paul Fraser, artists submitted their work unknowing of the final product. The result of the collaborative effort is nothing short of amazing. Despite each artist being unaware of the work put in by others there are quite a lot of similarities in ideas that comes into play.

The constantly changing music of Paul Fraser really ties the collaboration together, and gives the odd assortment of GIFs the opportunity to perfectly sync with the awesome tunes. For a full list of artists featured in the collaboration, check out the description over here

David O'Reilly's 'Heaven's Countryland' is Almost As Strange As The Reality It's Based On

I'm not one for pulling the "real-world" into the topic of posts, but given all that's been happening lately in regards to North Korea and the Sony hack and the indefinite suspension of The Interview's release, I thought it would be apt to turn some attention to David O'Reilly's terrifically animated short series for Adult Swim, Heaven's Countryland.

North Korea is a notoriously isolationist country known for its perpetual raw-nerve feud with its neighboring sister country. It's also most famously know for caricaturing the United States with claims of dick-dastardly do-no-goodery so absurd that they more often miss the point of legitimate criticism. I think O'Reilly and South African animator Mike Scott managed to encapsulate that paranoid vibe of personality worship and farcical weirdness perfectly in this 4-part series. Check out the rest after the break!

Dec 18, 2014

Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Trailer Is Filled With Chills For Fans Of The Classic (And New) Series

I thought things really couldn't get much better for the classic series, Space Battleship Yamato, considering how fantastic the 2013 remake ended up being. Thankfully I was wrong. After a rather sub par ending for Space Battleship Yamato 2199, a followup movie was announced to give the series the send off it deserves, (flying completely under my radar).

Earlier in October, another Space Battleship Yamato 2199 film was released, but the overall reception was rather poor, myself included. Rather than being a recap of the series like it's predecessor film, the new film features an entirely new plot line that's destined to fill that Yamato shaped hole in your heart. The movie is already out in theaters in Japan with no outside releases announced, but I would definitely keep an eye out.

Throwback Thursday: Darlingside - The Ancestor

This Thursday, we're throwing all the way back to 2012 with Darlingside's exquisitely beautiful music video for "The Ancestor". Long before Hiro Murai's "Never Catch Me", The Ancestor tells the story of the after-life and of one loving couple's attempt to weather the inevitable consequences of mortality. A older woman with a rose in her hair stares down at the graveside of her beloved. As day turns to night, the spirits of the departed are lifted out of their graves and hoisted into the great beyond along wisping tethers of lights. But one man cannot let go of his earthly ties, and a decision must be made...

Director Keith Boynton, lead animator Abraham Dieckman, lead artist Pamela Goodman and the rest of the team at Crazy Lake Pictures did a phenomenal job with this one. The vibrant colors and abstract art-style perfectly complement the track's dream-like tone. Check out more of their more recent awesome work here.

Self-Assembly Proves, Once Again, That Dead is Better

In Self-Assembly, A young couple are forced to resort to a demonic resurrection device in order to bring back their son after a freak incidence of tragedy. What comes out of the box is not what they put into it (or is it?), and the couple must decide whether to half-heartedly raise this mischievous homunculus who looks like one of the scammers from Futurama, or if the famous maxim of Stephen King's Pet Sematary remains true.

The short's ominous sense of dark serious is well-established, never abating for even a second while still managing to cram in a few unsettling laughs. It just gets weirder and weirder from minute one. Check out more of Director Ray Sullivan's work here.

Adult Swim Unleashes Another Batch of Nightmare Fuel with 'Unedited Footage of a Bear'

Adult Swim proves themselves, yet again, to be only the finest purveyor of late night faux-infomercial infused nightmare fuel. Coming off the the strength of their run away viral Too Many Cooks, the folks at Williams Street Studios couldn't let us slink quietly into the new year without giving our collective brains another go-through the cerebral atomizer of their anarchic brand of visual insanity. Put this in HD, full-screen, and buckle up for some face-melting weirdness.

Do you know what kind of bear this is? I need to know. For reasons.
Unedited Footage of a Bear is anything but; turning a 30-second clip into a meticulous 10-minute plunge into dark comedic absurdity. A wild-life shot turns into a medication commercial which then takes a nose-dive straight into territory that feels all too at home alongside psychological horror films like Primer and Side-Effects. Much like Too Many Cooks, words do not not do it justice. This is a fear best left experienced than explained.

Twin Shadow - Turn Me Up

I first encountered Twin Shadow through his inclusion on GTAV's in-game 'World-Wide FM' radio station. His song "Old Love/New Love" was an infectiously catchy new-wave revivalist pop track that instantly made me stand up and pay attention.

With two albums and a novel(!) already underneath his belt and a third follow-up titled Eclipse slated for next year, Twin Shadow (a.k.a. George Lewis Jr.) is making some serious power moves lately. The first single off of his aforementioned upcoming album is titled "Turn Me Up" and features a music video that feels just as spacey, brooding and heart-sullen as his impeccable production.

Dec 17, 2014


It should be a surprise to no-one that I love fractals. Intricately dense three-dimensional landscapes representative of complex mathematical patterns that permeate throughout all scales of the natural (and unnatural) world, from the grid-based construction of contemporary cities to the veins of a tree-leaf.

VFX artist Julius Horsthuis has just released a compilation of his fractal animations over the past year; combining over 20 clips amounting to just over an hour of footage into one 4-minute visual espresso shot of inspiration. He's also currently got an interactive 360-degree project called "Foreign Nature" coming out sometime next year for the Oculus Rift. Check out more of his work here. Great job Julius, see you in the new year!

Starbomb's Smash! is a Ballad to Smash Bros' Brawlin'

Egoraptor and Danny Sexbomb's Starbomb project has always turned out some hilariously awesome videos in the past. The latest video for the lead single off of their next album titled Player Select is no different. Smash! captures the essence of what it's like watching Nintendo's host of colorful, iconic and unassuming mascots go head-to-head in a brutal crucible for supremacy. Danny's proclivity for hair metal power ballads and Egoraptor iconic deadpan-retorts make for a match made in music.

Time Trap

Time Trap is a gut-bursting hilarious sci-fi comedy romp through the multi-verse. When a cosmic engineer's ship richochets through an asteroid field and crash lands on a long-abandoned planet, he must use a chronological travel device known as a "time trap" to scavenge replacement parts throughout the planet's past and repair his ship to return home. What happens along the way is a series of hysterical vignettes and jaw-dropping special effects.

With a Doctor Who-style theatrics and a Looney Tunes flair for physical comedy, Time Trap is tightly-packed, well-oiled machine of a short film that lands its punches and never runs out of ways to surprise you. Director Michael Shanks is a VFX-wunderkind, with only 23 years of life under his belt and already courting the attention and talent of industry folks like Guy Pearce. We're keeping our eyes on this guy.

It's Happening: Final Fantasy XV TGS English Trailer

The Last Guardian. StarCraft: Ghost. Half-Life 3. Final Fantasy XV. The fifteenth installment in Square Enix's long-standing JRPG franchise is one of modern-gaming's great white whales. Originally announced in May 2006 as a spin-off of Final Fantasy XIII titled "Final Fantasy Versus XIII", Final Fantasy XV (phew, that's a lot of roman numerals) retains the series' standard-bearing legacy of flashy FMVs, gravity-defying haircuts, and ridiculously complicated plots that more often than not result in deicide.

This footage has been floating around the web ever since it premiered at this year's Tokyo Game Show, but the fact that the English dub has finally been released feels like a occasion to take notice of. The previously unrevealed road-trip element to this installment has me especially intrigued. Along with that frenetically-paced combat, I wonder what other curve-balls this next installment has in store for us. Still no stated release date as of yet, a demo is being prepped for release next year, albeit with some slightly draconian requirements.

Dec 16, 2014

The Art of Vitaly Medvedovsky

Vitaly Medvedovsky's paintings are the definition of picturesque. A Ukrainian-born alumni of OCAD and Concordia University, Medvedovsky aspires, and succeeds, in cultivating a rich inner mythology coursing all throughout the body of his work.

Arctic labyrinths, impossible attic spaces with no end, and the husks of bi-planes strewn about empty airspaces littered with the remnants of a long-dead world. It's as if his subjects reside within a truman show-esque simulacra of half-reality that's nested within the foggy borders of a half-forgotten dream. Occasionally, from time to time, an inhabitant might manage to peek past the curtain to catch a fleeting glimpse of the edges surrounding this whimsical paracosm of otherworldly delights.

The muted vibrancy of Medvedovsky's colors and the elegant simplicity of his compositions bring to mind comparisons to Jonathan Blow's upcoming video-game The Witness. Beautifully impressionistic, pop-surrealist storybook illustrations underscored with an almost rockwellian aura of poignance and solemnity. Check past the break for more of his work over this past year, with more paintings in-progress to come!

Panda Bear - Boys Latin

Ah, Panda Bear. The Animal Collective front-man and Daft Punk collaborator's fifth album, "Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper", is slated for release early next year. The video for the album's second single "Boys Latin" is just as bizarre, trippy and tranquil as Panda Bear's distorted echoing lyricism.

Boys Latin chronicles the story of a young woman out for a hike along a coastal tide pool. Her encounter with a sea anemone triggers a phantasmagorical reaction. She meets a man who seems to be in a similar predicament, and together they start a family of sorts.

Lady on a mission.
The psychedelic coloring and involuntary violent nature of their transformations almost bring to mind comparisons to the 1980 sci-fi thriller Altered States. The gorgeous 2.5-D graphics look positively out of this world.San-Francisco production house Encyclopedia Pictura did a phenomenal job on this video.

Dec 15, 2014

'The Grey Matter' is Dark, Gruesome and Brilliantly Hilarious

Dark comedies focused around the assumed banality and bureaucracy of the after-life aren't anything new (i.e. Beetlejuice and Wristcutters: A Love Story), but The Grey Matter is one of the most gruesomely brilliant twists on the trope thanks to snappy dialogue and sharp transition-editing for comedic effect. After a mysterious injury, an office "stiff" named Simon finds himself stumbling through an absurd, increasingly unorthodox, and potentially fatal series of events.

The Mccoubrey Brothers' short feels like a Twilight Zone episode by way of David Lynch. Ebon Moss-Bachrach is fantastic in his role as meek and unassuming Simon (and that stetson fedora he's rocking definitely feels like a callback to Peter Weller's role in Naked Lunch). And that ending? Forget about it. Go watch this short immediately. Right. Now.

Monarchy - The Beautiful Ones

Monarchy's beautifully abstract video for their single The Beautiful Ones ostensibly tells the story of two lovers who, in an attempt to escape the persecution of the "real" world, escape into a dreamlike universe illustrating the strength of their passion through embrace of different other couples. The video deftly combines sharp graphic design and beautiful watercolor overlays, as well as double exposure photography to create a gorgeous surrealistic testament to romantic love.

Director Thomas Blanchard sent us over this video awhile back and we only *just* got around to posting it. Our bad, Blanchard! Looking forward to seeing more of his work in the future.