Hands down my favorite project I've worked on to date. MirrorWorld is a compendium of living stories that expand on the fantasy world of best-selling author Cornelia Funke's Reckless and Fearless novels. The app combines cinema, storybook, and interactive elements in 16 different adventures and experiences. I worked on the project from beginning to end - touching almost everything that appeared in the final app. My responsibilities included:
- Art Direction - Branding (logo, icon, overall look & feel) - Character Design - UI/UX - Book Layout - Splash Screen & End Credits
The project drew on all of Mirada’s in-house talent—2D and 3D animation, live-action, sculpture, and even textile design—to create an immersive, responsive world. The cinematic experiences alone—shot on Red Epic, Canon 5D MIII, and Ikonoskop cameras—included over 10,000 frames of visual effects work, entailing over 40,000 frames of computer graphics and pre-composition. Footage, audio, and design assets totaled over nine terabytes. All told, the app contains over 9,000 unique assets and over 31,000 lines of code totaling 1.8 gigabytes – nearly 10 times the size of an average iOS app. The detail and depth of Funke’s vision translated to 110 minutes of narration – featuring 25 minutes of live-action video across more than five featurettes, along with 15 stories with original score by Atli Örvarsson.
Throughout the entire process, each team collaborated across disciplines; ideas for visual, narrative, and interactive approaches evolved constantly. In turn, this development inspired Funke to expand the storyworld; as the team delved into new techniques and technologies, Funke wrote entirely new stories – answering questions about characters previously unknown. Do Ogres have life-mates? What happens when a child-eating witch eats too young (or old) a child? Funke found that the depth of the collaborative exploration and dialogue changed her entire understanding of the world, and has had a profound influence on her continued MirrorWorld novel installments.
My education in classical typography and antiquarian printing methods helped to ensure we got the details right and made the interactive books feel real on screen. Combining old and new - tactile and digital - fantasy and reality - were all vital aspects of this project and came together to create the illusion. To ensure realism and authenticity, almost every single object that appears in the app was printed and either photographed or scanned back in.
I put this project first in the portfolio because this is the ideal type of project for me to work on - utilizing my best talents as well as piquing my interest as I absolutely love the fantasy genre. If you are doing a project like this call me now! I'd love to help.
- AWARDS -
Cannes - Won Silver in the mobile category for 'Best Visual Design / Aethestic' - Shortlisted in mobile category for 'Best Content Created for Mobile'
For his epic sci-fi feature, Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro—owner, director, and founding partner of Mirada—turned to his home base, enlisting studio talent on everything from concept development to the two-minute prologue.
The film chronicles the attacks on civilization by hideous, gargantuan, otherworldly monsters, called Kaiju, and humankind's desperate response – in the form of gigantic robots, called Jaegers, that were created to battle the Kaiju. The Jaegers are dual-piloted machines – two pilots housed side-by-side inside the robots' cockpits, working symbiotically to maximize the efficacy of the Jaegers in battle...and the odds of humanity's survival.
I worked with a team of artists from the studio to bring Del Toro's vision to the big screen. For the initial presentation to Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers, I helped with initial research and ideation, as well as create key conceptual art, and a high-end two-and-a-half minute teaser animatic illustrating the monumental size and colossal scope of a Jaeger in action.
Central to our conceptual and visual contribution to Pacific Rim is the film’s harrowing prologue. Along with del Toro, our team embarked on designing, creating, shooting, and editing this key sequence.
The prologue—nearly its own stand-alone mini-movie within the epic narrative of Pacific Rim—sets the stage for the story. It’s where the impossible, awesome scale of the film is—piece-by-piece, element-by-element—made familiar by creating a narrative bridge that transports audiences into the world of the film. In working to establish del Toro’s vision, we set out to illuminate a big picture view of a world turned upside down and all the astonishing ripple effects that result. In short order, the audience discovers exactly where humanity stands in our story and how we got here: the human pride of people of all nations coming together; the world racing to harness a global war machine; the impact of the Kaiju; the creation of the Jaeger; the humbling of our entire species in the marauding path of a seemingly unstoppable foe. We see it all.
To create the hellish realism of the sequence, our team extensively researched and applied a shrewd blend of real-world media iconography and original, created content—including Kaiju and Jaegers that appear exclusively in the context of the prologue—cross-pollinating futuristic events with contemporary/historic authenticity. The team imagined and created large-scale creatures, futuristic machines, and astonishing environments – and then seamlessly threaded them into the fabric of the world of Pacific Rim, deepening their impact by interweaving it all with the history of our own. This juxtaposing of elements—reality and fiction, live-action and VFX—were structured to compel viewers to imagine the spaces between these featured snapshots. The result is a tour-de-force sequence that invites (perhaps even forces) audiences to engage in a sort of emotional interpolation—a connecting of the narrative dots—where each glimpse offers a powerful piece of information that elevates the story and its stakes, so they cannot afford to look away as the broader stage is set for the events of Pacific Rim…and the faint hope they will signal salvation for a world teetering on the edge of apocalypse.
PACIFIC RIM - OPENING PROLOGUE
IBM Think Exhibit
The IBM THINK Exhibit debuted on September 23rd, 2011, at Lincoln Center, in New York City.
Channeling the spirit of the awe-inspiring experiential spectacle of the IBM Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair, SYP Partners forged a creative partnership with Mirada to design a new, expansive, multi-platform interactive exhibit that would chronicle some of the great discoveries, inventions, trials, errors, and triumphs that have paved humanity’s long road to improving the way we live and function, and show how such significant advances—how humans go about accomplishing them—tend to follow the same distinct, repeatable pattern of progress. Just as importantly, the exhibit strove to highlight pivotal present-day advances, innovators, and future trends born of these centuries of scientific progress.
The overall exhibit experience was designed and constructed to flow seamlessly, taking audiences through three unique consecutive stages – a fluid three-act structure, if you will: 1) a massive exterior data visualization wall; 2) a 14-minute, fully immersive, “multiple-surround-screen” film; and 3) a final “deep dive” learning segment, wherein audiences could engage with, and navigate their own way through, countless aspects of the history and future of human science via giant interactive touch screens.
Visitors approaching the exhibit were drawn in by a 123-foot long digital wall: a giant “widescreen” display with flowing generative art patterns and real-time streaming data visualizations—showing traffic flow, solar energy, air quality, water usage, and even fraudulent credit card transactions—these graphic analyses all drawn from the viewer’s surrounding NYC environment. Visitors, and all passers-by on the street in general, could see and comprehend, with astounding visual clarity, how we are now able to analyze and predict complex systems-in-motion, and apply this knowledge to improving efficiency and resource management – not just in New York, but in places all around the world. The long sloping data wall and its relaxed, open viewing area were built on a gradually inclined ramp that guided audiences naturally into the museum space to view the film.
IBM also enlisted Mirada to bring the THINK Exhibit experience to both iPad and Android tablet users.
Within a four-month timeline, the whole of the experience was redesigned and optimized for mobile. The immersive film portion was reimagined as a single screen, nine-minute, HD version, and the interactive “deep dives” were distinctly coded—in parallel—for both Android and iOS. Over 850MB of content was designed to be remotely and dynamically updateable to ensure that the stories-in-progress track technology’s most recent developments. To further expand the audience, Mirada included the ability to post features of the app on social media—including Facebook and Twitter—and a unique educational curriculum was developed and freely distributed to high schools across the US and abroad.
The day after its release, IBM THINK was selected by Apple as a “New and Noteworthy” app and was downloaded more than 275,000 times in 2012 alone.
THINK Exhibit Video
View the film
Gulaku Sugar Company
Illinois State Lotto
A book about the cold war that I designed, illustrated, printed, and bound.
The poster is one of my favorite things to design. My first design job was to design concert posters for a music venue in my hometown and I have created hundreds of them since. These are a few of my favorite.
When Cannabis was legalized in Washington State in 2013, I opened Sugarleaf - a recreational cannabis farm and processing plant. I grew the company from a mom & pop farm operating in a reclaimed barn, to a state-of-the-art facility employing over a dozen people and producing 40lbs of top-shelf cannabis per week.
In order to make the best cannabis products available - I believe you must start with the purest, most natural ingredients available. At Sugarleaf, we do that by building our living fertilizers in our Aquaponics system. Aquaponics is a synergistic ecosystem that mimics natural water systems such as rivers, lakes and streams.
Our farm houses hundreds of goldfish, which produce waste. The effluent water is cycled through biological filters which contain trillions upon trillions of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria convert the ammonia produced by the fish into nitrogen that the plants vigorously take up as fertilizer.
We use this biologically rich water as the base for our fertilizers by supplementing any micro nutrients that may be lacking in the aquaponics water - so our plants get exactly what they want to eat. We think this process not only ensures the best smelling and tasting flowers, but does it in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
We take great care in every step of the growing process, from clone through cure. We hang dry in a climate-controlled room and long-cure our buds before we process them into our various products.
Once the curing process is complete and the trichomes have reached their full potential, we separate them from the plant material by a mechanical sieving process which we do at very cold temperatures. It's a technique that dates back hundreds of years originating in the Rif mountains in Morocco. We hope to honor the original hash makers by refraining from the use of solvents, and instead adhering to - and continuously striving to improve upon - their traditional methods.
Cannabis Craftsmanship: How to Make Hash
Cannabis Design Work
I Art Directed a team which developed a “Department of Human Management” (DHM) website to supplement, and exist within, the vampire-ruled world of The Night Eternal, the final novel in Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's best-selling vampire horror trilogy, The Strain. The site - which was intentionally designed to imitate bland, bureaucratic services as redcross.org and dmv.ca.gov - is filled with articles, videos, questionnaires, and instructional guides—all of it self-serving vampire propaganda and subterfuge—to help the human slave population better understand their role within the new world order, to ease their consciences, and to make them more efficiently offer themselves up to their new terrifying blood-sucking masters – the "Strigoi," as these unique vampires are called in the novels.
Under the pretense of offering healthcare services, the user soon realizes that the DHM—not just the website, but the institution itself—is, in reality, created and managed by the vampires' human collaborators. As a “human” visitor, the site educates you, for example, on the benefits of informing on people with Type B Positive blood (the blood type that is most desirable, by far, to the Strigoi). You are also encouraged to “give with all your heart” during your frequent—not to mention compulsory—blood donations.
An essential component of our approach to the site was to weave crucial elements of the fiction into the online experience, while avoiding spoilers for those who have not yet begun the trilogy. The unique interactive experience and authentic site navigation serve as an alluring and gruesomely sardonic window into the fictional world of The Strain Trilogy, it allows visitors effortless access to the novels themselves—to purchase them—as part of the actual Strigoi propaganda dissemination itself.
Drawing on key subtexts from the trilogy, the site highlights the bureaucratization of the subjugation of humanity – treating even the most horrifying implications with cheerful banality. However, the shadow of the Strigoi looms over everything. And underneath it all, you are left with only a vague reassurance that if you obey the Strigoi’s rules, you may—just maybe—be able to buy yourself another day, in a world where humanity has no future...
- AWARDS -
Webby's: Official Honoree, Weird Category
To kick off its historic "Let There Be" centennial campaign, UCLA decided to create a live event spectacle—a one-of-a-kind film projected across Royce Hall—celebrating the history of the university and its values.
The experience transformed UCLA’s most iconic building into a living mural – using sophisticated projection mapping to produce dimensional visual overlays that blanketed Royce Hall, converting it into a canvas for emotionally powerful storytelling. More than a retrospective, the film illuminates the university’s lasting impact on our world and reveals breakthroughs on the horizon – leaving audiences inspired by the potential of the century ahead.
Narrated by John Lithgow and scored by Atli Orvarsson, the 10-minute film unfolds in three parts: part I honoring the visionaries that founded UCLA nearly a century ago; part II a journey through the illustrious history of the institution and its luminaries; part III a look forward, sharing visions for the future. It unfolds as a celebration of the university, of the hands and minds that shaped it, and the hard work, creativity, and collective innovative spirit that has always defined UCLA.
The experience was crafted to fit Royce Hall's towering façade, with larger-than-life imagery stretching across its entire 230×99 foot surface. Using the architecture as a canvas, our team worked to develop a visual language that would take advantage of UCLA's historic first building to tell the university's story and to visually reinforce the UCLA centennial campaign's core message: “Let There Be...”
Centennial Launch Event Video
Freaks of the Heartland
Alcatraz Souvenir Box
Ever wonder how many stairs you'd have to climb to work off that Wendy's burger? How about how many hours of TV you'd need to sit and watch to burn off the calories in that Big Mac? Now, with the Fast Food Calorie Cart, you can!