I’m excited to announce that I got my first professional directing job a few months ago and we’re just 2 days away from making it a reality. I was hesitant to announce the project until now just in case something were to happen. But we have a budget, the space has been booked, we’re fully cast and all preparation is just about finished. So it’s happening!

I was approached by a musician a few months ago who heard about DAMON through Hollyshorts film festival in August. His friend was actually the moderator of my screening and I guess passed the word on after I had mentioned something about wanting to direct music videos during the Q&A. What are the odds, right? Pretty incredible. The musician’s real name is Mike Jackson. He’s gone by his middle name Kurt Jackson in the past, but is looking to try something new. He’s been in the music industry for his whole career, doing everything from producing, performing in groups and to a lot of work for TV. So though this is his first “solo project”, he’s kind of a veteran already. He’s extremely talented and we’ve formed a great working relationship already.

The song is called LOST BOY FOUND is a very catchy pop tune in the vain of Bruno Mars. It’s got a great melody and strong, accesible themes. The song is essentially about being invisible to the person you love. For the video, Mike wanted something really creative, unique and inspiring. Possibly fantasy themed or has fairy tale elements. Needless to say, I really lucked out with this one. I went off and came up with a few concepts and pitched them to him. He loved the

direction, but had a few new ideas of his own. I took those and eventually arrived at a story and aesthetic that we’re both very excited about. It’s epic, but very simple to pull off. And possible to shoot in a single day. It’s also another chance for me to beef up my animation skills and showcase how I can handle the scope of a larger scale fantasy world.

We’re taking the aesthetic of a shadow puppet show (black silhouettes against a textured background) and using real performers as silhouettes. So we get the charm and simplicity of a shadow puppet show design, but the complexity of movement that live action can provide. And since the world is essentially 2-dimensional, I can make it as grand as I want! We’ll be cross-cutting Mike’s performance on an old theatre stage with the tale of a woman who ventures into a dangerous shadow world. The story follows a woman who recently lost her boyfriend and wanders into a shadow world as an expression of her mourning. The ghost of her boyfriend follows her and eventually saves her from a dragon, sprouts wings and carries her to safety.

We’re shooting the performers against a 40′ green screen and then using Photoshop and After Effects to give us the look we want. So I’ve got my work cut out for me. I’m hoping to finish by the end of January at the latest. A lot of “world designing” has already been done, so the process should be really smooth. Just a lot of hours! But totally worth it. I’ve done 7 animation tests, have 2 versions of storyboards and even cut together an animatic. I’m ready for this.

More updates to come!

– Nick


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