December 17, 2010
December 13, 2010
December 4, 2010
December 2, 2010
November 28, 2010
November 24, 2010
November 8, 2010
November 6, 2010
November 3, 2010
Two years ago I received an email from April who lives in Toronto. April told me how she built the Phantom Manor Cookie House (based on my free pattern available at Haunted Dimensions), and donated it to a United Way raffle. It was a HUGE success, and raised lots of money! Her story touched me deeply and added a new dimension to my models and projects!
Well, April is back!
"The house was again used as a bucket raffle item and apparently there was quite a war between two of the lawyers here, both of whom were buying a lot of tickets in an attempt to win the house. The lawyer who won the house had originally intended to take it home to her three children but decided instead to donate it to Ronald McDonald House (http://www.rmhtoronto.org/). It was a double win for your karma this year!"
April was forwarded an email from the Toronto Ronald MacDonald House, along with photos of the kids enjoying her creation! The email said that the cookie house was a huge hit at the Halloween party held for the families and children staying at the house. It was displayed, then happily eaten! The photos, which I am not at liberty to share, brought tears to my eyes. Seeing families and kids who are going through unspeakable trauma, yet smiling and happily exploring a gingerbread house, was overwhelming!
It is a wonderful example of a good deed being handed down from one person to the next, brightening the lives of many.
Thank you so much, April!
“So shines a good deed in a weary world”~ Shakespeare & Willy Wonka
October 31, 2010
October 30, 2010
October 21, 2010
October 10, 2010
October 3, 2010
Sorry for being away so long. As most of you probably know, my spring, summer and early fall are consumed by working in the Art & Design Department for Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights event. Sadly, my season of Universal horror ends next week, but it also frees me to pick up the projects I had to set aside in the spring.
Projects such as "Wizard's Crag", and "The Knoll" will be dusted off and reanimated and hopefully I will be able to create a Halloween treat or two to drop in your bags before Halloween.
While I'm still on the subject of Halloween Horror Nights, I will be speaking along with TJ Mannarino (Art Director for Horror Nights), and several other HHN designers at our HHN VIP Lounge located in La Bamba, in Universal Studios, on Thursday, October 7th. It is part of our weekly forum series, "Secrets from the Past". Fans can see our museum of props and concept art spanning the last 20 years of HHN, and have a chance meet and ask questions of the design staff. We will be speaking about the design process and story writing behind our successful fan mystery "LegendaryTruth: The Collective". VIP Lounge tickets are $9.99 (tax included) and are available at Universal Studios' front gate and Guest Services windows, as well outside the Lounge itself.
August 22, 2010
August 1, 2010
July 25, 2010
Del Toro told MTV's Josh Horowitz, "For some people, it's just a ride, but for others like me, it's a way of life. We're serious fanatics. I'm a big, big collector of it. I've been collecting not only memorabilia but artifacts and original artifacts from the mansion for the past 10 years".
I am a HUGE fan of Del Toro's cinematic visions! A new Haunted Mansion movie that has a similar level of artistic depth and storytelling as "Hellboy" or "Pan's Labyrinth" has the possibily of rendering us Mansionphiles unable to lift our chins from off the floor after seeing it! This is very exciting news!
It also means that I will have a NEW haunted mansion paper model kit to design!
Guillermo! Please drop me a line! Let's talk!!! :)
Del Toro tapped artist Brandon Ragnar Johnson to design this teaser poster for the movie annoucement.
June 20, 2010
Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint arrived in the flying Anglia car and kicked off the amazing display!
Everyone in the audience received a wand, and on Radcliffe's cue, everyone swished and flicked and said "Lumos Maxima". On that command all of the wand tips glowed and Hogwarts castle came to life as John Williams worked his magic! The orchestra accompanied the most spectacular show of lights, projections and fireworks I've ever witnessed! Truly wonderful to experience!
The event was repeated the following night for Universal Execs and VIPs, however Williams and the orchestra were not part of the line up.
This spectacular shot was taken just after the show's finale. John Williams is on stage in white, and the cast of the Potter films are the brightly lit figures in the center. I even spotted myself in the crowd
with my camera (in green circle)!
Here I am with Potter film art director Alan Glimore, whom I first met in April at the Entertainment Designers Forum. Behind us is the real Knight Bus, and the Anglia which brought the stars to the stage.
Warwick Davis, from several of the Potter films, conducted the Hogwart Frog Choir. I briefly spoke with Mr Davis during a rehearsal, who seems to be a very nice guy!
Hogsmeade was full of townsfolk, the wizards and witches who call Hogsmeade home.
Ernie, the Knight Bus driver took a moment for a photo!
Then June 18th was the big day! The official grand opening of "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter"!
We were charged with helping with the set up of the stages and props to be used by the celebrities at the gate of Hogsmeade for the grand opening.
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) prior to the grand opening.
I created the large prop match in Oliver's hand, and we helped set up the rocket.
A view out of Hogsmeade gate at the crowd waiting to enter the land after the grand opening ceremony. This shot was just after Radcliffe, Grint and the rest of the cast (Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy),Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore),Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), and Warwick Davis) escorted the first guests into the land.
It was a crazy day, but despite the throngs of expectant guests, the sun and heat, the day went smoothly and everyone remained safe and orderly.
Days like this are a wonderful reminder of why I love doing what I do!
June 5, 2010
Then, in 2008, I finally decided to create the Phantom Manor Paper Model. However, unlike the previous two mansions, I did not create a detailed Lightwave model first, but went directly to the simple paper model version. Instead of creating a 3D illustration of the Phantom Manor for my front page, I used a Photoshop manipulated photo of the Manor (taken by long time HD fan, Rita).
I am finally in the process of completing a 3D Lightwave model of the Manor which will be used as a new front page illustration!
Hopefully I will complete the new illustrations in the coming weeks and incorporate them into the front page.
Here is a rough rendering.