Los Angeles-based writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez premiered his second feature film—C.O.G., based on a David Sedaris short story—in competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Starring Jonathan Groff, Denis O’Hare and Corey Stoll, it will be released this fall through Focus Features and Screen Media.
Kyle graduated cum laude from the University of Miami in 2005 with degrees in motion picture production and English literature and made his writing/directorial debut in 2010 with Easier with Practice. The film won him the “Someone to Watch” award at the Independent Spirit Awards and was nominated for a “Best First Feature” Spirit Award.
Speaking tomorrow at Adobe’s Los Angeles Create Now event, Kyle speaks here about his editing pseudonym, the value of Video On Demand and how, in recent years, his choice of reading materials has narrowed.
Now that you’ve had a film screened at Sundance, what’s next on your bucket list? I’m working on a new film that we’re in the process of casting and hope to shoot early next year. I can’t talk much about it yet, but I’ve been involved with it for a while and it’s much more ambitious and challenging than anything I’ve ever done.
What would you say is the potential value of Creative Cloud for filmmakers (not just for post-production but for creating collateral materials)? I think the breadth of software is what can really help filmmakers. At its core is Premiere Pro CC, an excellent non-linear editor, but with the subscription cost of that you’re also getting access to an insane amount of software that can help build materials for a movie’s premier.
Creative pursuits tend to be all-consuming and hard to shut off; what do you do when you need to take a break from thinking about a project? I never take breaks. I guess when I do, it’s to watch another movie or play a video game, but if I’m in the thick of production or post-production I don’t want to do anything but work on the movie—it’s all-consuming but in the best way possible.
As a filmmaker, how hard is it to read “for enjoyment” without constantly visualizing what you’re reading as a film? It’s funny because I was a literature major in college, but since graduating I really only read to find material to adapt. It’s taken away some of the enjoyment of reading, for sure, and I have a much more narrow field of books I read (i.e., they need to be un-optioned and possible to make on a small budget). When I do read something that fits the bill, that I respond to, it’s an incredible feeling; not only am I enjoying the book but there’s the added excitement that it could become part of my creative future.
You’ll be speaking at our Create Now event in Los Angeles tomorrow, what’s one thing you hope that people take away from your session? I think the most important thing to me is to dispel myths. There’s a lot of disinformation out there both for independent filmmakers and for Adobe users. For me it’s mostly a matter of showing just how great Adobe’s new pricing models are and how they can really help independent filmmakers improve workflow, and the on-set creative process.
What do you think of Vine and Instagram Video? They’re microforms that seem best-suited to physical comedy (and some comedians are doing great things with them) but I don’t personally have much creative interest in them.
Tell us a bit about Fernando Collins? Fernando Collins is me. I use a pseudonym because I really only edit to save the production time and money. I use the fake name because if I didn’t, people might assume it’s a part of my identity as a filmmaker. I would love to work with an editor one day, once I have a film budget that will allow another hire.
How has streaming video changed the audience for independent films? And how has it changed the projects you take on and the subjects you choose to develop? Really Video On Demand (VOD) has introduced a new model to the marketplace for independent filmmakers; it’s going to take some more time to build and grow, but it’s quickly become a viable platform for independent films to gain a lot of exposure. My movie opened in the top fifteen on iTunes. That would never have happened in theaters. So although as a filmmaker I always want people to see my films on big screens, I’ve learned that embracing VOD can bring so many more eyes to them, which is ultimately the priority.
What was the subject of the first film you ever made (that wasn’t for a class assignment)? I made a short in college (outside of classes) about a blind man lost in the apocalypse, but honestly my first feature Easier with Practice (a true story about a guy who has a long term phone sex relationship with a woman he’s never met), really feels like my first film that stayed true to my point of view.
As film-making tools have gotten increasingly sophisticated, have they made the storytelling part of your job easier or harder? Why? Absolutely easier. Desktop non-linear editing and access to low budget shooting has changed independent filmmaking forever. It’s given filmmakers tools that are easier and cheaper to use that yield more professional looking products. No one who wants to be a filmmaker has an excuse to not make movies.
If you had a choice of any actor/actress (living or not) to be in one of your films, who would it be? Oh, I could write a whole book about this. As a filmmaker, actors are what motivate me more than anything else; I love character actors, people who really fall into roles. It was truly an honor to work with Denis O’Hare on C.O.G.; he’s one of the great character actors of his generation. To answer the question, I’m rarely interested in “big name” actors, but who hasn’t dreamt of working with Jimmy Stewart?
We heard that you completed C.O.G. in eighteen days… Did the tools in Creative Cloud support your post-production objectives? For sure. I had never even touched Premiere Pro before starting work on C.O.G.; that it was so easy for me to switch over and deliver the film so quickly is a testament to the quality of the software and its ease of use. That it also gave me immediate access to so much other software that I ended up using was just icing on the cake.
Recently we launched a new campaign called “The New Creatives” which represents multi-skilled and diverse creative people who aren’t afraid to explore new mediums and go wherever their ideas take them. Over the past several weeks on our social channels, we’ve been featuring talented artists who identify as New Creatives.
In celebration of all the New Creatives out there, we commissioned artists from around the world to generate creative self-portraits and the results blew us away. Check out their works of art below.
ARITST/ILLUSTRATOR/MAKER OF STUFF
ILLUSTRATOR / CHARACTER DESIGNER / ANIMATOR
ILLUSTRATOR / ANIMATOR / EMOTIVE
DESIGNER / COORDINATOR / PRINT AFICIONADO
ART DIRECTOR / DESIGNER / TYPOGRAPHER
Thanks to all of our contributing New Creatives!
The spectacular popularity of mobile devices means interactive designers need to extend their skills beyond the desktop to embrace the universe of HTML5. Among mobile devices, including tablet computers, smartphones, and interactive books and magazines, HTML5 is the common denominator.
Now I know there are a lot of people who don’t think HTML animation is very robust. They imagine type and div boxes animating and fading in and out, which I agree is less than optimal. But when you start combining that functionality with CSS3 and some of the styling and imagery, it starts to get compelling— you’re only limited by the browsers. Android and iOS devices have latest CSS3 capabilities that support features such as blurring, so it’s possible to offer a more sophisticated animation experience on these devices.
Animated illustrations in HTML5
Recently I created a course for the annual conference of the Association of Medical Illustrators that covered how to simulate illustrations in HTML for use in iBooks and digital magazines or for viewing on websites or mobile devices. While the subject matter experts were all medical illustrators, the session itself focused on making content today—easily digestible to readers—something that spans across industries. How do you capture your consumers’ attention with animation, and across various devices?
For the class, I created an animated interactive graphic that compares a healthy eye to an eye with glaucoma. The illustration shows how an eye with glaucoma can’t properly drain fluid, and includes a vision simulator that displays the effect of this condition on a person’s vision. The animated droplets are actually a series of nested animated symbols that create the constant, flowing effect. Edge Animate is able to replace a time and labor intensive coding process with one that is both easy and affordable.
One of the keys to easily creating interactive components in Edge Animate is how the symbols talk to each other via targeting. You can associate an interactive element, such as a click, with a symbol. In the glaucoma example, the user clicks the words Affected by Glaucoma, which then tells another symbol (in this case, the sunset photograph) to change its state. It is this ability to combine the functions and the order of symbols—each with their own timelines—that enables us to create these engaging animations. In the relatively short two hour class with 20 participants, it was exciting to see how quickly attendees were able to create their own animation projects using Edge Animate.
Animation is fun again
A few years ago, the web was full of animations and cool interactions, but those faded away as more attention turned to offering content that behaved consistently across devices and platforms. But people are starting to get excited again about adding it back into projects, and with Edge Animate we can combine styling and imagery with cascading style sheets and simple animation to once again create content that is exciting, engaging, and fun.
Finger drawing is fast, but when artists want precision, they reach for pressure-sensitive styluses. It’s why the Adobe Ideas team was so excited to announce Pogo Connect Bluetooth Pen support back in July. And it’s why today we’re thrilled to announce support for the new Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus.
Now, when drawing in Adobe Ideas, there are two great stylus options.
This recently-introduced pressure-sensitive stylus for iPad provides 2,048 levels of pressure and palm rejection and works with the iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad mini. The Intuos is $99.95, and is available for pre-order on the Wacom site.
Remember: Adobe Ideas is still the only vector drawing application with Illustrator compatibility. Couple it with a Creative Cloud membership to sync Ideas artwork to the Cloud and open and refine it in Illustrator CC.
Update Adobe Ideas today in the iTunes App Store (while you’re there, take a minute to review it). Don’t have it yet? What are you waiting for? It’s free!
When we asked Alfalfa Studio to create a site using Muse CC, they responded with a celebration of New York and a hub for New York’s design community to share the city’s secrets, surprises and locales:
Inspired by handcrafted works and the flat graphics of American design icons Paul Rand and Saul Bass, the site pays homage to imagination and individuality.
New York Is My Muse isn’t just a website. It’s also a 27 x 40 limited-edition offset-printed poster, designed by Alfalfa Studio, that celebrates the neighborhoods, landmarks and vibrancy of one of the most iconic cities in the world.
Rafael Esquer, Alfalfa Studio’s founder, has signed five of them and given them to us to give away. Entering to win one is easy:
- Over the next five days answer any of the questions below.
- Tweet the question/answer with the designer’s Twitter handle and #AdobeMuse.
Hint: All answers can be found on New York Is My Muse
- What’s Gail Anderson’s (@GailAndersonNY) favorite public art piece in Manhattan?
- Which building does Allan Chochinov (@chochinov) consider the most beautiful in Manhattan?
- What’s Jon Contino’s (@joncontino) favorite been-featured-in-a-movie location in Manhattan?
- Where in Manhattan did Glen Cummings (@glen_mtwtf) have a memorable Eureka! moment?
- Where in Manhattan does Chris Dixon (@cdixon) go for creative inspiration?
- Where in Manhattan would Barbara Glauber (@barbaraglauber) spend her last ten dollars?
- Where in Manhattan is Carin Goldberg’s (@caringoldberg) favorite sketching spot?
- Where in Manhattan is Timothy Goodman’s (@timothygoodman) favorite free place to go?
- Where in Manhattan has Mike Joyce (@MikeJoyceNYC) seen the most iconic graphic design?
- Where in Manhattan does Manuel Miranda (@manuelsmiranda) go to “escape” the city?
- If she could choose any building in Manhattan, where would Michele Washington (@culturalbounder) choose to live?
- What is Willy Wong’s (@wwong) favorite “secret” place in Manhattan?
Join us in exploring New York from the perspectives of Alfalfa Studio and Adobe Muse CC.
For full details, check out our Muse Tweetaway Official Rules.
Dublin-based illustrative designer Steve Simpson caught our attention with his whimsical approach to animal illustrations in the menu created for his client Fade Street Social. Learn more about his workspace, favorite Creative Cloud features, and how he created this work in the Q&A below:
What are you working on now?
I’m currently designing and illustrating a label for my favourite Irish whiskey. Can’t spill anymore about this one, except to say it’s a lot of fun with hand drawn type. I’m just finishing thirty 1 inch monsters for a ten foot roll of stickers for a client in New York, which will be great preparation for my next job; a 400 meter long mural. Thankfully, it will be done digitally and not on site.
What’s your dream project?
I really like a mix of illustration and design in a project; I love the control you have as an illustrator when you’re also doing the graphic design part of the project. There can sometimes, as an illustrator, be a tendency to create a piece that will primarily look great outside the context of the design; for instance in the portfolio. If the designer is also trying to create something that will stand alone, the whole design doesn’t exactly gel. As an illustrative designer, you can get a much better harmony, with neither side fighting for centre stage. (I’m starting to sound like an old hippie.)
I’m really enjoying packaging projects at the moment, so perhaps a beer label, tea or biscuits would be a fun project to work on.
What does your workspace look like…is it your personal studio, or a neighborhood coffee shop?
I work from a studio, but at the moment I probably have more used coffee cups than the neighborhood coffee shop. It’s a typical cluttered working studio, think less Zen, more punk DIY, but with wifi. I have a room to myself (usually) with a couple of tables, a light-box, iMac and piles and piles of paper. I sketch a lot, constantly (and quickly) redrawing ideas until I’ve exhausted as many options as possible. I hate it when a better idea comes to you when you’ve nearly finished the project, so I try to go through as many options as quickly as possible. Which does create a mountain of roughs and tidying at least twice a year.
Do you share your workspace with anybody? Furry friends count.
I’m saying goodbye to my summer intern Nikkie (Little Paper Forest), who’s off to finish her degree in Illustration back in Canada. In the garret there’s a web designer and another design/illustrator, a couple of Irish guys. It’s good to have somebody to talk ideas through with sometimes. I also like to have an occasional moan, which isn’t the same when you’re on your own.
How has the Creative Cloud changed your creative workflow?
I’ve been using Photoshop since about 1993/94 and it probably accounts for around 90% of my digital day. Other day-to-day essentials include: InDesign, Illustrator and Acrobat. I love exploring new stuff, seeing how it can add something different to what I’m already doing. Having all of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps available to download is very exciting. Currently looking forward to playing around with After Effects CC. Also loving the CC desktop client. Very cool being able to see updates as they become available and so simple to update.
What tools specific to Creative Cloud enable you to work more efficiently?
Really loving the hook up with Behance. I like to put some of my projects on my Behance work-in-progress page, great for instant feedback. The ability to do this straight from Photoshop CC is very cool and prevents me getting sidetracked by other online distractions.
What was the initial ask for this project?
I first met the client, Dylan McGrath, with the Creative Director Gary Gleeson, when we sat down in a Dublin bar to discuss the Fade Street Social menu cover. The building was still being renovated at the time. Dylan wanted a busy kitchen environment that reflected not just his own personal attention to detail but also the humor of the Irish. As a nation we’ve been through a torrid time lately with the rise and fall of the Celtic tiger economy and we appear to be going through a period of reflection; rediscovering what it is to be Irish. I think what Dylan is doing reflects this. It’s about quality traditional foodstuffs in a modern changing Ireland. It’s presented with creativity and flair and a touch of Irish humour. That’s pretty much what the cover needed to reflect.
How did the client’s vision match up to your execution?
Initially there were to be humans in the kitchen, but I thought it would work better with animals, so I took the food from the menu and made them the kitchen staff. As I’m drawing them they naturally develop as characters and by the time I’m finished often, privately, have quite elaborative back-stories. I think Dylan may have asked for one of the speech bubbles to be changed but otherwise they went with my initial pencil sketch. We printed a large tryptic version that is behind the reception when you enter and you can really see the detail when blown up. They were very happy.
Did you look at real animals for inspiration?
In my initial sketches I try to work without any reference material. I want to get as much of what I see in my mind down on paper. I try not to worry about whether a sheep looks exactly like a sheep at the early stages, it’s really not important. If the wooly beast is right for the space, if he has a good shape, if he is working well with the environment, if I’m happy, only then will I go and find reference material to make him more ‘sheeply’ accurate. If you look at the sheep in the centre, I think it’s his eye that really gives him his personality. If I hadn’t gone off and found photo reference then he would probably have just had a round dot for a pupil.
Where did some of the personalities come from for these animals?
I guess they are all either people I know or me, mostly they are me at the beginning and my different moods, but they change and develop into their own personalities the more I work into them. I did feature Dylan in the design, he has a chicken on his head. Vincent was the money man, he’s featured on a bottle of vino on the left.
Which animal is your favorite? And why?
I like Angus the bull, who was always called Angus, but the day before I handed the final artwork in I just happened to watch a documentary on cattle that mentioned Angus bulls were all black, and my Angus wasn’t, he was a really nice black and white. So I had to reluctantly change him. Looking back I think being black really makes him. I guess this proves that I don’t use photo reference as much as I should.
Thanks again to Steve Simpson for answering our questions and giving us insight into his illustrative design process. For more inspiration, be sure to keep in touch with Creative Cloud on Facebook and Twitter.
When we shared our vision for the Creative Cloud at MAX, we said it would give us the opportunity and the impetus to innovate – and ultimately empower a new generation of creatives. With full hearts and open minds we also shared our first explorations into the future of creative hardware.
Today, I am excited to share the next milestone on this path: Adobe is moving our cloud pen, Project Mighty and our digital ruler, Project Napoleon, from a technology exploration to a planned product. We are teaming up with Adonit, an awesome band of makers with a shared belief in the power of creative devices paired with apps and services, to manufacture and ship Mighty and Napoleon in the first half of 2014.
We are also unveiling an energetic new campaign, “I am the New Creative,” celebrating the contemporary creative through a series of remarkable self portraits by Joshua Davis, Dylan Roscover, Anita Fontaine and many more. We believe tools define generations– and that you should be able to create from anywhere, explore new mediums and go wherever your ideas take you.
With our first tools for the new creative — Project Mighty and Napoleon — we are confident that we can help make digital creativity both more accessible and more natural by combining the accuracy, expressiveness and immediacy of pen and paper with all the advantages of our digital products and the Creative Cloud. As we shared in our initial demo, Project Mighty is pressure sensitive, which helps it draw a natural and expressive line. It is also connected to the Creative Cloud, giving you the ability to carry all of your favorite personal digital assets, brushes and colors with you, copy/paste across devices and more.
Since our day jobs are designing software, we are also looking at how this family of hardware might impact what our software could be. Adobe has already pioneered some of the most widely used tablet apps in the creative space, including Adobe Ideas and Photoshop Touch, that are relied on by millions of creatives around the world. Today we are unveiling two sneak peaks in this realm that we think really move the combined hardware and software experience forward: Project Parallel, a drafting iPad app designed and developed from scratch for the Project Napoleon hardware. The second, Project Contour, is essentially Kuler for shapes – take a photo of a favorite object or shape on an iPhone and access it with Napoleon on the iPad to simplify architectural line sketching, drawing and ideation. Together, they enable what we like to call “straight line sketching,” a simple and expressive way of getting your creative ideas recorded.
Through natural interface, cloud connectivity and now new hardware, we are starting the process of creating tools for the next generation of creatives and redefining the playing field for designers. I am looking forward to this next chapter for innovation at Adobe. It’s going to be a fun year. I can’t wait to share what we are currently exploring. Be sure to stay tuned here for what’s coming next.
Michael Gough leads the Experience Design team (XD) at Adobe, an internal design practice of 100+ focused on creating the next generation of digitally enabled experiences. A long-time design evangelist and advocate for the next generation of creatives, Michael has been pushing the envelope with disruptive designs and technology innovation for years.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @michaelgough_
A global media and technology company at the intersection of content and commerce, POPSUGAR is a go‐to destination for the biggest moments, the hottest trends, and the best tips in entertainment, celebrity, fashion, beauty, fitness, food, parenting, and shopping.
POPSUGAR Studios develops, produces, and distributes original branded video content both live and on‐demand, providing user access to the best in editorial content. Offering more than 250 new, original videos, POPSUGAR Studios delivers programming to an audience of over 3,120 million visitors each month.
Tell us what you’re doing at POPSUGAR.
We redesigned our sites earlier this year with an updated look and feature enhancements. Additionally, we streamlined our content channels to optimize editorial slideshows, videos, and more. We’re also producing a live, daily news show, POPSUGAR Live!, which airs online twice a day from our Los Angeles and New York studios, streams continuously, and is also available on‐demand. Our properties rely heavily on video content and currently produce over 3,000 unique videos per year and growing!
What prompted the move to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams?
Our post‐production team in Los Angeles used to use Final Cut Pro and recently decided to switch to Adobe Premiere Pro for better functionality and integration. I had been looking for an excuse to try out Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. It made sense for us to make the change after weighing the cost and access to a variety of video apps and services. We’re starting out with 27 licenses for our post‐production team, with plans to expand to other groups in the future.
Did you have any concerns about moving to Creative Cloud for teams?
Not really. We were worried at first about a SaaS offering, but all of the software is fully downloadable. It’s the same rich client that everyone’s familiar with, not a watered‐down version of the software. Because we keep a lean IT staff, the teams version actually helps us and allows users to add and remove seats as needed.
What would you say are the IT benefits of running Adobe Creative Cloud for teams?
In IT, it seems there is a constant struggle to make license management easier. I remember a time, not long ago, when I’d be searching high and low for discs with stickers, or papers stuffed in drawers, or trying to administer through an online portal, and it was always difficult to tell which vendor we purchased from, which team we purchased for, and when software was due for renewal. Moving licenses around was also a hassle. There was constant concern that costly software licenses might sit somewhere unused. With Creative Cloud for teams, the Admin Console interface is very straightforward. It’s easy to administer and assign others to administer. Team leads can be assigned to manage their own groups. It’s great, and I’m happy we’ve gone in this direction.
How does this compare to how you used to buy software?
IT used to be pretty locked down. We have a dispersed workforce so emailing license keys and sending discs through the mail is a practice we try to avoid. With Creative Cloud for teams, compliance is a lot easier. Downloading the needed Creative Suite software is simple, as is the ability to inventory installed software. With the move to cloud, it’s common to pay a monthly subscription for almost everything. It’s a model we’re used to, and it’s much easier to keep our software up‐to‐date.
How has the post‐production team responded to the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud for teams?
Our teams are happy with the move. With all the offerings, we encourage our editors and designers to download new software and try it out. It’s an interesting scenario because it’s no longer IT dictating which products teams can have; it’s now the teams telling IT which products fit their needs. This is a great way to promote creativity and productivity.
How are staff members reacting to the storage and collaboration capabilities of Adobe Creative Cloud for teams?
We’ve seen a lot more collaboration across multiple locations. I think we’ve used every collaboration tool available, and everybody understands the benefits of saving and sharing files through the cloud. The most interesting thing to see moving forward, as people get used to the software, is how workflows will evolve. I think we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of what we’ll be able to do, and I look forward to seeing what people discover as they dig deeper into Creative Cloud for teams.
This fall, Adobe is hosting free Create Now events for you to learn what’s new in Adobe Creative Cloud. I’ll be traveling to San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and other cities throughout the US and Canada along with Rufus Deuchler, Jason Levine, Terry White, and other Adobe experts. Join us to see the very latest in technology, tips and techniques. It’s more than just showing off new ways to bring your creative ideas to life. It’s about showing how you can work more efficiently with quicker results that get the job done, which will ultimately give you more time to focus on the work that matters.
It doesn’t really matter the work you do because we’ll be covering it all. Everything from digital imaging, photography, graphic design, motion graphics, web design, or app creation just for a start. The Tour kicks off September 19 at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Some highlights will include:
- How to sync/store/share your content with a few select friends, your client or a worldwide creative community.
- See the latest features in Adobe Photoshop CC including the new Generator feature, plus Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC, After Effects CC, Premiere Pro CC and much more.
- How to create a fully editable, customizable website with Adobe Muse CC or use InDesign CC to create apps for iPad.
- How to create responsive web content using the latest in web standards.
- Discover how to edit video more efficiently using Premiere Pro, use 3D in After Effects as well as how to track motion and other tips the pros use.
Aside from seeing the latest in technology and getting tips from the pros, it’s about answering your questions. So come ask us in person. And remember, it’s free!
Not enough incentive? We’ll also give you a chance to win a one-year membership to Creative Cloud!
Follow Us on Twitter
Upcoming Create Now World Tour Events
Upcoming Ask a Pro Sessions
Previous Ask a Pro Sessions
- Leonie Rafter on Behance Creative Spotlight: Steve Simpson
- Nano Kanpro on Tools For the New Creative
- Chris Dickman on Tools For the New Creative
- Serendip7 on Tools For the New Creative
- Adobe Creative Cloud hits 1 million subscribers, Projects Mighty and Napoleon available in 2014 | tekifeed.com – Gadget Feeds, Gadget News and more! on Tools For the New Creative