Nerd Nation


BROADCAST: SHOW GRAPHICS PACKAGE
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / Lead Broadcast Designer
CLIENT: TechTV
ART DIRECTOR: Rick McKee

There’s a little nerd in all of us. That’s the gist of TechTV’s quirky-yet-cool documentary series. Episodes featured an eclectic mix of geekiness, from hacker conventions and India’s tech-support culture to Roswell gatherings and Star Trek fandom.

The design is derived from the concept of plurality, and how nerd-dom is a quality that exists in just about everyone, depending on one’s point of view. Visually, this is represented through a sea of ever-changing faces and cityscapes to symbolize nerd-ism’s cultural transcendence.

The execution proved extremely tedious, hand-animating a 1000-plus facial parts to morph in and out of each other. Then applying a complex filtering technique to achieve the grunged-up appearance of the final product.

You kind of have to be a nerd to be willing to do all of that.

Summer Identity


BROADCAST: NETWORK IDENTITY PROMOS
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / Lead Broadcast Designer
CLIENT: TechTV
ART DIRECTOR: Rick McKee

TechTV’s 2003 seasonal re-branding divided the network’s content into three categories: “Cool Docs,” “How-To,” and “Wacky Fun.”

At the time, the promos director had an inexplicable need to use circles. No particular reason, really. Just that he liked them. So circles it was … an entire landscape of them, with various TechTV personalities doing what they do best on those circles. Not very high-concept. But an opportunity to have a bit of creative play graphically.

Since the circle environments were fairly straightforward, the emphasis was placed on capturing the on-air talent in bursts of character and personality, while traveling through the landscape with dynamic and engaging motion.

Lots of greenscreen footage. Lots of tracking. And of course, lots of circles.

Unscrewed


BROADCAST: SHOW GRAPHICS PACKAGE
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / Lead Broadcast Designer
CLIENT: TechTV
ART DIRECTOR: Rick McKee

TechTV’s “Unscrewed” was a late-night talk show for the then-blossoming internet generation, covering the world wide web’s saucier side of cyberspace. Essentially, that boiled down to porn, aliens, and more porn.

When commissioned to design the show, not a single episode had aired. In fact, it hadn’t even taped, let alone been written, or even conceived beyond the vague definition of “talk show.” So the door was wide open, as far as what the visual content could be.

The one constant was host Martin Sargent, who’d been TechTV’s comic relief for a number of prior shows, ranging from “TechLive” to “Screensavers.”

Martin had taped himself monologuing about everything and nothing in particular, in an effort to help sell the show. This footage formed the basis for the show’s graphics package.

Necessity being the mother of invention, as well as a lack of time and budget, the result ended up being the nonsensical spoken-word piece you now see before you.