Digital Digs

ROLE: Lead Flame Artist | Senior Broadcast Designer
VENDOR: G4 Media | Comcast
ART DIRECTOR: Julie Fields

In an effort to involve their audience more directly in the programming, but not succumbing to the “reality” approach, TechTV came up with the idea of giving a lucky viewer a $100,000 tech makeover for their home, and consequently filming the process from start to completion.

When TechTV was acquired by G4, the show carried over to the more youth-oriented network. As a result, the tech makeover had a few more X-Boxes and Playstation’s attached to the prize.

The design directive was to update the existing graphics to fit the G4 tech-savvy youth aesthetic. This wasn’t so much a redo as it was a revision, keeping the general structure of the graphics package, while updating the palette, fonts, and coating it all with a bit more gloss.

The walking house that begins the clip is actually taken from a promo that occurred after the initial airing of the G4 version of “Digital Digs.” I had a bit more freedom to create on this one, since it was an entirely new deal. And since I’m a fan of collage animation, and I was asked to do something with a house, I came up with a silly transformer-style arachnid mobile home.


ROLE: Senior Flame Artist | VFX Compositor
VENDOR: G4 Media | Comcast
ART DIRECTOR: Julie Fields

Following G4’s acquisition of TechTV, the latter network’s classic tech-variety show “Screensavers” was the first to get retooled and updated.

Being less tech, and more tech-entertainment, G4’s brand of video game-centric ideas permeated the new “Screensavers,” giving them a new day-glow, romper-rhumba-room colored set, and a new list of topics to cover – comics, movies, and of course, video games.

As G4 was already abounding in enough video game imagery, the creative direction went towards comic book language instead. The idea was to keep the existing logo and narrative structure from the old show. But update it with a new pop-art comic look and So-Cal setting (vs. the old San Francisco setting).

Movie Fanatix

ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / Broadcast Designer / 3DS Max Artist

Branded a technology-based network, it was inevitable that TechTV would feature a show about film visual effects. At the time, digital effects were midstream through dominating the medium. Practical gags were still in use, with in-camera effects and miniatures continuing to be worthwhile techniques. But the writing was definitely on the wall, and the oncoming digital takeover would only be a matter of time.

As such, this proved to be an exciting time to capture and chronicle the transition from old school to new. And “Movie Fanatix” was TechTV’s solution to doing so.

With limited budgets and resources, there was no way the cable-based network could afford to do a graphics package that could visually compete with the content being presented.

The solution was to focus on concept over execution – the idea being centered around the infinite possibilities offered by a bluescreen shoot, where the show’s host would step in and out of virtual worlds via the bluescreen.

The end result had both good and bad moments, but it worked for its time. One positive outcome was finally getting to use “Chickadee,” a stop-motion biped robot that an old friend and co-worker Mike Murnane designed and shot for an abandoned short film.

Let Er’ Rip

ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / Lead Broadcast Designer

This TechTV show definitely had a playful and somewhat absurd title. But given the show’s focus on eccentric people engaged in crazy hi-tech-inspired competition, it certainly made sense: art cars, Gumball Rally, flugtag, solar-powered races, robot wars, etc.

When I first heard about the show’s content, the image of a hot-rod brain was all I could think of. Then came all the fire, and silly collage heads on all the vehicles. For some reason, this also made perfect sense. It must’ve had something to do with growing up around muscle cars, and being exposed to Robert Williams wild-ride illustrations or Ed Roth’s Ratfink art.

Essentially, the design evolved into a frenetic free-for-all, characterized by a collage of content-specific imagery, all of which literally explodes across the screen in staccato animation and an abundance of fire.