The Saline Project was only 2 years old when we got asked to work on “Mortal Enemies,” a documentary for the Discovery Channel. It told the intertwining personal histories of Ariel Sharon and Yasir Arafat and their involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We had total access to the New York Times Photo Archive. Because of our efforts, I and the rest of the Saline Project team won Emmy awards for “Best Motion Graphics in News or Documentary Programming.”
From our work on Project K, Mtv2 hired us in 2007 to create a series id spots. We created a pair of hilarious shorts about a man with giant hands on his first day as an office temp, and the disastrous results. I played the part of Mr. Bighands, as well as composited the backgrounds and the “giant hand” effects. My brother Andy, an amazing 3d artist and Technical Director, plays nearly every non speaking extra in the background.
Dunkin Donuts (2002)
In 2007, we made a commercial for Dunkin Donuts featuring a dragon, our first major 3d animation project. I led a team of 3 Maya artists to create the dragon. In just 2 weeks, we were able to finish the :30 spot featuring this fully articulated dragon with wings who cooked tater tots with dragon fire.
The Mars Volta (2004)
The Saline Project traveled to Cuba, to shoot scenic plates, interiors, and textures for The Mars Volta’s “Televators”. The crumbling opulence of Havana and the strange plateaus and jungles of the countryside were perfect for our grim tale of allegorical self destruction.
Animatics and Tests
Poor Baby Chick!
We didn’t get the job!
This animatic was for a candy company. They wanted us to rip off this artist that does a lot of photo work with little Easter chicks, and usually bad things happen to them. I did this faux stop motion animation in a day. I just think if we got the jobs, we wouldn’t have ended up making anything so silly and fun.
In 2006, the Saline Project was entrusted to restore several films created by the mysterious and defunct studio known as Project K. This surreal collection of misfits was financially backed by a crazed, castor oil tycoon. Active from 1912 until the studio burned down in 1968, when all of Project K’s films were lost, surviving only on the occasional degraded VHS tape. Then a small trove of 16mm prints was discovered in a storage space in 2005. What you see here represents our best of efforts to restore the films to their original glory.
The Amazing Zorpan
Watch The Amazing Zorpan, magician, escape artist, extreme stunt genius as he unveils his latest death defying fete. Born in Budapest around the dawn of the 20th century, Zorpan studied the esoteric teachings of the most obscure mystics of the ancient world. His translations and interpretations of the work of Adolphinius the Bombastic are sublime. His fearless resilience is a testament to power of knowledge, fortitude, and a healthy diet.
A Day at the Shore
Obscure Writer-Director-Actor Chet Fink takes out his aggression (yet again) on frequent collaborator, Nathan Fairchild – who was an obscure Writer-Director-Actor in his own right. Of the 47 short films Fink made abusing Fairchild in the most callous manner possible, this film stands out as one of the most pointless. One critic wrote, “This might be the longest, most drawn out testicle whacking gag ever created, by anyone, in the history of moving pictures.”
An Evil Opera
Chet Fink stays behind the camera on this one (Thank God – those teeth – am I right?) in a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. A drunken angel shows a man the dangers of loving too much. Or is it about our powerlessness to avoid our fate, no matter how much we do to try to live life as fully as possible? What I do know is the actor playing this doomed prince, Geoffrey Arend, ended up marrying Christina Hendricks. Damn! Am I right, fellas? Hubba, Hubba.
A Tale of the Sea
Chet Fink’s tour-de-force features the first appearance of matinee film star Douglas Falcon, as well as frequent whipping boy, Nathan Fairchild. Falcon replaced the original Captain, played by aged thespian Crispin Eeksweather, who died of typhoid fever mid-production. The Sea Monster was actually a surgically altered moray eel that died one week into production. It was skinned, stuffed, and turned into a puppet for the remainder of the 12 week shoot.
Closer to Me
One of Nathan Fairchild’s stranger short films, “Closer to Me” left the public baffled at the time of its release. Fairchild denied any camera trickery or makeup effects were used during the production. His grotesque facial distortions were a demonstration of his extraordinary acting abilities. The single crew member that assisted Fairchild during the shoot was the only witness to his performance. He died under suspicious circumstances the day after filming.
The Mind Reader
The only Fink/Fairchild match ups that didn’t include some form of physical or psychological abuse, this was their last collaborations before their falling out. They never worked or even spoke again for the remainder of their lives. Nathan Fairchild transitioned into a career in advertising. After the Project K studios burned to the ground, Chet Fink became more and more of a recluse. He died in Obscurity, a small suburb outside of Minneapolis.
An Ode to Joy
This animated short debuted in 1928 at a unnamed theater in Deershank, Wisconsin. It was slated to play betwixt a newsreel about “those kookie flapper dames” and the latest Charlie Chaplin feature “The Circus.” The crowd was so worked up by the novel use of cartoon violence in Fairchild’s Magnum Opus that they went completely ape shit. Thirty-two people were trampled to death in the ensuing chaos. You can read more about it here.