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By Lynda Weinman | Monday, January 31, 2011

From the red carpet at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Greetings from the 26th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival! This year, lynda.com is a presenting sponsor of this world class event, which gives us unprecedented access to the festival so we can share this wonderful experience with our members and employees.

Bruce and Lynda at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Bruce and Lynda at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, opening night.

Lynda and Bruce answering questions on the red carpet.

Lynda and Bruce answering questions on the red carpet.

Sarah's Key, opening night

Opening night of the festival featured the US premiere of the wonderful film Sarah's Key. The director, Gilles Paquet-Brenner, spoke before the film about his struggles to get the movie made, and how he persevered and brought it to life.

I’m struck by this year’s festival theme, ‘Dream a Little Bigger’, probably because it’s so much of what we encourage our own members to do. We aim to give our members the opportunity to help realize their dreams, no matter how small or how grand.

As we did last year, our crews will be covering the four major discussion panels taking place at the festival. These panels have historically included all the major players who will be in contention during awards season. Here are last year’s if you’d like to take a look at them again:

It Starts with the Script – Writer’s PanelCreative Forces: Women in the Business – Women’s PanelMovers and Shakers – Producer’s PanelDirectors on Directing – Director’s Panel

Finally, I’m particularly proud that two of our Creative Inspirations documentaries, Doyald Young, Logotype Designer and Richard Koci Hernandez, Multimedia Journalist, were accepted into the festival from 800 documentary entries. There will be three screenings of each film and we’ll be there with cameras to capture the Q&A session with members of our documentary production team.

We’ll be bringing you more coverage from the festival throughout the event. We hope you’ll join us and share the magic.

By Crystal McCullough | Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Douglas Kirkland book signing this week

Douglas Kirkland's book Michael Jackson: The Making of ThrillerOn Thursday, November 4, all are welcome to Celebrity Vault in Beverly Hills for the book signing of Michael Jackson: The Making of Thriller by photographer Douglas Kirkland. The book signing and reception is from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

In four days in 1983, Douglas Kirkland was the only photographer allowed on the set of Thriller. Kirkland took photos for Life magazine, but the photos were never published until now.

Kirkland is the focus of one of our lynda.com Creative Inspirations documentaries, Douglas Kirkland, Photographer.

The book is available on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble.

By David Niles White | Friday, October 29, 2010

New Creative Inspirations, new format: Doyald Young, Logotype Designer

Since January 2008, the documentary team at lynda.com has brought you into the lives of exemplary creative professionals to afford you a unique opportunity to learn and be inspired by their wisdom and experience. After nearly three years and 23 guests in the Creative Inspirations series, we’re embarking on a new, richer approach to the series and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Until now, we’ve presented short, focused movies covering a broad spectrum of topics that help give insight into the workspace, projects, story, and philosophies of the guests we’ve featured. We’ve now shifted our approach to focus on telling unique stories in a more in-depth and personal way. Our goal is to present a cohesive story that flows from beginning to end with an engaging narrative story—a compelling view into the lives of creative individuals that tell you, in their own words, how and why they became who they are. This allows us to present a complete view of our subjects and allows you to experience it the same way you would as if you’re watching documentary film. For ease of viewing online, we are offering two ways to view the documentary: all together as one piece or as smaller sections (like DVD chapters).

Today, we are releasing our first documentary in this new format: Doyald Young, Logotype Designer. From humble beginnings in a small Texas town eight decades ago, Young shares his story, which is as elegant as his script fonts and as wise as his set of Oxford English dictionaries. Enjoy a window into the life of this accomplished artisan as he works with joyous focus in his favorite spot, his drawing table, and follow Young to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he shares his talents with tomorrow’s designers. Young recalls the hundreds of iterations he went through in creating the logo for Prudential, and he puts pencil to tissue creating the pages for his next book about script lettering, Learning Curves.

We have greatly appreciated the feedback you’ve generously offered about Creative Inspirations and we look forward to hearing from you more as we evolve this new approach. We will continue to offer you wonderful stories and imagery that educate, entertain and most of all, inspire.

By Michael Ninness | Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bert Monroy reveals his latest digital masterpiece, Times Square

lynda.com author and digital painter Bert Monroy with his latest work.

Today, lynda.com author and digital painter Bert Monroy publicly revealed his latest (and massive!) digital painting entitled Times Square at the PhotoPlus Expo conference in New York.

Bert Monroy's Time Square

Bert Monroy's Time Square.

Bert has been working on this hyper-realistic illustration for four years, and says he’s not quite done with it yet. It is the largest image he’s ever created, and it definitely pushed the boundaries of the software and hardware he had available to use. Every element has been meticulously created from scratch using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The 5 foot by 25 foot image is filled with the likenesses of Bert’s family, friends and scores of luminaries from the imaging and creative industry—including our very own Lynda Weinman, Bruce Heavin, Deke McClelland, David Blatner, Chris Murphy, and Colleen Wheeler.

Standing next to John Loiacono of Adobe are our own Bruce Heavin and Lynda Weinman.

A 25-foot light box was constructed to display the piece that has been printed on a new material being introduced by Epson called DisplayTrans Backlight Media that Bert helped develop. If you are in New York, you can get up close and the incredible detail for yourself by visiting the Epson booth at PhotoPlus Expo being held at the Javits Convention Center through Saturday, October 30, 2010. Alternatively, you can pan and zoom in on an online version of the piece.

Some interesting facts:

• The image size is 60 inches by 300 inches. • The flattened file weighs in at 6.52 gigabytes. • The painting is composed of almost 3,000 individual Photoshop and Illustrator files. • Taking a cumulative total of all the files, the overall image contains over 500,000 layers.

We are thrilled to also let you know that Bert will begin production on a Making of Time Square video course later this month, which is likely to be published early next year. Until then, you can find out more about the incredibly talented Bert by watching the Creative Inspirations documentary we published on him earlier this year.

By David Niles White | Wednesday, September 01, 2010

New Creative Inspirations documentary features Second Story, Interactive Design Studio

Even before we flew to Portland to the studios of exhibit wizards Second Story, we had seen their genius at work. We were invited to watch them present their Age of Mammals exhibit to the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles County’s senior staff. We donned our hard hats and watched as they showed off to paleontologists and curators. It’s no easy task to create displays that are compelling to kindergartners and yet accurate enough to please scientists—but they nailed it.

Join the Creative Inspirations team as we head north to meet the folks behind some of the most compelling exhibit media out there. In this Creative Inspirations documentary, we meet Second Story, creators of award-winning interactive projects for clients that include the Getty Museum, National Geographic, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian Institution, just to name but a few.

Founders Julie Beeler and Brad Johnson introduce us to their uniquely talented studio where their signature interactive design is conceived and produced. Second Story creates immersive adventures that educate and entertain through compelling visuals, touch and play, and inspiring participation through curiosity.

By David Niles White | Friday, July 23, 2010

New Creative Inspirations documentary highlights the career of DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh

Put on your yellow hazmat suit, strap on your energy dome, and listen up, spuds!

OK, if the last sentence didn’t make any sense, then you missed being part of DEVO’s following. But it’s never too late.

Our latest Creative Inspirations documentary installment, Mark Mothersbaugh, Music Composer, tunes in to one of the founders of the alternative band DEVO. Mark is also a very talented music composer for film, television, and games. We hook up with Mark at Mutato Muzika, the round, bright green building on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, to talk about his life from the de-evolution days, to the 70 films he’s scored, to the new DEVO album—their first in over 20 years. Meet key members of the Mutato family that do everything from write orchestrations for 100-piece orchestras and manage the extensive collection of Mark’s art that is exhibited all over the world.

It’s a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and meet one of Hollywood’s enduring artistic talents.

By David Niles White | Friday, July 02, 2010

New Creative Inspirations documentary features photographer Natalie Fobes

Award-winning photographer and author Natalie Fobes is the subject of lynda.com's latest Creative Inspirations documentary.

Interviewing in the middle of a spectacular old growth forest in the Olympic National Forest, our crew took a moment to appreciate what a privilege it is to bring the Natalie Fobes, Photographer documentary to lynda.com members. Natalie’s photographs take us from the (all too relevant) Exxon Valdez oil spill to the very personal moments of a bride’s special day.

We discovered that she is as special as her photographs. Natalie is always giving back, whether it’s through her work with the Blue Earth Alliance or teaching photographers how to make a living doing what they love—capturing unforgettable moments. The images in this installment are, in my opinion, some of the most striking our cameras have captured. It was just released today in the Online Training Library®. Enjoy!

By Crystal McCullough | Friday, June 25, 2010

From animation to presentations: (re)visit our Creative Inspirations documentaries

Watch (or rewatch) the very first Creative Inspirations documentary featuring tokidoki artist and designer Simone Legno.

Since January 2008, lynda.com has been publishing the Creative Inspirations series of documentaries about people and agencies that inspire us. With a current total of 20 of these documentaries in the Online Training Library®, it seems a fitting time to re-invite you to view these timeless and motivating behind-the-scenes visits with renowned creative agencies, artists, animators, photographers, musicians, performers, and illustrators. All are around an hour long, and are worth every minute. Let us know your favorite(s) and how they’ve inspired you. Enjoy!

Bert Monroy, Digital Painter and Illustrator Ze Frank, Comedic Digital Savant Kit Hinrichs, Graphic Designer New Deal Studios, Visual Effects Mexopolis, Animation Studio Trigger, Interactive Design Studio Renegade Animation, Animation Studio Duarte Design, Presentation Design Rick Smolan, Photographer Harry Marks, Broadcast Designer Dale Herigstad & Schematic, Interactive Design Agency Hot Studio, Experience Design Troika Design Group, Design and Branding Agency Jason Bentley, Radio DJ and Musician Ron Crabb, Digital Illustrator Margo Chase, Graphic Designer Big Spaceship, Digital Creative Agency Rick Morris, Motion Graphics Designer Douglas Kirkland, Photographer tokidoki, Character Illustrator

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