April 30, 2007

dog spot

I ran across this in the parking lot at DFW airport. Naturally a blue wall with a yellow highway warning sign with the silhouette of a dog on it is gonna get my attention. And if you walk around the three-walled structure, you find a fire hydrant (not real, I assume) and mulched area for pooch relief. I can only wonder what kinda boards and approvals this had to get past, but I'm glad it did. I'm sure I'm not the only person who got some value out of it even though I didn't have a dog with me.

April 29, 2007

wonderful sadness

I'm in Dallas for the memorial service for my friend Tres. Needless to say, its been an emotional weekend. As I mentioned before, I did a video for the service, and true to form, I pushed myself right up to the deadline with only a couple hours sleep the last two nights. It was worth every minute.

The memorial was amazing. At least 150 people came, and as much as we tried to make it a party like Tres would have wanted, there was just too much of a sense of loss to avoid the sadness. As usual, it would hit me in unexpected and overwhelming waves and alternately disappear altogether. My friend Myron was the ringleader in putting it all together, and the way a core group of Tres' friends came together was awesome. It felt so polished and planned, when it truly wasn't. Everyone brought their own piece to the whole, and all the pieces just happened to fit together perfectly. The setting was an art gallery called the Dallas Contemporary (whos staff was wonderful). They happened to have a video exhibition currently on display, and they allowed us to commandeer their wall video projectors, so we had rooms filled with continuous slideshows of snapshots, Tres' professional photography, and my edited video; along with multiple tables and boards filled with photos and memorabilia. Many of us spoke, and all directly from the heart with personal anecdotes that spoke to who Tres was. The most unexpected (and most gratifying) result was the reaction of Tres' family. I think it was good for their soul to see the depth and vastness of emotion for Tres, and those rooms literally filled with photos made it clear how full of a life he led.

I've posted a copy of the video (link below). I'll be happy to send a dvd to any of his friends that would like one.
  • Tres Smith memorial video - small version

  • Tres Smith memorial video - larger version - allow for long download time
  • April 27, 2007

    where the heart is

    I have been working on a video for the memorial for my friend Tres this weekend. It's a tougher project than I expected. People have sent in hundreds of great photos. I find myself working along in "designer mode" and then without warning the emotions of it all swirl around and overtake me. (I've been doing a lot of breaks to walk on the beach.)

    My friend Myron sent a bunch of pics of Tres' home. Instead of looking like a Pottery Barn, Tres' house is uniquely defined by his personality. His spirit and his character cover every surface, from bright wall colors to fun kitschy items - almost all with a personal memory attached. At first I admit the pictures creeped me out a little, but I've grown to really enjoy them and find comfort in them as well. They seem to give me the same sense of fun and enjoyment and comfort that I always felt in his house. I guess thats what really makes it a home.

    April 25, 2007

    my first home

    When I started my blog, I expected it to be a lot of "work news" about current projects and latest work, etc. When I worked the Olympics, it became a more personal travelog, but then in bits did become a lot of latest work news as I was doing daily projects. As my business has worked out, I've discovered you generally can't publish a lot about your projects, even after theyre completed - because often theres still a while before they air. This project wrapped a while ago, but it just begun to air this past Saturday. Since I've been spending so much time trying to get this picked up by various media and blogs, it seemed to make sense that I would post it here as well. So forgive the formality of the press release, but heres some "latest news":

    jonberrydesign Delivers Graphics for New TLC Series "My First Home"

    Los Angeles broadcast design studio jonberrydesign designed and produced the main title and graphics package for the new Authentic Entertainment series "My First Home" on TLC. My First Home follows first-time homebuyers through the process of hunting and buying their first home.

    “I wanted a look that was both intriguing and yet self-explanatory and I think Jon had a great idea of conveying the show concept in a catchy and classy way,” said Jeanne Begley, the show’s Co-Executive Producer.

    "This solution took longer than usual in the concept stages," said Designer/Creative Director Jon Berry. "I kept bringing very bright, clean, bold designs and they weren't hitting the mark for what they wanted." Finally, in a brainstorm discussion, Begley showed Berry an image of a pen scribble that inexplicably attracted her, and Executive Producer Tom Rogan mentioned wanting "gritty without being gritty." Those two comments set off a light bulb that led Berry to the concept of a diary.

    "'My First Home' follows very personal experiences in a more cinema verite style than most home shows - essentially a video diary," said Berry. The diary concept deconstructed into elements of handwriting, torn edges, typewriting, raw handheld still photography, and a series of tick-marks representing the stages of the process. When in motion the handwriting texture even referenced film leader as a nod to the cinema verite style of the show. The gritty comment also led Berry to a palette that was dominantly black and grey with a very warm orange accent color instead of the bright and white and primary color palettes of his earlier designs.

    "I received a two word email in response to those boards: 'LOVE IT!' From there, all elements just seemed to fall into place," said Berry.

    “The network loved the design from the moment they got it. And I’ve had so many compliments, particularly on the opening title graphic, when anyone sees the show,” added Begley. “I loved working with Jon… his ideas were great and he’s tireless at making whatever changes are needed.”

    The completed package includes the main title sequence, in-bumps, out-bumps, various lower third and information panel formats, transitions, and individual maps for all episodes. All design and animation was completed by jonberrydesign using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and After Effects entirely on Apple Macintosh platforms.

    My First Home airs on TLC Saturday nights with back-to-back episodes at 10pm and 10:30 ET/PT.

    About jonberrydesign:

    jonberrydesign is the Los Angeles based studio of Jon Berry, an award-winning broadcast designer/animator and creative director of television branding, motion graphics, promotion campaigns, main title design and show packaging. For more information, contact Jon Berry at 213.926.1678, or visit jonberrydesign.com.

    client: Authentic Entertainment
    Series Co-Executive Producer: Jeanne Begley
    Series Executive Producers: Lauren Lexton and Tom Rogan

    TLC Executive Producer: Brooke Runnette

    Images and video file resources available for media:
    ftp.jonberrydesign.com (for best results, use an ftp client)
    username: media@jonberrydesign.com
    password: media

  • Quicktime movie: My First Home graphics package
  • April 24, 2007

    hang on

    The other day I had to get out of the house, and I remembered a recent post on The Aesthetic about on of my neighborhood eateries. I've only lived at the beach for a couple years, so while I could tell Sloopy's has been around a long time, I had no idea it had been there since 1967. And while I've been there plenty of times, I never knew that they were known for their milkshakes. So I trekked down the beach and up the hill to Sloopy's. My neighborhood, El Porto, used to be its own city, and once upon a time it was the hippie/artist enclave. It still manages to hold a little of that laid-back spirit, which is I guess what makes me feel comfortable here, though I worry how long it can hold out. Inside Sloopy's, its easy to feel what it must have been like thirty years ago. The place is filled with plants, shellacked wooden benches and tables, a fire pit, and theres hardly a roof - its essentially outdoors. They put up a new menu on the walls last week thats godawful. Everyone that came in was horrified, though I don't think the staff understood why. A jumbled handwritten folksy wall of writing has been replaced by what looks like a humongous street sign. I'm tempted to offer to hand-paint a new one for them for free. Regardless, the spirit is still there, the sandwiches are still good, and I discovered that yes, the milkshakes are very good.
  • The Aesthetic: Sloopy's is good
  • April 23, 2007


    I stumbled across this really cool photography the other day... Oakland photographer Mark Luthringer has found beauty in the multiplication or repetition of some of the ugliest features of definitively suburban American society in his new series "Ridgemont Typologies." For those of you in the San francisco area, Ridgemont Typologies will be on exhibition at 3A Architecture in San Francisco during June. These and other of his works that show the iconic nature of mundane yet pervasive features of our daily life can be found on his website.
  • markluthringer.com/
  • April 22, 2007


    Leave it to my Dad to make me laugh out loud. (This is one of the reasons I love blogs.) My Dads blog is mostly a mix of science and geneology that I couldn't begin to understand if I tried (he's frowning at that), but in between are little personal nuggets. A few times a year Mom and Dad take off to Elkins, WV for music and folklife camps that are part of the Augusta Heritage Center. A couple years ago for their anniversary, all the kids met them there during part of Old-Time Week. (Old-Time Music is similar to bluegrass, but a much more specific regional iteration of it.) This week they're off to Elkins for Dulcimer camp, which is Mom's week of workshops (and it might be her first time to show off her fancy new dulcimer!). Dad apparently goes to hang out with his friend Bob at his instrument shop. The top pic above with the dog was taken there, I believe. It's one of my favorite pics of him. Dad's blog today said "He lets me come out and hang around and work on instruments that I've gathered since last year at this time. I'm stricken with the dreaded disease, I.A.D., Instrument Acquisitive Disorder. There seems to be no cure. I don't have to be able to play them. They just have to look interesting and like someday I might give it a try."

  • Augusta Heritage Center
  • April 19, 2007


    I cant begin to know where to start with this one. My thoughts have been all over the place all day, so I figure I'll just start typing and see what comes out...

    Wednesday night, I lost my friend Tres to cancer. He was diagnosed in the fall of 2005 with Testicular cancer, and after rounds of treatment found out last June that he actually had Lymphoma. Tres kept a blog of his battle - I never included it in my links column because I wasn't sure how personal he wanted it to be kept, but its a worthy read to understand the battles. If you know Tres, you may want to let some time pass before you read it. I must be a glutton for punishment, I went back to the first post and re-read it back in order today. I don't know why. Maybe guilt. Early on, Tres complained about people treating him differently and how it just reminded him of his cancer, so I always made an effort not to be any different then before. I didn't call him or email him more often than normal, I didn't bring up his health much unless he did. I'm feeling some regret about that now and feel like I should have done more. I'm sure it sounds naive, but I never doubted that he would eventually beat it. I knew how hard and tough the battle was, but I just... you know. I suppose it also allowed me to practice my own denial of the situation. I always figured we could talk about it later when it was all in the past. I could explain, and I hoped he'd say "Yeah, I knew what you were doing, and I'm glad." I hope he did.

    Tres and I met not long after I moved to Dallas. He had moved there at about the same time, so we both were at similar stages of making new friends and finding our way. We met at church, oddly enough. We would often have "heaven to hell Sundays' that began with church service and ended many hours later with 50 cent beers at a T-Dance. Maybe the longevity of our friendship came from his closeness to my friend Myron, so our connection was doubled. The three of us continued to take annual treks to Key West for New Years, and despite zero interest in rodeo, Tres would join Myron and I on our annual roadtrip to the Oklahoma City Rodeo every Memorial Day. We dubbed it "the time of your liiiiiife," the phrase I had used to persuade him to go with us the first time he agreed. I think Tres was responsible for adding the stops for fried pies and Del Rancho drive-in chicken fried steak sandwiches that have now become tradition. Tres loved fun kitschy stuff, and roadside attractions and oddities were often the best of those. His love for kitsch personifies his spirit to me. He always had that kind of sparkle and would only see the positive in everything. ("How niice!")

    His sister said he smiled just before he passed. I would have expected nothing less.

  • Tres' blog
  • April 17, 2007

    orange slices

    a few more random slivers from around Ft Lauderdale over the weekend...

    April 16, 2007

    better daze

    Sunday night turned out to be a fun one. Whoever came up with the "all you can drink" beer bust deserves a reward. holy cow. And its great to get to two-step again, something theres not much opportunity for in LA. A great brunch at Andrew's Diner helped clear the morning fog (in my head - it was clear and sunny outside). After spending the afternoon working and taking care of some issues, I headed out tonight for a few rides on the Dania Beach Hurricane (who can resist a good rollercoaster?), a stop at Primanti Bros for one of their famous sandwiches (of Pittsburgh fame), and a last stop at the local watering holes before calling Ft Lauderdale history.