Jarrett Heather presents: Word Crimes 


Art and Illustrations

The Word Crimes Color Bible

Once the animatic was approved, I used a few of the key compositions to create this "color bible" in Photoshop. Based mostly on screenshots of "Blurred Lines" (seen at the top), all final art assets and renders were compared to this file for color and contrast consistency.


The Care-o-Meter

This old-timey gauge is a Photoshop illustration. It probably goes by too quickly to appreciate the detail. So do it now. Appreciate it.


My Doodles

This illustration is really personal to me, as it depicts a fairly accurate rendering of any book or notebook cover I carried around in junior high (with a Trogdor ret-conned in for good measure).


Chalkboard Art

The chalkboard illustrations were drawn with a ball-point pen on inkjet paper (no expenses spared). Most were rendered in reverse values, with black ink as white chalk, but in the piece above the inked areas represent the absence of chalk. The shading was applied with colored pencils. (Note: Drawing hands is difficult.)


The Educator's Wall

Every certificate and diploma on the ugly wood-panelling was designed with great detail by my brother Tom Heather IV.

According to Tom, each one is signed by a figure who would have been important to Al's career, and dated on some occasion of similar significance.

Behind the Scenes

This is where 99% of the movie was made. On the left is the "big board" of shots where I track my progress. On the right is my battlestation. In between are a few things to keep me busy during long renders. The note pinned just above my monitor tells me the precise hex-triplet values for the reds, beige-pinks and blues that comprise the palette.

Below: A closer look at the big board, and my son helping with stop-motion photography for the "syntax you're always mangling" shot. The stop-motion photography for the "go back to preschool" shot was done by my brother Tom.

Trivia & Notes

You could study this movie frame-by-frame a dozen times and still not catch all the subtle gags. Here are a few no one would be likely to ever notice:

  • The number 27 is referenced at least seven different ways.
  • The dictionary pages at the beginning of the movie are from the "A" section. The pages used in the middle of the movie are from the "L" section. A-L spells "Al".
  • The pages were scanned from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Basic English. An $11 paperback copy was destroyed to produce this parody music video.
  • The diplomas certify Al as "Participle Pundit", "Master of Tékhne Grammatiké", "Grammarian" and "Licentiate of Subordinate Clauses" with an "Associates Degree in Conjugating Verbs", a "Doctorate of Spelling", a "Certificate of Achievement in Syntax Engineering", and a "Bachelor of Writing Good".
  • The Care-o-meter has a certification sticker from the Division of Measurement Standards, a branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where I was employed full-time as a programmer analyst while creating this video on nights and weekends.
  • The coffee stain on the "no X in 'espresso'" napkin is the same art used in the chorus of "Shop Vac".
  • The animated typewriter was created using an excellent template from Creation Effects. No other templates or plug-ins were used.
  • No particle systems are used in the animation. The fuse sparks, downvote arrows, pixelated stink-lines and raindrops are all keyframed.
  • No photographs of chalkboards are seen in the final animation. The background of the chalkboard section was created entirely in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet and custom brushes. The dust and debris on the chalkboard are actually photographs of the night sky.
  • The logo for the once-ubiquitous blogging site LiveJournal was originally designed by Jarrett Heather in the year 2000.
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