I had a unique opportunity today to do some life drawings in an unusual setting – a recording studio! Perhaps I should explain.
Over the past few months, I have been working on a charity auction with my friends and fellow animation colleagues Tony Bancroft and Tom Bancroft. We’ve been acquiring donations of original art and other cartoon related items to sell on eBay to help the family of Tim Hodge, an animation artist whose teenage son has been in a state of a coma since August 2009 due to an accident involving a train. Several directors from Pixar, Brad Bird and Pete Docter, sent down some DVDs and a poster of their films that they signed, films that composer Michael Giacchino wrote the music for.
I contacted Michael to see if he would also like to sign these items since he worked on the projects, which he was happy to do. So, today I was able to go see Michael at work at the world famous Capitol Records building in Hollywood where he happily signed the goods. Since I love film music, and I love to draw, my sketchbook managed to pop out of my bag and into my hand for a few quick doodles capturing the action in Studio A, the room where Frank Sinatra recorded many of his hits, and was recently used by Michael Bublè.
I have seen Michael at work before (you can see other drawings by clicking on the Film Music category), and do not usually see him conducting the orchestra. Usually he leaves that work to Tim Simonec while Michael remains in the booth making sure the music sounds correctly through the speakers. But today, we had the treat of seeing him at work at the podium for few cues.
The recording booth is a magical place of concentration and activity. The composer usually has his team of orchestrators, arrangers, and other technicians making sure everything is being done the way it should. The orchestra contractor is there, the music preparation people, and the union representative. It’s a flurry of activity.
One of the key guys in the booth today was recording engineer Dan Wallin. Dan has recorded over 600 scores over the years, having worked with the likes of Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Alex North and many more. Dan records all of Michael’s work, and does a beautiful job of it. He also has such an interesting visual presence that I always like to get in a sketch of him when I see him, too.
A sketch of legendary recording engineer Dan Wallin.
Well there you have it. A few new random drawings from the sketchbook of Chad Frye • Illustration Guy. And what did Michael sign for the auction you say? Glad you asked, he autographed a copy of the Up movie poster that was signed by actor Ed Asner and included a drawing by director Pete Docter, he signed a DVD of The Incredibles that Brad Bird had also signed, and he signed a copy of Ratatouille on DVD signed by Brad Bird, and actors Patton Oswalt and Lou Romano (Remy & Linguini)! To see approximately all 150 of the items that will be sold on eBay beginning JANUARY 21, please visit www.HelpTheHodges.com!