Pop Meets the Void

Pop Meets the Void is my second feature-length collaboration with director William Cusick. A neo-surrealist comedy about music in the 21st century, Pop Meets the Void is a a hyperreal combination of live action and animation, using mixed media compositing techniques drawn more from motion graphics animation than from traditional cinematic visual effects. The result is a rewarding visual exploration of reproduction and artificiality, while at the same time being something visually unique and beautiful. The film is currently in the final stages of postproduction.

My Role: Lead animator, visual effects supervisor, compositer.


Welcome to Nowhere

Welcome to Nowhere (Bullet Hole Road) is a feature-length film adaptation of Temporary Distortion’s internationally acclaimed 2007 hybrid theater/cinema performance. In a series of warped, image-driven episodes, five strangers in the American West navigate overlapping landscapes of paradoxical fantasy. Constantly shifting perspective, the fractured narrative revolves around a surrealistic combination of sparse dialogue, unsettling characters and abstracted motion graphics animation. The film became an official selection of five film festivals in 2012.

My Role: Lead animator, production designer, colorist and compositer.



Salome's Envisage

Featuring over an hour of lavish footage meshing seamlessly with animation, all projection mapped over a three dimensional set, Salome's Envisage pushes classical performance to a new place. Salome's piano no longer feels like a static object on the stage as she performs her beautiful renditions of classical and romance-era compositions, and instead takes on the sense of being some sort of vehicle, transporting the audience through a mysterious world.

My Role: Lead Animator
Client: Salome Scheidegger



Toyota Prius "Bigger Picture"

This whimsical short film was designed and directed by Saatchi & Saatchi LA in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Toyota Prius. I handled all of the animation on this project.

My Role: Lead Animator
Client: Toyota USA



Documentary Photography

Various documentary and editorial photographs taken for commercial and personal projects over the last several years. I shoot predominantly digital photographs, but I am experienced with 35mm and medium format equiptment as well.

My Role: Photographer, digital retoucher



Landscape Photography

I am especially fond of photographing landscape settings, both natural and urban, and working outside. These photos are among many I have taken in recent years as both personal work and as part of commercial projects.

My Role: Photographer, digital retoucher.



The Passéist

The Passéist was my MFA thesis project at Parsons the New School for Design. Exploring ideas of mixed media representation in motion graphic design and shoestring budget keying and motion tracking techniques, this animated short was originally screened at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York City in May of 2007.

My Role: Everything but the music.

Curriculum Vitae

My name is Jon Weiss, I work as a commercial artist specializing in digital motion graphics for screen, broadcast, and live performance. I hold a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the Design + Technology program at Parsons the New School for Design (2007) and a BA in political theory and communications from the Gallatin School at New York University (2001). I have worked as a commercial artist since 1999 and have been full-time freelance since 2003. My clients have included Toyota USA, Barnes & Noble, Stage Entertainment, The Coca-Cola Company, Universal Entertainment, HP, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and many others. I have also taught design and creative software tools at the MFA level.

I work primarily in After Effects and am also proficient in Cinema 4D and DaVinci Resolve. I have worked with a wide array of cameras and image capture technologies, including RED and Blackmagic Cinema DNG workflow, and have strong photography, illustration, typography, and specialty fabrication skills. In addition to broadcast design, I have a robust background in interactive and print work, and am accustomed to the unique demands of live performance.

I am confident working under the tightest deadlines in the industry, which is handy on projects that involve "putting out fires." I am also certified to the Firefighter II level as an interior structural firefighter and serve as Captain on my local volunteer fire department, so I can help you with literal fires, as well.

I live and work in Pawlet, Vermont.



Commercial Services & Rates

I am pleased to offer the following commercial services:

  • Motion Graphic Design
  • Digital Animation
  • 3D Modeling
  • Color Grading
  • Keying, Rotoscoping, and object removal
  • Digital Compositing
  • Still Photography, Retouching & Manipulation
  • Illustration
  • Print & Consumer Package Design
  • Typography and Logo Design
  • Creative software instruction

For rates, avalibility, and other inquiries, please give me a call at (802) 268-0022.

So, What in the World is Surfacism?

Some years ago, while discussing work with a colleague, I jokingly described my philosophy of design as "surfacism." It's a made-up word, but it stuck, and surfacism has become a term that both describes and informs my work. As an animator, I am a specialist in 2.5 dimensional digital compositing-- I deal with flat planes, surfaces. But in a more figurative sense, I see all the visual work I produce as a surface. Often designers will talk about their craft as a process of organization, of laying out elements to optimize function. In this way of thinking, design takes on the characteristics of architecture. But unlike architecture, you can't experience work on screen by moving around it, or walking through it, or running your hands over it. This work is not so much like a building as it is like a reflection of a building in a pond, an image lacking depth: a surface. As you look at it, you evaluate it: is it beautiful? Ugly? Graceful? Awkward? All these aesthetic judgements are informed by our culture, our expectations, and our personal taste, but they are all passed on a simple visual impression that the artist is responsible for. Thinking about design this way, concept and execution are inseparable, and a strong concept, narrative, or visual effects technology can't function without equally strong visual craft. It's not just the story, it's how it is told.

Sound interesting? Drop me a line, let's have a beer and talk about it some more.

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All work on this site © 2015 Jonathan Weiss & its respective owners.