Quentin Tarantino’s Vega Bros. Poster [What If?]

In an alternate universe, Quentin Tarantino would have written and directed a movie called Vega Bros. starring John Travolta as Vincent Vega (from Pulp Fiction) and Michael Madsen as Vic Vega (from Reservoir Dogs).  Here is a teaser poster for that fictional movie -

Quentin Tarantino's Vega Bros. Teaser Poster - Artwork by Karthik AbhiramThis was a quick drawing done with a 6B pencil on paper, and then scanned and edited in Photoshop.  The text is simple and is in Futura Heavy Oblique.  The fictional release date is my birthday in 1997.

RoboCop 1987 Drawing

This is a drawing based on Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 movie RoboCop that I did this morning. I watched the remake yesterday and the original a couple of days before that. That’s what inspired this drawing.

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I am very nostalgic about the original RoboCop. It was a movie I practically grew up with.  This drawing was done with a 6B pencil on paper and the image above is a photo taken with my phone, processed with VSCOCam for Android and this post is being made from my phone only.

Here’s a RoboCop drawing that I did 19 years ago -

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The remake was pretty good. The good thing about it was that it was very different from the original so you judge it on its own merits.  But nostalgic feelings considered, the original wins out in my opinion!

Nine Inch Nails: The Fight Club Soundtrack [What If?]

In an alternate universe, this would exist -

Nine Inch Nails - Fight Club Soundtrack - Fake Album Artwork by Karthik AbhiramThink about it – there’s a line of dialogue in David Fincher’s Fight Club (one of my all-time favourite movies), where the Narrator (Edward Norton’s character) says, “With insomnia, nothing’s real.  Everything is far away.  Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.”  One of the songs from “Hesitation Marks”, the latest album from Nine Inch Nails, is called “Copy of A”.  When I heard this song, the first thing that came into my mind was Fight Club.

The 2005 song “Only”, by NIN, from their album “With Teeth” also could be considered to have reference to Fight Club in the lyrics [SPOILER ALERT] – “I just made you up, to hurt myself” / “There is no you, there is only me.”  The music video for “Only” was directed by David Fincher.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails would go on to create the soundtracks for two of David Fincher’s movies – The Social Network (2010) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

Therefore, there definitely must be an alternate universe somewhere, where the soundtrack for Fight Club was done by Nine Inch Nails and not by The Dust Brothers!  Above, is my representation of what that album cover would look like.  There’s Edward Norton and Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden from the movie, and in the centre, is Trent Reznor, the frontman of Nine Inch Nails.

Trent Reznor - Drawing by Karthik AbhiramI had this idea today while listening to “Copy of A”, and I proceeded to draw this in a gel pen on paper, and then scanned it in and added some paper texture and the text.  The text is in the font Reznor: Downward Spiral.

Trent Reznor Drawing, the Instagram Edition - Artwork by Karthik AbhiramReference images – Edward Norton is from a screenshot from the movie itself, Brad Pitt is from a publicity still, and Trent Reznor is from the recent Rolling Stone Magazine cover.  The Fight Club lettering on top is my hand-drawn imitation of the font Mrs Eaves Bold Italic.

Above are a couple of Instagram / Snapseed edits of in-progress photos of the drawing.  Edit of a photo of a drawing – that’s also a copy of a copy of a copy, isn’t it?

Here is a shot of the notebook page (A4 size) with the pen I used to draw it -

Nine Inch Nails - Fight Club Soundtrack Album Cover - Drawing by Karthik AbhiramThe “Paper Street Record Co.” is a reference to the “Paper Street Soap Company”, Tyler Durden’s soap-making outfit.

You can listen to the entire album “Hesitation Marks” here.  Below, I’ve embedded YouTube videos of the songs that inspired this drawing.

Nine Inch Nails / “Copy of A” -

Nine Inch Nails / “Only” -

Four Panorama Photos

Here are four panorama photos I took recently.  First the pictures, then the behind the scenes stuff will follow.

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That’s a shot of Cyber Towers at Madhapur, Hyderabad.

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This is a picture of the building under construction opposite Cyber Towers.

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Road near Shenoy Nursing Home, close to home.

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Took this while waiting for a haircut on a Sunday (hence all shutters down) afternoon.

These were taken with my Micromax Canvas HD phone.  Which app, you may ask, since though the Canvas HD has Jelly Bean 4.1, its camera does not have a Panorama function.  However, there exists a way to install the stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean Camera app on a phone running Ice Cream Sandwich or later.

You can find more information at this Lifehacker post.  I downloaded the APK file and installed it on my phone.  It adds another Camera and Gallery app to my phone.  If I use the new app, I can take panorama photos.  The Photosphere feature doesn’t work on my phone though.

I took these panorama photos and edited them in Snapseed.  The panorama shots are low resolution ones though (about 1500 x 600 pixels).  But for posting on Facebook or here, that’s OK.

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Dramatic Skies in B&W – Behind the Scenes

I posted the below photo on my Instagram feed yesterday, and people seemed to like it, so I thought I’d do a little behind the scenes post.

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That’s the dramatic black and white sky photo.  The photo was taken yesterday afternoon while I went out for lunch (that’s the advantage of going out everyday) on my Micromax Canvas HD phone.

The original image is rather dull and uninteresting as it is -

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I took it into Snapseed and straightened it.  Initially, I thought I’d include the electrical wire as a straight line in the final photo.  But after straightening, when I was trying to work out a crop that looked good, I decided to do away with the wire and just focus on the sky.

I applied the “Drama” filter in Snapseed and then boosted saturation.  That resulted in the below image, which is a bit more visually interesting than the original -

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But this looks kind of overcooked and garish.  I thought I’d play with the colours to tone it down a bit and then post.  But then, I decided to try a black and white conversion.  Snapseed has a nice set of options for converting a photo into B&W.

In Snapseed you can simulate putting a colour filter in front of the lens when taking a B&W photo.  If you’re shooting on B&W film, putting a red, yellow or orange semi-transparent filter in front of the lens has the effect of darkening the sky.  Basically, anything that’s blue will get darkened.

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That’s a sample screenshot of applying the filter.  (It’s being applied to another panorama photo I took yesterday.)

So here I saturated the image further since I knew the more blue that’s present in the image, the darker the sky would be.  I think I used an orange filter for the final image.  Tweaked the contrast and brightness a little, added some grain, and there you have it.

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Kick-Ass 2 Drawing

This weekend (including Friday night), I watched three movies in the theatre – Jobs, Madras Cafe and Kick-Ass 2.  Out of the three, the most entertaining one was undoubtedly Kick-Ass 2 and I had a real blast watching it.  Hence, this drawing, done today -

Kick-Ass 2 - Drawing by Karthik AbhiramI drew this one in pencil, then scanned it in, added the paper texture in the background and the text.

I like how they expanded upon the storyline established in the first movie.  The movie shows us how Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) inspired other people to fight crime in costume.  Kick-Ass joins a Justice League-type outfit led by Col. Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey).  Meanwhile, Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz) is trying to adjust to life in high school and trying not to be Hit-Girl.

Gangster kid Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) reinvents himself as the super villain The Mother Fucker after Kick-Ass killed his dad in the first movie, and starts assembling an army of thugs to take over the city.

Kick-Ass 2 is a proudly A-rated movie (and I was overjoyed that it was released uncut in theatres here), it’s crude, ultraviolent, and a whole lot of fun.  Christopher Mintz-Plasse was absolutely hilarious as The Mother Fucker, Jim Carrey was great, and as expected, Chloe Grace Moretz was outstanding as both Mindy and Hit-Girl.  I liked the new superhero characters – Doc Gravity, Night Bitch, and the villains Mother Russia, Black Death, Genghis Carnage.  Loved the action scenes and the one-liners.

I read some of the original Kick-Ass comics by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr, but not Kick-Ass 2.  My cousin tells me that the movie follows the book pretty closely.

Kick-Ass 2 has more action than the first and there’s a lot going on.  I liked both movies about equally.  This one I’d rate an 8/10.

Kick-Ass 2 - Artwork by Karthik AbhiramAbove is an in-progress version of the drawing.  The completed poster of mine has the working title for the movie, Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall (I wonder why they changed it).

Check out the extended Red-Band trailer here:

There are two good pieces of music from the soundtrack.  The first one is a version of “When the Saints Go Marching In”:

And this one is a version of “Korobeiniki (Traditional Russian Folk Song)”.  I didn’t know it was a folk song.  You might know this music better as the theme from the game Tetris!

Stay back for the credits of the movie – there’s a short scene afterwards.

Evil Dead 2013 – Another Drawing

The Evil Dead 2013 Drawing post on my site seems to have become one of the most popular pages here, thanks to everyone who retweeted and shared the link at various places.  I think it was one of the earliest pieces of Fan Artwork to be put online for the movie, and that’s why it got noticed.  Besides, I think that’s a pretty good poster for the movie, if I do say so myself!  I did another piece of artwork based on the movie, this one done entirely digitally, on my Micromax Canvas HD phone.  Here it is -

Evil Dead 2013 Fan Art - Drawing by Karthik AbhiramThis was done using a few apps – the basic drawing itself was done on Sketch Guru (the app seems to have been renamed to Paint Joy now), I then got it into Snapseed and added the textures, grunge look and the frame, and then finally took it into Pixlr Express to add the text.

The drawing is based on the opening scene of the movie, that shows a possessed girl.  That scene is probably up there on the list of effective movie opening scenes – it really gets you into the movie!

Here is the drawing sans text, if the language is not your cup of tea -

Evil Dead 2013 Drawing 2 - Artwork by Karthik AbhiramMany months after I did that early fan art for Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead 2013, I finally got to see the movie.  Sadly, the movie was not theatrically released in India, due to the graphic violence and blood, so I had to wait till it was released on disc.  The movie is very well done, I will write a detailed review of it in another post.

[UPDATE 13-AUG-13]:

Here is a video showing how this drawing was made -

I filmed it on my Nokia 808 PureView phone.  The music used is a remix of “Closer/Last” by Nine Inch Nails.

 

 

 

Raw Deal

I am a big fan of 1980s action movies, and as a kid, I used to idolise Arnold SchwarzeneggerCommando, Predator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day I think I would have seen about 50 times or more.  Well, recently, I was looking up some 1980s music tracks on YouTube and I came upon the track “Kaminski Stomps” from the 1986 Schwarzenegger movie Raw Deal.  This is one of Schwarzenegger’s lesser-popular movies from that era, and I had only seen it a few times, many years ago (watched it in the theatre when I was in school, and then later on on VHS, and on TV).  So I rewatched it a couple of days back, and while not up to the standard of those other movies, this was pretty fun.  That inspired this drawing -

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Raw Deal - Drawing by Karthik AbhiramThe drawing was done in ballpoint pen mostly.  I used a bit of red gel pen to add the blood splats, and the gun was done with a black marker pen.  Nothing that fancy.  I scanned the image and then added a paper texture to it, and then the text, in Helvetica Neue font.

You may notice that the title of the movie is different in my poster – it says Triple Identity.  That was one of the working titles for the movie, before it got retitled to Raw Deal.  I thought that sounded stylish, so I used that instead.

The movie stars Schwarzenegger as Mark Kaminski, an ex-Federal Agent working as a Sheriff in a small town (doesn’t this sound very similar to his 2013 The Last Stand?), after a legal case forced him to resign.  He is approached by the FBI’s Harry Shannon (Darren McGavin) to infiltrate the gang of Chicago mobster Luigi Patrovita (Sam Wanamaker) and take the whole operation down.  Kaminski enters the gang posing as the criminal Joseph P Brenner, and what follows is a fun outing as he carries out what he was asked to do.

I’d rate the movie overall a 7/10, as the action quotient is a bit less here, but one thing to enjoy are the one-liners.  I also liked the music by Cinemascore (which I guess is an umbrella term for the people who contributed music to the movie – Chris Boardman, Tom Bahler, Albhy Galuten).

In-progress Drawings

Here are a few in-progress shots as I was drawing this.  These were all taken on my phone (Micromax Canvas HD) camera and processed in Snapseed.  The collage was made with the PhotoGrid app and I finally posted both of them on Instagram.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in RAW DEAL - Artwork by Karthik Abhiram - In-ProgressThis below picture I call “Kaminski Stomps”, after the name of the track that inspired me to do this entire drawing.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in RAW DEAL - In progress artwork by Karthik Abhiram

Soundtrack

You can find music from the soundtrack uploaded on YouTube.  Below are two of my favourites.

“Kaminski Stomps” – this is the track that plays during the end credits -

“Brains & Trains” – this is the track that plays during the opening scene of the movie -

The movie is good fun.  Nobody Gives Schwarzenegger a Raw Deal!

Selected Photos from 9-Aug-13

Sharing a selected set of photos from yesterday -

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A shot from a window, converted to Black and White with Snapseed’s Red filter, to enhance the skies.

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A turtle (maybe teenage, most likely not a mutant, definitely not a ninja).  Went to Eat 3 for lunch yesterday, took this picture there.

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The street near home was lit up for Bonalu festival.  I stood in the middle of the road to get this shot.

Guitars

Trying out the WordPress app on my phone, posting an image.  For the last couple of months, I’ve been taking and posting photos every single day on my Instagram feed. Thinking that I’ll post a picture a day on the blog as well.  Here is a collage I did a few weeks back.  The photos were taken at Full Volume Music Store, Banjara Hills.  I used Snapseed, Instagram and PhotoGrid apps to edit.

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