A. Greg Raymond

The Smithsonian Institute

Funny Bones: Anatomy of a Celebrity Caricature


AGR_hair-sculpt

The latest video that John Kascht and I completed, Funny Bones: Anatomy of a Celebrity Caricature, has been posted to the National Portrait Gallery's website, blog, and YouTube page. You can see it on my site as well, by clicking here. In this film, John uses Conan O'Brien as a case study to share with you his process of creating a celebrity caricature.

The film begins with a brief description of "caricature" and quickly moves into the challenges and pitfalls of generating an accurate likeness of a celebrity whose personality is familiar to all of us, but also one that few of us will ever know personally.

This is a rare opportunity to see John's process as he gathers research material, accumulates countless sketches, completes several watercolors, and even renders Conan in clay in an attempt to pin down an extremely dynamic subject.

This is a rare opportunity to see Conan O'Brien, Sharpie in hand, sketching John Kascht.

I promise you, upon watching this film, you will hear yourself say on more than one occasion, "Huh, I didn't know that". I did, countless times while filming and editing this project. John's narrative is delightful and insightful and he shares with you his unique observations on Conan's background, the role he had in the history of The Tonight Show, and his savvy use of social media.

John and I had tremendous help from a pool of phenomenal local talent. Please pay attention to the soundtrack of this video, particularly the contributions made by The Bog Swing Band (Roy Wlliams, Nick Driscoll, Ian O'Hara, Coleman Smith, Shane O'Hara, Kevin Williams, and Anthony Hannigan),
Pappy Biondo, and the King's Herald Quartet. We can not thank them enough.

Ken Lambert, Ruth Fremson, Bill O'leary, Art Streiber and Meghan Sinclair's generous contribution of archived still images of Conan was beyond colossal.

Thank you to our technical support for always lending a brain to pick; Rembert Meszler, Spence, Hana Gorman, Joel Braverman, Jana deHart, Mark Davey and
David Lauterbach.

Our cafe crew, Pauline Glykokoalos, Piper Biondo, Julio Davila, Kristen Daniels, J
öelle Dujardin, Shawn Laster, Jose C. Reyes, Terry Smith, Katharine Brown, Marie Bryant, Heather Hogan-Spence, Paul Ludick, Dolores Motichka, and Jim Petorak each deserve, if not an Oscar nomination, a gold star for patience, tolerance and an astounding ability to play well with others.

Thank you so much to Conan O'Brien for the support and cooperation.

Thank you to the National Portrait Gallery for making this video possible.

A very special thank you to Dolores Motichka for making sure John and I were properly nourished, and for knowing when to drag us away from the third floor, when to leave us alone, and when to diplomatically separate myself from John.

Funny Bones Debut

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Funny Bones: Anatomy of a Celebrity Caricature, a Gallery360 film that John Kascht and I created for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, will debut tomorrow April 7, 2011 on the Portrait Gallery's website and blog. John chose Conan O"Brien as a case study to walk an audience through his creative process of capturing a celebrity likeness in caricature.

John Kascht, Conan O'Brien, Bog Swing Band, and Pappy Biondo

COCOhair

So I’m still fixated on this project I just wrapped up. It is out of my hands and safely in those of The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. I am eager to share the link when it posts on the NPG’s website. It was seven months of working away from home trying to narrate, visually, John Kascht’s truly unique perspective of Conan O’Brien. Piecing together a dialogue with moving pictures was a challenge and I am grateful, as is John, for the support we had from the local creative community. The Bog Swing Band (find them as The Bog Country Band here) supplied the majority of the soundtrack to the film, and Pappy Biondo added a key musical element with his kazoo recording of a song that was written by the lead from the Swing Band, Roy Williams. Please support and encourage them.

Conan O'Brien, John Kascht, and The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery


Conan_Stair

So what have I been doing for the past few months? I became real familiar with Final Cut, that’s what. John Kascht and I teamed up again to produce a Gallery360 video for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. The video will premiere in the coming weeks on the Portrait Gallery’s website. I will post a link as soon as it is available.