Faceless Neil

Faceless Neil : Out of the Darkness; Noella Borie's new animated film.

I was hired to build all of the props and sets based on designs by Noella

Melissa Chow and Taylor Jordan helped build out the exterior set including hills and the city.

some of the props were alive 

start of Neils Bed

fun sculpting tiny skulls

detail of the wiring for the city lights



Alphabet Soup

Here the challenge was to make a realistic alphabet soup type font . It needed to be dynamically integrated into the soup and move realistically as it emerges from the soup to spell out the various messages.

 I worked on the sculpts with Sal Denaro and he made the molds and casts. I designed a rig to allows the letters to emerge from the soup and also submerge. The rig had a sub rig that individually supported each of the numbers and letters. this was quickly swappable on the main rig through the use of a strong magnet.

Sub Rig That supported the Letters

Sal Adding Rigs

I am not an Electrician

I did however make this electronic control boxes for the short film Bruiser by Mattson Tomlin

This custom  box had 25 outlets with 5 dimmers. These were used in a sequence in the film shown below to do in camera lighting effects of flickering light bulbs with control on dimming & on and off… The switches and knobs were puppeteered to create the lighting effects on set.

BRUISER teaser trailer from Mattson Tomlin on Vimeo.


Kia Optima - History Channel : Evolution of the Wheel

History Channel - History of the Wheel (Kia) from LAIR.tv on Vimeo.

Agency: AETN
Agency Producer: Tom Kaniewski
Director: Thor Raxlen
Head of Production: Theresa Loguercio
Illustrator: Victor Kerlow
Animator: Brian Haimes
Editor: Ryan Powell

Here is Something I just animated with Victor Kerlow at LAIR. This is for The Kia Optima and is currently running on The History Channel. I worked out all of the timing and spacing based on Victor's storyboards. Then Victor and I went in and animated sections. I would rough out the transformations and cycles and Victor inked everything in his illustrative style. He also did individual water colors for all frames as well as animated some sections.

This was a very fun project :)

Here is a sample of Victors layout drawing and my rough animation.
Just for fun... The watercolors from the spot...

some of the drawings
some of the many water colors


Google Chrome: A Race Across the Internet

The client's main goal was to make a Rube Goldberg Esque contraption that had an Emphasis on Speed. 

This was Designed and Directed by Andrezza Valentin. The design had to reflect the enviorments of Google Weather, Twitter, Google Translate, Facebook, Google Search, and Google Chrome. All in a DIY manner.  I worked with a team of extremely talented Fabricators, Carpenters, Metal Workers, Welders, Sculptors, and Painters (Adam Sober, Neil Kelly , Racey North, Sean O Connor,  and Travis Moonschein).  It was a ton of fun and I could not have done it with out them. 

Basically my responsibility involved the moving parts, Motors, Gears, Springs, Magnets, Electrical Switches, Propulsion, and Mechanisms.  I was hired to figure out all of the mechanical transfers. When the ball starts its journey (plunger switch) through to the final shot (basically the triggers on all automated items).  Some of the mechanisms where more complicated than others. Most of the mechanisms where hidden in the design, or under the table.

Examples from the script:

(1.) The head has to: have the top of the head open on a hinge to receive the ball, then travel six inches to the right , as the ball moves through the head the head turns 90 degrees and the mouth opens, spits out the ball. 

(2.) The bird mechanism had three phases; resting, ball enters mouth, triggers 45 degree turn, then entire bird and ball travel up and then enter fast rotation to throw ball on to track.

The Final Shot comprised the ball landing on a button, triggering the confetti, flags, and balloons. Then the ball rotates and reveals the Google Chrome Logo. I designed this Mechanism as a sleight of hand style magic trick. The ball that enters the frame is the one from the track. It lands on a button, releasing a trap door that allows it to enter the box while the new ball rises up taking its place. It is mounted on a motor that will allow it to rotate 180 degrees once contact is made.  The transfer happens so quickly you dont see it. Thanks to my Father for showing me so many magic tricks as a kid.

The entire machine was 50 feet long and shot in a industrial space in the west village. We had 2 weeks to build and shoot and we worked up until the shoot day. The machine was shot in 10 foot sections.  These overlaps where then used to stitch it back together. This allowed multiple takes on each section. This was the longest scrolling video on youtube and got tons of hits. It was used to promote Google Chrome in the format of an interactive game. 

The video below shows just the machine in action ...

Google Chrome : A Race Across the Internet from Brian Haimes on Vimeo.

Here is a Time Lapse of the Build and Shoot

GoogleTimeLapse from Brian Haimes on Vimeo.



Cable control and Radio Controlled Animatronics
Clapping Mechanism and Animatronic Eye
Here I am controling the clapping mechanism from off camera

Eye Mechanism

 This was a fun job. All of the objects were designed by the director Asif Mian as 2d sketches.  I was hired by 1stAveMachine to design all the mechanisms. The concept involved MUTEMATH playing these oversized machines as instruments. Some designs were altered for function. Imaged are some of the mechanisms I built.  Amanda Hamel helped a bit on covering the arms with sheet metal and sculpting the hands and head for the clapping machine. There were other devices but these were my main responsibility. The Music Video debuted at F5 in New York City 2009. This is an annual event sponsered by Motionographer. A lot of the machines from the video were displayed on the main stage at Roseland Ballroom. The video was ultimately banned.
Director: Asif Mian
DP: Zak Mulligan
Prop Designer: Asif Mian
Art Director: Sean O’Connor
Fabricators: Mason Chesler, Brian Haimes, Amanda Hamel, Rich Hutchins, Josh
Lazono, Asif Mian, Sean O’Connor
Producer: Rich Hutchins
Production Company: 1stAveMachine
Executive Producers: Serge Patzak & Randi Wilens
Head of Production: Hae-Sook Song
Creative Coordinator: Claire Mitchell
Post Production: Asif Mian, Joon Suck Park
Editor: Tim Malieckal

 Paul Meany getting bolted into his head gear mechanism that controls his jaw


EGG Factory - Adult Swim

 Upfront Party at Roseland Ballroom.This was something I worked on with Square Design Inc. The theme of the party was Owls. They made these amazing 13 Foot Great Horned Owls that shot lasers out of there eyes. They were on the main stage and projected animations and designs all over. I worked on the Egg Factory scene as you enter the Ballroom.  You will see in the video how this illusion works and its final dressing. This concept was designed by Adult Swim and i was in charge of making the electro mechanical parts work. It has two convoyeur belts with speed control as well as an electric timer for the lights. The eggs are Blacklight sensitive as well as the owls.

(left) myself, Travis, Adam and Eugene (front)

Electric timer for Tunnel

re-wired conveyor belt

Black Light and final look

smoke stacks

more smoke



My friend Mike Pappa made a short film.....  Frankie.
I helped him make some mechanical props, and also did some compositing and animation in the film.  Here are some photos of the mechanisms he designed for Frankie as well as some stills from the finished film. Visit http://www.frankiemovie.com/ for more info on this short.
orrery with dome

inside orrery

Frankie with mechanical prop

Animating the planets on set

mechanism added to allow key to change states of watch

FRANKIE: Ean Sheehy

OLD MAN: Paul Johnson

NEIGHBOR: Brian Ronaghan

FATHER: Dave Giegerich

Writer/ Director/ Production Designer: Mike Pappa
Producers: Elias & Nick Basile
Executive Producer/ 1st Assistant Director: Kate Pappa
Director of Photography: Anthony DeRose
Editor: Steve Flack
Art Director: Catherine Taft
 Costume Designer: Jennifer Greene
Costumer/ Hair & Special Makeup FX: Donna DeLia
2nd Assistant Director/ Script Supervisor: Brian Ronaghan
Assistant Camera: Neil Biagio & Christopher Cafaro
Original Music: Christian Almiron
Sound Editor/Foley Artist/Re-recording Mixer: Mike Kurihara
Still Photographer: Stanislava Georgieva
Stop Motion & Mechanical Props: Brian Haimes
Visual Effects Artist: Brian Haimes & Mike Pappa


Sound One
 Scott Brown
 Matt Gaydos
Noah Miller
 Sam Strachman