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. It’s currently featured on Toyota’s YouTube channel, click here to watch it in HD!

My Role: Lead Animator
Client: Toyota USA



The Other Place

In collaberation with video designer William Cusick, I created a series of animations for this highly acclaimed play starring Emmy and Obie Award winner Laurie Metcalf. The Other Place opened in January 2013 and is currently running on Broadway. Tickets can be purchased here.

My Role: 3D animator, compositor
Client: The Manhattan Theater Club



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



Vodka Fourteen Package & Brand

I designed all elements of the brand and consumer package for this acclaimed small-batch vodka produced by my good friends at Altitude Spirits in Boulder, Colorado. Vodka 14's bottle was one of the projects selected for inclusion in Taschen's Product Design in the Sustainable Era. I have supervised and mantained the Vodka 14 visual brand since its inception in 2005 and have designed all the point-of-sale promotional items, advertising, and related items from day one.

My Role: Designer, typographer, creative director.
Client: Altitude Spirits



Rasta Thomas' Tap Stars

Tap Stars is a fusion of tap featuring the best tap dancers from across the USA. Set against a backdrop of video projected scenery, the show is exciting, fun, fleshy, raunchy, powerful, and brilliantly entertaining. The show opened in Hamburg, Germany in 2011.

My Role: Lead 2D animator, designer.
Client: Rasta Thomas



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 also make work for print and interactive media. I hold a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the Design + Technology program at Parsons the New School for Design (2007). I also hold 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 Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema 4D. I have worked with a wide array of cameras and image capture technologies, and have strong drafting, illustration, typography, and specialty fabrication skills. In additiont to broadcast, I have a strong familiarity with workflow for interactive and print projects, 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 as a Firefighter II and serve as Captain on my local volunteer fire department, so I can help you with literal fires, too (no charge and no booking required).

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
  • Photography
  • Photo 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 © 2013 Jonathan Weiss & its respective owners.