Friday, November 23, 2012

ROOFLESS Concept Art over the years!

We've created a good stack of concept art over the years of development.  From thumbnails sketches to caricatures to photo illustrations, here's a look into said stack:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ROOFLESS returns to LA for the next step! 2013

The reading date has yet to be established.  
We'll post the date when it becomes available.


Just in time for Halloween ---
(Concept art by TuTchT IMAGING)

When we set out to write a musical about the Hip-hop generation we wanted to have the ability to speak about the unfolding plot from the "Big Picture" point of view; from a character who could see the struggles of an entire generation and how our characters fit into the grand scheme. This, along with our desire to create a new sort of "urban fairytale" visual language, eventually led to a story structure that allows the audience to see both the Real World and the Spirit World, and the forces mobilized for and against our 2 young protagonists Scope & Marquee. 

To our Street Dance heads "TAGZ" could easily be described as the offspring of "BBOY NEGUIN and Tinkerbell."   hahaha.  In the storyline Tagz is a character that was created out of the imagination of principle character Scope during his troubled childhood.  He "helps you see what you can't see." He is the embodiment of "having vision." Similarly, he assists the Narrator "TELLA" bring the story visually to life for the audience via 2 foundational elements of Hip-Hop, DJing & Graffiti bombing.

To tell the story of "Roofless," Tella spins individual "tracks" from Scope's life for the audience by placing the appropriate vinyl on Tagz' and dropping the beat. (As you can see in this concept art, Tagz has been equipped by Destiny for this purpose.)  Tagz then flies to the top of the stage and paints the scene to life.

The majority of "Roofless" is a flashback to the summer of 2005.  While Tella and Tagz help the audience travel through time to see Scope's life, it is the Ghost of Scope's best homie Marquee who must contact Scope's present day son to explain to him the events of 2005 that Scope refuses to talk about.

The fourth and final character from the Spirit realm who intervenes in the lives of Real characters is the devil...herself. She is seen here in this piece of concept art offering Marquee's Crime Boss father the proverbial "Deal with the Devil"- a deal that ends up shaping the lives of both Scope and Marquee in ways no one would imagine.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Remember this first "Scope on the Ledge" joint? After our initial sessions at the ASCAP/DISNEY workshop, on the advice from mentor Stephen Schwartz, we combined several of the original characters to create a new principle character named Scope. This piece was the first visual representation of our Roofhead homie!   Thx to NYC model Mike Press and Parisian photog Michael Cruzz for the collab on this precarious-perched image that helped people understand a little about this guy.


Its been forever since we've posted on here, huh?!  Don't be fooled by the quiet, smooth surface... much is bubbling deep underneath.  We'll be posting news of the next step in the "Roofless" journey in a matter of weeks!

In the meantime, keep up with our daily posts on our LoJoWerkz facebook page, where we regularly post great pics and vids from the world of Street Art, Street Dance, Broadway, Film, & other randomness that inspires us to create the work we create!

If you support young men of color in the fashion and entertainment industries, (or just like to stare at these handsome young brothers, lol)  you also might like to keep up with the daily posts on our TuTchT IMAGING page.  This is a photo illustration business that grew out of constant need to create concept art for our LoJoWerkz projects. It is a small-scale side business that produces photo illustration work.

Here's a clarification for those unfamiliar with the different branches of our work: 
LoJoWerkz is the production company of Tim Long and Jerome Johnson.  We create works for stage and screen. "Roofless" is currently our flagship production, with many other stage shows in various stages of development. We have some film projects in development too, mostly centered around the Street Dance community.  As a graphic artist, Tim operates TuTchT IMAGING as a separate business with a great deal of cross-over work with LoJoWerkz.)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

ROOFLESS - THA LYRICz - Homie 2 Homie

Sometimes its tough to figure out what to post while we're in development.  The script and score are constantly improving & evolving and in musical theatre its generally not common to do professional recordings that are "ready for public distribution" until AFTER a show fully funded, produced and well into a commercially successful run.  But in this day and age, when building an audience base depends on constant social network posting, its def a bit of a problem.   So while you guys are waiting for us to come up with some demos and vids, we thought why not start a little series that highlights some of the lyrics. This whole idea came about because of a lyric stuck in my head the past few days, so that's where we'll start.

Grammy nominated emcee Johnny Polygon was an original "Roofless" cast member, performing with us in Tulsa, Dallas, the L.A. Disney Workshop & the first ASCAP table reading.  Although Jerome & I are the composers & lyricists of the score, we were lucky to collab with JP on several numbers in the original show, along with Body Percussionist/emcee David "Sho'Tyme" Holmes.   All but one of those 3 original numbers have been cut or rewritten numerous times, but Johnny was cool enough to contribute a handful of new lyrics for one of the later rewrites. Those lyrics still remain in the song "Homie 2 Homie" to this day. We have to keep most of the new material close-to-the-vest as we're labbin the show, but we TRY to give little tastes of the show from time to time.  I've had this lil 8-line flow Johnny wrote for "H2H" stuck in my head all week so I thought we'd share em with ya'll.  

So check out JP's pen game as principal character SCOPE tries to convince his homie MARQUEE to help him compose a lyrical wedding proposal for his girl Sela. When Scope begins stating the obvious; that he's in love with Sela, Marquee (who's not feelin his decision to take on a wifey right now) responds with this bit of cynical sarcasm: 

(Hahaha.  Thx Johnny Polygon.)

We'll try to post more lyrics as time permits & maybe some audio as we continue workin on the new demos.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Tulsa emcee Jermany Brown (MuGen Crew) portrays principle character "Marquee" in this promo shot.

In the development of "Roofless," the narrator "Tella" has gone thru many incarnations.  In every case, we've always pictured him in an ancient ceremonial hoodie lined with the fur of a sacrificed animal. (These thumbnail character sketches by TuTchT IMAGING.) 

As you can see in this concept art for “Roofless,” we explore & twist many archetypes, stereotypes and clichés throughout the course of our show.  The recent “Hoodie awareness” thing that is sweeping the country got me thinking about our use of hoodies in “Roofless” and other works we create.   We have characters who try their hardest to appear thuggish…hoodie.  We have characters hiding behind the façade of in-control-hardassness when they feel insecure…hoodie.  On the other end of the spectrum, when we wanted to create an all-knowing spirit being (in the form of a DJ of course. lol) as narrator we gravitated towards the historic image of an educated, holy man who is very aware of his place in the universe i.e. a monk, scribe, griot, shaman, rabbi, etc. Yeah…hoodie.      – Its always dangerous to try and judge what lies beneath something that has been covered…or even to assume why it has been covered. 

The reasons for covering the head can range from fear, evil intent & insecurity to piety, reverence & self-awareness.  Or hell, it could just be raining.

As creators of art, we feel the need to say, “let’s all take a deep breath and take the time necessary to explore what’s underneath what we see on the surface…before any more fatal shots are fired in this country.”

Whoever you were, whatever you were covering, Rest in Peace Trayvon Martin, our brother.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


One of the primary tasks of the musical theatre playwright is to "musicalize" a scene - taking all the plot & character development of that particular part of the story and delivering it via a song.   So in "Roofless" we've got some , uh, atypical plot points to musicalize.  lol-  Here's a rough demo of a scene where Marquee's crime boss father disses his son's rhyme game & offers him a slightly different plan to advance his emcee career. heh heh. (EXPLICIT LYRICS)