Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summer Slackin'

So updates are becoming a bit far and few between. I'll try and make the transition to the more traditional art blog since my daily outings around Southern Oregon, while loads of fun, might not make for the most fascinating reading material---lol. While I have begun developing a promising premise on a 2nd year film, the title character isn't quite ready to make his blog debut. However, I will say this--not going near a cat this year. ha. Having not touched a storyboard since January, it's been a challenge to get the wheels turning again while remembering proper storyboard etiquette. However, things are certainly coming together--had an in-depth film related story meeting on Thursday and have since spent the weekend pushing the bar for both story and character(Thank you again Miles! Can't wait to share the new idea) Alright, less words--more art:

A certain buzzard is back in my care and immediately overtook two pages in my sketchbook. He was more than happy to supply an array of sketch worthy actions like apple eating, bird-yoga, and 'lets explore the room!' There's also a special appearance by Miss Fat Cat, who dutifully continues the 5 am feeding cry routine. The entertainment value has only increased since Annie now does a repeat performance whenever my Mom returns from a day of teaching, usually around 3pm---actually I've now been identified as a likely supplier of food, resulting in a couple harassing maneuvers from the beached manatee. Next post will resurrect an old favorite---the Mall People!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Night out with Indy---all spoiler free

Saw Indiana Jones this weekend.....I didn't walk out of the theater with a bad taste in my mouth, but I wasn't exactly doing cartwheels. I shut that analytical story side of my brain off, and just let the plethora of special effects and cheesy scenes wash over me.There were some pretty sweet camera shots though, and the sets/lighting also caught my eye. Very tempting to figure out a 2nd year film that could incorporate some of those action shots, however I MUST resist the urge because it'll just turn into one overwhelming epic. Going back to the movie: even by Indy standards, some scenes were literally unbelievable and did break my suspension of disbelief---several times actually. For instance: Those monkeys? Why? And only Indy could have pulled that refrigerator stunt off...haha. Also, not entirely sure how I felt about the actual premise, felt it was a little too "out of this world." However, every movie should have a motorcycle/car chase through a university campus---that was actually entertaining and yes Indy was still at his finest, along with Marion. That first shadow silhouette shot of Indiana Jones putting his hat on satisfied the fan in me(especially since I've never experienced any Indiana Jones movie on the silver screen). Overall, good movie. Way better then Temple o' Doom, but often times didn't have the same flair as the originals. Anyways, glad I finally saw it---however, I was horribly distracted every time Cate Blanchett appeared on screen and opened her mouth because a couple days ago I stumbled upon this gem:

Any animation involved person worth their salt should get this iconic reference. Just TRY and watch this movie now without her accent triggering this line. haha

Friday, May 23, 2008

A blog face-lift

Thought I'd start off the summer with a new banner because that other version was exceedingly outdated and was definately growing mold. I created the previous banner before I even set foot at CalArts, so time for a change! I'll be tweaking it over the next few days along with updating that icon of mine. I'll also do a real update on what I've been up to since coming home. Anyhow, off to join a couple friends with a late night viewing of's hoping.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

End of my First Year

6 hours and I'm on the shuttle to LAX---and roughly 12 hours from now I'll be back home in lovely Oregon. :) Thanks for a fantastic year everyone! To all you graduating students---good luck guys! Your class will be greatly missed, but you are all going out into the world to do some phenomenal things! To everyone else: Look forward to seeing you all again in September, until then--keep in contact and don't stop the drawing! lol. Anyhow, I'll still keep posting---lots of drawing and Maya to keep up on over the summer. Well farewell CalArts, it's been a whirlwind of a first year and can't wait to see what's in store for year 2!

Here's a very short, but brilliant clip that I thought was kind-of fitting(bad quality though):

Friday, May 16, 2008

An Epic Thursday

As I said before, went to Disneyland yesterday and filled the day with fun photos, riding the rides, and spending the final 2 hours sketching. Got back to CalArts around 8:30 at night after being at Disneyland since about 9 am....the night was only just starting because a Scavenger Hunt was beginning at 10:30 where we divided into several groups and were given a 5 page packet of various challenges to attempt to do in the next 2 hours. The challenges ranged from tame like---photograph 20 red 'E's to the wild side which lead to many teams running into security. Whichever team had the most points gained by the end of the game, won. Well this lead to everybody running around campus, dodging security, photographing a whole RAINBOW of activities, and eventually meeting in the SubLevel to fight over the final task: Rubber bouncy balls. A box filled with hundreds of tiny rubber balls was poured onto the floor and everybody dove for as many balls as they could carry. In about 10 seconds everyone started counting their winnings. Each ball was worth like 1 point. Loads of fun and a fantastic way to really end the year. I didn't get back to the dorm until about 2:30 and while I was pretty awake during the game, the day's worth of events finally caught up with me and I immediately fell asleep. And as a side note, don't worry incoming freshmen---we plan on making the Scavenger Hunt an annual event. lol.

Today I woke up at 8am and frantically packed up my final boxes. At 11am, my stuff was hauled away to storage(95% of my things are in storage, the rest is coming home). My roommate and I proceeded to then clean the dorm from floor to ceiling before meeting up with the gang and heading to the nearby "Cheescake Factory" to eat and hang out with everyone for one final time. While not everybody came(this is a whole other story....and was just nuts), it was pretty fun("We've got smart friends"---right Kristen?). I also checked out of my cube and intend on spending my final Saturday just chilling with the other maybe 15 people who should be around tomorrow.

Onward to pictures!

Disneyland! But wait? The colors! I found a really cool feature on my camera where you can "accent" a specific color. Once found, Cindey, Jenessa, and Myself toured around the park while abusing this feature.

The trouble makers---Left to right: Cindey, Jenessa, and Me.

To Infinity and BEYOND! But first, be sure to eat your

'course we had to stop by Tiki Room. Mainly to take a break from the heat(easily 95), but a perfect opportunity to play with the color feature again...

Around 3, we hopped over to California Adventure and visited the Animation building which featured the extremely cool Toy Story 3D Zoetrope. It's this big display that when spun and shot with a special light, just springs to life!

Because of the lights and everything any video taken is very strobey which makes it pretty hard to see just how cool this is. This isn't my video, but this one is much better than how mine turned out. So much better in real life. Once it had stopped my friends and I immediately spotted a Principle of Animation!

Wheezy the little penguin is demonstrating a very important term...can you name it?

Spotted in a store....yet another example. ha

After California Adventure(where I rode Tower of Terror for the first time---crazy stuff), we headed back to Disneyland to draw the crowds. Our first spot was on Main Street and after about an hour, we moved to the Carousel in Fantasyland for a change of scenery. So again, more Photobooth photos of my work. I'm showing every last drawing I did in the 9 pages that I filled: so here's the good, the bad, and the VERY ugly....

While I was on Main Street I spotted this little kid wearing this HUGE flowing Jedi robe, so that what the brown shape is above the lovely ladies.

Those of you that see me offline have the advantage of seeing these in person, which I recommend because these drawings suffered greatly in the realm of Photobooth. Much better in person.

And then, a couple photos from the Scavenger Hunt;

In the SubLevel diving for those pesky tiny rubber balls.

A fraction of Ethan's face while he shares his ultimate prize of a garbage can full of bouncy balls. Sorry for the blurriness.

A couple teams counting up their points.

Winning group being declared and a swarm of bouncy balls being dumped from a blurry cardboard box over the student who created the Scavenger Hunt.

Once more I have to say this: The year shot by and now tomorrow is my final day at CalArts until September! My first year has ended and summer starts. Summer plans are not completely final, still waiting to hear from Disney, but otherwise it's local Oregon employment of some kind. Anyways, dorm inspection tomorrow....time for bed---

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Preview of my Thursday

Spent the day with a couple friends at a special offcampus drawing place--Where could I have gone?

My scanner is packed away somewhere and my tablet was shipped home(not plane friendly) so quality courtesy of Photobooth, but you get the picture! ha! These are only the beginning...

Also featuring a couple photos with newly discovered camera effects! A slightly different take on the Wild West where fanny-packs and "Disneyland legs" run free!

Despite the 90+ degree heat and a small sunburn, I filled 9 pages with various magical pixie-dusted drawings(we did ride several rides beforehand)---but the night is VERY young---about to head out to a night of extreme fun because 90% of the department heads home tomorrow(I leave it's going to be a ghost-town). Anyways, time to grab my camera---details to come as soon as I have some free time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Donut Show

Today was the Donut Show and my film along with 26 other films were screened in the Bijou Theater. And yes, donuts AND milk(organic to be precise) were apart of the show. Every year Leo Hobaica selects the films he likes the most and then hosts a screening. There was a variety of films this year---some live-action, some leaning more towards experimental, those with loads of character, etc. In past years, the students who created the films would go up and discuss their films, create a discussion, etc. This year, everyone made a beeline for the donuts and just watched the films. Due to the number of films and the limited amount of time he didn't have an in-depth discussion for each film. At the end there was a short talk, but otherwise we just watched.

In the meantime, just packing and finalizing everything for next year. Packed up my cube tonight(that was a weird experience) and will have 99% of my dorm packed up by tomorrow night. It does not feel like a year has passed. October feels like it was last week and that I'll be back in my cube this weekend working on a new animation or something. Thursday is the real last hurrah before everybody departs for the summer. Lots of fantastic adventures are planned(not going to spoil anything, just in case things change.) so that'll be a great way of signing off to surviving my first year. Anyhow, have some photos:

Standing outside the Bijou Theater awaiting the films and donuts.

The donuts anticipating the rush that took place 5 minutes after this photo was taken. lol

Okay, I'm going to try and go to bed(roommate is packing up and this makes falling asleep a bit of a challenge which is why I'm even up right now at 2:20 am).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

To my Mom,

Who has been my longest and most supportive fan--even during my first artistic explorations involving one LARGE red crayon and the WHITE living room carpet....:)

From then on out I was always supplied with a huge stack of printer paper to draw on. haha. I have a very dim memory of this, but my Mom can recall this memory as if it happened yesterday.

I had a pet rat as a kid, so I had to include Miss Shelly. And yes, for those who know me in person, I haven't always had the crazy curly hair. Until I was around 11, I had spaghetti straight hair.

Anyways, Happy Mother's Day Mom and see you next Sunday!

P.S. This was drawn, scanned, and colored in less than 30 minutes so pardon the rushed look. I wanted to get this online before I went to bed.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Quick Plug

Stumbled across this fantastic place the other day and now I have a fair amount of free time to really enjoy this site:

Great podcasts with a huge variety of people in the animation industry. Not just animators, but directors, composers, background artists, etc. Just a huge resource of people who you might not necessarily know. I'm currently enjoying the podcast featuring Sharon Colman...really cool. If you have iTunes you can download the podcasts really fast and subscribe for future goodies. Anyways, thought I'd pass this link along...Okay now I'm going to go draw for FUN!

Also, Sharon Colman directed this little short:

2008 Character Animation Producers' Show!

Tonight was the big night! The grande finale! The final sign that the year has reached an end and that myself and my fellow classmates have made it! So yes, tonight was the big Producer's Show.

Every year the freshmen are in charge of setting up the show, however this has an advantage because we're the first ones there so we get first dibs on seats---absolutely got a seat across the aisle from the big guys. haha. So beginning at 10 in the morning, we were cleaning equipment, loading up everything into a big ol' truck and by 4pm everybody had reached the theater where they hold the Emmys every year! All of us set up the various displays before grabbing some Subway and hanging around before the gates opened at 7:30.

The theater itself was gorgeous! The picture above just doesn't encompass the atmosphere....the actual screen was huge! It was a real treat being in there. This picture was taken about a hour before this place was packed. Several of us walked up on that stage and looked out into the "audience." Very spacious and intimidating at the same time. beginning at 7:30 I and three other people had the duties of "Ticket People" so we sat outside and handed out RSVP tickets to companies, alumni, and friends of CalArts. Saw a lot of new faces and occasionally saw a famous face in the crowd as they made their way into the theater. Attending guests included Laika, Dreamworks, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Pixar, Disney, lots of alumni, faculty, James Baxter, Andreas Deja, etc. were all present at the theatre--roughly 600 seats packed to the limit! It was very surreal and exciting that these guys were all coming to see what CalArts had produced this year. Carlo Vogele won the Teacher's Pick award(otherwise known as the Woody Award) along with being a co-winner for Peer's Pick for his film, "For Sock's Sake". Fellow freshman, Mike Rianda was the other co-winner of the Peer's Pick award for his 1st year film, "Everybody Dies in 90 Seconds"---both of their films deserved it and I encourage everyone to keep an eye out for these two films. 30 other films entertained the audience and I enjoyed watching a couple of my favorite films again. After the big show it was mingling time. It was now 10:30 and freshmen had about 45 minutes before we had to pack the place up and head back to CalArts. I had the opportunity of meeting some great people and wish I could have stayed for the REAL after party held by Pixar at a place called "Castaways." Oh well, next year is right around the corner....every freshmen class goes through this--it's our official sign-off to our first year at ol' CalArts. Well it was a great night and I have a whole lot of memories of my very first Producers' Show! Once more I'm incredibly inspired to come back fighting and want to animate anything at this point. I just need to settle on a story idea and just draw---a whole lot more than I already am. Okay time for bed, just about ready to pass out...

There are about a dozen people missing from this picture(and sorry if you are in this picture cause you're now apart of the internets!). It was a spur of the moment photo and we gave everyone 10 minutes to gather before shooting this picture.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

2008 Job Fair

Today is the big Job Fair at ol' CalArts and roughly 30 companies are making the rounds. Everybody was lined up and ready to setup beginning at 7:30am. At 8:00 a.m. they let everyone go to their designated tables(MFAs, Alumni, Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, Freshmen, etc.) and setup. Us freshmen were shoved back by the stairs and pretty much around the corner. Only two tables were peeking out, but it should be enough to get people back there. Anyways, really awesome portfolios were all around. Lots of fantastic displays complete with mini-TVs, computers, models like houses or trees setup, etc. Anyone ever participate in a Science Fair as a kid? I certainly did and this really reminded me of those kind of places. Lesson here is: Be like a bird of paradise, lots of showy "shiny" things to draw attention and then have the goods(artwork) to back it up. I have a really good idea for what I should do for next year, until then....just killing time until noon. This year is all about the learning experience, next year I won't be in the dark as much, and should be a whole lot better--in terms of presentation and of course material. Anyways, I'll update later today on how the rest of the day goes, until then here's a picture of my portfolio setup:

I later switched the flippable stack of animation paper with those forms in the middle, but that's the only change. And if you'd like to go take a gander at the work in my portfolio---clicketh here and click on slideshow to see it in action.

Update at 4:30pm: I'm yours for the summer Southern Oregon--no callbacks. It's fine, just 2 freshmen got callbacks and 95% of the visiting companies didn't even know where the freshmen table was(seems to happen every year too). Two of my demo reel DVDs were taken while I was away, so maybe I might be contacted at a future point, but nothing for just today. So while a little bummed, I'm not letting it bother me. I did stick around and talk to various recruiters and animators who came, I got some fantastic feedback on what I can work on and have a whole lot of plans for this coming summer. Going to include LOTS of drawing at the mall and studying classic strong movies---Maya and my sketchbook will be surgically attached to me this summer(okay, maybe not Maya, but definately my sketchbook). haha. A recruiter did want me to mail my portfolio off to them by Friday, another possible chance at an internship, but in all likely hood I'll be home for the summer(which is fantastic and I really want to be home anyways). There was so much talent showcased at the Job Fair it was one huge learning experience really. So any incoming freshmen: don't take it hard if nothing happens your first year. Nobody knows what a company is looking for and it's just your first year--I can't wait to be a Senior and look back at my work. Just focus on absorbing as much as you can, working hard, and be social. Shy will not work, however don't be some boastful jerk that thinks they own the world--seems like the people who are politely outgoing get the attention. Well, that's how Job Fair played out...I've got 3D animation tonight, a 4 pg paper due by Friday, Producer's Show this Thursday, Donut Show next Tuesday, and then next week it's time to pack up and leave! The year has flown by, but it's amazing how much knowledge has been shoved into my cranium since September---crazy!

Primarily for my Mom and brother because they both know why, but this is certainly open for anyone:

While this scene is sad in the context of the film--you all should know what happens after this scene. Life kind of flows in that fashion where you attempt something huge(like flying) and then fail. However, life works in mysterious ways and while I know a lot of people at CalArts could relate to Buzz's failure to "fly,"with not getting any callbacks or not getting into any shows, this is that moment when life usually takes an unexpected twist and a bad thing turns into something fantastic. :)