I have to end the suspense, I’ve received two many emails and instant messages about this. As you can no doubt tell since you’re well versed in video games and all that, the picture above is that of a Big Daddy from last year’s critastically well reviewed Bioshock. I have accepted a job at 2K Marin to work on the sequel.
I was going to hold out and post this later but Andrew “I only post Valve-related humor on my website anymore” Burke is coming to town this weekend and I would probably have forgotten about this. Then Amila would be mad and that’d be no good.
It’s pretty neat, I wanted to work on a film and I got to do that at DNA. I wanted to work at a LucasFilm company since 1999 and I was able to do that. One of my favorite art styles is Art Deco so I’ll get to work on a project in which that’s featured. I think after this I will simply have to retire as there’s nothing left in the world that could possibly inspire me.
Oh, and my car is dark gray. Also, I counted the buttons today, there are over four hundred and ninety six thousand on the dashboard alone.
Today is my last day at LucasArts. Some of you know where I’m headed but for now I’m going to keep it all hushed up. Don’t worry though, I’ll post about it in just over a week. Think of it this way, if you still visit my website then you’ll have something to look forward to!
So onward I go. Into the sunset. On a horse…
These are some eyes in film or tv that I have seen and have immediately rewound to garner a better look. I hope you enjoy them too.
Heroes – Season 1 episode 2. Eden’s lids flutter when she blinks during this sequence. I don’t know if it was intentional on the actress or director’s part, but these four shots are the only time this character does this.
Koyaanisqatsi. This old guy is oozing with interesting stories to tell without ever doing anything. It’s a pretty long clip with not a lot going on in the middle, but I can’t get enough of his half blinks at the end.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Elsa is watching Indy discover his way through the sewers under Venice. She just manages to say a lot in this shot with nothing but eye shifts and a little tilt of the head.
Lost – Season 2 Episode 11. Season 2 of Lost wasn’t so good, but this sequence is. In it, Jack has just agreed to try and save a dying man. His father makes it quite clear that this is a poor decision.
So, maybe you could think about this the next time you animate a shot. Then again, maybe not. I’ll try to though.
Edit: This post seemed to be crashing computers so I’ve changed the Quicktime poster frame stuff to just be images linking to a movie file.
A long time ago someone sent word of a short called An Eye for Annai which I really liked. It was charming, simple and had a wonderful style. The other week I was watching it again and I happened to peruse the rest of the Jon Klassen’s site. Given that I’m mucking through some downtime at the moment, it made me all sorts of happy and wanting to create. It was very much similar to when Patrik posted the biteycastle stuff.
If you’re in the mood for cheering up, inspiration or just a study in fun, check out his stuff. Go here. Or here. Or here.
Over the weekend I received a dvd containing the rendered frames from The Virgin Voyage so I was able to make a movie containing the three shots I worked on. If you’ve been too busy to go through the whole short or you just want to see my shots by their lonesome, head on over to the animation page and look in the school section.
The Puhalas were quite kind and extended an invite to Carolyn and me to join them at the Ratatouille Animation Wrap Party last Tuesday. I think it’s becoming a pattern for me that I’m heading off to parties for projects that I had nothing to do with. But I digress… The party took place at Cafe Du Nord which is a pretty nice little subterranean bar in the Castro. I’d been there a few years back for a show that I never went to. So I’d seen the outside of the place, but the inside is a tad more fun.
Amila had sent me information about the party earlier that day and it mentioned a special un-named guest band. Much to my excitement, it was the ever-interesting Dead Hensons. The Dead Hensons are a cover band that play nothing but Muppet tunes and the educational songs from Sesame Street. I’d seen them before back when I was a student and I was discovering the local music scene. I had wanted to go see them for Carolyn’s birthday but it didn’t work out. Anyway, they were rockin’ and many a person at the party agreed.
The party was your typical wrap party fun. There were drinks, a quick little speech from the director, some more drinks, some music and some photos. The Pixar people tend to point a whole lot less than the DNA folk do, but it was still pretty fun. I was able to see my teachers who had just posted our short. I also was able to see a couple of friends from school that I hadn’t seen in a few months. And given that Bert is taking off in a few weeks for Blue Sky, the Puhalas are heading out there later this summer, Alex is heading to PDI soon and YoungJae and Scott will likely head to a pretty awesome place, this was a pretty fitting party to celebrate our successes over the past 10 or so months.
Thanks again Patrik and Amila, Carolyn and I had a great time.
A few days ago, my Pixar 3 teachers posted the completed short that my classmates and I worked on, The Virgin Voyage. The semester was rough trying to find time to work on the short and trying to balance that with my uncanny ability to find time to play video games and hang out with my friends. But I succeeded. I finished my shots on the due date and the short is indeed animated, lit and complete.
The very friends I was hanging out with were pretty curious with how the shots were coming and I would always skirt around the answer. Well, now I can hide no more as the short is viewable here. So, the last three shots are mine. Starting with Tony nervously looking around the bridge to the last shot of him.
The short seems to be getting a pretty good reaction as far as I can tell. I agree with some of the comments that the strongest part is the animation and the weakest is the story, but it was a great and original idea to do “improvimation.” Despite some of the feeling down about the whole thing and the constant worrying that I was bringing the quality of the short down, I had a pretty good time on it.
There were a few really nice things that happened in the last week and one that made me scratch my head. In order…
My good friend Alex Fleisig recently accepted a job at PDI to work on Madagascar 2. Similar to how the entire world must have collectively realized all was well in the world when the first slice of peanut buttered up bread landed gently on a jellied up slice of bread, this is how I feel about hearing this news about Alex. This is one of those incredibly rare perfect fits. Congrats Alex.
Carolyn had a birthday this weekend. We had a stellar time. The rain prevented us from partaking in our original plans but our plan B was equally phenomenal. We caught the Oscar nominated shorts with our friends. I had previously seen these shorts but at this screening they actually showed some of the shorts that were up for nomination but didn’t make it. There were two or three that I hadn’t seen before and I was very happy to get to see them. As for details regarding the rest of Carolyn’s birthday, head on over and read what she has to say about it.
The Danish Poet won the Oscar for Best Animated Short. I have gone on at great length about how much I love this short so I was pretty happy to see it get the recognition it deserves. I swear this is the last I will write about it. Honestly. Ok, maybe not, one last thing. The short is now available for purchase on iTunes for a measly $1.99USD. So, if you have iTunes installed, click this handy link. I’m not sure if that link will work if you’re using a browser besides Firefox, but hopefully it does.
Lastly the thing that made me scratch my head in utter befuddlement. How did Children of Men not win the Oscar for either Film Editing or Cinematography? I’ve been told by numerous people that The Departed is a terrific film. And though I was not particularly fond of Pan’s Labyrinth story, it too is a really great and original film. Both are definitely worthy of the awards they won in other categories. Even in the realm of Film Editing and Cinematography, I’m sure both films are more than worthy to be nominated. But Children of Men was just so incredibly brilliant with its camera work I’m astonished it didn’t win at least one of those awards. Oh well.
Conveniently after posting my favorable review of the Oscar nominated shorts, I received a heads up that they’re all showing at the Lumiere Theater in San Francisco. So, if you’re in the Bay Area and you have yet to see The Danish Poet, here’s your chance.
For more info, head over here…
LucasFilm had a screening of all of the Oscar-nominated shorts tonight. I’d seen three of the five prior to this but I wanted to go and see The Danish Poet again. The first time I saw this film, my friends and I left the theater stunned with how amazing the film is. Fortunately when I left tonight, that feeling remained.
This film is perfect, pure and simple. Similarly to how you’d have to be a cruel bomb-making hermit grumpy crab man to dislike the recently posted stuff from Aardman, you’d have to hate all things that are even shy of this side of good in life to dislike this film. Even Cobra Commander would like The Danish Poet, it’s that good.
The other films were interesting. Pixar’s Lifted garnered some laughs and Blue Sky’s No Time for Nuts did the same. Disney’s Little Match Girl had a wonderful Fantasia 2000 feeling to it except it had a surprisingly dark and honest ending to its sad tale centering on a homeless girl during winter in Russia. After the screening of the films, some of the film makers were there to field questions and my suspicions about Little Match Girl were confirmed. After Fantasia 2000 Roy Disney wanted to continue that style of story telling by creating three short films centered in different cultures, hence the look that was so identifiable. And in regards to the very non-Disney ending to the film, the director behind Little Match Girl had to fight with his higher ups for three years to get the ending that he wanted. I’m glad he ultimately won.
Anyway, this post isn’t about how Disney surprised me, this post is about The Danish Poet. The amazing Danish Poet. Pure unadulterated perfect story-telling. Pure happiness confined in 14 minutes of film. Pure awesomeness. If this film doesn’t win the Oscar, the terrorists have won.
So, go here and click screenings and do anything in your power to see this film.