Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"It's been a long time...."

This is one of the things I've been working on the last couple of weeks. It's the teaser trailer for Portal2 that we debuted at Sony's stage today at E3. It was an absolute blast to work on...not just because the game kicks serious ass but because the crew I got to work with are amazing. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Meet Meline...

Just saw this today. Fun little short that was apparently made on the super cheap. Looks great. I haven't watched the "making of" video yet.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Animated Undead

This is a fun trailer for an animated zombie flick called A.D.

A friend wasn't a fan of the style but I dig the idea of doing a no holds barred zombie flick in a super stylized way. I'm still waiting for an animated frankenstein flick based on the artwork of Bernie Wrightson...gawd, that would be awesome!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

"Life As..." #1: Why the Hell are YOU an Animator!?!?!?

I think about this one quite a bit. Not necessarily for myself. I'm very aware of all, well, most of the reasons why I got into and still love being an animator. I've always been curious why other people get into it.

When I was growing up movies, especially animated movies, were not "made." They were magic things that just showed up at the drive in (yeah, drive in.) I knew there were people involved somehow...the actors of course and the whole list of people in the credits had all kinds of bits and pieces to do with the movies creation. But, when I was 10, the idea of how these people actually made this wonderful story that I was watching that was sooo much bigger than life (especially my life in a small, southern town) was just as much a mystery as fission and girls. Add to that how something as wonderful as "The Secret of N.I.H.M." or "The Rescuers Down Under" or any of the "Warner Bros Shorts" was "made" and you just completely blew my mind.

It wasn't until I saw Jurassic Park (I wonder how many people tie that movie to their start in animation) that I knew I had to try. Not because of what I saw, as incredible as it was, but because of who did it. When I heard that Phil Tippet was key to making those beautiful dinosaurs come to life I was hooked. See, I enjoyed the classic Disney flicks but I loved, LOVED the stop motion films. King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts and the Sinbad series were the end all, be all. In the years leading up to Jurassic Park stop motion was being used less and less in film and there really were no large scale stories being told with it. The idea that one of my animation heroes was able to make the transition to this new (at the time) medium and help create this fantastic world...well, I knew I'd regret not at least trying to have my dream career. I haven't regretted it since.

Now, back to the original question. Why are YOU an animator? This is a somewhat rhetorical question of course. I don't expect anyone to post on here why they did (but I would love it if you do....feel free!) I ask because I'm curious as to how many people currently trying to get into the industry really know why. I actually had someone tell me because "it seems to be a growth industry."

You don't become an animator so you can be rich or famous. You don't do it because you want stability in your life. You don't do it because you want to work "bankers" hours and like your weekends to yourself. Animators are an odd crew by nature and we do this for any number of reasons. We want to make someone believe in a performance or we want to make dinosaurs walk or we want to have the "cool job" at the dinner party. Whatever it is, know your "reason." Know why you want to do this because when you have a director tell you your shots, that you spent countless hours of your life and brain cells over, are getting scrapped or you're working weekends for 7 months straight during crunch or your picking up and moving your family to start at a new studio, well, that "reason" is one of the only things you're gonna have to help push you through those times. Make sure it's a good one.

So, what's your reason? Why the hell are YOU an animator?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life as a Video Game Animator*

I had the good fortune to celebrate my third year at Valve back in August of 09. And, to be honest, I think it took me almost all three of those years to really find "myself" in both games and at Valve. All of my time as an animator up until that point had been with DNA doing film and tv work. The last few weeks (and few months to be honest) I've gotten to a point where I finally feel like I've found what works for me and in turn what that means for my work at Valve. I thought I'd share some of that (not that anyone really asked for it, but I thought I'd share anyway.) This "sharing" will start back at DNA, since that's where this crazy, wonderful, journey I've been on started, and will go all the way through....well, who knows. I can't guarantee I'll be the most timely with my posts but I will get them out as often as I can. My first post in this is going to be "Why the hell did you become and animator anyway?"...I thought it an appropriate if not clich├ęd way to start.

*You'll notice the little (*) at the end of the title. That's because all studios are different and my life as a game animator at Valve may be completely different than an animator at Infinity Ward or Naughty Dog or Blizzard. As a matter of fact I can almost guarantee we all lead very different and unique work lives.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Edge of Darkness

"You'd better decide. Are you the one hangin' on the cross or bangin' in the nails."

Mel Gibson has a new flick coming out 1/29/10. Looks like a good revenge flick. I've always had a weird soft spot for those since I would sneak and watch Charles Bronson in "Death Wish" when I was a kid. Here's hoping that Mel can deliver.