And Here it is. Having spent the last 3 years working for a company that produces training manuals and computer based training for the mining industry, this reel really doesn’t have any character animation in it. More of a demo reel demonstrating machines and props that I have modeled and animated.
Now to discuss the real issue….. LETTING GO! No, not Disney’s Frozen!
I don’t know how many times I have watched this and I still see something that I want to change. It is a never ending critique and eagerness to put out there the best you can. But if I did that it would never get released. there would always be something to change or add to it. As my beautiful wife told me tonight, as I was complaining about the lack of character animation in it, that my demo reel is fluid and always changing and being updated. I have to view it as a living thing, constantly growing and displaying different personalities and characteristics. Some might be good, others, not as good.
And yet, does it demonstrate that I know what I’m doing, that I can use the software to communicate ideas? Some of these animations have pretty complex models and rigs, and you are only seeing a snippet of the actual animated scenes and movies. Some of the training material that I animated were 20 – 35 minute pieces that I had to take from start to finish.
I always wonder after I finish a new reel, not if it is good, but if it is good enough? Let’s be honest here, a reel is to help you get work or a job. It’s a visual resume. Over the next few days I will constantly be haunted by the question “is my reel good enough to get me a job or freelance work?” It’s a question, I’m sure, all creative types have to deal with. Is it good enough? I might think it is when I get a call for a job or job interview, until then I won’t know.
And here we come to, probably, the most important part, I had a freaking blast making this little minute long beast!! I felt the passion, the drive, the love for a medium that has always dominated my life. I have been trying to get my web series “STARFISH” off the ground for a while now. Doing this reel has renewed my lust to see, what I have called, Sponge Bob meets Star Trek in an episodic series. If all goes well, I just might have a few episodes coming out in the near future.
And the greatest joy of this whole experience, was when my 4 year old son, Bane, wanted to sit next to me at the light table so he could “work on his animation with Daddy”. Maybe, it is just that. That moment when a little boy wants to work with his Daddy and do the thing that his Daddy loves doing. Maybe that is the answer. Is it good enough to get me a job or work? I don’t know. However, to that little boy, to have that moment to sit next to his father and share his love and passion, it is good enough.
Check out this story about illegal wage fixing in the animation industry. Even the bright colors of cartoons have a dark side!
Check out this Article from Ramin Zahed on the animationmagazine.net. Obama is visiting Dreamworks tomorrow, this provided a great opportunity for the VFX Solidarity movement to voice their concerns about the difficulties occuring in the VFX industry. If you are in the Glendale / Burbank Area please go out and support these hard working artists! Go Green! Green Screen that is!
Link to the actual article:
“Hoping to raise awareness about the plight of U.S.-based visual effects artist, activists are planning a protest during President Obama’s visit to the DreamWorks’ campus in Glendale this Tuesday (Nov. 26). The Hollywood Reporter says about 500 green T-shirts have been purchased by organizers in the hopes that artists will wear them to express their support for this cause.
“Our intent is to get the message to President Obama that our jobs have left the country, and VFX shops have gone bankrupt, due to tax incentives. There is hardly any VFX work left in Los Angeles,” digital artist Dave Rand told the trade magazine. Rand was also involved at the rally held during the Oscars last February.
A recent post on the VFX Soldier blog, invited the vfx community to send the message to the president but also said it’s doubtful that a demonstration could take place outside of DWA due to security. A rally on Flower Street may also be in the works. plans being discussed to stage a rally on Flower Street nearby.
The post on VFX Soldier post reads, “Things have got so bad that there is a petition going around urging for a countervailing duty (CVD) to offset locations that offer subsidies. If I were in that audience I’d simply say this: ‘Mr. President, while this should be a growing industry, many of my colleagues in VFX are losing their jobs and being forced to move out of the country to places that offer huge subsidies. Would you support our effort to place a duty to offset these distorting subsidies? You have the sole authority to solve this problem right now and you can do it without Congress.’”
“Now I doubt anyone would get a chance to ask the question but my point about our CVD effort is this: We don’t need the President or Congress to do this. All we need is two things: Prove that we’ve been injured by these subsidies, and demonstrate that the majority of the domestic industry supports this effort. We are working hard to move forward and always appreciate the support. Wearing a green shirt is all you need to do to get the media to ask what this is all about.”
You can learn more about the protest plans here: vfxsoldier.wordpress.com.”
Dreamworks has been working on updating a classic cartoon that I use to watch as a little tike. It doesn’t have the Mr. Peabody’s voice or Sherman’s curious attitude, and it looks like they have introduced a girl character to give it appeal to a wider audience. However, with the voice talents of Ty Burrell, Patrick Warburton, Mel Brooks, and Stanely Tucci, it might just have some serious funny moments. However, Ariel Winter who plays Penny, did not impress me at all as Robin in the The Dark knight Returns, but we will have to see how her performance works here. Directed by Rob Minkoff, who has the Lion King and Stuart little under his belt adds some serious clout to this production. And it’s pretty darn cute!