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.
I’ve created a graphic resume, something a little bit different than the average run of the mill text on paper resume. I am trying to go for a retro 60’s -70’s feel, not sure that I succeeded but hey it’s the beta version. Just thought I would share since it’s been a while since I posted my own work up here.
I saw this today and was giddy with joy that some one actually did it in a fun Cartoon Network sort of style. Well played sir! Well played.
Added My new demo reel to the portfolio page.
I had Adobe Flash open at work today and couldn’t resist the urge to do something a little creative and organic, not so mechanical. So, I grabbed the mouse and whipped out this little Fish character. I thought I would post it since I haven’t posted one of my chibi characters in a while. Enjoy!
Ok, I know I’m a little behind on this one. But today I watched the entire first season of Black Dynamite the animated series. I was in hysterics for the majority of the day and my use of language regressed into the potty mouth of a 17 year old gangsta from the ghettos, worse than any drunken sailor I have ever meet. Not that I’ve meet many. It was all because of this outrageous, over the top, insane animated series called Black Dynamite. I highly recommend this to fans of adult animation. And I do mean ADULT!! NOT FOR YOUNGIN’s!! DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD SEE THIS!! Sex, Drugs, Violence light up the screen like I have never seen in a cartoon before. It will blow your mind! It will offend even the un-offendable! It will make fun of pop culture to the point that you will be screaming “No Michael! No!!!” at the screen. OK, I’m not sure if it will do any of those things, but it doesn’t pull punches and totally makes fun of racial stereotypes. I think that is part of it’s strengths, In a world where we have political correctness shoved down our throats, it’s actually refreshing to sit back and let someone play the race card and stereotypes, and play it so over the top that we see the ridiculousness of it. Beating up Muppets! Michael Jackson’s seduction of Cream Corn! Porn stars being murdered! Honkey Kong’s Island of white….um… everything! (The spider pit scene is Fantastic!)The KKK! The Black Pumas! (Panther is copy written), Elvis!! Richard Nixon!!! MR. T!!!!! These are only a sampling of what you get. Watch out, the pace is fast and furious and the one liners are even faster. Produced magnificently by Titmouse Animation Studios. The animation is rich and amazing. I have so much respect for Titmouse for doing this. You guys Rock! (I seriously want to work for you guys now!) I would highly recommend this to adult lovers of animation and comedy. Fun. Exciting. Over the Top! I can’t wait for season 2.
Black Dynamite is now on Amazon Video on Demand.
Here’s a link
animationmagazine.net ran an article today about an animated series in China that is being pulled from the air because it is too violent. Apparently, a 10 year old child lit his brothers on fire after watching the show. This sounds a lot like Beavis and Butthead back in the the early 90’s when a kid burned down his trailer after watching the cartoon on MTV. No more “Fire, Fire! He He!”.
Here’s the Article : http://www.animationmagazine.net/tv/chinas-pleasant-goat-big-trouble/
This brings up the topic of animators having a responsibility to the audience and/or society to present appropriate material that will educate audiences. -Jump on Soapbox- WHAT?!! Are you telling me that society should regulate and dictate what I do as a piece of art?! Isn’t art a product of self expression? Personally, I don’t believe that any artist should have to have their art regulated or that it has to educate and improve society. I believe animation, like any other art form should be a form of self expression. Whether it be Veggie Tales preaching morals and God, or South Park making fun of Morals and God, animation should be a medium to get your ideas and message out to an audience. A medium for you to express yourself just as any other artists might. I don’t see Rap music being banned or regulated because it promotes violence. Why should animation be any different (and we already have a rating system for movies, TV, and games)? Oh Yeah, it’s because it’s a CARTOON! And as we all know cartoons are ONLY for the impressionable little cherubs in our lives. And because it is a CARTOON, it’s not really art, it’s just for kids. (On a side note, I actually had a fellow employee a week ago describe me animating as “Playing”. Really?!) -Step down from Soapbox-
Ok Time for you to Chime in. Do we, as animators, have a responsibility to the audience and/or society? I really would like to know your opinion. Honestly I can see arguments on both sides, so let’s hear what you have to say.
I had a great weekend with my little boy, going to Tombstone, His Grandparents, His Auntie Kim’s to celebrate my Nephew’s birthday, watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Veggie Tales and chasing him around laughing hysterically until he puked. I mean really Puked! With all this fun, I really didn’t have anytime to work on my puppet, so I’m feeling very guilty and a little blue. With that said, One of my favorite animated films in recent history is Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues. The style is fun and the story telling is so funny, different and interesting, I really think this movie deserves so much more. However, the story behind the film is just as interesting, and a learning lesson for all animators. Here’s some Wikipedia snippets:
Sita Sings the Blues is a 2008 animated film written, directed, produced and animated entirely by American artist Nina Paley (with the exception of some fight animation by Jake Friedman in the “Battle of Lanka” scene), primarily using 2D computer graphics and Flash Animation.
It intersperses events from the Ramayana, light-hearted but knowledgeable discussion of historical background by a trio of Indian shadow puppets, musical interludes voiced with tracks by Annette Hanshaw and scenes from the artist’s own life. The ancient mythological and modern biographical plot are parallel tales, sharing numerous themes.
And the troubles the movie had to go through …
The film uses a number of 1920s Annette Hanshaw recordings. Although the filmmaker initially made sure these recordings were not covered by US copyright law, a number of other copyright issues surfaced, including state laws prior to US federal copyright law on recordings, rights to the compositions and the right to synchronize the recordings with images. These recordings were protected by state commerce and business laws passed at the time in the absence of applicable federal laws and were never truly “public domain”. In addition, the musical composition itself, including aspects such as the lyrics to the songs, the musical notation, and products derived from using those things, is still under copyright.
Without a distributor, Nina Paley was unable to pay the approximately $220,000 that the copyright holders originally demanded. Eventually, a fee of $50,000 was negotiated. Paley took out a loan to license the music in early 2009.
In July 2011, Nina Paley made a protest video regarding the film’s deletion from YouTube in Germany due to what she regards as fraudulent take-down notice under the aegis of GEMA, Germany’s major performance rights or music collection organization, but which may be an instance of a larger on-going conflict regarding copyright and royalties between YouTube and GEMA.
On January 18, 2013, Paley announced that she has changed the Creative Commons license for the film from “CC-BY-SA” (the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-alike 3.0 Unported license) to “CC-0” (public domain); she made the ownership rights change in response to the continual red tape of rights procurement, even under the share-alike license.
And a quote from the late Roger Ebert
Film critic Roger Ebert on the Chicago Sun-Times enthused, “I am enchanted. I am swept away. I am smiling from one end of the film to the other. It is astonishingly original. It brings together four entirely separate elements and combines them into a great whimsical chord… To get any film made is a miracle. To conceive of a film like this is a greater miracle.”
Here you go, sit back and enjoy the miracle of Sita Sings The Blues.
I had the privilege of participating in Marc Spess’s live stream cast on Wednesday 09/18/13. We had a round table discussion about stop motion animation as a viable alternative to CGI! It was a lot of fun and I got to talk to the amazing puppet fabricator and animator Ron Cole! Check it out here!
If you are a student or even a freelance artists you need to see this and heed his words. I’ve even seen professionals low ball themselves. Really?!! Don’t let others bully you around . You as an artist are worth much more than that. Be proud and stand up for your talent.