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.
Growing up one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons was Filmations Flash Gordon. Filmation had several series in the 70’s / 80’s that were excellent and made an impression on many children growing up during that time. We all know about He Man and the Masters of the Universe, but before He Man was popular there was a series that I believe was one of the best TV cartoons ever made. Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle. Unfortunately, we may never see this on dvd because currently Disney holds the rights to Tarzan. Along with Tarzan was Star Trek, Space Sentinels, Freedom Force, Blackstar, the live action series Space Academy, Jason of Star Command, Ark II, Shazam, and every male teens dream goddess, Isis. Then There was Flash Gordon. I got a chance to have a lengthy conversation with Lou Scheimer several years ago and he told me that Flash was the series he was most proud of because he loved the Flash Gordon Serials as a child. It was his dream to do a Flash Gordon series and he was very excited to get a chance to do it. Meeting Lou was one of the high lights of my life because he had such an influence my childhood. There’s a new book out called Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation. I think the title speaks for itself. You can check it out here.
Also for your viewing enjoyment here is the Feature Film Pilot of Filmations Flash Gordon. Shown only once on NBC as a movie of the week. Thankfully someone has posted the entire movie on youtube. Sit back and travel back to 1982. Saturday Mornings will never be like this again, but that’s for another post.