Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I've given this much thought and as for where I am in my film (simultaneously where I am in my understanding of animation) I am officially shelving Buzz'd for the time being. I realized in listening to Carlos talk about animation and filmmaking that I really have a long way to go. Given that there are still some basic principles of animation in general that I have yet to address, I cannot justify throwing together a half-baked idea just for the sake of my grad-show. I feel the work that I have put into the project, as primitive as it may look, deserves the time to finish it properly.

This is not to say that I am giving up on the film. In fact, I've just recently been re-working the main character to have a more readable face and have made significant changes to the overall story for the sake of clarity. But I just don't feel that I have the story or the animation where I want them to be in order to call it done. I am for-going finishing this project for the sake of doing more animation tests as well as finishing up some dialogue pieces that I started a long time ago. These will be focused learning exercises and should prove to be better pieces for a final demo reel than a work-in-progress student film. Quite frankly, after my experience here at school, I don't want to call this a "student film." Not from this school anyway.
I appreciate all of the help and input I've gotten from various people over the past few months. Everyone has been encouraging and supportive. This has been a definite learning experience and I don't at all want to discount that. I've learned about rigging, file management and more than I ever cared to about shaders;) I finally feel like I have the ability to make a second run at this thing in the future and have something that will be more successful than if I were to push the current underdeveloped project out of the nest.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Carlos Baena in Denver!

Animator in Action

Well this was a really great weekend. Where do I start? First off, I just want to say "thank you" to everyone who made this weekend possible: VA at RMCAD, Colorado ASIFA, and of course Carlos and the folks over at AM. It was a really great time for everyone involved. The talks were really great. I''ll probably post some of the notes I took in the next few weeks, but I'm still processing a lot of the info.

Carlos and Shabaaz

Todd, Aaron, Sara, Me and Carlos

Friday, Carlos talked to the school covering everything from anticipation to camera choices when making a short film. It was an intense crash course on everything animation in about 3 hours. Incidentally, he was only scheduled to talk for two hours, but the stuff kept coming. I know it was really helpful to a lot of folks, myself included. That same evening, he talked at the ASIFA meeting. More pros and students from both AIC and UCD at this one. I also got to meet four AM students that I didn't even know were in the area. So here's to Shabaaz, Aaron, Sara and Todd. Really great boarding with you guys as well. So that was Saturday and after that, Carlos and I met with Sam Fleming and Evert Brown for dinner in Boulder. Didn't get to see the Mork and Mindy house, maybe next time to send pictures to Jason. I even grabbed a Boulder map for you, man, but I forgot to send it with.

Sunday was probably the best day for me. We got to the airport about an hour and a half early and settled ourselves at a little place in the food court at DIA. Carlos went thru my reel and wow... Just the insight that he brought was awesome. What an eye. A little unnerving at times, too. It was sort of like when you're at the dentist and he asks you, "Have you been flossing?" You know that you can't lie because he's staring at the evidence right there. But you pull yourself together anyway and say, "Uh hunh" as drool runs down onto your neck. Anyway, Sam told him to be rough on me and he certainly pulled no punches. It was one of the most helpful crits I've gotten. Almost made the poor guy late for his plane, though. Sorry man.

So that was it. That was the nutshell version of this past weekend. Stay tuned because, like I said, it was a crazy weekend and I really haven't had time to process all the details yet. Quite amazing and really helpful to get me focused back on animation and less on having "a finished film for graduation." Films are great and I still want to finish it because I am liking where the story is going, but I really should be concentrating on acting tests and locomotion. Plus there are some things about the character design that could use some work. When Carlos pointed out that the nose sometimes looked like a bottom lip, it got me thinking about rebuilding... AGAIN! Needless to say, I've got some flossing to do. And not in the gangsta' rap kinda way.