Thursday, December 5, 2013
Everyone keeps asking me “When will you be done with Fish Head?”.
Sometimes I think the time I’m spending on this film is a direct rebellious response to the fast, go, go, go of commercial and television work.
I deliberately don’t take money from outside producers or kickstarters so I don’t have that deadline looming over me. It’s more about the journey than the destination. It’s not my “Thief and the Cobbler” ( I can’t come near that level of animation quality) but I’m loving it, and I will probably be sad when it’s finished.
It’s hard to describe the internal feeling when something you are working on resonates with you in such a way.
But there are bills to pay. Roadside pit stops along the journey to keep the machine fueled.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I love characters. I love creating them, designing them and making them come alive. I’ve been very fortunate to do it for a living almost my whole life. In many facets, from animation, to books, to marketing, and now in licensing.
To me, a good character resonates with you. There is a piece of you that connects with it’s design, it’s personality. They are relatable because of the imperfections. Quirky with an edge. “Weird” , but as my daughters say ” a GOOD weird.
They are all versions of us. And a well crafted character will be placed in an environment, in a conflict and react in his or her own way. Sometimes we just sit back and watch. They surprise us. We cry for them and laugh at them.
It’s life. A drawing that is filled with life like a balloon with air.
I like to see the places they go.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
A lot to be thankful for.
Monday, November 11, 2013
My daughter makes a lot of cupcakes these days. She has lots of books with many kinds of cupcakes. Pinto bean cupcakes. Brussell sprout cupcakes.
My daughter doesn’t make those, although they are intriguing.
My son Louis is growing like a…. well… baby whose only job is to laugh, poop and eat. I love it.
Work on Fish Head still going strong. Trying lots of new things. Experimenting with mind altering character arcs. Strange mouths. I love these salty Irish guys. I visit them each day. I’d love to go share a pint with them. They smell a little.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Character traits are the human condition. They don’t have to be human in form. I love making characters out of anything. Animals, trees, inanimate objects. They can all carry the traits that we relate to. That hold a mirror up to us. That is the key. It’s often easier to see ourselves in the flight of fancy than in reality. That’s why certain stories move us so.
Definitely pushing myself to pump in some wells I didn’t know existed. It’s funny how they appear. A father of a 7 month old is a challenge at my age. Add that to an already thriving business, things get a little crazy.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
“If you’ve ever completed a task for the sole purpose of making yourself look better without any improvement being produced for others, ( customers, colleagues, etc) then you’ve been a participant in the game of mediocrity.” – Chris Guillebeau
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Crazy last couple of days. My daughter brought home an intense cold that we all caught. I started my big sale yesterday and last night I sat down at 7pm to start my “reddit’ Ask me anything”. I don’t know if it was my head cold, or my cold medicine, but I instantly became extremely confused as to how start the AMA. Much sweating in my yurt later, I ended of with two running Q & A’s, on the the AMA subreddit, and one on the Television Subreddit ( still learning this language). Even with my daughter coming out and bugging me whether she could have a cookie , and my profuse dizziness , I was able to shuttle back and forth between the two reddit conversations and try to keep up with the questions. I stopped about 8:30 since it took me so long to get me up and running, and then collapsed.
In the morning, I woke up to a flood of new sales from my store, and then a note from my web host that the flood of traffic to my site crashed their servers and they were shutting me down. I’m not sure how Reddit works, but it seems like more people read it in the morning than and night, and made a beeline to my sale. After 3 hours ( where I again was back in bed) it was finally back up.
Still in grogginess, but all seems to be going okay.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
In the Luxury of Slow
Going back and forth from the commercial world of feature or TV animation, to the slow handcrafted world of independent animation is like going from fast food to a gourmet meal created with hand picked vegetables and spices picked from the garden. It’s like whizzing by on the interstate freeway trying to get somewhere fast, as opposed to taking the back roads and seeing the countryside. The trees, fields and family farms.
At some points I have to remind myself that this is not due on tuesday and I can think this decision through a little more if I’m not entirely happy with it. To sit with some good music and craft every nuance rather than having a parade of people coming through my office, and corporate memos with the latest ratings. Although there is a lot to be said of the rough canvas of television, and the exhilaration of shooting from the hip. I’m proud of what I’ve done with tight deadlines. And I love the crews that I have worked with.
It’s a good contrast, and one helps the other in the long run. I feel I’m better at independents from what I learned in the more high volume commercial world, and better at the commercial world with my knowledge of a hand crafted approach.
But working on an independent film leaves me refreshed at the end of the day. Volume wears me out and I’m sure takes years off of my life. But pays more. But I still like a lot of what the commercial challenges have to offer.
Such are choices. Both have good and bad.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
“Well,” they say, ” at least here in California it’s a dry heat”
Yes, thats true. The kind that turns your skin to beef jerky. At least in other parts of the country it still rains during the summer. Some moisture is introduced. That’s what we get for living in a desert. My cactus garden loves it.
I sit in my studio with my air conditioner pointed straight at my face. It makes my eyebrows dance.
Had a guy today at Kinko’s ask me if I was that Rocko’s Modern Life guy. I think to myself “If I say yes, will it get me my copies quicker? “yes” I say. “Cool”, He says. He proceeds to tell me that he was 4 when it came out. Nice.
My new baby son is the King. We are all his humble servants. We know he’s developing by the distance he can pee from his changing table. He keeps breaking his old records.
Yeah, it’s hot. But it’s a dry heat.
That’s why my son is constantly adding moisture.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I’ve been having to get up before the sun to get my work in on my film Fish Head. My head swims with first coffee and Irish drooling. I’ll complete some animation and say “shit. This is derivative. I’ve seen it all before. What is a new way of approaching this mouth, this expression. Blister saying this line? I scrape, grope, delete, start again. Find something I’m semi-happy with. It’s an expedition. I may find treasures. I may get eaten by cannibals.
When animating a scene with dialog, I always animate the body language first. Lead the head with the punch of the dialog. Then I’ll add the face features with the mouth movement. Then finally the arms and hands. It’s too much for me to approach it all at once. I need to break it down.