“aw, come on…”

The title of this post is the most common phrase around the new workplace. We make a lot of terrible jokes at each others’ expense and sometimes someone crosses the line, followed by someone else pouting, and that catchphrase above. Happens all the time! So, to anyone reading the posts below and assuming I’m out to get anyone: “aw, come on…” All in good fun.

To whit: Three of us are taking some kickboxing classes. Here’s some nice thoughts about me. Haven’t gotten permission to post what I or others have been drawing of each other yet, so let’s keep it narcissistic, shall we? Why not, this whole stupid blog has my name all over it…oh, and the crappiest drawings are mine. Because who has time for this crap?!

Oh, this is us deciding that IF I were to dress as Lady Gaga in a meat dress for Hallowe’en, I’d be too cheap to buy real meat:

We also did a whack of horribly cruel (sometimes just plain horrible) memes of each other. Here’s a few of my personal faves (all about me, of course, as we don’t want to out the dainty flowers I work with – they shall remain anonymous):

dang…how do I end this post anyway?…TAH-DAAAAAAAAHHH!?

6 months 2 life…

Well things have been chugging along like crazy…the family moved down here to upstate NY north of the yet unnamed feature animation studio in CT, saving me from certain self-destruction. I even graduated from the East Village Training Program!

Here’s the certificate to prove it. (if you don’t know who Duck and Zebra are, read the post below)

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I’ll get a pic of the outside of our building eventually, but for now I’ll show you the glorious interior of my very own office, much more ‘metal mancave’ than the one in Collingwood, ON, Canada that I used to have. (You can visit those pics in the sidebar of this blog.) This new office certainly ain’t much, but it’s home.

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A friend from Toronto sent me this wonderful diorama to set the tone (empty scotch bottles are my own touch)

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Here’s some pics done by one of the board artists mentioned in the post below. Stuff she drew which she thought I might like, how thoughtful!

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And lately I’ve even been lucky enough to get surprise additions to the wall, like this charicature of yours truly! All in all, not too bad of a place to be. They even let us rewrite the third act of this movie! See if that sticks thru to 2013…!

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I’ll have some illustration work up in a few, I’ve been cordially invited to another Q-Pop sponsored show in November! So keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, check out the talent that some of my co-workers have! Here’s two of the story crew showing their skillz…

 

Later!

a new gig, a bad joke, and lots o’ cussing

Since I’ve posted last, wound up relocating to a big fat animation studio in Greenwich CT as a Story Artist Graphic Designer. Apparently thanks to NAFTA that’s my designation. Thanks Mulroney! Without you I could never have left my friends and family behind.

Mind you, one of the two groups mentioned above will be following me, most likely for the next 19 years or so, no matter where I try to run.

I’ve been at this studio for…2 months, 1 week. (that’s 2 years and 1 month if you count the overtime.) I’m actually staying somewhere in the East Village in Manhattan where I can get into all kinds of trouble until said party mentioned above will capture me from the concrete jungle and relocate me to somewhere safer for my own sake.

Not that I need any help with co-workers like these. I’m just gonna assume nobody reads this crap blog anyway. To whit:

– DAY 3: one dude comes into my office and asks me if I ever heard of a website called LivingSocial. I hadn’t. It’s a site that has a ton of coupons for shit in NYC, and there was a coupon for a bath house, would I like to go with him and one of the guys? We could check out each other’s junk and shit. I asked him to clarify, and I couldn’t tell if he was joking. I don’t know this guy at all. Laughing, I told him to get out. NOT MY SCENE i shouted after him. BUY ME A DRINK FIRST AT LEAST. Turns out it’s a co-ed, partially clothed bath house – but i heard that second-hand. Four days later. Apparently the guy felt bad about it.

– DAY 4: there is a chinup bar in the doorway of the same guy’s office, in a high traffic part of the dept. All these same dudes crowded around, cheering each other on while they do chinups and spot each other. Everyone else (the PAs, etc) ignore them while they high five Top Gun style – and they look like they’re being serious. For real. I make some crack about a Cock & Gun Show which gets a laugh, but a self conscious one. I leave, feeling like a jerk..

– DAY 6: this new story artist lives down the hall from me in the temp apartments that the unnamed studio set us up in. So I drive her to/from work. Working late, we hang out and she wants to order Chinese food. So we do. Turns out she’s got a wicked shellfish allergy and has a reaction on my couch. No esophagus closing or nothing, just going into shock, major intestinal pain, etc. Pulse is kinda crazy. I insist on the emerg room and she refuses. Instead she stays on my couch for two days. I didn’t mind, I wasn’t about to kick her out to be alone in that state. She doesn’t know anyone else in this town anyway, she’s from LA. She recovers – kind of – I have to use up a sick day cause she’s so effed she can’t stand very well.

– DAY 8: On her first day back after almost dying on my couch, one older gent wanders up to this new story artist’s office door and scratches his back on her doorframe while looking at her. Scratching like a bear. Then he leaves without saying a word. Then, another guy comes in and tells her that it smells better in here when she’s around, and leaves. Now she’s thinking she smells. Another dude comes in, flapping his arms like a chicken. Says he just finished playing ping pong and is all sweaty. Gotta smell more like man in here, he says. Then HE leaves. No one says ‘welcome back’ except the director, the producer and the PA and a few others..

– DAY 12: One of the older gents (the bear scratcher) discovers a life-sized mascot costume sitting in the corner of the room that we pitch boards in. Before the meeting starts, there’s just a few of us in the room, and he picks up the head – it’s a yeti costume, so it’s conical, 4 feet long, has a face and is shit brown – and he absent mindedly rubs it up and down, then proceeds to dry hump its base. WITHOUT LOOKING AT US TO SAY ‘HEY GUYS! CHECK IT OUT! HAHAHA’ . So i say ‘FUCKIN HELL ***, YOU MISS THE WIFE OR WHAT?’ then ol’ *** wanders out into the hallway with this thing on his crotch, pumping at it. and bellows WHERE”S MAH WIFE?! just as this new story artist walks around the corner, only to see an old guy with a giant, furry brown penis – one with a face – pointed right at her while he yells in her direction. She splits ASAP. No one cheers *** on. He’s on his own. Everyone waits for the HR to show up. They don’t.

– DAY 15 or so: A biologist is called into the studio to consult on a new film idea. He’s made a huge name for himself in his field. In the course of the roundtable discussion (creative heads from LA, the owner of the studio, some of us board artists there) , I mention like a keener that I thought that one part of his dissertation on African fish was pretty funny. (Let me clarify and enphasize that unsaid film idea has absolutely NOTHING to do with African fish. You’ll see. In 2060. Or whenever. These things take forever.) The professor said he thought it must have been in some other paper. He didn’t remember that. I said it was right here, see? He flipped through it, told me to find it because he didn’t think it was in there. I underlined it and handed it back to him, trying to apologize profusely while my boss gave me a dirty look and the scientist turns red. And he’s a brown dude. His handler promptly steered me out of the conversation.

– WEEK 4 – we decide to have a send-off for one of the crew in the Village in Manhattan. One guy comes over to my place with a bag of animal masks. Three of us don them and head out to the bar. Comments abound, but mostly not – it’s NY, after all. Once there, we proceed to get hammered, making friends with a table of South Americans and some semi-pro photogs who are snapping us from outside. More of the story crew shows up, and soon we all have masks on, about 12 of us. Pretty soon it’s free shots from the bartender and old ladies tripping on acid are high fiving us. Some crazy dude tried to kiss me. He wasn’t crazy because he tried to kiss me – I’m a handsome fella. He just spent most of the conversation telling me he was an American Navy SEAL and speaking Creole. Off to the next bar, and it’s a yard sale – coats, credit cards, ID, masks – all left behind at the bar or all over the street.  Drinks were shattered on the dancefloor. Woke up and thought I was back in Canada, but alas, I was in my East Village flat. I wept. True story.

Anyways, so far so good!

monologue

Me: “Hey, I saw that show on the plane last week! That was fun to work on. Whatever happened to that one?”

Myself: “Well, the production company gathered together a highly skilled and really funny crew and then their client, the world’s largest children’s network, asked that crew to fix up the scripts and customize some funny poses before sending it overseas, just like their other show that makes billions of dollars. Everyone was happy with the work, then the production company execs had to spend some grant money, altered production methods which affected the final product midstream without telling their client, the client found out and fired the production company after completing the first and only season. Once this had all come to light 3/4 into the run, you had left to freelance for Sony with the blessings of the directors on this fiasco. Thanks to their perseverance, the show’s been successfully re-running everywhere ever since. Sometimes I hear the production company wishes they still had that show, as it’s become a posthumous syndication cash cow.”

Me: “Oh. Yeah. Right. Well at least the kids liked it…”

J&D R&D

I originally posted this back in 2005, after getting a lot of questions like ‘What it is that you DO all day, anyway? Goof off or what!?’

The people asking were/are mainly civilians who had no idea how animation is produced. I lost this article after my site got hacked, but thanks to the Wayback machine, I’ve recovered it. I’ve been getting the same question a lot lately, and since this writing also got me noticed by the editor at Apatoons, I thought it was worth a re-post. I should also mention that this storyboard gig was done in 2003, in ye old-fashioned pencil on paper. Remember those days?!

I’ll have more interesting news in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, enjoy!

——

(Look out, it’s a long one!)

© Nelvana/WETA Workshop

So I guess I’ll start up a post about something I’ve worked on and things I used for a job that you might find useful. I’m just going to try to bring up the stuff and why I needed it – because there are folks reading this blog who don’t know much about animation production and were asking questions (hi Mum! and those Collingwood bloggers!)…and this show was kind of unusual in it’s execution, so why not write about this one?

If you’re working in animation, just zip through to the pics & links highlighted, the rest are things you’ve probably heard a bajillion times already. As an aside, this post risks sounding like “Me, me, and more about me,” but that’s just because I did this gig from a home studio. Nobody else was around! Drop by on my next job, then I can talk about you for a whole post – your cute little sweater, what colour you dyed your hair, how we had a pop-tart eating contest…(cont’d after the jump)

Continue reading

another past project

I think it was two years ago now that I got a chance to help storyboard some sequences for this sweet little number. I don’t know about you, but I kinda like talking animal movies…they’re fun to draw…I tend to watch a lot of the old Looney Tunes and Disney short films whenever I get the chance to work on one. You know what’s funny? In fourteen years of storyboarding, I’ve worked on FOUR talking animal pictures. And two of those were half-hour specials, not a movie or series. No wonder I like doing them when I get a chance – I hardly ever do.

I just found out that I’ll be getting a credit for this one, which is nice. (FYI – Sometimes when you freelance on a movie, you get bupkiss for credit)

Who cares, it was fun and the cheques didn’t bounce! Credit schmedit.

The Blue Sky team was fantastic to work with over the phone, I even got to meet some of them! Nice dudes. Very pro.

As always, I got this chance under the auspices of House of Cool in Toronto, many thanks to Ricardo Curtis & Wes Lui for choosing me out of a crowd of hopefuls for this short window of quality work. If you’re in the GTA and are looking for a challenge, House of Cool is the place for you.

Here’s the first two minutes of this project, just click on that wee ‘x’ to ditch the ad once it starts playing. Looks like a fun movie, eh?

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That was quick! Only six months ago I was a storyboard artist on this fun project.

Kelly Asbury (dir), Baker Bloodworth (prod), Stewart Kojima, Amanda McNiece, Sam Banack (co-ordinators), David Stoten, Johnny Rice, Patrick Collins, Dean Roberts, Nelson Yokota, Gary Dunn, Ricardo Curtis, Scott Santoro, Lyndon Ruddy, Charlie Bonifacio (story crew), Catherine Apple, Maurissa Horwitz (editing queens), Pam Coats (studio rep), and everyone else at Starz Animation (there’s hundreds of lovely people there) were GREAT to work with over the 9 months or so they let me jam with them. It was a fantastic experience overall, in spite of the crunches, etc. that are just part of the job.

Hope it does well – as always, there was a lot of hard work and relocation from family just to give normal folks a good time for an hour and a half.

iTunes portal is here.

(A little more about it in this old post)