Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kevin Pollak's interview with Damon Lindelof

  Damon Lindelof, a key figure behind some of recent history's biggest Sci-Fi television and film successes; the co-creator and showrunner of Lost (TV series), producer for J.J. Abrams' Star Trek (2009 film), co-writer/producer for Star Trek 2 (film slated for 2012), writer of Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens (2011 film) and Ridley Scott's Promtetheus (film slated for 2012), just to name a few of Damon Lindelof's credentials...  He has had quite the journey.

  I always find it inspirational to hear about various professional creative's (animator's, artist's, film maker's, etc., etc.) personal journeys.  Along those lines, I recently discovered Kevin Pollak's Chat Show which I'm now hooked on, and regularly inspired by.

Kevin Pollak interviews Damon Lindelof
  In this interview, Lindelof talks about his twitter “feud” with Game of Thrones author George R. R.  Martin, his inspirations, learning at NYU, his early life trying to make it in Hollywood, Stephen King and King film/TV adaptations, Star Wars vs. Star Trek, the creation of Lost and working with J.J. Abrams, collaborating with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman on Cowboys & Aliens, working with Ridley Scott on Promtetheus and how it connects to the Alien films, how the writer’s strike allowed him to produce Star Trek while also working on Lost, brief thoughts on the newly announced 1952 project he’s working on for Disney, his Larry King impression, and much more.

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

  Kevin Pollak's Chat Show streams live every Sunday at 3 PM PDT.  Each episode, Kevin has in depth interviews with one or two guests from the entertainment industry. With no language or time restrictions, and live, online audience interaction (questions from the chat room and twitter), Kevin Pollak's Chat Show , free of the usual sensorships and time constraints, is truly unique, exposing you to more fascinating truth, and insights into the entertainment industry and the people who work in it.  Past guests include Kevin Smith, Matthew Perry, Jon Hamm, Dana Carvey, Seth MacFarlane, and Felicia Day.

To checkout more of Kevin Pollak's Chat Show:

Ira Glass on... being Creative

  Some animated inspirational words to help recharge you ;)

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

Source audio is from this very seminal video by​watch?v=BI23U7U2aUY

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Animation Mentor Summer 2011 Graduation

(Shawn Kelly Co-founder of Animation Mentor and me)

So a bit of a personal update:
  Already having more than a decade of industry experience in television and commercial animation,...
... I recently became... a proud Alumni... of, arguably, the best animation school and/or program on the planet,... Animation Mentor...     ^__^ 

  Where students learn directly from elite professionals currently working in the animation industry at the top studios, mentored and trained for high-end, CG, feature film character animation, and what it is like to work at the top studios; as well as learning from the collective experiences of fellow students and alumni from all around the world. (This was and continues to be a phenomenal experience, and I can't wait for more)
  To share, promote, and inspire Animation Mentor just released a new video... 
... Animation Mentor Summer 2011 Graduation.
And well as it happens... I show up in the video, looking slightly sleep deprived,(hehehe), around the 1:18 mark.  I highly recommend Animation Mentor to anyone serious about high-end, CG character animation.  Best wishes and lots of love to everyone I met, I look forward to working and hanging out with more of my world wide Animation Mentor family in the future :0)

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

A message from Animation Mentor:
 "We welcomed Graduating Class 19 and Graduating Class 20 to the ranks of our alumni community on July 16, 2011 in San Francisco, California!  Graduates and their guests enjoyed speeches from our founders, as well as from director Dean DeBlois.  Graduations are a very special experience, and at Animation Mentor, they are like no other!"

Bonus Feature:
Animation Mentor Summer 2011 Open House  
  (There is a shot of me somewhere in there).

  Click the player, and enjoy the video: 

EXTRA! Bonus Feature: 

Animation Mentor Summer 2011 BBQ 
  (Hehehe... You can see me at the end on the far left holding up a camera and tripod)

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

  I can't wait to see what everybody does next, and again... best wishes and lots of love to everyone I met, I look forward  to working and hanging out with more of my world wide Animation Mentor family  :0)

Pete Paquette: "Rio" Reel & Workflow

  As a student of Animation Mentor I had the honour and privilege of being taught by, and have as a mentor... the long-time Blue Sky Studios brilliant animator... Pete Paquette,... who recently shared some of his amazing work done on Blue Sky's animated feature film Rio,... as well some insight into his workflow... check it out.

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

Bonus feature:
Thanks to Pete for sharing this with us!

My Work Flow
written by Pete Paquette 

  I can remember watching Aladdin in the theaters and realizing that I wanted to animate… in 2D.  When I started my degree in computer animation at Ringling, I took a course in 2D animation and was happy as a clam.  Unfortunately around the same time there was a movement in the industry by a few notorious executives saying that “2D was dead”.  UghIt still makes me sick to my stomach.  So I put aside my aspirations of being a 2D animator and focused on actually learning how to use a computer.  I never stopped drawing.  Even when figure drawing was no longer a requirement in the later years at Ringling, I would spend time at a figure drawing club called FEWS and I would spend a great deal of time drawing everything with my buddy Ben Sprout.

  Once I got into the industry, I was amazed to find that most of the animators didn’t draw.  I even heard some people claim that they didn’t need to know how to draw.  I still feel like the better animators out there can thumbnail ideas and successfully pitch their ideas with drawings alone.  I am a mentor at and I am relentless in telling my students how important drawing is to animation.  In my opinion, there is NO BETTER WAY to learn the basics of body mechanics and posing than figure drawing.

  Shortly after the completion of Ice Age 2, I started playing around with a program called Plastic Animation Paper.  I can remember using it to turn around ideas very quickly to the director at the time and it proved to be extremely efficient.  I can remember asking Blue Sky Studio to consider buying the software and they went a step further.  With the guidance of Scott Carroll and I, a R&D genius named Hugo Ayala created an in-house software that is much more intuitive than anything available on the market to this day.

  Blue Sky has embraced this work flow and it is still used to this day.  Here is a shot that I animated on Rio showing it’s progress from it’s 2D choreography through it’s completion.

  Click the player below, and enjoy the video:

  I (Pete) am extremely happy to report that my new job at 38 Studios has fully embraced and supported this work flow of mine.  I now use a program called FlipBook to pitch ideas, but it’s nowhere near as intuitive as Hugo’s program.  If Blue Sky ever decided to market his software to the public, I’d be first in line.

John Lasseter: A Day In The Life Of - Full Length Documentary

   A source of much inspiration, Animator, Director, Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Animation Pioneer, Etc... here is a day in the life of John Lasseter.

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

Splitscreen: A Love Story

Splitscreen: A Love Story
   Following up on the theme of connection from my last post... Here is a short film from Director J.W. Griffiths.  Shot entirely on the Nokia N8 mobile phone, and put together with flawless execution.  Winner of the Nokia Shorts Competition 2011.

  This short film is lovely; and from a production stand point done relatively "low-tech", it goes to show that equipment is only a small part of the equation when creating your vision, and that in the end "It's NOT the tools; but the tool users" who bring it all to life.

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

Bonus feature:
Splitscreen: A Making of
   This is part one of the making of 'Splitscreen: A Love Story' for Nokia.  In it the duo go to Paris to shoot some cool locations on the Nokia N8. They encounter accordion players, dodgy bikes and get up to all kinds of Steadicam adventures.

  Click the player below, and enjoy the video:

Director: J.W. Griffiths
Producer: Kurban Kassam
Director of Photography: Christopher Moon
Editor: Marianne Kuopanportti
Sound Design: Mauricio d'Orey
Music composed by: Lennert Busch

Get the music on iTunes:​6acl6yp

The World is Where We Live

  We are all connected.

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

Avatar: The Legend of Korra

  Shown at Comic Con 2011, this is a trailer for the much anticipated (by many, including me) animated TV series... Avatar: The Legend of Korra... which is a sequel to one of the best animated TV series, in recent history, Nickelodeon's... Avatar: The Last Airbender.

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

Mac 'n' Cheese

  This animated short film is off-the-hook-insane,... well done, with a lot great fare and style.

Mac 'N' Cheese:
  Inspired by Team Fortress 2 and Meet Buck, Mac 'n' Cheese is an animated short produced by four students (Tom Hankins, Gijs van Kooten, Guido Puijk and Roy Nieterauat) from the Utrecht School of Arts in the Netherlands.  It took the animators five months to complete the project.

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:

The Laundromat | Short Film

Love it :)

  Really well written, and acted.  With clever acting performances that subtly build chemistry, and tension more and more, leaving you guessing,... until... the final climax. 
--- Nicely done and some great acting reference.

  Click the player, and enjoy the video:
(WARNING: Some scenes contain course language) 

writer director TIMOTHY MELVILLE
cinematographer JOEL BETTS
production company SCARAB STUDIO FILMS. 2009

Official Selection Flickerfest 2010
Official Selection St Kilda Film Festival 2010
Official Selection Dungog Film Festival 2010
Winner Best Film Hillside Film Festival 2010
Winner Best Film Bohemian Shorts 2010
Winner Best Film Bayside Film Festival 2010
Winner Best New Filmmaker Shepparton Shorts 2010
Winner Best Script In The Bin Short Film Festival 2010
Finalist Aesthetica Short Film Competition 2010 (UK)
Official Selection Bodega Bay Film Festival 2011 (USA)