Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Monthly Music Find - Passion Pit

Hey I'm gonna try and bring this section back to life. Its been a while since I did my last monthly music find but this song made me decide to start sharing my new music finds again. This band began as a valentines gift for the kead singer's girlfriend and grew into something more. Their first album was released a couple months ago. This song stands out for me. I love the happy synth pop. Hope you do too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting Better

I wanted to share this blog post from the animation mentor tips and tricks blog. It's written by Pixar animator Chris Chua and covers how to become a better animator. Theres some great advice in there that I think everyone can benefit from. Very cool and worth the read.

Gawwd I love animtion!

Coldplay - Strawberry Swing Video

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saturday Night at the Geffen

Melissa and I had a really nice night out at the Geffen playhouse on Saturday night. We went out to celebrate Melissa's Birthday which was last Wednesday. Anyway, I took her to see Farragut North, a play starring Chris Pine (Star Trek's new Kirk) and Chris North (Mr. Big from Sex and the City). Its the story of a political campaign troubled by backroom politics and sexual tension. It was awesome! I have seen to many plays live and especially not one that was acted so well. I forgot I was watching a stage show. As an animator its great to reference good acting and to see it up close, so for that aspect it was great too. Theres a few shows playing this season at the Geffen that we'd like to check out. I think we are hooked on the theater now!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gobelins - Annecy 2009

Amazing work. Watch these right now, you will not regret it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Band Together: First Teaser

I have finally found the time to block out a little teaser for Band Together. I am using it as an opportunity to develop the character's personalities as well as style of motion. The story for this little teaser is still in the works, but the basic idea is there. Now I just have to find the time to finish it off. That might not happen for a little while.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Coming Soon

The latest project I worked on. Out in July. Night at the Museum 2 opens today as well. Lots of hard work in there.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Princess and The Frog Trailer

Disney's return to 2D. Yay!

Monday, April 20, 2009

New scene from Shane Acker's 9

This is looking awesome. I'm excited for an animated feature that pushes the genre into a darker, more creative place.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Allen Park goes Hollywood

The big news out of Michigan lately is all the new film production business that has been migrating there. This is a pretty exciting prospect for the state of Michigan and my family, not to mention myself. Yesterday it was announced that a huge new film production studio called Unity studios would be built on aproximately 104 acres of land in my hometown of Allen Park. It's expected to bring 3,500 badly needed technical jobs to the area. Read more about the project here. I'll be keeping my eye on this one. Maybe someday I'll be able to move back home to good old A.P. Who would have thought?!

Concept images of the new Unity Studios.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feeding My Obsession

Recently I decided to take another animation class to push my skills in acting amongst other things. I was able to take a class at Gnomon for free through the employee training program in the state of California with the help of Rhythm and Hues. It seemed like a great opportunity, so I thought, why not? I'm glad I decided to do it. The class is being taught by Chris Kirshbaum, an animator at Dreamworks. And the best part? Theres only 4 people in the class, including myself. So I'm getting lots of personal critiques and mentoring. I couldn't be happier. I am super busy at work on They Came from Upstairs right now, but hopefully I will be able to put some time into this class and really improve in the next few months. So this clip is the first blocking pass of our first assignment in Chris's class. It needed to be short and have two people acting. I've been dedicated to learning all I can this summer and between the new Walt Stanchfield books I just picked up, and the class and overtime at work... I think I should be doing pretty well. Hopefully I wont run myself into the ground. What can I say.. Its an obsession.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Marker and Newsprint

Did these quick character sketches last week while watching some bad reality tv shows. As a quick update, I know that is down right now and I'm working with my friend Dan to make a better homepage for my work. So when thats done I will post the link. Work is winding down on Night at the Museum 2 right now. I should be finished with it by the end of the week at least.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Late Night Drawing Salon, March

I didn't stay that long at the drawing salon this month, Melissa and I had a pajama party to go to. Ha!But I did get one decent drawing in before we left to go play twister.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wild Things trailer looks AWESOME!

I loved this book as a kid and I think Spike Jonze is gonna do it justice! I cant wait to see this!

Monsters vs. Aliens

I got the chance to check out Monsters vs. Aliens last night at an advance screening in Hollywood thanks to some friends at work. It had some fun characters, lots of action and tsome great stereoscopic 3D effects. Some of the gags made me groan, but overall, the story moved at a good pace. I think kids are going to love this one.

There was a Q&A with the director and animation director after the show, and I got to ask about the challenges associated with animating for a film shown in 3D. The answer? - 3D made it harder to cheat the action for the camera, and that characters' eyelines had to be spot on. They went on to talk about the decisions they made as far as the story and scope of the film was concerned and what other challenges they faced during production.

So if you are in the mood for an action/scifi monster movie in 3D,the film comes out friday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are - First Photos

I just caught this on which has a whole group of photos released from the Spike Jonze directed version of "Where the Wild Things Are". Theres many things that I'm excited about in this film, but the best part is the Wild Things. I'm glad they decided to use guys in costumes, rather than trying to do it all with visual effects. I mean I like cg as much as the next guy (obviously) but some things are better left to reality. The faces are animated though, which should make for a very convincing look. So go check out the photos and article on Firstshowing!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Life in Technicolor

I've been loving this song lately.. Its an extended version of the song on Coldplay's Viva la Vida album.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Watch the Watchmen!

Over the weekend I went with a few people to check out the Watchmen. We saw it at the cinema dome at Arclight Hollywood, which was a cool experience in itself. That theater is huge! Anyway, theres been a lot of opinions thrown around about this film from the very beginning of its production. It was deemed unfilmable and even scrapped after a few false starts. Its based on a very influential graphic novel of which I read the majority. So coming into the film I had the perspective of someone familiar with the characters and the themes from the graphic novel but also the curiosity of a newcomer. The real question was how do you make a film for both groups of viewers? The ones who want to see their beloved comic book come to life true to form, and those who just wanted to see a super-hero movie. In the end, I think it was difficult to satisfy both. As a movie goer, I really actually enjoyed this film. I think its easy to get caught up in the back story of a film production and miss the point of movies in the first place - entertainment. I decided to put aside what I knew about the film and just come into it with an open mind. Sure some parts could have been better. The subtle nuances of the novel's subplots are lost, and certain performances leaving you disappointed. If you just sit back and enjoy the visual aspect of the film and invest what you can into the characters, (Rorsach was great!) then you will enjoy this film more. I would say to go see it despite what you've heard. Yoou might be surprised.

Friday, March 6, 2009

New UP trailer..

Every trailer Pixar releases for Up just seems to get better and better. Check out the animation on the dog in this newest trailer. They nailed it! Cant wait for this movie, it looks great.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Matt & Kim - Daylight

I heard this song a couple months back on KCRW here in LA, and meant to write down the name. Of course I forgot. Luckily I ran across it today while looking through upcoming shows at the Henry Fonda Theater. These guys are playing with Cut Copy later this month, but unfortunately both shows are sold out. Good to see that people are still paying to see good music. Sucks that I didnt find out about that show sooner. But hey, I remembered the name of that song I loved on the radio. Here it is:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Late Night Drawing Salon - February

I had a chance to attend the Late Night Drawing Salon in downtown LA a couple weeks ago, and this is the result. I heard about it a while back and finally made the time to head down there to check it out with Lindsay. It was really awesome. Its a figure drawing salon run out of a loft down town just off the 10 in strip club country. Its a $10 suggested donation, and they have a bar setup along with a DJ. Its held once a month or so and its great practice. I can wait to go again. More info on events like this can be found at

Terminator Salvation Trailer

Just saw this trailer for the latest terminator installment. I have to say - it looks better than I expected. I might have to go check this one out.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yankee Gal: Amazing short film

Produced at Supinfocom Aniamtion School in France. Beautiful work all around! The art direction and style of this piece along with the precise story telling and stunning visuals make it very unique. Check it out!

Best. Acceptance Speech. EVARRR!!

Kunio Kato For Best Animated Short - La Maison en Petits Cubes

This one definitely deserved the oscar. Great film! Watch it if you haven't yet:

See the full list of winners here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coraline: Review

I finally had the chance to catch Coraline with Melissa on Saturday night. All I can say is uhhh-mazing! This film is beautiful and entertaining. Its worth seeing in 3d too, it wasn't too distracting. The detail in the facial animation blew me away. And as a side note, I found it funny that she's from Michigan. Go see it, you wont be disappointed!
Also, check out the panel discussion about the crew's creative process on the film:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Creative Stop Motion

I've found quite a few creative stop motion animations on the web recently and thought I would share them on here.

love the dog in this one! Thanks for the link Will..

Everything about this one is awesome!

The depth and inovation in this one are very cool.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Make little changes to earth..

I have been diggin this album from scottish band Frightened Rabbit for the last couple weeks now and I thought I would share it on the blog since I haven't been doing monthly music finds lately. This video for the single "Heads Roll Off" makes me smile. I love how kids will dance to anything. Anytime, anywhere. You wanna dance? Kids are always down. How sweet is that?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Feeling Contemplative

If I could find a video to help describe my angle on my career and life in general, I'd be hard pressed to find something better than these two videos by Sigur Ros. I've always loved this band's eclectic and unique orchestration, but these videos spoke to me in a way that I just had to share them here on the blog. In a way they represent my feelings about animation. Working in this field is a crazy journey and there's been moments where I just had to jump off the deep end and have faith that everything would turn out ok. My reward for this had been the ability to live a life in which I never really have to grow up completely. I'm never more than a few frames away from my childhood in a way. I can stay connected to my imagination and push it everyday if I choose to. That, I feel, is the real key to staying young and enjoying life. It's easy to get burned out, and I've been feeling a bit of that lately. Looking at videos like these always help me to find more inspiration and to keep on plugging away.

Enjoy. Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oscar Nominees Announced

The nominees for this year's Oscars have been announced. Check them out here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Recent late night scribbles...

Maybe a new idea for a painting? We'll see..

Melissa wants a french bulldog bad. Like really bad. All I can do for now is draw her pictures of them until we have the place to keep one.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Top Albums of 2008

The music blog Zeitgeist has released a list of the top 50 albums of 2008 according to its blogging community. The best part is - you can listen to each album in its entirety! Very cool, although I'm not sure I agree with the #1 album. Happy 2009!