I’ve been using the GoPro everywhere that seems sensible this summer. It’s been on the West Coast Trail, SCUBA diving, rock climbing, the Zion Narrows, and several other places. We spent the Fourth of July in Hesperia with Erika’s family where we shot a lot of footage of us playing in the pool. The above is a short montage of that day. I put together a similar video when we went sledding earlier this year.
I’ve mentioned in past entries that Duncan Toys hired me earlier this year to take some of their yo-yo footage and turn it into two television commercials. Well, I’ve finally uploaded those two spots to Vimeo. They are embedded below.
Every so often we have to shake up our lives, take some chances, move on, take risks. The other option is complacency—stagnation. Four years ago, my life went through a drastic change. I underwent a huge break-up and accepted it as an opportunity to look at my life and aim it in the directions I most wanted to head. It was a rough time and the changes to my life were drastic. It has made all the difference. The life I am leading now is a proactive one and I am doing things I’ve always wanted to do. That being said, it is time for another big change (although a smaller one than four years ago—and no, Erika and I are not splitting up). After five and a half years at TOKYOPOP, I am leaving. I gave my notice last week. I have learned a lot, developed as an artist, and grown immensely during that time. Yet, it is time for that relationship to end. It has been time for a long time. There is little left for me to give there and little for me to gain there. It has been time for change for quite a while and I am openly embracing it now.
What are my plans? Many signs are pointing me towards that frightening path of self-employment. The skills I have been developing are generally most useful on short-term projects and the industries I’ve been pursuing are largely project-based. Being a full-time employee has actually cost me some opportunities in the last two years. I have often said that my hope was that TOKYOPOP would be my last full-time job. Now is the time to try to make that a reality.
Now for some requisite updates: Things have been going well so far this year. I hope they continue this way. I’ve taken rock climbing lessons and finally invested in my own gear. Right now, I am trying to sport climb regularly in hopes of moving into trad climbing in the next few years. I’ll be off to British Columbia soon and I’m planning to hike the West Coast Trail I’ve been pining after. I’ve been busy on various video projects and entered a few festivals: Delivery is a short I co-directed with two friends, Third Degree is a piece I helped my buddy Shlain shoot, and I’m trying to forge ahead on Marty Mitchell. Some of you may remember the Duncan yo-yo spec commercial I put together with some friends. I am still waiting to hear if it places in the festival I entered it in. In the meantime, I have added it to my Vimeo page. The great news I’ve been keeping quiet about that spec spot is that it landed me a gig with Duncan for their 2010 television commercials. I finished up 15 and 30 second spots for them last week. Hopefully, they’ll be airing on TV this summer or fall.
I guess I better get to showering now. I want to smell good for the encroaching future.
Back in October, I got together with three friends for what we called the Spec Weekend. Essentially we each directed four Spec Commercial spots. We helped out on each others shoots and shared the costs. Well, I finally cut my spot together and entered it in an online contest. Feel free to vote for it if you like it. Special thanks to Daniel Colmenares for the great photography and Rui Kyo for the badass performance.
Last summer, I helped shoot a short project with some friends called Silver Moon. Afterwards, I spent the last few months of the year compositing the green screen photography. Well, Travis and Ben have finished tweaking the audio and now it is online for everyone to see.
Silver Moon is a proposed feature-length horror/western. What you can see embedded below is a teaser. It is two scenes from the movie. If we can get funding, we hope to shoot the whole thing. Pass this video around if you enjoy it and become a fan on Facebook if you are social network savvy.
I’m still kicking. One of the things keeping me busy lately is toying around with DSLR cameras for photos and video. Expect to see a short soon called "Delivery" shot on a Canon 7D. I’ve also helped some friends with a couple of other 7D shoots and motion graphics. The big news: Thanks to my tax return I was able to buy a lower end digital camera with interchangeable lens options and full HD video capabilities. I have been spending some of my free time lately testing out my new Panasonic GH1. Some of the photos can be seen in an album on my Facebook page. I have also ordered a little camera I am very excited about, the Go Pro HD Helmet Cam. Weather and USPS permitting, I’ll get to try it out this weekend rock climbing in Chatsworth. I look forward to taking that little thing down waterfalls, diving, trapeze-ing, and anywhere else I can.
I’m done with the VFX for "Silver Moon." Travis is wrapping up its loose ends and it will be online very soon. Fan it on Facebook if you use that site. I’ve finally started editing my first "I Am Yo-yo" Duncan spec spot. That should be completed soon. "Marty Mitchell" is still sitting in the wings, but I plan to start working on its open right after. If you have ever been curious what some of the videos I put together at work look like, you can check out a YouTube playlist I’ve compiled with some of that work. I’ve embedded the Book Trailer I put together for the "Shutter Island" Graphic Novel below.
I’ll be going to small claims court in April to attempt to bring justice down upon the chick that lied about our car accident last year. Calcote was kind enough to serve her at her office last week for me. Blood work from my allergist claims I am only allergic to dogs, cats, and cockroaches. My lifelong sinus problems and itchiness tell me otherwise. I’ve been on a few hikes recently and I am really looking forward to an exciting March filled with canyoneering, trapeze, Death Valley, and whatever else I can fit in. The West Coast Trail in British Columbia is looking like a definite possibility this summer. I will need to start planning soon if that is going to be a reality.
Well, that takes the two of you interested up to speed. See ya.
Coraline turned out quite well. I think it is Henry Selick’s best work by far. It has been several years since I read the book and I recall enjoying it, but I think the movie left a stronger impression on me. I hope it turns a profit, because I want to see stop-motion animation and dark material for children rewarded.
Brooks sprung the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre on us. It felt more like a treatise on the meat-packing industry and carnivores than a horror/slasher movie.
I saw Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events last night. Great stuff. All around fun, clever, funny, imaginative, visually enticing stuff. Out of the two big kid’s movies last year, I enjoyed this best. Yes, I liked it better than The Incredibles. I’m sure the Cult of Pixar would disagree, but they long ago blinded themselves to the faults of many of Pixar’s movies. Incredibles while good, was vastly over-hyped. Snicket was vastly under-hyped. Go see it.
I saw a test screening for Wedding Crashers tonight. It is a comedy with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson due out sometime between Christmas and April 2005. I expected it to be some stupid cheeseball comedy, but it was actually pretty entertaining and funny. They make a pretty good team and Isla Fisher & Rachel McAdams are hot. I’m curious how much of the movie will be changed for the final cut ‘though.
Also, Neil Gaiman’s book Coraline may become a movie directed by Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach, Nightmare Before Christmas)
If anyone has heard anything about the production of Astroboy, let me know. I want to try to get a spot on the crew (or cast).