Teehehe… I made a lightsaber…

Just for fun… =)

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Cannon in C-ish

I recently was able to connect my piano to my laptop and record my version of Cannon in D. I like to call it… Cannon in C-ish… hope you like it! =)

Tangled trailer

Meet Flynn!! =)

Disney magic…

One more memorable life experience… one more post. But please allow me to start at the beginning…

In September of 2009, I was contacted by Walt Disney Animation Studios and asked to participate in their Talent & Development program. There, I was to be paired up with one of their veteran animators to help nurture my skills as an animator and further my craft. As this was a once in a life-time opportunity, I left my home in San Jose and flew out to Burbank with the support of my family, friends and (at the time) girlfriend – who is now my fiance. =)

Upon arrival at the “hat building”, I was greeted by my fellow TDAs (Talent & Development Artsts). There were 16 of us total and the entire group consisted of story artists, lighters, and 3D animators: Emily Tse, Dan Haring, Dan Naughton, Ryan DeYoung, Derek Nelson, Latasha Tobias, Kataneh Vahdani, Taylor Krahenbuhl,  Kenny Park, Jason Hand, Jocelyn Cofer, Haokun Liang, Morgan Greene, Minor Gaytan, Joseph Lee and myself; each of us nervous – each of us excited – each of us wondering if we had what it took to get through the program… but honestly, we were all mostly EXCITED! =) I still remember congregating in the front lobby – looking around and idolizing the artwork that adorned the walls. We would dispense with the traditional, “What’s your name”‘s and “Where are you from”‘s but from that one initial meeting, I could tell that we would become a close nit group – if for nothing else but to help each other get through to the end. We also geeked out over the fact that for the next 3-6 months, we would be able to call ourselves Disney employees and more incredibly, learn from (arguably) the best artists in the world.

I was immensely fortunate to be assigned Darrin Butters as my mentor. Not only was he encouraging and patient, but he also helped me develop my “animation eye” and always tried to emphasize great posing and varied timing within my animation tests. I owe a lot of what I’ve learned to him and will be forever grateful for his friendship and guidance.

After a few months and a few incredibly fun test shots, the training program was cut short and the 3D animators were all promoted as “fix-animators” to help with production on the newest Disney film: Tangled

Words cannot express how honored I feel to have worked on this film. From the incredible direction of Nathan Greno and Byron Howard to the invaluable talent heading up the animation department: Glen Keane, John Kahrs and Clay Kaytis – I am sure this movie will find it’s place among the classics and hopefully usher in a new “Golden Age” for Disney. If you are or had ever been a fan of Disney, I encourage you to watch it when it’s released on November 24, 2010.

As a fix-animator, I was tasked with a wide range of animation responsibilities – from single-frame tweaks to full animation redos. The fix team, who consequently gained two more animators: Matt Ornstein and Jessica Chan to help with the work load, would present our work to the animation supervisors on a daily basis to gain their feedback and eventually “final” the shot so that it can be passed on to the next department. In the case a shot required a more substantial fix, we would be responsible for presenting our fixes directly to the directors during “dailies”. There were many long nights and a few “power hours” but after all was said and done, it was time for me to return home.

After my responsibilities as a fix-animator were complete, I returned home to San Jose. And although my time at Disney had an expiration date, I will never forget the people there who, within the past 11 months, I had learned to call my friends. Working at the studio was everything I thought it would be and more… full of wonder… full of excitement… and it even had a little touch of Disney magic. =)

Wow…

Just found this out tonight… a HUGE congrats to everyone at Blue Sky!!! WOOT!!! =)

“‘Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,’ the third installment of 20th Century Fox’s movie series about prehistoric animals, has become an international phenomenon, earning more than $600 million in overseas ticket sales and becoming the most popular animated film ever abroad.”

‘Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ racking up record sales overseas — latimes.com

Relaxing on a Saturday afternoon…

Playing the piano has always been a way for me to relax and unwind. Here’s a sample of the piece I’m currently trying to learn in my free time… it’s entitled: River Flows In You by Yiruma. Hope you enjoy it. =)

New Post?!?!?

Whoa! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on this weblog… here’s what has happened so far:

Well, I graduated from Animation Mentor (YAY!!!!) in January and looking back, it was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Not only are the staff, mentors and fellow classmates at AM incredible people, I now consider many as close friends – and that’s something I will always be grateful for.

Shortly after graduation, I was contacted by Blue Sky Studios with the chance to work on Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. OMG!!!!! =) This being another milestone in my life (my first professional animation gig) I was ECSTATIC!!!! There was a lot to learn (and still is) but I simply had a blast during my time in New York / Connecticut. I’d never admit this while I was there, but there were some days where I would skip down the hall with the biggest grin on my face – just happy to be where I was. We worked 70-75 hour weeks and it felt like a vacation because all I was doing all day was something I was truly passionate about. But alas, like all good things, it had to come to an end… We finished principle animation by the end of March and it was time to go back home.

Since then, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work as a contract animator for Treanor Brothers Animation in Rhode Island (remotely). Although brief, it was yet another rewarding experience and I look forward to any chance at working with them again.

Now, I continue to hone my craft – learning all that I can. I am still searching for a full-time animator position, but I look forward to the journey and to the next chapter of my life… =)