Saturday, November 15, 2008

The next big thing

I've had a short film idea boiling in my mind for the past few years. I've thought long enough about it that I can watch it forward and backward in my mind. It's about time that I get it out of my mind and into everyone else's. I call it "Safe".

The premise is this. A neurotic robot that has been struggling to survive a slightly futuristic post-apocalyptic war torn world finally finds a reason to keep going. I know the setting may be a bit cliché but the story, I hope, isn't.

The robot is slowly losing his mind in his solitude while avoiding the "heartless", a mindless breed of violent robots. In the film's opening the robot stumbles upon a soggy old teddy bear lying on the road. The robot takes the bear in as it's own and the story continues as we see the robot facing all odds to protect it. The robot's struggle is analogous to a parent trying to protect their own child from the world.

Here is a concept from one of the early scenes as the robot is discovering his new friend in temporary safety.

More to come on this in the coming months!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Here is my showreel that I put together this summer.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Last year

This past year was probably my life's busiest. I worked on putting together the first episode in a new animated DVD series called Scripture Bugs. Working by day as a web software engineer, I had to dig deep to find the energy to come home and work into the night on Scripture Bugs. It was an awesome opportunity and I'm glad that I was given the chance to work on it!

In the end I created all the characters and put all the visuals and animation together in about 10 months. It's 38 minutes long and it nearly killed me, literally. In the final stretch I pulled an all-nighter, working for nearly 24 hours straight. I finished and delivered the last scene with Moses parting the red sea and had hardly a minute to spare. I almost ran off the road from lack of sleep when driving to deliver the final renders.

It was hard, and I learned a lot. I'm very excited to start on the next one. I learned how to be a better animator and I've overcome all of the technical obstacles so I can spend less time on problems and more time on being creative.

Here are some screenshots and video.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Let me explain

Save the girl storytelling has been around for ages. There's something about chivalry that connects with us on a base level. Do men like being heroes? Do women like being saved? I don't know, but I like it.

This blog is a portfolio. I won't be posting about my life per se, except on levels that show how personal experiences have affected my professional life. The title of this blog reflects that.

"Save the Girl" has become my personal mantra. I was once reading an interview with Mike Kunkel, an amazing animator / illustrator, and he was speaking to the topic of making time for personal projects. Adapting one of his quotes to put on my desktop for motivation, I came up with "If you wait until you have time for personal projects, they will never get done". Ambition finds us often lacking the time to satiate its greedy palette. Making time to complete personal projects is a huge part of feeding my ambition monster, but for my mantra, I needed something a bit more pithy.

Then there it was, I happened to put the quote on the background of an image that was already on my desktop. It's art from a game called Shadow of the Colossus.

I'm a big fan of Fumito Ueda and team ICO. I apologize in advance because I tend to gush over the art style, music and amazing, simple story.

The premise of Shadow of the Colossus is simple. You are Wander (yes that's his name) and you have entered a forbidden land to save a mysterious girl who seems to have passed away. You immediately feel Wander's pain and want the girl to be rescued from her cursed fate. Taking her to this land seems to be the only way to bring her back to life. The godlike voice of "Dormin" tells Wander that bringing the girl back is simple. There are sixteen colossi (giants) that roam this forbidden land. Slay them all and she can be saved.

See the dot in the bottom left in the above picture? That is a scale representation of the colossi and that dot is you. The game presents an unprecedented sense of scale. When you meet the first colossi, in the game, suddenly saving the girl doesn't seem so plausible.

When I view some of my personal projects I feel defeated at the impossibility of the task. Yet ambition must be fed, and goals must be achieved for one to feel satisfied with their life. So how do you do it? How do you topple sixteen colossi to save the girl? The answer is simple. One colossus at a time.