In fact, it's been a whole year since I've technically begun production on it and wrote the very first draft of the script. I'm halfway through my fourth and final year at SVA now and already SO much has happened, but one thing that hasn't changed is that I've constantly been working. In fact, I'd say there's been maybe a total of about 10 days since the school year started that I haven't touched the film at all.
So first and foremost, the film is titled "Balancing Act", in reference to my philosophy on life. That meaning, everything in life is a constant balancing act of finding a middle road between one thing and another. The film runs a little over 6 minutes, is a 2D animation hand-drawn in Flash. The plot focuses on a group of friends who go out for lunch one day. While sitting down to eat, they get into a petty argument over practically nothing and some uncomfortableness is created between them. Suddenly, a group of villains attacks the park just across the street from the restaurant our heroes are at. They spring into action, but their quarreling carries over into the battle they've involved themselves in. It'll take the outside perspective of a fourth hero to show the trio of friends up on their stupid actions.
That's a very bare-bones description, but there's something deeper to it and I've only just realized that in the last couple weeks. The idea of the film is based on an animated series concept I've been developing for well over 10 years of my life. That said, I picked this film idea because I wouldn't expect anything less than the absolute BEST of my skill as an animation artist for the finished product. What is was that I've only just discovered about the film is that...no joke, it says a lot about my entire life. Not to get so "heavy" about it or anything, but it's true when I really sat down and looked at it. A bunch of friends getting into arguments over something stupid, misunderstandings brought about my clashing personalities, letting that stupid argument get in the way of more important matters and then finally someone on the outside, looking in, comes in and solves the problem, making the people arguing look like idiots...then they apply their lesson learned to the next time something comes up.
I've spent all 22 years of my life trying to find that middle road of socialization, that "Balancing Act" if you will, between being myself and being someone that is acceptable to society and, more important, people I care about. It's not a easy path to find and I'm still trying to stay on it as best as possible. All I know right now, is this animation embodies everything important to me and I'm really treating it with the utmost respect and passion. I can say even before it's fully finished that this is THE best piece of art, in any medium, I've ever made and I hope that will come across when it screens at the Dusty festival in another few months. Look forward to it!
(Background Artwork by Myself and Dave Smith)
Lot of up's and down's, but I'm keeping busy and doing the best I can. First and foremost, "Kirb Stomp" is already finished and up. Thanks to ThisWeekInGeek for hosting the HD and we've also got an upload on YouTube for your convenience.
We also gotta Making Of/Gag Reel video that was finished soonafter, as well as a commentary in the can that will be up later on. Hope it gives y'all a chuckle or two, it was fun to make and we didn't take anything too seriously on it, so hopefully people won't read into it too far.
So I recently met Dan Meth at my class this past Monday, who's a really ol' school Flash Animator known for stuff like "The Meth Minute 39". I just so happened to make a Tumblr that day and he gave a big awesome introduction about how cool it is. That said, I'm gonna try and update my Tumblr at least once every day. If any of you guys reading this have one, follow me and help me get started!
I'm now officially 75% done with my thesis film! I just cut together a new animatic with all the fight scene animation and I've been showcasing it to a few of my colleagues...the reception is pretty damn good! I definitely think this is gonna be THE best piece of...hell, not even just animation, the best piece of ART I've ever produced in my life. I'm really putting everything I have into it and making it the absolute best it can be. I've got about two months left to finish everything. Wish me luck!
MAGfest was an absolute blast, as expected. They keep gettin' bigger and better every single year and I love it. Next year they'll most likely be moving out of the Hilton hotel and into an equally bigger and better place to house everything. Notable things of the weekend were seeing friends of mine from the previous years such as Matt Mercer, Jon St. John, Dave Lister and a bunch of the crew from ThatGuyWithTheGlasses and as meeting some new people from the site, as well as the likes of Grant Kirkhope, Eddie LeBron, Wes Johnson and several others. Did a few panels, such as the "Voice-A-Palooza" which consisted of me doing a Woody Allen impression and the massive TGWTG panel even!
The biggest personal highlight of the con though was filming a live-action short film with my friend Marc Swint, my traveling-partner for the weekend, over the last two days of the convention. It is titled..."KirbStomp".
Marc pitched me this idea on the car ride there and I agreed. So we shot the whole thing in two nights and managed to pull it off. The plot? I go to MAGfest and the internet sends an brutal and dangerous assassin to kill me. As I run for my life, others try to stand in the way of this mysterious killer, but nothing can stop him! Will I come out alive? Find out in February when the film is finished.
BUT ENOUGH ABOUT THAT. I've had little time to rest this past week and won't have much time during the weekend either. I've just recorded two voice roles for a few of my friends' student films to be entered into the Dusty show in May, I've got like four to five more things to record for this weekend as well. Working on a contest entry for the MegaMan Tribute art-book by Udon, of which a few of my friends are doing entries for too and they're lookin' awesome! I've also got plenty of animation left to take care of, with only two more months left to finish everything in time for my thesis.
Wish me luck!
Why? Because I'm 22, two elevens. That's why! This is gonna be my year, to prove myself as both an artist and as an individual. I've only got 3 months or so left of college and a LOT to get situated by the time I graduate.
I've just come back from an amazing week in Vancouver as my birthday present, being able to see the ladyfriend and having my "calm before the storm" time until the semester starts...which it has! I've got three classes this semester one, notably of which is "Animation Career Development" with Dave Levy. All the while I'm still toiling away at my thesis film and making good progress. I've got a large amount of animation done and should be able to get everything finished in time. It will be screened at the Dusty film & animation festival on Mother's Day weekend, May 6th-10th in front of a huge audience at SVA's big theatre. Excited? Totally. Nervous? Incredibly. Doin' my best over here. I just cut together the final dialogue mix with my incredible cast of Chris Zito, Marianne Miller and most recently Micah Solusod. Plenty more to do, but seeing this particular film getting ever closer to completion is truly satisfying.
Meanwhile, NiN10Doh! to the 64th Power's on the front page of Newgrounds right now and doing pretty well for itself in the first two weeks or so. For those who might be interested, a guy I knew from The Fallout Shelter years back took a recording of the collab's premiere at AnimeEvolution and has now re-uploaded it for people to see. S'a little haphazardly screened as far as our technical setup went, but if you give it a look you'll see the work-in-progress cuts of the segments, including the unfortunately unfinished Donkey Kong/Punch-Out! segment animated by Michael J. Ruocco.
Gonna be taking a break from Newgrounds and internet projects for an indefinite while, since I've got a ton of bigger stuff to focus on, but hope you got a laugh or two and enjoyed the incredible animation the 64 crew put together.
Also on the subject of elevens, I'm really excited about "Inazuma Eleven" coming out in Europe at the end of this month and I'm totally importing the crap out of it. Earlier-mentioned ladyfriend has gotten me obsessed with it and I'll be happy to play the Soccer RPG game in English. I've not played Professor Layton, but Level-5 I trust is a pretty amazing game developer. If anyone else gets their hands on it at the end of the month, lemme know!
Last but certainly not least, while I'll be pulling back on the convention circuit a tad, I AM looking forward to returning to MAGfest this weekend. Last year it was one of the funnest times at a con I've ever had and should be just as fun this year, even without the same group of friends I went with prior. If you're going, try and find me and say hi!
S'all for now. Happy Year of the Doubleleven people!
Here it is people, a year and a half in the making.
NiN10Doh! to the 64th Power!
[Runtime: Approximately 18 Minutes]
1) May not run correctly on Google Chrome.
2) If given a blank screen, reload the Movie and it should work.
3) The full size of the collab is about 40MB being loaded.
The third, not to mention BIGGEST, installment to the NiN10Doh! Animation Collab series. This time featuring spoofs of Nintendo games such as the Mario Sports series, Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, F-Zero, Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, Bomberman, Mischief Makers and more! A huge collection of talented Animators, including favorites from the previous two collabs and several new ones added to the mix. Also features some special guest stars, including LittleKuriboh (Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged), HappyHarry (Saturday Morning Watchmen), Matt Mercer (There Will Be Brawl) and Kajetokun (It's Over 9000!).
Major apologies for this thing taking so ungodly long to be finished. No joke, I intended for this thing to be done around this time a year ago, as the material had been written and recorded in the Summer of '09. However, due to the MASSIVE crew of people on this independent project, there were several on board that got incredibly busy with freelance jobs, real life issues to contend with and far more than you'll ever need to know the details on. That said though, they all pulled through and came out with some superb animation and I hope the likes of Nintendo fans, the folks here at Newgrounds and animation-junkies will all get a kick out of this collaborative effort; there really is something for everyone!
So HUGE thanks to all of the Triple-A team of animators, artists and actors that helped me make this way overly-ambitious project come to life. Thanks as well to all the special guest animators and actors that were interested in joining the project. Thanks Richie for once again programming and designing the menu as well as making this whole thing tie together...and of course, big thanks to Tom and Mike from the Newgrounds crew for sponsoring and hosting this project, not to mention helping it work in the first place!
What to say this time? Well, I'm NOT gonna say "this is the final one we will ever make, ever." because that's what I said when $00pah NiN10Doh! was released...and what happened? I found these projects way too fun to just give up forever because of worthless naysayers that wanna piss on our parade. WILL we be doing another one after this? Who knows, life gets busy for us all...but hey, we'll talk.
So there ya have it.
Interesting to note on here, as well...the way we managed to put this whole thing together is pretty unheard of in the Flash Cartoon world. As with each increasingly gigantic collab, it wasn't humanly possible to put all of these segments into one .fla file. So, we had to make each segment a separate .swf and string them all together into a single window and tie it all together by some complex coding done by Richie Zirbes, once again topping himself on the amount of contribution he makes to these projects.
Also, on the subject of if we're doing a 4th NiN10Doh! collab, here's the deal. I DO have some material written and people interested on the team is doing another one, however, there's many things that would prevent it from happening...one of those reasons is no longer the words of trolls who have some sort of single-minded view of me and my fellow animators that've been doing this collabs for the last couple years. To them I can say, fuck off. As far as what's preventing it, obviously we'd need to see if it were up for being sponsored again by Newgrounds as with the previous ones, as well as if free time even allows for both myself and the other animators. Truthfully, I'd MUCH more prefer to have a steady job of some kind, or freelance, anything that will start a path to lead me into the industry after I graduate in May. I'm still working on my thesis film of course and that has to be done by April, so that's getting my foremost attention. I'm not completely clear on what'll happen when I get outta school, but if it were up to me I'd prefer it not be "MAN, I HAVE SO MUCH FREE TIME! LET'S DO ANOTHER ONE!". But hey, if time permits, we'll do it. IF so, I can assure it'll be of a much smaller scale compared to this last one, so that it doesn't take a year and a half to be finished. Probably WAY smaller of a crew and not near-20 minutes. So yeah!
Hope you all enjoyed it and here's to a Happy New Year!
Okay since I'm apparently getting a billion comments about this all over the place, I'm gonna just post this here (I'm not front-paging this post).
No, NiN10Doh! to the 64th Power was not blammed. It's a project officially sponsored by Newgrounds that we're getting paid for doing, so blamming isn't possible with it in the first place. I removed the file myself when I tried uploading it earlier today. Long story short, this collab is so gigantic that we had to upload every single segment individually and are going to be pulling some very unique coding that strings it all together. Because of the holidays, a lot of the NG staff that are going to help set this up so it works correctly aren't around at the moment. Richie (who did all of the programming for it) and I thought we had everything situated and I tried submitting it earlier, only to find out there were still some glitches unfortunately. So, I deleted the file and replaced it with a dummy file (for those of you who saw it, it was literally a "3...2...1..." placeholder .swf file, you didn't miss anything) and waited for it to get pulled. The collab itself is DONE, the animation is all complete, and it will hopefully be uploaded to the site within the next few days as soon as we get the files properly set and make sure the coding works so you can view it as it's intended. Sorry if this caused any confusion and sorry if I let down some haters for thinking I had one of my "talentless hack" animations pulled from the site (hurrrr).
Stay patient and it'll be up soon. It's gotten some huge laughs so far and I think you'll all incredibly enjoy it!
(UPDATE 12/3/10) -The voting for the MegaMan Legends 3 Bonne Mecha contest has been re-instated. I'm sorry to inconvenience everyone, but please vote 5 again on my entry! We now have until Wednesday before the voting period ends this time. There was a glitch on the forums that was only just fixed today, so everyone needs to cast their ratings again. To vote, all you need to do is register on the official Capcom-Unity forums (it only takes a second) and then vote how many stars, from 1-5 on the entry. Throw me some 5's so I'll have a chance to place in the top 5 and have a chance at getting my boss design chosen to be put in the game!-
Vote 5 on my entry in the MegaMan Legends 3 Boss Design contest! We're being given the chance to create a Mecha for the Bonne Family (some of the bad guys of the MegaMan Legends) to use in a battle during the game. Five finalists will be selected from Capcom's Development Room forums, both the Japanese and American boards. The 10 finalists in total will be judged by the team creating MegaMan Legends 3 and one of them will get to be included IN the game itself as a real boss fight! I worked really hard on my entry, "The Bonne Hydra" and MegaMan Legends has been one of the most influential games to me since I was a kid. I really care about that series and especially this 3rd one coming up. Please show your support and vote 5 on my entry so I'll have a shot at winning! I'd be incredibly grateful to anyone willing to help me out. :]
Now that that's outta the way, I've already gotta get back to work! Even on Thanksgiving I've been going gung-ho on finishing my thesis film. I've finished all of the animation for 1 of the 7 total scenes and have handed it off to be colored, of which I have Audrey Kare and Cory Holmes to gimme a hand while I continue animating. This year's been a rough ride, an emotiona roller coaster if you will. I'm really not sure of a lot of things, including that's gonna happen after I graduate. Right now the main thing I'm focusing on it making sure I finish this cartoon to the absolute fullest of my ability and hope that things will work themselves out. We've got about 3 weeks left of class now until Christmas vacation and I'll be going to visit Vancouver again in the first week of January, all the while -still- working on my film. I'm working ahead of schedule, but I've got SO much to do that I can't let up.
In between working on the film, going to class and socializing, I've been catching on a few games as well as re-watching old shows that were a big influence to me. Donkey Kong Country Return's been an amazing trip down memory lane and I LOVE what Retro Studios did with it. Meanwhile, ever since I came back to school I've re-watched all of YuYu Hakusho, BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad and most recently, Speedgrapher. All of these shows are what I love most about animated series; they all have some of the best character dialogue and interactions I've ever seen and I always finish the shows taking away something. J.G. Quintel's "The Regular Show" is the same way, which I've also been keeping up with and I think it just finished its first season, so here's hoping it continues to strive for Cartoon Network.
Now, back to the grindstone!
Anyway, still workin' my ass off over here. I handed in another updated to Animatic of my thesis film to the committee at school just earlier today. I've finished all of my key drawings and have officially moved on to in-betweens. Audrey Kare did a fine job on redlining the keys and will be helping out with color later on in production. On backgrounds I've got Dave Smith, as well as Bam Macek and John Komar. I'm really proud of how this film's turning out so far and I've managed to keep up a pretty good production schedule for the last few months. Still got a LOT more to do, so let's hope I can pull this thing off...
NiN10Doh! to the 64th Power is beginning to reach the end of its production. As of right now, I'm expecting the last couple segments to be sent to me within the next week, while Cory Holmes is working on the credits sequence and Richie Zirbes is handling the coding to make everything tie itself together. Every time another piece of animation arrives, I get reminded of how excited I really am about this project. All of the response to the material's been great and people are laughin' their asses off, so we're definitely doing something right.
I went to Youmacon for Halloween weekend this year. First time going to that convention, but it was definitely a blast. Lots of memories made and pictures and video taken (yet to be posted though). Martin invited me into the Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged panel, which involved a really emotional group hug, a smiley face being drawn on all our hands with a sharpie and singing an in-character version of "Don't Stop Believin'". Yeah it was pretty intense. NPC will probably be my last con of the year, since then we have Christmas vacation and I may be goin' back up to Vancouver before school starts again. Might have a few cons next year, we shall see.
Back to work for me, fare thee well.
So much has been going on I can barely even remember it all. Class has been a lotta fun and thankfully not SO much full of work that I'm still able to get animation on my film done. I'm currently doing key drawings for it, with redlining by Audrey and some background work by Dave Smith. Might need some more help, so I'll make posts about that later on. Meantime, I've also been working on a pitchbook for Jim Arnoff's class for Animation Career Development, as well conducting interviews for school, including one with Jay Snyder of Edgestudio and "The Regular Show" creator JG Quintel. The interviews were both a lotta fun and I'm putting everything I've got into the pitchbook.
I'm working just about EVERY day on my film, with the exception of last Saturday and Sunday night, being too exhausted from New York ComicCon/AnimeFest after getting back those two days. What a weekend that was, seriously. I know people had their complaints and troubles with the two cons being fused together, but I have never more enjoyed NYCC or NYAF than this weekend. So many groups of friends all there, Mike Luckas with his Artist Alley table, LOTS of people from my school all over the place, some actors I've worked with such as Lucien Dodge, Dave Lister and his friends, the One Piece Podcast crew and the amazing Uncle Yo! who not only got me my badge for the weekend, but gave a great performance along with Kroze, who also was cool enough to get me in on an interview with Bruce Timm for ComicsOnline. The biggest highlight for me was the Capcom panel where Megaman Legends 3 was given lots of new details (look for me in the corner of the panel room in that video!) and I had the esteemed honor of speaking with Keiji Inafune, one of the minds behind Megaman's creation. It was unforgettable, especially speaking in Japanese for a couple sentences; can hardly believe I pulled THAT off. So yeah, incredible weekend.
In between work and conventions (Youmacon is my next one coming at the end of the month) I'm glad to say I'm getting out more than a couple times a week. Doing this thesis film is fun but it's good to just have a social life. despite the expensiveness and annoyances of college, this is one thing I'm happy to have. For Newgrounders, I know a lotta people are wondering about NiN10Doh! to the 64th Power. The short answer is, it's on hold until the last remaining animators finish their stuff. I've got about 3 segments left to get before it's all done and then Richie and I will hopefully be putting it together. I was hoping it'd be out shortly after I got back from AnimeEvolution, but we've got lives to tend to in between this project, so you're gonna have to wait a bit longer. Sorry 'bout that.
Moved back into the city, got my cramped little dorm room with all my crap together and ready to take on the world...or something. I'm lucky that I've only got about two days of class (3 classes in total) and the rest of the time is spent doing thesis stuff. My first this year was with Rob Dress, who's worked on TONS of stuff and teaches "Creating Memorable Animated Characters", which I'm taking alongside Zach Bellissimo 'cuz I JUST CAN'T GET RIDDA 'DAT BUM. My other main class is "Animation Law & Career Development" taught by Jim Arnoff; this one EVERYBODY in the graduating year is taking, so you can bet there's a lotta people in the classroom. Both teachers are esteemed gentlemen and I really feel like I'm getting a lot out of my last year so far, even from this first week and a half of class.
While NOT doing class-related stuff, I've been animating my ass off on my thesis film. The thing's rounded out to be around 6-7 minutes in total (with credits) and I'm hoping to finish all of the rough animation by the end of September. Most of the production time will be spent doing the final, cleaned-up animation, of which I'm happy to say I've got Dave Smith and Audrey Kare helping me out with. I've got until April, so let's hope I can pull this bad boy off in between homework and what-not...speaking of, as I type this, I'm just about to rush off to an interview at Edgestudio for an assignment. Wish me luck!
What I love most about living in NYC again is that, as lame as this kinda sounds, I feel like I truly have a regular social-life of some kind. I get out on a constant basis, exercising (...sorta), surrounded by good pals and overall staying very productive on everything. There's the whole...money thing, but hopefully some freelance gigs coming up will change that, if they don't run me dry on top of the others stuff I'm doing. Oy. What can ya do.
Stay with me, folks!