Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Random Fox n' Dragon

I've been meaning to put up some more random art, and so here are two sketchy things I did in the past few weeks.

Here is a random foxy dude that I sketched during a lecture in micron pen. I had been working exclusively with tablet PC for several months, so it was a nice moment to return to pen again and remember how much more control I can get.

And here is an in-progress concept sketch I did for a friend. This is his dragon character that he has been asking me to draw for quite some time. I told him I would do some practice drawings to warm me up to drawing a much better final pose. This was the first full-body I did of his character, done on the ol' tablet PC.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Shorttakes 2007

Last night, Jungle Gym grabbed the Best Animation award at the 14th Annual Shorttakes Festival at UCLA. This year's festival felt more like an animation festival than a general film festival, since approximately half of all entries were animation. As mentioned in an earlier post, they were basically all CalArts entries, and then Raul and I. Some really nice CalArts stuff, I particularly enjoyed Jose y Maria by Edward Juan, and Word Fisher's Secret Piano by Wenchung Lu. Of course, it was awesome to see Raul's Fly on the big screen again. His films always have such great character appeal, and seem to always have epic title sequences, which I adore. So anyhow, Jungle Gym wins it. Incredible. I guess there are people out there who still have love for the purple hippo!

P.S. Sorry this is another "informative" post. Stay tuned for artwork.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

ShortTakes Ahoy!

The official entries have been announced for the 14th annual UCLA Shorttakes Student Film Festival. The entire animation category for this years competition apparently consists of my film "Jungle Gym", my fellow colleague Raul Cardenas' film "Fly", and then a million entries from our friendly neighbor CalArts. I'm really interested in seeing it this year since I rarely get to see the films from the CalArts kids. I'm sure they're totally awesome, but Raul and I will be rooting of course for the home team underdogs!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Olde Timey

Lately I've been drawing a lot for my MFA thesis-in-progress, so I haven't had much time to produce any new original non-school related pieces. So thought instead I would dig way back into some ancient artwork of mine! I found this grade-school gem in an old black notebook I used to draw in that I brought back with me from my last trip to my hometown in Michigan.

This is a fancy looking image of a character "Troy" that was part of a game / comic series I drew when I was little called "Davidworld". When I was 12, I apparently thought not only was I such a good artist, but a well known artist that it was important I number my different drawing styles for my adoring public. I particularly love the crap-tacular tiled image whose pattern dies miserably as it approaches the right side of the page. Strangely enough, I even remember drawing this image at a hotel / restaurant called "The Virginia House" in Cape May, NJ. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this masterpiece from the past...erpiece.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Something Rotten in Westwood...

Today the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA released the nominees for the 2007 Directors Spotlight award. There were a lot of brilliant animation pieces submitted this year along with the live action pieces from the production program in our film school. However, for some reason this year, zero animations were accepted.

Normally I wouldn't be bothered by this result because I want to believe in fairness and I think it is possible that there was enough high-quality live-action pieces to drown out the inevitability of an animated nominee. However, two things bother me. One is that I know two of the pieces submitted this year have gone on to compete in the 2008 Student Oscars competition (congrats Michelle), and one of them has even made it to the national finals (congrats Brian and Robyn)! The other of course, is that Spotlight has a category for outstanding animated short!

So, none of this seems to add up. I've seen some of the pieces that win Spotlight, and my feeling is that any short that can make it to national finals for the Student Oscar, can easily get accepted to UCLA Spotlight. Something is fishy. Could tensions have ran high enough between the live action and animation programs that they decided to eliminate us from Spotlight altogether? Are there some new rules in place that the animation department has not been made aware of? Which live-action piece will end up winning the UCLA Spotlight award for animation I wonder? Well, at least there are still non-bias venues such as Slamdance, Austin, and apparently the Oscars for us bruin animators to submit to. I just hope future generations of the UCLA Animation Workshop will not have to suffer this crime.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Rhythm & Blues

I received my annual "we got your reel and we're checking it out" postcard from Rhythm & Hues today. I should start making a wall out of these things! And now I play the waiting game again. Animation gods have mercy!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Silly Sir Sketches

My friend James Suhr is currently at Nickelodeon as a storyboard artist on a show in development called "Making Fiends" created by our department's very own Amy Winfrey. He was hanging out in the UCLA animation department tonight, and visualized what I would look like were I transported into the bizzare world of Making Fiends.