Saturday, October 28, 2006

Week 3: Exploring

Very exciting week so far. This spiderweb was right next to my car one morning. I thought it was connected to it. the web was a good 3-4 feet across spanning a 8x8 space. I had to climb over to the passenger side and roll down the window to get the upshot.

Training is coming along nicely. Got to play with a couple shots for retiming and had some ideas to throw out to plus shots. rejected by director eventually but at least i was heard. This week, the advertising juggernuat was allowed a sneak-peek at the next wave of movies from DWA. Lots of marketing and licensing reps showed up this week to find out about Bees and KFP. For KFP, they had a Chinese culture demonstration complete with a Dragon costume, Kung-Fu performances and jugglers. Not to say that's all there is to Chinese culture but that's what works for junkets.

The last shot is pretty cool if you can see that the guy in the middle is bending a spear WITH HIS THROAT and getting a wooden pole broken over his back. Very cool.
And Chris's Hollywood moment of the week:

I met Po!
Fully articulate model based costume walking around DWA for thew junket. Prety Sweet.

The Other Hollywood Moment was getting to hang with my buddy Ross from Cartoon Network who was in town to pitch a project to AFI about creating a online gaming channel based on CN creations for the PS3. or something like that. it sounded cool and a good way to utilize the interactive TV ideas onto a platform that could actually deliver. We hung out at The Standard on Sunset Blvd. Very hip and trendy L.A. hotel. Dinner and drinks by the pool and a vaulted view of the L.A. valley. DJ outpost next to the front desk pumping beats at the little seating area out front. And just to show how cool it really was, there was a very cute piece of decoration lounging in a former fishtank behind the front desk. Surfing on a Mac Powerbook. In tight white short shorts. Gotta love the beautiful people.

Ross and I go out for some air and some homeles guy walking around starts screaming insults at some pretty, young hottie guests at the hotel. Since that doesn't fly anywhere, a couple hotel heavies had to escort him down the street aways. I halfway expected to hear a report the next day "In other news, a homeless man was found in the dumpster behind the Standard..."

And i found out about parking in L.A. $10 until midnight across from the hotel then I found $3.75 forever a block away. Thank god for company expense reports.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Week 2: Settling In

As promised, this is the view from my window. A balcony view of the company lagoon, trees and a sliver of mountains off in the distance, upper right.

This week's Hollywood moment occurred at the famous Graumann's Chinese Theater. Dreamworks invited the entire company to a Cast and Crew screening of Flushed Away and after-party the Hollywood and Highland Mall. The movie was Hi-Larious, very fast-paced, lots of in-jokes to Aardman fans and a very entertaining story. I was probably one of a handful of DreamWorkers who could have and objective view of the film. There has been some rumblings about the DWA/Aardman relationship but I still think the movie came off very well. There were probably too many Slug shots especially with the final song-and-dance sendoff but the Frogs were hilarious and Marcell was a hoot. I do recommend this film to anyone who likes Aardman films. Even in CG, Dreamworks still kept the stop-motion look and feel with the poppy mouths and model imperfections. Sir Ian McKellan was the BEST villain and chewed the entire set with giddy impishness. He definitely had a ball with this role. Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman play the leadsd but their voices were such that any Brit could have done as good a job. I LOVE Kate but Kate trying to do Cockney was about as successful as Jackman doing Queen's English. meh. Overall: A-

After the premiere came the after-party. The coolest moment of the night came just before we left. We were making our way throught the crowd and Greg mentioned "Hey, there's Peter Lord." I nearly tripped spinning around trying to see him. We got to chat him up a bit, chiding him about the speech he gave earlier. Very graciously referring to the DWA/Aardman union as a marriage between a stallion and a bear. Not sure who's who... All the speeches given made it sound like none of the fights ever happened. Greg even got to "interview" with Peter a bit since Aardman is allegedly creating their own CG outfit. Aardman will need someone who can convert CG info to film. Hope he remembers when he gets back to Bristol.

Other news: I created my first in-movie shot for KFP. EMO training goes down easier when you are practicing what they preach. Even got to suggest an ALT shot for it.

I am also looking around for a car. Ebay Motors might be a good bet. More to come.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Week 1: Arrival

In my excitement for getting the new job, I told them i wuld be available as soon as two caveats were met. I couldn't leave until after Ginny's 3rd B-day, which was great, and after Julianne's wedding, which will go down in the annals of Sherrod parties. Right up there with "Moonlight Cocktails".

Not realizing the wedding was on Saturday and i had to report on Monday made Sunday a very hectic day. A day that wouldn't cooperate. On our way to the airport, we had to turn around to retrieve the laptop, slow people on the road suddenly appeared in everylane and after getting through security minus my toothpaste, the flight was delayed for 3 hours. Watched Prairie Home Companion on the flight. if you like the radio show, you'll like the film i guess. if not, you aren't missing much. not much happens and the camera work made me seasick.

Once in L.A. new roomie Greg Kimble picked me up and took me out for Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. Whoever Roscoe is, he's a genius to pair the two in a meal. not on the same plate, not maple syrup chicken. just mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm good.
Monday was all about getting settled at DWA, paperwork, rental car, training, etc.

Tueaday was a night on the town. Went out to Santa Monica to see the newly recolored permiere of "SHE who must be obeyed" at the Aero theater. Ray Harryhausen was on hand to present the film in brand new color which he oversaw. I got to talk to him a little before the film about DNA and Ant Bully which he visited a few months ago. He was very gracious but told me "Son, I don't remember what I did two weeks ago". The picture Greg took looks like i'm going to hurl on the man.

I'll post my office window view soon. The company pond, trees, koi, and a sliver of mountains in the distance.

The weekend saw the arrival of Rafael Cuesta, another actor friend of a friend of Greg's. I swear it's turning into college. Campus life, free food, and a frat house. Rafe's very talented and will be searching for the standard rich-and-famous contract here in L.A. Good luck man. He also hooked up my computer back to the internet. Now we're off to Greg's boat for a sunset drift. later.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


From now until whenever, this blog shall be published from it's new digs in Los Angeles. On October 8, I am flying to L.A. to claim my position of 3D Rough Layout Artist for Dreamworks Animation feature film - Kung-Fu Panda. After months of searching and reels and resumes and cold calls and anguish, I get to keep doing what I love and get paid for it. The move will be solo at first and after 6 months, we'll see if the family joins me out there or I rack up a ton of frequent-flyer miles. I will be buying a "new" car out there since the Neon has been deemed unfit to drive. Couple blown head gaskets = $2000 - $5000 repair bill + a month for parts to ship. Relocation package from DW will cover rental for first month and search for beater will commence quickly.

I will be staying with the lovely and talented Greg Kimble in L.A. for a portion of my servitude. A spare room or the balcony is fine as long as it's free! L.A. rent has knocked me silly. A 1/1 apt that's more than my mortgage! yikes.

While I can't use this forum to reveal any tantalizing secrets or proprietary information I may learn while ensconced in the Glendale campus, I will be using this forum to bear witness as the proverbial kid in the giant candy store known as L.A.
Anything outside of DW's walls is fair game. Celebrity sightings, industry veterans, seaside sunsets, gridlock, smog, roommate shenanigans, depression, comic books, my room's four walls, you name it. It'll be just like college again. Woo Hoooo!