Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sailing with the Lady Washington

Went sailing with Greg on Sunday in Marina Del Rey and we went chasing after the Lady Washington in town from Seattle. My buddy Josh at Imagi told me about it and it sounded like a fun afternoon.

Josh was on the boat and I called out to him and the whole crowd turned and he spotted me and I laughed. It was cool.
The other boat on their voyage was the Hawaiian Chieftain and they engaged in mock battle right offshore. Really beautiful ships both and fast. They were probably under power but they had their sails out and were doing manuevers trying to outflank each other and every once in while letting off a cannon charge.
We tootled around the ships, Greg driving, me up on the bow shooting. Could have unfurled the sails ourselves but Greg didn't want to bother with it. Just out being Nautical Looky-loos.
YouTube Playlist available list here

Monday, December 10, 2007

Imagi Xmas

Merry Christmas Everyone! If you've actually been following this terribly updated blog, Congratulations! You. Are. Bored! This past weekend was the very first Imagi Studios Christmas Party ever.
As you can see, it was a rockin' good time. Various staff members formed a n impromptu house band for the evening and they kicked some hair-band ass!

No song performed was pre-1990 so you know it was Party-riffic.

The band was led by none other than our Producer Gayland who long ago, back in the dark ages known as the late 1980's, he was a member of a metal/Zeppelin-esque rock band called Kingdom Come. They had an album or two that did ok and then Grunge came around and killed the dream.

But man does he shred on Wild Thing!

Plus, I finally got to meet our fearless leader, Francis. Owner of Imagi, fashionista and nice guy. We shook hands and I said thanks for the experience. No brown-nosing, just friendly face-time.

In other news, I saw Golden Compass with the RLO crew at Universal on Friday. I will say the digital elements definitely looked like they were supposed to be a part of the film. No inconsistencies like Beowulf. A little too much exposition to explain this new world. Every new character got a speech we had to sit through. The girl carried the WHOLE film. I was impressed. The pacing had a lot of stops and starts. I don't know if it was the full on AC or holding back a pee-break for half the movie but it took forever to get that movie going. Overall, I give it a B. Will probably set up a movie-hopper day for Sweeney Todd, I Am Legend, Charlie Wilson and maybe Enchanted. We'll see.

ADDENDUM: Something else about the Golden Compass. The Compass itself was a little confusing. I wish they had explained or shown how the compass worked but the part where the girl would set the dials and then be shown the answers reminded me exactly of the Jimmy Neutron Brain Blast. Think.....think....(camera dive, pulsing brain, ghostly images, describing the solution)...Brain Blast!

thats all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm totally geeking out about it

Been watching Ratatouille past couple days. Borrowed a screening copy from Josh and shared it with the guys at home. I still laugh even though i've seen it a couple times already which Greg noted. This movie is so beautiful and totally feels like a live-action film except for the walking talking rat. There's lots to learn here and there's a lot of Pixar just showing off. What's left to conquer? They do water great, fur great, hair, wind, character, timing, lighting...what else is there? Probably why Brad wants to branch out into live-action with 1906 and the John Carpenter of Mars series. I can't wait for WALL-E - An opening scene with virtually no dialog for 20 minutes? Then there's UP - a story of a septuagenarian and a forest ranger solving crimes in the Pacific Northwest? I love it already! Note: these are the rumors i have gleaned from conjecture, hearsay and the internet so what do i know? Oh and if the UP premise isn't correct - DIBS!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tim Conway Kills

Last week or so was an American Masters program on PBS featuring Carol Burnett and her rise to fame and the show and whatnot. The program did a good job of charting the comedic gold of her talents and the rest of the cast that made that show so funny for 11 YEARS. The only thing the show left out was Tim Conway's Elephant story lifted from a Mama's Family sketch that put the cast on the floor. I remember seeing this spot on TV and my whole family laughing for 20 minutes after. What was odd was how the program even seemed to lead right up to this sketch talking about how Tim would riff on something and loved to get the cast to break up. This is the ultimate in comedic timing and Ad Lib.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I am claiming this cuz it's freaking funny

Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife's mother. While my wife's brother and I were fitting the fan in between the joists, we found something under the insulation. What we found was this:

A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It's not often something this great just falls in my lap, but holy hell this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking. I thumbed through it quickly and found my next dining room set, which is apparently made by adding upholstery to old barrels:

Also, I am totally getting this for my bathroom:

There's plenty more home furnishings where those came from, however I'm not going to bore you with that. Instead, I'm going to bore you with something else. The clothes.

The clothes are fantastic.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in elementary school:

Just look at that belt. It's like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place. The belt loops have to be three inches long. And way to pull them up to your armpits, grandpa.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in high school:

This kid looks like he's pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.

Here's how to get your ass kicked on the golf course:

This "all purpose jumpsuit" is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can't see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block. Even then, the only reason you should put this thing on is because the warden made you, and as a one-piece, it's slightly more effective as a deterrent against ass-rapery.

Here's how to get your ass kicked pretty much anywhere:

If you look at that picture quickly, it looks like Mr. Bob "No-pants" Saget has his hand in the other guy's pocket. In this case, he doesn't, although you can tell just by looking at them that it's happened - or if it hasn't happened it will. Oh yes. It will. As soon as he puts down his matching coffee cup.

Here's how to get your ass kicked at the beach:

He looks like he's reaching for a gun, but you know it's probably just a bottle of suntan lotion in a holster.

How to get your ass kicked in a meeting:

If you wear this suit and don't sell used cars for a living, I believe you can be fined and face serious repercussions, up to and including termination. Or imprisonment, in which case you'd be forced to wear that orange jumpsuit.

How to get your ass kicked on every day up to and including St. Patrick's Day

Dear god in heaven, I don't believe that color exists in nature. There is NO excuse for wearing either of these ensembles unless you're working as a body guard for the Lucky Charms leprechaun.

In this next one, Your Search For VALUE Ends at Penneys.

As does your search for chest hair.

And this -- Seriously. No words.

Oh wait, it turns out that there are words after all. Those words are What. The. F*ck. I'm guessing the snap front gives you quick access to the chest hair. The little tie must be the pull tab.

Also, judging by the sheer amount of matching his/hers outfits, I'm guessing that in 1977 it was considered pretty stylish for couples to dress alike. These couples look happy, don't they?

I am especially fond of this one, which I have entitled "Cowboy Chachi Loves You Best."

And nothing showcases your everlasting love more than the commitment of matching bathing suits. That, and a blonde girl with a look on her face that says "I love the way your junk fights against that fabric."

Then, after the lovin', you can relax in your one-piece matching terry cloth jumpsuits:

I could go on, but I'm tired, and my eyes hurt from this trip back in time. I think it's the colors. That said, I will leave you with these tasteful little numbers:

Man, that's sexy

Now, you may be laughing, but I know that you used to have clothes like these, not to mention the platform shoes with the raised sole and heel...and the leisure suit, especially if it had the contrasting-colored seam thread was as absolute chick-magnet.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Luckily, your's truly is nowhere near any of the fires that have plagued SoCal in recent days unlike the hundreds of homes and thousands of displaced residents throughout the area. These make the Griffith park fires earlier look like a campout in comparison. Gosh, I can't wait to get the family out here.

Speaking of which, Bren just called to announce her first house showing dry-run tomorrow. Richard will be coming by to corral the kids and Bren will be up all night cleaning and painting. I'll be excited when someone signs the dotted line.

This motley crew was the halloween party at Brent's house who is a friend of Tiffany's boss. Tiff loves H'ween and volunteered to cater this shindig. Hermosa Beach is a nice place for the four blocks I saw of it. Cute little seaside houses that are like St. Louis row houses with front driveways and million dollar pricetags. "I am a prisoner of love. You wanna be my last meal?"

Bren sent a huge goodie box of home baked goodness. Apparently she likes me fat. Most will be unleashed upon the unsuspecting Imagi co-workers. First sequence approved for editorial. Yay!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Joe Riley and the Song of the South

This fine banner dedicated to Joe Riley was pinched from the very fine Chickenshoot blog of DNA animator Deanna Molinaro - mmmm, spicy!

So Joe was the true spirit of art and creativity that those of us that call ourselves creative, aspire to achieve. We all miss the big guy and the art world of bad sci-fi and great comics is diminished.

On a lighter note, I finally scored a copy of Disney's Song of the South. I have been wanting to see this film in it's entirety since I was six. YouTube has some clips but it's not the same. This is a dub of a laserdisc or something because Disney won't never release this feature on DVD because Disney's afraid that it will offend somebody's fragile sensibilities or be called on racism. Now, being total white bread cracker myself, I can't say anything but the story is very good, the animation is top-notch and the moral is Stories Matter.

The ironic thing is Disney is suppressing a great story like this because they think the story is hurtful. How can it be hurtful if it's kept people laughing for so long? This movie is a product of it's time and I still fail to see what the fuss is about. The story takes place post-Civil War, the people working on the plantation are not slaves, Uncle Remus leaves of his own accord and no one stops him. Toby is encouraged to play with Johnny. Some bits were odd like no closeups of singing black people and the choir of workers to the sick white boy. But the story is what brings the boy back and the parents have a better understanding of what their boy needs to be happy.

I will gladly show this film to my kids and I hope one day, Disney will see fit to release this as one of their Treasures series. Add a foreword with Morgan Freeman, Lawrence Fishburne, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Whoopie Goldberg, and Oprah Winfrey. Anything to tell the rest of mainstream America this film is not the Third Rail of home entertainment. Joe Riley would agree with me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Stop-Motion Awesomeness

This is wonderful and I am an untalented hack.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Emotional Day

Sent a letter to my mom that was justified but not well received. The short answer, mom gets to do what mom wants regardless.

Bren blew up at me for making it sound like it was all her fault. And then apologized for yelling (!)

A very good friend and talented artist, Joe Riley, died yesterday. Massive heart attack at 43. He helped me with character sketches of Skeet for my St. Fiacre short. Need to find those and frame em.

On the plus side, Ken Mitchroney dropped by the studio for lunch on a whirlwind tour of the Valley studios looking for work. Gave him a look around Imagi and he bumped into pal Brady, the director of Astroboy. Probably broke protocol bringing him in and catching the director flat-footed but hey, he's not my director.
Met up with Ken, Tiffany and others from Ken's story dept on Ant Bully for dinner and drinks. And man I needed it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Post!!

Found this on Cartoon Brew. Very clever.
So I haven't posted in a while. Currently busy with Gatchaman. Planning on going home next week for Virginia's birthday. Ken Mitchroney is scheduled for lunch tomorrow. Maybe I can land him at Imagi on Astroboy. He knows the director.
Had a RLO kickoff party at Don's saturday. Lots of crew and friends showed up. Going to be a good group. I really feel at home here. Reminds me of DNA being a ll laid-back and garage-band like. At least this production has drywall that's connected to something. The stint during TMNT was horrific to say the least. Imagi had rented space in the basement of an office tower that was the storage area for all the other offices. It smelled like a sewer and when forklifts would bump the walls, the room would shake. No A/C. Parking lot fumes. I'll take the bullpen, thanks. Word is, we are moving into our new digs down the hall and we'll be issued our own cubicle! Now if we only had something to work on...
Tiffany's birthday was last week. I was thiiis close to singing "Pride and Joy" by SRV. Then the bar closed. oh well.
Greg has been redecorating my room lately with new bedding and drapes. He needs a (blow)job.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Terry Gilliam film

P.S. I am employed at Imagi Studios on Gatchaman. Hooray!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Siggraph 07

The plan was to come back to L.A. and canvass the market with demo reels while keeping an eye on a few of the companies I had talked to before going home in June then taking one last stab at it by going to Siggraph in San Diego this year. First time ever and I knew a lot of the recruiters would be there so I drove down with 10 reels and no hotel. The downside is 10000 of your closest friends and competitors are thinking the same thing. A studio may get 30 reels a week unsolicited, 300 a week if there's a job posting and nearly 3000 during Siggraph. Kind of a double edged sword but it's THE place to network. To finally get your face in front of those people you've emailed and written and called for the past months. As it turned out I needn't have worried.
On Monday night before I left, IMAGI called. HR was ready to offer me a contract and put me to work ASAP. The weight lifting off your shoulders is the closest to an orgasm you come without cleaning up. So the hard part had been taken care of before I even set foot out the door. But I had already bought the ticket and there were people to see and nets to work.
I had been to other conferences like NCTA but this was the first time to be somewhere not working. I didn't even make it through the entire floor on the first day. Ran into Mark Theilen who's now at ReelFX, Tom Grevera at Omation, Scott Lemmer, and Johan Klingler at Art Institute. I somehow managed to sweet talk my way to the Pixar party that night and into Johan's hotel room to crash so I was making the most of my time. Johan and an old CalArts friend, Joe and I started at this Irish Pub on 4th street in the Gaslamp District. He was impressing on me the proper way to sell yourself at these parties and to try for the Disney or ILM or Maya parties tomorrow. That's where the real networking happens.
When we parted ways I found the Pixar party had taken over Harry's bar on 5th. Everyone was very nice and open and willing to chat with me about life at Pixar. The place was jumping for hours and I never really felt out of place. That's key about working at Pixar. They make a big to-do about playing well with others. Even though there weren't any Layout people there, I still felt good about my impression on other departments. Hopefully, they'll tell their friends and their friends and so on and so on...
Tom and Scott showed up at the party about midnight and we left to find Mark and Rich
Pickler back at the Irish pub I had started at that night. Mark is a home brewer like Gasaway and had recently moved into whiskey appreciation. So I put my experience at the Oxberry to use and actually sounded like a knew a thing or two. Bought a couple shots of 18 y/o McCallan to toast the evening and Mark slops his on the bar. He replaced it with 25 y/o McCallan that had to be $30 a shot. We passed these libations around to the other guys and Mmmmmed over the difference one drop of water makes to open up the flavors of something oxygen deprived for 25 years. For a souvenir the bartender gave Mark the box the MaCallan's came in. We closed the bar about 2am and staggered off in different directions. I still had to get my bag out of my car back at the parking garage that remained untouched the whole time.
So maintaining my footing pretty well, I got back to the hotel room and woke up Johan because my card wasn't being read in the door quick enough. 5 hours of sleep was not nearly enough to absorb the effects of last night so I was dragging the whole day. Didn't even try to land another party and just floated through the rest of the conference skimming the art gallery and animation theater. Ran into Robert Crawford from KFP and we hooked up for a couple pints back at his hotel. Nothing of consequence has happened at DWA on Monsters or Dragons although I could have stayed another month on KFP because of people on vacation over July. Jim Keefer and Yung Duk were holding the fort alone. Crawford got back from South Africa a week later than he told DWA and then got the order to go to Siggraph from DWA the following week. David Hoffman and Pam Stefan were supposed to be at Siggraph as well but never found them. Once I had enough face time and visiting, there really wasn't much left for me and I had ignored Greg's cats long enough. Johan and Joe and I hooked up that night so Johan could see a beach again and Joe brought out his RC glider to fly along the cliff faces using the updrafts from the ocean. Got a little queasy bouncing along in the back of his pickup but I had hardly eaten all day except for those pints and a muffin from Disney. After dinner at Denny's Joe dropped us off at Johan's hotel and we parted ways. Siggraph 07 was a stunning success that I can't imagine could ever be repeated. I will definitely try to go again next time with studio backing.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

10 People

So Bren and I were talking on Skype as we do so I can see the kids and she mentioned how she was thinking about her life and turning 40 and mortality and mid-life crises and all those things that drive you crazy because you're reaching a milestone. When Bren's 30 birthday is the date of Princess Diana's death and she'll never forgive her for it. Now on the eve of her 40th, the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis can crashing down into the Mississippi River and people have died or are missing. This is a bad track record that has drug her down a bit and led her to contemplate her own mortality. She wanted to let 10 people she knew who had impacted her life, good or bad, that she was appreciative of their lives. Whether or not she could contact them, she needed to get the idea out of her head. So we're doing this together so it'll seem less "girly".

10 people who have impacted my life who are not family members in no particular order:

Greg Kimble - my Los Angeles wife

Johan Klingler - integrity in art

Steve Kolbe - set me on the path

Chris James - The Best Friend

Felicia Lyon - the first love

Duane Smith - College buddy and comics pusher

Kip Bilderback - Theater older brother

Andrew Doucette - Grade School chum who moved to Connecticut

Mr. Reimers - First art teacher who knew how to make art fun

Brenda Vieths - a pretty girl who liked comics and beat me at pool

There are many others, of course, who impacted my life, but these
are the ones that probably turned me into the direction I'm heading now.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

AFI meeting

Had a demo run through at the American Film Institute.
Demos reminded me of the Interactive Channel days.
Different companies working on a project to exploit
a new media technology or platform but couldn't be
exclusively for the originating company.
AOL demo exploring an online interview show through AIM.
A Cartoon Network gaming channel within PS3 Platform.
A Sustainable Resources program available on TiVo, cell
phones, GPS and Blu-Ray DVDs
New ways of pushing content to consumers and viewers.
Signed up for the mentor program. More for Producer types.
Something to get me out of the house.

Been bike riding a lot lately and working on the tan.

The Doctor is Online

Paul Claerhout finally has a website.
Story, character sketcher extraordinaire.
More to come soon.