Monday, August 18, 2008

Siggraph 08

I have returned from 3.5 days of non-stop hustling, lunch meetings, recruiting parties and schmoozing. It helps to do your homework before going so you have some rapport with the recruiters and can talk about a few things besides "hire me". I had reels sent out to Blue Sky, Omation, Sony Animation, Lucasfilm, Laika and Pixar so I could avoid the crush of 10,000 others with the same idea.

A few disappointments met me on the floor. Recruiters promising earlier starts were supplanted by department heads admitting later ones. Like end-of-the-year or next spring-type ones. Nothing like trying to offer up your best face and act all understanding about why the company decided to hire from within while your insides are caving. So you just keep moving on and try again later. If any newbies read this, it is the one lesson you will learn about the industry: Don't get your hopes up. Be ready for the job and give it all you got but it don't mean nothin' til you sign it on the dotted liiiiiiiiiiiine.

On the positive side, I connected to a couple places that weren't necessarily on my radar. On a a whim, I handed a reel to Blizzard games and got hooked up with their Cinematics team who sounded very pleased to meet a RLO guy. Unlike most games co's, they have a full film team for their in-game movies. Also finally got an in with The Third Floor for previz. InterSense was demoing their mocap camera system and the guys from 3rd floor were showing off the features of the wireless previz cam for directors. I volunteered to try it out and they liked the way I staged the shot so I handed them a reel and had a quick meet and greet with the guys. Maybe it will lead to getting into their data base for the future.

Saw lots of buddies and former co-workers and caught up with their lives. Lunches with prospective bosses and parties with prospective companies. Wednesday, Blue Sky was at The Edison downtown. Great talk with Layout team members. Had my first Absinthe. They performed the whole "ritual" with the spoon, sugarcube and water. Tastes like weaker Jagermeister and kind of syrup-y. Plus the whole sugar kick keeps you wide-eyed for the night so no real sense of drunkenness, more buzzy. Thanks to Chuck for the ride back.

Lucasfilm seems the most plausible right now. They are setting up another 3D Story team for the Clone Wars TV Series. 3D Story sounds a lot like workbook in CG including breakdowns of the script. Recruiter Rosie directed me to Vince Toscana who heads the teams. He said he'd check out the reel once he got back and I should hear something by the end of the week or so. Remember Rule #1. For my trouble, I got invited to the Clone Wars party at the Nokia theater. If I had been paying attention I would have taken the pass and camped out watching the Animation Festival all day. Met some key people at the meeting including the Director Dave Filoni and BZ the Layout Recruiting Sup. Good face time and hopefully good reviews.

One last bit. Warner Bros has signed up with Main Street Pictures to produce some government funded PSA spots for Kenya on AIDS prevention. I been given a call about hooking up with their Layout/Previz team. They are already up and running and the gig would last 3 months with a deadline of November 29. They sounded pretty serious so if they can make it worthwhile I may be back in the car by the weekend. Remember Rule #1. It would be in XSI and the pipeline is pretty loose right now. More modeling than I've been used to probably but they mentioned training. Camera is camera so the tools should be similar. Modeling may take a few all-nighters.


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