It's been a while since I have done an 'Update' post and this one was due a couple months ago. But things have been crazy Y'ALL. YEEHAAW... that was a little foreshadowing to my news.:P
Earlier this year, Louie and I both accepted positions at Reel FX in Dallas TX to help the studio develop their first animated feature film TURKEYS. This was a very bittersweet decision, but we're incredibly excited about it and that we get to do it together! It was hard to leave Tippett (again).. the place that took a chance on me when no one else would... The place that taught me so much not only about how to animate better and more efficiently, but how to be a good animator to work with... The place where I met the love of my life... The place that taught me how to continue working after downing four pints of beer at lunch. I owe these guys for a lot of great memories and helping be become the person I am. Those guys will always feel like family to Louie and I, no matter where we are.
After dealing with uptight movers, a nonstop 30 hour drive with two cats and a dog, fear of our car breaking down in the desert, fear of our moving truck getting swept away in a tornado... we made it! And Reel FX has done an amazing job welcoming us into their family! Everyone has been extremely helpful with things around the studio and also things in the area. It's been a lot of fun getting to know the animation team and also working with other fellow bay area animators that moved down here for the same project... one of who actually told us about this opportunity (thanks Travis!)! The excitement and energy in this studio is contagious and its been amazing being a part of the early stages of a project. We have been doing rig testing, and also character tests - different tests showing how a character might act or do something in certain situations. I absolutely love it! Character and emotion is what drove me to animation when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It feels so good to be exploring these area's more with my work again. And yes, its fun to make a turkey act!
We got down here at the perfect time! Our first week at work yielded a pretty awesome surprise for anyone in the animation world - Glen Keane
was in town to be presented with the Tex Avery Animation Award, AND
give a talk at the studio on his career and approach to animation, AND
give a Q&A joined with an anniversary screening of Aladdin
AAAAAANNND invited the Reel FX animation team to a small sit down
lunch/conversation. I still can't believe this happened! He is very inspiring to listen to and meet, and we can't wait to see what is next in store for him.
Dallas has been great to us so far - a lot different that we were expecting (barely any cowboy hats/boots). We live in Deep Ellum; where there are a lot of restaurants, shops and music venues. Not enough cafe's though! Great thing is we are an eight minute walk to work which has been wonderful! Except.. its getting HOT here. We'll adapt though. And by adapt I mean run from one air conditioned place to the next :P We are really close to being fully unpacked and settled and can finally get back to things like drawing and staring at my guitar wishing I could play it better.
Thanks for taking the time to read my update!