Nov 29, 2008

Back from Vegas 2008

What a week! I'm tired and fighting off a cold, but it's probably because of how much fun I had and how much dirty money I had in my hands. In the end I think we did too much to mention, but this return trip to Vegas was brilliant. So much has changed. I was pretty casual with my video camera this time, but my new 2008 edit and the original 2005 edit of my Las Vegas highlights can be seen below. 

Nov 18, 2008

Sitting Bull (2003)

June 2003. I was home from university for the summer and thought it might be fun to make another attempt at a stop motion short. I dug out my supplies that had been boxed away since high school, and came up with another simple concept motivated entirely by my desire to use a western theme and the title Sitting Bull.

Obviously, the title is a literal play on a 'sitting' bull instead of on the Sioux leader.

What I've always enjoyed about animation is the ability to completely create your environment, characters, and scenes in a very specific and controlled way. It all sounds a bit compulsive, but when I was unable to execute my bigger ideas in live action, animation allowed a big departure on a small scale. Plus, it was always nice to present new characters that were completely original looking.

I've never thought of myself as much of an animator, largely because I become so eager to see the results that I don't take enough time to plot all my movements. Still, revisiting my old animations awakens a creative side of myself that I haven't considered in years. Just sprucing up these old videos has me thinking of new concepts and short animation ideas that I'd like to try.

In the meantime, enjoy this classic short from my earlier works.

Nov 15, 2008

Clumsy Claus (2001)

Back in December 2001 I made this short film to share with family and friends at Christmas. I was in grade 12, I had been editing on the computer with very limited skills for about a year, and because of a communication technology class most of my productions from 2001 had been stop motion.

For the last 5 years I assumed I had lost this project for good. I had no record of the footage or the location of the finished film, and I didn't get too hung up about it because I assumed the project was just a waste anyway. Then just recently on a nostalgia kick I found an old CD and on it was an .mpeg of Clumsy Claus.

It's funny because the CD was clearly from 2001, and despite all the work that went into the project at the time, this little 40mb file was all I had to show for that entire memory. I hadn't seen the project in years, and suddenly after seeing it again I realized it wasn't nearly as awful as I thought it was. In fact, I found myself so excited to see it again that I felt it was worthy of a bit of restoration.

The movie itself is essentially the same, I just tightened up what I could and improved the quality of the credits; both of which I had little control of on my basic editing software back then. We didn't even have a DVD drive yet to back things up.

The memory of making the project is a flashback to a different mindset. I made it before I went to university, before YouTube existed and when downloadable music and home editing was just starting to thrive. The idea of having a blog or uploading my videos to the Internet seemed incredibly complicated and expensive, and I made projects knowing full well that maybe only 10 to 20 people would see them.

In the case of Clumsy Claus, I was 17 and I wanted to make a Christmas movie. I'm just happy that after all these years, a bit of new technology, and the fact that I'm still interested in making movies, I'm able to share this project in a way that seemed so far off when it was originally created.

Nov 12, 2008

Mentor a Child

I was getting a kick checking out all the videos on failblog's channel last night, which features over a hundred videos of people failing in numerous ways. I came across these videos and laughed and laughed, but I was sent over the edge when I read the comment 'mentor a child' posted below the theme park kid video which I've shared here. I think there are a lot of lessons in these vids. Although they are time wasters. I spent nearly two hours watching people fail last night.

Mentor Fail

Speeding Ticket Fail

Extreme Makeover Fail

Cop Fail

Nov 1, 2008

Yes We Can

Whatever your politics, whatever your background, your race, your religion, your dreams; understand that you are capable of initiating the change you want to see. Regardless of where you live, you can't be heard if you don't speak up and you can't complain if you don't participate. VOTE.