Thursday, December 20, 2012

GRAPH EDITOR: when you are panicking

Animator specific post...

     Graph Editor Tricks that I have found my self using. One is for when I am animating in stepped and the Other trick is for when I'm animating Layered. (stepped is when your graph editor does not allow your splines to curve and keeps looking like steps, layered is a way of animating when you FEEL the animation and its timing from the root out)

     I'm not here to debate which way of animating is better, I'm not about to regress into a school girl type of shouting match. I'm just going to give two tricks I find my self using often and the help me out a lot. Actually.. they've saved my ass more time than I care to admit :)

     So.. lets say you are animating Layered, so happy that you are getting results super fast and you even dare to think you might actually finish before the deadline. But soon you perfect start disappears and soon you animation is muddy, your timing is wrong, your takes melt into each other and nothing is left of your initial timing! You were almost done but now you don't know what to do. There are hitches in the arms, the nose arcs and you even discover you have problems in your root! What are you going to do?

What I do is:

I do hope this makes sense. The numbers at the bottom are frames on the time line.

     So I kind of start over but keep my 'blue print' of what my animation once was. I use the buffer curves (ghost curves) to guide me. I go through each curve pretty fast and double check its right and working well with the curves before it on the hierarchy. Doing this process saves more time than actually trying to fix everything while all the body parts are moving. And most of the time you don't even know that the curves you are fixing are responsible for the pops or bad timing in the first place. So that's why once you remove all the curves from sight and slide them back one by one, you easily come across the bad curves that were messing everything up. Its a bit tedious but it goes by fast. and you know once you are done, you have done everything you could have done and that leaves you feeling satisfied.

     The other situation where I use one of my tricks (well I wouldn't call it a trick, its more a piece of advice) is when I'm animating in stepped. Usually I'm pretty far along with my animation and I'm ready to start splining and making my curves smooth when I realize when that making my curves smooth is LOOSING all my timing etc. Now I'm faced with a choice: Do I continue smoothing out my stepped curves and FIGURE it out like how us good little animators were taught?? Or do i say fuck it and just keep animating in stepped?

I say Fuck it!... bad choice of words danny.. bad choice..

     BUT DANNY why would you animate like that? I don't make this decision out of laziness all the while as I am adding breakdowns I have my eye on the graph editor watching the curves FORM as breakdowns and poses are added and added. once I can see the curves develop more defined, then I will start to clean them up (all the while in stepped) Eventually my animation will be on 2's 3's and 4's here and there. This method keeps my timing and I spend more time animating than fighting with the graph editor. I never allow my graph editor to become messy and I never ignore my curves. I baby sit them the whole way still using as little controls as I can while getting the most out of them.

    These are my methods, they are not wrong, they are not right, but they allow me to finish my animation. It works for me and I encourage that if these methods do not seem to help you, you will search for a way that does. Many times I see a lot of great blocking and Ideas turn into mush and then becomes forever lost in the graph editor.

    Internship deadlines are coming fast in the spring, I wish all of you who are applying to places the best of luck and happy holidays! I guess I should mention here that I will be trying out tutoring after the new years. Not online tutoring but a real legit person to person hands on tutoring. I'll see how it goes. It might be cool it might actually be a utter complete business failure :) I'll do a post in a few days with more details about my plans for this... experiment!

Monday, November 19, 2012

GRAPH EDITOR: Off Setting 101

This post is for animation Students but hopefully it gives some insight to non-animation artists for those who are looking for it.  
Dear Curves,


-A Student

      I could write 100 blog posts about the graph editor (graph editor is a tool animators use to move and adjust their characters in the computer. ) but no amount of lectures will substitute raw first hand experience. You have to get frustrated and go through your OWN epiphanies. In my experience with the graph editor I have come across a few tricks/understandings. In this post I will share one of my understandings with you. I will keep it short for I find when something is over explained, it can make a simple subject very confusing.

OFFSETTING in animation:
      -When you break up the moving parts of the body to help show that there are different muscles working at different times to achieve one giant general movement. In the graph editor that just translates to: shifting your curves so that they all are not working at the same time. This is something everyone knows but its tricky to get it to look RIGHT/or ORGANICALLY in your animation for someone who is still learning.
      My tip is, even though we are taught that when things start and end at the same time is bad, TECHNICALLY under the hood (graph editor) it needs to happen at some level. If you look below you will see a very simple turn. (All we will focus on is the body and the head). When you first offset a curve it might look like the example on the lower left hand side of the page I have provided below. Most new students will leave that as is and then wonder why their animation has hitches and pops. You must remember that EVERYTHING moves on the human body at the same time, but somethings move more than others; which gives the illusion that somethings are not moving at all.

My drawings of the curves might not be accurate but its the concept I am trying to get across. 

     So do you notice how my curves will start moving at the same time? Though the curve for the head 'takes off' before the other curve for the head does. The body curve is moving at first but only very very slightly, then it slopes up to catch up to the head curve. When you make the curves harmonize and 'wait for each other' before coming back to a 'flat' stop, it will help with making your movements feel less mechanical and broken. 
EXTRA TIP for a head turn: Using counter animation to your advantage. If you look at the next picture, you will see a situation where you are forced to use counter animation.

       Below: Is how that curve will look in the graph editor. Notice how the 'hump' in the head curve doesn't extend the amount of frames needed but works within the frames given. in maya terms: All you need to do is set a key 3/4th of the way through the head turn and then raise it up in the graph editor.

     I can go more into why I believe these tricks work and, how should i put it.. I can talk more THEORY on the subject but I shall leave you with the solid basics and spare you the dense explanations. Try experimenting with these curves yourself. Adjust according to your needs. My drawings are not accurate to real situations but the curves are drawn only to get the point across. Take my tips and make them your own, you might discover better ways to accomplish what I'm trying to teach here. My way by far is not the right way or the only way. I do hope this helps for those that might be struggling with their fundamentals.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

WRECK IT RALPH: sketches


     I hope you all have gone and seen the movie! It was a lot of fun helping create such a fun film. I thought I 'd share some sketches I did while on the film. They are just little doodles and chicken scratches on post it notes and toss away pieces of paper.

ONE of my first sketches of ralph... when I actually had time to draw

     Hmm, Well working on the film feels like you and your co-workers are on a giant boat. Everyone has their job to do and something to help out with. You learn and become close with your 'crew' bc you end up seeing them more than anyone else, even your family and loved ones. So they in some sense.. a sort of family to you as well.
     And just like a real boat there are rough times and easy times. During the harsh times, there is no sleep, everyone is hard at work, we are all stressed, and it feels like there is no end in sight. Smooth times always come early on in the making of the film. It'll ramp up and get busy until a climatic few weeks of overtime and hell... and then.. its done. Then you have to remember how to live life again and find out what were your old hobbies, and remember that people exist outside of your work life. And you have to be social! (unless you can not remember how to be social by this point)
    Watching the world react to the film through Facebook and reading the reviews in all the magazines is a pretty crazy feeling. It's kind of having a venerable sort of feeling in your gut as you read what people say about the movie. Last but not least, seeing your name in the credits.. makes a landmark checkpoint of emotion that causes me to reflect and see how far I've come and to be excited about the future. I have a lot of life to live and my road is just getting started.

      There was always something to do! It left very little time for drawing, but the sticky notes above I did while animating those characters. Drawing on post it notes is a very good way to become detached to your drawing and let loose. You find yourself drawing very fast with out being precious about each little line you do. And even though that line isn't perfect, there is some energy captured in it that no amount of fiddling and perfection would repeat.

      Animating Vanelope was very fun. I was intimidated by her a lot until I was given a few shots with her.  Vanelope has a very cartoony 2D appeal to her that we always had to be aware of. Not as much as king candy but still a decent amount.

Sometimes when I'm stuck I figure out my problems with drawings

     I spent most of my time animating in Sugar Rush as you might figure out if you look at the ratio of candy racer drawings to everything else. I also animated a lot of characters in the Game Central Station, the Felix party in the beginning of the movie and at the climax of the movie. I do have a lot more sketches but I'll save them for another post. I hope you all enjoyed the movie and make sure to watch it a second time to find all the hidden things in the back ground (hint: look at the graffiti on the walls in game central station)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Drawing 101 Pt 2: 'Life drawing is dumb.. why should I do it?

      After copying, comes creating. Copying builds skill, life drawing hones talent. 

      Copying is for learning the basics. When you start to leave copying and start to create, there comes a new level of learning.. that can be scary. Bc then you really start to see how little you truly know. When you leave copying pictures and start drawing from life, it will probably be the biggest shock in your drawing life. Take my experience for example:

     All through out grade school I copied my favorite characters from magazines and posters. I would draw every single Pokemon when I was in elementary to my favorite artist's album cover during highschool. I would draw some things from life but they were mostly of spaces or buildings. Always staying a little abstract to hide my flaws.
      Then came freshman year of college: Week one. All us students came with our new biggie boards and freshly sharpened pencils and sat down in our life drawing class. The model is nude and getting ready to start posing. I have never drawn a nude model in person before and it was quite odd to realize the immaturity I was feeling all bc there was a penis right there hanging like no bodies business. All that went away when our instructor told us that we were not to EVER use pencils and to walk over and grab a piece of charcoal and to begin drawing the model. Then began the 30 seconds poses. Then with in 20 seconds I realized exactly why the instructor made us use charcoal and not pencil. You can NOT draw details with charcoal and finish a drawing in 30 seconds. It forces you to be broad and to commit to your lines even if they weren't perfect. It makes you live with the mistakes you create on the paper and because of that you are INSTANTLY AWARE of everything you are not good at. When you draw with pencil you can erase your mistakes... not in life drawing.
     We eventually learned its not about being ACCURATE and replicating a true depiction of the model. but to capture something .. deeper. You try capture the 'feeling and energy' of the GESTURE.  (if you didn't notice I capitalized and bloded the word gesture. That means I'm trying to make a point.) I'm not drawing wrinkles in the clothes and every single finger, but I'm drawing ONE line that goes from the head to the toe with in a second. I am overlapping, and drawing over the whole body in one line that never leaves the paper, not worrying about mistakes and smudges my hand leaves. Because when you finish 2 hours later.. It all comes together. Those 'mistakes' help support and add energy to a drawing I could never really quite capture back in the day when I use to copy. Copying another drawing is copying 2D and translating it to 2D again. Drawing things from 3D to a 2D surface is a whole different world.

      Some people life draw very accurately, some people life draw very abstractly.. Learn to do it both ways. Don't worry about what you are drawing BUT HOW YOU ARE DRAWING IT. No one will ever see what you see, so they will never compare your drawing to the real model and criticize you. What they will do is criticize your drawing and how you did it.

- 'But but.. DANNY, the model moved and Thats why my drawing looks bad. Its not my fault.'

       Hey well guess what. It is your fault that you created a bad drawing. The models job is not to stay still, the models job is to give you a concept, an idea of a pose. The model plants the seed and you take what the model gives you and then YOU create from that. You are not copying, if the model moves, that should be no problem to you bc you are to of already captured the gesture within the first minute of the pose SO that if the model does move you already have the foundation of the original pose on your paper. You are on to blame for YOUR drawing, not the model because as far as they care, they have nothing to do with your drawing.

     Life drawing teaches you not to be precious with your drawing. It may have something to do that after an hour you probably have made over 60 drawings. Who has time and the energy to care about that many drawings?? When one copies OF COURSE you get precious over drawings bc you probably spend weeks on one drawing.
     Everything you did learn while you were copying does not go to waste, you just become efficient and learn how to do all your tricks faster. Your skills become second nature. It is essential to do life drawing with an instructor, even if you do not agree with their style or notes, bc no matter what you think, what they have to say is important and will only add to your knowledge and skills. If you find your self ever saying, 'I don't want to hold the stick sideways to draw, its not my style." You might as well use the money you're paying for your art school to wipe your own ass. Try everything that is told to you. Use every medium offered to you, learn how to create and let your style come through in all mediums and techniques. Learn how to do things academically, then learn how to do things experimentally. Then last but not least learn how to do things in your own way. Break out of your comfort zone often and early.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Drawing 101: Training Your Eye

"There are two ways of thinking about painting, how     not to do it and how to do it; how to do it -- with much drawing and little color; how not to do it -- with much color and little drawing." 
(Letter to Theo van Gogh, April 1882)

      No matter what style you might draw/paint in, it is essential to at least know how to depict things with accurately. The foundation of being able to do so, is knowing how to judge proportions. When I judge proportions while life drawing, I try don't rely too much on my background knowledge of anatomy. I try to judge and draw with what my eye sees instead. Learn how to OBSERVE! Things I might say to myself while I draw, "Well from this angle the head is half the length or her thigh.. her right thigh is parallel to her left arm, and it looks like her head also lines up with her left arm but it obviously doesn't have the same angle as her right thigh. Therefore her head has an angle of its own I have to reflect in my drawing." etc etc... (notice how I talk about parts and not the body as a whole.. You must learn to see and draw the parts that make the 'whole'. You use the 'whole' to guide the over all direction of the smaller parts it consists of so that they exist and look as one.)  

      Looking at a model, a building, an object with this mindset/perspective is not easy. Its a very technical way of looking at your subject in order to get an accurate drawing. Thats why life drawing WITH a teacher is always more beneficial to you than drawing alone because they point out where your eye is weak in observing the subject. The teacher guides you. 

      When I was in high school we didn't have classes like I had in college. So I had to find my own way to improve and start training my eyes. The easiest way to start training your eyes to start learning how to line things up and see the PARTS of your subject instead. Using a grid is a simple example of using lines to guide your drawing. Soon with enough training you will be able to use the same technique with out any visual aids. But if you are just starting to learn how to draw, stick with a grid until you can use it to draw your pictures very accurately. 
      - To use a grid, you grab a picture and draw a grid over it. how many lines the grid has is up to you. But make sure that the grid on your drawing paper is pretty much exactly the same!
too-big and too-small grids - Then start section by section. Look at the parts that make the whole and draw the shapes they make and not the subject. Look for negative and positive shapes (if you do not know what I mean USE GOOGLE.. you have all of mankind's knowledge at your fingertips. start tapping into it by googling something for yourself. you'll be glad you did.)
a grid drawing in progress
Here, the Helen South (awesome tutorial instructor) started to cover parts of the picture so that they could focus on a section of the drawing. 

the grid lines act as  reference points
Remember I mentioned something about positive and negative shapes? on the right hand side: the negative shape is shaded in. You can think of a negative shape as: the space that your subject does not occupy. Notice where the edge of the jug crosses the grid line (is that half way? 1/3? 1/4th?? ) and make sure that your drawing does the same.
      When I was younger I would love to use the grid to draw some of my favorite characters and pictures. Always keep in mind: copying is not the goal! Training your eye is! As soon as you are good at using the grid to replicate drawings, then its time to move on to other techniques such as life drawing and depicting things that are in front of you. To many people get comfortable  and content with themselves in being able to copy very realistically. but when you ask them to draw a face from real life.. they are unable to. This is because copying only deals with LINES not FORM. One must learn to draw things with volume and form. You can not learn this from just copying flat pictures. This is why its important to move on and to not become content with being able to just copy. Your imagination dies when you get stuck copying. 

      I drew this in high-school using a grid on a 3in X 6in magazine photo. 

   This is the first post of a 3. Next will be a little more about whats the next step to do to develop your eye. I hope this post helped out any readers who need the help! And for those who are just curious, I hope it gave you insight into a perspective you might not be familiar with. Happy drawing. 

Thanks for reading,  -Danny

Monday, August 20, 2012

Need Ideas for Acting?

The acting by Max Schreck was very specific to his personality. He was a loner and had an unusual sense of humor. He liked to spend his time walking through dark forests. Only he could of done this role the way it was done at the time. 

  When you start on a new movie, assignment, or project, you have to get ready to bring some new ideas to the table. For animators this might be inventing a character's personality from scratch. for painters it might be creating a mood and composition from nothing, and writers might have it the hardest, they have to create a whole world. My advice still can apply to everyone: you have to study people who can achieve what you want better than what you can.
     For animators, we want to achieve a performance. An original raw performance acted out by our character that has it's own personality, life, and quarks. To get that specificity some people like to reference their favorite movies and others might search youtube for hours. Sure, those are fine but I'll share what I like to reference. Audition tapes. They are not perfect performances and sometimes the subject has to look down at their paper, but their acting is done on the spot and it's spontaneous. There is no set, there is no context or supporting actors on the side..there is JUST one actor. They have to transform on the spot into a character and make it believe able and authentic. 

     There are a few other reasons why I choose audition tapes and maybe you should apply these reasons when looking for something new and authentic to reference:

-I look for something a lot of people haven't seen before. 
-I look for something that is done better than I could ever do on my own. 
-make sure its unique enough and not just your biased choice of your favorite actors shitty performance. 

     Here are a few I have found. The last one is a video of the great Kevin Spacey. Watch how it's not just his voice, but his mannerisms and the faces he makes. Watch his mouth shapes and how unique each character is. Think to yourself, "Can the character you create, be worthy enough to be impersonated by Kevin Spacey??" 

      There are tons of other examples on the web but if I would post them all here then I wouldn't be promoting good researching skills. Hope this post was helpful to some of you.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wreck-it-Ralph and tips for Crunch Time at a Studio

       Crunch time is over! I've been gone working at Walt Disney Animation Studios helping animate their next upcoming film, Wreck-it-Ralph. I can't say anything new about it other than whats already out there on the inter-webs but I can say that you've never seen a movie like this before. It's going to be a fun one to watch the world react to it. Already I'm starting to see a lot of Ralph around LA.

-sanity_going out,fun and food
-drive_dont give up bc you have 2 hr of unproductiveness
-concentration-turn off internet
-strategize_when to show, control image of yourself

      Hey, remember what it was like to have a life? To go out, actually have time to sleep? Maybe even entertain a hobby?? most people who under a crunch time do not. You do not want to be one of those people. If it's a friday night, you got work tomorrow, but everyone kinda wants to go out and grab a drink at a bar... GO. BAar scene isn't your thing? Who cares, GO!! You benefit in two ways bc of this. One: you give yourself a break form the work-home-work routine. You spend some time with co-workers and keep your social skills up. Two: Remember, you get animation ideas from real life, so go out and live a little.
     Do not underestimate what your body can handle. You can easily go to sleep at 1 and wake up at 7:30 to get up and go to work. 6 hour sleep is just fine to recharge.

     Working hard all day, 6 o'clock hits and you still have a lot of work to do... so you stay 2 more hours and you realize you're not getting anything done. Now you have a choice: the tempting, "I should just go home and tackle this in the morning, I've been staring too long at this." Or my choice: you put your head down and power throw this 2 hour artist block bc sooner or later your mind gives up on procrastination and says, "FINE DANNY, I'll work I'll work just as long as you promise to go home after this" Sometimes I have unproductive hours but I dont give up, I work through them and sooner or later I get a second wind and complete a lot of work!

Remember all your work pays off. Pull your weight, you are now part of a team

      You don't have time for a 2 hour artist block? Your shot is due in an 1 and a half hours and you barely finished blocking???? I go into a code red mode, I turn all chrome, safari, internet explorers OFF. emails turn off, iphones go in the drawer, heads phone go in the ears but have no music (keeps people from talking to you and block out noise)  ..This is my code read I have to get shit done mode. Its not fun but you turn up your productivity 200%

      Probably one of the most important topics in this post, you only learn this through experience but I'll try my best to explain this.
     You are in control of how people see you and your work. Here's an example of bad control: You might be a perfectly capable animator but you show too early all the time. Then you do not show until you have polished your shot.
      I would say this is a bad strategy. Here is why, when you show early and its too under-baked, this is the image and memory you are leaving your supervisor with. And even if you turn your animation into a wonderful finished piece a week later, you left them with all that time with an image/memory of crude bad animation. The memory of the wonderful animation you just turned in will be erased once you show blocking two days later and its crude and too early once again.
      Another tip, Do not have facebook up when people walk by, let them see you working THEN bring up your facebook page even if they are there. These might be little differences but it can mean the difference of - "oh he's always on facebook and only works when im around." or "he's always working, ah he's just checking facebook. cool"
     -Always show strong work, with a lot of information and breakdowns. Give your supervisor as much information in your animation as they need so they can give correct accurate notes. Do not be afraid of doing a lot of work and then changing your animation. Do not be afraid of doing surgery on your splines and blowing stuff away and redoing it. Its your job. Don't treat your animation as if it's precious, it's the directors idea so be ready to change things at a moments notice. Always do your best. If you ever have a bad dailies or a bad drive by, make sure the next time you show makes up for that, make sure its GOOD. You don't want to be the guy who always has problems with their animation.

be aware of where you fit in your team. are you helping out, are you dead weight?  Do they really need me? What am I bringing to the table...

      Thanks for reading. We wont be starting on the next film for a while, expect a lot of new posts weekly and please don't be shy in sending new me work to check out! Whether its animation, short stories, drawings etc!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Danny What have you been doing??

Quite a few things!!!

      If you haven't noticed I have not posted in about a month now. This last month has been quite a bit crazy for me. Disney is going strong with their movie WRECK IT RALPH. Which I just say it's teaser... AMAZING. I definitely look forward for all of you seeing it. The animation is top notch and this film will look amazing. On the side I also got to get my hands on the Rapunzel and Flynn rig and do a dialogue test with them. 

but for now for the real reason that I've been so busy...

     In November/December I jumped on board a project my friend Ted Hayden was thinking about, it was a live-action short film. (In our business we say LIVE action or Animated film as to not confuse the two)

      In this post I'll share with you the madness, sweat, and insight I had being an animator in a live action production.

     NOVEMBER: Ted Hayden,

     he's a guy I met in college, he moved out here to LA a little while before me and since then has worked on sets and done a handfull of short films of which a few he has earned awards for in festivals and awards.
     Ted asked me to help him on his next short, he wants to focus on being a DP (cinematographer) and doesn't want to worry about anything else. which is where I come in, he wants me to direct. "What do I have to do?" Ted says to come up with a story and help out with shots and design. "OH, story board the film!!??"  ted says.. um yes. Story board. Like how the Coen Brother's do it...

     (this was my first animation reference. Story boards are a huge huge part of animated films as well for animators when they do them in thumbnail form. Storyboarding is doing many drawings of your film in it's entirety from concept to individual shots. A lot of Live action isn't done with a lot of story boards)

     DECEMBER: I draw out the film and we meet at least once a week to discuss things I really have never dealt with before. Here is an example of a miss communication.
-'Budget' ted says
"What the hell do you mean budget? Are you hungry? I could spot you for lunch..."
-"No haha, I mean how much money can you throw down on this film??"

     You see... being an animator, all I need is a pencil and some animation paper, and if im poor at the time, then just blank sheets of paper. I dont really have to spend more than $40 but here we are talking about props, renting out lights and equipment, food for people, gas to drive out to location, money money money....

     And the most obvious one that hit me hard, we have to pay to feed people and reimburse them for any expenses they make while working with us...

     WTF! I yelled.. and when Ted added up and started trying to list all the things we were going to need to do and get, he started going bald and dropped to the corner in the fetal position... Then he said we need a production manager! Enter SUNDAY WANG.. We could of not done this short with out him. He was amazing. I would say something like, 'I need our bad guy to wear this that and this, I need wine glasses and a fully dressed diner table for this scene and by the way, we need to find more drivers to carry the equipment tomorrow. OH AND did you find the location for the final sequence of the movie??"

-"yes, i got it, don't worry about it."

Sunday was also our Stunt double...
     Thats all he would say. Sunday was a BOSS. He's very good at what he does (which is that he wants to produce)  He really helped smooth out the production in this short. It was still crazy for me even with Sunday handling a lot of the stressful things. Such as when I had to decide camera shots and what color should our heros jacket should be and when Sunday would ask, 'what hair style do you want the actor to have... My responce was: askdhalsdkjhfldaskj !  shit i don't know, um.. as long as it's not dreadlocks??  but I had to choose because as director you have to decide every little detail or at least give the OK on it.
     In animation it's much easier to make decisions, all I have to do is draw and color with pencils and I'm done. So from time to time when I couldn't talk camera equipment language, I would draw something  and tell Ted- use what ever lens gets you THIS SHOT/ or make sure you get the lighting that looks like THIS...  It really did feel like two people speaking two different languages at some points during this process..

     JANUARY: We did our location scouts, we got out actors, we have our equipment ($40,000 worth of equipment if we broke it or lost it all...) and everything else we might need... time to start shooting..

     OUR FIRST MISTAKE and many other difficulties...

    (thinking we could EASILY finish shooting over 2 weekends..) Which we did finish but we should of done it over 4 weekends! It was really cool working with Ted and the cameras, because you can immediately play back something you shot on film and see if it was right or not. And if it was right, then
that was it! 10 seconds of film done! (in animation this would take weeks, so i was very pleased)

      BUT... When preparing a shot, I would be very eager and say, 'ok, so this one is easy! Lets do it real quick to move on!" So I would run to the location where the camera was suppose to be and start directing ted where to point and what to capture with his camera. Little did I know he was still back by the car messing with his camera.."TEEEDDD, what are you doing, come over here lets shoot!"
-I'm getting the FILTERS ready and setting up! these things TAKE TIME!
-Fuck! How much longer??
-Just HOLD ON.. so then after 10 long minutes he would set up his sticks (tripod) and set the camera where it was suppose to go...
-Ok ted ready? Ok lets do this!
-WAIT, im not ready.. im setting my marks and focusing...

     By this point I think regrettably punched a cactus or something... In animation I am use to just diving right in and drawing at a moments notice and start working on a shot.. In Live action it takes an awfully painstakingly long time to prepare for a shot, EVERY DIFFERENT SHOT! But I learned and got use to it.
    I also got use to 16 hour work days and being very tired all the time...

     All in all there was many little things like that that would pop up once in a while. there was a lot of improvising when a reflection of the sun glasses prevented us from getting a close up shot of our hero because our reflections would be in the shot.. that was frustrating. There was this one take that took us 4-5 hours to take and we did it 30 times.. that was a hard day. But we had an amazing crew, Ted did a great job realizing all my story boards and my vision and solving ways to do my impossible camera shots. (even doing a dangerous hanging out the trunk while driving 50 MPH with only a rope holding him in place..)

     We are still editing the film as I type this post and probably will not be done until another 3 weeks. I'm excited to see the film finally start to come together. It was a huge learning curve to deal with lighting a scene and figuring out what the hell was a kino and a flag.. Why do we need sand bags, the pain of being your own grips, and also learning to hate the words,'Don't worry about it, we'll put it in the budget.!'

  I will keep you updated on the progress of this film because we will eventually send it to festivals and try very hard to make it look like a very well done film. Wish us luck!!!!