Thursday, January 14, 2010 the home stretch!!!

After a much MUCH needed Christmas break, I have started back into Animation Mentor and my final class. That's's almost been 18 months since I started this amazing school and FANTASTIC journey!

This term is all about Short Film PRODUCTION, baby! That means taking all the planning I did last term and now creating some excellent animation with it. I've got some pretty big tech issues to deal with, as well as just basic work on performing and showing I am furthering my skills. And if I can end up with a great lil' short, even better!

My mentor this term is GREG WHITTAKER. Greg has been an animator at Dreamworks since the start of the animation company, I believe. He just happened to finish on "How to Train Your Dragon" this last week. His last day just happened to be the day of our first Q&A. I believe he'll be moving onto Kung Fu Panda 2 next.

This short film is a monster..and I got a ton of work to get done on it. But with Greg's and my Animation Mentor classmate's help, I think I can get this worked out. Keep an eye out for further posts about it, or check out my other blog for weekly updates.

until laterz!

Friday, December 11, 2009

a NEW Disney Princess makes her debut...

Being out here in LA has some great perks. Some people say the weather and warm temps is one of those things. Not so for me. Granted, I am LOVING the colder weather the "WINTER" brings to so cal, but it's just not winter without a CHANCE of snow. No, one of the perks for me is being so close to where Disney created his masterpieces. Last week, I got to go see a preview screening of Disney's return to the traditional hand-drawn animated feature with "the Princess and the Frog".

My buddy, Casey, and I bought tickets for the special event back in late October. This event was only the second time the Walt Disney studio was being open to the public for a movie screening. The last time was when Fantasia opened for the first time.

Casey is one of the first animator friends of mine out here in LA who is as big of a Disney fan as I am. We got to the studio and parked and then followed the "frog print crowns" to the magic.

We followed the tracks to a warehouse type area where we checked in and bought concessions.

We then walked across the studio lot to where the theater was at. Near the theater entrance, Mickey Mouse was on hand for anyone to take photos with. After handing over or cameras, we went into the theater and found our seats. We had paid a little extra to get reserved seats (not fully by choice since all the general admission ones were sold out, but at least we got a cool lithograph and Mardi Gras beads for that extra cash!).

The pretty packed theater was filled with children in boaster seats (which I overheard someone say Disney had run out of because the showing we were at had more children then adults). At first, I was thinking the row of school kids behind us were gonna be distractions, but as soon as the Disney logo came on and Aniki Noni Rose began singing the first song from this musical film, they were glued to the entertainment, as well as their seats.

I am not going to go through the whole film, because honestly, you just need to see it for yourself, but I will say this. This film was inspiring for my animation buddy and I. We both wanted to leave the film and get home to animate something. Both of us have dreams of animating on a Disney feature film and this film is just the type of film I want to be attached too. It was brilliantly drawn and animated. The music was MUCH better then I thought it was going to be, honestly. I connected with multiple characters, more then I thought I would. Yes, there might be a few things that I didn't feel were perfect, but after years of not knowing if I'd ever see a 2D animated film from "THE 2D" studio..this was a sign of a new revival.

After the film, we followed the frog footprints to the sound stage where I believe 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was filmed to meet the Disney Princesses.

While Casey and I just kinda walked through the activities, I did snap some photos of the royalty. There was also some other movie memorabilia

in part of the room, along with an area where an animator from the film was giving lessons on how to become an animator.

After we picked up our lithographs, we headed back to the car and left the event.

The film opens up today nationwide. I'm not worried it won't do well, but I really hope it just blows the competition outta the water. "New Moon" step aside..Princess Tiana wants some time in the bijou moonlight!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One year...

A year ago today, my sister, niece and I arrived in Los Angeles. After a three day drive from our parents home in South Dakota, I finally had arrived in LaLa Land. I had no job or place to live and no friends. By the end of the day, I'd found a place to sublet (which turned into actually becoming a permanent place to live). By the end of the month, I'd found a coaching job. This last year has had so much happen in it. I've given my animation career/passion a huge jump with Animation Mentor. I've continued to coach competitive team at a great gym in Pasadena. I've been blessed with some NEW (and some OLD) friends that have come into my life. It's also been amazing that I've been in the same ol' Blue House since that first week I drove into town. There have been a few roommate changes through the last year, but they are all still a great group of guys! Am I as happy about the actual area I live in or the house's upkeep? that's another story. I can't wait to be able to afford an apartment or house that's in a better area of SoCal. But for now...I'm enjoying the cooler summer LA is having and stoked about life!

Thanks for all those that have followed my journey to this point. I hope you will continue to follow!!

Until laterz!

Friday, June 19, 2009


It's been an amazing past 9 months, and I'm now OFFICIALLY halfway through this Animation Mentor program. I want to take this time to send a HUGE THANK YOU to my mentor, Marek Kochout, and wish him good luck on finishing up his work on Shrek 4! Can't wait to see the film and search for his name in the credits! I'd also like to thank all of my classmates, both in Marek's class and throughout Animation Mentor! You all have helped soo much in my progress and are a huge part of encouraging and INSPIRING me from week to week! Here's to another 9 months of amazing animation from you all!

Now...bring on Class 4, baby!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Life update - April 2009

Just for those loyal viewers that are still around..I'm still alive. Still in Los Angeles. Still working as a gymnastics coach...and currently almost halfway through my Class 3 (Intro to Acting) at Animation Mentor! The time has flown by, but it's been amazing. Even with all the ups and downs of life, I know this is where I'm to be and this is the career for me.

Because of the massive amount of time that AM pulls from me, I haven't been able to post on the smaller moments in life. But I will continue to try to post from time to time. For sure, check out my other blog for my Animation Mentor updates!

until laterz!

Friday, January 23, 2009

the Bonnie Hunt Show

For years, my sister, Heather, and I have been big fans of Bonnie Hunt. If you don't know who Bonnie is, she's been in several films, including Cheaper By The Dozen, The Green Mile, Beethoven, Jumanji, Jerry Maguire, as well as voicing characters in Cars, Monster's Inc. and A Bug's Life. She also was the star of a sitcom called "The Bonnie Hunt Show". This is when Heather and I became huge fans. Well, that and because we shared the same last name!

So this past September, Bonnie Hunt began hosting her own daytime talk show. Funny enough, this was the setting of her previous sitcom as Bonnie played a morning talk show host. Heather and I both became fans of this new talk show and began talking about the fact it was taped here in the LA area and how we should go to a taping. When Jeff and Heather made it back to California after the holidays, we wrote in to ask for tickets. a week or so before the taping, we got confirmation we had tickets. We were stoked for this, since it was to be both her and my first TV show taping. We had wanted to go to the Rosie Show back when it was on, but never made it to NYC to do so.

So yesterday, the day of the taping, I drive down and pick up Heather and Jeff and we drive to "the city of Culver City" and park in walking distance to the Sony Culver Studio. We picked up a friend of mine, Tyffani, and we grabbed some coffee (or non coffee drink for me) and then headed to get in line. We weren't allowed to have cell phones or cameras, so we couldn't get any of this documented. We didn't even know how long it was we waited outside the studio. But after they gave us our number and we went through the security check, we were seated in a waiting area. After a little more time there, we got into our numerical order and were filed into the studio.

Now this was a first for me, and it was so cool to see the sets that I'd seen so often on the TV. We were given ballpark style hotdogs (some of which had ketchup, some had mustard and Tyff's was plan!) and a Dad's Root Beer. We then were shown to our seats and sat down for what was to be a fun taping. The warm up guy did his job and told us ours. He was funny and entertained us for a little. The band played for a little, and then it was time for show time. The crew started coming out and we started recognizing the writers (Holly, best friend of Bonnie's, and then Jimmie Kimmel's brother) and Don, the producer and some of the other crew. We didn't know for sure who was the guest(s) until the title segment came playing across the screens. It was Brendan Fraser, along with a dog segment and one of the actress' from "Brothers and Sisters". After a TON, and I mean...A TON of clapping, we laughed and had a fantastic time at the show. Bonnie showed some real emotion after the dog segment, cuase of how many dogs are at the shelters and such. She commented she would take all of them if she had a large ranch for them! At the end of the taping, they did some tag line and promos, and then Bonnie comes into the audience and shakes hands and talked with us for a little bit. It was so nice to see her take the time to do that. And she was so gracious with everyone that asked her questions or made comments.

All in all, it was a great time with Bonnie! I would love to get a chance to meet Bonnie in person sometime. Maybe we'll bump into each other one day! It's LA...never know!

Until laterz!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Murphy's Law of Computers

So...some of you may know my luck with computers. I've been an avid Apple fan since my freshman year of college at Nebraska. More recently, I've had issue with logic boards and my laptops.

The first time was in 2006 at about the end of my Apple Care warranty for my Powerbook G4, and my logic board fried. I got it replaced....went to Taiwan for the wedding of my good bro, Campbell and my same computer desides to have issue with teh graphics card and thus needed to replace my logic board, because in the BRILLIANT advancement of technology, laptops have EVERYTHING attached to the logic board cause you to have to replace said board if you need to replace anything...even if the logic board itself is perfectly fine. The kicker of this is that I was less then six months PAST the end of this computers Apple Care. Which means it would be almost as much as a new computer to get a new board..and I decided on a new computer.

I get a wonderful new MacBook Pro as a replacement and life was good again. I move out to LA here this past July, start my first Class of Animation Mentor and it was all still good. I go home to SD for the holidays...all good. I come back and start my second class of AM and still all good. Second week of Class, Tuesday...wake up and my computer won't work...ARGH!!! Long story short..I take it into the Apple Store and the Genius' there tell me is the...wait for got it...the LOGIC board!! :) WHOO HOO!! When I pulled myself up off the floor, I told them to go ahead and fix it (luckily with the help of Apple Care. Have I mentioned how much I HIGHLY suggest spending the extra on Apple Care?!!!!). I was told it'd be 7-10 days. I was like, "Great..wonderful! How am I going to do my homework and freelance work??" I leave the store...sure it's gonna be longer then 10 days per my normal luck with getting computers fixed. I spend the next two days trying to figure out how I can still stay on schedule with school and NOT drop a grade for this week. I worked out something with my mentor, Rebecca Perez...(AWESOME mentor!!) and talk to the school about my situation. A great buddy of mine that also is in the same Class as I am at AM offered me his extra computer, which I am so THANKFUL to Jeffrey for his generosity. But after much searching online via my roommate's computer, I decided to purchase a second computer, a Mac Pro. I'd been wanting to have a second, more powerful computer for a while, and now was as good a time to take the plunge.

Friday, I walk into the Apple Store and walk out with a new computer and an excited hop in my step. I get the computer set up and barely had time to wipe the goofy grin of excitement off my face, when I get a call from the Apple Store that my laptop was done. I think "Of COURSE it is!!"

All in all, happy I got my new computer and super happy I got my Week 2 homework done and handed in. But God has really provided and is keeping me above water, with or without Murphy's Law!!

Until laterz!