Monday, December 1, 2008


I finally got to see Bolt last night. Disney's latest addition to it's animated film history, Bolt is a fantastic comedy/buddy/ animal/action film. We went to see the 3D version of it, which is always an added joy. The newer 3D technology is soo much easier to watch then the red/blue lens glasses. Although, I did notice that the current glasses are tinted darker, so the film is a little less bright then it normally would be. But enough about the technology. The animation and plot were brilliant. One of the sidekicks has become one of my new favorite characters, Rhino the hamster. I loved the pigeons that run through out the whole film. I think this is because of school, I'm watching the actual animation so much closer these days. This always happens when I am in animation school..screws with my viewing pleasure! But all I could see were poses...poses...poses!! ha!

I'd highly recommend this film to young and old! My friends and I, were rolling in the isles through much of the film. And once again, I watched the "animator's" credit list and found where my name will fit right in. ONE DAY in the NEAR FUTURE!!!

Until laterz!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

AM Week 6: Halfway done with Class 1!!!

Hey all! I realize that I haven't been posting as much as I'd like..but that's a good thing, kinda. It means I'm busy working on my passion and learning a ton! Week 5 was a tough one for me. Partly because of my assignment...partly because I was sick..and partly just cause! I got through that week..handed in my assignment and even go good feedback from Victor. Week 6 was a bit better. I actually got a good start early on in the week. And I'm even done with my assignment EARLY! It's not due till tomorrow, Sunday, at noon. I could tweak it more, I'm sure, but I think I'm good for now and don't want to mess it I'll wait till Victor gets some feedback to me.

Halfway done with Class 1 and I've learned a ton..even if most of the stuff is refresher for me, it's a much NEEDED refresher.

Keep checking back..I WILL continue to update as much as I can!

check out my other blog for more up to date posts on my Animation Mentor journey!!

Until laterz!

Monday, October 13, 2008

AM Week 2: 1st E-Critique

Tonight I got home from Mosaic to find my mentor at Animation Mentor, Victor Navone, had finished my first e-critique for my STU pose. I was super excited...and super freaked out. I felt like I had put so much into this first week's homework, I really wanted good feedback (and a good grade to follow). He started with looking at my sketchbook page, saying he liked the variety of the poses and even said I was pretty "on model" with the STU character. He commented on my choice of pose and then went to look at my CG pose image. He said at the start that it wasn't the story he was thinking of, but that wasn't a problem. He also mentioned having changed the camera angle, but understood that could have been on account of STU's gianormous head. Then, Victor proceeded to draw some tweaks on top of my image to strengthen the pose.

I'll go back in and take his suggestions and make the pose even stronger. But for the first of many e-critiques, it all went along well. I also got a great grade on this one! :) You can see my post that goes into more detail about this weeks assignment here!

Next week...EXCITEMENT and the bouncing ball!!!

Until laterz!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Terra Nova 2008 (part 3)

This continues where my last posts left off, so if you are just joining us...check out Terra Nova 2008 (part 1) or Terra Nova 2008 (part 2)!

Okay...well, I know this is a little late in coming, but life happens. I wanted to make sure I got some more photos of my weekend posted so you guys can see all that happened. Now, it's been a month and a half since this weekend, so some details might get overlooked..but at least there are pictures!

Here are the MC's of the weekend; introducing the creative festival that is about to start!

One of the attendees at Terra Nova was a crotchity old puppet, who then had a change of personality after the weekend and was assisting in introducing the acts. Performances that ranged from vocal and instrumental...

Here a friend of mine, Jolene is belting out a song she and the guy playing guitar wrote over the weekend.

Mariah McManus shares her song with the group.

There were also short dramas, written and performed by the acting groups.

One of MY favorite parts was watching the dance teams from the three main Mosaic locations. I got a chance to get to know a few of these people. Many of them are young, but I loved the energy and creativity that they have in their craft!

The improvers showed what they had learned in a short improve sketch.

....and another one of the performances that left an impression on me were the spoken word performers. It was so powerful and amazing how these guys can really move you with there words. AMAZING! And I was drawn to the one guys leg that was tatooed. All I could think of was how the part on his shin HAD to hurt! OUCH!

As well as the performances, there was an "art gallery" from the fine art people. Some impressive stuff there too. After the performances all wrapped up, it was time for good bye. It was a great end for a FANTASTIC weekend. We still haven't gotten the short film we worked on finished yet, but I'm excited to see the finished product and will for sure let you know if I can get it uploaded for you guys to see. We loaded up the SUV and started the drive back to LA, stopping off for Rootbeer and food at A&W Rootbeer. These are the really good times and memories that I love to make. It was a great time to meet people and get to know old friends better. I have already booked my place for 2009 Terra Nova and can't wait to get back!

Until laterz!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's going on outside my window??

Back in September, I was getting ready to go to bed after a late night of work in the early morning of Sept. 18th. I was starting to fall asleep and I saw the light of the Police helicopters coming in and out of my room. This is not uncommon, but it seemed like they were really focusing on something around my area. I don't think a ton of it, laughing it off. Then I see some flashing red lights through the curtains. I jump to the window to see what's going on. Outside of my window in the parking lot to the south of our house, I see a guy trying to stop the bleeding of another guy laying on the ground. A third guy is hysterically yelling at the guy on the ground.

At about that time, police cars, an ambulance and fire trucks arrive and someone else takes over for the guy that was attending to the injured guy. I grabbed my camera to document this. Keep in mind, I'm a kid from South Dakota. This kinda thing doesn't happen very often to me. My nephew told me I was becoming a budding "Peter Parker".

Soon the ambulance takes the victim away and the cops begin to get to work. It was CSI:LA right outside my house. Crime tape began going up and the victims friends were being questioned. I was the only one of the house awake (it was like 3am in the morning!!) and so I went downstairs to the porch and tried to figure out what had happened.

A group of USC students that live next door came under the police tape and talked with me on the porch. I found out the guy had been stabbed after a scuffle. We didn't have details that night, but the next day the news had more info. I felt weird "documenting" the incident, but I couldn't not do it.

Unfortunately the victim, a USC Cinema Arts grad student named Bryan Richard Frost, did not survive the the stabbing. As far as I know, they haven't found the attacker. But from what the news said, the incident was a rare thing for the area of the city. The guys in the house said they haven't ever had anything like that happen in this area before. So far...nothing more then late night parties and the occasional Indian (from India) dance party. All in just stays in late at night in this area!!

Until laterz!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Animation Mentor BEGINS!!!

Monday, at 12:00 PST, I logged onto the Animation Mentor online campus for the first time as a new student in Class 1. I was biting at the bit, waiting for that clock to hit noon. Then when the site finally let me in, I was a kid in a candy shop! I had been to orientation and knew a little about the campus, but there were soo much more available to me now. I started checking out other students profiles and found my class, along with my Class 1 mentor....drum roll please....the one...the only...Pixar's own "Alien Song" creator....VICTOR NAVONE!!! (insert crowd roar here)

As I go through this journey, I'm planning on keeping all you loyal readers up to date as much as I can, both here on this blog and my other blog (

Well..I need to get going on homework!

Until laterz!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Drawing Club x2

I've posted some sketches from last week's Drawing Club over on "The DakotaKid Corral". Check the post out here.

Until laterz!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

School Daze!!

What a great day! I came home from a night of coaching up in Pasadena. To say the least, tonight's classes went WAY better then last night's, but that's another post. I come home and jump on my lovely Apple to check my email because I was waiting for a response from a friend about a project we talked about earlier, yet again, another post. As I'm reading and deleting emails, I come upon one from my future alma mater, Animation Mentor (an yes..I probably misspelled alma mater!! It's a school for animators, not future spelling bee contestants!).

I was super stoked! I quickly opened up the email and find it is time to have student orientation!! WHOO HOO! I finally get to "go onto" the Animation Mentor campus, even if it's just a small part of what is a huge virtual campus. Once my first quarter starts at the end of this month I'll have access to so much more. I at once, well, okay not at once. I actually finished up checking the other mail for junk mail and any time sensitive stuff and THEN clicked the link that would take me to my new place of higher education. Over the last few weeks, I'd been constantly checking out the AM website hoping there would be something to tide me over until Sept. 29th, the first day of the rest of my life!! With this I can now feel that much closer! I have just begun viewing the orientation videos that show the lay of the campus and how things work and everything. I will be trying to soak in all I can now, so I can jump directly into creating the foundation of my Animation Mentor schooling! Soon, I'll be posting more about the actual classes and like so many others in the past, trying to keep weekly updates going. Unfortunatly, around Class 3 or 4 those posts drop off in part to the numbers of hours students have to spend on the actual work. But I'm hoping to at least give quick updates through my whole schooling..but time will tell!

Until laterz!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Terra Nova 2008 (part 2)

This continues where my last post left off, so if you are just joining us...check out Terra Nova 2008 (part 1)!

Besides our area of discipline groups, we had sessions of worship and talks, free time of water games and sports, pretty decent food and just enjoying God's great creation.

I finally saw and felt rain again! I was in heaven (even though it was during one of our "exploring the arts" times). I saw stars..which I didn't really realize I'd been missing! It was wonderful to just see another part of California that reminds me more of back home.

I mentioned the "exploring the arts" times. These were two sessions of trying areas of art that we might not have ever tried or experienced. I chose Stunts for my first session.

We learned more of what stunt men do and how that area of films were created. We also got to flip around..which is why I wanted to do it!! It was fun being someone that had no fear of jumping off a mini trampoline and flipping. The only issue was I had to change from going for perfection to not being as clean when I did the flips. Not as easy as it seems.

The second session I took was HIP-HOP Dance!!! This was my first dance class EVER (besides the dance lesson on the "Honey" DVD I tried out with Angie). I was anxious about trying this out, even though I've always wanted to let out my inner hip-hopper! A buddy of mine was in the session with me and that helped a ton. What I realized was that we all were trying something new and even though I was sweating up a storm, I had a blast...and it just makes me want to go clubbin'! ha! I even got picked out to do the routine with a few other people at the end of the session. This was both exciting and totally freaky...but can I just say I nailed those steps, boyeee!

I mentioned before about this cool water "toy" we called "the Blob". It's this huge floating inflated blue and yellow thing. You swim out to the dock and climb up a high dive platform of sorts. Then one person jumps down and crawls to the far end of the floating pillow. The second person (preferably a larger person) jumps straight down from the platform and onto the close end of the Blob. This action will cause a reaction of launching the small, stick of a person on the far end up into the air and then, hopefully after some amazing acrobatic tricks, they plunge into the water. A few of the friends that drove out with me enjoyed this activity, especially Josh who is a large boy. Everyone was requesting him to "blob them", which he happily did.

Here's another person getting launched. One person went straight up, did like two back flips and then landed back on the blob before bouncing into the water. It was SAHWEEEET!!!

After the full morning and afternoon of Saturday, we all met at the beach for a lakeside bonfire. I just loved this photo. One of the people leading in the worship music was sitting in front of the flames. Incidentally, she's a really talented songwriter and is the daughter of Mosaic's main pastor.

After the bonfire, we had s'mores and then headed back to the meeting hall to enjoy a musical Improv by Rebecca and David. It was based on the love story of two people in the audience. These guys are truly talented improvers and actors. I really wish it'd been recorded just to listen to the songs they came up with. HALARIOUS!!!

Rebecca gets some details from a couple in the audience about how they met. All I can say is the couple had one heck of a story behind there relationship/marriage! A story David and Rebecca used to the fullest.

After the Improv show, a few things went on. Of course, I totally forgot to take photos of this part of the fun. The main thing was the mass group game of "Mafia". It's a wonderful game of lying and sleuthing. This game was the reason I didn't get to bed until about 1:30am-ish on Friday night. Saturday night wasn't any better...more like 3am. But most of you that know me know that I'm a night owl who enjoys group games. So I was in heaven! And it's a great game to see people's true colors! During the games of Mafia, there was also a rave/dance party going on in one of the rooms. Some of you might remember me talking about the DJ that spins during the offering down at the Mayan. Well, he was spinning for the dancing fools at the rave Saturday night. It looked like they had a great time and a few people including a friend of mine, Chad, came outta the place with the sweat to prove it! Some people hit the sack early, but most of us hard core night owls stayed up till even for us it was late. Although, there were still a few people that were raring to start another game of Mafia.

Well, that completes the Saturday happenings. I'll continue with the third and final part of my Terra Nova adventure (the results of the weekend's creative explotion) in the near future.

Until laterz!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Terra Nova 2008 (part 1)

Since I moved out to California, I've been going to church at Mosaic here in LA. Mosaic has a heart for the artists and creative people. They have a few sites around LA which has different service times throughout day on Sundays. The site I usually attend is downtown at the Mayan night club. Every Labor Day, Mosaic has a retreat for artists called Terra Nova.

The cost of the weekend was part of why I almost didn't go. But after several people told me how I should attend, I felt like this was worth the cost. I've had a hard time really finding connection here in LA and at Mosaic. It's a big city and pretty big church. I felt this weekend could help me meet a ton of new people...creative people...artistic people!

Here are some photos of the camp. There was a huge man-made lake that had some fun activities, including a huge water slide and a thing called the "Blob". And there were plenty of volleyball courts and a huge field that one could find people playing Ultimate Frisbee on. There was also a rock wall and a zip line, but I never saw them. But I'm told they were a blast, too!

Here's a view of the cabin I was in. I wasn't there much, and actually didn't really meet most of my roommates until Saturday morning, since I crept in late on Friday night. Notice the car parked really close to the cabin. Parking was kinda funny and people tried to make anything work in the way of parking places.

This was the chapel at the camp. I actually never got into it, since none of my meetings were held here, but I just thought this was a gorgeous photo to take.

The whole weekend was centered around the artist and the art. We were split into areas of interest (ie: dance, music, spoken word, film, drama, etc.) and then within each discipline we were split into Mosaic sites. This was so that you could work with the people that attend the same location as you do. I joined the film group, but we didn't split into locations, we split into what we wanted to do (either, production, writing, or directing). I joined the production group and we decided to split again into two groups to work on two short films. My group (which was lead by one of my current roommates, Kevin) brainstormed and came up with a short narrative. In the end, we created, wrote, cast, and shot the short in 24 hours. Here's our director (and my roommate, Kevin) in action!

It was amazing to go through this process. I loved shooting the film and our actors were amazing! Our story called for us to ducktape the lead in a cocoon of sorts.

CJ, our lead actor, waiting to be driving to the next shooting location. He was really unable to move very much or do anything for himself...which was a big part of the story.

CJ rests while we are prepping the final scene.

Our other main actor gets her makeup done for the final scene.

After getting put into the duct tape straight jacket at about 3:00pm, CJ finally is cut free from his "bondage" at about 7:00pm. He was pure sweat and heat. At one point we cut open a hole for his hands to come free and so he could sit at the table. As I was cutting the hole, a sauna came rushing out from the cocoon. CJ said he would never forget our faces as this happened. We were amazed and directly started warming our hands in the heat. I'm still amazed how much of a trooper CJ was through all this. I just hope the film comes out as good as we all pictured it in the creation time!

CJ is finally free!!

I'd try to explain the short, but it'll just be easier to see it for yourself when we get it edited together. That'll be later.

Here's the short film team and cast after the final shot was in the can! What an amazing feeling it was. I have to admit, when we were planning this piece of art, I wasn't sure it would get done. But we were done with plenty of time for the rest of the evening's activities and fun!

That's it for part one...more of my Terra Nova adventure to come in part two!!!

Until laterz!