Friday, November 17, 2006

Mulitiplicity - Starring Tonymation

Ever see the movie, Mulitplicity? The story is about a guy played by Michael Keaton, who's job has taken over his life, leaving little to no family time. He's approached by a scientist that has made it his secret hobby to clone people. Keaton goes for the idea and, BAM, there are two of him to get his work done in half the time. Things get a little crazier and eventually there are a total of 3 clones. Of course he keeps all of his shenanigans from his wife, which is a recipe for trouble. He soon realizes that he doesn't need more clones, but a more balanced life. It was a cute film that I enjoyed, but that's not why I bring it up. I have become that guy. No, I haven't cloned myself... yet.

Deadlines are always the enemy of the animator. One never truly feels like a shot has gotten all the finesse it deserves, but the producers push you along with crazy deadlines, and the directors final the shot, taking it away from you forever, as you reach out your hands desperately grasping for it. Yes this is exactly how it is. Inevitably the project ship date arrives and all work must be complete. The final months of a project usually call for "crunch time". This means, the unrealistic deadlines you had before will be a distant memory as you now have less time to complete more work. Usually one of two things will be sacrificed by the animator, time or quality. The directors aren't about to allow the quality to be sacrificed, but are more than willing to suck more of your time into the vat of animation production land. I am currently in crunch time at my job which makes it difficult to have quality family time.

However, working twelve hours, six days a week is not exciting enough for me. No sir. I like it extreme baby. So what I do is take on a large scale freelance job for my former church to keep things interesting. This way I can spend twenty hours a day sitting on my butt in front of a computer. That's living boy, I tell ya!

Here's my daily schedule:

Wake up around 9am
Arrive at work around 10am
Leave work around 9pm
Get home around 9:30pm
Work on freelance job until around 5am
Sleep for 4 hours
Get up and do it again

I live for Sundays. I actually get to sleep in. (getting a full 8 hours of sleep is like sleeping in for me)

Why do I do this you might ask... well if my brain was functioning at normal levels right now I might have a good answer for you. This business is a crazy one, and I have to take work when it arrives in order to buffer for the lean months of no work. Unfortunately, work comes in waves and leaves just as quickly as the tide. I'm riding this wave in zombie mode. I am grateful for the work, but look forward to finding the balance that will signal the credits for my movie.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Boogie Board Boy

So I've been on the west coast for several months now, and I work with a guy that is addicted to surfing. I figured since I have an addictive personality, and foam at the mouth when I can't take a ski trip during the winter, that I would be a prime candidate for extreme water sports. I definitely want to tackle surfing, but I decided to break myself into the arena by trying boogie boarding first.

I started by getting the tools of the trade; wetsuit, boogie board, and fins. One thing I have learned is, if you look like you know what you're doing, people assume you are good. So if nothing else, I could walk down the beach and look like a pro.

Malibu beach was the spot I chose for my first boogie board experience. My surfer friend had warned me of the crowds, but I didn't have the time to drive to another beach on Saturday. The place was a surfing zoo for sure. I paddled out to the surf and waded on top of my board, constantly worrying I would get in an unruly surfer's way. I had my family with me and the last thing I wanted was to get my butt kicked in front of them.

I decided to stay out of the way for the most part, watch them scan the water for the right wave, and how they attacked the wave when it arrived. It was fun to be in the water and eventually I attacked a couple of waves. I didn't kick in very well and didn't do much riding, but it was fun all the same. We had a packed schedule, so I had to cut my boogie boarding short. I can imagine that when I have more time to spend in the surf, that I will enjoy the thrill of riding the waves even more.

It is humbling to be in an ocean. It pushes you around like a pebble, and you realize the scale, power, and immensity of the water. God has created an amazing place for us to enjoy.