Friday, September 30, 2005

Full Time

Well, today at Sony, Jamie called me into her office. She said that they really like my work and would like to go ahead and offer me a full time position!!! So I'm going to be a full time Sony employee! That means more money + benefits!

I'm so fucking happy I could cry.

Friday, September 23, 2005


ser·en·dip·i·ty (srn-dp-t)
n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties

  1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
  2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
  3. An instance of making such a discovery.

Lately I've been thinking about serendipity, the crazy word Van taught us in class. Does everything happen for a reason or is it just a coincidence? A forunate accident?

Like yesterday, Mike, Derek, Derek's friend Thomas and I all went and saw The Presidents of the United States of America in concert last night. They were literally my firsr favorite band, and they were also my first cd I ever bought. I listened to that thing over and over. Some of my favorite songs... anyway, I was stoked to go. They broke up 5 years ago, and just got back together and released a cd at the end of last year. So of course, where do they end up playing? Disneyland (my most favorist of places), at the House of Blues. And where was their previous show? Orangevale. My hometown where I grew up. Serendipity?

I was thinking today as well. Here I am working at Sony, using all of the things I've learned either from school, or what I've taught myself, literally what I did for fun in my spare time. If I never would have messed around making my first website over 8 years ago (quick side note, if you want to see my first real website made in 1999, I actually found the old files and uploaded it again here) I never would have taught myself html. I also would never have had a reason to teach myself photoshop. Also, my html knowledge helped me understand actionscript, and if I wouldn't have picked it up so fast, I never would have made a game for my thesis, which helped me get the job at Sony, and it never would have lead to me becoming Tom's TA, which lead to the opportunity of me teaching a section of Interactive Animation at the college I just graduated from next semester. Serendipity?

And then 9 years ago, my grandma won a trip for a Disney vacation at Florida. While at one of the Disneyland resorts, I was introduced to the art of cels, and I also got my first cel kit. It came with a clear plastic sheet with the image of the genie from Aladdin printed on it, and the right colors of cel vinyl (cel paint). It also gave instructions on how to properly color it, on the backside. Getting that kit lead me to start making my own cels. I bought my own clear plastic. I drew a drawing on a piece of paper, then laid the clear plastic over the top of it, traced it with a sharpie, turned it over, and painted it. I had to be selective with what I drew, because all I had for paint was the leftover from my Disney kit, about 6 colors. Then I found a hobby shop in Sacramento that sold cel vinyl (made by Cartoon Color, ha!) so I started making my own cels with no limitations. I probably made over 30 different ones all throughout middle school and highschool, which I enjoyed showing off and framing. This was all years before freshman year in college with the infamous cel painting. If my grandma never would have won that trip to Florida, I never would have gotten my cel kit, I never would have begun to make my own cels, which lead to me drawing more, increased my appreciation for cartoons, and, who knows, maybe I never would have become an animation major. On that note, if I never would have painted cels, and if I never went to Jesuit Highschool, I never would have heard of LMU, and never gone down to LA. Serendipity?

In elementary school, I played baseball and soccer. One year of soccer, our team was the Sharks, and our coach was a guy named David Feiss, whose son was also on the team. One of my best friends then and now, Ryan's dad was good friends with Mr. Feiss as well, so we ended up being friends too. His son, Davy, ended up being on my baseball team for 2 years, which my dad coached. We would play basketball together and also went trick-or-treating once or twice with our mutual friend. I remember his dad being gone sometimes for long periods of time, which I later found out was him being in Japan working on animated Pink Panther commercials. David Feiss later went on to be the creator of the show Cow and Chicken. We've stayed in touch through the years, I always watched the show, and took time to e-mail him now and then. Junior year in high school I found out he was working at Sony Animation, and early this year he was able to give me some tips on how to apply for Sony. And now I'm working here. My old soccer coach when I was 12 helped me get a job in the field I ended up studying. Serendipity?

So what does it all mean? Is it all a coincidence or something more? have I come to be where I'm at because of chance? Has it all just been a chance of fortunate accidents? Actually, I'd rather it not be a series of accidents that lead to where I am today. There's gotta be more to it than that.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Nick the teacher?

So tonight (of all nights) I went and hung out with Fletcher and Jamel after work. We went to California Pizza Kitchen at Westwood, got milkshakes, and finished the night off with some Mario Baseball. But that's not why I'm writing... When I got back (around 11:30) I checked my e-mail and I got an e-mail from Jose (one of our animation instructors) and it said the following:

Hey Nick,

Following Tom Klein's advise:
Would you be interested in teaching one section of Interactive Animation 1?
Let me know ASAP. It would be in the evening, 7 til 10.


I was like OH SHIT! NO WAY! I mean, I always kinda planned of maybe someday coming back to work part time at LMU.... but never this soon! Damn. So of course I e-mailed him back and said I'd love to! I'm just hating myself now, because I was gone all night and now I have to wait until tomorrow for a reply. I'm just so damn excited. The time works too, since I get off from Sony at 6:30, I have enough time to go teach the class. Me. A teacher. I'm so excited and scared shitless at the same time. So hopefully Jose will e-mail me back soon with more details. DAMN!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Disneyland Pirates!

Today Andrew Fletcher and I went to Disneyland. I had such a good time! We both got pirate hats so all day we were going around talking like pirates! I'll have to post a pic of our Splash Mountain picture. Anyway, oh so tired now... Now I go to bed.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Corpse Bride!!

Well, I went to go see Corpse Bride yesterday. Our little group outing turned into 10 people lol, but it was still really fun. It was playing at 3rd Street, so Dowis, Andrew and I got there around 8:00, Mike, Traci, Kristina and Derek got there around 9:00, Jess got there around 9:15, and Jeremy, Fonzie, and Fonzie's gf got there around 9:30. It was a blast hanging out with everyone, and we must have just "loitered" inside and outside the theater just talking and having fun for over and hour after the movie. It was a blast. Until the cops kicked us out lol. We ate at Johnny Rockets, and I have to admit it was pretty nasty. They were too busy and my burger was as dry as could be, but I was starving so whatever. As for the movie:

First of all, one of my favorite movies is Nightmare Before Christmas, I love Tim Burton's stuff, and Ray Harryhausen is one of my idols. With that said, I had very very high hopes for this movie. So, what did I think? I was actually dissappointed. Now don't get me wrong, visually and technically, the movie is jaw droppingly amazing. It is the best stop motion animation ever seen on film. The character designs are incredible, the animation is AMAZING and the camera movements are wicked. Like I said, visually and technically unmatched. But story wise? It was kinda boring. No character development. The main character Victor was very boring, and I didn't like him much. Danny Elfman did the music, wrote the songs, and performed one of them. And yet, the songs were lacking. The thing that was amazing about Nightmare was how the songs would develop the story, let you gain insight to the characters mind, and set the mood. Music was a huge part of Nightmare, and there are very few scenes where there is none. 80f the music has music in it, and it was done perfectly. In Corpse Bride, there is not very much music, yet it's a musical. The songs didn't develop the plot, they just riiterated what you already knew. They were very easily forgettable. There was no "Town theme" or "Dead theme" or "Victor theme" either. The movie just kinda went along for the ride, and seemed very very short, yet it's exactly the same length as Nightmare.

So yeah, I was dissapointed. This just proves that you can have an amazing looking movie with the best people in the business working on it, but if the story isn't there, it just ruins it. I've been looking forward to seeing this movie since it was just a rumor. I was blown away at the props at comic-con, and talking to one of the animators there (Peter Dodd) was just awesome. Seeing the technology of the puppets was great. I coudln't have been more excited to see it, but after seeing it, I felt Corpse Bride was just okay. If you want to get your mind blown by visuals and the pure insanity of how good it looks, by all means, please go see it. There really is nothing else like it. If you're looking for another Nightmare Before Christmas, with unforgettable music, great character development, and an awesome story arc, you'll be let down.

Oh well. At least the company was good!

Oh, and tomorrow, Fletcher and I are going to Disneyland!!