Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The new code doesn't seem to although me to set the counter and seeing as how I didn't want to start from "1"....new counter it is!!!
I had already been using StatCounter to track page hits within my site. Now it will be my main counter as well. I just wish the numbers could be a little bigger.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Right now I'm using the trail version. There is a pay version and a free version. I will see how it goes, but most likely I will plunk down the $17 for a year license.
Oh yeah if you click on a flag it brings up a little map. So if you happen to see, say, Gibraltar, on the list and wonder "where is that?" click on the flag and there ya go.
Friday, December 15, 2006
If you are a fan of VFN or if you know nothing about it, why not stop by and check them out.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Wonder-pea is enjoying being a big sister and hasn't been too too jealous of the new person. Although every once and a while she will tell my wife to "put him down"......I mean come....you've been holding him long enough.
However, this past Sunday was one of "those" days. Lil Pumpkin cried pretty much the entire day.....sometimes it was so intense I thought he was going to asplode. It was so bad that at one point I went into the kitchen and stuck my head in the oven. Of course since its not a gas oven I was looking at a bad burn at most.
Wonder pea likes to sing the SpongeBob song "this is the best day ever". On Sunday we were all singing "this is the worst day ever" because nothing would appease the Pumpkin King. It was like someone had snuck into the house the night before and replaced our happy child with the spawn of satan.
"Are you hungry? Need a diaper change? This toy? This one? A blanket? A pillow? Your tired? Your cold? Your hot? You want $10? Here take $10...just stop, for the love of god stop!!"
By some miracle he actually went to sleep that night. At which point the three of us collapsed right where we were.
The next morning I approached his bassinet with cross and holy water in hand. As I peaked in I could see he was awake and happy, smiling for no reason and laughing at the air. I was thrilled that the evil had left him. I picked him up and said "hey buddy how we doing today?" He looked at me, smiled and then spit up all over me.
At least he was happy...
Friday, December 01, 2006
Imagi Animation Studios in Hong Kong is handling the majority of the animation for the film. I can tell you there are some pretty insane action scenes with the turtles that give me a headache. Not from watching, but from thinking about how they planned and blocked it all out. Yowza.
The film opens March 30, 2007 and should be a fun time at the movies.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Now I will admit that the cover art is rather awful. Lucas looks stupidly happy and all the other characters are in no way proportionate to one another. Don't let that dissuade you from picking it up. Most folks who saw the film in theaters (all 10 of them) seemed to enjoy it and perhaps you will too.
I did a bit of animation on the Behind the Scenes section, which I have put up in my Animation area for your viewing enjoyment.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Dave is one of my students this quarter at Animation Mentor. Check him out at 3dave.com.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
In celebration of the release, I have uploaded some of my shots to the Animation area.
The offical web site has gotten a pretty nifty upgrade as well.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
My area at ReelFx is a good bit larger than what I had over at DNA. There is actually room between the animators which is nice in case I want to stretch out and take a nap on the floor, which I frequently do.....
One of the guys has a Master Replicas Kermit the Frog....
I felt much safer knowing that Kermit was standing guard.
Monday, November 06, 2006
How about a Halloween party. Every year my good friend and ex-DNAer, Deanna Molinaro and her husband Aaron invite all of us misfits to her house for beer and cake. This year was freezing, freaking cold so most everyone stayed inside the house.
Now you combine beer and a lot of people in close quarters and things are bound to get crazy. Take what happened with me and my buddy Ernesto Bottger.
Ernesto came as a popular character from a Spanish kids shows, super hero El Chapulin Colorado. Seeing as how I don't speak the Spanish and had a little too much Mr Beer, I basically called him Captain Hot all night.
At one point Ernesto flipped out and let me have it.
And a scuffle broke out.
But since the alcohol was making us tired we decided to call it a draw. Because that is what Halloween is all about: costumes, candy, fighting and friendship. Deanna as Mother Nature, Ernesto as Captain Hot and me as a pirate....of course.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
But once you get inside its all over. Since they make you purchase tickets you really have no idea how much anything really costs. Wonder-pea wanted to go on a train ride which was 6 tickets. I wanted to ride with her, because I just love riding the kiddie train, which cost me 6 tickets. I figured out later that the experience really cost us about $6. Needless to say we avoided more rides. But then....there is the food.
Funnel cakes, corn dogs and anything you could ever want deep fried is all there waiting for you. In addition to fried ice cream, oreos, cheesecake and several others, this year they had fried Coke. Someone who had deep fried everything imaginable must have figure that the only challenge left was to fry a liquid.
While cruising the fair and trying to figure out how the hell you actually deep fry Coke, we passed a stand selling "fried donkey tails" which immediately made a picture in my head of tailess donkeys standing in a pen with white X's on their bums. The initial reaction was: bleah.
Later we found a food booklet that told us what a fried donkey tail was: a footlong hot dog split down the side, filled with cheese and deep fried in a tortia. My god that sounds....delicious. We sought out said fried donkey tails, devoured them and headed towards the fried cheesecake which I adore.
But something happened on the walk to the cheesecake. Maybe what I had just eaten had just registered with my brain or the smell of fried everything in the air was just too much for my stomach, but hearing the words "fried" and "cheesecake" just about sent me into cardiac arrest.
Instead we went over to the car show where Wonder-pea had a blast trying out all the latest models and as a bonus, it required no tickets. I just wish she would open her eyes when driving.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Lil Pumpkin didn't make a lot of fuss when brought from his warm, liquidy home, into the big bright, cold world. He was kinda like "WAAAAaaaa..... ooo this blanket is nice.. oh I get a hat too?....sweet...I'm digging this".
Both Mom and baby are doing great and Wonder-pea is super excited that her brother is finally here.
Friday, October 20, 2006
So here is my first submission for "Movie Monsters", which as it turns out was for this weeks topic last year. Big thanks to Tony Bonilla for giving me wrong information. I will get you Tony...oh yes..
And then there is my real first submission for the topic "Grim Reaper". Not as super ninja awesome as a lot of the other fine art work on the site, but it's a lot less painful than a hot poker in the eye.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
The project was a lot of fun and was probably the smoothest production I have ever been a part of to date. The web site has just gone up, so drop by and take a peak.
Hopefully TVFN will be on broadcast television this holiday season before making its way to DVD shelves near you.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The sneak peak of episode 1 looks both totally insane and completely awesome as Mr. T works his magic at a used car dealership. Notice how he makes the word "motivation" appear out of mid air; he truely is magical. But things heat up by the end of the clip and me thinks next week some chumps will have their jibber jabber cut short as T tosses them over the camera; just like in the old days.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I remember when I was about 13 there was a CEC like joint called Showbiz Pizza Place. This place rocked with tons of the latest arcade games, but one day the games began disappearing and ball pits and wack a moles sprang up. Then Showbiz got bought by CEC and that was the end of that. Anyways....
After eating some delicious pizza made by Chuck E. himself, me and Wonder-pea hit the games. And the game of choice was skee ball, which is not only fun but extremely dangerous when playing with my daughter. She hasn't quite mastered the idea of rolling the balls. She much prefers to throw them.
During a skee balling attempt in Disney World, Wonder-pea managed to throw balls into other lanes, at neighboring games and at passers by. She seemed confused that beaming Goofy in the crotch didn't produce extra tickets.
Today, however, we had a system. She would hand me the skee balls and I would roll them. And we were doing pretty well. After several games we had a whopping 44 tickets. I noticed that if you got a score of 450 you would get 200 some extra tickets. Seeing as how I could barely break 180 points this seem virtually impossible for anyone in the place......
...until another Dad managed to hit 460. An alarm went off....balloons fell from the ceiling...Chuck E came out and gave him the key to the restaurant....children were cheering. It was beautiful.
My mere 44 tickets seemed poultry compared to the riches that awaited anyone who got the 450 score. What can you get for 44 tickets? I figured I would at least try and see if I could be as cool as this other Dad. I noticed that his key to success was sinking skee balls in the hard to hit 100 point hole. This was something I have never done because basically I suck at skee ball. But I wanted those tickets and the praise from Chuck E.
Wonder-pea was still enjoying pressing the coin return and passing me skee balls, so what the hell...I made a go at hitting the 100 point hole. The first couple tries weren't pretty, ending in a score of less than 100, but eventually I managed to sink 2 100s in one game. Wonder-pea was super excited that our usual three tickets had turned in to fifteen.
Then, suddenly and without warning I sank 4 100s damn near in a row with an ending score of 510. By god I did it!!! Take that Dad who got 460!! Gather round children of Chuck E Cheese and behold your new king!!. Tickets poured from the machine. So many....so beautiful. An alarm went off.......glorious......ok where are the balloons...no balloons?.... no Chuck E?......hey kids look at that score!!.....yeah no one cared.
One little girl had her hands over her ears scowling at me because the alarm was really, really loud.
After standing there with the alarm blazing for 10 minutes an attendant finally came over and gave me my 200 ticket prize. All in all we had gone from 44 tickets to 340. And we were heading to the prize counter!! 340 tickets!! We are getting something good baby!!
Of the various junk levels of prizes, Wonder-pea wanted the 15 ticket items. She left the prize counter with 40 tickets worth of bracelets and rings. Apparently 44 tickets was all we needed. The other 300 are in my wallet....
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
But caution be warned to any mate using their bestest pirate pick up lines... "prepare to boarded ye wenches" and "might I dock me ship in your port"...could end with ye meeting the wrong end of a sword....or at least getting the scurvy slapped out of ya...savvy?
Drink up me hearties yo ho.....
Monday, September 11, 2006
Apparently the roofers used the longest nails they could find when nailing the cardboard thin shingles to the roof. One wrong turn in the attic and WHACK...nail in your head, eye, back. This of course adds to the fun, giving me something else to do while working, sweating and trying not to fall through the ceiling.
One day last summer we noticed that we had no hot water. So I determined that I needed to inspect the hot water heater...which is in the attic. After a brief inspection I notice that the pilot light was out; its a gas operated hot water heater.
So now step one is to try to relight the pilot which involves me laying on my stomach and sticking a lit match into the bottom of the 10 gallon heater; current temperature in attic 1000 degrees. At this point I was scared to death that I was going to do something wrong and blow up myself, the house and everything in a 5 mile radius.
Attic temperature + nervous me= heat index of 20000 degrees
First couple attempts didn't go well mostly because I had my eyes closed. By about the 7nth try I got the pilot lit....YAY...I did it and as a plus I didn't blow up....small victory! So now all I need to do is turn the heater on...switch it to on.......pilot goes out. Remember in Back to the Future at the end when Doc is dangling from the clocktower? He gets the cord off his pants cuff, stands in front of the clockface, positions himself to triumphantly connect both cords only to discover that they won't reach. It was that kind of moment.
I let out a big Darth Vader "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"
So now its back to trying to relight the pilot. This time I get it in 2 tries. Switch the heater to on....pilot.....goes out. Temperature in attic rises 100 degrees as I start getting angry. The goat sitting nearby encourages me to try again. Yes the heat was so bad I was halluncinating at the point.
"Stupid ****in pilot....***damn piece of ****" When I started I was scared to death to even light a match near the heater. Now I was striking these bad boys left and right......lit pilot...turn on...pilot goes out....repeat. This went on until I burned through the whole box of matches.
At this point the monkey that was drinking tea with the goat, suggested that the problem may require a technician. Since he was wearing a monocle I figured he was pretty wise. I called it a day.
While the heater remained broken I did overcome my fear of blowing myself up AND I did loose about 150 pounds from being in the heat of the attic. Also I am playing racket ball twice a week with the monkey and the goat...so there is a bright side.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Funny stuff...check it out...
Friday, August 18, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Some people have asked what I am working on but I am not at liberty to tell all. However I can say that it is a fun little project for TV which will hopefully be airing later this year, around the the time people buy gifts and decorate trees.
The future projects here at ReelFX look pretty exciting. Go here to check out the development slate.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
What can I say? This is just too damn funny. My good buddy and movie spoiler, Paul Allen sent this to me and I laughed and laughed and laughed.
And once I was done laughing...I laughed a little more. I think I found my new desktop background.
For more hilarity go here.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
This week I started my new job at ReelFX Creative Studios in Dallas. They have quite an impressive talent pool and I am super excited to be part of their feature team. Several folks from DNA have come over to ReelFX and it's great to see their smiling faces after going through some turbulent months. Once I bring over Pirate Cove , all will again be right in the world.
Being laid off was kind of a bummer. However I can honestly say I enjoyed my "extended" time off between gigs. Hanging out with my wife and Wonder-pea for three months was actually pretty great. There were times that I would even say "wow this is great...this must be what it's like to be independently wealthy..and to be able to do whatever you want every day!". Then the bills would arrive and I would remember that I wasn't independently wealthy. And then I'd throw up.
It was an experience to be sure. One I hope not to experience again until after I win the lottery.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Perhaps you have already seen it and are at this very moment emailing all your friends and relatives telling THEM how they should run right out and see it. And if so...I applaud you. You are indeed good and kind. Only a mean, evil person would withhold the joy of seeing The Ant Bully from their friends and family.
Now you are wondering.."Ray what shots did you do on this fine piece of entertainment?" Well if you head over to my revamped animation area you can see a sampling for yourself.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I wish I was kidding.
Well comrades I don't know what to think of these comments. I mean I didn't think everyone would dig the movie, but one reviewer compared Lucas to Osama Bin Laden and said the movie was like a communist manifesto for kids, while another said the movie was a slap against humans and humanity. Whoa nellie. People really need to go easy on their meds before going out to the movies.
We leave in a world where people, kids and adults, are becoming more and more cut off from one another. Technology has advanced to the point where we don't really need to spend much time among other humans. In the film, Lucas is a kid wrapped up in himself. He is sort of a self made loner who stays locked away in his room, away from his family, playing video games. Through his journey he learns the value of being part of a community, to think of others and not just himself, the importance of working as a team and that his actions do have consequences.
Yeah what a bunch of crap.
That's just the kind of BS I don't want Wonder-pea learning. No indeed. I want her to be selfish and self centered, not giving a hoot about anyone else and only worrying about herself. Oh no you don't Ant Bully, you won't warp my daughter's mind with your evil message of tolerance and understanding.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
I liked that the characters were expanded in this film and that each one had their own agenda. In this film, not only Jack, but every main character rides the line between good guy and bad guy. What will this character do...how far will he or she go...what are they willing to sacrifice, to get what they want. I really liked that. For me it added a bit more complexity to the characters around Jack, who in the first film, were all straight arrows.
The action scenes were done well and fun to watch. The three man sword fight on/in the wheel was inventive and different and the Kraken sequences were super cool. I was nervous about how the Flying Dutchman crew would look on the big screen, but with the exception of maybe conch shell head guy, they were all pretty cool looking and worthy successors to the skeleton pirates. Which brings us to the special FX highlight of the film...Davey Jones.
Actor Bill Nighy, who plays Davey Jones, spent his shoot with his face covered in motion capture dots, with the crew at ILM giving him the squid face. As I understand it director Gore Verbinski wanted to keep Nighy's real eyes, but the ILM team opted to do them digital as well. The amazing thing is how well all the emotion and subtlety of Nighy's performance meshes with tentacle moving squid face of Davey Jones. It was totally believable and demonstrates the arena in which motion capture performance and animation truly shine.
James Horner takes over musical duties this go around and some of the new music he wrote, particularly for Davey Jones and the Kraken, was just fantastic. The score for the 1st film by Klaus Badelt I really love, however it does suffer from too many repetitions of the familiar. For Pirates 2, Horner did a good job of blending what Badelt established with the new music.
Now if you buy the soundtrack there is a remix track at the end. In fact if you buy it from Best Buy there are 3 remix tracks. Apparently the folks at Disney marketing were trying to think of where else they could promote the film..."Hey why not Pirate dance tracks!! So when the kids go out to their favorite clubs Mr Dee Jay can play some hip hop pirate beats...maybe a new dance would break out kinda like the Teen Wolf but it would be the Jack Sparrow". These people were immediately promoted and given shiny cars.
Finally, I have been reading Under the Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among Pirates by David Cordingly. It is really cool how much of the reality Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio blended into this movie and its predecessor. Tortuga existed and was a town run mostly by pirates. Pirates were incredibly superstitious and believed women would bring bad luck if on a ship. Many pirates were former Royal Navy officers who had been discharge or had grown disillusioned much like what happens to Norrington. Cutler Becketts offer to pardon Jack and make him a privateer, which was a nice way of saying sanctioned piracy, happened back in the day all the time. There are other examples. I found added fun seeing how the facts were woven into the fiction.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I did have some complaints about Dead Man's Chest. The big problem for me is the middle movie problem, or better still "the middle movie that was shot back to back with the next film" problem. Each time this has been done (Back to the Future 2, Matrix Reloaded) the results have been less than satisfying because it is the first half of a movie. Events are set up, plots lines introduced and nothing is resolved. I really wanted Pirates 2 to be more self contained with cliff hangers that lead into 3, ala Empire Strikes Back or Wrath of Khan, but sadly that is not the case here; more on that later.
Where the first film had a nice spirit of fun, the 2nd is much more serious and dark ala Empire Strikes Back but without asteroids and Yoda. Not that this is a bad thing. It's just different. If you haven't noticed by now my movie reviews tend to focus on what I didn't like and while Pirates 2, for me, wasn't the "I could complain all day" that Superman Returns was, I had some issues.
But first, the things that bothered a lot of other people, that didn't bother me. I have heard complaints about the movie length, Depp's performance not being "fresh", Jack being a jerk and too much Kraken. The movie is long, but for me it flew by. I was really enjoying being back in the world of these characters. There was quite a bit of action and neato visual f/x this time around and I was glued to the screen or at the very least stapled to it with some of those big industrial staples.
As far as Jack Sparrow goes some of the magic is lost because it is a sequel so we are revisiting characters we know and some of the spark of originality is gone. I don't think Depp can suddenly start playing Sparrow as Carol Channing or anything. He really needs to stay true to what he established in the first film, which he does. In this film Jack does come off as less likeable at times but that is because the stakes are higher this go around. In the first film his ultimate goal is to reclaim his ship, in this film he is trying to save his soul from damnation...so yeah he is a bit more desperate, willing to do whatever it takes to save his own skin. He is a pirate after all.
The Kraken (which I thought was usually a sea serpent in mythology) really only makes appearances in 2 sequences. We don't see it when it engulfs a merchant ship in the first act. Here it is more of a whoosh and the ship is gone. The first time we see ole Krakey is when it attacks the ship Will is on. This encounter is key for the 3rd act battle with the Kraken, when the crew of the Black Pearl blows the crap out of various tentacles a couple times. I dug the Kraken. It reminded me of the squid attack in 20K Leagues only with no wires or James Mason.
Now on to the bits that could be improved. Cannibal Island. While the sequences here are entertaining there really isn't a need for them to have been there. For as long as they are on cannibal island this part of the film only does 2 things to move the story along. #1 this is where Will meets up with Jack for the 1st time in the movie #2 the reintroduction of Pintel and Ragetti, the two pirates who were part of Jacks crew, then Barbossas crew...and now uh..Jacks crew again.
While I didn't really have a problem with these 2 pirates being in the sequel, I didn't like how they show up and no one bats an eye...sure Elizabeth almost says something when she see them, but you'd think Jack would have something to say considering these 2 took part in a mutiny that led to him being dumped on an island, left for dead. Tortuga would have been a better reentry point. Jack and Gibbs are there trying to recruit a bunch of pirates that will be "sacrificed" to Davey Jones, wouldn't Jack gladly welcome these 2 back knowing that he would be getting even so to speak. "Join me crew lads...no hard feelings...all is forgiven......how many does that make Gibbs" that sort of thing.
I would have done that in the bar and then had Norrington's reentry at the dock when they were getting ready to make way. But hey that's just me.....
The last thing that bothered me was the ending. Very quick. Jack has just been incased in carbonite..oh wait no my mistake...died saving the Enterprise...no wait..apologizes....eaten (collected) by the Kraken. So this happens, everyone goes back to see voodoo lady..snap, crackle, pop.. Barbossa is standing there eating fruit..and the movie is over. While Barbossa being alive is nothing short of miraculous, it is sorta cool because I loved Geoffrey Rush's performance in the 1st film; he is just so fun to watch. I am a bit concerned, however, that in the 3rd film he will now be everyone's buddy. Hey remember when I was undead and I tried to kill all of you ...hahahahahahaha boy were those good times. Oh Barbossa you screwball.
So yes a few things that could have been improved. But you never know I could watch it a 2nd time and none of this stuff could bother me. Guess we will see.
Next time the things about the movie I really dug.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
It got a big thumbs up from my daughter Wonder-pea. We were actually nervous about bringing her to the premiere. She made it about 85% through Over the Hedge and maybe 60% through Curious George. During CG she began pointing at the screen and announcing quite loudly "its Curious George daddy! see, its Curious George" ever time the monkey was on screen. And as you can imagine, given that the movie was called Curious George, the monkey was on screen....a lot.
But when the Ant Bully started she pointed and said "daddy's movie" and then sat on my wife's lap, transfixed, the entire time. When the movie ended she actually got a little upset because she wanted to see more.
The after party was a lot of fun and it was great seeing so much of the old crew. They had a fun Ant Bully photo dealie set up that everyone seemed to be enjoying. Yes that is me in the front doing my terrified T-Rex.
A big congratulations to everyone involved with The Ant Bully. It turned out great!! Be sure to run out and see it July28th!! You will be glad you did.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Friday, June 30, 2006
Yes nostalgia for the original movies starring Christopher Reeve runs pretty high in this new film. Some of it works and some of it doesn't. It's actually supposed to be a sequel of sorts to Superman 2, which again, works and doesn't. More of that in a minute. Brandon Routh, who has a strong resemblance to Reeve, seemed to be trying too hard to act like his predecessor which just didn't work for me. I think he makes a good Superman, I just wish it didn't feel like he was doing an impersonation of Reeve a lot of the time. Also, I was never a fan of the klutzy, goofy Clark. Yet here he is again acting like a dork and saying "golly" and "swell". It's not 1978. Yet the film felt less like an update of the character and more like a homage to the previous films.
Lex Luthor. I was jazzed when I saw the trailers because I thought "ah Spacey is going to play him like a crazy, evil genius". Well actually no. He is pretty much on par with Gene Hackman's portrayal, minus the used car salesman smile....-sigh- One of the things I enjoyed with Lex is that he finds his way back to the Fortress of Solitude (remember he was there in Superman 2). Here he gains knowledge about the crystals that are held in that giant...crystal...holder thing. Very cool. He is planning to use the knowledge, meant for Superman alone, for some evil purpose. So what are you going to do with it Lex...something cool...something genius... something evil. Why no. I'm going to grow my own continent. Oh......wow...that is....uh..what? See I'm going to destroy North America by replacing it with a giant, ugly, grey Krypton looking thing. In the process everyone and everything in North America will be destroyed, sending the world economy into a downward spiral. And then people will pay me money to live on my giant, uninhabitable chunk of rock. People? what people?...like all the one's you just killed? Who the hell is going to move there? Europeans? Why would they.....gee thats huh...brillant Lex.
Sound pretty stupid, that's because it is... When he discovers what the crystals can do I figured he would hold countries for randsom or terrorize the world. Weaponize the crystals so that he could attack a country and lay it to ruin when the crystal grows and expands. Nope. Nothing so nasty.
The best parts of the film are when Superman is doing Superman things. Catching large falling objects, burning things with his eyes and unburning things with his breath. There is a great scene where Superman flys above the cloud cover to be recharged by the sun which I really dug. Again when Superman is doing super stuff its great. Everything around Superman being super is mostly forgettable.
Now are ya ready for more silliness? Sure you are. Time to play "how much kryptonite does it really take to hurt Superman". When Lex uses a crystal to build his super continent, the entire damn thing is laced with kryptonite. Here comes Superman flying towards it, he senses nothing, he lands on said kryptonite laced continent still nothing. After some banter with Lex he approaches the bald one and oh wait, he starts to sweat and then BAM Lex punches him and Superman goes flying like a rag doll.
So your surrounded by this much freakin green rock and you don't feel even a little odd...like mmm..eeerrr..either that burrito didn't sit well or I may be losing my powers. Nope nothing. Taken completely by surprised. Then, in what is probably one of the best sequences in the film, Lex's goon's beat the crap out of Superman who apparently forgets that he has other powers like heat vision and super breath. Oh no I am surrounded by kryptonite that I didn't know was there...I am now a girlie man.....not the face!!
They beat him silly and then Lex stabs him with a kryptonite shard and breaks it off...so yes...now there is a really big piece of kryptonite stuck INSIDE Superman...and he is still not dead, bruised or bleeding. Later on he will toss this kryptonite laced continent, which is the size of Texas, into space. At this point just being near the stuff nearly kills him. But having the HUGE piece wedged into his rib cage.......not so bad....I'm feeling surprisingly ok.
Now, for the big "oh my god are you freaking kidding me". Lois, in the time while Superman was gone..because remember he returns in this movie (it's in the title), has had a son whose father we assume, is live in boyfriend Richard White (Perry's nephew). The big twist is that it is really Superman's son. The thing that makes this such a huge twist that you never saw coming is many fold: #1 in Superman 2 Sups and Lois knock boots AFTER he gave up his powers #2 at the end of Superman 2 he gives Lois the krypton kiss of forgetfulness and she forgets everything that happened in the movie #3 since Superman was gone for 5 years and this kid is at least 5, he must have left Earth immediately after Superman 2, leaving Lois who is now immediately pregnant to hook up with Richard White...immediately......stupid, lame, retarded...
yes, yes and yes.
So now yay Superman has a son with powers....great. Maybe in the next film he will teach Superboy how to use his powers. Can't wait to see that. Then Lex, who is in every movie, will capture young Superboy and force him to sell real estate in Florida. -sigh-
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
During our trip I celebrated by 35th birthday. Yes yes very exciting. And I got to spend the day with the wife and Wonder-pea at the Magic Kingdom which is not a bad place to spend the ol birthday.
Now it is no secret that I am a HUGE Pirates of the Caribbean fan; the ride, the movie, the broadway show...I love it all. But unfortunately, when we made our way over to the POTC ride this is what awaited me:
I am woe and woe is me. But then I noticed yet another sign. What is this…dead mean DO tell tales…intriguing says I…
I’ve been catching the trailer for Dead Man’s Chest and I got to say that I am so jazzed to see this movie. Speaking of movies…
Remember that movie The Ant Bully that I did a couple things on? Well it was supposed to come out Aug 4 but while on my trip I thought "Why make the people wait?" So I made a few phone calls and got the release pushed up to July 28th. Mark your calendars accordingly.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
My 6 years at DNA were pretty great. I did enjoy my time there very much. The artists really did make the company what it was and I worked along side some great talent. Everyone in the animation dept worked so well together and the team really was hitting their stride. I think our work on Ant Bully will show that.
I have grown quite fond of my fellow animators and I can honestly say it won't be easy not seeing their bright and shiny faces everyday. For me, it's like losing a 2nd family. And it sucks. I plan to keep in touch with every single one of them, except Barry.....because he annoys me. I kid.....or....do I? ;)
Now you know why my blog has been dead lately. Obviously when something like this happens you run the emotional gambit, from feeling angry and hurt to panic and complete freak out. There was also some random vomiting. All this equals no blog entries. I've spent much of the last two months in the land of angry; I'm not only a resident, I'm also the mayor! And you can't write goofy stuff when you're angry. Well I guess you can, but I chose not to.
Unfortunately for my five dear readers the blog will be going on hiatus for a bit. With this news of my layoff you are asking "what's next for ole Ray?" and the answer is "ROAD TRIP".
Yes I plan to rent the wonderful Tom Green romp and watch it over and over and over....basically until I am numb. No my silly hobbits we are packing up the Animato-mobile and getting the hell outta Dodge....er Dallas. I need a vacation by gum and DNA has been nice enough to offer me an extended one. We are going to drive around and visit family and pan handle in major cities all across the U.S.; it's going to be a blast!!
And when we get back....Well I can't say just yet. Walmart seems interested, but I would really rather sell lumber at Home Depot....keep your fingers crossed!!
Monday, April 24, 2006
Sunday, April 16, 2006
All that aside it was a lot of fun and we ended up going way longer than our scheduled time. It was great talking animation with others who have a passion for the art form. Hopefully I provided some helpful information and didn't butcher too many names; sorry Boosi...I think I got it right eventually though...maybe....
So today is Easter and after a late night of talking animation I am pretty tired. Wonder pea is on perhaps her 3rd or 4th egg hunt of the weekend and I have eaten more chocolate than a human should be allowed. What can I say? All the sugar is keeping me awake and I just can't stay off those chocolate/peanut butter eggs. We also have chocolate/coconut eggs which are deadly!! For the love of god be careful with those!! I had a couple the other day and my body went into sudden sugar shock. I spent an hour wandering the house, talking to chairs and drooling on myself. I had to eat a carrot as quickly as possible in order to counter the sweet delicious goodness.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend! I am off to battle Wonder pea for the last chocolate/peanut butter egg. I think I can take her. But when candy is on the line its surprising how strong and agile a three old can be.....
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
If you've never heard of AM....where have you been man? Check it out here
Thursday, March 30, 2006
The only way to solve this problem is for animators and artists to know their worth and to not settle for less. I have heard several stories of people who were given offers by a studio and they took it straight away without any counter offer. Most times the money offered was less than they wanted or were currently making. But the opportunity, that foot in the door, makes up for it right? Wrong. Studios will always make offers that are in the best interest of the studio, not the artist, optioning for the ol lowball approach first to see if the talent goes for it.
And don't even get me started on outsourcing. I believe the director of Hoodwinked, defending the decision to do the production overseas on an animation forum, said something like "...the movie could not be made in the US for the budget we had..." Well yes I suppose you are right seeing as how US animators like to be paid for their work. You have to spend money to make money. Its true. If you are only willing to spend $10 then your movie will look like it was made for $10. But again studios want the quality, they want product that makes them lots of money, yet they don't want to spend a lot themselves. Funny how that works.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
click for larger version
Monday, March 20, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Monday, February 20, 2006
The live catch traps and glue traps were not working so it was time to make the call....to the exterminator.
And as a bonus, the one we called was giving free estimates. She came out and searched the house and attic, inside and out, and found no signs of entry or more mice. So I just asked her, "Where is this thing right now?". She replied that it was possible that it was IN in the furniture. I had a mild heart attack and sat down. Also she said, there could be more than one. I had a more severe heart attack and fell over.
After she had done the inspection I was ready for the "getting rid of the mouse" part. Perhaps she would bring in a box that housed a mouse seeking cat or tazmanian devil or something. The solution: more glue traps. I took her to the bookcase and showed her the other glue trap that the beast escaped from. I even showed her a Power Point presentation on how I thought the mouse escaped, complete with mug shots of suspected accomplices.
She assured me that her glue traps were way better. These you fold to make a little tunnel. The mouse goes in and "oh no I'm stuck and surrounded by other sticky surfaces!". There was no way the mouse would be escaping from these babies, however she suggested that it may be time to get the conventional mouse traps of death.
As soon as she left I started flipping furniture. I would flip a piece and yell "AH-HA!!". I peeked under our sofa that was by the door leading to the garage...."ah-ha?". OH CRAP. There was evidence that the bottom lining of the couch had been gnawed. I ran my hand over the area slowly and OHMYGODTHEREISAHOLE! It's...in...the...sofa....AAAAAARRHH.
I immediately went out and bought 2 snapper traps. The mouse had just pushed me too far.
That night I put out all the traps I had which were now numbering at around 8. I put a good size chunk of Hershey's Kiss on one of the new glue traps and put that sucker right under the hole in the couch; a good bye kiss. Several glue traps were placed around the sofa with the snappers placed as a second defense in case the glue traps only slowed him down.
I thought of perhaps placing 100s of traps around the area ala Tom and Jerry. But then I remembered that usually ended with 100s of traps attached to Tom with Jerry hitting him with a frying pan. Just to be safe, I locked all the cooking ware in a closet.
The next day I jump out of bed, confident that the mouse had been caught. And.....Nothing. No mouse and no poop; yes I was still checking every morning. Did it just move on to some other house? No it was here. It was playing mind games.
After a couple more mouse-less mornings I was leaving for work and happened to look behind some stuff in the garage. Sacre-bleu. Mouse poop. I went back to the door that leads to the house and examined it. There was perhaps enough room between the weather striping and the door for something small to squeeze through. Maybe that hole in the couch was a coincidence. Maybe that mouse has been living out here and coming into the house every night.
That night I put the mouse traps of death in the garage. What started as me "not wanting to hurt the thing" had turned into me "wanting its head on a pole"...or at least a toothpick.
The next morning I slowly walked out into the garage with flashlight in hand, because if things went bad I could at least throw it. I peered around some boxes and almost peed myself. The mouse. Was caught. And was really, most sincerely dead.
My god it was over. It was finally over. Of course I had to completely clean out the garage because there was mouse poo everywhere; oh lysol, my old chum. And we did bust open the bottom of the couch just to be sure there weren't any "surprises", only to find nothing. But the bottom line was it was done. The tyranny of the mouse had come an end. And as an added bonus we haven't had anymore mice since. No poo and no gnawing. Apparently it had been alone. We are safe.........for now.
Friday, February 17, 2006
If you are just joining us, here is what you missed if you are too lazy to read part1. Mouse is in my house, lots of poo, lots of lysol, internet scares me and I say the F word a lot.
Now on to Step#2 catching the mouse.
I head to Lowes to see what they have in the "catching the mouse" department. Even after all the poo, the fear of death and several heart attacks, I didn't really want to kill the mouse, just get it the hell out of the house. With this in mind I bought a "live catch"trap. Mouse goes in, door slams behind it, scary music plays, the mouse pees itself, I find mouse scared and crying for its mommy in the trap, take trap, drive miles from house and open trap allowing mouse to run free and torment some other family....or get eaten by a snake or hawk; these were the pictures that appeared in a balloon over my head as I gazed at the trap.
That evening I placed the traps (I bought 2) back to back, right in the middle of our pantry floor. I turned off the lights and went to bed with visions of trapped mice dancing in my head.
When I check the pantry the next morning, like a kid on Christmas, neither trap had been sprung, yet there is mouse poo along the wall. I look at the trap packaging "place traps ALONG wall.....dumbass"...oh f-f-f-f-f-f-for god's sake. If only I read that last night. Why oh why do I not read directions. It is my gift, my curse.
Ok fine. So the next night I put both traps up against the wall in the pantry. And the next morning...nothing. Wonderful. I then go on my morning routine that I called "checking the house for poo." Remember in Alice and Wonderland the cards sang that song "We're painting the roses red...." well I sang "I'm checking the house for poo..." (it will be available on my next CD).
Sure enough I find some poo behind some furniture. O-K it's back to Lowes to see what other kinds of traps they have.
Glue traps. They don't kill the rodent but you run the risk of finding the thing all stuck to it in some weird ass fashion. But as live traps go there really weren't many other choices. So that night I but out the 1st traps I bought and the glue traps, because more traps can only be a good thing.
The next morning I came out and one of the glue traps...is gone. Oh my god it ate it, was my first thought. My second thought was that I was going to come upon this thing all stuck to the trap in some weird ass fashion. I wasn't sure which to hope for... So with flashlight in hand I start looking for the trap and I don't see it...anywhere. Now the doors to the den, we usually keep closed. I opened them up and there was the trap up against the side of my bookcase.
And no mouse.
Is this thing playing games with me? Did he push the trap around the house for fun last night? Upon closer inspection of the trap I notice foot prints. The mouse got stuck in the trap all right. But with it's unstuck leg, it dragged itself until it found something to pry itself off the trap; the opening between my bookcase and wall. Very good mouse, you win this round.
I imagined him back at his lair laughing at me. Calling up his other mouse friends on his mouse cell phone, bragging at how he dragged himself across the floor and escaped "the man". "Yes..this is what I'm telling you...I had three legs stuck to this thing...yeah..it was nuts. But you know...I've been working out recently... so...yeah...a couple times a week.....well my legs are pretty strong now...right....yeah drug myself all over the place...it was hilarious you should have seen me."
Clearly this was no ordinary mouse. It was time....to call someone...
On Monday: surely an exterminator can take of the problem.
Friday, February 10, 2006
So the title might have you thinking I'm going to write something about Disney. Perhaps something interesting about the Disney Pixar merger. Nope. This is about a real mouse and the hell it put me through.
Turn the way back machine to late last summer. I am at work doing that animating thing I sometimes do, when my wife calls to inform me the sugar in our pantry has been gnawed. Of course my first thought was gremlins, but then I remembered they weren't real. Also in the pantry was an array of little bits of poo. Lovely a mouse is in the house.
That evening I come home, inspect the crime scene and dust for prints. Nothing. The little bastard was wearing gloves. So now it was time to play that fun game "How the hell did it get in here". And after going over the rules and picking team names we set out through the house looking for entry points.
No signs of gnawing on wood or furniture...nothing...except A LOT of mouse poop. Yes the more we looked the more we found, all around the baseboards of the house. I was so mad I nearly asploded.
Step #1 clean up all the poo.
Lysol became my new best friend as I went throw the house spraying and wiping...and cursing, while my wife kept Wonder Pea out of the way. It took a lot of time and A LOT of Lysol but finally the poo was cleaned up. Then I made a critical mistake. I turned to the internet to find out about what kind of mouse we may be dealing with.
The internet, usually a trusted friend, returned all kinds of nightmare scenarios of how certain mice/rats that are common in our region can have poo that will kill you: A. if you don't clean it up properly ie no sweeping B. you say the F word while cleaning it up. I wasn't entirely sure that I followed the 10 step program to cleaning up mouse poo(i did sweep a couple times) and I was sure that I said the F word at least 500 times while cleaning up.
I was certain that we were all going to die.
After having several heart attacks my wife took the internet away and put it up on a high shelf where I could not reach it. This only helped a little since my "good" imagination was working overtime. My wife pointed out that I was probably more likely to now die from the gallons of Lysol I sprayed and inhauled, than any mouse poo. That almost, kind of, didn't really make me feel better. Plus, eventhough we cleaned up everything, the house still felt tainted by the mouse. I told a coworker that I just felt like burning the place down and rebuilding.
But now it was time to focus on Step #2 catching the mouse
Next time: The importance of following directions....
Friday, January 27, 2006
Many in the industry are really jazzed by this news (me included), but I can't help feeling sorry for the folks at Circle 7 (Disney's Pixar sequel studio). I whole heartedly agree with the decision to keep the sequels at their respective studios, it just makes sense, but its a shame that many artists are getting burned.
As the article said, and I have heard, many people at Circle 7 will be absorbed into Disney and/or Pixar which is good news. But all their time and effort have been for not. And I have been hearing that folks who were scheduled to start work later this year at Circle 7, have been notified that they are not needed.
So the chess game that Eisner started with Jobs has come to and end. And not surprisingly it is the artists that have paid the price.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Again at this point this is rumor, however if you listened to the webcast that included Steve Jobs and Bob Iger, Iger himself said that the studio that does the original film should do it's sequel.
Oddly enough I said on this very blog in March of last year that I didn't think Disney would do Toy Story 3 and that the sequel studio would end up doing Chicken Little 2 (which has yet to happen) To read my take on Toy Story 3 from almost a year go click here
Somebody owes me that cookie.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Being both a Disney fan and a Pixar fan this merger is a coup for me. I remember when the Disney company was creative and innovative, before the dark times, before the Empire. Now I think they really have the potential to regain what they have lost. With Ed Catmull and John Lasseter at the helm of animation I can only imagine good things coming from both Pixar and Disney FA. Who knows they may even do another 2D film in the not so distant future. And, with Lasseter being involved with Imagineering, the theme parks could get a very much needed, shot in the arm.
Exciting times are ahead!
Saturday, January 14, 2006
There is also an Adventures area where Eric goes on adventures like Christmas shopping at the mall and finding a new apartment; very funny stuff. You should check it out....right now!!
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Monday, January 02, 2006
But, you may say, I like the blog the way it is, don't change it. To you I say: stop whining, it's not the end of the world...or...is it? It is becoming increasingly difficult to update both the blog and the web site with new info. And there is a lot of new info coming up, most of which concerns our new film The Ant Bully. Therefore having everything in one spot will make it easier on me to do updates. And quite frankly I only care about me and making things easier for me.
If you are stubborn and refuse to access the blog via www.raymation.net that is your choice. You should know that doing this will make people laugh and point at you.