Well, it’s been a year since I wrapped on Epic, so maybe it’s time for a new comparison reel, huh? This comparison reel is a bit different than those I’ve done before. To help students understand the blocking process further, I’ve added a “storytelling poses” section that shows each shot in the earliest phase of exploring acting decisions. This should clear up a lot of confusion about my blocking process. I’ve been asked countless times about how many poses I put into my blocking, and I always need to explain that I start much more broad with a lot fewer poses. Storytelling poses are key to clean and clear animation so I wanted to show that step on the Epic comparison reel. It was a pain in the ass to keep all these images in mind while working on the show, so I hope this reel is useful.
Epic was far and away my most enjoyable film experience to date, and I am extremely proud of the work I was fortunate to be cast on… from the smallest shot to the largest shot. In addition to my animation responsibilities, I was character lead on the main character Mary Katherine alongside Joe Antonuccio and Ray Ross.
As always, the comparison reel is meant for educational purposes only.
Hands down one of the best perks to working at Blue Sky and working on the east coast is that we aren’t forced into the animation union. This may sound counter intuitive, but I couldn’t be happier about not participating, and it comes with advantages like the fact that we can build and decorate super elaborate work-spaces without the union getting in the way.
For instance, I’m fortunate to work in a tree-house! The Lozt Boyz tree-house to be specific. Sure, I didn’t participate in actually building it, but I when my good friend Pete Paquette left the studio, I was quick to swoop in and take his spot. We now lovingly call the space Lozt Boyz 2.0. It now consists of Nick Bruno (current sup on Peanuts), Scott Carroll (current sup on Peanuts), Melvin Tan (current sup on Rio 2), and myself. I also love the fact that these 3 supervisors have chosen not be in an office. They wanted to be right in the middle of the crew to make sure they stay in touch with what’s going on, and to make sure they are absolutely as approachable as possible.
Here’s a little behind the scenes video about our little workspace. The doc is a bit old so it mainly features the original Lozt Boyz, including current Ringling instructor Paul Downs. The Lozt Boyz.
A quick update about Blue Sky’s new logo:
Earlier this year Blue Sky committed to revamping their logo in front of their movies. I was lucky enough to be the animator on this new logo, and still can’t believe it every time I see it in front of Blue Sky’s new movies. The logo went into production well after Epic was completed and was a bit of a rush job in order to get it in the theaters along side Epic.
It was a bit chaotic, in that I got animation input from every director Blue Sky has ever had outside of Jimmy Heyward. So the list of directors I reported to on this was: Steve Martino, Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha, Mike Thurmeier, Galen Chu, and even some opinions that came from our design team and Fox marketing. Phew, what a crazy few weeks.
Hope everybody digs it. Here it is as it appeared on Epic.
Time for a new reel, right? Well, here is a progression reel of one of the two shots I did for Ice Age 4.
I wanted to share this reel to show how animators are expected to take what is shown on the boards and nail all the basic actions and beats that are shown there, but in addition, “plus” the boards with new choices and additional gags.
The boards were done by my very talented friend, Jerod Chirico. I actually animated this shot while I was also animating on Blue Sky’s film Rio back in 2010. I didn’t get to animate all that much on this show since I was part of the pre-production crew for Blue Sky’s film Epic.
My good friend Pete Paquette started the tradition of Slossum facts nearly 6 years ago, but for the last few years I’ve had the reigns. What are these Slossums?
Well, every Friday I find a fun random fact and repeat the fact in my worst British accent, while comping over the face of our favorite British animator here at Blue Sky, David Sloss.
Now, the facts have moved onto Facebook, and I’m stoked to share them with everybody now.
I can’t say another story has touched me as much as this during my animation career. May the force be with you Jedi Max.
Thanks for letting Blue Sky and Epic into your life, and I hope we brought you and your family the slightest bit of joy in your final days.
Well, the cats out of the bag. Blue Sky has updated there logo, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I personally really love it. Simple design, we lost the odd blue circle, and yet it’s still a nice nod to the old logo.
In addition to the new logo, we have a new animated version that plays before each movie… and much to my joy, I got to be the one that animated our favorite character Scrat for the intro.
Check it out in front of Epic, or see the shorter version in front of the recently released Rio 2 trailer.
For whatever reason the “comparison reel” I did for Ice Age 3 wasn’t all that popular. I think its do to the fact that many of the shots didn’t actually rely on video reference.
But for good times sake, I thought I’d re-upload this video, and give it a second chance.
Hope a new audience finds some use out of it.
Ice Age:Dawn of the Dinosaurs Comparison Reel
You want more posts? Well here’s a little insight to the overly scheduled day-to-day, rat-race for a few of us at Blue Sky.
Today, and every Thursday is, “Five Guys Thursday!” Hooray for burger day! We roll a pair of dice to determine who will ride shotgun, if you roll snake eyes you buy everybody a coffee. Then its off to White Plains for the burgers. We head back to work, play Mario Kart, work, go out for coffee, play Mario Kart, work, go home. Got to love Thursdays.
It’s things like this that are a good reminder of just how cool it is to work in the animation industry, and at Blue Sky specifically.
I’m happy to report that after a 3 month battle I scraped my way to the very top and am this year’s Robot Unicorn champion!
Here’s a short mockumentary following the journey of the tournament.