Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Longest Day Has Ended

It's done. 

After years of animating, editing, producing and trying to stay focused in an ocean of distractions and 'other shit that has to be done' I have finally finished my short film Creamers. I wanted to create an image that would capture the feeling of finishing such a seemingly endless list of tasks but the thought of drawing or creating anything original at this point is too exhausting. So in my new found and long awaited state of laziness I googled the title of this post and these are some of the strangely eclectic images that popped up. I chose these three partly because they look kind of cool together and partly because they seem to represent the weird mix of emotions I am experiencing right now. Its fun, a little nutty and it's all making me want to smoke. I have been dreaming of that beach for a long time now and its quite liberating to know I could actually stroll on it in the near future but a bit stressful looking back on the sacrifices that have been made to get me to this point.

Was it worth it? That is the million dollar question that swims around my thoughts and its too early to say at this point. That said, no matter what I may feel in any given moment in the future about this whole epic malarky it has been worth because I did it. Dreamt it, lived it, finished it. Come what may I can move on knowing that Creamers has become an is in my life not a what if.  And that feels like a warm sand between the toes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Creamers is on the Canadian Animation Blog

Creamers is The Film That Just Keeps on Giving!
Sooo January 2015 and I am still drawing, down to my last 20 shots. There has been a sea of distractions and interruptions along the way but I am still here. I haven't lost the use of any eyes yet like Tex Avery or my hero Frederic Back.
My limbs are still functional and amazingly enough my husband has not left. And even more amazingly I still get a little bit of promotion once in a while. The latest is 'Artist of the Day' on the Canadian Animation Blog . Have a read if you have a mo - my next posting will be the news of my last shot. About flipping time....

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Interview with Mike Birbigilia

For the past 2 weeks I have been daydreaming of what it would be like to have someone famous tweet on your behalf. Imagine if all of Brad Bird's dedicated flock were directed to my Kickstarter page. With a single button press floods of donations and flattering comments would be showered upon me. Ah the power of celebrity twitter - so close and yet so far. The constant gnawing anxiety that has been with me ever since I launched my Kickstarter campaign would abate I would be able to return to my comfy existence of drawing, drawing and more drawing. While noodling around yesterday and trying to think of something pithy to tweet to Brad Bird I stumbled upon Mike Birbigilia's twitter account. I will preface the next statement by saying I am a fan of Mike Birbigilia but do not follow him as I didn't see how a comedian could be of any help to the promotion of my film. My interest in social media at this point is 100% financially based. BUT Mike Birbigilia has over 300,000 followers.  This puts Brad Bird's numbers into perspective. I scanned Mike Birbigilia latest tweets to see if I could come up with a witty retort but nothing came to mind and knowing that it was futile, I forged on with the usual drawing, dinner, TV and sleep. However just when I thought I had put my superficial concerns with social media status on the back burner my subconscious kicked in.

I found myself wandering around the twitterverse which was more or less New York city in the late 70's, my 'campaign' in tow. I met Cher in a open loft where she kindly agreed to tweet on my behalf and went into her control centre which was one part command deck of the USS Enterprise and one part Missy Elliot video. Cher worked her magic and returned my 'campaign' to me which was contained in an important looking briefcase-like strong box. I thanked her and continued on my aimless meandering. As I was walking down a vast empty street I noticed an office with floor to ceiling windows. What an incredible coincidence. This was Mike Birbiglia's headquarters, where all things Birbiglia go down. I stood outside. I should go in, no, bad idea nothing will come of it and it will just be embarrassing. Yes, no, yes, no finally the voice of positivity wins - arguing that I need to take risks in order to reap rewards. To my amazement my highschool friend Helen DuToit is in the main office looking very successful in a pair of hot reading glasses and she (as it turns out) is Mike Birbiglia's right hand gal. At the moment I enter Brigilia HQ, Helen is reading scripts. Because of his overwhelming fame and incredible twitter following, Mike Birbigilia gets tons of scripts each week from eager potential collaborators. I go over to Helen and we have a quick girlie reconnect and she agrees to review the campaign and pass it on to Mike. Overjoyed by my luck and seeing Helen's presence as some kind of sign, I feel pretty damn cocky walking into Mike B's expansive and expensive board room. Helen opens up the strong box and presses play - horror, instead of my promo a hundred little randomly edited You Tube clips play a garbled muck. What the hell? Cher has recut my promo video! That's what all that showy command deck crap was about. Helen looks up at me with a look of withering disdain. "Umm just fast forward it should be there," I blurt out. She scrubs the video back and forth for a few minutes while I sit by panicked looking at the screen in disbelief. "I don't know how this happened," I say with a thin layer of nervous condensation blooming on my face. Helen gives it another nano second then leaves the room with a frosty silence and returns to the pile of scripts waiting for her on the big important table next door. Just at that point the man himself enters. "Hey, Helen tells me you have a campaign for a short film," Mike Birbigilia says to me. "Yes," I say tentatively the facial condensation has now turned into a full-on drippy sweat. To make matters worse the white trash hicks from Orange is the New Black who somehow have become associated with me have started to fill out forms demanding lattes and hot drinks. "Can you believe these guys?" I mime to Mike, mortified that I should have brought this posse into his sacred domain. 

I make my excuses about a screw up at the beginning of the video as he pushes play and starts watching. Mike Birbiglia is across the table from me his eyes are on the screen. Unable to see the video myself, I focus on his expression as he watches. Then a horrible thing happens. He seems unfazed by the garbage at the front end of the video but it's his reaction once the actual promo starts playing that gets me. He is totally and utterly bored by what he is watching. I can hear the audio and now with his expression as my barometer everything I hear sounds painfully slow and and dull. I have blown it. Totally. Even with an 'in' I failed to deliver. Mike Birbigilia is so disinterested he pushes the stop button before the video has finished. He looks up at me. We are both on the same page in that moment. I am the first to speak, "You know the sad thing is is I am a big fan of yours - I mean I really like your stuff. I was sure this would work." The lights in the office have dimmed now everyone else has gone. He just looks at me quietly as we both grab our coats to leave. Outside, we are now at the Maida Vale underground station in London. He looks at me and says, "Do you want to go for a drink at the Stone Pony?" I pause for a second. Mike Birbiglia has just asked me to go for a drink. My daughter who has suddenly been transported into the scene and I both look at each other -we can barely contain our excitement. We are going to a bar with Mike Birbiglia. I look back at him acting non-chalant, "Sure that sounds great."  Its then that I notice he is wearing a big soft corduroy coat that is well worn and looks totally cozy. I touch his sleeve, it reminds me of the old school one that Louis CK wears. But this is much softer it feels like it is filled with down. No tweets but a real live sure-to-be-entertaining bar conversation on the horizon. What could be better than that?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Creamers Kickstarter Campaign 2013

Whew wee what a ride... in the last week or so it has been a non stop social media frenzy to support and promote my Kickstarter fundraising campaign for Creamers. The only real way a project like mine can swim to the top of the shark pool is with a constant steady drip of reminders. Email, tweets, facebook you name it - anything that creates an online presence. The enjoyable aspect of  all of this is the great feedback and connections I make. Re-connections and new connections - its nice to have your solo pursuit float outside of your own little domain for a while. So if you have come to this blog through some other form of media - please check out the Creamers Film facebook page for more art than is here right now and more importantly my Kickstarter campaign. 25 days to go and counting!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

What a long haul animation is. It makes me feel slightly better when I hear how long other independent shorts have taken: 8 years, 13 years, 7 years. After the first long break I have had from Creamers in a couple of years I sat down in front of my 50,000 plus files and really had to dig deep to open them up. There is so much energy involved in just keeping track of it all. Despite the fact that I dish out the KISS principle to every other artist/student I know, I have definitely NOT applied it to myself. I am my own worst enemy and all that. Why make it simple when you can make it complicated. Its a tired old cliche but amazingly enduring.

Still I am chewing away and have dropped an entire sequence thanks to the sage advice of a very talented artist Michael Mueller who is helping me out when he is not art directing games. So my bunny sequence is on the floor. It never really did make much sense and was more or less an excuse for me to animate rabbits. It was supposed to represent that time in the early morning when you have been working all night and anything and I mean anything can make you cry – well make me cry and I know I am not totally alone on that one.

Keep on trucking and try not to nap too much. Ester and I are morphing into one….

Friday, June 29, 2012

Painted Textures, Ambient Light and More Time Savers from the 3D Department of One

Since my previous post on 2D and 3D there have been some new and glorious little victories in the land of Creamers. Despite the fact that Dave Delisle the Creamers 3D guy and more importantly the dedicated master behind Dave’s Geeky Ideas  not too mention Dave’s Geeky Hockey  suggested creating 2D painted textures for some of the scenes I must have dismissed it as the previous attempts were so dismal. Anyhooch, about a month ago he mentioned it again so we embarked on a bunch of tests. First one was not so hot as we used a really old painting of mine

and we got this
But the second round Dave gave me this

I painted it in TV Paint with the custom film brushes and gave him this

Then we got this
Yes!... I think it is going to work – this was HUGE as it meant that my epic shot of some 600 plus frames of Ester dancing around the pool could actually be feasible. I think I was dreaming before thinking I could actually paint every frame of that MF, stencil technique or no stencil technique. (see January’s post)

So then to take it a step further I did 3 slightly different versions of the texture and we created a boiling hold which again was looking pretty good.

Hand Painted Texture - Boiling Hold from Hilary Moses on Vimeo.

Now the flood gates were opened.  Yet another to do tab on the master spreadsheet. A whole long list of models to unwrap UVs to be created and painted. 

While I have been painting for the last 2 weeks I thought of the artist someone told me about who painted nothing but jean textures at EA for 6 years.

It is probably some kind of nerdy urban myth but this kind of stuff really puts what I am doing into perspective for me. It may be a lot of work but Creamers is rarely boring, a lot more colourful and now not only do I not have to draw a gazillon creamers I don’t have to paint them either – thanks Dave!