Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Officially more official than ever

Yesterday I received word that I am to be a permanent employee of Pixar Animation Studios.

Even reading the words I just typed hasn't helped me to realize what has happened. I think that's mostly due to the fact that it was 10.5 months of insanity (in a good way) that led up to this point. I've had to make sacrifices along the way, and had I given any less than my all perhaps I'd be more fanatic about the news, but to be brutally honest the most prominent emotion at the moment is relief.

I can relax.

Kind of. Now we have a film to finish, and while my dedication isn't going to change, I think I'll be able to carry out my daily tasks with the certainty that I deserve to be here. My current contract ends in about 6 weeks, and then its back to NYU for my last semester, where I can take the classes I want to take, instead of those that will "help me get a job". It is going to be a fun time for sure, and when I finish, I'll have an amazing job waiting for me to come back to, on one of the most exciting projects out there!

Cheers to my buddies Jacob and Alex who also received word of their permanence. We're gonna rock this.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Wall-E. What a crazy film.. I'm the last character TD that isn't cast to one of the main characters- which means I get to do everything else!! It's really quite remarkable, and an enormous amount of responsibility. I'm totally thankful for everyone who's put so much trust in me thus far, and hope they continue to do so as I try to trudge through my last few weeks on the show. I've been keeping up with my animation tests as well, but of course I can't share them, not until I request the legal department to approve the work. But that has had some huge payoffs as well. My animation abilities have rocketed skyward I feel, and I'm finally comfortable with spline-work.

I had my interview with all the Supervising Technical Directors almost two weeks ago now. The last hurrah to try and sell myself to them as deserving a permanent position at the studio beyond Wall-E. Of course I have to go back to NYU and finish up, but I'm hoping I might be given an offer for when I complete my degree in May. It'd be really nice to not have to think about work while I'm back in the classroom. I explained in my interview my philosophy of what makes a great Character TD great. You can have all the computer graphics training in the world- it wouldn't impress me all that much. In the end we feed the animators, they rely on us wholly, and to that end we have to always be considerate of their needs and listen to what would make something better. Some of the best Character TDs are excellent animators. Being able to see the shortcomings of your product before sending it out the door almost always puts you on the right level with whomever you're servicing (as long as you take the opportunity to fix it!). I've been asked why I animate- whether or not its something I'd rather be doing. I can't say one way or the other, but I know that regardless what position I held, I'd be seeking to comprehend the other to its fullest.

There are whisperings I may have some satisfaction coming my way in these regards. Till then I'm going to take every opportunity to get my fill of these characters before my time runs out.