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2D Animation
All of my 2D animation is either on 16mm film or VHS tape, so as I get it transferred digitally, I'll put it up here.

Going Home (1999)

This is my student film from my 3rd year of College, so that would be 1999. There's a cool back story to this project - I had an idea in mind to do a 'war' piece, and settled on something that would take place during the Vietnam War. It's hard to sell a dramatic film to an audience in two minutes (at least it was for me). So I settled on two characters, a Veteran soldier and a Rookie, with the basic story being that the Veteran is fed up with the war and ready to get home, and the rookie doesn't have the heart to tell him that public opinion of the war isn't all that great at home (the 'Yeah, about that...' line). I knew that I wanted to model the Veteran character after Tony Todd, and the Rookie would just be a generic young kid.

I had been a big fan of Tony since Candyman, and The Rock and Wishmaster had recently come out, and every time I thought of the Veteran character I heard his voice. So I went ahead and designed the character after him, and one day I thought 'you know what, I'm going to go out on a limb and try to contact him and actually ASK if he would be interested in voicing the Veteran.' Never in a million years did I think I would be able to get ahold of him, let alone actually pique his interest enough to do it. I mean, I was a 23-year old no name student in Canada and I had no idea how the hell to even get in touch with him. So I turned to trusty old Netscape (remember that web browser?) and started my search. I eventually found his fan page and it looked like the person who ran it spoke with Tony from time to time to keep up with his appearances and whatnot, so I sent them an email with my idea and info and went back to working on my the backgrounds and early effects shots for the film.

A few weeks later I come to find a message on my phone and HOLY CRAP it's Tony himself saying he read the script and wanted to talk about it. I just about died from excitement. Fast forward to a few weeks later and I had a microcasette with his dialogue on it. Micro was the best we could do with him being in NYC and it being 1999. I took it to the sound guy at the college for him to transfer to 16mm mag tape and he flat out said 'No. The quality is too poor.' But on the tape Tony had said 'maybe you can throw some Dolby on it...' so that's exactly what the fuck I did. I found some guy in Toronto who did sound work out of his basement and jumped in the car with my friend and booked it to the guy's place one night. He was like 'Dudes, I got this.' and actually threw some Dolby on it and cleaned it up pretty nicely and put it on a DAT tape for me (why not a CD, I don't know - oh yeah, because our school was in the stone age). I had my voice tracks and got down to business.

In the end I think it ended up being over 1300 drawings, 20-something backgrounds, and a bunch of painted cels for the intro. I shot it frame by frame on some ancient 16mm camera, and we had to plan out the fades and dissolves and shoot them manually by shooting stuff at half exposure, then rewinding the camera and shooting the other scene at half exposure. If you messed up or forgot what frame you were on, you were fucked. I think we all lived on caffeine for 3 months, and in the end I couldn't get everything done that I wanted because of all the special effects (oh, I originally wanted to be an effects animator), but I did well on the film nonetheless. Here it is ten years later...I cringe a bit watching my animation now, but I'll be eternally grateful to Tony for taking the time to help out a no-name student from Canada with his film. It blew my mind that he lent his voice to the film, and I'll never forget it.

Anyway, here it is. I see about fifty things I want to fix and I would definitely re-edit the shots to make the ending work better, but it was a great learning experience and I guess that's what school is all about. Sorry for the novel.


Special Effects (1999)

This is a little reel from school that I wanted to use to show some effects animation. The color part is a bit dark, but it's a machine gun bunker off in the distance firing at the camera. The robot thing is from the first Ghost in the Shell movie, and I did a little experiment to see what it would look like if its arms actually unfolded instead of being down all the time.