Tomorrow will mark a decade for me of living in California, so I thought it be appropriate to look back on my struggles & successes which brought me to where I am today. On occasion I have been known to write in a journal, and when I first moved out here I did not have many people to talk to. I ended up writing in my journal every night, and I read over it to help in writing this post. I’m really glad that I wrote down what I was going through, since it was an eventful part of my life. I don’t write in my journal as much as I used to, but this blog has taken the place of documenting my life’s journeys.
This last week I have been mostly working on our animated short. Animation is a slow process, but we are making some great progress. It might be a month, but I do plan to get some fun concept art to share with all of you.
I have also been working on a bid for a potential client that will require a mix of a CG character in a CG environment, with a live action actor. I’m collaborating with some other companies to do the live action, and sound, since those aren’t services we offer. I will find out later this year if the project was awarded to us.
We are making great progress on our animated shorts. I say shorts with an ‘s’ because it will be multiple 10-15 second shorts that we will be creating. They will all be in the same environment with the same character, but each vignette will have a different “event”.
Eric Miller Animation Studios Facebook Page has reached 3,000 Likes! Thank you to all of you who have liked us on Facebook, and have shown your support! Building our social network is important to me, because it is the easiest way for us to share what we are working on. We are in progress on our first CG animated short, and we are excited to share it with as many people as we can once it is finished.
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Happy Independence Day! Although not nearly as amazing, inspiring, and requiring as much courageous sacrifice that the men and woman of our country paid for the independence the United States won from Great Britain, this July 4th is also the anniversary of the official start of Eric Miller Animation Studios. While the majority of my celebrations today will be in honor of our country’s independence, a small part of my celebrating will be for the independence of the company I started a year ago today.
This week I started updating our freelance artist roster. Animation is a team effort, and requires a highly skilled, and highly trained crew of artists, technicians, and production staff. The larger studios with deeper pockets tend to have more specialized artists that work on a very specific part of the production pipeline. Think of a factory where you might be responsible for the same task on the assembly line. A large animation studio would have artists that are specialized in character animation to be the animators, or specialized artists to do all the modeling of characters, props, and set pieces. Each step of the pipeline is done by artists who are specialists in that area.
I wanted to give everyone a June Update on everything I’m working on with the company. Although I don’t currently have any client projects I’m working on I’m still pretty busy with many other tasks. Here are some of the things I’m currently working on.
I mentioned in an earlier post I was working on a CG animated short. We are making progress with it, but have been taking our time to make sure it looks great. As I write this we are working on the design of the main character, as well as brainstorming the set location. To keep costs down it will be in one simple set that we can reuse for the different episodes. Once we finish the character design phase we will start modeling the character, and then rig it for animation. At the same time we work on the character rig we will also be surfacing it.
I have been thinking about creating a society for creative professionals in the entertainment industry. Through the society we could put on a monthly networking event co-hosted with my company. This would include artists, technicians, and production staff in animation, visual effects, motion graphics, and other similar professions. This event would be open to members of the community from students that are trying to get into the industry to veterans who have been in the industry for years. It could create mentorship opportunities to help the new members in the field to meet the experts.
This weekend was the Producers Guild of America’s annual Produced by Conference. This is a conference for producers, and has a lot of really great panels, mentoring, and networking opportunities for members of the guild. This was my second time going to the conference, and I wanted to share my experience with all of you. If you are interested in reading about last year’s conference you can do it here.
When I was younger, and decided I wanted to start my own animation company I wanted it to rival Walt Disney Animation. You have to love the naive imagination of a young boy. I might not have given up on those dreams, but the reality of the difficulty of the goal I set is more apparent.
Around this time a year ago I knew I was planning on leaving my job at DreamWorks Animation, and my last day was quickly approaching. I had been trying to figure out the best way to start my company, and I finally had a plan. It might have been a shot in the dark, but it at least had a chance for success.