So What’s New With You, Andy?

It’s been awhile since I updated this here blog. So much has happened since! I’m trying to make blogging a part of my weekly habit again in 2016, but first, I need to do a big catch up post… I spent the bulk of 2015 working on a couple of animated films — Hotel Transylvania 2 and Kung Fu Panda 3. I think both films turned out great, and I’m proud of the work our teams did on both. It was awesome to work with so many talented folks. I’m especially thrilled that the Character Effects (CFX) team was nominated for an Annie award for our work on HT2. CFX doesn’t get recognized that way very often, and we worked our butts off on that show. Well-deserved. Go team! Writing-wise, it was a slow year for me, a side-effect of all that hard work I was doing on HT2 & KFP3. Still, … Continue reading

Things I Love This Week

There are a lot of things I’m excited about this week, my friends, and I feel like sharing. Admittedly, there’s a little horn tootin’ here, but not too much, I promise. Big Hero 6 — First off, today is the official release day of Big Hero 6, the latest animated feature from Disney, and the reason I was pretty quiet over the summer. Whew! In all my years in animation and vfx, I think this is the hardest I’ve ever worked. I’m biased, of course, but I think it turned out pretty darn well. If you like animated films, Disney, or superheroes, then I bet you’ll love this one! Look for me in the “Technical Animation” credits. (That’s cloth, hair, and character cleanup, plus other squishy things like Baymax’s skin.) Congrats to all my fellow (very talented) artists and filmmakers on the film! … Continue reading

A Robot, Two Stories, and some Doodles.

This blog has been gathering a pretty thick layer of dust this year. Blogging has never come naturally to me, and most of my updates get blasted out in snippets on social media. Well, here’s a bigger update! This has been an extraordinarily busy year for work, which is great since last year was so dry. I spent the last five months working on Disney’s Big Hero 6. The hours were long, the workload intense, but in the end, I’m proud of the work I did, and the awesome stuff my team accomplished. I can’t wait to see it in November! I did a lot of work on little teasers and other promotional images, but one of my favorites is adorable robot Baymax and his human pal Hiro playing with balloon animals (I worked on cloth, hair, Baymax’s squishy skin, and the balloons): It was an amazing experience to work at Disney. Hope … Continue reading

Drink your Towel, Sip the Force

Today is not only Towel Day (the annual tribute to that hoopy frood, Douglas Adams) but  also the 35th anniversary of our first visit to that galaxy far, far, away. It’s hard to overstate how much influence The Hitchkiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Star Wars have had on not just in geekdom but in transforming pop culture and the way we think about science fiction. Certainly I wouldn’t be the same person without the important lessons these two universes taught me about living life. 1) Don’t Panic (also, Don’t Forget your Towel), and 2) Do, or do not. There is no try.* (Okay, that might be three life lessons…) In any event, following Rules #1 and #2 have gotten me pretty far. Sure, they are kind of catch-phrasey, bumper-stickery bits of wisdom, but I think Megadodo Publications on Ursa Minor Beta and Yoda from Dagobah are worth listening to here. So, … Continue reading

Cocktail Friday: Jack Rose

This cocktail was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, who mentions it in his seminal novel The Sun Also Rises. To be fair, I think his characters spend more time drinking absinthe than Jack Roses, but they do consume a few of them, and since I’m an easily suggestible gorilla, I started thirsting to consume one myself. (As for the absinthe, well, more on that another time.) The base spirit in a Jack Rose is applejack or Calvados, and the apple flavor really gets me in the mood for autumn. The lime (or lemon) juice, however, summers up the drink, so i think it would be equally at home any season of the year. Grenadine rounds out the flavor and keeps it from becoming too tropical a drink. This is a mellow, smooth drink. Not too sweet, not too tart. My experiments  with the Jack Rose have been mixed, I’ll admit. … Continue reading