Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Everyone's Hero, Part 1

My involvement with Everyone's Hero has a bit of an odd twist to it. It started when I was working as the lead animator at DPS, which was/is a sub-company of IDT. Somewhere during late 2003/early 2004, we got word that the head of IDT, Howard Jonas, had written a story called Yankee Irving that he wanted to have made into a feature film. At first, all I knew was that the title character was a young boy, and the story had something to do with baseball. Next we heard that Christopher Reeve was going to be directing it, and he even came through the DPS office at one point (I saw his bald forehead as he rolled down the aisle on the other side of my cubicle wall and into the editing suite for a meeting). Before I left DPS in the spring of '04, modeling had begun on a Yankee and the baseball, Screwie, but I still didn't know anything more about the story. After leaving DPS, I freelanced for Reel FX before they hired me full-time in the summer of '04.

Fast-forward to the late fall of 2005. I'm walking past one of the Reel FX conference rooms, and as I glance in, I catch a glimpse of an animatic that's being projected on the wall. My eye latches onto the lower part of the image, where I read "Property of IDT Entertainment." That made me stop and look more closely at the animatic drawings, and I saw that they were of a boy and a baseball. Was this Yankee Irving? I checked with my sup, and sure enough it was. We were bidding to help with animation and lighting on a project that I almost worked on at my previous job. How weird is that!

Not long after that, we started getting the character rigs to play with, and by late January of this year, we had started animating the first shots out of of roughly 20 minutes of footage that we were assigned from the film. A short while later, we got word that the name of the film had changed to Everyone's Hero, and about that same time I had to shift gears as I was starting to take over as animation supervisor for the BOZ video series. In the end, I only animated five shots for the film, and I'm probably only going to post one of those on the animation page of my site once the film comes out. Despite my short time on the project, I'm pretty happy with how my shots turned out, and I'm grateful for the things I learned in the process.

I was going to write more tonight, but I gotta crash. In Part 2, I'll be responding to a comment/complaint I've heard about the film's trailer...


sushipajamas said...

schveeeet! well, i know it wasnt my complaint, but personally I cant wait for friday to roll by. gonna see it that night if I can help it.

Ryan said...

I think this movie looks promising. I'm VERY interested in seeing how it does. I hope it does well...and hopefully opens the door for more studios to take the leap as well. Nice to see you got in on it Justin.