Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Patricia's Gift

My animator buddy Dimos Vrysellas has a niece (the aforementioned Patricia) who is trying to raise money to help kids with cancer. She's also going to be donating a substantial sum of her own hair to the cancer society to help make wigs for young cancer victims. And the coolest thing: she's doing all this to celebrate her 7th birthday coming up on June 1st!!! How cool is that!?! :)

Her goal was to raise $500 to donate along with her hair, but people have already blown that number away and she currently has $2500 in donations. I think it would be AWESOME to make that number skyrocket even higher! If you're able to help, please visit her personal page and make a donation. Even if you can't make a donation, please spread the word. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Voices for "Boom Blox" commercial

I'm occasionally called upon to provide scratch voices for spots produced at Reel FX, and did a quick session at the end of March for a commercial we produced for EA's Boom Blox. In addition to the announcer, there were five small character parts, and we decided to record that stuff first. I love doing character voices, and even though it was only supposed to be a scratch track, I approached it like a paying session and tried to make the characters distinctive and fun.

It took maybe 15-20 minutes to get through all five, and when the time came to switch to the announcer lines, the producer suggested that it might be best to get someone else in for that part in order to provide a bit more separation from the characters. I was cool with that, and left the booth with the usual "You never know...the client might decide to use you after all" ringing in my ears like so many scratch sessions before.

I didn't think much more about it until a couple weeks ago when the producer on the project came to my desk and said, "The client wants to use your voices, so it looks like we've got some money for you. How does [insert attention-getting amount of money here] sound?" Now, I didn't have any way of knowing if it was a fair offer or not, but my gut told me that it was more than reasonable for a 20-minute session that produced 10 words and a handful of animal noises and yells. After returning my jaw and eyes to their normal states, I agreed to the offer.

I confirmed earlier today that the spot has begun airing, so it is with great pleasure that I present my national television voiceover debut. This is a HUGE step in my efforts to pursue voiceover work, and I'm looking forward to assembling a character demo one of these days.

Friday, May 09, 2008

A new direction, part 2

Well, I'm a little over three months into the "new job" (see the last post for details), and it's going very well. And just to clarify a point that might have been confusing in the last post, my new work isn't a mix of animation and TD tasks. It's all TD, all the time. No animation at all. None. So far, that's turning out to be a very good thing. I still haven't quite figured out how all this is going to play out in the long term, but the immediate impact of the change has been very positive, even though the hours I'm spending at work tend to be a little more than what I spent as an animator. I'm providing technical support and tool development for somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 animators at the moment, about 70-80% of whom are working on Open Season 2. (Thankfully they don't all need help at once, or I'd have had a breakdown in the first week.) It's interesting work to say the least, and it definitely keeps me on my toes.

What's really going to have an impact on the future of this role for me, though, is our annual review, which just started this week. I've got to have my personal evaluation turned in on Monday, and with three-quarters of the past year's efforts going toward animation, it's going to be an interesting review. The process won't wrap 'til June or July, so I won't know until then how the switcharoo will impact my income. Here's hoping nothing changes...