Posts Tagged ‘Stoopid Buddy Stoodios’

What I’m Thankful For

Posted: January 31, 2019 in update
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It’s been quite a while since I last posted, but I certainly haven’t been standing still. Things have been full speed ahead, and I am grateful for every moment. I missed posting during the Thanksgiving break, I thought I would still take some time and talk a little about everything I’m thankful for as we move through the beginning of 2019.

As fate would have it, I ended up back in the VFX Department at Stoopid Buddy after my contract in the Puppet Department ended. I had a wonderful time in there though, and managed to stay there through the completion of the Buddy Thunderstruck build. As you may or may not know, depending on if you have read any of my other posts, I originally started in Puppets after attending classes in both stop-motion animation and puppet fabrication at Buddy. That happened to open up an opportunity for me, and is the first thing I am thankful for.

I took a risk on those classes, coming out from the Chicagoland area (and paying for extended stay housing) so I could attend them. I knew that it would be a fantastic learning experience in a real, working animation studio, so I couldn’t pass it up. What I didn’t necessarily expect, though, was for it to turn into a work opportunity. I was already a pretty big fan of Robot Chicken, but I felt like I really connected with the studio and my instructors. So much so, when I got back home, I felt confident enough to make the leap and finally move to the LA area.

That, of course, was another huge risk. I had some savings, but knew I would go through them quickly in the LA area. Fortunately, I was offered my first short gig at Buddy not too long afterwards, which turned into a much longer one almost immediately thereafter. That was the start of my current path and the next thing I am thankful for.

Fast forward a little bit to more recent times. Like I mentioned, I have been working in the VFX department for almost the last 3 years. As my other speciality, I moved there after projects wound down on the Puppets side. I am supremely grateful to the studio and the department heads for allowing this mobility. I am glad they allowed me to prove myself and my abilities, even without knowing a whole lot about me besides what others told them and my work samples. That openness led me to where I am now.

And where am I now? A couple of Emmy certificates (Robot Chicken) and an Annie Award nomination for VFX (SuperMansion S3) later, I am really thankful once again for all the opportunities I’ve been given. The only dark cloud is the fact that I am currently laid off due to a project slowdown, but I know that will change. I know new opportunities will come around, as long as I am open to them.

But I will always remember and be grateful for everything and everyone that helped get me to this point. I did work really hard, yes, but I also recognize the fact that it didn’t all happen in a vacuum. And I’m thankful for that, too.

Not to brag, but working full-time at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios as a Puppet Fabricator has been fantastic. It has been a lot of hard work and the 10-hour days took a little getting used to, but the fun and creativity can’t be beat. I am incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity.

I have already handled quite a few materials and helped construct a pretty diverse selection of characters, both human and not. I have painted, glued, shaped and sculpted everything from clay to fur, assembled and repaired puppets, helped rig armatures and now I am starting to mold and cast. I came in with some good knowledge, but between the variety of projects and the vast amount of experience in the studio, I seem to learn something new every day.

And now that the studio has acquired a high quality 3D printer, things are about to get even more interesting. I am familiar with RP and creating models for prints, but working with one on a daily basis can be a whole other thing. The resolution of these prints is amazing, too. I am excited for the potential in the area and look forward to seeing what comes out of it.

On the topic of things coming out, I still can’t reveal anything specific, but a couple of the projects I have worked on have either been released or announced. So awesome! The first thing I worked on, an unusual little commercial for the Indian mango fruit drink Frooti, is here:

I painted some of the tiny people (who were 3D printed, by the way), which was truly an exercise in patience. The finished commercial looks great, though! A tremendous team effort that makes it all worthwhile.

The next thing I worked on – and still am – is a new show that was just announced at the Crackle Upfront event: “SuperMansion”.

  

The above image is the first promo shot of the lead character, Titanium Rex, released by the studio. I should mention that I personally did not work on this specific character – that was left to more senior artists – but I have worked on plenty of others. Again, I can’t share anything else beyond what has been authorized just yet, but I can say that this show is a must- watch, and that’s not just because I am biased. 🙂

Then, of course, Robot Chicken Season 8 is also starting up for us as well. Proud, sweet times.

I hope to be able to share more of what I have personally done in the near future. In the meantime, let’s all keep making cool stuff!