What I tell myself everyday.

To all the people watching, I can never ever thank you enough for the kindness to me, I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask is one thing, and this is.. I'm asking this particularily of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism - for the record it's my least favorite quality, it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen." - Conan 'O'Brien

October 3, 2014

Failure by Kevin Smith.


"Some people will love, some will hate. But it'll make you feel something. And that, they tell me, is art. If that's failing, yes: I'm a big, fat failure. And I hope to fail lots more just like it in the near future."

"Don't be afraid to do weird stuff, so long as you do it cheaply and cover everyone's bets. Be bold. Be stupid, if you have to: so long as you don't hurt anybody, what's it matter how dopey your dream is? Some folks will try to shame you for trying something outside the norm; the only shame is in not trying to accomplish your dreams.

People have been telling me I'm a failure and that I'm doing it all wrong for 20 years now. Never trust anybody when they tell you how your story goes. You know your story. You write your own story."

- Kevin Smith

February 19, 2014

Vfx artists all over both side of the pond squabble over a misrepresentation of some vfx misquote. Meanwhile the world goes on.

  Over at VFXSoldier, this article caused quite a ruckus online. His following  this article kinda explains the situation quite clearly.

  It is amusing but not in a positive manner to see it from this side of the world.

My realisation is that basically vfx industry is just like any other industry. In that if they can make it cheaper somewhere else, they will. That is just basic economics. And the bottom line. If the studios can find a way to make decent vfx from the sweat shops that made nike shoes. You can bet they will go for it.

Back in the 90s, the remake of the Lost in Space movie was supposed to be the showcase of British VFX wizardry of several different houses. They were relatively inexperienced compared to the big studios in America, but it was supposed to be a kickstart for the industry there. Some projects went after but it soon slowed to a crawl until the subsidies kicked in.
Simialr deal that happened to the Irish 2D animation industry in the 80. But the subsidy they didn't sustain and so ends the animation there.

Its similar scenarios that happened in Europe with Disney Europe and smaller 2D studios.

And you know what, nobody gave a fuck. Nobody here represents the consumer who buys. They don't care as long as there is vfx, who the heck cares where is it done.

That is the reality. That is why I find this whole kerfuffle of "Whoever is hungrier or blah blah" to be is irrelevantly sad. Expected but still sad. And a good example to never believe fully about stuff in articles. The writers all have an agenda to stir up some controversy so that more people will read their articles. And everyone got trolled. Cunts.

If you really want to make a difference, the consumers are the one YOU need to have on your side. To be sympathetic with for the guys in the industry. But again.... they don't care. Why should they? As long as people get their iphones, they don't care or know about about the plight of the thousand of Fox-Conn employees. Of what they have to do to get that iphone into their hands. The challenge then is to get\generate\create publicity and awareness?

And what artists all around the world need to realise is the ever changing landscape of the industry. TV, movies in the traditional sense are going the way of the dodo in the next 20-30 years. Once creators (i do not mean the studios) managed to find a way to monetize their creation.And with high speed internet with cinema projectors, the purpose for seeing ever more expansive movies in the cinema is going to be hard to justify. They should find ways and means to get there.

When everyone is jostling for a bite of a ever shrinking pie, its every man, woman, child for themselves....

And I have not even get to China.....

This is depressing... I need to go on facebook to numb my brain....

November 14, 2013

Write from experiences and things that get a reaction from you.

I have students struggling to come up with ideas for stories to tell.

The traditional method was to come up with a concept/morale and a premise. The problem I found out was that you are often trying to.come up with a variation on a theme. And the concept.or.morale is unrelatable to the students. So my suggestion is to come up with a scenerio or situation that you have experienced or affected you and use that as a starting point. Because you are affected by it. Not just a story you heard or read. But actually experienced. So it immediately becomes relatable. And easier to.come up with situations and responses.

August 28, 2013

Carl Sagan's sayings.

-          Inspirational stuff.  

      Carl Sagan once said “Once we overcome our fear of being tiny, we find ourselves on the threshold of a vast and awesome universe that utterly dwarfs — in time, in space and in potential — the tidy, anthropocentric proscenium of our ancestors.”

-          The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning.”

-          How much more satisfying had we been placed in a garden custom-made for us, its other occupants put there for us to use as we saw fit. There is a celebrated story in the Western tradition like this, except that not quite everything was there for us. There was one particular tree of which we were not to partake, a tree of knowledge. Knowledge and understanding and wisdom were forbidden to us in this story. We were to be kept ignorant. But we couldn’t help ourselves. We were starving for knowledge—created hungry, you might say. This was the origin of all our troubles. In particular, it is why we no longer live in a garden: We found out too much. So long as we were incurious and obedient, I imagine, we could console ourselves with our importance and centrality, and tell ourselves that we were the reason the Universe was made. As we began to indulge our curiosity, though, to explore, to learn how the Universe really is, we expelled ourselves from Eden. Angels with a flaming sword were set as sentries at the gates of Paradise to bar our return. The gardeners became exiles and wanderers. Occasionally we mourn that lost world, but that, it seems to me, is maudlin and sentimental. We could not happily have remained ignorant forever.

-          We long for our parents to care for us. To forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. “

-          Better by far to embrace a hard truth than a reassuring faith. If we crave a cosmic purpose let us find a worthy goal.

June 11, 2013

Sad state of the Visual Effects Industry and VFX in Los Angeles – 100 hour weeks & homeless

This post below from Scott Squires makes for sobering read of the state of the industry over in the States.

"For profit schools are multiplying at an incredible rate and being funded by money machines such as Goldman Sachs to sell dreams to people, young and old. The problem is those dream don't exist. These schools are churning out thousands of graduates to an industry without jobs. The only selection process at these types of schools is can you pay or can you sign this student loan from the government.  Your aptitude and your potential talent is never evaluated. Guidance counselors never reveal the reality of the industry you're getting into or your odds. In most cases these diploma mill types of schools teach very little of value and even those that do now have cranked out so many others it doesn't matter. It's hard to stand out and even when you do it's hard to get a job. When you do get a job you will likely be working long hours and then have to move to find your next project.

and connected to that story by Jeff Hauser
"Victor has been unable to find other work because he’s often working so many hours, frequently reaching 80 to 100 hours a week. The stress is so intense that he feels it is affecting his mental health and mild dyslexia is getting worse. He worries about legal remedies or going public because he needs to work and fears the company he works at the most would be put out of business. Victor concludes, “There would be a scandal if it was ever found out that the worlds largest recording artists used a sweat shop/borderline slave labor in Los Angeles for their own personal gain in digital cosmetics/beauty.”"
"Are the schools doing enough to prepare graduates for the real world? How can artists deal with abuses and labor law violations? How can we fix an industry where a sort of Stockholm Syndrome exists where artists love the work so much that don’t seek available remedies because they worry the company they work for would go out of business if they had to pay properly or on time as required by law?
All I can try to do here in terms of wrapping up this story is to reiterate some common labor issues. These issues are common to all crafts  - visual effects, previs, games, motion graphics… and cross all borders."

These sad state of affairs is coming to be the norm in the industry. And with so many private schools world wide popping up feeding the dreams of the young people. If you are reading this and or know someone who is thinking of entering into the visual effects industry or related fields, please get them to read about the scams that these art for profit schools pull. Do not get into debt trying to get into the industry. Especially to get student loans to get into VFX. Animation is still something doable because it is flexible enough to branch out but even then, you got to have some artistic talent.

May 17, 2013

Thoughts and experiences on making a movie. WIP.

Why make short films

I thought there must be more to life then to make other people's movies. I saw the future that lay ahead of me if I continued the path of where my career was going. Overworked with no life.. Now I am overworked with no life AND no money. But surprising really happier.

My honest intention was that before I get too old to do it, I want to tell a story that is my own. I think I got stories to tell that people might like and I wanted to have a shot at making my own short and seeing where it can take me. But the only way to find out is to do it. I only got one life. I do not want to look back and think of excuses why I didn't do it. I do not want excuses. It is also a escape from the mundane reality of every day living.

There were a hosts of other reason. My ego being one of them. I wanted to make my own movie.  I do not want to be a director or a art director for hire. There are much more talented and capable people out there doing it for a living.

In Singapore, its really hard to find a job and make a living. The stress level is already so damn high. To find job, to get married, to have enough money to pay mortage for a flat etc.. Constant worry and stress. You can consider making the short as an outlet for the stress and a form of expression. 

But the one thing that I did not realise was the connection with people. That people like your work. The stuff you create. That you bring a little bit of enjoyment to people out there. That was something unexpectedly rewarding.

April 30, 2013

Art Advice From Joe Mad.

Below is art advice from Joe Madureira. Crazy Talented Comic Book Artist and Creator of Darksiders and Darksiders II.

I couldn't say it any better then he can. I am still overcoming number 5.

It is from his facebook status.


*Art Advice*

Do you really want to be an artist? Or a successful working professional?

Believe it or not there is a difference. I’m not usually a soapbox type guy, I don’t like instructing people, and I think I’m a terrible teacher. But hey, it’s Friday and I’m in a strange mood. So here goes:

I’ve noticed that a good number of my fans happen to be aspiring artists themselves. This is for all you guys. I get asked constantly: “Where should I go to school?” “What classes should I take?” “What should I study for anatomy?” “What pencils and paper do you use?” “Should I be working digitally now instead of traditionally?” “How do I fix my poses? Learn composition? Perspective?” “When am I going to develop my own style?” “Who were your influences?” “Teach me how to draw hands!” The list goes on…

Here’s the deal. All of that stuff *is* important, and it may nudge you in the right direction. A lot of it you will discover for yourself. What works best for one person doesn’t work for another. That’s the beauty of art. It’s personal. It’s discovery. DON’T WORRY ABOUT ALL THAT CRAP!

Instead I’m going to answer the questions that you *SHOULD* be asking, but aren’t. These are things that have only recently occurred to me, after doing this for 20+ years. These things seem so obvious, but apparently they elude a lot of people, because I am surprised at how many ridiculously talented artists are ‘failing’ professionally. Or just unhappy. The beauty of what I’m about to tell you is that it doesn’t matter what field you’re in or what your art style is.

April 19, 2013

reality check 1.

Note to self. Be very grateful to have friends that tell it like it is and to keep your.ego in.check. Cannot underestimate how important that is.when you.are.so.focused on.achieving something grand and actually.not.as.good.as.you.think u are.

April 12, 2013

"When the external validation of success replaces our spiritual sense of purpose, things get messy." - Chris Oatley.

I have just finished reading this bloody well written article below by the amazing Chris Oatley.


I really encourage animation students and working animators to go read it fully.  This particular part below is so so true to me personally. And I want to put it here to remind myself.

"Are you an artist? …a visual storyteller?

…then keep drawing and telling stories.

You can’t let fluctuations in the industry and/or economy kill your creativity.

…and you don’t need a job in the animation industry to validate your calling.

The world needs visual stories. Humanity thrives on visual stories.

I think you should draw or tell the stories inside of you even when you aren’t getting paid.

…especially when you aren’t getting paid.

We must distinguish the truth of our internal calling as creative people from all external forces."