My poor blog. I just abandoned it! Well, somewhere around December, things got really crazy for me. I was juggling two projects for clients, and I was approached by a friend, Dave Castelnuovo, to partner on an iPhone app. If you're not familiar, iTunes sells games and "apps" for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Some apps are utilities, some are games and some are just completely silly and pointless. Ours sort of fell into the latter category. The idea was that we would create a simple app "toy" for 99 cents and update it ever so often, as an experiment and to build a graphics engine we could use for a REAL game down the line. So we came up with this idea that the app would show and island populated by cute little islanders, and the iPhone or iPod user would be their god, who could manipulate and mess with them. We released it with only the sparest of god abilities. Next thing we knew people were downloading it like crazy and telling us they wanted it to do more. So we spent the next month and a half releasing an update every week. As we did, it slowly went up the ratings and now its in the top ten on iTunes! (for how long I don't know). Every time it went up in the ratings, we worked harder to update it. Still working more than full time on client work, this pretty much killed all my free time, but looks like it was worth it! It just cracked the top ten today, so we're pretty excited!
Anyway, check out the "Pocket Blog". We're churning out a new update this weekend, so I will go back to not having any time! But soon, I have a couple other projects to blog about! Belated Happy New Year everyone!
P.S. I accidentally blew away my original blog header and can't find it my computer. Just as a temp fix, I put in a header concept I decided against a long time ago. oops!
So, the competition for Crash the Superbowl Contest for Doritos is getting stiffer. Although, right now, this is a JUDGED contest, people are hedging their bets by launching campaigns to rack up views for their entries. Also, contestants are encouraging people to leave comments. It occurred to me that this ability to promote your video might actually affect the judges' decision, so I thought I'd ask anyone reading this to at least Click HERE or the above image.....while you are there, create a quick account (its easy!) and leave a comment!
Last weekend was a blast. Thanks to MyToons for sending me to NY and putting my animation on the Clear Channel big screen! Raleigh Melancon at Mytoons, was so great in planning and setting up this trip. I brought a friend and we had a great time kicking around NY. I also took the opportunity to network a little.
We stayed at the Millenium Broadway Hotel in Times Square which was really convenient. It was just a block away from the Metro, and a block away from the big screen which I visited several times. I chatted up the front desk clerk, Terrance, and when he heard about the contest was really cool and upgraded us to a "superior" room on the 51st floor.
View from hotel room
We walked over to the screen. Times Square is really kind of overwhelming at first. Animation, ads, vids and screens everywhere. Feels like Bladerunner. It took us a second to figure out which screen it was on. But sure enough within a couple minutes, there it was! And immediately, I could see what great exposure it is. There are hundreds of people around, including families with kids. There are these big red riser steps that overlook the main drag and people are just standing there taking in all the pretty pictures.
Times Square view from the riser steps
Jane, all huge and stuff
Me, on the riser steps below the Clear Channel screen
Raleigh set up for us to have dinner at a place called 2 Times Square. The restaurant overlooks Times Square (window is basically looking out the same direction as the red riser steps). And has a view of the big screen. It was then we realized that the animation plays every 10 minutes (actually it turned out to be at 5 and then 10 minute intervals), which was WAY more than we expected, and every time it came on, we broke out the camera. For some reason, even though the view is amazing and interior is fantastic, the place was empty. Which worked out because we took a bunch of goofy pictures.
2 Times Square bar area
2 Times Square
This picture was taken from our table
Oh my god, there's a resemblance
The next day, Friday, I went out and used my digital camera to take some videos. Which turned out to be difficult because I couldn't quite figure out when it would come on.....There are so many repeating commercials (every other ad was either Quantum of Solace or the EA Game "Left For Dead"), that it was hard to anticipate when it would start.
After that, I had arranged a couple meetings to meet people I had only interacted with over email or by phone.
First I took a taxi to Frederator to meet Carrie Miller and Fred Seibert. I have submitted a few animations to Channel Frederator which lead to Carrie calling me up and commissioning a small bumper for the 2008 Frederator awards. They had a very cool office and Carrie and Fred were super nice. Fred Seibert took a couple minutes to chat and give me a lot of great creative and business advice as a freelance animator. He totally relates to what you go through. I was kind of hoping to catch Jeaux Janvosky there, but he was in my home state, California...go figure!
Carrie Miller, Me, and Fred Seibert in the Frederator offices
Then I walked about a mile and a half through SoHo to meet Megan Butler At Scholastic, the producer of a Leapster title I am working on for them. I met the other producers, in-house designers and technical people as well. Looks like a fun place to work!
With Megan Butler and the (much) smaller screen of the Leapster
A Happy Tree Friend handing out flyers (maybe their show isn't selling well on DVD?)
On Saturday and Sunday, I did random things like visit the NY Modern Art Museum, and saw Monty Python's Spamalot...which was SUPPOSED to have Clay Aiken(!), but there was a sub for that show :( . It was hilarious anyway.
No shortage of weirdness at the NY Modern
The Shubert Theater
Oh yeah, almost forgot. Everywhere I looked, I saw lots of reminders to vote....
Christina Aguilera, made up within an inch of her life, makes her case
Vote for Obamama!
This is officially the longest blog post I have ever written, but wanted to show that the trip ended up being a blast. Once again, thanks to MyToons for everything!
Okay, not really. I just posted a picture from a differen project, but it is just a sad reminder to vote for Jane in the Nicktoons viewer's choice. The short is on at 11PM ET, 8PM PT on nicktoons. But more important: Somewhere in the next 24 hours after it shows, go and vote for it on the nicktoons site: the link is here:
So, as if having Jane appear on Times Square isn't enough, she got in to the 2008 Nicktoons festival with the title "The Adventures of Jane" ( a last minute decision to retitle on my part....for obvious reasons) . I saw the list of entries and they all look like they put my work to shame. I'm just honored my little flash short made the cut. One of my current faves, Paper Cut-also Flash I think-, by Pedro Eboli, is in there....but don't even THINK about going to the site and voting for him! Jane is showing Oct 9, 11 PM (ET) --- i think that's 8 PM PT? Am I right? Watch out for it and go to the site that night and vote. I'm driving down on Friday to attend the Nicktoons party.....i mean, HELLO, Stan Lee is speaking!
So, I get this call this morning from Raleigh Melancon at Mytoons. I had written a thank you for the weekly winner prize of a ipod nano and I thought he was responding to that. Then he tells me Jane won the grand prize of the Get With the Times contest! I nearly fell over. Considering all the really great entries (and the two runner ups, Moon Boy and World War are AMAZING)...i was seriously shocked. When you spend as much time as I did on the project, its so great to get recognition for it. The prize is that the animation will play on Clear Channel's big screen in Time Square for a week...plus a trip for two to go there and see it!!!! What an AMAZING prize! Not to mention a copy of Adobe Creative Suite. I really am completely blown away and want to thank My Toons for such a great honor. If you haven't checked out the site, it really does have some fantastic functionality, including high quality HD delivery...a portfolio section . Click HERE to see my My Toons portfolio, and super-clear video-embedding (see my embedded video below on this blog).
I'd also like to give huge props to the other entries in the contest. there were some great ones.