Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cold and Productive

For those of you still out there, I weave what is to me a tale of brevity. Painting justly the last semester is impossible on a canvas this small. The following I offer is but a sketch; I hope it may provide some picture of the months that inspired it.

It is Friday the 13th, in January of 2012. I live now in the time of oppressive cold, where bodies roam radiating a white aura of winter breath. Wrapping up the final days of break, I prepare for what's ahead with a look at what's behind.

Surviving the sensationalized, consecutive attacks of the hurricane, the earthquake, and the big financial protest, I'd love to pretend I'm a season veteran of disaster. In al honesty you probably had a clearer picture of whichever of these events you followed from the comfort of your living room. Pratt is an island, isolated from the influx of media excitements. Both the people that make it up and by extension the entity itself are too specifically concerned to worry too much about disasters and economics.

For a brief time I moved on to my second internship. Augenblick Studios kindly invited me to intern for their production, Ugly Americans, to which I happily obliged. Nicely framed posters of productions I grew up adoring covered walls straight from some edgy version of a 1930's Disney studio decor. Deer heads and German old world style bar paraphernalia mingled with wooden desk caves lit by soft green incandescent lamps. Collectable toys, bookshelves filled to the brim with inspiration, and animators who will for years to come put me to shame surrounded me. Apparently I had stepped into some awesome and warped cartoon version of a retro reality. Friday afternoon progress screenings were aided by beer, pizza, and the contagious energy of people who love what they do. After learning more in a few weeks of actual hands on experience than any class at Pratt, I was forced by scheduling into an early retirement. The balancing act of 18 credits, working on a film, being an RA, maintaining a social life, and the internship finally came crashing down. I decided Augenblick would be around later, and said adieu for now.

Sell the trip to some friends, cram into a bus full of strangers, and set sail for somewhere more rural. This was the plan and execution of my second annual trip to Pratt's free leadership weekend. Past the blur of concrete are trees, hills, and eventually, a 30 foot high zip-line. A game of bumper boats accompanied the ropes course in what turned out to be a silly and stress relieving weekend. It also marked one of the last hangouts with my dear friend Conor, whose Boston house I visited this summer, and who is now taking some time off from Pratt.

The rumors about New Jersey are mostly true, and it seems to have rightfully usurped many serious contenders for most made fun of state. The exception to this lies off of exit zero. Cape May New Jersey is another gem of surrealism hidden in this northern landscape. Detailed balconies of festively painted wood surround charming beach houses straight from an idealized brochure. This comparison is apropos, seeing as how it is said to be the oldest resort town in the country. My friend Francesca was kind enough to allow me a visit to her charming, seaside village. Bicycles criss-cross streets containing family owned restaurants catty-corner to salt water taffy. Airy pastels speckle the buildings in a landscape with an air of sea salt and the song of crashing waves. The overzealous beach swarms to consume the forest, leaving canopies of trees rising from hills of conquering sand. Thank you Francesca for a marvelous escape.

December marked the end of the long anticipated duck project. Despite my overflowing urge to show off my hard work to all my lovely blog followers, I would be disqualified form a variety of competitions for posting the project online. I await the return of my friend Billy from long Island and the score for the film he will be bringing with him, then I will be submitting to all the free and cheap animation festivals I can get my grubby hands on.

Animation Show of Shows, a Process to Completion lecture with Alan Foreman, A Sesame Street lecture, email correspondence with recently graduated/successful students, and upcoming lunch conversations with several animators mark my clumsy but persistent attempts at networking. I will also be taking my films to the monthly screenings and critiques hosted by the East Coast's animation guild. Hopefully I wont have to decide whether its who you know or what you know.

I now have a tumblr!! This means I will be posting my comics, doodles, animated segments, and sketches! Please follow, checkup, see what i'm up inside the sketchbook: