Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cookies and Clouds

Hey world! So I figured I should talk a little bit about my passion for animating. I'm not a "real" animator in the sense that I don't use the same methods as say Disney or Pixar (both whom I love dearly), but I've sort of developed my own method and style.

It's funny how it started though. I didn't always want to be an animator. In fact, this dream is only 2 years old. It was early 2008 when I finally got my first computer. Before that I had just used the family computer, then I ran away to Chile for two years, and when I came back I finally saved up some money to buy a computer. I went to our local Walmart (because where I'm from, that's all there is) and I bought a Toshiba laptop.

At once I started playing around with it and discovered that it came with Windows MovieMaker. While I was in Chile, I had used the program once to create a sort of music video to a song sung by a bunch of LDS missionaries. It had been fun, so I thought, "Hey, I should make some kind of movie!" So I went out with my Kodak EasyShare camera and began filming. I soon realized that my Kodak camera did video in QuickTime format, and that MovieMaker doesn't recognize it. Only Windows Media files. Alas! My plan to make a movie had failed!

But then it came to me, like a pillar of light directly over my head, a sign from God, my manifest destiny... I could do stop-motion. Yeah, I could just take a series of photos, and put them all together in MovieMaker like a slide-show but faster. So I looked around the tiny little house I was sharing with two friends, and I found a Chips Ahoy cookie and made a little short called Cookies and Milk.

Then another glorious revelation came to me! What if instead of photographing objects, I photographed drawings. What if I drew a series of pictures, photographed them, and then put them into MovieMaker? It would be just like a cartoon! Hallelujah! Cheese and Rice!

An old high school classmate of mine, Jeremy Ashida, had suddenly gone from football jock to aspiring musician, and I happened to have his CD (21 songs for $10, how could I resist?). He had a song on there called "May I Fly?" and it was about a little cloud who wanted to fly like an airplane. I could immediately envision this cute little cloud so I began drawing. I didn't have a lot of money, so using brown paper bags and black Sharpies, I created the music video May I Fly? and I've been animating ever since.

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