It was 20 years ago today, that ILM asked me to come and play….
It was the cold, wet winter of 1995 when I started at Industrial Light & Magic. I remember my first days so clearly. I was stationed in an old audio recording room called “Mix B”, so far away from the rest of the company that no one might even accidentally walk by. The training instructor walked in that first day, dropped a stack of papers on my desk, said “Don’t eat at Foodles” ( a local restaurant) and walked out. Thus began my training. I started with compositing since I had just been doing that at PDI. Their text file based approach was very similar to what I had already learned. The elements I was given to work with were a sunset beach background, a dinosaur rendered in bright sunlight and a cartoon carrot. I don’t think any compositor could ever make these disparate images look like they were part of the same scene. After a couple of days of this I tracked down Sandy Karpman who was the CG Supervisor on Congo (the show that I was going on to after training). I asked if she could give me a real shot to train with so that I might at least have some elements that were intended to work together. Four days later I finaled my first ILM shot.
Since those first days, I’ve seen so many friends come and go. Some moving on to bigger and better things, some leaving the business entirely and some passing away. I’ve learned so much from the wonderfully talented people I work with everyday. Having no formal training, I literally learned about computer graphics on the job. So to everyone who has helped me along the way and who continue to answer my questions, I’d like to say “Thank You” for your support and your friendship.