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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.
My son ( the math genius) has been telling my wife and me for years that one day he’ll be so rich that he’ll have rooms in his house just for storing his shoes ( separate rooms for left and right by the way). So for Christmas this year, he let us know that he’ll take care of us in our old age by awarding each of us this legally binding certificate…
P.S. I guess he was feeling generous since he moved us up to the right sandal room…
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Sting. I love how he has constantly reinvent himself throughout his career.
His styles are so varied as he likes to incorporate distinct elements of jazz, reggae, classical, New Age, and world beat into his music.
The softer side of Sting
Before he joined The Police, he delivered milk with his father, drove a bus, did construction work and was a radio announcer. One of his earliest jobs in radio was actually reading the fishing reports for the Newcastle area.
I believe it was this early radio career that inspired this offbeat duet he included in his 2011 Back to Bass tour.
I was able to get a bootleg copy of the song from a friend of mine. If you didn’t see him on tour, this is the next best thing since I don’t believe he ever released it (or ever will).
I hope you enjoy it.
I was over at the Petaluma Market with my daughter and we decided to stop by and check out the TWiT Brick House.
For those of you who might not know, TWiT stands for This Week in Tech. Its a very popular podcast and part of a whole network of shows based around technology. I’m lucky enough to live in the same town where the show is produced and today was the official grand opening of the new studio.
My daughter and I stood outside the open door and looked in. One of the people there invited us in to look around for ourselves.
Here’s the set for the main shows. There are smaller sets around for different shows.
Check out these cool looking chairs from one of the other sets.
Here’s the main control switcher. The producer/director uses this to switch cameras for the various shows.
It was nice to see that even the TWiT guys are into comics.
Here’s the Ham Radio setup they had in the corner.
I was hoping to get to meet Leo Laporte (the brains behind this whole network) but he was doing his radio show.
I’ll have to come back again another time and see if I can get a picture with him and may hang out to watch a live version of TWiT or MacBreak Weekly.