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.
There was an early test screening of Pacific Rim Saturday night. Here are the audience reactions.
This is great to hear. It’s really going to help keep us fired up as we head into the heavy crunch period. There’s nothing worse than putting in tons of hours working late nights and weekends on a project you KNOW is going to suck.
Here’s another trailer for Pacific Rim that includes some of my shots from the sequence I’m supervising where Gipsy is fighting one of the Kaiju in the middle of the ocean. I’ve seen these shots day after day for months and its great to finally see them with the sound effects added in.
Entertainment Weekly has a nice posting about the effects work that ILM did on The Avengers, including some behind the scenes clips of how the work gets put together. I especially like the sound effects of the models as they come together. 🙂