Gerkinman's News

Retiring from Animation

2010-09-24 20:29:41 by Gerkinman

Yes, i think its time to throw in the towel, im sure a large majority of people dont care, and the other majority are surprised i didn't give up earlier, so sorry to the handfull of people that were still interested in my work.

This wasn't a decision i came too lightly, and its been on my mind for several months now.

I could try to list all the reasons why im stopping, but in the end it all comes down to money. I cant "afford" the time it takes to make film and animation anymore. Life isn't as simple as it was when i was in school, back when i could sponge off my parents and make whatever the hell i wanted, as much as i wanted. Im living a life where i not only work full time but also run my own business on the side, and im not even making any actual money, im just making enough to cover living expenses and all my savings are going towards a move interstate at the end of the year. I've spent over a year working on Telescope, this would have once upon a time taken me around 3 weeks to complete, its not because im neglecting the project, its more that i just always have more important things i need to be doing.

I've also never been one of those people who could come up with an idea that everyone falls in love with and can than proceed to make a living, or at least have a little extra spending money thanks to things like flash ads and google ads on Youtube, and even if i did have the content that would attract that sort of traffic, i could never allow someone else's ads to be plastered all over my own content, its just something that has never appealed to me, especially after having spent over 4 years in the web advertising business. More power to the people that do, its just not for me.

So i guess thats the bad news and why im leaving the animation scene behind me (to an extent at least, i will continue to do corporate animation, logos and the like, which i actually really enjoy). And for those that are interested i will still be available for little collab parts.

So the good news then.

Since money is a good motivator im working on a number of graphic novels, which is only motivating because i have a publisher for them. Im already 33 pages into the storyboard for the first of a series of novels detailing Gerkinman's story, starting naturally with his origins. Im also in the process of reworking "The Telescope" into a Graphic Novel, which will be the first book i release, hopefully early next year or even late this year (I personally think it looks much better in stills then in motion anyway). The main attraction to Graphic Novels for me, i think, is scale isn't as much of an issue in print as it is in animation, its allot harder to animate something with massive scope then it is too illustrate the key areas (especially when you animate as badly as i do). So thats good news isn't it? Well i guess not for people who dont want to have to pay to see my work... ah well.

Other then that, im just trying to get a strong portfolio together so i can stand a chance of getting a job similar to my old job doing web design when i get to Melbourne. And if im lucky it might even pay enough for me to close down my business and get back to my own creative endeavors.

Thats about it...

Retiring from Animation


The Freelancers Dilemma

2010-05-31 09:03:02 by Gerkinman

Hello there everyone, its been exactly 2 months since my last update. So whats taking me so long? Well that could very well be the purpose of this news post, oh, there will be good news too, indeed, im not here to say anything negative, im merely here posting about perspective.

Now, when i was a young fella all i wanted to do was work with flash for a living, i thought it would be awesome, and im sure many of you feel or felt the same. For 6 years i toiled away in my bedroom teaching myself the ins and outs of flash, starting with Flash 4 if my memory serves. 6 years ago i made that transition, and for 4 long years i worked as a professional flash developer, working on banner ads and mini sites, and for what its worth, i actually really enjoyed it. I got to paid to work in flash all day and then got to go home and work on my films all night. Eventually, i thought it was time to move on, i loved the work, but i felt i could do more with my abilities and what i had learned during my time working in flash advertising, so i packed up and moved to the big city thinking id be able to move on up in the world. Of course, as many of you know, i struggled to find employment for several months and only just managed to get a job before running completely out of money, saved by a job in a warehouse. Now once in the warehouse i thought i would have even more time for flash, thinking id get home dieing to get on the computer and get creative. Alas, instead i found myself getting home exhausted and most nights (and this continues today) i don't even get online, at the moment i doubt i would spend more then 6 hours a week at a computer. So to counter this and to get back into the groove i started telling customers coming into the warehouse about what i used to do and all of a sudden everyone wants flash on there site and so on. And that's why ive been so quite. I cant say much about what ive been working on, but i can tell you ive been using flash to develop everything from web banners to OSD's for multimedia devices. Do i love it? Sure, its great. Would i rather be making my films? You bet your ass. Now this seems like a long and pointless rant, but i guess what im trying to say is, the real world is tougher then i ever thought it would be. My first real job paid incredibly well, my living expenses were low and all in all, i was incredibly lucky to be in the position i was. Now on the other hand, im on average pay and i find after rent, groceries and other expenses that saving is almost impossible, the other reason for all the freelance. So moral of the story, if your in a position like i was in the beginning don't take it for granted. Because if you leave it without planning properly you could not only end up loosing money and time, but the ability to pursue your film making as well, which if your anything like me, hurts far more then anything else.

But enough about that, here's the good news, i believe in my last journal i spoke of starting a film festival, and at the moment its changed location from Brisbane to Melbourne, and gone from beings its own event to part of an already established convention, and Australian comic convention that up until now has been called Doujicon. At the moment it will be practically a full day event i will need a full days worth of Australian animated content. It is also probably going to be during the second half of next year. That's all i can say for now but more as it comes.

In other news, ive put out a few films lately, some old, some new, and some never before seen online. So ill start with an unfinished tv commercial that caused far more trouble then it was worth. And i really want to focus on the fact that this ad was not written or voiced by me.

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Second is a time lapse filmed off my back veranda a couple of weeks ago, was the first thing i edited on my new imac, 10 hours of video, took me 3 hours to edit it to how it is now, but considering that my old video machine would have exploded, that's not so bad. Everyone here knows i love time lapse photography so i will leave it at that.

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And lastly here's my new show reel with clips from some upcoming films included, you've all seen images from The Telescope, wait till the end to see it in action, really excited about how its coming out.

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And i think that's pretty much it. Anyone with any questions about the film festival just leave em in the comments and ill tell you what i can.

Oh, and if you feel so inclined, here's my visitors from dreams facebook page, because Twitter is ghey and i don't use it, and this page doesn't get neglected anywhere near as much as my blog.
Visitors From Dreams Facebewk

The Freelancers Dilemma



But thats okay, more cushion for the pushin.

Now back to my real topic, my websites finally online, its taken me about 2 years too many but i finally got around to launching that sucker. What inspired this final push isn't important, what is, is that it finally got done. You can find it here...

Visitors From Dreams

Keep in mind its still in beta, there is no content as such on the site yet, but its coming, rest assured.
Looking for feed back and all that jazz. I will be putting both corporate work as well as my own personal projects on the site, after all, i want to use the site to boost the little corporate business i get.

In other news... ive been really busy lately, haven't touched The Telescope in at least 2 weeks. Ive had a flu, works been crazy, then my girlfriend got the flu, then i got another freelance job eating my time. Hopefully i will be able to dive back into it during the second half of my easter long weekend, after i get back from visiting the folks of course.

Also there is a Visitors From Dreams fan page on Facebook now, since it seems to be the easiest way for me to post updates, and i don't use, no, despise twitter, i figured one of these pages would be the easiest way to keep people in the know. So for those who are interested you can find it here.

For the people who care.

Before i end this post with a screen shot from my latest project, as i often do heres an animated music video to a Frankie Goes To Hollywood song that i never knew existed. Ive been a Frankie fan for a long time so finding this video proved rather exciting to me.

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And finally, here is said screenshot.

VisitorsFromDreams.com LAUNCHED! Also your mother is fat :(



Because that's how i roll, but before i get to my favorite music videos of the animated variety i suppose i should go over some news.

First, i mentioned a couple of weeks ago that i was looking at starting an animation festival in Brisbane, now as times change so do plans, and at the moment it looks like i will be moving to Melbourne around the end of this year, and if thats so i will be looking at attaching the animation festival to an independent comic convention known as Doujicon. That's all i have on that for now.

Second, im still toiling away on Telescope, im working on a scene at the moment which is taking me a number of days, and its only a couple of seconds long. See, im the sort of person that tries to avoid fancy camera tricks and large crowds in there shorts, and this scene happens to contain both of those things. Doing numerous character walk cycles aswell as characters doing assorted other things, well it can be time consuming, especially when your rending it with the technique im using in this short which is basically doubling the work... tripling it when you take shadows into account. I hope in the end it will all be worth it.

Third, i not long got back from a holiday in the Whitsundays (near the great barrier reef), and aside from the lousy weather it was pretty great.

Alright, now for those music videos, these aren't in any particular order, just, in order i think of them i suppose. I love music videos and if there was one thing i could do for the rest of my career it would be making them. I think i may have even posted a couple of these on here before...and of course remember, this is all subjective, im sure many of you will find these to be garbage.

First up would be "Float" by Flogging Molly, a great song and a great video. Catchy tunes, great art direction and some neat mixing of stop motion with cgi and even some time lapse for good measure.

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Next up we have something rather allot older, i think it might be the oldest thing on this list, "Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens. Its an odd little video, i dont know when putting storytelling into music videos came into fashion, but this is easily one of the earliest examples of seen. I love the goofy narration voices (something often implemented into my own work) and the strange psychedelic art direction by Cat Stevens himself. Its not a technical marvel by any means, but i think its a great clip all the same. Probably also helps that this was one of my favorite songs growing up.

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"8 Bit Trip" by "Rymdreglage" went viral only a few short months ago, and it still blows me away every time i see it. It just boggles my mind, and im a lover of chiptunes, so eh, bonus points. The pong sequence in particular makes me shit my pants.

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"War Photographer" by "Jason Forrest" is another big favorite of mine, even being the inspiration for me and Zekey's "Like A Brother" music video for "The Basics". The animation is limited without looking cheap, the mixture of vikings with giant robots, the color palette and art direction, its all just brilliant.

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"Phantom Patriot" by "Les Claypool" is another one of those, not so technically impressive videos that works well in context with the music. Les has always had a distinctive look to his work since ways back in the Primus days (which i will come to next) and this piece is no different. Its an odd song and an odd video, but i wouldn't expect anything less.

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"Southbound Pachyderm" by "Primus", a bizarre stop motion video about an Elephant with plane wings, sure, why not? If anyone was going to get away with it, it would be Claypool and the boys of Primus, sadly it never gained the success of their previous hit "Wynonas Big Brown Beaver" and great video in its own right, from memory this video was only actually on MTV once or twice, what a shame.

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"Empty Spaces" by "Pink Floyd" is my personal favorite piece of animation related to the band, if i hadn't of limited myself to one per group this whole list would have probably been pink floyd, being my favorite band and all, and "The Wall" being my favorite movie, period. The imagery with the flowers, the fluidity of the animation, just everything comes together in this piece, its hard to single one out, but once again, its all about my personal favorites.

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"Hearts a Mess" by "Gotye" has been my journals at least twice in the last 3 years, so i will just leave it at that.

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Lastly i will leave you with a guilty pleasure, its not part of the list however. No, my sister hired this movie every time we stayed at our grandparents and this was the only part of the movie i liked. And hot damn did i like it...

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Too close, here is a photo of me in a "stinger suit" from my holiday, its designed to stop you drowning with paralysis caused by killer jellyfish called the "Irukandji".

I hear countdowns are all the rage now, so for something different heres my 8 favorite animated music videos.



Indeed i am, and im not just thinking about it either, im in talks with the guy that runs the Wholphin short film screenings every 2 months at the Powerhouse (Im sure most people in Brisbane know where that is) about the whole situation, with both him, and the powerhouse venue itself very interested. Of course i will be trying to get people like Chris Voigt, James Lee, Felix Colgrave and Neil Sanders, Adam Phillips too if he is interested, but i would also love some lesser known Australian animators to be involved, and thats where you come in, if your an Aussie animator that wants the chance to have their works featured in front of an audience that might not ordinarily get to see your cartoons, then by all means, comment and ill check out your work. The only thing im really concerned about is copyright issues, as we wouldn't be able to screen is anything containing copyrighted music. I also doubt anything overly referential to pop culture like movies, and especially video games would be acceptable, as we are trying to make this something anyone of any age (as long as they are open minded) can enjoy, that doesn't mean we wouldn't make exceptions if it is indeed something special.

Keeping things short this week, no song, or telescope updates, and i doubt there will be next week either as i will be holidaying in the islands. The week after however i should hopefully have a flood of news *fingers crossed*.

Until next time.

Looking at start an animation festival in Brisbane, and your all invited.



Now im not someone that spends allot of time online these days, and even less floating around Newgrounds, but something i have noticed lately is how many people want to make a living out of flash, and how most of those people seem to think the only way is to put flash ads into your work and then on top of that make something that that will appeal to the mass audience, like video game parodies or whatever.

Now i dont know how to post this blog without sounding like an arrogant twat, but im going to post it anyway.

Fact is ive been making more then enough money doing flash work for almost 6 years now (discounting the 5 month period last year with no job and no internet connection, preventing freelance work). And its not hard to do. Im not a great flash animator, hell, im not even a good flash animator, my skills are average are best, but thats not always what employers are looking for. My first flash job was making banner ads, it wasn't always the funnest job in the world, and sometimes i found it down right frustrating, but it always paid the bills, and eventually, after a few years, it was paying the bills with over $300 a week left over to spend. I didn't get the job because i was a frame by frame wizard or a great artist, i got it because i could do the work, and do it quick, which in the world of online media, where an ad's turnaround might only be 2 or 3 days, including any changes and multiple resizes (the standards being 300x250, 728x90 and 160x600 with all variations between). I wasn't living in the city either, i was in a small country town, you will find these places everywhere, no matter where you live. And so, as my first piece of advice, seek these places out, show them your show reel, and focus not on how good you are, but rather how fast you are and your ability to make a dead line.

Now since then i have changed jobs, i got a job in a warehouse of all places and thought i would be stuck there, happily, this has turned out not to be the case. See, this is a small business that has never known anything about marketing, i showed them what i was capable of doing in flash, a little animation based around there products, and low and behold, im now working on all there marketing, now im no marketing genius, but i know how to use gradients to make things look nice, and wouldn't you know it, sales are up on the products ive been working on. And now, due to this, im designing the OSD for a media center, something ive never come even remotely close to working on before, but because i know how to animate and have done a bit of web work, learning about what makes something easy to use, i seem to be ideal for the job. So thanks to flash, ive gone from being a warehouse worker to a marketing director and head of R&D. So theres my second piece of advice, think outside the box, look for places that NEED your help and skills, but don't know it yet because sometimes you will be surprised what can come out of it.

On top of that ive been putting myself out there, doing freelance work, everything from short promos for musicals to commissions from models on Model Mayhem, it all pays and its all fun. But i had to seek that work out, you cant just sit around waiting to be discovered, not in this world.

Of course, some people want to just be animators, and work on movies and whatnot, and thats fine. I personally hated being a cog in a factory, a slave to a project that someone else will grab the credit for (the reason i left the original flash banner job), because unless your working your own projects thats all you will ever be, a cog in a machine, going around and around but never moving anywhere.

Im to ambitious to go back to that, hopefully i will never have to work for anyone aside from myself again. So what are you going to be? The cog in the wheels of a train, just turning in place, or the train driver taking passengers on a journey to there next destination?

That said, time to lighten the mood. Song of the week. The Hilltop Hoods - The light you burned and . The Hilltop Hoods are an Australian hip hop group that have been putting out awesome songs for a number of years now. Since most people that read this are outside of the country, i thought id feature them this week. You get 2 for the price of one this week, lucky you.

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This is the end, my only friend, the end.

By the way heres a new screen from The Telescope, yeh, i can balance full time work, freelance work, and personal projects. I miss having a life but them's are the breaks.

The easy way to make a living out of flash... no ads attached.


Air War

2010-01-31 05:17:02 by Gerkinman

Whats up everyone?

Not much to report this week, The Telescope is coming along nicely, as you can see in the screen shot attached, although i have been distracted by Mass Effect 2, something i could write paragraphs about but wont. I don't know how much progress i will make this week either as i know i have a bit of freelance on, but i guess we will see how i go. If i can get at least 2 or 3 scenes done this week ill be happy.

I didn't get any messages to my inbox about making more True Super Mario cartoons this week, tho the last one i replied to last week thought i deserved to be abused about refusing to make another one, god bless Newgrounds.

This weeks song is "We Share Our Mothers Health" following on from last weeks Fever Ray spotlight. Much like Fever Rays solo work, The Knifes music is hard to describe and very much not to everyones tastes, check it out.

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Keep it friendly ladies.

Air War



Thats right, well at least what i consider my first major cartoon since 2008. That cartoon being Space Man Bob and the Time Apple (Like a Brother doesn't count since it was a shared project with Zekey.) Ive mentioned it on here a number of times before, a film called "The Telescope". Im keeping details scarce for now, but i can say it shares the same art style as Space Man Bob, tho a little smoother, not to the point of fluid fbf, the animation is still rather limited in nature, but it has a layer of extra polish. Im not putting a time frame on this film, it will most likely take me a number of months, hopefully every week or two i will have an update to put on here, but im sure as freelance comes in, and believe me i have some time consuming stuff on the way, the project will slow down. You can find a screen grab from the film down the bottom there. Adding all those patterns takes ages...

In other news im still getting people sending messages to my inbox asking me to make more sequels to my True Super Mario cartoons, from when i was in high school, in 2004. That was 6 years ago folks, THEY AIN'T COMING BACK! Why cant you ask me to make more Ultimate Asparagus films instead?!?!?

This weeks song is "Triangle Walks" by "Fever Ray" who some people might be familiar with from the group "The Knife". Her music is hard to describe, but the lyrics are often absurd and make little sense, its all very strange, and thats probably why i love it so much.

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Thats all folks!

Finally started on my first major cartoon since 2008


Happy Harry is overated.

2010-01-15 00:24:49 by Gerkinman

Once again, the ole Bait and Switch technique. I don't know if i am ever going to put in an accurate title again...

Anyways, whats up everyone?

Its been an odd few weeks, so lets start with art and shit. Today ive released one cartoon, that was finished last year but i never got around to uploading, you can find it here Pull The Plug (If Its Love) Its the last of the current Alison promos, we are looking at doing a major reboot for these things some time in Febuary, make them allot cleaner and elegant, not to mention releasing them as episodes rather then just as clips of songs, and in chronological order.

Ive also uploaded two images as of late, two very different images.

Sky Serpent

Self Portrait

And thats pretty much it for art at the moment. Ive finished writing my short film Telescope which will be my big film project for this year, i want to make something thats more then just a quick little skit or spam.

Oh, and i released this little film experiment, i like just dicking around with video i have taken...

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Ill be keeping all my personal news and shit too my personal blog from now on, but in short i was supposed to go on a week long holiday tomorrow but i have had to push it back 6 weeks because my eardrum has exploded and if i get water in it ill get a "brain infection". True story, so the lesson is kids, don't put cotton buds in your ears.

Ill leave you now with 2 new segments that ill be including in my blogs from now on, the first being my song of the week, sometimes these will be oldies you may not of heard and others will be brand newies. This weeks song is "Untrust Us" by "The Crystal Castles". They have many other great songs on the single album they have released to date (back in 07), such as "Crime Wave" and "Air War" which are just as good, but "Untrust Us" is the first i heard and the one that got me into there music in the first place. Sadly there is no real video for this one :(

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So whats the other new feature? Well, im going to draw an image in the time frame of the song, where ever i get up to when it ends is what ill upload...brb

Okay, im back, its a robot, theres a shock.

Anyways, until next week boys and girls.

Never smile at a crocodile

Happy Harry is overated.



Okay, so i haven't made a blog in ages. Why is that? Well all sorts of reasons. To find out more about those reasons you can read my shiny new blog. Well, not really new, its ive had it for a number of months now. Its my "animators blog about the real world". I tend to find allot of peoples blogs tend to focus on just animation itself and not how it can be directly applied to either finding work or that sort of thing, so that's sort of what i want my blog to focus on, tho of course, it still contains all my updates on my freelance jobs and thoughts on movies and games when they release, when i remember to blog about them at least. That said ill try to keep it up to date and from now on try to keep my ng blog... more ng focused...

Hows everyone's holidays going anyway? Mine looks like this.

http://vistorsfromdreams.blogspot.com/

Update on Illwillpress and I's Foamy The Squirrel Feature Film