Sunday, June 15, 2008

My first demo reel!

Blue Sky Animation Dept is getting to know each other better and tell each other about our lives and how we got to where we are today. So to do this, we have the choice to show pictures, demo reels, anything that gives the other animators the insight how much we had to struggle or not struggle. Me, personally, got REALLY lucky with getting where I am today. When I make that presentation, I'll share with you guys the milestones in my life that got me here. But for now, you'll have to settle with my very first demo reel. I wish I had my very first animation. It was a test in a character animation class (at Art Institute of Dallas) to see if we wanted to do animation...after doing this, I fell in love with it.

Just to give you a little backstory on this. While I was finishing up AID, I knew there wasn't enough time to model, rig, and animate my epic demo idea (which was a ninja running through a fortress, battling minions to get to the head boss to a ska beat by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra) so I ran with a character I'd been drawing for a while. After the quarter was over, I decided I needed to take another semester and do this little story. It was all fairly easy and got everything out on time. No problems whatsoever. The instructors were even kind enough to say it was one of the best reels to come out of the animation course (which turned me beet red). I showed it at the job fair but that was after I showed it to my buddy, Aaron Thedford, at DNA. So I made the trip up to DNA, showed it to him and ran into a fellow AID'er (Matthew Russell) who was more than happy to show my reel to the animation supervisor at the time, Paul Allen. They called me in for an interview the day of the demo reel fair (where all the companies in the area would check out the student work) and I sat there with Paul and looped my demo about 20 times...excrutiating. So I went to the fair and even had little root beer cans with my labels wrapped around it. Like in the demo. The fair came and went and to my suprise, the next day, Gina Shey called me with a job offer. I was so excited I took my pants off and peed all over them.

Also, I was thinking of doing a chronology of demo reels and you guys can tell me if I've progressed at all. The Ice Age 2 and Horton reel may be a bit tricky to get up here (legalities...bleh) but I'll try anyway.


  1. Man, I remember seeing that for the first time.

    Man. . . you are getting old!

    And yes, you have progressed nicely.

  2. You're an amazingly talent dude. Your dedication and excitement for your job are still as strong as they were when you started and that's a rare thing. I'm so glad I got to see you grow into such an animating force. Keep it up little Tommy, keep it up!