Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jacob's Semi-Yearly Year's End Review of the Year- 2011

Here we are at the end of another year.  In what seems to be a a pattern, this was a weird year.  As per tradition, let's take a look back at the highlights, lowlights, and in-betweenlights.

2011 started with a mix of excitement and exhaustion after the recent completion of Four Tanks and a Healer.  I took a brief rest, then shifted back into work mode and finished animating The Girl and the Ghost while Marisa and Larry had some big meetings in LA about Four Tanks.

Following completion of the animation for Ghost, I laid low for a while and let myself decompress a bit.

After a long, rainy spring that lasted into the summer, in late June, I took a trip to Niagara Falls and met Teal Sherer.  We spent a few days hanging out, saw Chantal play at Jackson-Triggs and just had a great time.

Sadly, the vacation ended with me getting sick and it took me until the end of July to feel back to normal.

At the end of August, I was ready to donate again, so I went and got my hair chopped.

In September, Mom was out of commission with an infection in her finger and took most of the month to recover.  Before the month was over, Mom was back on track and we took an interesting trip to Toronto, which I still need to blog about.

In October, nearly a year after its completion, Four Tanks and a Healer premiered at and received very positive reactions.

In November, Bridget, Mom, and I saw Marketa Irglova in an amazing, intimate concert.  Still need to blog about that one too.

This strangely rainy December saw the release of a great holiday video Teal came up with.  I was happy to have been involved, even if I only lent a small hand.

Christmas, though snowless, was nice.  I loved watching Matthew experience the magic and fun of it all.

Overall, 2011 was a slow year that flew by.  It was also, as most years are, a year filled with change.
One big change is that 4Reelz now consists of just Marisa and me, as Larry left to start his own company, Eddy Spaghetti Productions.  I'm sure we'll still team up on plenty of stuff though.

Another notable change is that Matthew has grown from this little guy...

...into this less-little guy.

Entertainment-wise, I'd say it was a decent year.  A brief rundown of what entertained me this year...

The Muppets
Super 8
Captain America
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Marketa Irglova- Anar
Anna Nalick- Broken Doll & Odds & Ends
Billy the Kid & The Southside Boys- Ours
and even though it wasn't actually released this year, Jenny Owen Youngs- Transmitter Failure, which features probably my most listened-to song of the year, Last Person.

I don't want to risk jinxing anything, but I have to say, the coming year is looking like it could be pretty outstanding.
In the next few weeks, music and sound effects for The Girl and the Ghost will be done and this seemingly endless project will finally be finished.
Things are in motion for my next project, currently titled Waiting for the Sun, to really get moving.  Fingers crossed, this one could be a dream project.
And without giving anything away just yet, if all goes well, the coming summer could include a trip out west...
Also coming up in 2012, my 30th birthday the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and who knows what else?

Here's hoping 2012 is full of happiness, health, love, and success for all of us.  Happy New Year, everyone!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friday, November 04, 2011

Something Different

My friend, Steve, has himself an awesome comic at  Not long ago, he asked if I'd like to do a guest strip.  I've done a lot of cool artsy stuff in my time, but despite my love for comics, I've somehow never actually attempted one of my own.  I liked the idea, so I agreed.  I did my thing and the strip went online today!  And Teal's in it, too!  Check it out here.

You should also go back to the beginning and check out all the great comics Ash has made.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

On the Eve of Part 2

So, have you watched Part 1 of Four Tanks and a Healer yet?  What did you think?

I'm pumped to say Part 2 goes online tomorrow morning, thanks to  You can read all about it here:

Want some other fun tidbits?

Marisa was the special guest on TORn Tuesdays a couple days ago to promote Four Tanks.  I thought it was great and you can check it out here!

And then, to completely boggle my mind, in the newest episode of Hobbit in 5, Four Tanks was mentioned alongside The Hobbit and the leaf on the wind himself, Alan Tudyk.  I'm feeling major nerd pride.
Take a look!

That's all for now.  Get ready for Part 2!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Four Tanks" News

Tomorrow, October 14th, will be a special day for me.  Nearly a year after its completion, Four Tanks and a Healer will finally be revealed online.  At 11:00 AM EST, Part 1 will go live at  Check out the press release here:

I'm definitely excited, but I'm mostly relieved that the project I spent most of last year animating will finally be out there for the whole world to see.

So, please, tomorrow morning, check it out, share your thoughts, and spread the word!

"Now go.  And may the Light bless you."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How I Spent My Summer

Like a sticky, 90+ degree whirlwind, summer has already come and gone.  Looking back, I'd have to say it was a pretty odd summer for me.  It began with a burst of awesomeness and spun into a blur of inactivity.
So, let's start with the (mostly) high note that kicked off my summer.

For the past couple years, I've been friends with the fantastic Teal Sherer (whom you might recognize from The Guild).  Earlier this year, an idea became a discussion, a discussion became plans, and Teal and I agreed to finally meet and hang out for a few days in Niagara Falls.
Everything was arranged quickly and before too long, the end of June had arrived and I was ready.  Well, almost.

On the morning of Thursday, June 23rd, I was up at 7 AM. The original plan was to hit the road at 10 AM, but it was becoming increasingly apparent that things weren't going according to plan. Despite everything being booked and ready so far in advance, my dad didn't take our van in to get checked until the day before I was supposed to leave. Our van is a few years old and has a bit of rust on the bottom. As a result, every time this guy fixed something, something else would break. He kept the van overnight on Wednesday and kept working through Thursday.  So, I sat in my living room as the hours passed by, tracked Teal's flight all the way across the country (LA to Buffalo), and it started to look like we weren't getting the van back. Dad finally brought the van back at 8 PM.  Mom and I debated what to do and decided to leave that night, so we didn't lose half of Friday traveling. We packed up and left at 9:45 PM, picked up my aunt, and arrived in Niagara Falls around 2:30 AM. By the time we got unpacked, settled in, and in bed, it was 4 AM.

I woke up to my phone ringing around noon on Friday, it was Teal checking in to make sure we arrived safely. I quickly got into my chair and a little while later, Teal made her way up to my room.  After two years of friendship, we finally got to meet face to face.

We went to a late breakfast at Friday's, then basically just wandered around the area for a while.

We made our way down to the Maid of the Mist, and hopped aboard.  Sure, we got a bit waterlogged, definitely moreso than Teal expected, but I couldn't, in all good conscience, let her miss out on the Maid of the Mist experience, could I?

After the boat, we wandered back to the hotel and had dinner at The Keg.

All of us ended the night just hanging out in the room and watching the fireworks over the Falls.
Despite the craziness of Thursday, Friday was great.

Saturday started with another late breakfast, this time at Tony Roma's, and then it was time for the big event.  A lot of my Niagara trips are planned around Chantal Kreviazuk concerts, as was the case this time, but this one was raising the bar of awesomeness. Not only was it another show at the excellent Jackson-Triggs Winery, but this time, Chantal was being accompanied by the Niagara Symphony Orchestra.  As if that wasn't cool enough, the concert was also being filmed for a DVD/Bluray, etc.
So, Mom, Aunt Karen, Teal, and I packed into the van and headed to the winery early to meet up with some friends before the show.  It was fun, as always, to visit with Terence, Deb, Shelly, Chris, Russell, Mitch, Sandy, and a very pregnant Kathy.  People came and went, we hung out and chatted for a bit, then made our way down to the amphitheater for the show.

In reviewing the concert, I would end up mostly echoing my own comments about past shows, so I'll just say the show was incredible, Chantal sounded and looked wonderful, the orchestra really enhanced the sound into a whole new experience, the venue was beautiful, the wine was outstanding, and we had perfect seats (Thanks, Del!).

After the show, we said our see-you-laters, snapped some pictures, and headed back to the hotel.

The awesome Karen Graves
The gang

Unfortunately, this is where the whole thing went downhill for me.
Around 4 AM on Sunday morning, I woke up feeling awful.  The best I can guess is the mixture of wine and what I'm assuming was a kidney stone episode hit me at the same time and threw me for a loop, leaving me stuck in the hotel bed for the next couple days. I stayed in bed from Saturday night until we left on Monday morning, slept the whole way home, then got in my own bed for a couple more days.
For the last bit of vacation, my aunt and Teal bonded as they hung out and wandered around Niagara while Mom stayed in the room with me. I consider the "end" of the trip to be Sunday night. They had fireworks again and I could see them from my bed, so everyone gathered and watched. Teal had an early flight back to LA on Monday, so after the fireworks, she hugged me and was off.

After we got back, it took me about a week before I started to feel back to normal. Plus, I was laid up for so long, I got a bit weak and it took me about a month to fully feel like myself again.
So, the trip started and ended badly, but the concert and spending time with Teal were worth it.

That was the start of summer, and honestly, the rest of the summer whooshed by.  It was an exceptionally hot summer, so I really didn't go out much.  Everyone was busy, so I didn't see many people, though I did spend some good time with Bridget and Sarah.  I even got to catch up a bit with Cathy and Nikki, neither of whom I'd seen in ages.
And, of course, I'm always hanging out with my ever-growing and scarily smart nephew, Matthew.

Before I knew it, my birthday was upon me and summer was nearing it's end.  I had a pre-birthday visit from Corey, Eric, and Brendan, and then had a blast celebrating at Corks with Bridget the following weekend.

Me & Bridget

The weekend was topped off by a great hang out session with Marisa.

So, here we are.  Fall has arrived and it looks like it'll be a busy one.  I'm just about to embark on another Canadian adventure, I'm working on a big screenplay, I'm prepping a short film I love, and I'm working on a comic strip.
Let's go, fall!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Boring May Update

I wish I could blog more often.

Correction- I wish good, exciting, blogworthy things occurred more often. Truth is, everything I'm involved with seems to have a long and involved process with not many exciting updates until the very end. So, looking at my blog may give the impression that I'm lazy and not doing anything at all, that's not the case.
For the most part.

Most recently, I've been working on editing The Girl and the Ghost. I'm happy (and relieved) to say it's nearly finished. The next step, which I'm very pumped about, will be adding sound effects and music. After that, it should finally be finished. Then comes the task of figuring out what to do with the finished film...

I've been doing a little bit of plotting and outlining for a new script that I really think has the potential to be unique and special, but it's too soon to get into details on that, so consider yourself teased.
Besides that, I've got a new animated short written and ready to go whenever I am, plus Larry and I are talking about coming up with something new to work on. So, when it comes to what's next, I've got options aplenty.

As for Four Tanks and a Healer, I've got no real news to share as of yet. Hopefully I'll have something exciting to share soon.

Other than that, I've pretty much just been laying low and hanging out with my constantly growing and ridiculously smart nephew. I brag, but it's true.

Movie-wise, I've only gotten to the theater to see Paul and Thor, both of which I loved.
I'm looking forward to all the movies you'd expect me to, like Green Lantern, Captain America, and Super 8, and I'm surprised to say I'm (cautiously) looking forward to the new X-Men and Transformers movies, even though their previous installments left me cold.

So, cartoons, writing, and movies...yep, I'm boring. I will be having a much anticipated adventure next month, so I know I'll at least have some excitement to write about then, if not before.
Until then, stay snazzy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

From OldSchool to the Future

It's crazy the way things align themselves sometimes. Today, January 26th, 2011, is the fifth anniversary of the release of my first animated short, Nintendo: OldSchool Revolution.

It just so happens that today, on the anniversary of our first project together, Larry's out in LA with Marisa and Mark Ordesky for some big meetings with some big networks regarding Four Tanks and a Healer. Cross those fingers.

But wait! There's a third cool tidbit about today I'd like to share. As of a couple hours ago, animation for The Girl and the Ghost is finished. There may still be some minor tweaks to be made, but for the most part, it's done. Next up is editing and some audio work, then this baby will finally see the light of day. It's been a long time coming.

We've certainly come a long way since posting our little cartoon on iFilm in 2006. Howsabout we celebrate by taking a stroll down memory lane and revisiting this old boy?

PS- You can also read a couple awesome articles from our wrap party here and here.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Jacob's Semi-Yearly Year's End Review of the Year- 2010

Well,'s been a crazy year. Who's up for a little recap?

Way back in January, after a hiatus that was much longer than intended, I resumed work on The Girl and the Ghost.

As I animated that, Larry and the gang finished and premiered Dolly Oxem's Traveling Video Circus.

I worked right through February and in March, realized that at some point, the music video for Sex Love and Honey had snuck past 100,000 views without me noticing.

Mom and I took off to Toronto for a few days and attended a pair of amazing back-to-back Our Lady Peace concerts. (A blog entry for this trip is still coming. Really.)

A few days after getting back from the trip, we had The Meeting. The 4Reelz crew came together for a meeting which I consider to be the official start of the journey known as Four Tanks and a Healer.

As work on Ghost continued into April, the schedule for Four Tanks and a Healer began to sink in. I knew I couldn't handle them simultaneously, so I reluctantly put The Girl and the Ghost on hold once again and started animation on Four Tanks.

Toward the end of the month, I took in a fantastic concert by The Swell Season.

The summer was comprised of endless long hours of animation. By the time August rolled around, I was in massive need of a break. Mom and I swung up to Niagara Falls for a few days and saw Chantal & Raine play two shows at the Jackson-Triggs winery.

It was a great break and an unforgettable experience.

August also saw the release of my personal favorite movie of the year- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. 112 minutes of pure movie fun.

Before the month was over, Superman paid us a visit.

Christopher Dennis, the Hollywood Boulevard Superman, was in town to film a scene for The Long, Slow Death of a Twenty-Something with Larry. After filming, they stopped by my house. Not many people get surprises like that.

September got off to a bumpy start. A fun night out at the wine bar with Corey, Eric, and Beth ended with heavy rain basically frying my wheelchair's controls.

This left me stranded with a dead chair for my birthday and a couple weeks beyond. It sucked, but I got a lot of animation done.

Once my chair was semi-functional, Mom and I spent a day at the zoo. A weekday in late September is definitely the time to go. Everyone's at school and work and you pretty much have free reign of the place. It's pretty nice.

The work continued through October. When Halloween arrived, Matthew was ready. His love for Toy Story was apparent by his costume choice.

In early November, I allowed myself another little break and headed up to Niagara again with Mom. This was a very laid back trip consisting mostly of eating, drinking, and a Chantal concert. It was a short, but sweet getaway.

Upon returning, I buckled down for the home stretch and finally finished animating Four Tanks and a Healer after seven months.

In the following days, I re-learned how to relax just in time to enjoy Thanksgiving and Matthew's 3rd birthday. Still can't believe the little bugger's already three.

In December, I sat down and just wrote for the first time in months and it felt great. I now have a script for a brand new animated short film.

On the 18th, we all gathered at Pufferbelly in Kent for the wrap party for Four Tanks and a Healer and The Long, Slow Death of a Twenty-Something.

A few days later, it was time for Christmas and all the fun that comes with it.

Now, I'm sitting here in the early hours of 2011, just reflecting to myself on 2010 after spending New Year's Eve with Mom and Matthew. If I had to pick a word for the year, I guess it would be "strange." I spent most of the year with my nose in my laptop, racing toward the animation deadline. The working hours seemed to drag on forever and stressed me out to my wit's end. Oddly, that made the rest of the year fly by. I honestly barely even remember the summer. So, it was a productive year, but a strange one.

The highlight? Watching this butthead...

...grow into this butthead.

So, what's up for 2011? First and foremost, I'm jumping in and FINALLY finishing The Girl and the Ghost.
After that, I'll be tackling the new short, which I really think will be amazing. I'm extremely excited about this one.

And what of Four Tanks? Well, Larry has meetings scheduled with some big TV networks out in LA at the end of January, so we'll see.

Here's hoping 2011 is a great one. Happy New Year, guys!