Monday, November 19, 2012

The Girl and the Ghost

It's been a long time coming.  Setback after setback kept popping up and delaying the project at every turn.  At this point, it's been five years since I had the idea, wrote the story, and began animating it.  I actually finished it a few months ago, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it.  A few weeks ago, I thought "it's nearly Halloween, it's the perfect time."  So, I decided that Tuesday, October 30th was going to be the big day.  Then, true to form, just as I was about to upload the movie, another setback popped up.  What was it this time?  Hurricane Sandy.

On Monday, October 29th, at 10:30 PM, an hour and a half before I was going to start the upload, I suddenly found myself sitting in the dark.  The winds proved to be too much and ended up snapping three electrical poles on our street and splitting a fourth in half, not to mention the tree that came down and blocked our street.

So, on October 30th, while everything was supposed to be happening, we were packing up to head over to Grandma's house, where there was still electricity, and more importantly, heat.  And that's where I stayed until November 3rd, along with Mom, Dad, Kris, Jessi, Matthew, and London.  It was an interesting few days.

Then I found myself back at home, but Halloween week, the ideal time to release the project, had passed.  I regrouped and weighed the options, trying to decide when the next best time would be.  One could go nuts trying to plan this stuff, so I decided.  What better time than right now?

At long last, I'm finally able to present to you… The Girl and the Ghost.

I'd love if you'd let me know what you think of it.  I'd be honored if you shared the film with your friends.  Most importantly, I hope you enjoy it.

Meet London

Saturday, October 13th at 6:10 AM- I was done unwinding after hanging out with the guys and was about to go to bed when the phone rang.  Jessi woke to contractions that weren't stopping, so Mom headed to Kris & Jessi's house to watch Matthew, who was still sleeping, while they went to the hospital.

7:11 AM- Mom called to let me know Kris called with an update and Jessi was at 6 centimeters.

8:03 AM- Mom called again.  Jessi was about to get an epidural, it was time to get ready to go up to the hospital.

8:30 AM- Mom brought Matthew over, I woke my brain up, got ready, and we headed up to the hospital.

We made our way up to the 5th floor and got settled in the waiting area as flashbacks of that night nearly five years ago began  to hit me.  I sat there with Mom, Dad, and Matthew and prepared for the wait.

Over the next little while, Matthew and Mom both took a couple turns each going back and visiting Jessi.  We watched Dora (en Espanol) on the waiting room TV while Matthew was there, The Walking Dead when he he wasn't, and then Justice League Unlimited.  It was an Amazo episode (the one where he returns from deep space and hunts down Lex Luthor), very awesome.  Eventually, Hanna and Kari came from the birthing room and joined us, as Jessi was in the home stretch.

Ten, maybe twenty minutes at most, had passed before Kari looked at her phone and simply said "she's here."  Thinking she meant someone in the family had arrived at the hospital, we questioned her, but no, at 10:43 AM, after only two pushes, London Ann Drake was born.

I was shocked.  I was ready to wait the 12+ hours we spent waiting to meet Matthew, but no, Little Miss London had a schedule to keep.

We waited.  Bobby, Jessi's father arrived, and before long, we started to got called back to meet her.  Hanna, Kari, Bobby, then Mom, Dad, and me.

Matthew came to hold the door for us and we went through the familiar halls into to the birthing room.  We were met with little cries and then we saw her.  Little London.  So tiny, so cute, and with such big feet and long toes.  If she were mine, her name would contain some kind of reference to hobbits or Hank McCoy.  Nerdiness aside, she was adorable, beautiful, and perfect.

We all just sat there and waited for our turns to see and hold the baby, as all in birthing rooms do.

Before too long, I got my turn.  And here is where the written-word format of this blog fails, as it would take a far better writer than myself to describe the feelings and emotions that rush through you as you hold a newborn baby.

In that moment, she, and everything in the world, was perfect.

In the following hours, we mostly just sat there, absorbing it all.  I loved watching Matthew, in many ways (in my mind, but surely not his), still a baby, switch into big brother mode.

Matthew was hesitant to hold London at first, but eventually found his bravery.

After that, he took charge.

"How's your pain?" he'd ask Jessi.

"How much pressure is she getting?" he asked the nurse, checking on London as she lay under the heat lamp.

He's going to be a great, caring, protective big brother.

For a while, we all just sat, soaking in the moment, being there and welcoming London into our lives.

Time passed.  Hanna and Kari left to get ready for the homecoming dance.  Jessi's parents left.  Then we all kissed the baby and left with Matthew, who was spending the night at our house.
We went down the elevator and the lobby, where Matthew casually told the receptionists "I got a new baby sister.  You should go up and see her."

The rest of the night consisted of pizza and video games back at home.  It was a crazy day, but a good day.

Welcome to the craziness, London.

Monday, October 01, 2012

How I Spent My Summer (Also Spring and Part of Fall)

So, things have been crazy busy and I haven't blogged in ages.  Shocking, right?  Here's a bit of a recap of what's been going on so far this year.

Things got off to an awesome start in the early months of the year when Teal asked if I'd be up for helping out a bit with her web series, My Gimpy Life.  That was an offer I couldn't pass up, so I got to work.  I went a bit out of my usual creative territory and designed the website for the series as well as all the graphics for their promotional stuff and social media sites.  I even animated the logos for Rolling Person Productions and Dracogen that you see at the end of every episode.

The series was released over the summer and I'm so thankful that I got to have a little hand in it.  Teal and everyone involved did an incredible job and they should all be extremely proud.  I'd definitely encourage you to check out My Gimpy Life right here:

Also, check out the website:
And follow the show's Twitter feed:
And like it on Facebook:
And howsabout Google+?:

Get to it, would ya?

Next up, in early spring, I started work on another project I couldn't pass up on.  Sébastien Lefebvre of the band Simple Plan was about to release a solo EP and wanted an animated music video for one of the songs.  It still baffles me that I got this chance, but before too long, we discussed things, agreed on a concept, and I got started.  About 270 hours of animation later, the video for My Dear was complete.

The video debuted in July and to my relief, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  A few months have passed and every time I watch it, I'm beyond proud of what we came up with.  I can't thank Sébastien enough for letting me be part of it.
And a very special thanks to my buddy, Rich, for helping make the whole thing happen!

Take a look and tell me what you think!

In July, after a year of quiet planning, I embarked on an insane trip.  Mom, Dad, and I drove from Ohio to California.  For Comic Con.

We were away for 19 long days, so chronicling everything would be an exhausting task at the moment.  For now, I'll just share a few brief personal highlights from those 19 days.

-On the way out, I spent the night in Phoenix (where it was 115 degrees) and finally got to meet my dear friend, Leah D'Emilio, after years of friendship.

-I got into the Warner Brothers panel at Comic Con and got to see the first footage of Man of Steel presented by director Zack Snyder and the new Superman himself, Henry Cavill.  To this Superman nerd, it looks incredible.

-I also got to see a ton of footage from the upcoming Hobbit movies presented by Peter Jackson and the cast.  Nerd bliss.  I can't wait to visit Middle Earth again.

-I unexpectedly got to meet a personal creative hero of mine, Bruce Timm.

-I met Power Girl.

-I met William, Bert, and Tom.

-We got to see old friends, Sharon & Jim, for the first time in years.  Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather, so I couldn't fully enjoy our visit to Brent's Deli.

-On my last night in California, Teal & Ali invited us over for dinner.  Even though I was sick, hanging out with Teal, Ali, Marisa, Dan, and Bre the wonderdog was fantastic.  I wish I could get together with my California friends more often.

After nearly three weeks away, we came home to Matthew showing off his newly learned skill of bike riding.  The kid taught himself how to ride in just one day.  Uncle pride right there.

A few weeks after getting back from California, I had another little trip planned to see Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida play shows at Jackson-Triggs in Niagara.  Mom, Maude, and I went up and had some fun, but we cut the trip short when we found out my grandma had a mild heart attack.  We came home to see her before she went in for bypass surgery.  The surgery went well, but she's still on the long, speedbump-filled road to recovery.  Love you, Granny!

Before coming back from Canada, we did get to take in Chantal's show at the winery.  To say I'm glad we saw it would be an understatement.  Sitting there under the clear Canadian night sky, sipping wine as Chantal played and a cool breeze swept across the was the most relaxed I've felt in a long, long time.  I needed it.

Things have been off-kilter lately with everything going on with Grandma, so I haven't been super productive these past few weeks, but that's just the way it goes sometimes.  Family comes first.
There are still new, awesome things coming though.

And the last update for this entry?  I'm 30 now.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Ghostly Update

The Girl and the Ghost has a history of being delayed.  Example- one year ago today, I announced the completion of animation for the project.  Is the movie done yet?  No.  But that will soon change.

Both the sound effects and music are extremely close to being finished, thanks to the fantastic Jake Ruby and Karen Graves.  Once they're done, I'll put them together, and The Girl and the Ghost will finally be complete.  It's just days away now.

With the movie being so close to done, cool things are already starting to happen.  First up?  The poster is here.

Also, the official Facebook page is up and running.

And finally, the trailer is online.

Watch.  Enjoy.  Pass it on.

It's almost here!