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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Winter Break

I've been busy writing my new book during the Winter break. The topic: storyboard and character design for animated features and shorts. The publisher: Focal/Elsevier, a well known textbook publisher. The deadline: next summer, all inclusive.
After that nice long Canadian trip I figured I'd settle down and get this thing going on all subsequent breaks.
I figured getting a cat at this time would be a good idea, since I'm spending so much time in front of the computer that I get a little distracted from things like eating and housekeeping. Gizmo is doing a superb job at reminding me that I have to get away from the machine every now and then. Every few hours she pokes me in the bum and insists that I get up and play with her. Sometimes she has jumped on my shoulder and sat there like a parrot. This has not been as popular with me but it is funny to see. She refrains from kitty editing or messing with the computer in any way. This girl was the ideal recruit for the job.
My old computer fainted and trembled at the size of the graphics files I must use, so I went out and got a double barrelled, double disc, hypercharged Ferrari of a machine that effortlessly handles all the materials in a fraction of the time.
And what materials! Hundreds of illustrations must be drawn, and I am a little angry that I seem to only be able to do eight or nine a day. The writing's about one third done. Thankfully I have writer friends who have been advising me on technical and literary matters. My writing style is direct and they made me changed it when it started to wander. I'm grateful and they will be suitably credited in the dedication.
Several students at RIT have given me permission to use their work. This will, I think make the book unique, since some of the projects are advancing at the same time that I'm writing the book; so we'll have progressive developments in three media (I am working with cartoonists, CGI animators and one stop motion student.)
There are a lot of topics to cover. Every storyboard book I've seen has been aimed at either comic book artists, live action filmmakers, or television animators. This book will contain notes and storyboard materials that I assembled over a thirty year period, including interviews with Tex Avery, Ken O'Connor, and a variety of other animators and writers.
And who knows, maybe someone will buy it. I haven't though ahead that far, to tell you the truth. Right now I just want to get it done.
School starts next week and so I'll take care of student issues first, then go on with the writing.
And, of course, play with the cat.