Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bring back the "SHHHHH!" campaign

I went to see the latest Ben Stiller movie, "Night at the Museum" last night. All in all, a really fun movie with some GREAT effects and animation, as well as good comedy from Stiller, Robin Williams and Owen Wilson. But this post isn't a movie review. No, it's a rant about how people these days (specifically tweeners—those inbetween childhood and the teen years) don't have any theater ediquate. At first, we thought we had it made with open rows in front and behind us. As for my friends from my time in Taiwan can attest too, I don't like being around people I don't know when I go to a movie. At least if it can be avoided. Well, after an awesome "Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer" and a "Transformers" trailer that brought me back to my childhood(KICK-ARSE trailers by the way!!), these three pre-teen girls come in and sit behind my group of movie watchers. I thought to myself, "It'll be fine. They'll get settled and then allow me to be immersed into the fantasy of the film. But NO! Throughout the entire film, they would talk "quietly" (input sarcasm here!), slurp loudly on empty drinks and open candy package after candy package. Now most of the time, I can fight through the urge to turn around and glare continually at the little movie goers. But this time I was numerously pulled out of my film experience to turn around and try and give them that "Shut the Frick UP!" look; hoping they would see it and fear in terror. Which i think happened once. If that wasn't the worst, these girls picked the quiet, intimate points of the movie to do all of this. WHAT THE FRICK!! I even try to find a loud part of the movie soundtrack to open up my bottle of Coke Zero so that the fizz sound doesn't disturbe my fellow movie fans!

After this expereince, I longed for the days of the dancing hotdog singing "Let's all go to the lobby..." and the "Shhhh! Please no talking during the show" movies or title cards. I know I have been known to talk a little in a movie, but I try to keep it to a whisper and SHORT! If you want to chat with your friends, why the heck did you just pay $8.25 to come into a dark theater and carry on the conversation instead of a local restaurant or your own home??? well..I'm glad you have taken the time to read my ranting and hope that we can work together to end this needless, noisy chit chat. So that we may all be transported into the far off galaxies or distant lands we paid good money to be taken too. Not to be reminded how rude some people in this world are!

Thanks for your time!
Until laterz!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Northern Lights

Last night I walked outside from my room and looked toward the northern sky high above the town lights of Brandon to watch the faint dancing lights of the Aurora borealis! It was kind of amazing. It was tough to see them and not as clear as I'm sure it is up in Alaska or Canada, but I couldn't help think about the Disney film "Brother Bear". This film might not be on most peoples top animated film lists, but there was something simply magical about the story and the look of this film when I went to see it. And each time I pop in the DVD, I get the same feeling. In college, I took a Native American art class to fill an Art History requirement for my degree. One of my favorite regions of Native American art was the Pacific Northwest and this film brought those studies back to my memory. I'm not sure if last night was the only night the lights could be seen from my part of the world, but if your awake at around midnight..and you don't live in a brightly lit out and check it out. You might be plesantly surprised at the glory of God's creation! (yes...I know there is a scientific reason for the event, but God created that scientific reason!!)

Until laterz!

Friday, December 08, 2006


Hey all!

Some of you readers may know that I have been waiting to get an interview with a studio here in town since about August of this year. I was told Nov/Dec would be when they were getting to the interviews. It's a small company that I don't want to name (not that you'd know it) but they are owned by a BIGGER company (still that you probably wouldn't know). They said it takes longer to hire then when they were locally owned. Anyways, I got an email today telling me that another guy that had applied about the same time as I did was most likly going to be hired instead of me. I was told that basically it was because he had a loose association with someone at the company.

My main reason for this little rant is how I've discovered how important networking and "who you know" is in my chosen biz. I'm both bummed and happy that my work was good enough to hire me, but that it was the fact these guys didn't know me more then they personally know Walt Disney and that they know this other guy a tad bit more. Ultimatly, the chance of getting hired at this place is still there. Even though I didn't get an interview for THIS position, I was told the company would proabably be hiring again in six months.

But that's what freelance and coaching team gymnastics is for, ain't it! To fill the void between rejections and that ever eloosive "YOUR HIRED" email!

Until laterz!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Happy Birthday Mr. Disney!!

As some of you may know, but most probably don't, today would have been good ol' Uncle Walt's birthday. He was born in 1901 and would have been 105 today! Many that know me personally, know that I have had a love for all that was Walt's passion and love since I was a child. I remember writing several reports on the man through out my school days. I can only hope to do a small part of what this great American treasure did to entertain the world during his life (and even after his death!).
I wish I could have gotten to meet the man, but today's generation of animators has enough men and women following in his footsteps for me to meet! Many that owe a lot to his contributions to artform!

Happy Birthday Walt Disney!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The end of the month already??

Hey readers! It's been a few weeks since I've posted and many things have happened since that post. We had our second meet of the year...We got screwed on many scores, but the girls did a good job. It's tough for our 7 and 8 year old Level 4's (the entry level we compete) to win when they are competing against 15 year old girls that are in there fourth or fifth year of Level 4. But besides that, the Watertown meet was a good first away meet for the girls. The Brookings meet is this weekend! Go All-stars!

Election Day 2006 finally arrived. Not happy with the overall voting of my states peeps, but that's par for the course! The Thanksgiving holiday came and went. It was a wonderful holiday time for me and my family. The food was wonderful and plentiful and I didn't even gain a pound...not really! And besides that, I've been swamped with the growing freelance jobs for Dakota Kid Animation. More art and updates to come!!

I pray and hope the holidays continue to be joyous for you, my readers!

Until laterz!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

An Incredible Poster

I know this isn't really anything I've done, but it's at least Animation related.

Today, I FINALLY got this awesome "Incredibles" poster framed. It's really signed (not just a printed signature) by the fantastic Brad Bird—famed director of not only the Incredibles, but "The Iron Giant" (a must if you haven't seen it!!). A fellow Disney fanatic and friend of mine sent me the poster. Give me a few years and people will want MY signature on a movie poster! ha!

until laterz!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Today's Illustration

A "new" buddy (a borrowed friend...thanks Campbell!!), Jared Bradshaw, asked me to do a caricature of him for his website. He's an up and coming Broadway star (currently starring in "Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit"). It's my first attempt at the Al Hirschfeld-style of doing caricature. Let me know what you think. And if you wanna see what he looks like in real life, check out my post about my trip to NYC. That's him with Campbell!

Until laterz!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Trick-or-Treat, Y'all!!!!

Just a little something I drew up today to celebrate this day of begging for candy and goodies! Hope everyone has fun with all the fall fun that comes along with this day!! I'm gonna be a "gymnastics coach" this year!! ha! (yeah...I gotta work tonight!!)

Until laterz!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Stupid Logic...

Hello out there!

I have just now received my wonderful laptop computer (the life blood of not only my blogging, but also of my whole freelance and personal life!!) from the wonderful people at Mac Doctors and Apple. Last week, after doing some work for a client, I discovered my computer would not come back awake. I didn't even hear the lovely BONG that all Mac users know signals the start of these wonderful computers. Anyways, I frantically ran to my file cabinet to check my records for my Apple Care warranty paperwork. I jumped for joy as I saw that my Apple Care had another whole MONTH before it was null and void! WHOO HOO! This totally sold me on paying for this warranty with ALL my future Apple computers. Back to the point of this blog. I am now together again with my beloved computer and internet. (Is this a sign of addiction or dependance?? ha!) Tons of things have begun happening for me and my freelance company, Dakota Kid Studios. It's been an amazing last year, and the next one looks even better!!

Until laterz!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Playing Catch-up...My Mini Vacation

So...I realize I should do some updating of some past stuff that's been going on. I'm gonna start with the most recent trip to NYC!!

A good buddy of mine from Taiwan, Campbell, was visiting his parents in New York, before visiting his girlfriend's, Linda (also a co-worker from Taiwan), family in LA.
I decided that it'd been too long since I'd gotten to see them and I bought a plane ticket to NYC and spent a long weekend with them. I flew in and hung out with some friends of Campbell's.
Then we spent the next two days mostly in the Times Square area of NYC. We tried to get cheap Student Rush tickets to JERSEY BOYS but they ran out a few people in front of us. We tried for the WICKED lottery tickets (front row seats for $25) two times and didn't win. We then walked around trying to find cheap tickets to other shows. We finally decided on an off-broadway show called FORBIDDEN BROADWAY. It's a hilarious show with only four in the cast. The really cool thing about this show was that one of the actors was a good friend of Campbell's. We got to talk with him, get an autograph (he's gonna be huge one day!!) and then saw the backstage. It was a fun experience. Jared Bradshaw (cast of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY) & Campbell Chang (future Broadway star!!)

Then the second day, we tried for lottery tickets for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. It was a smaller lottery then the Wicked one, but guess what..I WON!!! I got two front row tickets for $25 each. Since we had three people in our group, we purchased a balcony ticket and split the cost among us. Campbell let Linda and I have the front row tickets since it was our FIRST REAL BROADWAY show. Let me tell you, it was a blast! I loved that I made eye contact with one of the leads and she continued to find me when she came to my side of the stage. If you get to NYC in the near future, I highly recommend seeing both these shows. Next time the Wicked lottery tickets are MINE!! ha!

After seeing some more of downtown NYC, such as the Staten Island ferry at night, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero, The 5th Ave. Disney Store, and places like Rockerfeller Plaza, I also stuffed myself with some wonderful Chinese food (a bi-product of staying with Taiwanese people) and my favorite donuts, DUNKIN' DONUTS!!! All in all, the time in New York and with Campbell and his family, was such a great time. It reminded me of how much I miss my friends that are still in Taiwan (or have moved back to their respective home countries), but I look forward to these mini "reunion" trips. SAN DIEGO 2007, BABY!!!!

Until laterz!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Still alive...

I know, I know...I haven't written in a long time. I'm getting on it. I just returned from a 'mini' vacation to NYC. It was great and always fun to got to the big city. I'll post some pics and tell you about it in another entry. Just wanted everyone to know that I'm still kicking and got some things in the works. I'll hopefully get some samples of recent stuff posted soon.

Until laterz!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

LifeLight 2006

Okay..I know this concert festival was Labor Day weekend, but I'm just now getting the pics off my camera. For those of you that might not know, LifeLight is a FREE Christian Festival held here in Sioux Falls, SD. It's been going on for at least five years and has gotten many of the biggest names in Christian music, all genres! It is held over the Labor Day weekend, Friday thru Sunday. So, after the first night of concert fun not happening because of the huge amount of rain that turned the parking lot into a mud wrestler's dream, the clouds cleared on the second day and I was able to see Jeremy Camp and one of my all time favorite groups, Casting Crowns.

There concert was as good as it was two years ago. I didn't end up talking with them in person this time (cause it was just way too much MA FAN!!) but I had a blast with the group from my sunday school class.

I love hanging out with friends and acting like we are still in college! ha!
The last day of the Festival, had Remedy Drive (a some what local band from Lincoln, NE), Kutless and Newsboys. Remedy Drive (previously known as "Remedy") is as good as ever. Kutless was a little tame since the lead singer had had shoulder surgery recently. The boy's from down under of Newsboys put on a good concert per usual.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Thank ya...Thank ya very much!

Hey all! Been on a bit of a road trip since last Friday night. Leaving my country home in South Dakota at around 3AM, I traveled about 12 hours to Indianapolis for my dear "Taiwan days" friend, Amy's wedding. Now, keep in mind this was a trip with me driving alone. I made it...and don't necessarily want to do it again...but I gotta get back home! Amy was beautiful! The wedding was beautiful! Indy...not really so beautiful...but oh well. Reunited with some good friends and even managed to make some wonderful new ones.

After a fun time at the wedding, I jumped into my Jetta (that I'm told needs a name) with four OTHER "Taiwan days" friends. Now, remember, said "nameless" Jetta is not all that huge, but we managed to pack five people's luggage into the trunk and then pack the owners of that luggage into the front and back seats and headed to the home of blues and Graceland, Memphis, TN!

The girls and me in Memphis, TN

This was only the beginning...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I just get a kick every time I pass this corner near my home. The sign has been up for a while now and as far as I can tell, no one knows what this sign is directing too or for what..but it sure gives me a chuckle...and reminds me of the corner I need to take...even if I have driven the same route since I started driving!

Until laterz!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, America!!

        Just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a HAPPY 4th OF JULY. And to those American buddies (and even the Commonwealth friends) from my Taiwan days...a HUGE Imaginary firework display is going on right now for ya!

        I pray and hope life is wonderful for everyone out there and enjoy the family and friends today on this WONDERFUL AMERICAN holiday!!!


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Black Hills

I've gotten back into a "normal" sleep pattern after a week out in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I was working with the video guys at the Heartland District Sr. High Camp in Keystone, SD. We did some daily highlight videos along with some fun question videos. It was a great time and I love that part of the world! I hadn't been out there since the last time I counciled two summers ago. It was great to see some of the same kids from other churches and see how they had grown and was fun to get to meet some new faces!

Production on my animations are at a standstill at the moment as I've got a few things that are taking priority at the moment. But I will try to keep this thing updated with any tidbits about my work or any other stuff that I find you all might enjoy!

Until laterz!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Audience Voting

For those of you that have yet to hear about the Animadness contest I was a part of this past spring, the animated short is now online for all to view and then until July 7 (I think) you can then vote for my film so that I may have the honor of saying the public view my work in highest regard! :) The people's vote doesn't help me win the big money prize, but it'd still be kinda cool to get! My team's film is "Mydas' Touch".

After seeing the rest of the animations, I really feel like my team created a worthy product, especially since it was hand drawn. I have to admit that one or two other choices are some personal favs of mine, but still feel mine is in the top four! I hope you do too!

here's the link:

The voting is at the bottom, just below the link to my film. I'll post when I get the final results later in July.


the Future Walt Disney?

I found this article, posted today on one of my daily must read sites. It's pretty interesting and makes me even more sure that I will be at Disney/Pixar one day...hopefully soon! Anyways, for anyone that wants to read the article that shows why John Lasseter could be, and in my humble opinion IS the "new" Walt Disney, here's that article link:

Until Laterz!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Put me in COACH...

...I'm ready to PLAY!! That's how I was feeling tonight as I went to my weekly Men's softball game. Now, I love playing competitive softball, and that's good since we are playing "A" ball (granted it's in Church league, but so what!). But just cause a guy loves it, doesn't mean he's a pro. When it comes to fielding, I tend to be catcher. When it comes to batting, I just pray I have the patience NOT to swing at the first pitch if it doesn't get into that nice, sweet spot. And then I pray that I can remember all my batting coach taught me (Thanks Ellie!) and hit the dang ball! After which getting onto that elusive first base is the goal.

So this game started the way most of the others did. You see my team tends to take the first game as a warm up and then hopefully win the second one. I played catcher (as usual) and then actually hit the ball a couple times...straight into the short stop's glove. Whatever. Then towards the end of the game, which we were down by not so much..but still a lot, and then we started hitting and I even got a run in. I even got to finally got to play one of my backup positions second (when there's someone that really wants to be catcher! ha!). And I had some good plays, if I say so myself.

We then took that momentum from the first game and took it hard to the unsuspecting second team. I hit every time at bat and made a few runs. I then was moved from catcher to FIRST of all places! I was kinda surprised, but the fact that we were up like 21 to 2 probably was part of it. We all actually were playing different positions. Not to toot my own horn, but I have to say that I did DANG good at first base. I had one line drive straight into my glove (thumbs still a tad sore, but I say "Bring on the pain!"). Then I had another line drive that went into my glove and then decided to leave my I also got to know the fence quite well as I went after a foul ball. Honestly, the fence jumped up in front of me! I woulda had that ball if it hadn't have jumped the fence!!!

All in all, I had a really enjoyable night. I LOVE THIS GAME!!!

Anyways..I know this ain't animation related...but ya never know..I may just do a softball short some day!!

Until laterz!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

More "Mydas'" inages

I know..your shocked and amazed that me, Dakota Kid, has posted TWICE in on day! Well, as you pull yourself up off the floor and back in front of your computer screen, take a look at a few more images from my last animation project. Still working on getting the actual short online. Keep ya posted on that.

Extra Projects

I realized that I needed to start posting more illustrations and stuff to show ya'll what I've been up too. So..that's what I'm gonna do. I was asked to do some illustration work for my church's vacation Bible school. Themed "Frog and Gator's Everglade Adventure"

Got some more stuff to post, but I'll get to that later.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mydas' Touch

Well, I realized today that I have not added ANY pics of my work on this animation blog. SO, I'm here to rectify that here and now. At the beginning of the month, I participated in this animation contest called Animadness 2006. As of this post, I haven't heard any results from that contest. I figured you all might like to see some stills (and maybe the actual film if I can figure out how to get it loaded on the site).'s some sample stills from the short.

here's the main character, Mydas, who is a pet dragon. The next image is the DVD cover art (the color isn't correct...but you get the idea, right? :) ).

I'll try to get some more shots posted later. And if I don't figure out a way to get the movie posted, I'll for sure let ya'll know when the contest streamlines it on there site.

Untill laterz!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Next project...

        Well, now that the ANIMADNESS 2006 animation contest has concluded (still awaiting the results), I'm moving on to the next project, or actually, projectS. I have one animation that is CG and one that is traditional hand drawn. For the most part, they're stories that have been in development for a LONG time and I think 2006 is a good year to finish them..or at least one in 2006 and the other in 2007. All this is contingent on any jobs that take me into the world of studio work. That might move the finish dates of these animations to later on..but we'll see. For now, just working on nailing down the story and storyboards. I'll keep the updates coming.

on a side note: PIXAR is now officially no more. Well, it's still PIXAR, but now officially owned by Disney. As far as I can tell, there is more good from this merger then bad. Since I'm a traditional enthusiast, I see the fact that John Lasseter desires to bring traditional 2D animation back to the company that made it an art form as reason enough to be excited about this transaction!

Until laterz!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Mydas' Touch" is now COMPLETE!!

        I have just now as of 4am, closed the mailer that contains the animated short film that my team is entering into the ANIMADNESS 2006 contest. It's been the LONGEST three weeks, and I haven't worked on so few hours of sleep since my days in college! I'm hoping to link to the website that will have the streaming video of all the contestants when they post it. I'll also put up some shots for your viewing pleasure soon. But for now...IT'S SLEEPY TIME!!!


Saturday, April 29, 2006


        I wanted to just do an update in the off chance that anyone checks my blog. I'm in the middle of the Animadness 2006 animation contest. We've got two weeks down (exactly as of three minutes ago) and we are working out bums off to get the massive story done in three weeks. This kinda pressure reminds me of my days in Taiwan at ORTV...where I had to do six minutes of finished animation in about two or three weeks. And this is ten times more animation then one episode of "Say It Right"!

        Anyways..I'm heading back to work and going on the fourth night in a row where I don't get to sleep till almost dawn. But at least it's Saturday tomorrow! I'll be posting some samples from the short after we finish the film. So...check back!


Saturday, April 15, 2006

And the Madness begins...

        Last night was when the Animadness 2006 animation contest started. The team I joined, BlueFox Animation (a friend from college and her boyfriend and I), were given the theme of "GREED". And then "A PET" and "A BOX" were the main character and object that have to be used in the short. We now have three weeks (ends May 6th) to produce an animated short under 5 min. The team is three of us and we aren't all in the same area, so it's gonna be a challenge to create this short via internet. I'll give more updates about how things are going as the contest goes!

        Until then...laterz!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Animadness 2006...

        It's a week before Easter weekend and I'm prepping for the start of a three week project. I'm joining a team of three for an animation contest that is starting this Friday, April 14th (Good Friday) to produce an original animated short (under 5 min.) I can't give out any details..even if I wanted too, cause we haven't been given the details that our story has to contain. That's part of the fun!

        I'll for sure post more about this, but probably after we've completed it and gotten it sent in by the deadline..just to make sure the idea doesn't get stolen! in the rare chance some other team comes upon my blog! ha! don't think I got that big an audience.

        Well..that's it for now. Just wanted to clue some of you readers what's going on. I'm also hoping that I will kick start my blogging with this entry. But we've said that before..haven't we!

Until laterz...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Year of the DAWG!!

WOOF WOOF!! Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! (especially to my friends in Taiwan!! Ni hao!! Wo Aye Ni!!!)

My Chinese New Year will be spent flying to Las Vegas for my birthday this week! Then out to LA to job hunt, so hopefully some awesome studio (Disney) will see some potential (ahem..Disney) in this YOUNG animator!!

Until laterz,

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Good Samaritan...

I wanted to keep this blog to what I was doing in my animation career and projects, but since at the moment I'm mainly getting things ready for my trip out to California in February. After reading my friends blog that helped push me into this cult..I mean..Bandwagon of bloggers (cough..JULIE..cough), I've decided to fill everyone into an happening I had yesterday. I went to meet a buddy of mine for a late dinner at Perkins and as I get out of my car, two young girls in a Ford Taurus call out to me and ask if I know how to fix a flat tire. This is something I really don't enjoy doing, but after hearing these two were only 17 and from a town about an hour away from Sioux Falls and they truly didn't have a clue on how to begin to change a tire (something I think ALL drivers should know how to do), I decided to be the Good Guy and help. I felt better about my choice when they said how many people just ignored them. Stupid me..can't just keep on walking. Anyways, after checking to see if my friend had arrived yet (he hadn't), I unload the tire and all the crappy equipment Ford puts in the trunk to repair these things. I proceeded to use the crappy jack to lift the car off the tire and then removed all the bolts holding the tire to the axel. Feeling confident I have this manly activity under control, I lift the tire off the axel. At that very moment, the car decides it wants to roll backwards and pins my right wrist against the tire and the wheel well. I continued to remove the tire from the now on the ground axel and that freed my hand from the tight spot. At this point, I was done with this situation. I stood up and suggested they try a tow truck and looked at my wrist to see some bruising start. After organizing the wheels and parts together for the next "good guy", I looked at my wrist and noticed it was a little worse then before, now it was bleeding.

Combine the loss of blood and my standing up really fast together and I was starting to head into la-la land. I held it together and grabbed my buddy and headed into Perkins to get some much needed food and clean up my wound. Long story cut down slightly, I cleaned up my wrist which was sliced partly and very tender to the touch, but not broken. I then had some good breakfast for dinner. On my way back to my car, I noticed the girls were still there. Even though my first instinct was to run the opposite direction, I decided to keep going towards my car. I was happy to find that some other Joe had come along and fixed the tire and the girls were about to head back on there way home.

Well..if this taught me anything the next time I see some girls in need of a tire change, it's taught me to just give them the number of a good tow truck! And as for the hand, well, it's still usable and hasn't gone gangrene life is good.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

New Year...New Job?

Hey all...So, it's been a LONG time since my first post, and I hope to make the future ones more regular. Now that I'm through the holidays without that much damage and my sister's wedding has come and gone, it's time to focus. In the future, I want to use this blog to be a running journal of such with my personal animations, two of which are in pre-production. But I want it to also be a report on my job search. I'm taking a job search trip out to the city of Angels the first part of February. The end goal to get a position in a studio that is producing film/TV character animation, but it is also to cultivate and develop some contacts I have in the field. Hopefully the fruit of my labor will be shown soon. And hoping to get a little tan is California after all!