.January. .March. .Summer.
Friday, June 3, 2005, 11:16 AM
The life of a Machinima guru (a title given to me) is not as glamorous, full of fast cars and faster women like some people would lead you to believe. In fact, I had planned to have this blog up months ago, back in January, but life through me for a loop; you know, the kind that change the your life forever...
First things first, last January deadonque.com went down, our semi-popular message forums and more importantly: my online resume/portfolio/job e-mail account. I had sent out a few dozen resumes to various game developers around town (Dallas is home to some of the best,) and right when I had a nice application system going, the whole system went down and never came back up. Attempts to contact the host failed, I still haven’t heard from them, they took our five bucks and ran to Mexico it seems. So, my hopes of seeing a reply to my dozens of e-apps was utterly shattered by the time I realized I would never get deadonque.com up and running again with that host. I had wasted not only my time, but also the invaluable time of a dozen hard working developers. (Will you ever forgive me George Broussard?)
So, it’s the middle of January and I’ve been out of tech school 6 months, the bank account has not seen a single work deposit in nearly 4 years when I was a lowly drone developing the glorious moments of other peoples lives at the mall camera store. It’s been 2+ years since ‘Fake Science,’ time spent on: school, a Machinima TV show tentatively called ‘Joe Bob,’ with Mike, a few music video ideas, and one ditched black & white noir half-made in UT2k4. (Not to mention becoming a dedicated 3D Max user, and proud owner of one Associates Degree in Digital Media Design) Well, I did make two animations with these weird sphere samurai characters, one in Max, and the other in UT2k4, but they are not high on my ‘proud of’ list. Bottom line: aside from a week in Canada to promote the cause, my ‘pro’ life was feeling a bit ‘broke.’
Now don’t get me wrong, I was not in any kind of ‘spot’ where if things didn’t turn a new leaf that I would end up in the same ‘need a home’ boat with my dear pal Pepper. (Who’s doing 110% better I might add, he finally got a job and apartment this week!) But things were not looking all that great for me either, if something didn’t happen, a job in advertisement or building websites was doomed to happen for sure! So I did what any red blooded American looking for work in a degree related field would do, I checked the local paper. Now, you may not know this, but there is not much in the line of digital entertainment employment one can find in the local paper short of internships for the likes of MTV, but it’s true! However, I did find a little ad for a job as a computer lab aide for a local elementary school, seemed interesting enough so I gave them a call.
By February 1st, I was a proud employee of a local Texas ISD. I won’t get into the details of my employment for various reasons, but I’m still shocked how quickly things change when you assert your self to a cause and stick to it. Now I’m right where I said I’d never be at 22 back when I was 8: at school, and I love it!
So, just as I’m getting cozy in my new lab and still learning the names of 150+ kids, I get wind of this: Summer Tech. I start to add 2 and 2: I now have June-August off from work every year, Summer Tech and needs a Machinima guy for…June-August…and they might pay me too! A week latter I’m signing the necessary government employment papers.
And all the while during my lunch breaks, I’m formulating an epic Machinima yarn called ‘Soul Meridian,’ based on a neat little idea I tossed at my kid brother in January. As the weeks roll on, and more brainstorms cloud my head, the more and more confident I become that I can pull this thing off, as huge and epic and crazy as it is, I really think I can do it. So, every morning I wake to a stolen Machinima 2002 Festival schedule board, on my way out the door I stop in front of the Fake Science trophy, give it a swift knowing gaze, remember it’s possible, and I hit the drawing board.
This summer I will be teaching Machinima to kids 10-16 in New York at Summer Tech. I’m not sure there’s anyone else in the world looking forward to going to ‘work’ as much as I am for this summer. When not performing my duties as an instructor, mentor, or producer, I will be putting Soul Meridian to paper as a script. This fall I will return to my lab at the local ISD, and by this time next year I fully intend to have on my hands the greatest feature length Machinima film of all time, in the can. Job(s)? Check! Ego? Check! Film from Canada that needs to be developed still? Double Check!
So, from here on out, I will be chronicling the journey of ‘Soul Meridian,’ from a simple idea between brothers, to the animated epic that will forever re-define Machinima. You'll see it all unfold right here.
p.s. I found the Zelda Collector's Edition at gamestop last week! I will beat you one day Zelda II; it's not an option!
*The title Soul Meridian may sound familiar, as well it should, it was the title invented years ago for what became the still unannounced 'Joe Bob.'