Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Geeking out to the max!

Here's a little drawing Glen did in my "Art of Tarzan" book for me on the day i visited the studio. The note says " To Matt, Keep persuing your goal. God Bless you as you do"

I haven't done a lot of geeking out on this blog, i figured while i try to think through what it is i want to say about ruffing out a scene i'd put up some cool drawings from some of my influences.
This first one is from Glen Keane. Glen was my foremost influence in my youth- i've known who that guy was since i was 8! His passion for this artform always was contageous, even from 2000 miles away. anyhow, i had never met him until i was 18. I was in my frist year at CalArts, and anyone who knew me knew i was a Keane nut. in fact, Max, Glen's son was in my class and was even in my cubical. I didn't get to know him too well, he left after 2 months. anyhow, i got the opportunaty to meet Glen in my 1st semester of being at CalArts. I packed all my portfolio stuff up perfectly, had it all arranged: quick sketches, life drawings and then everything else.
I got the Disney and waited down in the lobby for Glen's secretary to some and meet me. It was the first moment that i thought maybe this guys not what i think he is. I mean, i've met a lot of the guys considered to be "the greats" of our day and unfortunately not all of them are admireable people. I started to get nervous that maybe my childhood hero was not Santa but Satan! well, maybe not Satan. I picked up my stuff and went with Penelope (Glen's secretary) up the his office. She was super sweet, offered my some coffee and told me i have to wait for a while until Glen was ready. We rounded the corner and Glen was waiting for us-- I was relieved, he was actually santa claus! My memory kinda blanked out for a bit, i remember being really thirsty and sweaty all of the sudden. beyond that i recall him being extremely gracious and giving of his time. before he even opened up my portfolio he asked me a bunch of questions about me, where i'm from, what kind of artwork do i like. He made me feel like he was actually interested in me and my growth as an artist and a person. He proceeded to open my portfolio and slowly go through it page by page. I've never wanted a pair of diapers more than at that moment. It was gut renching- but he was gracious... VERRRRY gracious. He encouraged me, told me what he liked, didn't like and then proceeded to show me what he had been doing. He pulled out a sketchbook and started flipping through it page by page telling me stories about these people he'd see at the park or whatever. It was thuroughly inspiring to a young lad- He then shut his door and went to his computer and pulled up the sequence from Treasure Planet he was working on. It was the first time we see Silver in the kitchen. I was blown away-- i remember trying so hard to memorize everything because i knew i wouldn't have this happen again.
Then all of the sudden Johnny Resnick from the Goo Goo Dolls walked in with the producer of the film and i was swiftly ushered out by Glen's secretary(and understandably so). While Glen was talking with them I got a tour of the other animators office. Even though it was all a thrill for a young guy, my mind was still on all of those beautiful drawings in Glen sketchbook and walls. Well, the tour was over and i started to make my way out of the building and I heard "Matt, hey Matt!" It was Glen at the foot of an animators office signaling me to come in. I was sure he was talking to another Matt in the room, but i thought i'd better get in there before that other Matt did! I went into the office and proceeded to watch Glen critique an animators work, Bert Kliens in this case. Little did i know that Bert would hire me just a year later for Looney Tunes: Back in Action.
All in all it was a memorable day- even just thinking about it is inspiring enough for me right now. The next post will definately be the long awaited "1st pass" tutorial. until then take it easy!


SMacLeod said...

Awesome. Ah...memories. Good times dude. Good times.

Bobby P said...

AWWWWWWWWWWWESOME! Thanks for sharing. I would kill for an experience like that. I would've reacted the exact same way. It was a little later for me, but Glen's work on Tarzan was what inspired me to get into animation. And I turned into a Keane nut at my school too! And still am!! Looking back I would say that Tarzan and his work on the Beast were my biggest influences in animation.

By the way, did his son Max decide to continue on with animation?

Matt Williames said...

Nawww, Max i think is doing something in live action now. I think i heard he got interested in cameras and stuff. but not sure--

Ali said...

That's a great story and a great picture.

James L. Cook said...

really cool story Matt. Glen was one of the people I actually got star struck meeting, and I never get star struck. Glen's the geniune thing, all heart, inspiration and ability. A very good role model for aspiring animators.

Love your Blog Matt, keep it up. I see people giving up on their blogs because they think nobody's listening, but we are. I love working in animation and I feel we take for granted a lot of the technical things that go into animation. I like your approach of opening that window to people. Just wonderful stuff man, keep it up.

Benjamin De Schrijver said...

*Keane nut raising hand*

Must've been an awesome experience! Even hearing you talk about it is inspiring.

AkinYaman said...

ohhhh GOD its GETTING HOT here day by day,wouuuuuuuuu :>

Victor Ens said...

Wonderful drawing, thank you very much for sharing this with us.
Really great Story, man. I got very excited while reading it :-)

martin wittig said...

Nice work on your blog!

heehee4567 said...

matt, take a look at this:

Q/Minkyu said...

Holy crap@!!! CRAZZZZZZY Matt!!
soooo inspirational. That's so awesome you got to meet him that way! Man, I totally know what you mean when you thought he would be someone not as kind as Santa right before you met him, cause that's the way I thought too! because I had so many occasions where I would be so disappointed on meeting someone I admire, I was scared it would be like that with Glen Keane but it REALLY WASN'T!!!! unbelievable experience for me too. man, I really want to meet him again! Keane nuts hurray!

Bobby P said...

I wonder if Glen's on myspace.

madmounty said...

hey man thanks! i just got back from the annecy festival! to be honest i was not sure that ou were going to respond to my comment. yes it does seem that concept design is where im going but animation is still a huge part of the art that i want to do! so please critique my work!

Cuthbowski said...

Your blog is an inspiration to me and all of England. Well some of England. The animators atleast. Anyway, thanks and keep it up! =D

Dan Segarra said...

Wow! Awesome story Matt. ;) Fantastic work too!

Gillian said...

you can't even consieve how jealous I am of you...

nice blog BTW!


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