Archive for February, 1996

Hiccups

FROM:    David y Wright, 71510,536
DATE:    02-24-96 01:13 PM

been a long week

Julie’s had strept throat. and a bad cough too.
Shes been on anti biotics

Last Thursday night I was at Frank’s – working on changes for Fieger’s animation

I took a sip of my cold coffee – and got the hick-ups. No big deal
Went home and had dinner.  Still had them when I went to bed.

Next morning I picked Jim Hodel up and we went to Frogtown for the first shoot.
I still had the hicchups.
It was very sunny and cold – lots of frost on the weeds.
We got some good shots of the guys putting  the bottom plate – a 2×6 around the premiter
They used glue and nail guns
Jim had problem with his camera after a first few minutes – at first we thought it was too cold for his camera so we kept trying to warm it up in the truck.
It turned out to be a funky tape, and we  only had 2 twenty minutes tapes.

I got some shots of them putting up the first couple of panels
Thanks to hicchups my hand held shots were awful -house-ground-sky-ground, house-sky-ground; sound has spikes off the meter.
With the tripod things were better. Just put it on wide angle and walk away for few minutes.

week end we stayed in bed – Julie with cough me , still with hicchups
I’m really glad we got the new mattres – we probably would have drown

Sunday afternoon we went out to check progress. – 1/2 first floor panels up.
we only stayed 15 minutes –

Monday – I drove into Troy to pick up more M II tape then picked up Jim
We got some more shots of panels going up
We didn’t get any good shots of Louie like we wanted – explaining the process
If we can get him on with a mic  should get somegreat material – he’s very articulate.
Louie said best shots would be Wed – depending on weather

[tues night-  Julie says hi – we are watching rough Hi 8  stuff I took.]

Wed rained – Jim & I went out anyway Nobody there
The big panels were up – they looked like we missed some awsome crane work.

Wed pm I went to  a Dr
He got me on 3 prescriptions including Thorizine- also prescribed for schizoprenia.

Went back to doctor this moring for follow up visit
not sure the hicchups are gone – had them on and off yesterday, but slept through the night and seem ok now.

more later

love
Dad & Jule

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white valentine’s day

FROM:    David y Wright, 71510,536
DATE:    02-14-96 08:17 AM

Went to Frogtown yesterday – to see what I could. Drive way was frozen again – but now had 6″ deep ruts

The panels had arrived Monday! They are stacked in 3 piles and have numbers on written  them with black magic marker “104”, “256” “144”….presumibly numbers relate to numbers on some drawing – which I haven’t seen.
– nobody told anybody -they just show up
So I guess we won’t get that on tape

Carpenters Joe, Dave, Brian , & Eric  were busy banging up two by’s
The rest of the basement walls – north and east-  were framed and last piece of steel hung.
next they layed 2×6 on top of cement block and nailed to metal straps  embeded in mortor every 6′ or so The straps are to hold house on foundation – in the event of large wind or earth quake.   they don’t look like they are capable of holding more than few hundred pounds – but it’s the thought that counts.
A  thin layer of flexable plastic foam is in between  block and wood.  They tell me this seals the crack.   This was NOT done at McMunn – it would have saved me countless tubes of caulk and silly foam and hours of  fun.

Went to SMPTE meeting last night. Listen to talk on Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AMLCD) Full of techno jargon and like. technology is not yet equal to CRTs but getting close. Long and short is Japan and Korea are engaged in major struggle to become dominate supplier of panels. US is non player , unless you consider a consumer as a player.

It starded snowing about 5 pm . When I got out of the meeting there was several inches on ground. Freeways were covered  so I came home in 4WD
Julie was teaching Canga Ru in Saline and it took her almost two & half hrs to get home.
Weather forcast to continued below freezing and some additonal snow.
We may get a chance to do more cross country.

Have a good Valentine’s Day

Love
Dad

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winter mud

FROM:    David y Wright, 71510,536
DATE:    02-13-96 08:27 AM

Saturday afternoon Julie & I went out to Frogtown to check progress and put out some feed.
We stopped first at Dexter Mill for 100 lb of deer feed and 50 of wild bird feed.

Changes to the house were mainly dirt – basement walls were back filled with wood braces inside. and the seceptic field covered over.
A thick layer of sand had been spread and leveled in the basement.
We saw 4 deer at some distance
We hung out 4 more peanutbutter & seed things – not pail size – yet, but a good 32 oz each.

As we were on our way down the drive – I saw a couple of large brown animials in the road.
They turned out to be dogs belonging to  Paul and Andrea – some neighbors. They were out walking with a  couple of friends of theirs and the dogs. We stopped to talk to them at the gate, and then walked back up to show them the progress at the house.
The driveway was pretty mushy so we waked thru the woods.   The pickup didn’t seem to have any problem – but I had it in 4WD.  The warming has thawed the top couple of inches of dirt.

Sunday   Julie & I went for expotition
first to Howell to several bath/plumbing  looking for information on jacuzzi tubs .
they were all closed.  Then we  went back out to Frog town for quick look.
two of  bird things were completly eaten.

it was getting cold and windy – not to mention geting late  so we left for next appointment.
Laura Marr Baur – the kitchen lady, in Ann Arbor. We went over countertop samples and cabinets and the designs. She has a dog – Sailor. a fat Bassett

Then we rushed to pick up Grannie in Ypsilanti – where she was playing piano with some friends of  hers. Julie, Grannie & I had dinner at China Garden.

love Dave & Julie

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tap tap tape

FROM:    David y Wright, 71510,536
DATE:    02-08-96 09:08 AM

just as old as I feel
yeah really happened , the old bag’s  checked me out before.
maybe it was because I was wearing my computer glasses – I can’t see very well past 3′ when wearing them – so I probably had a wrinkeled, squinty look on my face.
It wasn’t too smart driving with them – but I didn’t notice till I was half way there and logic said I’d double my chances of an acdident if I did an emergency U turn on Pontiac trail – not to mention it was only 15 minutes before closing.
Well – it was more like a quarter of the way there that I noticed I was wearing wrong glasses
– it was dark and they correct the astigmatism fine. By the time  I finished analyzing the situation and evauating alternative solutions – I had the  truck parked.
Besides – there aren’t many pedestrians that time of night. I didn’t see any.

If we do complete the project, it will be costly – mostly in terms of time. But both Jim and I need to get paid something. We had hoped to get $50,000 in funding to do it right.  But with out heavy duty sponsorship from a major player…?   We may be able to get minor contributions from several sources – but it is going to be more difficutlt. Also I think it will get more chaotic if there are too many
folks trying to get into the picture.  It’s a new experience for me – but suposedly Jim has more experience.
Weather is predicted to be warm (relatively – 45) but windy and rain/sleet/snow this afternoon – so will try to postpone visit to Frogtown till tomorrow – when it is predicted to be pleasantly cloudy.

M II (“em 2”) is technicaly a good format – but lost dominace battle to Beta SP in the “pro”
market several  years back.  As far as I know only Pansonic made M II equipment and tape
is getting hard to find.

There are a couple of new formats emerging – digital and claim to be hot.  One 6mm in the
“pro’summer”  segment sounds very interesting.
That make about 17 incompatable – to one degree or another  – video tapes.

desk top video gear is still evolving [mutating].  Video on hard drives still doesn’t make economic sense – at least on my budget.  and non of the files seem to be compatable ..
Big changes in  platform  operating sytem changes coming too.
3D Studio is becoming MAX – with goes from DOS only to Windows NT only.
And Windows NT is made to run on P6 (Pentium Pro ) machines
Basicly my poor old 486 is rapidly becoming obsolete.  And I nod off waiting for renderings.
Got to factor in budget and plan some changes.    However I don’t think I want to get suckered
into to buying the next shiny wizbang just cause it’s new.

got ta get moving

oh – also meant to tell you about DPN if I didn’t
Design Presentation Network – ” Providing educational, careet development, and business marketing services to technical illustrators” for  Story board Artist, technical writers, CAD designers Computer Animators, Graphic Artist, Multimedia Developers. Digital Vidographers Product Engineers, Architects

It is or will be on Internet  and may be a way to get work.
It is a bit murky how they plan to work – they claim not to be employment agency, but will keep database of people (for a fee) and forward to clients.
I’m submiting my digital resume – I’d forward you a copy – except the damn thing is only
Windows compatable. Maybe you’ll be able to see it on net – I got to get the address.

love

Dad

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old tap tap tape

FROM:    David y Wright, 71510,536
DATE:    02-07-96 09:59 AM

Re:    Copy of: tap tap tape

Dear Justin
Just got back from Showermans – scored my frozen yogurt  fix.
The lady at cash register asked me if I had my card.
“Card?”
“Your senior discount card”
I was destroyed.

Weather has reversed its intentions again.
30 degree rise in last 24 hrs – expecting mid 50’s by weekend
I don’t remember a winter like this – the extreams highs & lows
Its probably the old age playing tricks on an abused and  worn brain.
I know that global warming is just a fraction of a degree in the average temperature per year-
personaly undecerniable – but compilable from records and tables.

Plans are creaping  forward on video taping Frogtown.
As yet  we have no sponser   – the Department of Energy is on hold – budget stuff.
Insulspan just finished making their second video.
But I still have hope that we will find some funding.
John Barrie – the architect – is planing to submit article to Fine Home Building.
Jim H & I are going out Thursday [or Friday or Saturday or … depending on weather] to look
things over and do some planning – although we both think we are doing this backwards.
We both think that we should have organized script, schedule, shot plans… all the suff that
one learns about in video school.
It gets back to lack of sponser. If we don’t know who is going to pay – then we don’t know
who audience is (builders, owners, architects…..) and we don’t know what to take pictures of.  Jim has MII equipment (simular to Beta  SP but rare) and 20 minute tapes cost $20.  So we don’t think it economical to just shoot every thing.
I wish we had started sooner – so we could have gotten pre ground breaking shots – just for
completness. We may be able to use 35mm snaps to fill in.
Intial thought is  to open with truck delivering panels – coming up drive, and being unloaded.
The unloading is important – because panels should be stacked in reverse build sequence –
last used on bottom.  On smaller sites – where elbow room is limited – this can be a real problem.  Truck arriving just seemed like as good an opening as we could think of.
The panels are expected to be shipped sometime next week, but don’t have the day, much less the time.  Jim lives in Belville and can’t just hang  waiting for phone to ring.
We don’t expect  to be able to do “take 2” on very much.  I will take my HI 8 as back up & B
roll.
Yet despite all the problems,  I am moderatly optimistic we can get a good product

Julie is looking serioulsy for new Job – near Frogtown – had interview at Recelular in Dexter
yesterday. They want her to come back for second inteview. Sound moderatly good so far.

Love
Dad (& Julie)

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outside in

FROM:    David y Wright, 71510,536
DATE:    02-05-96 11:55 AM
Wow!
Its cold!
not just a little chilly – but the real thing.

We have an inch of ice around the kitchen and bathroom windows – on the inside!
It doesn’t bother me much in the kitchen – although Julie’s Rosemary plant is turing brown.
But something about taking a shower next to icicles makes Mr Happy shrivel up.

Since I fixed the humidifier on the furnace, the humidity inside has been ok (about 65%) But
with the extream temperatures the moisture has been condensing in the exhaust fan in the bathroom ceiling at night.
The fan is directly over the toilet.
It drips onto Mr Happy.
Mr Happy isn’t happy any more.

Hardly any snow on the ground.  so the xcountry skis stay in the corner. I hope we get a few good snow days, yet this year. watching the weather reports – it seems all the snow has gone just north or just south of us.

Too cold for builders to work.
But we expect some balmy 20’s later in week.

re depressingly precise art – I think I know what you mean.  I’ve been avoiding taking Julie to
see Toy Story.  Intellectualy I know Pixar/Disney have hundreds of animators and jillions of
dollars of equipment, and ….But something inside keeps whispering “See that! You’ll never
be that good! ” and other self defeating things….

At the DPA meeting, the othe week, the woman who spoke was young, and from ILM (Industrial Light + Magic). The topic was something like “now that we can do anything – should we?” The hall was filled.  Her credits include all sorts of big name Lucas films – like Jurasic Park etc.  She starts out telling us that she doesn’t know much about computer graphics and was a language major. She showed “her reel” . One wizz bang after another.  I started getting depressed. very depressed. If this kid did all This Stuff – with out any training, why am I struggling to get Mr Kepler electrocuted in a spa, for less than minimum wages?
Then she gets back into her talk.
Ok – where are the insights about digital cinema?
“It’s something we need to think about.”
{huh? – I don’t get it.}
She rambles on… she likes that in Jumanji,  there aren’t any real animals – just digital.  Very politicaly correct (and presumably less smelly).
She continues….what she really does in the computer graphics dept.
She does blue screening – she paints out wires and touches up matts.  She pushes a  mouse.  One frame at a time. Ten seconds use to take several people a month or more. Now one person does it in a week.
Not that I’m knocking what she does – but it started sounding a lot like flipping burgers at McDonald’s.
I felt a bit like I had taken in by hype.  Ok.  She works for IL+M and she did work on all the clips shown, but so did many others. But I’m not sure she should be representing it as “her reel”
“It’s something we need to think about.”

Later discuss with Jim Hodel. He was also less than impressed with experience.  We talk about our problems trying to eek out a living as independent producers of what ever.  Jim seems conviced that he needs to remain a contract engineer to make money – and do the video as a hobby.
Part of the problem is promotion. How to sell to big (& presumably better paying) clients?
He recently had a bad experience showing his reel to a large advertising agency. Just not flashy enough. or enough big name clients.

I make it a point to tell anybody who listens that I am doing work /have done for “big name” clients – like Fieger, Ford,  GM etc.  I doubt if any body at Ford would remember the things I did – but I did make animations for Ford.

Frank showed me the demo reel he has been using to get forensic work. It is stock forensic footage from the AutoDesk sales promos. but Frank put  “AeroData”  and phone # on it.
Neither of us did any of it, [other than the editing and overlay he did].  Ok, so he sells 3D Studio, and it is a 3D studio demo – but he lets the viewer assume it is AeroData animation work. I think that is part of why he (we) got the last two job’s we are working on.
I am not at all comfortable with this.  He didn’t tell me about it or ask me , and it is AeroData not Wyeknot on the lable. But I am associated with him and working on the projects – most of the work in fact. I don’t think I can afford to not work on the jobs, but I can’t afford bad a reputation either.  Maybe I should wear Groucho glasses while working with Frank

Mean while – I am planing to make my own demo reel of forensic animations – It’s going to be short – but it will be my stuff.
mostly…     there are 3D cars, and people that are purchased as “clip art” in them.
“It’s something we need to think about.”

more later.

Dad

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