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INDIEGEN VIDEO 001



Here in the first, though it very well may also be the last, video blog segment, I talk about the E3 debut game titles Watchdogs and Last of Us, and what we as independent creators can learn from them for our own creations. Unfortunately, getting this simple little video done was the biggest hassle I have ever experienced in my life. You can hear some of the noise I experience even in the video. Getting it edited was another story, though. The noise was such that I could barely hear myself think. We will see if there will ever be anymore.
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BORN IN THE WRONG TIME

Mushishi in Ancient times
Even though I like computers and, to a lesser degree, the internet, I feel like I was born in the wrong time. I feel like I should have been born in the ancient world. Perhaps life would have been more difficult on one hand, but then, I question the so called scholarly works which intimate that said life was brutish and short. Imagine for a moment living in freedom, hunting for your own food, fishing or even growing a small garden. Imagine just LIVING.

I read an article once that said that no other species on the planet has to PAY to live here. The world has been so organized that any normal man or woman needs a considerable amount of money to live anything approaching a happy or even normal life. We live in a world which is disconnected. People don't know their own neighbors and some don't even know their own family. I was completely a part of that world some years ago. Things changed when I began to travel and see a different world.

In my travels I came across simple villages where people still lived in a manner approaching the ancient ways. I saw people who grew their own plants, and washed them in the river, a river so clean and clear you could see to the very bottom. People were truly alive and happy in a way that I never saw back home. This literally made back home feel like The Walking Dead. You know what I mean by that. People in the west go about their routines and their lives like it were little more than a slightly interactive video game.

What brought me to these thoughts? WINE! Seriously, though, I was trying to record some videos this weekend. You know, the videos I said would soon replace my writing on this blog. Well, on the first day, I went to the office, with the idea that it would be relatively quiet on a Saturday and I could quickly get things done. I was wrong. I arrived only to find a number of people there, playing games, watching movies, loudly and talking and laughing. Disappointed, I left in a matter of minutes and returned home to sleep, feeling I had no place in the world.

Today I decided again to give things ago. This time I would forsake going to the office and just do it in home. It is summer now, and closing all the windows and turning off all fans and air conditioners for the purpose of recording was only the beginning of sorrows. Before getting a minute into the first video I began sweating visibly. Halfway through the recording, it seemed a construction crew decided to rebuild parts of building in which I lived. I am not exaggerating when I say that. Drilling, hammering, sawing and every other manner of sounds one associates with throwing up a new building destroyed all chances of continuing. I won't even get into the noise from traffic and the never ending stream of fireworks, even though there is no special event I am aware of.

Scrolls of Mushishi
I seriously contemplated just doing manga from now on. I could, after all, do that anywhere, and under any circumstances. When did life become so busy and fast paced? When did the world become so noisy? I think I would be far happier living in the ancient world, hunting for my own food, growing plants and like, and for my art, simply painting on the wall of a cave, or writing and drawing in parchment or scrolls. I would almost welcome 40 days of fasting and meditating in a desert somewhere right now.
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NEW DIRECTIONS

Glen Keane Quits job at Disney
Okay, I know I said I am done writing, but I just learned, though it is somewhat old news that famed animator Glen Keane has QUIT his job at Disney feature animation. This is the man responsible for the lead characters in such films as The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Aladdin and Tarzan. In his resignation letter he wrote, "After long and thoughtful consideration, I have decided to leave Disney Animation. I am convinced that animation really is the ultimate art form of our time with endless new territories to explore. I can’t resist it’s siren call to step out and discover them."

I APPLAUD THIS SENTIMENT! Now, don't get me wrong, there are a lot of rumors going around, even such that he chose to resign simply to avoid being fired. It has also been suggested that he commanded a $2 million per year salary, which led to the corporate bean counters wanting to axe him. I have even read comments to the effect that the company had been doing everything in their power to make life miserable for the "old guard" or veteran employees, in the hopes that they would leave. I am, of course, no stranger to this idea.

I read that Keane spoke of his future plans in a video, saying about the famous Disney traditional look, “It’s a style that looks that way because of a technical limitation.” He goes on to say, “I thought if I ever get a chance, I want to animate something where my original drawing stays on the screen.” My own sincere hope is that he goes off and does something Bill Plympton style, rough lines and all, that is ENTIRELY HIS OWN CREATION. Can you imagine what GREATNESS, what ARTFULNESS, what CREATIVITY... I truly want to see that.

Arid Hell, an image from my own anime project

There is really something to that line of his about animation being that ultimate art form with endless territories. I fully intend to explore these territories myself. Those video updates I mentioned will be forthcoming, and projects like the one above will be explained. More importantly, though, something about this Glen Keane story has really inspired me to EXPLORE those territories rather than just talk about it.

I have seen comments on the internet that suggest some fans desire him to follow Chris Sanders, the director known for Lilo & Stitch who left Disney and found himself at Dreamworks Animation doing How to Train Your Dragon. As much as I love that movie, the last thing I want to see is Glen Keane going into that company and doing 3D. I want to, like he said, see his original drawings on the screen!

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