Michael Cawood

Stats

Blogs: 213
events: 88
audio tracks: 19
images: 414
videos: 14

Interview with Bobb Strongman


By michaelcawood, 2015-02-28

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To celebrate'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation with, Animated Filmmaker,Bobb Strongman.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.
I wrote some shaders for the film and worked on some of the tests for the light rays.

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

It helped me move forward with my own animation project. I was looking for a way of creating an online team to produce an animated short and the production process Mike was using on Devils, Angels and Dating seemed to fit. It's been very encouraging to follow the success that the film has had.

Do you know whether anything you did for Devils lead directly to any other opportunities you've had since?

Not directly although I've done a lot more texture work since creating the shaders for Devils.

What have you been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

I work as a freelance animator, compositor and VFX artist in London for companies such as Disney Channel, ITV, Cartoon Network and Smoke & Mirrors - a variety of things from children's animations, channel indents and commercials to compositing work on a music video for Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora.

Have you worked on any other short films since Devils?

I've worked on a few shorts and I designed and animated a 15 minute film for The Victoria and Albert Museum. I'm also continuing to work on my own animation project, "The Gondolier's Dog". I'm using a similar production process to that which Mike used on Devils. It's very much two steps forward, one step back but it is progressing. The render tests are very encouraging and the main character has been voiced by a well known British actor.

It takes up most of my spare time. There are still a couple of things to iron out and the scenes that are ready to render are quite heavy - in one case 3 days for a single 10 second render pass. I haven't looked at render farms yet because although it's slow it's manageable by rendering every night.

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Is there anything you'd like to promote?

I'm still in need of a facial rigger who can work on Maya 2012. It's for one character and should only take one or two days.

The modelling is pretty much done although I'm always happy to hear from anyone who would like to help out there as well. And animators of course

You can find out more about the film here:

http://thegondoliersdog.ning.com

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Interview with Edgardo Padilla


By michaelcawood, 2014-10-07

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To celebrate'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation with, Animator,Edgardo Padilla.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.

I discovered Devils, Angels and Dating when I was browsing around in the 11 Second Club forums. I was a fresh graduate from Animation Mentor and wanted to work on a project that required collaboration rather than just animating on my own.

I ended up working on shots with all the characters. I also animated some of Deaths shadow hands scenes.


What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now.


Well this is my 1stcollaborative film, I was really hopeful, seeing the characters and how far the project was progressing. One of my concerns was since were all meeting up inthe forums, the feedback would be a bit of a challenge since I was used to face to face feedback with my peers.In the end though it worked out fine, feedback was fast and Micheal would actually make a video if we needed more feedback on our shots.


Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

My approach in animation no, not really. But it helped me talk and collaborate with others better. Back at school its usually just you and your teacher.


Do you know whether anything you did for Devils lead directly to any other opportunities you've had since?

Oh yeah, the project helped me a lot, it opened up a lot of opportunities for me and it made my portfolio stronger.

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Whathaveyou been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

Ive been very busy with different projects after Devils. Some short term some more than a year. Lately though I have worked more in the gaming side of animation. I worked as a gameplay animator for Carbine Studios' Wildstar and currently working on Red5 Studios Free to Play Game Firefall.


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I was also able to work with Michael again as a cinematic animator for Skylanders Giants.

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Have you worked on any other short films since Devils?

I was able to work on 2 short films: Caldera and The Collectors Gift. Both seemed to have garnered numerous awards.

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Are you working on any personal projects?

At the moment no, But I do have an idea in my head for a long time. Maybe someday Ill finally start this project of mine. Ill keep you posted.


Is there anything you'd like to Promote?

Try out Firefall, its a 3rdPerson Shooter MMO thats fastpaced and rely more on skill than gear (Headshots count here). You can choose what class you want to play by selecting your frame, each frame is different from another. Its fun and its totally free, its available on Steam now.

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Interview with Mohammad Sadeh


By michaelcawood, 2014-10-02

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To celebrate'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation with, Animator,Mohammad Sadeh.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.

The discovery of Devils Angles and Dating was very interesting experience to me, it was the first time that I entered the 11 second club monthly competition and then I received a comment from Mike about my entry in the forums and he give me some very constructive feedback that helped me a lot back then, then I followed his links and finally found out about his new short film and then we got in touch with each other and it was such great opportunity for me to start because at that time I had just finished my 3d animation diploma.

Basically Devils was my first real animation project after my graduation, and I'm glad that Mike gave me the opportunity cause it paved the road for me to keep climbing up from there into feature film studios.

I started kinda early in the animation phase, so I started animating the peeps cycles doing all kinda cool stuff. I enjoyed animating them a lot and then when the rigs were solid and ready for animation I animated Cupid, Devil and Death, it was super fun animating all the characters!

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

I was very excited and I consider myself lucky to have been chosen to work on the project. As far as I know that's the first time an idea to work online with people from around the world and all join their creative forces to create awesome short film from start to finish worked, and I'm very honored to be part of the team that created it. It was also my first IMDB credit, so that was really fun!

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

Yes. Working on Devils helped a lot to develop my animation skills and also my communication skills as well, which is extremely important when it comes to working in the 3D industry. No matter how good you are if you are not a team player then you will not go far in this industry. That was great for me since English is not my first language so it gave me a great learning experience on how to work well with teams and how to communicate with the supervisor and address all the notes without slowing down anyone. Animation-wise that was another awesome learning experience since I just graduated at that time and it was pretty tough to find a job for an international student in Canada, so Devils sharpened my animation skills a lot and I'm grateful for that experience!

Do you know whether anything you did for Devils lead directly to any other opportunities you've had since?

Working on Devils did affect my personal life in a very positive way it helped me to work hard to stay in north america cause that's where most of the animation and VFX studios are and all the work paid off. I'm a permanent resident in Canada now, it was inspiring experience that guided me to make the right decisions and move in the right direction.

Whathaveyou been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

After Devils I worked with multiple companies here in Canada at the beginning as a 3D generalist and then I worked at Image Engine in Vancouver on previs animations and now I'm working at Method Studios as animator on Night at the Museum 3 animating really cool creatures! It will be fun movie!

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Have you worked on any other short films since Devils?

I did not work on any other shorts since Devils because, thanks to that great experience, I manged to make an animation reel that got some companies interested in hiring me!

Are you working on any personal projects?

I have been busy working alongside my animation day job on a personal project with some of my friends and its a game for the iPhone/iPad and also soon for the Android store, called "Heroes Of Iron Age", its a really fun strategy action game filled with cool stuff. It takes place in the medieval times. I did all the artwork and the animations and also I created a cinematic as well so people can see what the game looks like when they play it!

We are four guys 3 programmers and me, an artist, it took us around one year to finish it off and we are hoping to start our indie game company based on this game and start creating cool games and apps for the community!

Here is the Game Cinematic:

Here is the link for the game-play trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq0qMwUiTRY

Here is the Link for the game on the App store:

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=791762277&mt=8

Please feel free to checkout our Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/anixlab

...any comments are always welcome!!

I would like to thank you Mike again for your continuous support since I joined your team and I'm glad to be a friend with you and hope to work with you again in the near future!

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Interview with AnnMarie Cernoch


By michaelcawood, 2014-09-19

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To celebrate'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation withAnnMarie Cernochwho's had a very interesting journey.

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

I didn't have too many concerns for the project when I started on it. I just wanted to do some CGI work and was just excited to help. I think Devils turned out wonderfully! The characters and animation are just lovely. Rock on all.

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

It didn't change my approach...more helped me get my feet wet. Working remotely with just email communication is something that I had to do almost everyday when I worked in the studios. Also, learning about file systems and organization for asset hand-offs. That I used everyday I worked!

Do you know whether anything you did for Devils lead directly to any other opportunities you've had since?

Working on Devils actually opened the industry door for me. Shortly after I started creating assets for Michael's project...I got a call from Nickelodeon Studios in Burbank, CA. I was gone out to CA in about a month! Thanks you guys! ;)

Whathaveyou been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

I worked at Nickelodeon for about a year (Penguins of Madagascar, KungFu Panda and ended my time there on Fanboy and Chum Chum)

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Then I went to DreamWorks Animation for about one and a half years (Puss in Boots and Croods).

Now, I am running my own business.

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Are you working on any personal projects?

I can show you my newest product design...(https://www.etsy.com/listing/201630530/octopuscannabis-glowing-sculpture-glow)

Is there anything you'd like to Promote?

I would love a little plug for my small business! If you are looking for a unique personalized gift this holiday season...then def hit up my shop. So much geeky cool there. ;)

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ElectronicGirl

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Interview with Iskander Mellakh


By michaelcawood, 2014-09-18

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To celebrate'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation with our long serving Technical Director, and talented all rounder, Iskander Mellakh.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.

I found out about Devils Angels and Dating towards the end of my contract on 'Prince Caspian'. Mike was at MPC the same time I was although we never met until I started to help on Devils.

I contacted Mike through the website atdevilsangelsanddating.com, and slowly, once Mike knew where my strengths lay, he passed more of the technical tasks my way good fun! I ended up being credited as a Technical Director on the project, a title I am proud of.

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

I really didn't have any hopes or concerns, I just really wanted to continue to work in the film and animation industry. My contract at MPC had ended, I didn't have any new jobs coming in and I really didn't want to forget all I had learnt whilst in London.

Devils gave me the opportunity to continue to learn, network, and made sure I did not give up. The animation and VFX industry moves so quickly that you could easily forget things and get left behind if you dont continue to practice even if you are not employed to do what you love you need to practice. It is also a highly volatile and competitive industry, so if VFX is what you want to to never give up!!

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

Devils had a positive and big impact on my career. It didn't change the way I approached my career, but it opened more doors, for which I am really grateful!

Do you know whether anything you did for Devils lead directly to any other opportunities you've had since?

I am sure my work on Devils is still having an effect on the type of work I am getting now. I have recently completed work on Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and Disney's 'Maleficent' back at MPC, I also still work closely with one of the artists that worked on Devils Antonio Milo.

Antonio has hired me to help on multiple projects and has always proved to be a great creative director and compositor. We have worked on projects for Mizuno and are currently finishing up a project for EasyJet.

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I also had the pleasure of working at Ragdoll productions working on 'The Adventures of Abney and Teal'. Chuck (who also worked on Devils), posted a job vacancy on linkedIn, in which I applied for, and then I got the job good fun!

Whathaveyou been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

I am currently freelance and work remotely through my company ICM Studios. I setup ICM Studios in 2008 shortly after my first contract at finished at MPC.

Towards the end of 2013 I was hired again by MPC Still just as fun second time around!

I have also worked on a music video at Passion Pictures as well as having a 18 month contract as a 3D Generalist at Ragdoll for the full production of 52 episodes of 'The Adventures of Abney and Teal'.

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Have you worked on any other short films since Devils?

Since Devils I haven't had the chance to help out on any more short films I may do again if I have some spare time, or, I may try to make my own short film mixing live action and vfx where possible!

Are you working on any personal projects?

In my spare time I have been working on a heavy destruction sequence for the past couple of years. Since I am doing everything on it, it seems to be taking ages! I also need a couple more copies of Renderman and a few more render nodes as each frame was taking over an hour with textures assigned etc, or I could cheat it and make the background a matte painting with projections.

I am looking into producing a short, I just need to find the right script for my style, will keep you posted if anything happens!!!

Is there anything you'd like to Promote?

Through ICM Studios I recently helped with the VFX on the comedy drama 'A Touch of Cloth' by Charlie Brooker along side LenscareFX. I did 4 shots on the project producing lightning coming out of New Blood's (Karen Gillan) hands! Floating paper and atmospheric smoke!

ICM Studios were also approached by Black Rock Films to produce VFX for the latest feature film 'Nightmare Hunters'. Between Adam Fenwick and I we completed 16 shots in 4k it was good fun working on plates shot on a Red camera!

A breakdown video of the VFX work that was carried out for 'A Touch of Cloth' can be found below:

and a full write up of the work can be found here: http://www.icmstudios.co.uk/projects/tv/a-touch-of-cloth-lightning-vfx

"Iskander, really was a pleasure to work with. He stuck around longer than pretty much every other team member, which is quite unusual on a volunteer project. He just kept finding interesting challenges to overcome, including things like the automated dynamic follow through on tails, hair and clothes. He's been a strong supporter ever since and had a great attitude. It's key people like that that really pull a project together." - Michael Cawood

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Interview with Andrea Perry


By michaelcawood, 2014-09-16

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To celebrate'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation with talented song writer and performer,Andrea Perry.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.

Mike found me somehow and asked if Id like to get involved. I dont remember exactly how it came about. I ended up contributing the credits song, Where Have You Been My Whole Afterlife.

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

If I remember correctly, the approach at the beginning was that it was going to be more like a musical, with little or no dialog and with songs throughout telling the story. I couldnt get my head around it and was very intimidated. I couldnt figure out an elegant way to tell the story with songs. So I was relieved when the scope changed. Still it was challenging writing an afterlife love song, but I like the way it turned out, especially after hearing such positive feedback about the song from so many people. Very gratifying.

Indeed, Andrea's song is very popular on YouTube and fans are constantly inquiring after it in the YouTube comments.

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

I suppose not, but it dazzled me by revealing how a community of talented strangers from all over the world could pool their skills and energies to create something that over 2 million people have been compelled to watch.

Do you know whether anything you did for Devils lead directly to any other opportunities you've had since?

The song I wrote for it is the most listened to song in my entire catalog, and my best seller on iTunes.

Whathaveyou been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

I released a solo album,Fourin mid-2013 that includes a modified version of Where Have You Been My Whole Afterlife. I changed the title to Where Have You Been my Whole Lonely Life to make it a bit more relevant to people who are alive (they buy more songs than dead people). Also, I added a string section.

Ive also worked a lot with Kaliyo, my duo with Sarah Sharp. Weve had song placements in TV shows (and some films) in over 20 countries. We are constantly getting emails from people who hear our songs in stores and restaurants in Poland, China, Singapore, France, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Israel pretty much everywhere! We got one the other day from a woman who heard one of our songs in a store in Hong Kong.

And Im always writing music for commercials and doing some production work for other songwriters.

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Can you expand on the shows and films you've contributed your music to?

The Kaliyo music has been used extensively in Poland in most of their popular dramas.It was used for a huge Channel campaign online. Also: The Lying Game, Switched at Birth, The Nine Lives of Chloe King, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, The View and Revenge. The feature filmWhen Harry Tries to Marry. Film trailer forNo.

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Have you worked on any other short films since Devils?

I havent written anything specifically for a film since then, but my songs (especially the collaborations with Sarah Sharp) have been placed in some films by music supervisors, as elaborated on in the previous question.

Are you working on any personal projects?

Im working with Sarah Sharp on a proper album for Kaliyo. We have a catalog of about 50 songs, but most of it is owned by Universal Music so we dont have control over it and we havent been able to put out an official CD. People have sought us out after hearing our stuff on TV and have obtained illegal copies of our songs (we dont really mind were happy that so many people listen to us). But wed love to have a release that we own and can put on iTunes and promote.

Im also working on a top secret album with a top secret quartet. We hope to have it out in December.

Is there anything you'd like to Promote?

Id love to promote Kaliyo:www.kaliyo.com

Also my youtube channel is full of Kaliyo:http://www.youtube.com/user/amishell

And solo stuff:www.andreaperry.com

And later Id like to promote my top secret project. :-)

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Interview with Bryant Tan


By michaelcawood, 2014-09-15

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To celebrate'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation with talented Animator, Bryant Tan.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.

I was introduced to this online animation collaboration project by my friend Marcus Tee. I was so excited back then when I heard about it as I've never being exposed to work with an independent director before. I volunteered to take part immediately as a 3D animator and my aim back then was to gain more knowledge in terms of acting and to build a much more solid portfolio. Mike was so friendly and kind enough to let us choose the shots we would like to work on and of course I went for a couple of subtle acting shots. Throughout the whole process, I came to learn that online collaboration actually works if you have a proper pipeline to it. I've also learned about ways to choose proper acting for your shot through the reference provided.

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

I'm really grateful that Mike gave me that opportunity to work on such a wonderful film and I'm still very proud of it today.

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

Devils made me want to explore more about animation and film making.

Whathaveyou been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

I've worked on a couple of films at Rhythm & Hues Malaysia( Animation TD) such as Snow White & The Huntsman and also the upcoming Seventh Sons in 2015. Remember to catch that movie!

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Are you working on any personal projects?

I've been trying to come up with my personal shortfilm but it's taking forever. haha.

Bryant's demoreel:https://vimeo.com/76816644
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