Flash Test Dummy

When I contacted MONDO about a job, they were giving an Audio track and articulated Skeleton in a Flash Document for applicants to do an "Audition Tape." I knocked this out, but landed a job w eSTUDIO before Mondo got back to me. Having some Fun.

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Just to remind folks --- I like showing people how to do animation. I've taught almost 2,000 people how to draw animation, and how to use 2D and 3D animation Software. My brother and I started drawing when we were in diapers. Eventually that got us to where we could make some $$$ at it. I'm not saying it's easy. But it's a way to make a living, if you hustle.


In the last year before the so-called "Dot-com Bubble" Burst, I interviewed at several production houses focusing on Flash production. Four of em' explained to me they were shooting to become the Premier Entertainment Channel on the web, and then show to ADVERTISERS the zillions of "hits" of people linking to their site; After that, they would hire a fleet of trucks to haul receipts to the bank from all the Ad Agencies giving them Whacking Great Wodges of Cash to place adverts on their website... Sounded like a wondeful plan to Me!

I had just learned the Flash application, version 4, but I'd been animating 2D and 3D for decades... Mondo Media was having new applicants show their stuff by doing an "Audition" –– Mondo Media gave us applicants who claimed to be animators a Flash File embedded with an Articulated Skeleton and a silly but professionally-produced Audio track. I drew some additions: a full set of lip-synch mouths, variations on the eyes, and a few odd bits of costume –– You'll recognize'em. Then I did some animation I judged suitably weird to match the mood of the audio track. 

"In the Fullness of Time" I will find a way to retrieve the audio, which exists only in the .swf versions. I haven't found a converter that will actually deal with any of my hundred-plus .swf files.


Anyhow, a day or two after completing this "Flash Test Dummy" I connected with the folks at eStudio, and started working with them. Don't remember if I ever got round to sending the Audition animation to Mondo... eStudio had assembled a great team of animators. So I spent most of a year animating some Fun Song Parodies that went to ReGurge –– For the Pokey, I Want a Fat Babe, and Mime after Mime –– concepts to pitch, and storyboarding episodes of Gary the Rat, featuring the voice of Kelsey Grammer. eStudio produced something like 8 or 10 episodes, and another company took over for the rest of the series. 

About that time, I had met a lady and soon decamped from Silicon Valley to live with her on her Ranch for the next four years. Used all my construction skills building shelters, a modern yurt, fences, workshop, greenhouse, et cetera; used all my Red Cross Training mending torn hides, scuffs and bruises, doing subcutaneous injections of antibiotics and de-worming Ivermectin, draining abscesses, and bottle-feeding abandoned lambs when first-time mama Ewes didn't bond with'em. Great satisfaction as long as it seemed to be building a new life.



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