Commentary &Poe &SpornFilms 31 Dec 2012 06:22 am

New Year’s Eve

- We’ve come to the end of another year. I face the new year without my trusted computer. You work for a number of years on one particular machine, and you get to know what to expect. Photoshop has its own kinks on each different machine as does AfterEffects or the Wacom tablet. With each machine the same pen and the same tablet gives me wholly different lines no matter how I try to focus the brushes that the computer offers. Finally, finally I get the lines and the shapes that I want on a specific screen with just the right pressure I want to exert, and wallah!

No computer. Yesterday morning, Sunday, the computer just wouldn’t turn on. I found a really trusty place to bring my sick machine to be examined, but, it being New Year’s weekend, this is the one Sunday they’re not opening. So I wait till today, Monday, New Year’s eve (when they’ll close early) and will carry my computer there at 9am to get a check out. No doubt they’ll tell me something before they close at 1pm.

Of course, I suspect the worst, the motherboard (what a name) is probably damaged, though I hope not. I hope I just haven’t been properly putting the cord in place, and it’s not getting the electricity it needs. But, as I said, I expect the worst. I expect to have to buy a new machine and hire the computer repair place to dig out all my files and reconstruct them for me on the new computer. Then I’ll have all those programs like Photoshop and AfterEffects and the Wacom tablet that I’ll have to buy new software (since I don’t have the outdated disks I once used to install them onto the dead machine. If I do have them, they’re n storage somewhere in New Jersey or the Bronx or whereve that particular lot of things is stored.) Money just seems to grow on trees when you don’t have any. I’ll figure it out.

I’m more worried about my files. I’ve been working months on the opening of POE and have about 40 secs of finished animation sitting dormant on a possibly dead disk. I have animatics I’ve been doing for presentation – not one piece of art outside that machine – for HBO that I’d hoped to finish this weekend. Forget that. Just hope you don’t have to do them yet again. Files and files and files. Many of them are saved on an external drive, but not the last two months worth of work. I’ve been remiss in saving back up. You can be sure I’ll visit “justcloud” or “backupGenie” or some-such in the future and will become a regular habitué.

Life’s so full of precarious options, and you can’t let them get you down when they don’t seem positive. Everything happens for a reason, and I’m sure there’s a reason for this, too. Maybe I should be shifting completely over to Mac. I’ve been a PC supporter all along, but have a powerful Mac sitting at my brother’s loft for protection. All my other studio computers are in storage in some other state. No, the key studio computer – the one we used for all our editing – is safely ensconced in my brother’s loft. When you can’t trust a storage unit, trust the most reliable person you know. And I have been working Mac at Buzzco all these months (working mornings on Mac and afternoons on PC on the very same scenes can drive you schizo quickly. Something as simple as using “Ctrl” is one place on PC and another on Mac. How many times, after the fact, have I had to do an operation a second time because my fingers went to the wrong place. All niggling complaints, I know. Especially when I have a real complaint/worry. Hopefully, I’ll have all those files back. I’m sure I will.

My brother also has all of Tissa David’s artwork for POE. I’ll need to get that soon, too. I want to inbetween what she’s done to see how it moves as anmation rather than animatic. After all she posed at the animatic on sixes or twelves as her whim carried her. We both agreed that it would ultimately have to be redrawn and reanimated for the final, but now I’d like to keep it as is (except for the opening sequences so that we can get her younger version of “Eddie” to look more like the older version. Bo, I have that logo on there. I just remembered that. It took months for me to satisfy myself with logo-looking portrait of Edgar Allan Poe to use for the Tee-Shirts and postcards, etcetera to send out for the Indiegogo souvenirs. I’m pretty sure that’s also on the computer I use at Buzzco. It’ll wait till Wednesday to find out. When I go back to Buzzco.

Thinking back to the time we worked on that animatic of POE. Tissa never touched a computer. Her drawings were done on punched letter sized paper – 8 ½ x 11. She animated (“animaticed”?) using a penstick on the paper. No rough drawings, and they were all rough drawings. They were finals, most of them will be finals. Life was so much easier back then, yet from the entry position so much harder. It was more fun though, lots of communit. Today we’re all bent into the glow of the television screen and we probably listen to earphone music or noise, and we don’t intercommunicate with those around us. Not like the olden days, when we’d have conversations while doing the work. Of course there was the shut up time, but there was also the community time. How many times did Heidi comment, when walking into my studio, “It’s so quiet here.” You guys have to get music. We did play music once upon a time, but then it all went into the earphones. Everybody into their own TV world. Alone with the animated character. Sorry, it’s a stupid complaint from someone getting to be an old timer. An old timer worried about his machine doing that line that took a long time to perfect. Wondering if he’ll ever get it back again.



J.J. just called from the New York Computer Help group. It wasn’
t the “notherboard” but a power line that was the cause of the problem. He has the part in stock, and I should have my computer back – fully functional – by 3pm. Only $160.

Let me tell you, I recommend them highly. If you’re in New York and need any computer help, go there. They’re friendly, fast and great. They could have taken me for a ride if they really wanted. I expected to have to pay through the nose to get that repaired. They’re life savers. It’s going to be a nice New Year.

New York Computer Help
53 EAST 34th STREET, 3rd FL.
NEW YORK, NY 10016
(Park and Madison Avenues)
(212) 599 0339

6 Responses to “New Year’s Eve”

  1. on 31 Dec 2012 at 7:57 am 1.Stephen Macquignon said …

    I am sure your work is safe within the files on your computer.

    I have had my share of moments when my machine decided this is the day I stop working. Never sure why at the moment you need it most it gives you the biggest problems; from some virus (I’m still not sure how it got in), monitor stopped working, or scanner/printer just giving up.

    I have gotten into the habit of working out of my external hard drive and not keeping anything important in my tower just in case I get hit with another virus and I lose artwork again or any one of the problems that comes up with these machines.

    I do miss the days of turning to my right or left and talking to my colleagues about the project we were working on and bouncing ideas off each other or some other subject/problem and just needed an ear to vent.
    And from time to time I miss paint drying.

    Happy New Year

  2. on 31 Dec 2012 at 10:06 am 2.Bill Benzon said …

    Yikes! Sorry to hear that, Michael.

    My old PowerBook died last week. I’m working from a rental while data gets transferred to the new machine.

  3. on 31 Dec 2012 at 1:53 pm 3.Michael said …

    Hi Steve, thanks for the moral support. You might think about Just Cloud. There you can back up everything on your computer for no extra cost. It’s on the internet and you can get to it from any of your devices.

  4. on 01 Jan 2013 at 2:23 pm 4.Alfred von Cervera said …

    Glad to know you will have all your valuable information back. POE is a great project I wish I can see soon. Happy New Year!!

  5. on 02 Jan 2013 at 2:20 am 5.Michael said …

    Alfred, most of the POE material is safe on back up. Some of the recent trailer I’ve been doing would have been lost, but I can reconstruct. I just don’t want to. I’d raher spend the time on new work. I will slowly start showing some of that material soon.

  6. on 03 Jan 2013 at 12:14 pm 6.Daryl Boman said …

    I’m happy to hear everything worked out! If your computer had died though and it wasn’t a hard drive issue, you could put the drive in a USB external enclosure and boot off of that. In any case, I always keep a system backup on an external drive. It’s always easy to boot off of or if I feel ambitious, to install it into the machine. When I started my IT career I supported artists using Flash and 3D applications, it was great fun! Happy New Year!

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