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Heroes

I was watching a documentary about the Roman Empire conquering Great Britain. The Romans wanted to own the whole world for some reason. The Roman soldiers who went to Britain to maintain their new territory went there because it was their job. The British local tribes were very unsatisfied with being occupied, so they gathered with other tribes to beat the Romans back to where they belonged. Sometimes the tribes won, but mosten times they lost. Sometimes they lost because another British tribe had told on them to the Romans or had in other ways been bribed by the Romans to help them. No matter what, the Romans were fighting because it was their job. The British were fighting because it was their mother land, their pride and for what they held dear.

Today there is the same fight going on, but luckily way less bloody. So many movies today are about some average Joe who just had enough of the system and chooses to rebel against it, who stands up for himself and always speaks his mind freely, no matter how much torture is going to fall upon him for saying it. Today heroes are political radicals, rockstars or other celebrities who says whatever they feel like, no matter what their record label or MTV tells them to say. That’s what makes people into the stars they are. Unlike the contemporary radio hit makers or Wosniaki or the Danish prince Joakim or any of those losers. Who will remember them when they are gone? The hero, back then and now, is the one who is true to his beliefs. The rest is just all the rest. But it is the rest that makes the hero stand out and break apart what they have passively been building up. / Christyan


Thanks to: Roland Seer, Carmen Hannibal, Pernille Sihm, Esben Lash. Emilie Hem, Mads Lundgaard, Denis Chapon, Kristifir Klein, Lars Kram, Rikke Skovgaard, John Mallet. Edited by Christyan Lundblad and Igor Noronha.

Visit us at blazingsquids.blogspot.com facebook.com/blazingsquids contact: blazingsquids@gmail.com

Supported by Open Workshop.

“It’s riles number one living right isn’t fun.” - Devo “If the children of the Stone Age people had listened to their parents we would still be living in the Stone Age.” - Unknown author

the

Thanks here


Roland Seer, KAU10


Roland Seer, KAU10


Carmen Hannibal, KAU09


Esben Lash, CGA10


Pernille Sihm, CGA 09


Pernille Simh, CGA 09


Emilie Hem, Lyon, France


Rikke Skovgaard, CGA 07


John Mallett, CGA 07


Mads Lundgaard, CGA 07


KRIS KLEIN 10 years Pixar employee Graduated in 1996 at Full Sail University, Kris has joined Pixar in 2000 as lighting technical director for Monsters, Inc. After thaat, he’s worked on Finding Nemo (computer graphics artist), The Incredibles (sequence modeling lead), Ratatouille (modeling artist), Wall-E and Up (set modeling lead). Here he’ll talk about a bit of his experience in the most succesful mainstream animation studio of today.

W

h en for working job you

I think of Pixar I imagine a huge playground grown-ups. What is the best thing about at Pixar and are there any aspects of your don’t like so much?

The list of great things about being an employee at Pixar is long. The best thing for me is definitely the amazing people I am surrounded by everyday at work. Just this past Tuesday I celebrated my 10 year anniversary at Pixar. I attribute my decision to stay at one place for a whole decade to the fact that I am constantly learning every single day from my amazing co-workers.


As far as what I don’t like so much.. this list is of course much smaller. Sometimes things/decisions can take a bit longer than I’d expect them to take simply because of the size of our productions and this is something I’ve had to learn to accept. Which project you worked on was most fun/ are you most proud of and why? The project I’m on right now is definitely the best/most fun group of people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. We have a tight knit group on the Brave sets team and if I had it my way

we’d all just move onto the next project together. Unfortunately, this will probably not be the case as we’ll need to start ramping folks off the team so they can go help out on future movies. It’s just always a bit sad to see a team with a great dynamic start to dissolve towards the end of a production. I would have to say the work that I am most proud of is the set modeling I did on Ratatouille. The amount of love I was allowed to give the architecture was extremely satisfying and I think it shows on screen. A high-


light of my career at Pixar would have to be getting to work with Brad Bird as a lead of a department on The Incredibles. To this day I consider him one of the greatest film makers to ever make films. I learned, and continue to learn, so much from him as a film maker. You said Pixar rejected you two times, what do you think convinced them in your 3rd showreel? What I believe convinced Pixar on my third try was the content of my reel and the experience and taste I gained in the

six years after finishing my education at Full Sail. My reel was crafted to be exactly what they needed to see, demonstrating the discipline (character modeling/articulation) I was going for. I took the feedback I got on the prior 2 attempts to heart and I demonstrated that I was able to listen to their critiques. If you were rejected the 3rd time where were you today? As cliche as it sounds, the key to happiness in your work is to do what


you love. If I were rejected a 3rd time I would probably still be doing what I am doing for Pixar today and I’d still be admiring and learning from Pixar while doing it. For me, success comes from a balance of love of what I do, perseverance, ability/willingness to take risks, and continued learning about and refining of my craft. Oh yeah.. don’t be a jerk. Nobody wants to work with or hire a jerk :) What do you think are the main differences at Pixar between today and the time you got in?

Well, we are certainly bigger and have a bunch more movies under our belt. When I started in 2000, Pixar had only released 3 movies and Disney was a partner, not an owner of Pixar. What are your plans for your further career? I plan to make my own movies as my next big thing. I’ve been screenwriting the past few years and learning about live action film making. That thing I said earlier about taking risks.. that gets harder to do when you’re comfortable... but I feel I need to shake it


up and leave my comfort zone to move forward. Leaving a place like Pixar to do something like that is something I’ve been struggling with for a couple years now. I plan to leave on good terms, which I think in this industry is always very important. The world is a small place.. this industry is even smaller. Never burn bridges, or be a jerk :)

I would suggest getting some experience in the industry. I’ve always thought that the people who come to Pixar right out of school, while lucky and more than likely very talented, are doing themselves a dis-service by not knowing what other places are like. Makes it quite hard to fully appreciate how good a place like Pixar is to work at.

What can you suggest young people that just graduated and want to get their foot into the industry? What is Pixar looking for in a showreel?

What do you think of independent animation? Are professionals like you aware of whats going on in the “underground”? I love independent any-

Kris was also responsible for the hair on these characters.


thing. I admire folks who are self motivated enough to create something independently. Professionals should definitely stay abreast of what’s going on out there in the underground as the underground often is pushing technology and technique in different ways, ways that sometimes aren’t thought of at the professional level. One of my favorite things is when a film comes out of the blue and shakes up the industry. We need more of that if you ask me. I want big studios to take risks and make films that aren’t reboots or sequels, but I also understand why

reboots and sequels get made. I sure do long for original ideas and original films though. If you could take three things to a lonely island what would it be? I’d take someone I love for companionship, an internet connection/computer to stay connected to those I love, and a some sort of shelter.

The Blazing Squids team would like to thank Kris for taking his time to answer our questions. We wish you the best on this new stage of your carreer!


Guston Yeah, so I could keep on writing about relatively unknown records from the 80’s and the 90’s, back when USA was still number one, but I think it’s time to break the gravy crust and do something a little different. So instead I will write about my new biggest inspiration: Philip Guston. Guston was born in Canada, and he grew up in LA and, in 1927, he started at the Art School where he went to class with Jackson Pollock among others. In the 50’s, Guston gained a lot of success from being a part of the first generation of artists that painted abstract expressionism, which I would would define as abstract painting with a lot of nerve and energy into it. In the late 60’s, he got tired from abstraction and started painting in a much more cartoony style, using a kind of voluminous prim-

itive shape language. None of the critics got it at first, but at the time of his death, around 1980, he had reached a wide audience and broad popular respect. One of his favorite motifs are Ku Klux Klan members, who smoke cigarettes and drive around in cars or who paint self-portraits at home with Mickey Mouse gloves on. He’s very often using pink and white in his work. I think that using KKK members as motif is brave and original, because they are nasty people but they look very cool. It’s the same with the Nazis, the


pirates and the Romans. I think the reason he tried to ridicule these Klan members is because his parents were Ukrainian Jewish people, and in Guston’s childhood in California there was a lot of persecution going on, against people that were not white (mid 1920’s). What I love about him is that he doesn’t care about realism at all. He’s going totally for clarity when he puts his colors and tones together, and what I totally love about him is that, if he makes a mistake, he will paint it over or correct it with some white, but he makes

it obvious that was a mistake before, just like Ashley Wood would do. These two guys just don’t care, they just put down color for no other reason than clarity. You can see their way of thinking and what thought process have gone through their minds to create the painting that they wanted to create. And I think this is the most punk thing you can do in painting :) Their style makes their work very human and relatable, it makes it look easy and fun, just like art should be. So it makes people want to start doing their own art. And, on top of all this, Philip Guston has a sense of humor which I think is a human skill, that many many painters lack. I don’t know why, maybe they take themselves too seriously, but anyways, we had a guy called like Guston around, so please enjoy him. /Christyan


Greenlandscape I was for 2 weeks in Greenland, we traveled up north the polar circle. Its Flabbergasting Majesty The Iceberg, Queen of the Green-land and the Marine-Blue-seas hosted us in its vast castle of rock, ice and water. The food for the eyes was everyday served freshly on an immense table. The total absence of trees, offers a 360° menu from every mountain, hill or just rocks. The traditional eye-dinner is given on a plate made of dark warm grey hippolike rocks. It consists of a slice of blackberry fields grilled by the october-orange and wine-

red fire. The main course is an assortment of different waters, from the deepest petrol green of the fjords which tastes like vertigo, to the sparkling showers falling from the tall icebergs caused by their own meltdown and the horizon flat sea brightly mirroring a light sky enhanced by thin white clouds which turn sweet pink if you decide to have that dinner around 6.00 pm local time. Because you’re not really eye-hungry anymore, the dessert is light but sweet: hanged, on the rib of a mountain, you can eat some multicolour cookies. Yes indeed, the simple-shaped houses of greenlanders have been designed by Santa Claus himself. Ev-


ery edge is made of white sugar, while the painted wood wall will taste bitter-sweet, lime-sour or spicy, depending of the ever saturated colour it has. When you get in the house, it always smells of cinnamon, nostalgia, tea or candles, which makes it the digestive feel-good spirituous to close the dinner. Apart from that, you will drink big bowls of fresh pure air all along the dinner. Some questions rose as I was definitely failing at getting on the paper the print of that breath taking instant of landscape. I though that linking things together in metaphors is the only

way to me to make some sense out of this chaos world. And that’s what arts are about. The kilometres of chaotic mess that tons of enormous blocks of ice packed in that fjord in front of me, THAT was impossible to draw ‘realistically’, these thousands of icebergs have all different shapes, all particular details, all different nuances of white and cold blue. No way. I can’t make it. So I have to find a system to FAKE it, to be as close as possible from the reality by finding the best system of representation. Remember René Magritte’s “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”... /Denis


Blazing Squids #06  

An issue filled with diverse sketches from animation students; an interview with a 10-year Pixar employee; articles on Philip Guston and a t...

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