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Enrique Caballero

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October 25th, 2006

12:33 pm: long time no write
Well well! I almost forgot about this journal :) I have to admit, I'm glad I started it. It's great to read the old writing and remember who I was when I wrote it. Alot of things have changed in the past 2 years. Lets see where should i start?

First off, I'm in another hemisphere. I have just spent the last 16 months in Sydney Australia. These has been the best time of my life. I feel like I am 4 years older instead of just a year and 4 months.

Long story short, I got contracted by Animal Logic to work on their new film "Happy Feet". I took the job because it was finally the break that I wanted, a chance to work in film! They flew me over, and it was my VERY first time on an airplane. It was a very exciting flight for me as I boarded the tiny aircraft that would take me to LA so that I could board a jetliner and fly across the pacific. I vividly remember seeing my hometown shrink away as I stared out the window and thought to myself.... i finally made it, well more like... I finally got my chance, I better not fuck it up! I had an XSI book with me because I was terrified of this job, I didnt know XSI! I had only used it for maybe 30 hours before.

In the span of the past 16 months I have grown up so much. Lets start with the work related stuff first.

I came in simply to weight characters, almost a monkeys job. The test that they had me do for training I did a fairly shit job on. But when training was over I worked my ass off and nailed the real one for the film. My Senior a guy named Adam Ryan was very impressed and said that it was as good as the best ones in the film (if i seem like im bragging, please rest assured that I'm just trying to be as honest to myself about what I think, since I expect to be the only one to ever read this). After rigging, there was an emergency at work, they had to do the rings simulation and hair simulation for lovelace, they gave me the job and It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. Incredibly slow, combursome and boring. It lasted about 4 months, with a big push at the very last 6 weeks. During those 6 weeks i slept on average 3 hours a night, and worked 21 hour days. Luckily I lived close to work. In that time, I finished the shots, with the great help of my brilliant coordinated Joanne McIntyre. And I gained the respect of the terrifying animation director Daniel Jeunnette and of my team. My title then changed to character FX technical director. Which means I just did the technical animation for the film. I was this films very first technical animator! We got others as the time went on...

In character FX i had a chance to do quite a bit for the film as the months past, doing tech fixes on shots that no one before had been able to fix, I created quick rigs for the animators so that they could push the facial expressions further (which they loved me for) and generally just felt very useful all the time. At the end of the film we had a big push for sc44 which was the elephant seal sequence, and there i was made sequence lead, and had a team of 4 help me. We nailed it and got it done, and was another great experience for me. Once happy feet finished I moved onto modeling for "Where the Wild Things Are" Directed by Spike Jonze. It was a hellish project, and I worked insane hours, including a 39 hour day. THe project didnt go very well due to political reasons between Animal and the other production company, but either way, I feel like I grew from the experience and am glad to have had it.

K thats the work side. Although I learned alot, and grew as a person and as a professional. I learned far more from my social life.

1. I fell in love, was ignored and had my heart broken... It had to happen. I spent 6 years of my life locked away, i was covered in zits, skinny, i spoke too fast and had no real sense of confidence (except for when it came to 3d). This girl who I have to admit was gorgeous and did it for me had no idea that I was a man. She didn't see me as one, and I don't blame her. I wasn't yet. I was just a very very driven kid who had alot of growing up to do (and god I still do, but ive made strides and am on a good path now). For this girl I changed myself, hoping that I could get her to notice me, I got on acne medication, I worked out like a madman at the gym, I started surfing so that I could be around her more, and I generally just tried to improve on my confidence. I studied what men were supposed to act like (at least what people expect) and I tried to notice my faults, so that I could improve on them... I came to realize that I was anything but sexy, I had attractive qualities, but I came off as too much of a little boy, when women want a man. I've changed since then, and am growing. These changes are for the better, as my general self-esteem now is much higher. The best thing I did was that I found the two most fashionable girls I knew, and asked them to take me shopping. It was the best thing I ever did, as I let them guide me to a proper wardrobe. And I have to admit that it has made a world of difference. The clothes as well as the changes I've made to myself physically and mentally have quadrupled the amount of attention I get from girls now. I can actually snag them now! And near the end of my stay here the girl I had the crush on came up to me one day while drunk and said "Enrique... I'm a bit embarrassed to tell you that you look really hot lately" It was what I had wanted to hear for almost a year. I knew that we would never be together because I wasn't really her type, and well... she isn't really mine. But it felt so good to hear it. Although I never got that girl, I can now get others, and the next time I develop a crush... or fall in love, this time I wont be overlooked. It was a good experience, I came out stronger on the other end. And god it hurt so much.
2. I made the best friends in the world here, everyone was so open and friendly. We were all from different parts of the world, living in australia and in need of a social circle. We bonded quickly and made strong bonds. These people are amazing. Beautiful, talented, mature and FUN!! I am in love with the people that I met here and feel incredibly lucky to have spent so much time with them. They are now off all around the world, and I will see them all again in other studios. I am sad that I probably will never see the entire group together again, as we made such a great group of friends. But god bless them I love them.

I am currently still sitting in the Spectrum building where we worked so hard for those many many months on happy feet. I am one of the last still here, and will be flying back home in 16 days to live with marcel and angel for a few months.

I am a very different person from the little boy that came here. I still have alot to learn, I need to become more confident, especially around women. I need to have more sex too! My score card is pathetic! But I am finally equiped to meet someone that I love, and actually get her... I realize how much I'm repeating myself, I'm mostly just brain-farting this onto the keyboard, so dont judge you're old self too harshly Enrique!

God knows when I'll write again. Probably not for another 2 years? Who knows. But I'm glad to have this journal to look back on.

November 3rd, 2004

10:26 pm: Phew. I just spent the last 2 days helping my friends Marcel and Angel move. It was a ton of work, especially moving that huge TV from the upstairs bedroom. They have a tiny spiral staircase that would make it difficult enough, but its even missing some stairs! We put off moving it down (as getting it up there was hell months earlier). But we finally did it, and it wasn't that bad. Overall the past two days have been the most exercise I’ve done in around 6 months. Ridiculous I know, but I sit behind a desk all day, my legs are twigs!

I finished up the music video, and am taking a 10 day break before the next project. Not sure what it will be yet, but something always comes up within that timeframe. I'm not worried. My schedule usually works along the lines of working insane hours for 3 weeks, no weekends, and then taking 10 days to recharge before the next 3 week run. 10 sounds spiffier than it is, but considering that most people get 8 days off from their weekends, and don't have to work 16 hour days, its not quite so far from the standard break time.

I'm struggling with getting into the Live Journal groove. I've never been much for writing in a journal. I have been blessed with an extremely good memory, sometimes I consider it a curse because there are a few things we'd all like to forget. So due to remembering just about everything, I've never really had much need for a journal. But I know that having these things written down now will be appreciated and enjoyed by my future self 10+ years from now.

What sparked this new interest in a journal? I'm at an interesting stage in my life, although my career has been in the works for the past 6 years. It is finally beginning to take off at the level that I wanted it to be at. I've finally attained enough of a resume' to speak for itself, a portfolio to back it up, and decent financial security. What comes next, be it good or bad, should be interesting and worthy of keeping a record of. Let's just hope its a time that I will want to remember.

I haven’t drawn anything decent all year. I keep hitting a glass ceiling that I suspect is due to building my traditional skills on a faulty foundation. I'll have to forget everything that I think I know in order to get past this slump. It's funny I don't really think that I have any talent for drawing, I've worked so hard on it my entire life, and got it to at least a respectable level ( to non-artists at least), but it never came easy. Not like sculpting or 3d or animation did.

Oh! good news, turns out that the music video will be shown in the United States after all. So my friends will get to see it! Its interesting, even if it wasn't shown in the US, millions upon millions would have seen it in the UK and Australia anyway. But I only care if my 5 best friends here in San Diego get to see it on TV. I've never been one to care about what strangers thought of me. But I care immensely that my friends see my hard work, and hopefully like it.

I sometimes worry that I'm too much of a hermit. I don't mind being alone for months at a time. And I have very little interest in meeting new people. I realize that some people would consider that a bit weird. But its how I enjoy living life. I suppose im a bit of an agorophobe.

October 27th, 2004

11:39 am: A rare rainy day
Well I finally have a day off after working 16 hour days minimum for the past 23 days or so... and its raining :) Strangely enough I don't mind, even though I'm staying inside, I find the sound soothing. I’m sitting here wrapped in my comforter and listening to music. One could do worse.

Well its been a while since I've updated, and a fair amount has happened. I worked on a TV commercial for Nike, which will also be used as a 60 second trailer at theatres. It will be one of those annoying advertisements that you now see at theatres, (I hate them too). But its nice to know that millions of people will see my work, even though they wont ever know its mine. I snagged this gig through my friends at Sylum Entertainment, and is being produced by none other than Psyop Studios. It is a huge honor to work with such a talented group of people, even though I was simply an outsourced artist.

Soon after, I was emailed by Michael Gracey at Babyfoot Productions, a friend of mine had told him that I had recently done a commercial for Psyop studios and recommended me for their music video. Which lead to my largest high profile project to date, working on the music video for Natasha Bedingfield... I never heard of her either. But she’s apparently huge in the UK, has a number 1 single, and 2 other songs in the top 40. I really hit it off with the guys at Babyfoot who are amazing people. At first I was only supposed to animate 12 seconds or so, but by the end of the project I had animated about 1/4 of the video and created the rigging and some environment elements. This has by far been the most amazing project of my life, everyone was so talented and hardworking. It's a wonderful feeling to work so hard on something and know that those your working with are giving equally as much to the project. Not only that but I now have a new client and will be working on their next music video :).

Overall this year has been wonderful, it started off with me breaking into videogames, working on several titles before I realized that I really didn't want to be in videogames, they weren’t challenging enough, at least not yet. I’m sure that I would find PS3/xbox2 work challenging, but creating 1200 poly characters really doesn’t create enough of a challenge to hold my attention for long. It was a difficult realization because the only way I could get into broadcast/film was to risk losing my game jobs by taking time off and working on my broadcast portfolio. After a few months of making pennies It finally worked out and I started getting broadcast contracts. In the past 3 months I have worked on a television intro as well as a TV commercial for ABC sports, a Nike commercial and 60 second short film, and served as a character animator for a high profile UK music video. In the end the risk was worth it, and I'm glad that I took it, because I love this work, I am constantly challenged, and I'm meeting a lot of wonderful people.

I can't see myself updating this journal any more frequently than once every month and a half or so. But I am glad to be doing it, I hope that one day 5 years from now I can look over all of these journals and have many fond memories.

Current Mood: artistic

August 25th, 2004

12:33 am: My first Update
I finally decided to sign up for a Journal, I don't know how often I will update, but I suppose that this could be pretty fun, and might be a good way for my friends (who I never see in person) to keep up to date with whats going in in my life.

I recently got back from Siggraph in Los Angeles, I had just about the most fun I've ever had in my life. It was amazing to be around so many other 3d artists and 3d related people. I don't normally get to be around artsy folks like myself, but when I do its like I'm amongst my own. I need to start looking around for some artsy friends i guess.

I recently finished up some work on a commercial for ABC sports, it was brief, and very fun. I can't wait to see what the rest of the team does with it. I hope it comes out good. It's a great line on the resume' and can potentially be a great piece for my reel.

Im working on a monster creature right now, its alot of fun to finally do something that allows me to be creative. It's for a project for Offset studios, they are a great bunch of guys with alot of ambition, I'm very happy to have the opportunity to show them what I can do.

Overall other than art and work there isnt a whole bunch going on right now. I'm trying to get out more, but Siggraph just about ruined my savings, so I'll need to work for a bit before I can start living it up again.

I'll write more when more stuff happens!

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