Tag Archives: Spirituality

Checking In

BornyesterdayJust wanted to write a post and check in because I haven’t written anything for about a month now.  And it’s not that I don’t have anything to write about, I’ve just been busy with a personal project thats taken up much of my time.  But it’s worth it, and I think it’s going to turn into something really special.

In the meantime, I’ve been going to the movies and watching all sorts of films.  And to tell you the truth…I just haven’t been compelled to write about the movies I’ve seen this summer.  Most of them have been pretty disappointing, and I haven’t found that one film this summer to be extraordinary.  There definitely hasn’t been a LOOPER or a DREDD in the bunch, two late summer flicks that were extraordinary.  My last bastion of hope is with THE WORLDS END, which is due in theaters sometime next week.  I’m hoping Edgar Wright and his crew won’t let me down.  Among the films I’ve seen…there was ELYSIUM, which was blah.  It’s overblown message about class warfare and healthcare really just brings the film down.  I’m all for hard core science fiction, but this movie was just too serious for its own good.  And Jodie Foster…God…this is possibly the worst thing she’s ever done.  So bummed out.

On the classic movie front, I think I may have found a couple of films to go on my all time favorite movie list.  BORN YESTERDAY.  If anything, next to CLUELESS and ROMY AND MICHELLE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION, this may be my all time favorite dumb blonde movie.  Judy Holiday is hilarious as “Billie Dawn”, a young woman living with her wealthy and powerful boyfriend Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford) who has congressmen in the palm of his hand.  Then there’s William Holden’s Paul Varrel, a reporter hired by Brock to help make Billie appear smarter to people in public.  However, through the course of her”makeover”, Billie start’s to wisen up to her boyfriend, and she learns that Harry is in fact a corrupt crook.  Crawford is also hilarious and the uncouth Harry, who is loud and brash and completely full of himself.  There’s a great scene as well where Billie and Harry are playing Gin Rummy that seems to pretty much define their relationship.  If anything, the game is one thing that Billie is really good at, as she gets into it with intense focused concentration.

There were a few other classics I really fell in love with, such as WESTWORLD and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE.  I wrote about both of these films over at This Is Infamous, the new website I’ve been writing for.  I have a couple of new article’s up, one about Brad Bird, and why did he leave the animation industry.  And What Happened To Classic Cartoon Villains? which was another article I had posted.  This is Infamous has been a great experience and an enjoyable site to write for.  I’ve had to spend time trying to come up with more articles and stories.  It’s been good practice for me as a writer, which I hope to carry with me as part of my creative arsenal.  Writing is not easy, and neither is making good storytelling.  But it’s a major part of my learning curve.

I’ve been thinking about how much has changed for me over the last year.  For those who don’t know, I have been a mental health patient.  One of the struggles I’ve had to deal with was being on some heavy medication, which all but took away my creative drawing ability. The one thing I found I had left that I could still do was write.  Even though I didn’t always know what I would write about, I kept doing it anyway as a way for me to push forward.  Things have changed for me now, and I am on a much better medication that gives me freedom to be open and creative.  My attitude about life has been different over the last few years as well, and this run I’ve been through feels like going through the fire.  And I’ve survived.

There’s going to be a lot of things happening with me in the next year or so, and some of it I can’t wait to share with you when the time is right.  Life changes are always interesting and never easy at the same time.  It’s like being reborn, in a sense, and you begin to enter a new field where your destiny awaits you.  What is that destiny?  It’s the new life you manifest for yourself.  The life that begins in the imagination and lives in your dreams.  What you put out the universe will bring back to you.  That really is the interesting part.  And somehow inside, even if were not always not consciously aware of it, we know inside the things we want most.  Sometimes the universe surprises us with an opportunity that leads us to where we really want to be.  It’s our choices in life and our openness to accepting new things that helps us shape and evolve ourselves.  For awhile I felt my life was on the verge of complete disaster.  But that changed over time.  We are at the beginning of a new age, and things are sure to get better, but only to those willing and ready to accept them.

In a little over a week, I will be attending Cinecon, Hollywood’s largest classic film festival at the Grahman’s Egyptian Theater.  It’s a great event, and I will be seeing some terrific films and writing about them as I did with my article from last year.  I hope you will be able to come, it’s from August 29th to September 2.  There are some great surprises.  I mentioned before that last years biggest surprise was getting to see a lost John Ford film called UPSTREAM, which premiered for the first time in over 80 years at Cinecon.  And it was a fantastic film too.  I highly recommend anyone to come and check it out.

That’s it for now.  I have some downtime in the next few weeks, which will mean more writing for me, so hopefully you will see more of what I have in store for you.  Take care.

A Monster In Paris clip

I may have to check this movie out and see if it’s worth recommending. I watched this clip below, and the animation on the angel singer is just extraordinary. Just incredible, beautifully subtle movements. Whoever animated this section is just a master. Now I’m very interested!

How The Iron Giant Changed Me As A Human Being

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This may surprise some people (even those who know me personally), but I have actually known who Brad Bird was for most of my life, long before I even saw The Iron Giant for the first time.  I was first exposed to his name when I was 8 and The Simpsons first came on, for which Brad served as Executive Consultant, and on occasion director for at least two 1st season episodes.  My parents have been taking me to the movies since I was a baby, and because my dad worked in the film business, we always stayed for the end credits.  Even at an early age I started to recognize names that would show up again and again.  Not just big names like Steven Spielberg, but I’d catch on to actors, writers, directors who would frequently show up.  I recognized Brad’s name from The Simpsons simply because I thought Brad Bird was kind of a funny name.  Over time, I started watching The Simpsons, and Brad was responsible for directing the season 1 classic episode, Krusty Gets Busted, where Krusty the Clown is framed for robbing a convenience store, and it was the introduction to the villainous Sideshow Bob.  It’s a funny episode for many reasons, one of them being that once Krusty’s goofiness is behind bars and Sideshow Bob takes over, he turns the show into an overly-intellectual droll literary hour.  But it’s a great episode and it got my attention as a kid.  After awhile I started to discover more of Brad’s work, eventually seeing Family Dog, the animated short film from Spielberg’s Amazing Stories series, and I began to think, “man, this guy’s pretty good.”

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But everything changed for me on August 6th, 1999.  It was the day The Iron Giant was released into theaters.  I was 17 years old at the time.  There was some pretty bland advertising surrounding the film.  As most of us know, the film bombed at the Box Office in part because of Warner’s failure to properly market the film.  But I didn’t have doubts going in, because I had heard Brad Bird was directing it, and from what I knew of the past works he had done, there was a chance the movie was going to be good.  By the time the end credits rolled, the word “good” for this film was an understatement.  Even “great” seemed low on the scale for a film like this.  At the time when I saw this movie, it was the single most life changing film I had ever seen.  It shattered all my expectations of what I thought an animated film should be.  It was a film so beautiful, so powerful in its message, story, and animation, that I never looked at animated films the same way again after this.  Before this film, I had been a Disneyite.  I based much of what I wanted for myself as an animator, like many people, through Disney films.  Pixar had not yet established itself, although Toy Story came out before The Iron Giant and I loved that movie.  But it was in no way the pinnacle life altering film that The Iron Giant would become for me.  Before when I was into Disney movies I had my sights set on becoming an animator and working for Disney as one.  After I saw The Iron Giant, I decided I wanted to become a storyteller,  a director, and a filmmaker.  The thing that attracted me the most to this film were its moments of darkness.  The Giants transformation into a killing machine is frightening and real, and it shook me out of my skin when I saw the sequence played out.  This was a character that had suddenly lost all hope in himself.  This is someone who lost all faith in the world and turned on a murderous spree.  True, in the movie, we never see the Giant actually kill anyone because the consequences would be too great and there would be no turning back for him if he actually ended someones life.  It’s only Hogarth who manages to stop him and bring him back from the abyss.  But what that sequence also showed me was the things you could do in animated films that Disney could not go.  There were people who already knew this if you had watched a lot of Japanese Anime, which tackles far more serious adult subjects for animation.  But this was the first American animated feature I had seen that was a family film, but took on serious adult themes, with serious consequences attached to the characters actions.  The Giant’s nightmarish transformation was unlike anything I had seen in an animated film.  It made me want to tackle darker themes in my own work and my own storytelling.

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My sense of humor has always been on the dark side, as have been the themes I wanted to explore in films.  In a way, it always felt edgy and cool to me because American Animation rarely ever tackled these areas, or at least, they used to until after The Little Mermaid came out, and it’s like it all suddenly stopped because everyone had their eye on animation as a moneymaker, and nobody wanted to do anything that would scare children and families away.  What’s interesting is the Iron Giant helped me unlock my love for films I saw growing up as a kid that were filled with dark themes, such as Pinocchio, The Adventures of Mark Twain, The Secret of Nimh.  Even films like The Brave Little Toaster had plenty of moments with frightening imagery, and it was great because these movies were never afraid to scare kids.  The simple truth is, unlike what most adults want to believe, kids love to be scared.  It’s not about always protecting our children, because as kids…the thing is…what frightens us also intrigues us at the same time.  Scary images are burned into our skull because it forces us to ask ourselves why the images frighten us.  What is it about watching an animated character in serious peril, or being attacked by a giant monster that makes us want to know where that monster inside us comes from.  It frightens us because we know that monster exists in all of us, and we see it exposed when we watch a film that traumatizes our minds.  I was much older when I saw The Iron Giant, but the killing spree frightened me just the same, knowing that myself or anyone that I loved could become a killer, or could be knocked off course from wanting to be the beautiful soul that they are.

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The soul however is the deeper layer to what The Iron Giant is.  I watched a seminar once taught by voice actor, Crispin Freeman, entitled Giant Robots and Superheros, which analyzed the mythological aspects and cultural differences where the Japanese like to write stories about Giant Robots and Americans like stories about Superheroes.  The Iron Giant brings the best of both worlds and takes it a step farther.  Here is the notion of a giant robot having a soul.  A machine having a soul and wanting to be more than it’s limitations.  It’s interesting because at the same time this film came out, there was another film that examined this aspect, called The Matrix.  That was another film combining machines and spirituality, where in that case the machines became self aware and wanted to turn against humanity, and the human, Neo discovers in his avatar form that he can bend the Matrix to his will, and eventually merging with it.  The Iron Giant is more family fare than the darker Matrix films, but at the same time the human element finds its way into The Giant.  Through his own spiritual journey he finds not only mentorship through a 9 year old boy, he also discovers Superman, and discovers in himself that is what he wants to be, an empowered being who uses his abilities for goodness in a harsh world.  The giant instantly relates to Superman because he is also misunderstood by those around him who fear him as a threat.  He is conflicted by his machine body, his ego telling him what he really is, which is an engine for destruction.  But he finds he doesn’t want to be that at all.  He wants to grow beyond everything he was designed for.

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There was a story where during the finale of the film when the Giant sacrifices himself to save the town, somebody in a story meeting for the film asked why didn’t the Giant just take one of his rockets and destroy the missle from a safe distance.  Brad’s point was that the Giant wouldn’t do that because it would mean turning himself into a gun, which is not what he wants to be.  The message, “You Are Who You Choose To Be”, becomes the center of the Giants whole purpose of being.  When I heard those words for myself as a teenager, it became the center of my own being as well.  They were powerful words I wanted to live by.  It led me down a hard road later in college, because I found myself drifting from the Disney animation status that I thought I wanted from the beginning.  I discovered that I came into conflict with my own desires as an artist when animation was suddenly not as important to me.  I have always had to struggle with my drawing, I couldn’t keep up with my peers at the time, and overall it made it a struggle for me when I felt I wanted a job vs. what I wanted for myself.  In a funny way, I could take The Iron Giant as an example of someone going through the same thing, as he was a being that was in conflict with what he was built for vs. the being he wanted to become, in a decision made on his own.  He fights and struggles because his body that he was built to be wants to keep him down and conformed, but his “soul”…and his awakening into his own being is the thing that transforms him and makes him the defining hero he always wanted to be.

What I have learned from this film, and what it has taught me has always been about following your guiding light…your intuition and your spirit to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.  This includes deciding how you want to approach your career, what you want to contribute to humanity, deciding the people you want to fall in love with, deciding what you want to take a stand for and what is most important to you.  It’s never about following a particular crowd or a religion because many times a religion forces you to fall back on your own body.  On the one end, its meant to keep you safe and keep you grounded.  But it can also keep you afraid an in the dark from the person you always want to become.  It can also tell you there is no other way except what is meant to keep you in line and in fear of following your path.  They are the voices in your head telling you not to go off into the woods because they are dangerous, they are full of turmoil, and you can damage yourself far greater when you let go of a chosen belief.  The conflict comes when you do go out into the woods, and the voices in your head are constantly telling you to come back, that you are putting yourself in danger and that you cannot survive on your own.  It’s why in The Iron Giant, when the Giant thinks Hogarth is dead and all is lost that he falls back on his “machine” life and turns into a weapon of destruction.  He doesn’t know yet that the choice is always within him, but because he lost Hogarth, there was no one left to make the choices for him accept himself.  And that can be a frightening thing.  When we hear the words, “You Are Who You Choose To Be”, it is exactly that.  There is no fear in deciding on the person you want to become.  We can get angry and conflicted when we suddenly find so many voices making the choices for us that we don’t want there anymore, which is what can lead to anger and a need to strike back.

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After I saw The Iron Giant, I wrote Brad two letters.  The first one I wrote to him because I was about to become an Eagle Scout.  I asked him in a letter to send me a congratulatory card with my Eagle Scout packet.  When you reach that level as a boy scout, you can ask for congratulatory letters from The President, Senators, or people you admire.  Brad’s card was the most important one in there, because for me having accomplished becoming an Eagle Scout, his card defined the person I wanted to become.  Brad has always been that symbol in my mind and my hero for all time and I have continued to aspire to be the image of what Brad is to me and the person I want to be.  He’s my “Superman” so to speak.  Later on I wrote Brad a second letter just asking him about being a director and how to become one, and he returned with a 2 page letter reply talking about schools, and what it’s like to be a filmmaker.  He even ended the letter with the simple words, that no matter where you go or where you end up, never forget the sage advice of young Hogarth Hughes, “You Are Who You Choose To Be”.

What is the film that most defines you as a person or as a filmmaker?  I think we all have it in us.  The Iron Giant was that film for me.  It made me want to be more than the sum of what people in everyday life expected from me.  I had to have faith in myself first to find that place for me and decide this is what I want.  The search continues throughout our lives as we go from one thing to another, working to follow our path until we find the direction that most defines the person we want to be.  It’s what we spend our whole lives searching for, choosing to be who we want to be no matter where the world drops us.  It’s up to you to decide what is most important for you and whether your own path is guiding you there.  If it isn’t, it could be time for a self examination to get yourself on track.  If you can do that, however, that you will discover that the universe is putting you in alignment, and the life you always wanted for yourself will have been laid out for you all along.

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A New Light

rainbowI’m in the midst of an artistic breakthrough at the moment. It’s going very well actually.  When you go through something like this, it’s like tapping into a new power you didn’t know was there in you all along.  Sometimes it gets a little confusing when you go through these ups and downs wondering what the universe is trying to tell you.  It can even be a little nerve-wracking!  But it’s a wondrous sensation.  You break through the walls, and finally free yourself to be the artist you always were but never knew existed.  All that pain and life experience you went through pays off in a moment such as this.  It’s stimulating, awe inspiring, and it’s the gateway to another world.  When you take the red pill, and walk through that door, your world is never the same again.

So I’m going celebrate freeing myself now with some Freling.  😉

New! Film Reviews and Hollywood Leftovers Pages

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Two new pages have been added to the website!  Now if you look at the Header, you can check out my Archive of Film Reviews, and I have another new page called Hollywood Leftovers!, where you can visit posts I’ve written about Classic movie stars, and see my past tours of Hollywood!

More Important Than Any Reward

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I’m not crazy about the Oscars or most awards ceremonies for that matter. I was invited to the Annie Awards this year (The “Animation Academy Awards”) with some friends and we were there for about an hour before we finally decided to just get up and leave. It was a horrible show. There was one screw up after another, technical difficulties, problems with the teleprompter. The animation that was actually nominated for awards….a lot of it was just crap. Seriously awful, loud and obnoxious animated shows were being rewarded with almost no pleasing aesthetics to the designs and animation of the characters (If there was any place we could reward mediocrity even more…). Then there was also one surprising thing my friend pointed out that I have to agree was strange. The whole event was run by voice actors. Not animators. A voice actor hosted the show. The awards were presented by voice actors. And the awards show itself was started 40 years ago by….a voice actor. And then the life time achievement award was given to a voice actor.

So to tell you the truth, I found myself kind of dumfounded when the Oscars rolled around this year, and for the first time in its history it was hosted by an animator, Seth MacFarlane. The huge juxtaposition between the awards shows and the irony of it all is just so…funny. It’s possible for an animator to host the Oscars, but not their own awards show. In a strange way the Annies is an awards show animators never decided for themselves they wanted in the first place. Somebody else did it for them. On the surface it might be seen as an act of good will by the voice actor that started it. But if anything, the show should have been started by a voice actor so that animators could take it over and embrace the awards show as their own thing….if that’s what animators really wanted and asked for. But after 40 years of this ceremony, voice actors are still running the show. Why? And at what point will animators have enough self-worth to decide what they want for themselves instead of having an outside influence decide for them?

The Annies feel like they are finally being taken seriously by the Academy as an influence for the Oscars for Best Animated Feature and animated short. But this is exactly the problem though. There is this desire for approval that is VERY STRONG in most animation artists. There’s this desire to want to be taken seriously by the rest of Hollywood. But the rest of Hollywood doesn’t really get animation beyond seeing it as a medium for children, nor do they care. And animators themselves aren’t doing very much to change that. They’ll convince themselves American animation is more mature now. But why does the rest of Hollywood still not want to take it seriously? It was a major thing when Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film nominated for an Academy award. But now that we have a “Best Animated Feature” Oscar, it all but ensures that animation will continue to be segregated as separate from the rest of Hollywood. One of the reasons I don’t care about awards shows like the Annies or the Oscars is that Hollywood doesn’t really care either. It’s almost like they set up the Animated Feature Award just to shut us up, and pretend like they’re actually taking us seriously. But then the placement of the presentation of the award during the Oscars is at the beginning of the show, at the bottom of the totem, to get it out of the way and move on to the “more important awards”. That should tell you how much the Academy could really care less, by not even having an animated feature award placed closer to the “Best Picture” award.

As far as the Annies go, animators should have been given the capacity to run it themselves, and it never should matter to begin with whether or not they are taken seriously by the Academy. At one time, it didn’t matter. But the Annie Awards are set up and geared towards pleasing another outside influence. And it’s started by an outside influence: actors instead of animators. What’s the real motivating factor here? The animation community was better off celebrating their own, with their peers and people who do take them seriously. So to be blunt, I can’t stand these award shows, which only serve to fuel more frustration, leading to shows that are about nothing but pandering and inspiring boredom.

Much of my realizations and feelings about the Annies and the Oscars were summed up recently. But before I came to this realization about my real feelings about these awards shows, I have an interesting story to share, that at first may not sound like its related to what I’ve just said. But there is a connection.

I was invited to go to the Oscars this year. Back in December, my best friend and his girlfriend were visiting from New Mexico. My friend’s girl is the relative of a very famous, prestigious Hollywood icon. This year her family was invited to the Academy Awards ceremony, and I got the invite to go with my friends. Now, here’s the thing. For all the complaining, I have to admit to some degree getting invited to the Oscars is a pretty exciting thing. When you’re working to get into the business, there’s the potential to meet a lot of people. The actual awards show I really couldn’t have given a crap about. But the opportunity to meet a lot of people high up in the Hollywood chain was something I looked forward to.

So over the next few months till February, my friends were getting pumped up for the Oscars. I also had a few animator friends who would be at the ceremony who had some animation work that was nominated. It was bound to be an interesting night. The week before the big event, I rented a tux, paid for it and picked it up 4 days before the event. Somebody suggested to me that I should make some business cards as well for any potential people I meet. So I threw in an extra $20 cards and a few days to quickly get some business cards made. Everything was all set, and my friends were on the train Friday, on their way to Los Angeles from New Mexico.

Friday night around 9pm, I got a phone call from my friend. I was listening to my friend as she spoke, but I already had a feeling I knew what was coming. She found out there had been a mistake with our tickets. Something happened when our reservations were mailed to the Academy, and through some error, our ticket reservations ended up in the wrong department. It turned out we were not going to the Oscars after all. This was discovered all at the very last minute as my friend and her dad were on the phone arguing with obnoxious Academy people. Despite the fact that they were related to this prestigious film icon, it was no sale and there were no seats left. We lost our chance to go.

My friend apologized profusely to me on the phone, saying that definitely next year it would happen, but what really happened on my end is when I listened to my friend…I wasn’t really upset at all, and not terribly disappointed. Granted, I paid for a tux I couldn’t get a refund on, as well as put $20 ahead in paying for business cards…it was more amusing what just happened to anything. My friend continued to apologize on the phone, and I just said, “It’s okay, hon. It’s no big deal, that’s just the way it happens. It’s alright.” In the back of my mind, I thought at the time…well, the universe works in strange unexpected ways. Maybe this will work out.

The next day I contacted some friends of mine closely connected to people in the Academy and tried to explain the situation. But I didn’t get an answer back in time, and when Sunday finally came it was pretty much a sure bet our trip to the Oscars was dead in the water. My dad offered to return my tux, and I said, “yeah, go ahead.” Again, I wasn’t upset, but admittedly I felt a bit of disappointment that the trip didn’t work in our favor this time.

In the meantime, my parents decided to have a small Oscar party at our house. When talking with my friends while they were staying with us, I mentioned to the girlfriend about her 5 year old nephew Andy, and asked if he’d like to come over during the Oscars and play with my 6 year old cousin Kyla. We managed to arrange it and the kids came over to play while the adults sat in the living room to watch the Oscars. I had no real interest in watching the Oscars ceremony for all reasons I stated above, so instead went and hung out with the kids in my room for a little bit. Kyla and Andy were meeting for the first time. In the back of my mind I was praying in some way that this would work out, because I really liked both Andy and Kyla, and I was watching them to see how they got would get along. At one point my aunt just reassuringly came in and said, “they’ll be all right. Come out and watch the Oscars.”

I went to the living room to watch the show a little bit, but got bored pretty fast. So I told my dad I was going into my studio to do a little work. I started working, when I heard Kyla from my room go, “Lets see what Mike’s doing!”, and the two kids stormed into my studio. I was amused, so I stopped working and showed them my animation program I was working with on my Cintiq. And then I let them draw on my Cintiq. The two of them would take turns, so when one of them was using the Cintiq, for the other I set up a little art space where they could draw on paper. Kyla and I had made our own movies together, so I worked with Andy to help him make his very own animated cartoon. He was thrilled to see his drawings move. Both kids started tossing ideas back and forth to each other, some of which were very funny! Sometimes they would argue a bit, but then one would concede to what the other wanted. One was more flighty and imaginative, and the other was more grounded, but I watched as the two of them helped each other out. When the Oscars were over and the kids went home, I later found out my cousin had a great time with him and wanted to see him again. At the party after my cousin left I went to Andy and said, “You we’re very nice and polite to my cousin, so thank you. Would you like to play with her again sometime?” Andy in a funny posture, looked up and thought for a moment, then turned and said “Yeah, I think I’d like that!”

When I thought about this entire situation afterwards, looking back on the build up and the money I had spent to go the Oscars, only to have the situation change entirely so I could spend my evening helping to bring to kids together as friends, I came to this conclusion:

Everything happened exactly in the way I wanted it to.

I’m not talking about “what was meant to be”, or that “it was really my purpose not to go to the Oscars and help these kids be friends”. I’m say that deep down without needing to articulate it, the universe gave me exactly what I wanted. I never really wanted to go the Oscars to begin with. I don’t like awards ceremonies. At home, I didn’t want to sit in my living room pretending to wish I was there when I really could have cared less. And when those two kids showed up to my house, it was my deep down desire for those two kids to meet and become friends. I really wanted it for my cousin, but also for Andy, who I spent time with at Disneyland with her aunt and my friend. The two of them may not realize it right away, and their likes and dislikes are very different. But their personalities complimented each other. Only time will tell how it plays out between the two of them. But I think what I discovered in that moment is how powerful a persons “Will” deep down inside to make something happen can be, whether its something you want or don’t want. When I look back on it, everything that did happen was exactly what I wanted to happen. That’s a pretty damn powerful realization! It’s the notion that underneath all your perceptions of the things you think you want are really in fact all the things that other people want. Hidden beneath all that is the real you, that knows all the things you truly want, and it’s a matter of allowing yourself the realization that you have the power to give yourself what you want any time you want.

So coming to this realization as an animator, and looking at the entire animation community as a collective, it made me contemplate on an awards show like the Annies, and the fact that it was an influence by the will of somebody who was not an animator at all (instead a voice actor). But the torch was never passed to the animators. It’s a showcase for voice actors. Animators never really asked for this and the community is acting on it simply because somebody else told them this is what they wanted. If this is what the animation community really desired, an actual animator somewhere would have done this long before the Annie awards started. To be perfectly honest, when you look at what animation was like before the Annies started, the work content was so much better! The nine old men, the WB animators, UPA, Jay Ward, all those people who started this medium….I don’t think they really cared about awards. They just did it because its what they loved. Our will as people, whether its in a community or if it’s the entire world, is very powerful. To think how powerful it is when one person imposes their will versus an entire community working together for the same desire. But being interconnected, it’s the desire deep down we all feel that we have the power as animators to change the industry if we want to. If I can search for my own realization, my deep down true desire for what I want that isn’t the influence of anyone else but me…there is the possibility to achieve that desire for happiness. Not just in yourself, but for all the people around you who chose to share in that desire as well.

Movies About Spiritual Awakening: American Beauty

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Lester’s Written Job Description: “My job consists of basically masking my contempt for the assholes in charge, and, at least once a day, retiring to the men’s room so I can jerk off while I fantasize about a life that doesn’t so closely resemble Hell.”

“I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die.”

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Carolyn: “Ah…whose care is that out front?” Lester:”Mine. 1970 Pontiac Firebird. The car I’ve always wanted and now I have it. I RULE!”

“First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time…”

AB4
“Your wife is with another man….and you don’t care?”  Lester:”Our marriage is just for show.  A commercial for how normal we are when we’re anything but.”

” For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars… And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined our street… Or my grandmother’s hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper… And the first time I saw my cousin Tony’s brand new Firebird…”

AB6
“You have nothing to be sorry about.”

” And Janie… And Janie… And… Carolyn.”

AB3

I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… but it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure.  But don’t worry….”

AB8
“Wow.”

“….you will someday.”

-Lester Burnham (played by Kevin Spacey), AMERICAN BEAUTY