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Star Wars - Episode III

Last night we saw the last installment of Star Wars, Episode 3. I got ticket for the first screening, at midnight. We went (Danielle, David and I) to the "La Premiere" seats at Hoyts, Fox Studios. That was indulgent but a good experience. We didn't had to queue, we could enter the theatre and watch, from the terrace, all the fans rush in, dressed in myriad of different characters. It was a good experience. Some colleagues from work also came in.

As for the movie, I was pleasantly surprised, I must admit. Of course, now that I work in the industry of VFX I have to say that I looked at the movie with a bit of a different view. The esthetical side of the movie was absolutely stunning. The acting wasn't too bad, much better than in Episode 1 and 2. And the story is quite well developed. Of course, this movie came with a very heavy burden due to the success of the first three episodes, it set a standard in SciFi movies. It's difficult to live up to the expectations of the fans. I am not a die hard fan, I have to say but I liked how the plot developed.

Really worth seeing, even at midnight on a "school night".

May 19, 2005 in Film | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Should the press report on terrorism?

Well, sometimes you have to recognize that some people are very good writers (in addition to what their specialty is) and I personally think this is the case of Bruce Schneier. He is a world renown cryptographer and security expert and has a newsletter called CryptoGram.

In his current issue, there is an article that starts like this:

"In a New York Times op ed, columnist John Tierney argued that the media is performing a public disservice by writing about all the suicide bombings in Iraq. This only serves to scare people, he claimed, and serves the terrorists' ends."

You should definitely read this article, it's interesting, well written and makes a point, just not the point you might be thinking at this moment :)

May 17, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Movies ...

Sorry, I can't help it but after my previous post, I just had a look at B3TA's latest challenge ... It's really excellent! Have a look.

May 11, 2005 in Culture Jamming | Permalink | Comments (0)

VFX

After so many years of working for Greenpeace International, it's sometimes difficult to imagine working in anything else than a non-profit. But life is not as simple nor straight forward as one would imagine.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to Argentina in January and visited my family. That was a refreshing experience. It's nice to see ones' family regularly, catch up with what they are doing, with all the developments in ones' country, etc. During that time, I was looking for a job (thanks to the always helpful information superhighway and Danielle, my trusty companion, lover, etc etc ;) ) back in Australia. I wasn't having much luck finding something I would like to do, in a field that I would feel challenged and, of course, that would pay me a reasonable wage. Well, contrary to all expectations, Danielle did a search using the keyword "Ruby" (mainly because our friend Lars had been raving about Ruby on Rails for a while and I decided to have a look at it) and also because if a company was listing an obscure (you know what I mean, not saying it's bad, just not as mainstream as Perl) scripting language, then that was the gig I wanted :) So while I was in Argentina, Danielle found this job for me, for a Visual Effects (VFX) company, called Rising Sun Pictures, based in Sydney and Adelaide. She sent my CV and as soon as I got back, after an interview, they offered me a job.

So, you will probably be wondering, what do I do at RSP? At the moment I am working as a systems administrator. It's a fantastic company. It's a vibrant atmosphere! As you can see from our website (yeah, it needs updating, I have been working there for more than 2 months and I am still not up as part of the Technology group, nor is my colleague Alan who has been there longer than I), we are working on major movies, Harry Potter 4, Batman Begins, Charlotte's Web and some others which I can't mention.

Another question that might be popping in your mind is, since I have been working "in the web" for 12+ years, why go to a VFX company... Well, there is story that starts like this:

"A long long time ago, almost before the beginning of time, there was a young boy that was just starting to decide what he wanted to do with his career and he thought that 3D, animation and simulations might be something he was interested in. He bought a software package called Hash Animation Master and started to play with it. After numerous attempts, he decided that maybe some other people would be better than him and decided that he would be better working with databases."

Now, just for you, lost souls, this story is about me! Yeah, surprise surprise :) I did do some 3D animations when I was young ... a long time ago! But got really nowhere I thought would be worth showing anyone else but my tortured soul. Of course, this ... as is all my knowledge about sysadmin stuff, was self-taught. Maybe if I did some formal training in design, arts ... there are always many maybes.

So, the whole story is just to explain why I got so amazed when I saw this job and when I got it. It got even better when I started working at RSP. My colleagues are all brilliant in their own fields. It's a company that really attracts amazing people! You can see that by, among other things, the fact that we have been winning bids to make important parts in major Hollywood productions and we are not in California, nor London. We are on the other side of the planet. It feels really good to be challenged, to learn new things, to be able to see progress in what we are doing, to work with an environment that's always pushing beyond the cutting edge.

Yes, I am happy. No, I am not depressed Koyan. :)

If you are still reading and you are not Google's bot, then congrats, this is the end of my rant about this great place ... Ah! If you are an animator, compositor, 3d artist and you have a reel that you think is worth having a look at, please look at our website and contact us.

May 11, 2005 in Australia, Geek Stuff, Work | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Some updates

It's been a while since I posted last. I guess I see so much of the same on blogs (and I am guilty as well) that I got tired a bit. A news gets out and everyone just repeats the same over and over again and nothing new really shows up. So I decided I will try not to do that and be as creative as I can in this space.

Last week, on saturday, we went to the Enmore Theatre to a concert.

Thecatempireticket

The band we saw is The Cat Empire, an excellent band from Melbourne. Peter James told us about them 6 months ago (or maybe more) and we immediately got their first CD and we loved it. Now they have their second album out and we also got it. Their scene presence was absolutely contagious, fantastic! Those of you who know me will wonder if I danced or not. Well, I have to admit that I couldn't stop, it was so powerful! Their music is a nice creative fusion of many styles, mixing hip-hop, reggae, ska, gypsie ... If I just told you that and you didn't listen to any of their tunes, you would be missing it. Conveying this powerful music with words is not fair, especially if you are reading this (english is my third language). I am not sure they will do great outside of Australia but they do deserve to have a raging success.

Before the concert we had a great dinner at a Thai restaurant at a back of the Bank Hotel in Newtown. Good food, good company. The night was perfect. We came back to the cocktail bar at the Bank after the concert. Then it all made sense. Life is good :)

May 1, 2005 in Australia, Music | Permalink | Comments (2)