tiny nomad

I recently just finished doing the first pass of the main beat boards for my next short film. It took me a damn long time to figure out the type of story and world I wanted to work with. I was really disappointed with how my last film “tiny nomad” turned out, so I wanted to salvage that with another film. 

Here are two colored panels from the beat boards. South east asian setting.


Wow… I really need to replace that demo reel I have in my 2D Animation Reel page.

The last hand drawn animation demo reel I uploaded was around… Before the completion of my 4th year film. Here’s an updated reel with some new stuff that I can finally show.

during the end credits of tiny nomad, i was planning to have all my previous film characters wave at the screen, with a little header saying “goodbye calarts!”  I started on it a while back, but never actually got around to finishing it.

1st year - Serenade to Miette: https://vimeo.com/23106677
2nd year - Crayon Dragon: https://vimeo.com/23106677
3rd year - Wolfsong: https://vimeo.com/65255634
4th year - Tiny Nomad: https://vimeo.com/93537717

I have to admit, I got a bit emotional drawing some of these characters again - its a huge nostalgia trip. I remember drawing my 1st year characters and suddenly I remembered one day I was so confused why I drew a set of legs, and it took me a very long time to remember what they were for. I’ll miss the scent of red bulls, whiskey and some vendor machine food, great great stuff. I’ll even miss having meaningless arguments with friends and classmates during film crunch time.

And when finishing a film comes, its the greatest thing ever. When we turn in our student films, there’s literally no work to do. It’s like you win your life back, and it makes you appreciate the benefits of life more. Some of us suffer from post film trauma, in which our daily habits are screwed, having the urge to “work” on “something”, and maybe having panic attacks now and then. Some actually finish way beyond the deadline, so they were enjoying life while some of us who haven’t finished were still working our asses off.

I’ll definitely miss my days at Calarts, and I think my calarts experiences have been the best. Its a school, so of course it has its problems. 

Its funny how some people see calarts as the best animation school, or the disney esque school, or the whatever cream of the crop school. Some people loved their experience, some people hated it, and some people dropped out. From what its worth, its the student that shapes his/her experiences at a school. One student can work side by side with another classmate on their film, another could goof off, another could work alone, and yes there are students who blame the school for not “teaching” them enough, or students complaining other students for ruining their calarts experience.

However, I am now officially a graduate of calarts, and the next chapter of my life begins with my first day at Dreamworks. Thanks for giving me a chance to be a part of an excellent community.


Dunno if anyone really cares about this kind of stuff but…

I recently re-found a folder featuring ALL of the thumbnails I’ve done for my fourth year films. It contains every acting choice I thought of, every staging thoughts process and character design notes. When I think about it, some of the acting choices could have made the film go in a different direction!

I usually thumbail all my shots before I even start them, so I don’t get stuck.

Some poses, I ended up drawing over 20 times because I just couldn’t figure out the performance, and it actually reading. I’d usually show these drawings to my friends to see if it registers to them, and its always great to see them give their own suggestions of pushing an acting choice.

tiny nomad, coming soon.

Tiny nomad is my final film at cal arts, and its definitely a much more different film than Wolfsong. This film is meant to be more lighthearted (like crayon dragon) and this time, a more comedic, and a more character driven film. As much as people said wolf song was a tear jerker, this film should be seen as the complete opposite. Expect the story to be ok, since I really just wanted to have fun animating the characters. 

Field Journal: Chupukama Camp Emerges

Chris Filardi is director of Pacific Programs at the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. This month, he’s blogging from the remote highlands of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, where he is surveying endemic biodiversity and working with local partners to create a protected area.

Local people call the remote, sinuous ridgeline where we are camped Chupukama, and as the rumble of the helicopter faded, Chupukama Camp quickly began to emerge. This will be our base for the next week of surveys, exploration, and discovery.

Field camps are like tiny nomadic cities that arise in some of the most far-flung and beautiful places on earth. Each has its own character, but most act as a “city center.” This is where water and sanitation systems are placed, where most cooking, sleeping, working (and blogging) is done, and where the head of the road network that lets us access the forests is located. Here, those are mostly footpaths threading the mossy bamboo arches and breezy glades of the main ridge.

While base camp is home for this trip, it is far from ‘homey.’ Despite abundant rain, water is scarce along the ridgelines. Our water system is a small hand-dug basin that captures flow from a nearby spring, and lies a steep, muddy 100 meter hike down from the main camp. This cold trickle of sweet water is great for drinking, but washing with it can be a long, frigid chore.

Sleeping space for our 10-member team is limited by our ridge-top geography, so three ‘colonies’ of bedrooms are scattered among small flat spaces on either side of the camp center. Bamboo benches and tables provide work areas, and timber-framed plastic tarps that shelter the kitchen and field lab from climatic extremes that range from piercing cold mist and rain to torrid tropical sun. Chupukama Camp is now in place and from there, the survey team has taken to the bush in earnest.

When I arrived, our advance team had the beginnings of a main trail in place. Now that the full team is on the ground, though, that main trail has rapidly developed into a well-worn path. Numerous spurs now branch out into the forest reflecting the different groups of organisms that each team member studies.

Mist nets that trap animals alive (much like fishing nets capture fish) dapple the main trail, aiming to snare specimens of birds and bats. Strings and flags mark additional routes used by the herpetology team as they search for lizards and frogs by night and snakes during the day. Invertebrate specialists and botanists have their own routes that overlap the others.

This network of trails has us ready to work, and there is a fresh feeling of discovery among the team. Despite all of the newness, the paths our feet and bushknives cut are a reawakening of generations old tribal pathways. As trails emerge, one can see tree roots, stones, and even the earth itself, pre-worn and shaped by travelers beyond living memory, ascending to the sacred high point, Popomanaseu.

Now, the local guides leading us down these paths are treading a new history in to this place, their language born and spoken only here, drifting in the big, cool winds falling off the mountain, mingling with the calls of birds and frogs.

This post was originally published on the Museum blog. Stay tuned for more from Chris Filardi in the Solomon Islands!