Sunday, March 22, 2009

Huge Failure Creates Great New Opportunity

Computer Graphics Learning Center ended up being a great big, steaming pile of failure. Not because there wasn't any interest mind you. There were tons of people willing to come and be taught by industry professionals. The problem was, there was no loan money for students to pay for the school and running a school like that is very very expensive. There is just no way around it. You get what you pay for with these things. Every time we cut tuition cost, we had to cut a program or an instructor out of the business plan. We ended up cutting out so much that the original concept had been completely lost. That's when I decided to stop and look at my options. I put out feelers to see what kind of work was available and ended up with several hits. Come to find out, even in this terrible economy, the entertainment industry is still very strong.

I've been talking for years about making the jump into games and although I've had several offers, I never found the right fit for me. It always seemed like the studios I liked were never hiring when I was available. This time, however, the timing was perfect. Naughty Dog, a studio that I had visited a couple of years ago and absolutely loved, was looking for a Cinematics Lighter. In a strange turn of events, within days of telling friends that I was available, I got the call from a Naughty Dog recruiter. They had talked to one of my friends who referred them to my online reel. I was flown to Santa Monica for an interview and they made me an offer right away. I'm now officially a Naughty Dog!

I've been training this week on the Lighting tools and couldn't be happier. This place really feels like a great fit for me. I'll be working with one of my Art Directors from Disney and a group of extremely talented programmers and artists. I'll keep everyone updated here as to how things are going.