Good Morning ______________________________ July 30th, 2003 - wednesday___



What is Bolt City? Some people have sent e-mails asking me this question, and I figured that some of the readers might be able to take something from this wordy answer, so it's written here at length...

Bolt City was a short film for my senior independent project at the University of Santa Barbara, California. It was to be a traditionally-animated film about three bungling robots attempting a bank heist. Basically, it was an animated robot version of Bottle Rocket, one of my all-time favorite films.

In the Spring of 2000, Bolt City was nearly two years into the production when I began to realize that the film was too much for me to handle on my own. I was juggling school, a nearly full-time job as Art Director of the school paper, and a long-term relationship with a wonderful girl (another full-time job!). After getting back from work, I'd sit at home and animate every night until 5 in the morning, getting up to 60 frames penciled, inked, and scanned in a single sitting (haven't actually worked in traditional animation, so I'm not sure if that's a decent rate). Anyway, I learned a hell of a lot about drawing characters under this regimen, if nothing else.

Just as summer rolled around, I saw that I was waaay behind in the production of the film, and I was taxing myself to my breaking point. I could feel it. Despite this, I decided to take a short break for one weekend to print out a book featuring illustrations from the school paper. The printing process was hectic, but the books looked great.

Upon returning to the studio in Santa Barbara, I found the door open. Someone had broken into my studio and taken the computer tower, along with 4 months of the production and about 1000 pages of scripts and notes for other projects on the hard drive. I remember my girlfriend gasping, then looking at me, half-expecting me to flip out. I knew that with the amount of work lost, Bolt City would never see completion within the school year. The funny thing is that at that moment, I almost felt a bit of relief. With the project gone, I wouldn't have to spend all those back-breaking hours animating the damn thing. I could free myself from the shackles of the animation table and spend more time on other things. Or so that's how it was justified...

Three years, several corporate jobs, a break-up, and a nervous breakdown later, I am back to working on animated films. I have the job that I wanted to get when production on Bolt City first began, but the film itself has yet to see completion. (Admittedly, when I look back at the project, it looks a little amateurish now)

About a year ago, I felt I should put together a portfolio site, and saw that I purchased the boltcity.com domain while working on the film. I thought it was catchier than kazukibuishi.com or somesuch thing, and I threw some stuff on here. So here it is. The product of a tragedy and a change of pace. In this regard, running this website is quite therapeutic, as I get to see the monkey on my back dance around within limited, but versatile means.

So, in the end, creativity is about doing things with what you've got, and not so much about attaining all the things that you don't(?). Crap. That doesn't make any damn sense, does it?

Well, enjoy the pretty pictures anyway. I'll update as often as possible, and you'll never know what will be here next... (and neither will I!)






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