Friday, August 08, 2003

Adventures in Southern California

Spent the last week in San Diego & Los Angeles in an unplanned adventure to find work at Siggraph and help my friend Sam with his puppet TV show pilot. Sure enough, I got a job offer from Sony Pictures Imageworks!! Wow.

It was a bit of coup getting the interview. They weren't taking reels or resumes at their booth. But for some reason they put up a sign advertising a "Production Services Technician" position over on the memoboards (where people leave notes that get placed alphabetically in vain attempt to reach other people). So after arriving at 8 AM I had the crazy idea to leave a note -- on the sign itself. Sure enough, the note was gone a few hours later, and then I got a voicemail saying I had an interview scheduled for the next day at their booth. Whoa! I guess it pays to deface posters now and then!

The interview went well. It's the only time I've had three women interview me for a tech position. Thanks to the free Starbucks frappucino cans at Dreamworks/PDI's booth, I nailed it. But the next challenge was getting to LA to stay with my friend Sam. Fortunately our LA friend Eric (whom I had seen at Comic Con a week or so earlier) had mentioned he might come down for Siggraph. A quick call to him, and voila! A ride back.

Meanwhile I was staying with a crew of Pixelcorps artists. We could have easily formed our own production company. John the Modeller, Scott the Compositor, Robby the R&D guy, Greg the Animator and me (running the thing, probably). I definitely had the most luck finding work, and getting into the cool parties. My friend Nick is moving up the ranks at PDI now and when I saw him at the booth, he gave me and Greg two invites for the exclusive Dreamworks/PDI party. Yayy! It was pretty sweet -- free booze, food, and the chance to see Jeffrey Katzenberg perform a meager puppet show describing one of their upcoming films ("Over the Hedge").

LA was fun too. Got to build and paint sets for a pirate ship filled with ogres, hamsters, and a pirate named Sid. Did I mention it was in the desert? Yep, 1.5 hours east of LA in the town of Phelan (the location of a woman I just met in Comic Con... Random!) I also performed right-hand for Victor Yerrid, a puppeteer from Crank Yankers and Greg the Bunny. Performed a hamster, and an Easter Island puppet too.

And of course, the interview with Sony! Their facility is rather nice. Marry gave me the tour and despite the weird hours, the job sounds great! They train you to do whatever you want, and try to make you want to stay rather than burn or kick you out like so many places. She told me if the crew liked me, they would email me a technical test. When I got home, it took me about a day to finish 3 questions (it didn't say anything about a deadline) involving a lot of scripting. Today I got the offer!

So I'll stop it with the "sure enough"'s and sign off so that I can go say "I got a jobb, I got a jobbb" to a dozen more friends.

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posted by Brian at 3:26 PM

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