I'm back from Europe after taking a two week hiatus from working on Battleborn. Our first destination was Ghent, Belgium, where I spent time at Grid Animation, meeting face to face with the people involved in setting up the infrastructure for the production of The Saga of Rex feature film. It was great to see such enthusiasm from the production team. The process of setting this up is a lengthy one and requires much patience. The team is dedicated to creating a solid foundation that will allow me to make the film I envision with the quality I'm aiming for.
From left to right, Jesper Moller (Screenwriter), Peter Lories (Producer), Mark Mertens (Producer), Lilian Klage(Producer) and myself.
While in Ghent, we took the opportunity to do a lot of walking around the city. A lovely place. We look forward to our temporary relocation (for an 18 months period) in the near future.
While in Ghent, I came across a comic store called, Epic Comics, and was delighted to see that they had several of my books in stock. I took the opportunity to sign the books they had and my lovely bride snapped this picture of Jesper, the store owner and I.
After Belgium, we made a quick train hop to Paris, then back on the plane again to Scotland where we spent time visiting family, before driving down to Holmfirth, England to visit yet more family. We went to London for the last 4 days of our trip, where we saw an amazing musical (Matilda). We finally got back to Seattle on Sunday night, just in time for me to attend PAX on Monday where I hung out at the Battleborn booth talking to enthused gamers and game developers. Then, back to Bellingham on Monday night. A hectic two weeks to say the least. Now, back to work on Battleborn...
Got back from Texas last night after spending a week at Gearbox with the VFX team. I always enjoy my time working on site, connecting one on one with my team mates. We do communicate everyday through chat boxes, Messenger, and sometimes Skype, but being there in the flesh creates a different dynamic that can be pretty exciting. We took advantage of the occasion to snap a picture of our VFX/Tech crew.
While I was on site, Battleborn was being featured at Germany's Gamescon 2015 in a major way. A new trailer was posted announcing the release date: February 9th, 2016.
That means that we now have less than five months to make sure the 2D effects animation really shine. So much still to do! This will definitely be the first triple A title with such an enormous amount of 2D effects animation. Let's hope people like the experiment. It definitely gives the game a unique look.
I recently received the latest iteration of "The Saga of Rex" screenplay. All notes were addressed. Grid Animation Producer, Peter Lories, loves it. I love it. No more notes. Jesper Møller did an amazing job. Ready for the next phase!
One of my favorite hobbies is reading—I need to have my reading time at night and on weekends. Reading has provided me with hours of pleasure and inspiration. I always have a few books in the works, usually a couple of novels and graphic novels/comics. Here's the current reading pile I'm enjoying.
Valerian is classic sci-fi BD. I started picking up the series a couple of years ago with the English edition currently being published by Cinebook, Ltd. My enjoyment was such that I didn't want to wait for the English editions to come out, so I splurged and ordered the entire series in Omnibus format from Amazon.fr, in the original French language. I'm half way through L'integrale Volume 4 which contains number 9 to 12 of the original BD. The art keeps getting better, the relationship between the two leads is building, my interest is fully vested. I'm stoked to hear that Fifth Element's director, Luc Besson, will be bringing the BD to the big screen as revealed in his tweet last May:
Century 21: Escape From Aquatraz is the third volume of a series of archival books that reprints some of the best comics from the world of Gerry Anderson. I discussed these comics in a previous post. Really enjoying this series which tickles my notalgic bone.
Just picked up Micro by Michael Crichton at the used bookstore. It's the book Chrichton was writing when he passed and Richard Preston was hired to finish the manuscript. I've been meaning to read this for a while but the dual authorship and the fact that Chrichton didn't complete the book himself made me a bit wary. Well, so far the first few chapters read like vintage Chrichton so I think this might be a good one. We'll see.
Bernard Werber is famous in france for his novel, Les Fourmis. I picked a few of Werber's novels the last time I visited Quebec (really enjoyed Les Thanatonautes) and I'm finally getting to read this one. It's a fascinating thriller about ants with very little anthropomorphism. The book is keeping my interest as I make my way to the second half of the story.
I love to pick up old "vintage sci-fi" novels at the used bookstore and the Ace paperbacks are a particulate favorite. My lastest acquisition is Armageddon 2419 AD by Philip Francis Nowlan. This is the orginal story that spawn the "Buck Rogers" mythos, although the name featured in the book is Anthony not Buck. The name change happened when the character made his transition to syndicated comics. The book contains two novelettes: Armageddon 2419 AD, originally published in the August 1928 edition of Amazing Stories, and the sequel, The Airlords Of Han published a year later in the same magazine. I finished the first story last night and enjoyed it, althought I wish the author was spending a bit more time on characters rather then military maneuvers. Still, I definitely have a thing for antiquated sci-fi. To me, being dated is definitely not a bad thing, in fact, it very much adds to my enjoyment.