I can't believe it's already February in 2017! Time sure is zooming by lately!
My 26th birthday is just two days away, and on the one hand I'm a little shocked that my first quarter-century of life is over, but I'm also in a space where my studies and hard work are finally culminating into a rewarding career in animation. And with Valiard getting released in 2018, that will be the year I'll also officially be an author, which is a massive bonus for this little artist.
I've been busy — good busy. I relocated to the Western Cape for a month in November to work as a Character Designer at a studio called Sunrise on all sorts of projects I'm not allowed to talk about. It was my first time working on location at an animation studio since I started my career in 2010 (as opposed to freelancing from home) and it was an absolute treat. I've been back home in Gauteng for two months now and I miss the studio terribly, as well as the beautiful mountains of the Cape, but I've still been working for Sunrise remotely, so I'm happy.
This is one of the Sunrise shorts I worked on in 2016 — I designed the Elf, the little boy Matteo, and his Mom:
OH! And I also saw my friend interviewed on television last night in a spotlight segment on comic art in South Africa. (It's so weird but awesome seeing a friend on TV, omigosh!) He recently bagged a job at Marvel illustrating comics and I can't be prouder of him. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person, seriously. Do go check him out and give him lots of love, guys!
The Valiard Mansion Update
On 23 February I'll hop on a plane and fly to New York to work on location at Golden Bell Entertainment (the publisher of my upcoming illustrated novel, The Valiard Mansion). Since I'm taking a break from my usual freelancing to work on the Valiard trailer full-time for 7 whole weeks, we'll be getting lots of exciting things done in a flash, such as finalizing the colour and getting the remaining scenes animated. You guys will be updated with whatever content I'm authorized to release.
Throughout the open casting call, trailer Directors Marc Goldner and Rachel Korsen weren't able to find a voice actress with the same comedic tone I exhibited in the scratch track of the trailer's animatic (voiced mostly by me and my brother), so I've agreed to be cast as Ruth Rosewood until someone wackier comes along. Which means I'll be recording my lines in person with the Directors — something I've never done before. I'm terribly nervous about messing up, especially with the accent, but I'll do my best. My secret hope is that we find someone to replace me pronto, but time constraints might prevent that. We'll see.
Trailer casting has been otherwise finalized, and we actually got some actors pitching in who have been on major TV shows, but I don't think I'm allowed to say who they are yet. Personally, I'm incredibly pleased with each and every one of the voice talents on board the production, both on the pro and amateur spectrum. The trailer will certainly sound spectacular as far as the dialogue is concerned! (Again, here's hoping I'm not the one butt hole who messes everything up!!!)
There's also talks about an audio book, and over twenty characters are yet to be cast for that, so do keep an eye out if you're still keen to audition for a role on Team Valiard! I'm not sure yet if there will be open casting for that one. I'll keep you folks updated when the time comes.
In the meantime, I hope you guys will enjoy this Sneak Peek of the trailer. Lots of people are pitching in to help out and we have vacancies for Animators, Inbetweeners, and Cleanup Artists. Do check out www.TheValiardMansion.com for details on how to apply.
And that's it!
Thanks for the continued support, you guys.