Quick Update: looking back, looking forward

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Here is am in the grasp of Darth Vader (not the economy!) at ILM - Photo by Stacey Leong/ILM

Here is am in the grasp of Darth Vader (not the economy!) at ILM - Photo by Stacey Leong/ILM

I just wanted to post a quick update here to clarify a few things – and to tell you what I’m working on for this blog.

First – these past few weeks have been pretty mind blowing.   I’ve finally had a chance to relax with family for 48 hours in the sun, after an uninterrupted 8-week-whirlwind tour.

The first thing that I wanted to clear up is:  things are going well for me and my business -in fact they’ve probably never been better.  That being said, it’s important to be aware that we are indeed going through an unusually tough spot in our global economy.  This is not just one of those “normal” cycles – as some who are posting in the comments pages, seem to believe.  That’s my opinion anyway – and that was the reason behind my post “The Perfect Storm Has Arrived.” I wrote that article in response to a lot of the things that I’ve been reading in the press, as well as witnessing first hand – a lot of my talented colleagues are facing difficult times – and it’s tough to witness.  I’ve also had a chance to speak to some influential (and well informed) people in both Hollywood and Silicon Valley – and everyone is “feeling it.”  So I’m quite positive – but cautious as well.

On another front – I’ve had a chance to meet a lot of interesting people over the past few weeks – many of them visionaries in their respective industries.  I’ve been invited to speak and visit the campus at Industrial Light & Magic, as well meet some trend-setting people at Dreamworks Animation, Apple, SmugMug, and Disney.   Heck I’ve even met the guy who invented Dolby 5.1, as well as  filmmaker Stu Maschwitz who is also the author of the indy filmmaker’s “bible” “The DV Rebel’s Guide.”  Stu incidentally has a blog for filmmakers that all photographers should take a gander at: ProLost.

One of the highlights of this past month, was meeting Dennis Murren – the godfather of special effects.   He was one of the people in the audience of the ILM theater – and I somehow kept noticing him as I was showing “Reverie” on a 50 foot screen (that was a trip!)  He was either “glowing” or just sitting beneath one of the lights…   I don’t stay up at night reading IMDB – but I do always watch the behind the scenes videos on my DVDs – and the entire time I was speaking, my eye kept being drawn to him, and I kept asking myself:  “Where do I recognize this guy from?”   Well – it might have been from the behind the scenes footage of either: Star Wars, E.T, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Empire of the Sun, The Abyss, Terminator 2,  Jurassic Park, Twister, AI, Hulk, War of the Worlds, just to name a few.  Or maybe I recognized him from one of his 6 trips on stage to pick up an Oscar.  Having him attend my presentation, let alone having him spend his time with me over lunch – was something I won’t soon forget.  The great folks at ILM also gave me what ended up being a 2-3 hour tour of the campus – and that was pretty exceptional treat as well  (Thanks Kate, Greg, & Stacey!)  I’ve also had a chance to meet some very cool people in Hollywood – people are very interested in the 5D MKII on a number of levels.  As I said: these past few weeks have been pretty mind blowing.

The plane on the top right is the model from "Always." Here I am getting at tour with Kate Shaw (left) and Greg Grusby. Photo by Stacey Leong/ILM

The plane on the top right is the model from

As far as this blog is concerned – I’m planning on releasing some new material that I’ve shot with the 5D MKII this week.   I’m also going to announce a bunch of news about new projects, the film contest, and the internship.  It’s going to be a busy week.  So stay tuned – and enjoy the holidays! (if you’re observing them.)