Thursday, August 11, 2011


working title: "Modl Shet" (model sheet)

Modl Shet - is a crappy "lefty" drawing of the four Lozt Boyz.  Each likeness is spot on.

Lefities were started many ages ago by a Ms. Robin Luera (miss ya Robin!) and myself.  I don't think anyone but us liked them, but I hope to resurrect them anyway.

A "lefty" is a stupid name for a stupid drawing, drawn with your bad hand.  Each drawing will be inspired by the ordinary occurrences of work life.  

Since this is the first of the Lozt Boyz, I thought it would be fitting to create a model sheet to be used as a strict guideline for future drawings.

Please keep in mind, that a "lefty" is not supposed to be hilarious, it's just dumb... if a dumb 4 year old drew them.

After a long day of challenging yourself artistically, its fun to do something crappy.

- Nick


A few weeks ago, the Lozt Boyz were asked to do a panel discussion at the Norman Rockwell Museum for the new Blue Sky Studios exhibit.

One of the artists in the crowd was Dinotopia's creator James Gurney.  He's an amazing artist/illustrator, and we were very honored that he did this caricature of us.

As a kid I loved Dinotopia and to think that he was interested in some of the crap we had to say was unreal.  Then again, maybe he wasn't interested and that's why he started drawing.  Who knows?

You can find this pic and more on his blog, Gurney Journey.

We especially like his description of Pete.

"Pete struck me as a good-natured sad sack, kind of like Eeyore—if
Eeyore were a frog instead of a donkey."

Haha ha...Love it!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Turning the Tide

As noted in our first post, the Blue Sky Animation department has been going through some changes.  When ever a member of your team leaves it's super painful, especially when you're as tight as we are.  Unfortunately, we've had quite a few leave in the past couple of months, which has been really tough.

Below is a great inside look at how one animator, Stewart Shaw, is helping to turn the tide.  This is what makes Blue Sky special, and for that matter, our industry.

Here's his email to the animation department in it's entirety:


Can't concentrate?  Writer's block?  Nothing seems funny?  And the bid days keep slipping by?

You are not alone.

Speaking with a few of you recently, we discovered that the past few weeks have been extremely depressing.  Surprise!  I know it was for me.  Last week was the lowest point I have ever experienced here at BSS.  I almost called in sick 3 days last week.  I was incapacitated, and didn't know why.  I felt worse then when I was burnt out at the end of Rio.  Like I was forgetting how to animate, and didn't care to remember.  I was starting a shot that I had been excited for since kick off, and I was animating like a disinterested student.  It was embarrassing, isolating, frustrating, and honestly scary.

Here is how I am recovering.

We have each other.  Sounds corny, but its true.  Talking with a few of you guys about these past two weeks undid most of the damage.  It made me realize how truly lucky I am to be part of this team.  Reason number one why I'm coming to work every day, is you.  We do more then work together.  We care about each other.  We love each other.

Because people left, we GET to step up.  We are now blessed with the opportunities of more challenging shots.  We have the full support of our leadership backing us to take these shots.  We would not have these opportunities if no one left.  I would never have been hired in the first place if people had not left after Horton.  Many people currently in positions of leadership that we look up to in this dept got their opportunity to lead because others left.

We are rising to the occasion.  People are already leveling up left and right.  That inspires me.

We get to ANIMATE, feature films, FOR MONEY!!!!!  We get paid to make characters come to life, and entertain millions of people around the world.  We can come in to work with crocks, or a 3 piece suit; Baby faced, or looking like a yeti after a run in with a weed eater.  We are either living the dream, or on the road to it.

Yes, it is very sad watching people leave.  But they are all going to situations that are better for them and their families.  Any loss experienced on my end is outweighed by my happiness for them.

EVERY shot is an opportunity for growth.  Even if I'm uninspired, and angry at how lame I think my shot is, I make it an exercise.  I will work on my process and efficiency.  I make sure I'm addressing my list of craft goals to improve on this film.  No over thinking.  I find the opportunities in the shot where I can have some fun (every shot has at least 1) and go for it.  Worse that happens is they get shot down. 

IA4 isn't going to be easy.  But with the talent and character evident in this team, developed or potential, its nothing we can't handle.

Things are chaotic at the moment, but I'm choosing to believe this change is good.  We are at the beginning of greatness.  That's why I'm continuing to invest in this place.  I'm getting married and buying a house.  I can't say I'll be here for ever, but I'm actively making plans to stay.

The studio is expanding, not shrinking.

The powers that be are actually listening.  After the department meeting that shall not be named, I took John Donkin up on his offer to speak further.  I explained how we are down to only one working cintiq for the dept.  The next day, first thing in the morning, Jack Ham was at my desk to try and get the other one working.

We all, right now, have the opportunity to make this a place where people don't want to leave.  Where those who left want to come back (which is already happening).  To make IA4, Leafmen and beyond, films that all our departed brethren REGRET not being a part of.  We are the new Blue Sky Animation.

Make Believe into the World of Animation

The Lozt Boyz are first and foremost kids at heart. That means living in a world of make believe and pretending to be what you're not. When I was a kid, I'd sit in front of the mirror making faces to myself and doing impressions. Little did I know I was laying the groundwork for becoming an animator.
Every animator I know seems to have a different specialty that makes them part of the unique puzzle of an animation team. For me, I struggle with drawing. I don't feel I suck, but I rarely get as much out of my thumbnails as my co-workers. Instead, I lean on the acting abilities that I forged when I was younger. Here is a taste of what reference can do for inspiring your animations.
Yes, this is a very specific style of animation. I'll be candid here in saying I'm offended when people discredit this as animation and call this, "a waste of the animation medium." In the end, animation is about telling a story. My technique to get that animation is of little importance. And besides, I've proved myself with a plethora of Scrat shots that show I can animate just fine without a reference road map. So... enjoy a Lozt Boy acting like a girl ;)
Password: education

-Jeff Gabor

Monday, August 8, 2011

Moving Forward...

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end"
                                                              - Closing Time by Semisonic 

This is a lyric from one of the worst songs EVER.  It is also a device to help explain the impetus of this blog.

Five years ago, four feature film Animators decided to get together and build a Treehouse.  Those animators became known to their studio as...
The Lozt Boyz - Paul Downs, Pete Paquette, Nick Bruno & Scott Carroll

After many years together, two of the Lozt Boyz (Pete & Paul), have been given the amazing opportunity to be closer to their families.  While those that remain couldn't be happier for them, they also can't help but feel a little more lost without them.

Though as they move forward, two new Lozt Boyz have been adopted.
Jeff Gabor & Melvin Tan

And with a new group comes a new beginning.  This is where the blog begins.

The Lozt Boyz hope to capture thoughts, experiences, and memories as they happen, and recall those of the past.

Consider it a candid look into the working lives of four friends trying to find their way in the amazing world of Animation.

There are no promises here.  In fact, no one really knows what this blog will become. 

Heck, this might even be the last post already.   

- The Lozt Boyz

For an odd retrospective of the previous five years, look here: