Could You Be My Neighbor?


Taking stock of all that happened last year, one project refilled the well with the unexpected. On the heals of the Mystic show I jumped at the chance to return to one of my formative creative passions and see if it still caused the same sparks it always had. Long ago, before I knew how much I didn’t know, all I wanted to do was work for Disney, animate, and make things come to life from nothing but an idea and some pens and paper. The Disney dream faded rather quickly when I realized it would mean living in Florida, but throughout my career I have toyed with animation, though never really giving it the attention it deserves and needs. As I later became a 1/12th Floridian resident I realized the heat wasn’t as bad as I had thought, but I would be the one to winter in New York and Summer in Florida, breaking with the normal routine.


Not quite Dumbo or Bambi, I was asked to do the opening title credits for an independent short thriller by writer and director (and actor) Jordan James Smith. Shooting, editing, animating—I worked on the project well into 2016, having to relearn all that I had put aside years ago when I last animated in Final Cut Pro. Thank god for the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription I begrudgingly purchased for a client, I would still be using CS6  (look it up kids) and would not have had Premiere and After Effects to save the day when I realized my FCP was version 4 and not version 7. It had been too long.

There was a learning curve to say the least but the parts of the project that made it seem like no time was lost in terms of picking up a long neglected set of tools were the storyboards and the shooting. Drawing saved the day. I found a creative freedom that allowed me to fall right back into something I loved, something time never seemed to give me the excuse or reason to execute so many little personal projects I have built up and clipped, sitting on a shelf. Looking ahead to 2017 I I know those projects will be possible thanks to Jordan and his film coming along last year.

The film is making the rounds in festivals but for more from Jordan check him out on Instagram.

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