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Monday, October 31, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin

Animator lands Spielberg job with homemade clip
By Orlando Parfitt, Yahoo! UK Movies News, Yahoo!

A UK-based animator who made an unofficial title sequence for the new ‘Tintin’ movie got more than he hoped for when his work went viral: a job offer from the film’s director, Steven Spielberg.

James Curran, of SlimJim animation, worked in his spare time on the superb animated title sequence, then posted it online a few weeks before ‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’ came out (it was released on Wednesday).

It got a great response on video hosting-site Vimeo and various blogs, but when people who worked on the film began to circulate the footage, it really took off.

He told Yahoo! Movies: “I got emails from someone who knew the assistant to Peter Jackson, someone who knew Kathleen Kennedy, the producer.

“Then it was passed on to Spielberg, because I got an email from his assistant the other week saying he loved the video.

“He said it was ‘touched by genius’!”

Besides the compliment, the email also had a job offer from the legendary director. James was cagey about what it was, saying it was “early days”, but he’s hopeful it will be one of Steven’s future film projects.

When he got the email, James also got invited to the film’s premiere this week.

“Actually they didn’t invite me, I invited myself! I replied back saying ‘take me to the premiere!’ I thought I might ask.”

Afterwards Edgar Wright, the director of ‘Hot Fuzz’ who also co-wrote ‘Tintin’, tweeted about the job offer and the video went mainstream.

‘So @slimjimstudios does unofficial #Tintin titles, Spielberg sees 'em, gives him invite to prem & job on next movie...’

James said the inspiration for the video was his love for the source material – super-fans will notice references to 23 of the 24 books in the clip.

His animation style, with flat colours and minimalist designs, was also similar to the extravagant CG animation used in the real film, though apparently some who worked on the film told James his version was superior.

“Sometimes simple is better. Mine is more faithful to the source material as well.”

James’ day job is creating animation for TV adverts, but he also makes music videos in his spare time. He hopes this attention-grabbing calling card will get him a lot more work in the movies.

“With the film coming out I saw it as a great chance to do something to help get me noticed and a get a bit of promotion.”

It worked.

To check out more of James’ work, check out his site and Twitter page.

source: Yahoo!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Steve Jobs and the 7 Rules of Success

By Carmine Gallo | Entrepreneur

Steve Jobs' impact on your life cannot be underestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect -- computers, movies, music and mobile. As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For entrepreneurs, Jobs' greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.

Over the years, I've become a student of sorts of Jobs' career and life. Here's my take on the rules and values underpinning his success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our "inner Steve Jobs."

1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, "People with passion can change the world for the better." Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, "I'd get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about." That's how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, "Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?" Don't lose sight of the big vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn't have any practical use in his life -- until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don't live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.

4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the "A-Team" on each product. What are you saying "no" to?  

5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?

6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't communicate your ideas, it doesn't matter. Jobs was the world's greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It's so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don't care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you'll win them over.

There's one story that I think sums up Jobs' career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice. His counsel? Dream bigger. I think that's the best advice he could leave us with. See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.

Carmine Gallo is a communications coach, a popular keynote speaker and author of several books including The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. His latest is The Power of Foursquare (McGraw-Hill, 2011)

source: Entrepreneur

Wednesday, October 5, 2011