Archive for May, 2008

I learned a new photoshop technique today that I really like! It adds a cool “memory” type look to photographs. Here is my example, it didn’t take all that long. Mainly just layer masks, a displacement mask and a few other tricks.

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Throwing in some Summer Football filming tomorrow morning. It is the Scout Camp Pro Football Regional Combines, we do it every year and get paid pretty well to do it. Its like where people from the south east that think they can make it in the NFL come and “try out” in front of some scouts for NFL Teams. It is usually pretty fun to watch. Although I am dreading the heat a little bit because we’ll be outside all day. Oh, and I have to be at the stadium at 6:30am….

Heres the Link: http://www.combines.com/home.asp

The Pixar Touch– Finished

Posted: May 30, 2008 in Disney, Misc.
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Just finished reading The Pixar Touch.

What a ride! There is so much unique and interesting history behind the walls of Pixar. Here’s a brief summary (really brief, the book is like 310 pages). It started in a privately funded college, then George Lucas bought it for Industrial Light and Magic. It wasn’t making money and he tried to sell it numerous times, once for something small like five million to Disney! Eventually Steve Jobs bought it in 1986 for 10 Million Dollars. The studio partnered with Disney for Toy Story and five additional releases until relations became strained with then CEO Michel Eisner at which point Pixar didn’t reenter a contract with them. This helped to initiate the Save Disney campaign which ousted Micheal Eisner as CEO and brought in Bob Iger. After Iger saw a Disney Parade at one of the Disney Parks and realized that all of the characters from the past ten years were from Pixar films, he re-started attempts to purchase Pixar. Disney bought Pixar out, for an all stock option deal, in 2006 for roughly 7.4 Billion dollars to Steve Jobs, making him the largest share holder in the company with 7% of the Stock….. Mix all of that in with tons of stories of animators and managers clashing, leaving and retaliating and it is an amazing story! Definitely a must read for anyone interested in the computer animation business, Disney or of course Pixar.

One cool snippet from the book that I found very interesting is Stanton speaking on religion in Finding Nemo and other Pixar Films.

Stanton (Finding Nemo’s Director) also spoke of a spiritual aspect to the relationship of Marlin and Dory. Dory was, literally, an angel fish. “The protagonist’s battle was to overcome fear by discovering faith, and certainly Dory represented the angel, or the helper who showed him how to let go and not be consumed by his worries.” he told an interviewer for a Christian-oriented film Web site.

He observed that subtlety is critical in giving films such as Pixar’s a spiritual or religious dimension. “My personal view is that if you go into things on a pulpit or with an agenda in the creative world, it can easily get in the way of your creativity and quality… Be Christ-like in everything you do, not worrying about whether you’re furthering the cause”

Next Summer– Italy

Posted: May 29, 2008 in Misc.
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So some of the people I know from Tech are doing the Italy Program this summer (the one I’m planning to do next summer). They’ve posted a tons of pictures online, so I figured I would share a little of where I will probably be spending six weeks of my life next summer! I am so excited about it!

The Town I’ll be staying in: Gorizia

The Hotel I’ll be Staying In

The Castle near the Hotel

Downtown Gorizia

Follow Your Dreams

Posted: May 29, 2008 in Disney, Misc., Quotes
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“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well”
Martin Luther King Jr.

We all have Dreams, Passions, goals and aspirations. Everyone here knows of some of my dreams and aspirations, but no ones dream is the same as any other persons. For many your dream may be to be the best street sweeper to ever sweep a street, for some it may be to be a poet, a writer, an actor, or a director. Others it may be to inspire and mold young people through passionate teaching and instruction, still others may be to spread the word of God to people all over the world or to invent the next greatest product. Your Dreams right now may not even be about a career path, they could be to one day go to Disney World, to go to college, to finish college, to get a Masters or Doctorate degree, to have a child or to see your children succeed.

Whatever your dream, make sure it is your own dream, make sure you are following the dreams that you feel most passionate about, not those that others want of you. It may take a little while to find what your dream is, look inside you, find what makes you the happiest and pray about it. Nothing is to far out of your reach or to silly of a dream. Once you find your dream, whether it be a career or other, set milestones to obtaining it, pray about it, and then go down the backstretch 240 miles per hour after it! Before you know it you will have obtained your dream and will be dreaming even more! Remember its not all about money or social status or belongings, but rather about your passions and what will make you happy! Nothing is beyond your grasp when you have the courage to pursue it.

All our Dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
-Walt Disney

So as many people who have windows knows, it has an extremely annoying tendency to tell you that it needs to restart after downloading updates and then displays a progress bar till it restarts, or you can click Restart Later. If you click Later, Windows decides that it needs to tell you again in fifteen minutes that it needs to restart as if we have forgot about its reluctant need to deliver you the latest updates. It REALLY becomes annoying when you are working on something and step away for more then five minutes only to come back and realize that your computer has restarted itself for “important updates” and has lost all the work you were doing (if you forget to save, which is another topic!)

Anyway, I was faced with that problem today on both my laptop and desktop, and found a nifty little solution. All you have to do is the following steps and it will leave you alone! It will still download them, and the next time you decide to restart your computer it will install them… humm, what a novel concept!?!

To use the command line:
1. Go to Start->Run.
2. Now, type in “net stop wuauserv” without quotes and hit Enter.

Yesterday I talked about the layers of Company Culture, today I will continue by discussion by looking at ways to embed culture into the company (as outlined in my Organizational Behavior Class). Once again, Disney will be my primary example pool!

Embedding Culture in Organizations
Part 1

1. Formal statements of mission, vision, values etc.
The first way to begin instilling the culture of your organization into your employees (and guests) is to have formal statements of exactly what your values are. Often these are displayed on posters, in publications, in training materials etc. to promote it throughout the organization. Disney is extremely good at this task, with their primary way for new employees being the Disney Traditions Classes.. From Wikipedia: “All new Cast Members attend ‘Traditions’ on their first day of work; this class imparts the importance of the Disney history, legacy and brand through several promotional videos, group workshop exercises, and prize winning opportunities.”

2. Design of Physcial Space, Work Enviornments and buildings
Pretty much self explanatory. Design enviornements that employees and guests can easily relate to and will find appealing. Some of Disney’s are their Cast Member buildings and the special Cast only area of the property with swimming pools, tennis courts etc.

3. Slogans, Language, Acronyms and sayings
Creating unique slogans and acronyms for a company can really help to instill the culture in employees. Also, the use of special language, such as terms for events, people, places etc. can help an employee feel welcomed and at home.

4. Deliberate role modeling, training, teaching and coaching by mentors
Having newer employees pair up with more senior (long time) employees can help them learn the culture and create valuable relationships within the company. Also, having a role model to follow can be a great motivator for an employee, such as someone who started out smialiar to you now in a management role etc.

5. Explicit Awards, Status Symbols and promotion criteria
Having Awards that are given out among employees, having titles for promoted employees and having criteria that employees must obtain to get bonuses and promotions can help drive their motivation toward the companies goals collectively.

6. Stories, Legends and myths about key people and events
Having these that managers can share with employees that show people who are successful, take risks, lead other, go beyond and above, embody the companies values etc. can be a HUGE motivator to employees. Disney uses its traditions class stated above to also instill these values.

Team Disney Building
The Team Disney Building in Orlando. The Hub of the Disney Cast
That is a large sundial in the middle, the tall cylinder shaped object, it is
open all the way to ground level where the pin object on top casts a shadow.

 

Ignition Marketing

Posted: May 28, 2008 in Misc.
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Today we had a guest speaker, Dill Driscoll CEO of Ignition Marketing, come to speak to our Marketing Class. He is an absolutely amazing guy both personally and in the business world. His company is the marketing firm behind events such as the Olympic Torch Relay, World Cup Tour, Live Earth Concert, Delta Events and numerous Coca-Cola events. His company is based in Atlanta and is a Faith based organization. He constantly talked about how God has blessed his company and him. All the ignition employees begin every morning with a dedication, thought of the day and quite time. How awesome is that! Right now he is working on a personal project of putting church material on phones (I don’t know the whole idea, it is in beta right now).

Go check out their website: http://www.ignition-inc.com/