You've said elsewhere that Star Wars and Jurassic Park are among your favorite movies. Why is that and how do they really inspire you?
I can pretty much sum this up in one word: MONSTERS. The original Star Wars movies are probably the movies that had the biggest impact on me. Return of the Jedi was the first movie I ever bought and I remember just being blown away by it. I think the part in Jabba's palace is something that has just been stuck in my head ever since. Jabba, the Rancor, Boba Fett, the Gamorians, Chewbacca and a ton of other weird creatures all in one place -- it just doesn't get any better than that! And Jurassic Park is almost too obvious! Dinosaurs; how can you go wrong with that? Like every boy on the planet I love them. Always have and hopefully always will. I'm pretty sure that when I saw Jurassic Park, my biggest dream was to go and visit it someday. (Laughing)
What made you choose CG for a career?
It's hard to say; it's something that just came naturally. Like I meantioned earlier, I've been drawing all my life and I've always found a great joy in creating creatures, monsters and characters. Movies and computer games have always been a huge inspiration and I think that once I realized people make a living from doing what I loved to do the most, it was an eay choice.
What I've always been drawing (ever since I saw the first Toy Story), I've felt more compelled toward 3D movies than 2D. I've never really been much of a fan of Disney's movies. Sure, I've watched a lot of them but it's only one or two that I really liked. Whereas I've seen and loved almost every movie from Pixar, Blue Sky and Dreamworks, which probably doesn't come as much of a surprise considering the sculpts I'm doing today.
I don't know exactly what it is about 3D that appeals more to me but it might just have something to do with my geeky nature. Apart from the inspiration from movies, I have always been a huge fan of video games like the four original Crash Bandicoot games. I remember going to Naughty Dog's site and printing out every single piece of artwork from those games, taping it up in my room. I remember having to do it over several months because I would use up all the ink in our printer.
When I got the PS2, Jak and Daxter was of course the first game I bought. And shortly after was probably my favorite PS2 game, Ratchet and Clank. I've always loved the style and humor in the Ratchet and Clank series. With all that great 3D art around, I just new what I wanted to do.