I wanted to be Ray Harryhausen when I grew up. So I customized my action figures into bizarre beasties and animated them in three-minute Super 8 Sci Fi epics. My efforts earned me admission to the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where my teachers tried to convince me of the virtue of cinema without animated monsters or rubber masks. I also put out a nifty little comic book trying my hand at visual narrative in graphics. I provided a foreground miniature / matte painting for the senior class 16mm project, as well as for my immortal classic Roachman. (You grow up in Houston and try to ignore the cockroaches.)
At the University of Houston I studied film production and shot several 16mm projects. Having finally relented about animated monsters not being a corner stone of cinema, my short project instead featured a monster in a suit. (Custom monster costume, seven feet tall very nice.) I also directed a video version of Frankenstein (the 20 minute version) with the necessary foreground miniatures of course. I also had a daily comic strip in the U of H newspaper.
Faced with the ongoing prospect of mowing my fathers two acres every weekend, I fled Texas for the West Coast, only agreeing to live in places where lawn mowing was handled by a team of experts.
In Los Angeles I worked for Roger Corman at his film making empire where I helped develop several projects and contribute to story and casting sessions.
A few years later I directed a 16mm feature film called SEVEN DAYS TO KILL which was released by Movie Reps International. It featured no monsters at all and left me eager to redeem myself with my next project. At this point a computer animation package called 3D Studio landed in my lap, and suddenly my interest in animation sprang back to the forefront. Maybe with this tool I could grow up and be Ray Harryhausen after all.
Around this same time I began studying acting, to make me a better director and a better animator. My acting coach Frank London gave his last six years of teaching to me, and helped me develop the eye and ear and vocabulary to work with actors and get the best performance out of them.
My most recent directing endeavor was a stage play called GRAINNE at the Blank Theater. They want me back for next season.
As 3D Studio kept improving, so did my skills. I made the jump to Maya several years ago and have been indulging my hunger to make beasties in 3D ever since. Texturing is an avenue of CG which Ive become very adept at. Ive also developed an aptitude for compositing with Adobe After Effects.
And now Im back to my life long obsession with animation, working as a freelance 3D Digital Effects artist in Los Angeles. It occurs to me that I may not have grown up to be Ray Harryhausen, but Ive managed to become a very workable Adam Lima. Thatll just have to do.