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codyburke610
04-26-2010, 12:10 PM
Okay, so everyone has a story to tell, and we all just want someone to listen to it. I've been going through a lot of stress right now, but I feel as if I shouldn't be due to a lot of the accomplishments I have had lately. Hopefully this will be an inspirational post to a lot of viewers.

I joined the Newtek Forums back in 2006 when I was in 9th grade; asking for advice on buying a computer that would support Lightwave. Being only 14 years old at the time I was already enrolled in an art school program for vo-tech called "The Academy for Video and Media Arts". It was a three year course and Lightwave was being taught specifically in the third year. I noticed my instructor grading a few models of the third year kids projects and I was instantly attracted to everything 3D. I joined Newtek Forums that day and began asking questions. Everyone, and I mean everyone in this community helped me out in such a great extent with buying a computer and then purchasing Lightwave a week later. Throughout 9th and 10th grade I honestly did absolutely nothing besides sit on my computer and mess around with Lightwave, along with watching a lot of tutorials. My 11th grade year was more packed with school, and I was also of age to find a job which took away time from practicing as much as I use to. Nevertheless I still would rather sit on the computer and model than eat or sleep, haha. I am currently in my senior year of high school and am attending the June 28th class of the DAVE School! I could not be more ridiculously happy right now and I can't wait. I graduate from high school June 11th and will be leaving to drive to Florida 9 days later. I am so ready to get my career started in this industry that I could care less about having a summer vacation, ha.

I am stressing out now because I've worked my butt off throughout my four years of high school. I've done so much for so little and now money is a huge issue. For my senior year I was able to try and find a co-op job which is where I leave school at 10:30 am and proceed to go to work. I dropped my resume and reel off at a lot of local production houses and "Viamedia LLC" called me back offering me an unpaid video editing internship. I worked everyday Mon-Fri 20-25 hours per week, editing local and national spots practically each day. I've been there since September and my term to leave is coming up soon. They said they have grown to me being there and actually forget that I'm an intern. They also said that they have never had an intern like me before and I'm the first high school intern they have took on. I've won the Emmaus High School Film Festival three years in a row and even met Rob Legato who was the Visual FX supervisor for "Titanic" as one the prizes. I also placed 2nd and 3rd two years in a row at Skills USA for Television Production. This year I recently placed 1st in the animation category at the Pennsylvania High School Computer Fair and states is in May. I got a chance to sit down with Ed Mendez who works for The-Dive in Philadelphia and he reviewed my reel directly in front of me, a kid in high school! He has worked on Spiderman 3, X-Men, Spy Kids, etc. The other day he called my on my cell phone to ask me what my future plans were and give me advice, after I left a message on his voicemail. I have such a desire to work on feature films, and now my loan for the DAVE School is going to kill me because I was too busy working for free, but gaining amazing experience in the industry. I shouldn't be stressed out, and I'm going to the skill whether or not I have the money to eat or not eat. Eating is the last thing on my mind.

I just wanted to share this story with a community that has absolutely helped me get where I am at today. Thanks!

(I also posted this on Spinquad incase if it looks familiar)
-Cody-

nickdigital
04-26-2010, 12:49 PM
Congrats and keep going. Your drive and determination are to be admired.

UnCommonGrafx
04-26-2010, 01:09 PM
As a high school teacher, I have to tell you that I just loved your story. You ruin for the likes of me with such a story. hahaha. Doesn't every teacher want an over-motivated, over-achieving student in the class?

At all that free time given away...I would suggest that you approach it like an investment. All that you gave away is also what you put directly into yourself. Don't kid yourself: you've given almost nothing away, but time, and people have put a gold bucket in front of you filled with knowledge as the content. All you had to do was scoop it up and indulge. How many of your peers do you think would have done what you have?
No one can take that investment away.

Keep it up and keep sharing your experiences.

sampei
04-26-2010, 01:56 PM
in short very inspiring story, good luck.

codyburke610
04-26-2010, 02:35 PM
Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement everyone! I feel as if my drive is the one quality I have that will get me to where I want to be in life. Being completely honest, I will not sleep at night if I haven't accomplished modeling something, or learning something new, or practicing new software. I recently visited the DAVE School to get a feel for the area down in Florida and my adviser was nice enough to send me links to all of the programs they teach. I downloaded the trial version of every program that I wasn't too familiar with and there hasn't been one night that I didn't sit down and tinker with each one. I'm at my internship now with Viamedia LLC and I actually just got done editing tags for Lifetime Movie Network and National Geographic, it's crazy that I get to say those type of things while still only being in high school. Hopefully all of my hard work and dedication will pay off in the long run. The money will definitely be well spent if I'm going to be doing what I love for the rest of my life.
-Cody-

Twisted_Pixel
04-26-2010, 03:03 PM
Cody,
Good to hear you are progressing on. I do remember you first appearing on here. Inspiring stuff indeed. Now to give myself yet another kick into action.

Sampei, was that Paisley Uni?

sampei
04-26-2010, 03:16 PM
forget it ;)

TheDeacon
04-26-2010, 05:04 PM
I have to say, I truly understand what you are going through... and that your drive and determination is what will bring you to where you need to be. Don't lose that. You have the benefit of youth- you have time to eliminate that debt, so don't let that stress you out.

As long as you keep doing what you are doing, working hard and believing in yourself, you will find work. I went to DAVE school two and a half years ago, as a 35 year old man who dreamed of making movies, and busted my *** every day to keep up with the young peers who seemed to get a grasp of these digital tools a lot faster than I. What got me through to the end was my unwavering determination to GET IT... something you seem to already have taken the initiative to grab a hold of. Don't let go of that feeling you have. The stress you feel is the inevitable change your life will go through once you release yourselves to the wolves of industry... and as long as you stay positive, focused and refuse to falter in visualizing your eventual success, I think you will emerge victorious.
There's some great people at DAVE school to help you on your way.

Your first block teacher, Steve Warner knows his stuff. His amazing knowledge and your head start should make you a superstar.

Seek out Jason Pichon for drawing, animation, and philosophy.

Talk to Dave West if you want to know the ins and outs of motion capture.

Talk to Daniel Smith for stereoscopic and compositing needs, he has an impressive history and is always willing to share.

Look for Mike Young to answer any question and find a solution to any problem you might run across.

Look for Kurt Smith if you want to learn how to rig.

and Look to Michael Keith early on so that he knows you are on the radar for potential job placement.

Most importantly- be vocal. get to know Jeff. let him know what you need to succeed.

It is a school with a solid foundation, but after class is done, it is up to you to figure out what you want to do with yourself.

Feel free to contact me if you want to talk some more about this.

until then, GOOD LUCK, and enjoy the Florida heat. ( I definitely do NOT miss the humidity)

oh yeah.. and be nice to Karla.

OnlineRender
04-26-2010, 05:08 PM
Cody,

Sampei, was that Paisley Uni?


*chuckle*

jasonwestmas
04-26-2010, 05:10 PM
All that stress will turn into pure knowledge so the next time you come across it you will be able to enjoy everything a bit more. So keep it coming!

Tobian
04-26-2010, 05:15 PM
I recognise you from round Spin Quad :D and like the others here I laud your enthusiasm, and wish you luck in your programme at the Dave School.

You're already off to a good start, and have a lot of skills some of those there won't have, but I bet you'll still hit the ground running to keep up with it all! Let us know how you get on, and I look forward to seeing your work and questions on the forums. hopefully we can still do help and support (if you don't overtake us all!) :D

GandB
04-27-2010, 09:09 AM
You've done way more than I did in my High-School years! I can only echo what the others have said; KEEP AT IT!

-Keith

codyburke610
04-27-2010, 10:21 AM
Wow! I'm glad my story is inspiring a lot of people, it's very nice to hear that, especially right now. I will always continue to be apart of the Lightwave community forums, I don't know where I'd be without them!

Deacon, you definitely know your stuff about which teachers to turn to for specific questions! I will absolutely keep all of your advice in mind for when I arrive there. And thanks for allowing me to contact you if I have any questions, it's greatly appreciated :thumbsup:
-Cody-

OnlineRender
04-27-2010, 10:55 AM
One bit of Advice : WearSunScreen .....*kiddin*

People would kill to get into DAVE School , so make sure you kick some A$s when you get there and bust a gut .

There should be some sort of music to accompany this thread " days of lives" springs to mind " either that or " AIRWOLF theme tune "

goodluck dude !

shrox
04-27-2010, 11:13 AM
One bit of Advice : WearSunScreen .....

Good advice, the rest is conjecture...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EReBlwPGECs

codyburke610
04-29-2010, 07:22 AM
I'll definitely be sure to wear sun screen! I was down there visiting less than two months ago and go completely burnt haha. I under estimated the power of the sun compared to Pennsylvania.

I'm so psyched to go, I really can't even explain the feeling. I've wanted to ever since the 8th grade and now it's finally happening. I will hoenstly do nothing but sit on my computer, maybe eat, and sleep, but that's only if I have to :D
-Cody-

jasonwestmas
04-29-2010, 09:12 AM
Rule #1 the condition of your brain is dependent upon how well you take care of your body. :) Sleeping and eating well are not trivial things, they are your life force.

Kionel
04-29-2010, 11:42 AM
I just wanted to echo everything Deacon said. I went to the DAVE School at 41 years old, in the June 2009 class. It was challenging, but so incredibly worth it.

Couple of other points:

1. Don't let the pace of Block 1 get you down. It's meant to be intimidating.

2. Ask questions.

3. Take notes.

4. Get to know your classmates! They will ultimately be some of the best references you can have to get a job in the field.

5. Don't be afraid to push yourself. School is the place to do it!

6. Keep a positive attitude at all times! Yes, even when it's tough.

7. The only dumb question is the one you didn't ask.

...and I'll stop there. :)

Good luck!

OnlineRender
04-29-2010, 12:07 PM
4. Get to know your classmates! They will ultimately be some of the best references you can have to get a job in the field.


Good luck!

Good Advice ! Guy I went to college with now is head of VFX company in Glasgow , and sometimes he throws me life line .

Always be nice to people on the way up , you know never who you will meet on the way back down , but don't take any of there shinnzle ,be strong and confident, but always polite .

zarti
04-29-2010, 12:38 PM
The money will definitely be well spent if I'm going to be doing what I love for the rest of my life.
-Cody-

that is the real key; of what you have achieved till now and what you will in the future .

i'm sure you will succeed ...

codyburke610
04-29-2010, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the continuing advice everyone!:thumbsup:

This is going to be the greatest time of my life! I'll honestly give nothing less than a hundred percent. A lot of the video editors here at my internship say one of the reasons I've been here as long as I have been is because of my drive, my hard work, and my respectfulness towards everyone in the company, and I'm glad I've made that type of impact before I leave.

I was watching a documentary on Bill Gates in my History class the other day, and his roommate in college was being interviewed. His roommate said that Bill Gates was always up all night working on projects, would not get to bed until after midnight every night, he would then get a few hours of sleep, wake back up and continue to work on the project. I like to think of myself as being very similar :D Hopefully all of my hard work pays off. Everyone's kind words are really helping relieve the stress as well.
-Cody-

zarti
04-29-2010, 01:38 PM
yes, the experience, performance and good results come as a prize of many many hours of work, but you should ' listen ' carefully your body too .

codyburke610
04-29-2010, 02:03 PM
I agree, I need to stop being such a picky eater first! Haha
-Cody-

littlewaves
04-29-2010, 02:21 PM
Rule #1 the condition of your brain is dependent upon how well you take care of your body. :) Sleeping and eating well are not trivial things, they are your life force.

Oh God I'm screwed.

Intuition
04-29-2010, 02:42 PM
Stop everything you are doing and learn Maya.

;D Just kidding man. There is plenty of Lightwave work still out there. Though its all Houdini, Maya here at DD there are lots of LA houses using the classic Lightwave attack. EdenFX, BSG/Caprica, Zoic, flash film works, etc etc.

Just keep up the dedication and be prolific about high quality output be it models or renders or animation demos (or all three) and you'll be working in no time.

OnlineRender
04-29-2010, 02:52 PM
Stop everything you are doing and learn Maya.

.

sadly an element of truth in that ! , I think now if your an artist you need to know all apps on the market ,even core :D

sampei
04-29-2010, 05:37 PM
Stop everything you are doing and learn Maya.

interestingly enough that's actually what everyone I've met from the industry so far has been telling me :D
I'd rather go XSi, these Vancouver Film School students seem to get ALL the jobs by looking at their achievements video for last year!

Intuition
04-29-2010, 08:48 PM
XSI is also a great choice. Though more so in Europe I believe, but I think Canada has always had a nice following.

codyburke610
04-30-2010, 06:59 AM
I actually have been tinkering with Maya over the past year or so, just because of the whole "job market" situation, but for some reason I can never fully get into using it all the time. I'm so much faster at modeling in Lightwave and I love the interface of it. Don't get me wrong Maya has some incredible tools and the dynamics are very amazing, hopefully I'll be able to practice it at DAVE so I become fluent with both 3D packages.

I actually was considering VFS due to a lot of the students reels that I've seen, but there were certain obligations holding me back, I'm confident I made the right decision with DAVE :D
-Cody-

sampei
04-30-2010, 07:28 AM
Well as an outsider, the reels from the VFS are incredible but their students seem to have extremely heavy formal art training and it shows. And the course, if I'm not mistaken is very more concentrated: you can choose modeling, animation, lighting etc. and that's what you get taught. That was my impression from going on their website..
In the end I believe it's all up to the studend to make the best of what he get's tought: asking questions, working hard and not expecting to be spoonfed or to become great in a fortnight.

jasonwestmas
04-30-2010, 08:43 AM
I actually have been tinkering with Maya over the past year or so, just because of the whole "job market" situation, but for some reason I can never fully get into using it all the time. I'm so much faster at modeling in Lightwave and I love the interface of it. Don't get me wrong Maya has some incredible tools and the dynamics are very amazing, hopefully I'll be able to practice it at DAVE so I become fluent with both 3D packages.

I actually was considering VFS due to a lot of the students reels that I've seen, but there were certain obligations holding me back, I'm confident I made the right decision with DAVE :D
-Cody-

I really wouldn't worry too much about modeling in Maya but it is a good idea to at least familiarize yourself with the tools just in case. I find it pretty trivial to model between applications, they are very similar. (Max might throw you off because of the add modifier to perform tool-set-X philosophy) It's the naming conventions that differ the most. It is the rigging, animation and rendering stuff that differs from lightwave the most and gets to be the most technical.

If you really want to learn a program that is being used a lot and want to be a hard core modeler/ texture artist learn Zbrush.

codyburke610
04-30-2010, 09:47 AM
Ahh ZBrush :help: haha

As soon as my advisor told me that the DAVE School teaches it, I've been trying so hard to learn it. Watched a few tutorials, but I'm really just sitting there messing around with all the tools, it's very interesting, and different.
-Cody-

jasonwestmas
04-30-2010, 09:57 AM
Yes ZB is ideal for fine detailing. Glad you are looking into it.