My name is Jeff Boller, and this blog is about my adventures in animated CG filmmaking.
Since I was a kid, I’ve had three primary interests in life: film, music, and computers. While growing up, these three interests were like volume faders on an audio mixing console; I was always doing something that involved one or more of these things, although sometimes one interest would temporarily become much more prominent than the other two. As an adult, I took turns working in each of these fields professionally while still pursuing the other two interests whenever I could.
In a previous life — and by “previous life” I mean me up until early 2017 — I was a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who released three albums and two EPs under the name of The Simple Carnival. The Simple Carnival was not so much a “band” as it was a studio project where I played and sang most — or all — of the parts.
When I was working on The Simple Carnival’s final album, Smitten, I thought, “Instead of creating one music video to promote the album, wouldn’t it be interesting if there was a music video for each song on the album?”
Attempting to answer that question changed the course of my life.
(If you have red/blue 3D glasses, put them on now.)
Through making animated music videos, I discovered the pleasure of daydreaming something, working really hard for a year (or more) to turn that daydream into a short film, sharing that film with an audience, and — to paraphrase Kermit the Frog — making thousands of people happy. It’s a high like nothing else I’ve experienced. I love being able to transport people with film, just like so many filmmakers have done with me when I’m in the audience.
I live in Pittsburgh, PA, which is a terrific city for computers. But it’s not so terrific for CG filmmaking. There’s just not the sheer number of people doing this sort of thing in Pittsburgh as there are in, say, Los Angeles. So while filmmaking is supposed to be a collaborative process, for the time being it’s a lot like the music recordings I did — I’m playing pretty much all of the parts out of necessity. And that’s what you’ll be seeing on this blog — me attempting to play all the parts in a CG filmmaking pipeline, and sharing what I learn along the way.
If you like reading about what goes into creating CG films on a shoestring budget, or if you simply want to gawk at someone attempting to juggle a hundred things at once, I hope you’ll find the content here entertaining and inspiring.