Tuesday, 30 December 2014

CTNx 2014: Day One

Hullo all!

Finally, after a year and a half of planning, and an even longer time dreaming about it, I was headed to CTNx!

I had bought our tickets back in February for the convention that was happening in November--talk about being early birds! I also decided to bring my brother along for this trip so that we could both be inspired and motivated to be involved in something creative, a field that we both like to dabble in. He's actually more of a photographer but this was in his wheelhouse all the same.

Obligatory airplane wing photo!

My brother and I decided to tag-team the taking of photos and videos. He just recently started vlogging himself so I was happy for any chance to be on camera as the subject instead of the cameraman.

We landed safely in Burbank after a short layover in San Francisco.

We arrived a day before the actual expo so we decided to just take it easy and explore our hotel--which had a mini arcade!

I found Galaga (I loved Space Invaders on the PlayStation 1 as a kid) and did the geeky thing of spending five dollars in change to get the high score!

This is my failed attempt at a badass face.

We had dinner at BJ's which was right across our hotel. It was a very fulfilling deep dish pizza and alfredo, but the best part was this sampler of their famous Pizookie ala mode (pizza cookie)!


The excellent view outside our window at the Holiday Inn Burbank Media Center!

Eggs Benedict is my all-time favorite breakfast food (alongside bacon and Pampanga's Best longganisa hamonado). I am constantly searching for the best Eggs Benedict in the world. True story.

My brother and his corned beef! It was a very nice sibling breakfast date. :)

Gonna fast forward a bit here. We had no clue on how we were going to get to the Marriott Convention Center. It was no walking trip so we were going to Uber it. Fortunately, a very nice Shuttle Driver at our hotel said he would take us there. His name is Jorge and he was our savior for the day! 

We got there as people were registering. I suppose a lot of people pre-registered online because the line at the registration wasn't as crazy as I expected it to be. Of course, registration also started 2 hours before my brother and I got there so we probably (fortunately) missed the rush hour. 

Some confusion over the registration process. I think overall, CTNx has to improve on their system. I had bought and registered for both my brother and myself. They couldn't find my brother's name in their system which made it difficult for him to be found in the roster/registration for workshops. I had to make sure I sorted it out with the organizers so that day 2 and 3 would be smoother sailing. 

But with that settled, CTNx officially began with a Kickoff Keynote from *drumroll*

Legendary Animator and Disney Legend, Glen Keane! For those that don't know, this man is responsible for every film in the late 80's and 90's (known as the Disney Renaissance). He was the lead animator for The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, Tarzan, Aladdin well, you get the idea.

He talked about his wonderful short film called Duet. Watching this made me cry, I swear! And this film is my bet to win the Oscar for Animated Short Film! 

We had time to kill after the opening keynote so my brother and I took a look around the front of the convention center.

Hands in your pockets and away from your wallets!

Pretty graphic novels and artbooks everywhere.

Art books from my favorite people at Imaginism Studios! I ended up getting MUSE from Ronnie Del Carmen.

When it was time to head into the workshops, my brother and I had to scramble, occasionally separating. We had chosen various workshops, demos and panels. Most of them were held in conference halls such as this called Vine AB.

My favorite venue, however is Hall C which was specially built for CTNx! It had a very unconventional theater-in-the-round setup which made the speakers interact with their audience more. 

I wish I could go through all our workshops one by one. But honestly, that would be a lot of commentary! Instead, I will highlight my favorite ones in the upcoming entries!

Talk soon!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation 4

Hullo all!

Something people must know about me, I grew up on video games and am especially attached to those with great storytelling. The Final Fantasy Franchise, Kingdom Hearts, Fatal Frame, The Walking Dead, etc. are all games that I loved playing because, while most of them involved frustrating level-grinding (and nightmare-inducing concepts), at the heart are some amazing stories that I dream of being able to tell someday. 

A couple of days ago, SquareEnix announced that it was bringing Final Fantasy VII to the PlayStation 4. 

As you may have surmised, I am one of the legions of Final Fantasy VII fans that absolutely need this franchise to be remade before we die or grow too old to use the controllers with our hands. But, to many, this announcement was a let-down because they were not remaking the game--just rereleasing it.

It is NOT the same, people. Let's roll back the tape to the remake of the opening FFVII sequence (Technical Demo for the PS3), shall we?

May I have more plz?

The disappointment of a rerelease versus a remake is a feeling that I can only liken to that of when (SPOILER ALERT), Aerith is killed in a cut-scene and you hoped and prayed and wished that at some point in the game someone could just Phoenix Down her and she would be revived and all will be well---but it never happened. 

On that note, I made a quick, mouse-made little something to express my disappointment. :(

Still hoping for a remake,