By Guest Blogger
Student at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division
IGDA (International Game Developers Association) Member
The cell phone crackles a bit and I turn it in my hands, knowing that this is one phone call I don't want to drop. A few presenter voices are resounding in my ear, and, on my laptop's screen, I see their individual cursors' movements, as well as mine, scurrying about the Adobe Webinar space to ensure the best set up for our guest speaker. He's our first, and, fortunately for us, he seems exceptionally patient as he listens in on how to connect us to his own desktop, how to import the presentation files he's prepared for us, how to maneuver the online lobby. Finally, he speaks.
He is Bruno Velazquez, the Lead In-Game Animator at Sony Santa Monica Studios based in Santa Monica, California. Best known for the notable God of War II and III gaming hits, Velazquez is a well-known name amongst God of War enthusiasts and video game animation fans alike. He speaks calmly, taking the time to learn the presentation space and all his options. As Velazquez and the presenters get acquainted, the Group Chat is beginning to catch fire. Unable to call in just yet, the large group that continues to form grows restless, biting into topics that range from Super Bowl predictions to how the interview will work, until they finally ask - "Is Bruno here?"
Once it's time to allow guests to call in to hear the interview, there is an excited franzy; when everyone has been muted, other than Velazquez and the presenters, the presentation begins, but not without the anxious activity from the Group Chat. All is quiet and the maiden voyage of our first guest speaker presentation begins. Brian Arnold, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division's National Chapter of IGDA (The International Game Developer's Association) founder, leads the charge and dives in with "warm up" questions to get the ball rolling. I cannot help but grip my phone tightly, hanging on to Velazquez's every word as if my life depended on these very moments.
Velazquez explains that as the Lead In-Game Animator at Santa Monica Studio, he is responsible for overseeing every animation aspect of game play within a game. As easily as this title slips off the tongue, I'm not fooled and begin having a hard time imagining a person, such as myself, with such a weight on her shoulders. Prompted by Arnold, Velazquez goes on to say that he has always had a passion for arts and animation. Knowing he wanted to explore a career that combined these fields, Velazquez admits that his interests changed a bit while attending CalArts, and while most students relied on inspiration from major movie hits such as Disney's Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, he realized that the ground-breaking visuals seen in the movies such as Disney/Pixar's Toy Story were the most likely to take off in future animating endeavors.
To Be Continued...
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