Friday, June 20, 2008

Post-partum

It was a rather intense three weeks, preparing the grant proposal. Then, it was done. What might happen?

I explained to RocketMom that I feel like I'm in my old darkroom. Once you select the frame, and adjust the cropping, place and expose the paper, burn and dodge as you like, then gently glide it in the alkaline developer tray, you catch your breath until that moment when the image in silver halides begins magically to appear.

I'm caught in that moment. I'm in a Groundhog Day dream, terminating just before that crucial event. What might happen?

No... I don't need this. But what next? I have a new priority now: my patent application. Deadline set by the end of the summer. That's three long months. According to Gaisma, we're in the summer solstice locally.
Date Sunrise Sunset Length Change
Today 05:13 20:33 15:20
+1 day 05:13 20:33 15:20 00:00 equal length

More intense effort. Don't get me wrong: this is what I wish to be doing at this point in my life. But there are times when the path weighs heavily on me.

I mentioned the other day that I'm reading about the making of Pixar as inspiration. Long time readers will recall that a bit more than a year ago I read part of the story in Droidmaker, by Michael Rubin. Problem is, I'm not sure just whom I'm emulating.

See, the folks who made computer animated films a reality (Ed Catmull, Alvy Ray Smith, John Lasseter, et al) were not exactly entrepreneurs. They had the spirit, the commitment, the ideas, but... they also had that rare and wonderful commodity: wealthy sponsors. First, it was Alexander Schure, then George Lucas, and finally Steve Jobs. They... those last three, they were the entrepreneurs. But, I can't say they're my role models.

David Price, in The Pixar Touch, writes (p. 62): "The trouble at Lucasfilm was that Lucas wanted his computer graphics experts to be Isaacs, the inventor, while they wanted to be Muybridge, the artist...". My problem is, I wish to be the inventor and the entrepreneur.

It's not that the thought of a rich patron doesn't at times appeal to me. It's mostly that I've given up holding my breath. I look at job listings, wondering if there isn't somewhere a position just right for me (like there was for Catmull and Smith and Lasseter). But that phone has yet to ring out of the blue, inviting me to head a new lab. For now, and likely for good, I'm on my own.

I just hope, someday soon, to have the resources to hire some others to join me. Even the best climbers wouldn't tackle a mountain alone.

1 comment:

Lilian said...

I hope you can get there.