Like so many others of his generation, Pete was inspired on a deep level by the first Star Wars films. As a teenager, he began to learn the craft of model making and concept design while studying the visual effects process, with the ultimate goal of becoming a professional VFX artist. His dream was to one day work on a Star Wars film, but that dream would be a long time coming.
After a 10 year run as a semi-professional musician/aspiring Rock god, Pete finally got his chance to get into the movie business working in the Prop industry for a company called Prop’er Effects. This, of course, was his plan all along. Ironically, the Prop’er Effects facility was located in the same Burbank industrial park where the original ILM was first located.
It was an exciting time for Pete, as he was thrust into the world of A-list feature film making. His career with Prop’er Effects took him many places, the highlight of which was going on location to Casper, Wyoming to wrangle and repair armor for the feature film “Starship Troopers.” It was while working with Prop’er Effects that Pete was introduced to CGI and Lightwave 3d. Lacking the funds for a formal education in the craft, Pete purchased a computer and through the generosity of Paul Pearson, the owner of Prop’er Effects, was given a copy of Lightwave 3d.
Pete began to learn the craft of CGI production on his own – initially focusing on 3d modeling. Two years later, after a 16 month stint with Rainbow Studios, an effects/Game house located in Phoenix, Arizona (where he first saw, and fell in love with “Troops”), Pete landed a job with Foundation Imaging to work on “Max Steel”, a 3d animated kid’s show. After “Max Steel” wrapped, Foundation Imaging began work on another series, “Dan Dare – Pilot of the Future”, helmed by veteran show-runner Bob Forward. Bob had initially taken his project to Netter Digital, but after that company folded, he brought the production to Foundation Imaging. Bob also brought two incredible concept artists with him – none other than Dave Max and Eric Hilleary.
Rumors and scuttlebutt were soon circulating through the cubicles of Foundation Imaging. “The guys that made ‘Troops’ are here, and they’re working on a sequel!” That was just too tempting for Pete to pass up. Here was a chance to finally work on a “Star Wars” project. The fact that it wasn’t personally sanctioned by George Lucas really didn’t matter that much. Pete introduced himself to Dave Max, and offered his services. He saw the current state of the project and determined that he could make some improvements to the productions’ Stardestroyers – and he also really wanted in on “Mushroom soup day”.
That’s where it started for Pete, over 5 years ago. It took almost 6 months, using some incredible photo references of the ILM – ESB Stardestroyer model to complete the CGI version. Pete, Dave and Eric decided to change some of the lines of the ship to give it a sleeker, meaner look. In early 2001, the ship was finished and christened “Transgressor”. Dave and Eric were blown away by the results of the model, effectively raising the bar on the entire project. Soon Pete was busy revamping, redesigning, or creating almost every digital asset of the project. In addition, he also began working on effects shots, starting with the opening Main Title sequence that precedes Chapter 1.
Besides doing 95% of the CGI for “IMPS-The Relentless” – Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and counting, Pete was also a player, donning the incredible Desert Trooper armor for the Desert Planet sequence and trudging through the hot sand and 120 degree heat of the Imperial Sand Dunes in Glamis, California.
It’s been a long road, but it’s not over yet. Pete finally managed to escape the smoke-filled den of iniquity that was and IS the Blacksheep Productions facility by moving, with his lovely and very patient fiancéé Marsha, to southern Colorado. The change of scenery has proved invigorating, and though Pete has completed work on 4 of the chapters, he knows there is more to go, and he has learned and done too much to turn back now. If the Fates allow, he will be joined by a few trusted and brave souls to realize the epic conclusion of the IMPS saga. But for now he toils away relentlessly – no pun intended – to bring you the best he can muster in visual effects artistry. Why is he doing all this by himself? The only way to answer that is to make your own self-produced film, give it a heavy visual FX load, and then go out and try to find some folks to do your CGI for you – for free! Good luck, and bring a bowl, a spoon and some milk….’nuff said!