Year End Thoughts / by Giovanni Nakpil

New Years Eve is always a time for me to ruminate on the year that was. This time, it forced me not to just look back at 2012, but at my entire career thus far. I've come to the conclusion that I have been one hell of a fortunate guy to have worked at the places I've worked at and meet the people whom I've met. What a journey it has been. After finishing school, I took jobs which didn't seem to have any relevance to what I would eventually want to do, but looking back they helped build the armour to weather many of the challenges I've faced. These jobs led me to a much clearer path towards my goals.

To have achieved my childhood dream is something not many are able to proudly say. This moment was when I got that call from ILM offering me the hard surface modeling position for the next Star Wars movie. From there, it was one surreal moment after another of going through that proverbial checklist in life, crossing out things from my childhood that transformed me into the artist I am today. Build the Tripod for the next sci-fi Spielberg movie? Check! Work on a Star Wars movie? Check! Build Shockwave, your favorite Transformers robot as a child? CHECK! The checkmarks kept coming. There was not a single day of working there that I did not forget the fact that I was among the film giants that I've held with such reverence as a kid. I absorbed their knowledge like a sponge. It would've been such a foolish waste if I hadn't.

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Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

2012 was the year that "The Avengers" took the box office by storm. I, along with many talented folks at ILM, worked our butts off on a particular green character with some anger management issues. If there was ever any character to work on, it would be The Incredible Hulk. He was the character I've loved since I was a kid. As a small child, my relatives would often make me do the Hulk impersonation (modeled after Lou Ferrigno from the famed TV show). So being asked to supervise the creature work on this film and build the green guy himself was perhapsthe ultimate cherry on top of the most delicious ice cream that is Industrial Light and Magic. It made the decision to leave ILM one of the hardest and scariest decisions I've faced. But, it is paying off big. I'm now working for one of the most amazing companies in the world and I'm learning so much, well beyond what I thought I could do. I'm once again unsure of myself. The ripples of self-doubt that rumbled in my stomach are once again present for me to tackle and conquer. It truly is an awesome feeling.

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My farwell card from the folks at Industrial Light and Magic

Wishing everyone a great 2013!