2016: A Year In Review
2016 has been such an eventful year! It may go down in the history books quite infamously but for me, it’s been incredibly exciting.
I’d like to start 2017 off with a look back at how great 2016 has been for me personally, and I hope regardless of all the news in the world, that you too had a great 2016.
In 2015 I happened to meet the most unlikely of people at a work party. Neither of us were sure we’d go to the party, but there we were.
I saw her spying at me across the table, and we got to talking. It was instant chemistry.
On paper we were such an unlikely fit, but it’s worked out so well. So well in fact that in August of 2016, I asked her to marry me.
We went on a trip to England and India, her first time outside of North America, and when we arrived at my parents place in the English countryside, we went for a boat ride. When we got back, I got down on one knee and asked her if she’d spend the rest of her life with me.
We’re getting married in 2017 and I couldn’t be happier to have met her.
At the very end of 2015, I bought my first home. It’s a little town house in downtown Vancouver, attached to a nice apartment complex. It’s been an incredibly big move, and it’s definitely put quite a few grey hairs on my head, but it is great to be able to own a place of my own.
I am so thankful to my parents who both encouraged me to make the decision but also helped immensely with it. They truly are the best parents I could have asked for. I’m also greatly thankful to my fiancée who puts up with all my homeowner anxiety.
It’s been a huge learning experience, and despite all the doom and gloom about Vancouver’s housing market, we’ve made a really happy home for ourselves. It’s comfortable, on a quiet street, close to multiple parks and within a few blocks of work.
This year we delivered a film that I was quite excited to work on. Despite horrible reviews, Suicide Squad was a really great experience.
The exciting part though was the continued progression of my career at Sony Pictures Imageworks.
After only 3 years of employment here, and just under 4 years in the visual effects industry, I was given the great opportunity of becoming one of our department leads for Pipeline.
It’s been a great jump in responsibility and involvement with the companies future and I’m looking forward to all the future challenges it brings. It’s meant that I’ve been responsible for some really exciting small projects that we’ve done here, but also that I may get to helm a show myself someday.
That almost came to be, for a really cool show in fact, but sadly a last minute client change caused it to fall through the cracks. Hopefully the opportunity comes along in the future again, but for now I’ll be working on Spider-Man: Homecoming , along side my supervisor from Suicide Squad and an incredibly skilled team.
Another exciting milestone this year was that I launched my first course online. After much encouragement and pestering by friends and coworkers, I figured it was time to do it.
Python For Maya: Artist Friendly Programming released the week of Black Friday, and as of today I have close to 900 students from over 60 countries. It’s been incredibly well received, with lots of great feedback and some notable names signed up.
I intend to do some more courses in 2017 but for now it’s great to know that I both have something of value to teach, but that I’m also capable of doing so. It was a huge fear that I’d put something up and then have it fail spectacularly, but it’s uplifting to see that I could do it.
Other Cool Things
There’s just been a lot of things this year that I’m excited about. Here are just a few more:
My Dad Is Recording Music
After years of encouraging him to write his own music, it’s been great to see my dad both record his music and get such good reactions to it. He’s played the guitar for longer than I’ve been alive, and one of the reasons for my love of music.
Time for me to stop being lazy and record some music too.
My Mother is Making Art
My parents recently expanded their home and part of that includes a really fantastic art shed for my Mom. I need to get her to put her art up online, but it’s lovely seeing her putting out so many lovely pieces. Just like my Dad gave me a love for music, my Mom’s one of the reasons I like art so much and it’s so nice seeing them both do what they love.
My Brother is Studying Music
I’m really proud of my little brother who is working towards further education in music. He’s a drummer and bassist and a really great player.
In fact I’m very jealous of the places he’s going. He recently did a summer program at Berklee which is a college I’ve always dreamed of going to if I were to pursue music.
I can’t wait to see what he does next.
My Cousin is Studying At Oxford
My cousin recently started studying at Oxford and is doing so well there. She’s involved in so many projects there, and winning competitions all over the place. It’s really very cool.
My Family is Doing So Many Things
That’s not all, my entire family is doing so many things that I can’t keep up.
From one of my Grandmothers who was recently given a very prestigious award, to my other Grandmother who recently made her first trip outside India this year, just in time to be present for my engagement proposal in person.
My other cousins are doing so well too. Some are getting married this year, my youngest cousin is an amazing baker (or so I’m told) while my oldest cousin is now a father of two and my cousins in India are both following very ambitious career goals in art and politics.
It’s been a very exciting year for my family in general and I’m very proud.
So not a very personal thing, but this year I bought a Virtual Reality headest( the HTC Vive).
It’s early days, but what a mindblowing experience. This, in my opinion, is the future of media. It will get smaller with higher fidelity and fewer limitations, but even what it is now, it is simply breath taking. There’s already some ground breaking content and I can’t wait to see where it goes in 2017.
In my opinion the HTC Vive is the model to beat, with the ability to walk around your room and have complete precision. The Oculus Rift is great too in the middle, while the PlaystationVR is more limited in that you can only sit, but still a great budget entry.
So I hope you had a great 2016 too. The world may be going through a lot of turmoil, but I think it’s possible to find the light even in the dark. It’s really schlocky, but it’s really how I feel as this year draws to an end.
Here’s to a wonderful 2016, and hoping that 2017 has many happy surprises in store.
Happy New Years everyone!