Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Interlock Spotlight : Creative Director Omar Cruz

Omar Cruz is Creative Director here at Interlock Media. Himself the product of a lifetime devotion to the arts, Omar is amongst our most visionary and skilled staff members. When he’s not illustrating (see picture below), playing guitar, or working on his own film projects, Omar tackles Interlock’s numerous creative tasks in the other sixty hours a week that he has left.
            After getting his start as a CG operator on Puerto Rico’s channel 6 PBS affiliate, Omar went on to work as a cameraman, director, motion graphics specialist and college instructor, before coming to Interlock.
            As well as being an extremely well rounded individual and skateboarding veteran, Omar is a recent emigrant of Puerto Rico and a brand new Bostonian. After being in the USA for about a month, he found his way into our world and has been one our MVPs ever since.
Artwork by Omar Cruz
We sat Omar down for a quick Q & A:

Q: What do you do here at Interlock?

A: I’m the creative director at Interlock Media. Most of my job involves designing and implementing most of the web-related content. I also serve as the motion graphics artist and in-house colorist. 

Q: What got you interested in working for Interlock?

A: Well, I had moved from Puerto Rico and was looking for a job. There was an opening for an editing internship at Interlock Media, which I applied for because I had just gotten into Boston and didn’t know anyone, and I thought it would be a good place to start. Since, my duties have increased considerably.

Q: What got you interested in film/graphic design?

A: My family is very big on film. We used to spend most of our nights huddled in front of the TV. I’ve drawn since I was very little; I used to draw Looney Toons. I draw, I play guitar, I take pictures and I write. Film is mixed media. It allows me to explore my interests in many different artforms. Be it music, photography, writing, acting and even drawing. I enjoy the experience. 

Q: What was the transition from Puerto Rico to America like?

I guess you have to get used to a couple of things. Weather patterns are something I have a lot more in mind now, there’s not a lot of seasonal changes in Puerto Rico. I still hold that Puerto Rican food is the best, and I miss it like crazy.

Q: What’s your favorite part of working for Interlock?

A: I like the idea of working for a non-profit environmental organization. I think that we have projects that are worthwhile. As a motion graphics artist, you run across jobs that don’t make you feel very proud of yourself, but working for a non-profit like Interlock is very gratifying. It’s very hard most of the time to find a film industry job that’s helping the world.

Q: Are you where you imagined you would be now, back when you were 18?

A: I’m certainly following the right direction that I had in mind. I have a very elaborate plan with what I want to do and where I want to go. I’ve already finished my first feature, and I’m working on my second.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators/film makers?

A: You really have to know that this is what you want to do. It’s a very misunderstood line of work. People think it’s a very glamorous job, but it involves a lot of sacrifice. I think there's people who like the film industry and then there's people who honestly feel a need to be a part of it and truthfully believe the have something to contribute. If you're passionate about it, it might not be worth the effort. I’ve been known to live where I work. I didn’t think of that as hardship, I loved the idea of living in a studio, and I think that only people who want to live that way should pursue this career. That and always charge half up-front.

Q: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

A: If I could have a superpower, I think being able to read minds would be the most useful power in the world. Either being able to read minds or controlling people’s minds would be awesome.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Study Affirms Correlation Between Global Warming and Severe Weather

As pointed out yesterday in the New York Times, a recent study by the US National Climate Data Center (NCDC) indicates that the large number of severe global weather events in 2011 was likely exacerbated by global warming.

While individual events can’t be attributed to global warming, the study’s authors explain their findings by comparing the increasing number of severe weather incidents to an increased numbers of home runs hit after a batter has started to use steroids; while there have always been incidents of severe weather (as there have always been home runs), the probability of their occurrence has markedly increased.

If increasing pressure in the form of extreme weather is not enough to prompt serious lifestyle changes around the world, social pressure in the form of environmentalist media has never been more important.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

236 Years of Inalienable Rights

236 years have passed since the US declared independence from Britain. The Declaration was initiated as a statement of defiance against foreign sovereignty, but it was finalized as a dramatic assertion of human rights, and the world has remembered it that way.

Yet some less flattering aspects are worth remembering as well. Of the 56 visionary signatories of the Declaration of Independence, 56 were male, 56 were white, 55 were Protestant, and many owned slaves; they endorsed a banner of change and tolerance while living in the comfortable majority, and they did it in the face of a vastly superior British military. One could easily wonder where they found the courage to defy an empire, when they already lived relatively well as individuals.

We can’t do our Declaration of Independence honor by glorifying the imperfect men behind it, who themselves pronounced all men as created equal, nor by glorifying the actual document, which was composed before equality for women, for instance, seemed worth including.

We can honor the Declaration by upholding the values of equality and human rights that underlie it and by accepting that making progress means acknowledging flaws. We accomplish this when we remember the humanity of our citizens behind bars, when we stand up for exploited populations abroad, and when we analyze the imperfect roots of modern environmentalism.

The Declaration was no end-all; a war still had to be fought, a constitution still had to be written, that same constitution had to be amended, and the disparate states had to be united for real. However, when the founding fathers used that document as a means to champion equality and human rights, they set the USA on its feet as a self-aware nation.

Efforts are being made across the country today to further the admirable values of our founders. Their successes, like the success of the American revolution, come not from the values espoused by a few, but from the impassioned support of the public; without it, we could never have come so far.

Happy 4th, from Interlock.