Sunday, December 03, 2006

Animation Festival Watch

Toon Boom News & Events

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Animation Festival Watch

Image Anime ton univers francophone 2007 Image
  • Collège Boréal and the National Film Board of Canada, Ontario and West offices, are launching an animation contest for French-speaking artists in Ontario.

    The contest is open to all French-speaking Canadian citizens residing in Ontario who have already finalized at least one animated film, whether professional or not.

    • February 1st, 2007: final date to submit a project
    • February 22, 2007: winners are announced

    More details can be found at:

Image 5th International Festival of Animation Films “BIMINI” Image
  • In Latvian cinema’s culture, Bimini is the only festival of its kind that provides worldwide animation sight range and reviews of last years' films, including also Latvian animators achievements, which in the last years have deserved approval from international famous professionals and animation films festivals. The program of the Festival includes the films participating in competition and out of competition films reviews, as well as the review of retrospective and informative films. In 2006, there have been demonstrated 229 films from 34 countries in total. The International Festival of Animation Films “Bimini” has taken place thanks to financial support of State Cultural Capital Foundation, Ministry of Culture of Latvia and Latvian National Cinematography Centre, as well as of sponsors.

    • Dates: March 16-22, 2007
    • For more information go to:

Image San Luis Obispo International Film Festival 2007 Image
  • The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is now celebrating its 13th year and has grown to attract celebrities and filmmakers from all over North America. San Luis Obispo is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California’s beautiful Central Coast, famous for its excellent vineyards, great beaches, outdoor sports and perfect climate.

    From March 1-11, 2007, San Luis Obispo’s downtown will be a meeting place for visiting filmmakers and film lovers as they enjoy screenings of films from the past and present with many special guests. SLOIFF’s exciting program includes cutting edge films from around the world as part of the George Sidney Independent Film Competition; world-class celebrity tributes; outdoor sports films; a classic film in a different genre each evening; winning films from two student film/video contests; filmmaking panels and workshops and much more.

    Each weekend features a Gala celebrity event, with a special awards presentation on Saturday, March 10, when the King Vidor Career Achievement award is presented to an outstanding recipient (last year’s award went to Morgan Freeman) and the Independent Film Competition winners are announced.

    • For more information about the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, please go to Great scenes…great scenery!

Image Storyboard Competition 2007 Image
  • WIN Three Months FREE professional 2D (Drawn) or 3D (Stop frame model/clay) animation training at the Bristol School of Animation

  • Bristol School of Animation is pleased to announce its annual storyboarding competition for 2007, in conjunction with Aardman Animations Ltd and with support from MEDIA.

  • They are looking for talented individuals to produce an original and creative storyboard for a TV or film advertisement. This could be used to promote the European animation industry to a worldwide market at international film fairs and business conferences. The aim of the advertisement is to increase international circulation of European animation, for film, television and new media industries, emphasising the cultural diversity that Europe has to offer. The competition judges will be looking for skills in the development and communication of a strong concept likely to influence international businesses. A storyboard visually conveys the plot and action of a scene, shot, or a whole film / commercial.

  • The Prize
    • The first prize of this competition is a free place to study either 2D drawn, 3D puppet or 3D CGI (Maya) animation. This prize also includes the payment of accommodation costs for the duration of the eleven week period. The first prize winner will also receive a free copy of Toon Boom Storyboard. There will also be runners-up prizes on offer.

  • Competition Entry Guidelines

    • The deadline for all entries is 9th March 2007
    • The competition is open to all UK and EU / EEA residents over 18 years of age.
    • Storyboards must be completed within the specified format using the template provided (you can make as many copies of the template as you like).
    • Please keep copies of your entries, as we are unable to return the originals.
    • The judges decision is final
    • Download an application and templates from the Website:

  • For more information please contact us on:
    • Tel: +44 (0) 117 32 84810

  • Please send all entries to:
    • Storyboarding Competition 2007
      Bristol School of Animation,
      University of the West of England,
      Bower Ashton Campus,
      Kennel Lodge Road,
      Bristol, BS3 2JT, UK
Image Sabaoth International Film Festival Image
  • The 2006 Sabaoth International Film Festival in Milan , Italy is proud to partner with Toon Boom to award excellence in independent film production. This year, Sabaoth Festival presents 39 films and animations from all five continents from November 16-18 in Milan's historic Brera district. The festival's prestigious Adam Award will be presented in eight categories, including a special animation prize presented by Toon Boom, on November 18th at the Festival gala with nearly 4,000 in attendance.

Image Red Stick International Animation Festival 2007 Image
  • The Red Stick International Animation Festival is a community event that converges the worlds of technology, art, entertainment and exploration. The festival brings together artists and technologists to explore new methods, tools and ways of telling stories. Artists draw and paint with computers, and scientists convey their complex theories in color and motion. The 2007 Red Stick International Animation Festival highlights this convergence celebrating art, motion, and exploration in downtown Baton Rouge April 17-22, 2007.

    The Red Stick Festival is hosted by the Laboratory for Creative Arts & Technologies (LCAT), an integral research facility within LSU's Center for Computation & Technology, or CCT. The central functions of the lab's efforts converge on a single purpose: to articulate discovery through the intersections of creativity, technology, and human expression. Discovery is not limited to scientific pursuits; it also is the language of art, music, and human interaction. The Red Stick Festival is designed to convey this by highlighting one of the most technically driven art forms available to everyone: animation.

    • The film submission deadline is December 15, 2006 and the deadline for storyboards is February 1, 2007.

Image I Castelli Animati 2006 Image
  • The best of world animation in one great event: I Castelli Animati represents Italy in the circuit of excellence of the eight European festivals for the Forum Cartoon, the European manifestation organized by the E.U. to select new production projects to be carried out with European subsidy, and to award the Cartoon D'or, the European Oscar for short animated films. During I Castelli Animati, the top names in animation go to make up the Juries which will award the prizes to the films in the prestigious International Competition, Italian Competition and Web Competition.

    • From November 16 to 29, the films in the Web Competition are also accessible for viewing at where they can be voted for the assignment of the Audience Prize.

Image Animation Block Party Image
  • NYC based Animation Block Party is dedicated to exhibiting the world's best independent, professional and student animation. In January 2007, ABP will reopen for submissions to their excellent summer festival, a three-day film Brooklyn event, full of indoor/outdoor screenings, juried prizes, cool sponsored stuff, good music, cold drinks and the world's best animated shorts.

    In the past two years, ABP has received over 1200 animation submissions from all ends of the earth. International entries have arrived from Greece, France, The Netherlands, Israel, Australia, Brazil, Canada and the United Kingdom. Animation submissions from the United States include California, Texas, Rhode Island, Ohio, Chicago, Boston, New York City, etc. More than 2500 fans and filmmakers have attended Animation Block Party festivals.

Image The Greatest Story Never Told Competition IV Image
  • Hailed as the biggest Flash storytelling competition ever, TGSNT seeks to recognize and reward independent storytellers worldwide who use software that exports to the swf format as a storytelling medium to produce original stories for the web, DVD, TV, film and wireless entertainment. This year, participating storytellers will be able to submit their original stories in 2 categories:

    1. Flash Movies/Shorts
    2. Flash Comic Books

    The official Call for Entries for TGSNT IV begins September 16, 2006. TGSNT IV competition is open to 2D and 3D animators, comic book artists, filmmakers, independent storytellers and students worldwide. This year’s entry fee is $30; $15 per student entry. Submission deadline is January 15, 2007!

    Each category will have (4) winners for a total of 8 winners:

    • 1 Grand Prize Winner (Movies and Comic Books)
    • 2 Runner ups (Movies and Comic Books)
    • 1 People’s Choice Winner


    • CALL FOR ENTRIES: September 15, 2006
    • SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: January 15, 2007
    • PEOPLE'S CHOICE VOTING: February 1, 2007
    • WINNERS ANNOUNCED: March 30, 2007

Image Norwich International Animation Festival Image
  • Norwich International Animation Festival is a unique art-focused event which features a white-hot programme of seminars, debates, retrospectives and special film programmes, alongside the very best new animation from across the world. Its progressive format and commitment to special self- and guest-curated programmes, debates and symposia mark the festival as unique in the UK, and one of Europe¹s fastest-growing new voices on the festival circuit.

    The festival relaunched in 2005, recording over 6,800 admissions and screening more than 170 films over four days, many of which were UK or European premières ­ in addition to welcoming many of the industry¹s finest names to Norwich, including Caroline Leaf, Marv Newland, Jerzy Kucia, Michaela Pavlátová, JJ Villard, Gil Alkabetz and Tim Macmillan.

    The festival is currently open for submissions. The competition is free to enter, and is open to films of any length, from filmmakers in any country.

Image FlashMove 5th Anniversary Contest Image
  • For the contest, FlashMove is running a 3d quiz game. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit

    Prize details and conditions are as follows:
    1. Winning entries will need to provide personal particulars in order to collect the prizes.
    2. Players found cheating will be disqualified.
    3. rizes are subjected to change should stock be unavailable with another item of equivalent value.
    4. Closing date is on 25 September.
    5. Draw date is on 30 September.
    6. Winners will be notified via email. So please make sure your email address is valid and your user account is activated.

Image International Animation Celebration Image
  • As part of the 2006 Animation Celebration, the French Animation Association (Afca) and Toon Boom are launching an animation contest for the Web, open to creative minds worldwide. The suggested theme is An Unusual Encounter.
    • Technical Criteria: QuickTime (MOV) or Flash (SWF) movies of less than 2 minutes, with a file size not to exceed 5 MB, with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
    • Registration: Between June 15 and September 20, 2006, the registration form and regulations will be available at
    • Vote: The selected movies will be posted on Toon Boom’s web site and visitors will be able to vote from October 18 to 25, 2006.
    • Winners: The three movies that receive the highest number of votes will be announced on October 26 and screened on October 28, during International Animation Day, both in Paris and Montreal, as well as will be showcased on the Toon Boom and AFCA sites.
    • Prizes:Toon Boom Solo and more!

Image Potenza International Animation Film Festival Image
  • Date: October 25 to 28 2006
  • Entry Deadline: September 15th 2006

  • Organized by the cultural association Cortitalia, the Potenza International Animation Film Festival (P.I.A.F.F.) will be held in Potenza on October 25 to 28, 2006. P.I.A.F.F. offers five categories in which you can submit your animated short:
    • Italian animated shorts
    • International animated shorts from 1 to 4 minutes
    • International animated shorts from 4 to 20 minutes
    • Animated shorts in Flash format
    • Musical videos
    More info available at

Image Animex 2007 Image
  • October 1, 2006: Film submission deadline
  • February 2007: Winners announced

  • As the Principle Sponsor for the 2D Computer Animation Award, Toon Boom will supply animation software to the winner and two runners up at the 2007 Animex Festival. The deadline date for the Animex Awards 2007 is October 1, 2006. The Animex International Festival of Animation takes place every year in Middlesbrough in the North East of England. The festival has its roots firmly planted in the creative side of the animation business and acts to provide animators, directors, students, artists, designers, writers and educators with a forum in which they can share their knowledge and skills and promote the art of animation. Toon Boom will also be giving a workshop titled How to Produce Cost Effective Digital Animations on Wednesday, February 8th, 2006. See you there!

Image AniFest ’07 Image
  • Organized by the Center for Graphics Research at Western Connecticut State University, AniFest 07 has launched a call for entries for its Student Computer Animation Competition. AniFest 07 will take place on April 24-26, 2007. All students from college and university level worldwide are invited to participate. For more information visit

Image 2D OR NOT 2D? Image
  • The Animaticus Foundation… author/animator Tony White’s non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, teaching and evolving the art of traditional 2D animation is establishing its first "2D OR NOT 2D Animation Festival" this November 17th thru 19th at the Historic Everett Theatre in Washington State.

    The festival will offer competitive Golden Pencil (and Toon Boom Studio software) awards for animators of all persuasions, although it will place special emphasis on new and innovative traditionally-animated work (cel-based or digital).

    Keynote speakers will be Roy E. Disney (presenting a retrospective of Disney short films, from Steamboat Willie through to Lorenzo), cartoonist Tom Wilson (presenting the Emmy award-winning TV Special Ziggy’s Gift, directed by Richard Williams), and Tony himself (presenting for the first time in public his film Endangered Species, as well as sign copies of his new book Animation from Pencils to Pixels).

    Further details can be found at

Image Anima 2007 Image
  • Brussels, February 16 - 25, 2007.

    Anima provides a key showcase for the entire range of quality animation, right in the heart of Europe. More than hundred films in the international competition, original retrospectives, exhibitions, film lectures and workshops, events such as "La nuit animée", the professional forum Futuranima, and representative guests make Brussels a major international meeting-place for thousands of local people and overseas visitors. For the latter it's also an opportunity to discover Belgian animation production and to meet students and up-and-coming young professionals. Anima also nominates, from the European selection, its candidates for the "Cartoon d'Or".

    Entry forms: Nov. 1, 2006
    Arrival of prints: Jan. 22, 2007

    Further details can be found at

Image online drawing competition Image
  • Halloween drawing competition
    Toon Boom Animation Inc. is proudly sponsoring this month’s Halloween drawing competition at giving users the chance to win one of three copies of Toon Boom Studio Express. allows you to use your mouse or drawing tablet to creating drawings online. Once you’ve created a drawing, users can see your drawing being redrawn stroke by stroke and can rate your drawing. Not only it is lots of fun, but a great way to watch other people draw and learn from the masters.

    For more information visit

Sunday, November 19, 2006

16 Animated Movies In Oscar

Posted: Fri., Nov. 3, 2006, 1:49pm PT

Acad toons in to 16 pix
'Flushed,' 'Scanner,' 'Cars' among titles eligible for animated feature Oscar

This story was updated at 5:59 p.m.

'Flushed Away'

'Flushed Away' is one of the 16 pix eligible for this year's Animated Feature Oscar.

Sixteen toons are expected to compete for this year's animated feature Oscar, which will likely boast five nominees for the first time in four years.

The pics deemed eligible by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are "The Ant Bully," "Arthur and the Invisibles," "Barnyard," "Cars," "Curious George," "Everyone's Hero," "Flushed Away," "Happy Feet," "Ice Age: The Meltdown," "Monster House," "Open Season," "Over the Hedge," "Paprika," "Renaissance," "A Scanner Darkly" and "The Wild."

In recent years, the animated feature race has fallen short of the 16 films required to trigger a five-nominee slate. The last time the category maxed out was 2002, when a record 17 pics were eligible. The Oscar went to Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away."

Three of this year's contenders have not yet had their required Los Angeles releases, though they are scheduled to do so before the end of the year: Warner Bros.' "Happy Feet" hits theaters Nov. 17; Sony Pictures Classics will unspool "Paprika" for an Oscar-qualifying run on Nov. 20; and The Weinstein Co. will release "Arthur and the Invisibles" on Dec. 15.

In the unlikely event that one or more of the three pics fails to open, the category would shrink to three nominees.

While most of the contenders are CG-animated kidpics, some are unusual media hybrids.

"Paprika," the latest anime from "Tokyo Godfathers" helmer Satoshi Kon, blends hand-drawn animation with computer enhancements; "Arthur and the Invisibles," director Luc Besson's adaptation of his own children's book, combines live-action and CGI; and "A Scanner Darkly," Richard Linklater's dystopic adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel, was shot in live-action and then rotoscoped.

Two of the pics deploy motion-capture technology: "Monster House," produced by "The Polar Express" director Robert Zemeckis; and Miramax's French-language "Renaissance," a black-and-white futuristic noir.

"Flushed Away," from DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Features, uses CG to reproduce the claymation look of Aardman's "Wallace & Gromit" pics.

Universal's "Curious George" is the lone pic to feature traditional 2-D animation.

Paramount distribbed DreamWorks productions "Flushed Away" and "Over the Hedge," as well as "Barnyard." Sony boasts "Monster House" and "Open Season," the first offering from its fledgling animation division, in addition to Sony Classics' "Paprika"; Warner is behind "The Ant Bully" and "Happy Feet" as well as Warner Independent's "A Scanner Darkly."

Disney is repped by "The Wild" and Pixar's "Cars," while 20th Century Fox has "Ice Age: The Meltdown" and baseball adventure "Everyone's Hero."

Nominees will be announced on Jan. 23.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Animation Lecture

Shawn Kelly + Delio Tramontozzi Animation Lecture:

April 9th, 2004
Ringling School of Art + Design
Transcribed by: Jeremy Collins

-Carefully choose gestures.
-Gestures should hit on vowels.
-Choose 1 or 2 of the most important poses and make sure they carry emotion and read.
-Avoid clichés at all costs. (i.e. using the first pose that comes to mind.)
-Watch out for “showing” in your animations instead of “doing”.
-Use gestures from NOW, not 1950.


-Essential but commonly overlooked in animation.
-They have a wide range of motion and “emotion” in them.
-The shoulders often lead many actions.
-When your arm is completely extended your shoulders touch your ears. Their range is very wide.


-Computers inbetween with math, not with the principals of animation.
-Specify exactly what the pose needs.
-You must define the timing from ears to toes in your animation.
-“The computer is the dumbest inbetweener there is”.
-Watch for twinning in your poses.
-Try working with curves other than the default splines to develop your inbetweening.
-Spend the most time on the first post. It is the most telling in your whole animation.
-Use all of the controllers provided. There should be animation on every possible curve.
-Nothing truly is ever at rest.


-The ocular muscles usually move before anything else. Brows lead the action and the mouth typically comes last.
-Avoid changing facial expressions in the middle of big movements. Do it before or after.
-There shouldn’t be any expression changes at all in the first or last 6 frames of an animation.


-Start with the core of the motion and move outward from there.
-Arms and often legs move in figure 8 patterns.
-When in FK, do the arms last. The motion of the arms is almost always dictated by the torso.
-Be aware of the orientation of the wrist to the elbow.
-Apply the waves principal (add overlap to all joints.)


-Plan when and why your characters eyes dart.
-Too many eye darts = spastic characters.
-Allow the eyes time to focus on the objects they’re pointing at.
-Unanimated eyes = doll eyes.
-The eyes always convey the emotion and truth of a character’s performance.


-Blinks are never random.
-Plan when and why your character is blinking.
Convey a shift in thought.
Sell the emotional state of a character.
We blink to change a shift in thought or emotion.
When we blink we are “cutting the film of life”. Our eyes are the cameras.
Blinks always occur on quick head turns.


-The jaw doesn’t always open on every syllable or word.
-Get a mirror and keep it by your desk. Place your hand in a stationary position under your jaw and feel how many times it opens and closes per line of dialogue.

Feature Animation Demo Reel Tips:

  1. Keep it under 2.5 minutes.
  2. LABELS!
  3. Always use a NEW VHS tape. (Always label the spine!)
  4. Include a log sheet (breakdown sheet). Show thumbnails of the shot on the log and mention what you contributed to each shot.
  5. Include a resume and cover letter. Always spell check these two docs.
  6. Only use your best stuff.
  7. Short film? Show your best shots first. Include the full film at the end.
  8. Tailor your reel to the studio and position your applying for.
  9. No offensive content.
  10. Avoid cycles in your reel.
  11. Reel Order:

-Second best shot – FIRST.
-Weakest shot (but still good work) – MIDDLE
-Best shot – LAST
-Full short film (if applicable) – at the end.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Light a Million Candles

Light A Million Candles is a website organization that is trying to raise awareness for child pornography and online child abuse. You don't have to make a donation or anything, it's not what they're asking for. They're asking you to virtually light a candle, as they are trying to have one million lit by December 31st of this year. They want to raise awareness to the government and politicians. Please follow the link below and light a candle. It only takes a minute.

Light a candle for the innocent victims of online child abuse.

Thank You

Sunday, October 29, 2006

‘The Wild’ works better than ‘Madagascar’

Story of zoo animals that have to survive in the wild is familiar but fun

"The Wild"

Walt Disney Pictures

Samson the Lion (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) and Nigel the Koala (voiced by Eddie Izzard) escape from the Manhattan zoo to track down Samsn's restless teenage son in "The Wild."

By John Hartl
Film critic
Updated: 8:38 a.m. ET April 13, 2006

American animation studios are running out of inspiration, not to mention originality. How else to explain the back-to-back 1998 releases of DreamWorks’ “Antz” and Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life”? Or Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” followed so closely by DreamWorks’ similar fish story, “Shark Tale”?

And whatabout Disney’s new computer-generated cartoon, “The Wild,” arriving on the heels of last year’s DreamWorks hit, “Madagascar”? With their astonishingly similar plotlines about New York zoo animals going back to the wild, they can sometimes seem like the same movie.

They do, however, feature different casts and very different narrative approaches. While “Madagascar” was a joke machine that literally ran out of gas, “The Wild” tries to tell a story in which the comic riffs are more organic. Disney claims to have started “The Wild” more than nine years ago, yet it comes off almost as a critique of what went wrong in “Madagascar.”

In the new movie, Kiefer Sutherland provides the voice of Samson, a lion king who rules the New York Zoo, brags about his jungle adventures but has little experience of the outside world. Jim Belushi plays his best friend, a fussy squirrel named Benny, and Janeane Garofalo is the voice of a sassy giraffe named Bridget.

Samson and his friends, including the semi-hysterical anaconda Larry (Richard Kind) and the droll koala Nigel (Eddie Izzard), escape from the Manhattan zoo to track down Samson’s restless teenage son, Ryan (Greg Cipes). He’s been mistakenly shipped off to Africa, where the zoo folks meet a demented wildebeest, Kazar (William Shatner), who has created a cult around the heavenly visitation of a koala doll they worship as “The Great Him.”

In “Madagascar,” Ben Stiller was the spoiled lion, David Schwimmer played the giraffe and Chris Rock was the lion’s pal, a daydreaming zebra named Marty. Hampered by tired pop-culture gags, they worked too hard at getting laughs. The chief scene-stealers turned out to be a gang of snarky penguins.

In place of the penguins, who weren’t around long enough, “The Wild” offers Izzard’s hilarious improvisations (he is said to have created 85 per cent of his lines), and Shatner doing his self-deprecating thing as a puffed-up religious fanatic who really wants to be a choreographer. There’s a touch of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King” in their relationship, but it never seems like an in-joke. It’s a valid extension of the story.

The first-time director, Steve “Spaz” Williams, is a visual-effects veteran (“Jurassic Park”) who has no problem with allowing the story, not the effects (which are impressive), to provide the driving force. He wisely allows Izzard and Shatner to go wild, and they reward him with the movie’s funniest moments.

“The Wild” isn’t a great Disney cartoon. The screenplay is attributed to four writers, whose best-known credits include such dim comedies as “The Santa Clause 2” and “Snow Dogs,” and it takes them too long to establish the characters. But once the zoo refugees arrive in Africa, the extended set-up pays off.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Mystery of missing Ear-ring

Written on Tuesday October 24, 2006

Yes, I know, it’s been past 4 to 5 months now and it still says about the mystery of the missing ear-ring. Finally here is the unrevealed mystery.

It’s all started in May. We have a maid, who used to wash dishes, and broom the flat. As you always know, they are making easy money by not doing there work they supposed to. The dishes are washed by her, and then we have to do that also, because the powder or liquid or the surface of dishes not cleaned. When she broom, also leave many spots and sometimes skip the room. Even some maids are theft. They make them self comfortable and try to finish work as quietly, as they have another work waiting at another location. They act as they are the boss.

Anyway, on their behaviour and attitude, a new article can be written. So, what happened was that, in the evening, my mom came to us telling the screw of the gold ear-ring had been fallen some where. We search the mom's room, and one or two another rooms, where it can be found. However, we failed to find any where in the house. We waited for the next morning for the maid to clean. This is the best and possible way to be found things.

Negative! Nothing was found. Day’s passes, where could it be? It should be found in the cleaning. It can be stolen or not been spotted. We leave that case open.

After couples of week, one evening of Saturday, we notice a small lizard stuck in the bathroom. We tried to get rid of him by showing him the way out from window, but it stuck-ed in the corner, afraid, hiding, and confused.

The lizard was still living in the bathroom. I was watching David Letterman, Tom Hanks was the guest for his movie Da Vinci Code. It was about 00:30 am, still try to get him out as we notice, he was staying.

At last, dad picks the sink plumper and tried to suck the little creature. The lizard hang on to it and then dad balances the pump out in the gallery.

"Let the pump go", was the thought of us, when the lizard and the pump were in the gallery. In six or seven hours we have made the bonding with him. I was thinking of keeping him by then. It was cute too. Finally the little lizard falls down. He was saved and gone for good.

But you would be wondering what about the missing screw of gold ear-ring. What the link between these two stories?

It has the link, what we can say is that it was the sign from the Divine source. That little guy was just the way of giving us the clue, because it was odd, staying in the flats for too long and neither dying nor leaving. The lizard had gone out only through the support of sink pump and after spending it living for six to seven hours.

Here what happened…

The ear-rings were on my mom's ear at the time of screw disappeared. She was cleaning the bathroom at that time. When she finished her work and after a while when doing other works, maybe in evening she noticed when look at her in the mirror. She was in her room, so the first thing click in her mind was her own room to check, then the others.

However, it was missing for more than 2 weeks. Where can it be?

But the clue was given through the lizard, which showed us where it was. It was pined in the pump all along these weeks. When the lizard fallen, dad checked the bottom of the pump, to make sure that lizard had left the flat. He noticed the screw was pinned in the pump.

Sometimes, in our lives too, we got many signs and opportunities, which can change the whole life of the person.

We should be attentive to all the happenings in our life.

Monday, October 09, 2006

How to Collect From Clients: Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk

Aug 29, 2001
William H. Mills

Former President and COO, Software Business Technologies

Very few entrepreneurs begin their business ventures with the goal of becoming collection agents. Unfortunately, some of us have found ourselves in this unwelcome and unsavory role as a matter of business survival. Developing a c onsistently successful accounts-receivables program does not have to be a daunting process. By following some straightforward, time-tested guidelines, you can implement a "win-win" strategy that gets your invoices paid on time and allows you to maintain positive, long-term business relationships with clients. What follows is a discussion of how to walk the walk, and talk the talk, of collection.

Money Talks, and So Must You
Why do some business owners seldom, if ever, voice complaints about past-due balances, while others spend significant time on this problem? Much of the answer begins long before an invoice is sent. Indeed, one of the most valuable changes you can make in your accounts-receivable process is to define payment expectations with your clients in advance of services performed. You can also enter into a formal agreement that includes a sum to be paid up front, and then verbally review what you will do for the clients. Here's how:
  • Establish Financial Boundaries. Discuss money during your first meeting with a client. Explain in a clear and concise manner exactly what you will do for the client, while specifically stating your compensation terms . Discuss in detail, for example, the cost of a visit to the client's site or two rounds of revisions on a project. Your clear communication during this meeting is essential, because it establishes important financial boundaries with the client.
  • Formalize an Agreement. The boundaries discussed at the initial meeting should then be documented in writing. In an obligating agreement, you should list the specific services to be performed or work to be delivered, and the estimated cost of the services or work. This agreement should explicitly state that your client owes you money for work performed or services rendered. The agreement should also specify the terms of payment, including the payment you expect in advance of services.
  • Request Money in Advance. If it is the accepted practice within the industry, business owners should request a portion of their money in advance. In its professional-services business, SBT requires all clients, large and small, to pay a retainer that lasts across the life the job. Using the terminology of the industry is important, such as "deposit on hardgoods" or "retainer on services." This allows the client to understand you are asking for something others will ask for as well.
  • In one case, we at SBT asked an international freight company with worldwide offices for a down payment of one third. The freight company balked, but we insisted. Even if we came down to one percent from our original request, we would be able to say to other clients that we required this internationally known corporation to pay a portion in advance. Remember, you can acquiesce if the client protests--the freight company understood our position. But if you allow no up-front payment, you will have a much harder time later with other clients, and your cash flow is impacted significantly.
  • Review Verbally. Take the time to review the agreement with your client before signing. This will enable you to reinforce the financial obligation that the agreement specifies. You can also use this verbal review time to inform your client about the value of your work. The talk might go something like this: "By adding these modifications to your system, you'll be able to process incoming orders in approximately half the time it's now taking." Simply stated, you are telling the client exactly what you are providing for a specific dollar amount, and therefore defining the client's expectations. There should be no question at the end of your meeting about what is being delivered, when to expect it, and how much it will cost.
Repeat After Me: "I Will Not Make Collection Calls"
Having personally defined the agenda for payment with your client, your next step in the accounts-receivables plan involves separating yourself from the collection process. Your business role now becomes fostering a long-term relationship with your client. This can be a tall order if you are the person picking up the phone to demand payment. Walking this walk involves two steps:
  • Designate an Agent. It is imperative that the task of reminding clients to pay their bills, as well as more advanced collection activities, be undertaken by someone elsein your office, such as an office manager or administrative assistant. You might also consider hiring a third party to handle the job.
  • Distance Yourself. When you have designated an individual to serve as your accounts-receivables manager, you can distance yourself and your business role from the collection function. Should a client call you to complain about a collection call, you can respond with a comment such as, "I'm glad you contacted me. I'll talk to my accounting department about this. I'm sure we can get it straightened out." This necessary separation allows you to maintain a distinctly different image in the mind of the client.
In your goal of preserving the valuable business relationship you have built up with your client, while at the same time holding the client to a contractual obligation, you are again establishing a boundary. This time, the boundary is more illusory than the written contract that defined your terms. But it is a boundary nonetheless: You are training your clients to view your "accounting department," or accounts-receivables manager, as an autonomous arm of your business. You are also allowing yourself to concentrate all of your energy on building your business.
Stay on Top of Your Invoicing Game
This brings us to your internal accounting procedures, and how they affect your accounts-receivables plan. The rule here is simple: keep your side of the street clean. Here's how:
  • Set Billing Standards. Do not expect your client to pay from an incorrect invoice, or to pay the invoice on time if it is sent out late. Hold yourself to an invoicing standard calling for no errors and consistently punctual delivery, allowing ample time for your clients to meet your agreed-upon payment terms.
  • Set Accounting Standards. What is the best way to ensure accurate and timely invoicing? Consider the method you now use for billing your clients. The off-the-shelf accounting package you probably used to start your business was fine, but as your business expands, so does your need for an automated accounting system. In anticipating growth and change in your business, look for an accounting system that provides features such as automatic updating of customer and inventory balances and flexibility for modifications as your business evolves.
You also need a package that recognizes the year 2000. Many programs are now configured to store only the final two digits of the year and will recognize the year 2000 as year 1900. You also need a package that enables computers to recognize that the year 2000 rather than 1900 will follow 1999, as many computer programs are now configured to store only the final two digits.

Solve Your Accounts-Receivables Problems Today
Having involved yourself in setting the payment agenda, distanced yourself from the billing process, and put your internal systems in order, the final step is collecting from slow-paying or non-paying clients. This involves an especially delicate walk and an artfully nuanced talk. Consider these steps:
  • Use Late-Payment Fees. While it is almost impossible to collect late-payment fees in a commercial business relationship, you might use them as a tool that brings a collection problem to light. If you do, be consistent about when you add them. When negotiating for payment, you can then say, "If you overnight your payment to us, we will remove all or part of the finance charges" that will occur after 60 days. Do not book these fees as revenue, and don't expect them to be paid. Forcing this issue sends a client to your competitor.
  • Bring Payment Issues to a Head. For really stubborn payers, it may be necessary to confront the problem directly. The best time to do this is at the most critical stage of the client's project. In the past, we have often asked clients to put themselves in our shoes. We have a payroll, other clients are paying as agreed, and we must keep the business running. We also make it clear that a delay in paying us is forcing us to stop work on the project so that our business can survive. We explain that if all clients were like this, we would be out of business. This sends a very clear message.
  • Consider Arbitration. When it comes to legal action, only the lawyers make out in most cases. Therefore, we prefer to call for arbitration when an agreement or contract is disputed. This is less costly for both parties, and allows issues to be resolved faster. Always warn the client that he is forcing you "to bring in a third organization or person" to assist in resolving the payment issue.
  • Stay Calm, Be Fair. Business people respect other business people who are fair, so treat clients as you would expect to be treated. Stay calm at all times, repeat options verbally and in writing, and consider compromise. I have told many clients, "Pay us now, or pay us later. We will write a credit for this issue, but it will cause us to consider our pricing much more carefully." Most clients who want to do business with you would rather keep you happy--and paid.
There's no time like the present to implement a new approach to getting paid on time. The incentives are obvious, and the necessary start-up time is minimal. The plan outlined above is remarkably simple, but requires consistency and follow-through on your part. You will be amazed at how quickly you see positive results.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Eye Direction and Lying

Eye Movement and Direction and How it Can Reveal the Truth or a Lie


This is a continuation of our previous article " Detecting Lies". Many comments by our visitors have asked about how eye direction can indicate the presence of a lie.

So can the direction a person's eyes reveal whether or not they are making a truthful statement? Short answer: sort of. But, it isn't as simple as some recent television shows or movies make it seem. In these shows a detective will deduce a person is being untruthful simply because they looked to the left or right while making a statement.

In reality, it would be foolish to make such a snap judgment without further investigation... but the technique does have some merit. So, here it is... read, ponder and test it on your friends and family to see how reliable it is for yourself.

Visual Accessing Cues

visual cues

The first time "Visual Accessing Cues" were discussed (at least to my knowledge), was by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in their book "Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) " From their experiments this is what they found:

When asked a question a "normally organized" right-handed person looks (from your viewpoint, looking at them):

looking up and to the left

Up and to the Left
Indicates: Visually Constructed Images (Vc)
If you asked someone to "Imagine a purple buffalo", this would be the direction their eyes moved in while thinking about the question as they "Visually Constructed" a purple buffalo in their mind.

looking up and to the right

Up and to the Right
Indicates: Visually Remembered Images (Vr)
If you asked someone to "What color was the first house you lived in?", this would be the direction their eyes moved in while thinking about the question as they "Visually Remembered" the color of their childhood home.

To the Left
Indicates: Auditory Constructed (Ac)
If you asked someone to "Try and create the highest the sound of the pitch possible in your head", this would be the direction their eyes moved in while thinking about the question as they "Auditorily Constructed" this this sound that they have never heard of.

eyes looking right

To the Right
Indicates: Auditory Remembered (Ar)
If you asked someone to "Remember what their mother's voice sounds like ", this would be the direction their eyes moved in while thinking about the question as they "Auditorily Remembered " this sound.

eyes down and to the left

Down and to the Left
Indicates: Feeling / Kinesthetic (F)
If you asked someone to "Can you remember the smell of a campfire? ", this would be the direction their eyes moved in while thinking about the question as they used recalled a smell, feeling, or taste.

looking down and to the right

Down and To the Right
Indicates: Internal Dialog (Ai)
This is the direction of someone eyes as they "talk to themselves".

The Gist of it...

How this information is used to detect lies:

Example: Let's say your child ask's you for a cookie, and you ask them "well, what did your mother say?" As they reply "Mom said... yes." they look to the left. This would indicate a made up answer as their eyes are showing a "constructed image or sound. Looking to the right would indicated a "remembered" voice or image, and thus would be telling the truth.

Final Notes:

*** Looking straight ahead or with eyes that are defocused/unmoving is also considered a sign of visual accessing.

*** A typical left-handed person would have the opposite meanings for their eye-directions.

*** As with other signs of lying, you should first establish and understand a persons base-behavior before concluding they are lying by the direction of their eyes.

*** Many critics believe the above is a bunch of bull***t. In my own experiments I have found these techniques to be more true than not. But, why not find out for yourself? Make up a list of questions that like the sample ones, and give them to your friends/family anyone who would be your guinea pig, observe their eye movements and record the results.

*** This guide is hardly in-depth, I recommend getting the book "Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming" by Richard Bandler and John Grinder for a more thorough explanation if the subject interests you.

Friday, June 02, 2006

First Job Interview of 2004

Its quiet a long time, I haven't wrote any thing about me.

It’s quiet a long time, I haven't written any thing about me.

Today I like to share my first interview experience and how it is done in Karachi, Pakistan.

Not remember the date or the month, but I can tell it was in between July and September. I was free after my Intermediate papers and the admission was in January 2005 for bachelors. I applied for first time for a job as a Computer Operator as a part time job. I found the advertisement in the Newspaper and applied for it by sending my CV through email which was asked for. After applying, I resume what I was doing.

Then after two or three days, I got call from there. I don't know the firm at all, because very few mentioned there company's or firm's name. I don't clearly remember when he had called me there for interview but I think it was the next day. At that time too, I was into Computer Graphics and was using 2D software Adobe Photoshop (which I still using) for making creative graphics for my personal interests.

So, I grab my friend and walk for interview. I just knew what software would be required for a job, which was Microsoft Office (includes MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, MS Access, etc.), but I don't know which one of these they were using. They have given me time and I reached at that. However, there were at least two candidates before me. I had waited for about half an hour, during which they gave me the form in which I have to fill the personal details and expected salary. I even knew the firm's name after I received the form, where at the top of the form was the heading of their firm. It was the women law firm association.

Then after waiting, I got my number and I was interviewed by a woman which was gone fine, afterwards a man take my test, he would be near 30. Communication between us was going fine. Test was okay, I have to use Excel and Word. I have worked in both of these problems according to my requirements. In work he was checking typing speed, which was slow because of the old keyboard available there. I have an average speed. Okay, after test, some questions, then, said we will call you. I knew I can't get this job because I am not fit in these types of jobs. And then, I got no response from them.

However, in the same year, they called again, but they wanted me to come right away, same day. After first interview, I had made my mind to work only as a Graphic Designer. I use Microsoft Office very rarely. I have not sent my CV again nor I contacted them, but they have the record of me. Okay, I visited them again, immediately after the call, alone this time. I was thinking what they want now. He has said nothing on the phone, just said to visit them for interview.

I reached there and same process, but not form filling this time, because it was filled in my first visit. Some more questions. Finally I had met the lawyer. It was the month of December; I have made my mind to do the job only if it is part time. I don't want to make my studies suffer. When I was interviewed by the old female lawyer, its came to my attention that they want full time now and salary was very low. I explain about why I can't do full time and I am into Graphics. I finished talking to them by declaring that I can't work like that and I went back home.

There were two interviews at the same place, one was part time and other was full time. In 2004, only these two interviews have been taken place.

There are many things left to be share, which will be soon be revealed to you.

Thank you for your time.

Have a nice day! Image

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Reason (Hoobastank)

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
Thats why i need you to hear

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is You [x4]

I'm not a perfect person
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Power Of Your Words

By Michael Murphy

You are where you are in your life right now because of the power of words.

Stop for a moment and take stock of where you are in your life's journey right now. Picture where you are on the staircase of your own life's destiny. Imagine for a minute, your goals and your dreams, of where your heart tells you where you can go in your life. You sense that you possess the ability, skills and potential to achieve the heights of your own level of success. You believe you can attain that level.

As you allow yourself to experience the sense of 'being there', take a look at where you are on that staircase of your own life today. If there were two-hundred stairs on the staircase, what stair would you be on right now?

As you allow yourself to take inventory and determine how far you've come in your journey and how far you have yet to go, notice how you feel. How do you feel about where you've been? What happened on those lower steps as you glance back at them? Which of those steps were the most difficult to step to? Notice the deep emotions that are attached to some of those steps. Review the events that occurred that enabled you to be where you are right now.

As you contemplate each of those lower steps, let them lead you up to where you stand right now. How hard is the step that you are taking right now in your life? Are you striving to take several different steps right now in your life? What are they? How do you feel about the steps that you are taking? What about the ones just ahead?

Now, look up into the distance. See yourself at the top! I see you there making those last couple of steps, just three more, now two more, now one more riser and you reach your destiny! See yourself jumping up and down. Hear yourself screaming, 'I MADE IT! I DID IT!' How does that feel?

I'm glad that you took the time today and gave yourself the gift of going on this brief, 'your life's journey', with me today. Why did we take this journey? I wanted you to see, hear and feel the power of the words that I have used in order to evoke the imaginations and the emotions that you and I had the privelege of experiencing while on that staircase. WORDS HAVE POWER!

Words have power to create your life. In fact, your life has been created by words. The great writer and 'life motivator', James Allen reminded the world of the ancient truth that 'as you think, so you become'. Your internal dialogue creates emotions. Emotions create actions. Actions determine results. Where does it all begin? It all begins with words.

Consider for a moment, the existence and presence of your subconscious mind. No one has ever seen their subconscious mind, yet there is little doubt that it exists. Let me prove that to you. You likely weren't thinking about your subconscious mind until I mentioned above. If you were already thinking about it, then I can assure you that you weren't thinking about the first toy you ever received. My words prompted you to recall a memory. That memory wasn't present in your conscious mind until I mentioned it. Where was it stored? In your subconscious mind.

You make decisions from data gathered in your subconscious mind. You retrieve experiences, visual scenes, voices, values which you've adopted, knowledge that you've gathered and judgments that you've made in the past, and you bring them into your consciousness in order to make a decision. Oftentimes, these decisions seem to come straight out from the subconcious into our words or actions. We refer to this as 'action or speaking without thinking'. I bet you have done just like me and stuck your foot in your mouth several times in your life.

Words and phrases, which you have heard, which we have repeated over and over and over again in my minds, create formations just as the earth creates rock formations. Ideas, values, concepts, possibilities, impossibilities, abilities and the like, are all stored in your subconscious mind with 'words'.

I heard an author say once, 'if you don't run your own mind, someone else will'. How can you run your own mind? By choosing what goes into it. As cliche as it may sound, you get out of your mind what you put into it. You can choose what you put into your consciousness and what gets stored in your subconsious mind. I have found that it takes a disciplined program of learning and of selective affirmations to replace old, non-productive patterns of thinking and develop new patterns and formations of thinking.

Someone asked me recently if I really believed that making affirmations of positive, powerful words and phrases, will actually change the course, destiny and experience of your life. Will they change the amount of your income? Will they alter the quality of your relationships and your health? I decided to shock them with, 'No, I know longer believe in the power of positive, powerful affirmations to create dynamic life change'. I don't 'believe' it any more. I now 'know' the power that daily, targeted affirmations have to change your life the very moment that begin using them.

It isn't theory any more. It is proven and established scientific fact that as you choose right words that you allow to go into your mind, that they produce guaranteed patterns of success thinking, action and results. Change your life by changing the words that you think and speak.

Personal success coach, published author, international professional speaker, internet entrepreneur