As with anyone’s story of any “particular” subject of passion, there is a beginning.
The journey to SketchUp is one that we all share from our first download, install and mouse-click to build a square that becomes our first victory… a box!
My road to SketchUp took a long path of life’s diversions before arrival, but began in my youth prior to computer-equipped homes. It launched unavoidably, when on May 30, 1977, I witnessed the first computer graphics in a motion picture named “Star Wars”.
The Death Star trench battle sequence before the pilots left on their mission was absolutely awe-inspiring. I know… today it’s a couple of square pixels and lines that move, but back then it was the birth of Atari PONG and Commodore graphics games in color. It subsequently opened the temples of computer consoles we worshipped (in the local game rooms called “Arcades”) via the sacrifice of small fortunes in quarters. I was then 12 years old.
When Steven Spielberg produced “Young Sherlock Holmes,” we saw the first “real” out-of-box CG motion character interact with an actor on screen. Inspired by the works of John Dykstra, Brian Johnson and Industrial, Light & Magic, I was convinced that I’d be making special effects, models for Sci-Fi films or something “cool” within the industry.
As Star Wars impacted me with “delusions of grandeur” for all things in space or special effects, the music of John Williams’ expansive score for the same movie inspired me equally to love the orchestra. If one day I couldn’t make movies, I was certainly going to make music for them.
I received a music scholarship, went to University to learn orchestral composition and arrangement, and chose the path of a struggling professional musician.
My business was slowly growing. I was performing and composing for the Miss America Miss Idaho Pageants, Miss Teen USA, and playing in various styled bands in cowboy bars, R & B venues and funk groups. I became a professional actor performing leads in plays and musicals. Honored to have received it, I was offered a sponsorship to perform on Broadway. However, I knew that I wanted to compose and conduct orchestra film music, so, I humbly declined. Salt Lake City was only five hours away and Seattle was an eight-hour drive within one’s potential circle of influence. Yet, life’s unexpected diversions changed the location of even that circle.
In 1994, upon the accepted marriage proposal given to my wonderful Swiss wife, I prepared a move to Europe. With a pencil and compass on a map, I drew a 360° circle of an eight hour drive anywhere from Switzerland. When I saw that the major European film industries were imbedded within that penciled radius, I was excited that opportunity would open its doors to an American composer who knocked.
How unfortunate an assumption that was. Relative distance does not, by American standards of travel and business, have a translator where western civilization has been securely embedded for numerous centuries. Worse, professionally speaking, this became a long walk off a short pier when discovering that Switzerland does not have a film industry to speak of and could not serve as a launching point for any film endeavor. Soon, it became evident that I would need to compensate for a business that had unmistakably been left behind in the United States.