cv: What is your role at commonvision? How long have you been working there?
Yaakov Weinstein: My role at commonvision is iNet Animator and I've been here since June 2015.
cv: How/When did you know that you wanted to be an animator?
YW: I first wanted to be a video game designer, but I knew I couldn't just jump to the top of the ladder without first laying foot on the lower rungs. One day, I saw a commercial on TV for The Art Institutes and the lead game designer for one of my favorite games, "God of War III," was on it. He said that he started as an animator and worked his way up to lead game designer, so I thought I could do the same and use my art skills for video game animation. Little did I know, animation is a very involved process and the field is competitive, but the payoff is rad because you get to see your ideas come to life.
cv: What is the best thing about working at commonvision?
YW: I could be corny and say that it's the people I work with because they're some of the nicest, coolest, and most talented people I've ever met, BUT I do love getting to see my animations live on screen in The Commons.
cv: Are there any projects that you are particularly fond of having created?
YW: The project I am definitely most proud of is something that I did in my After Effects class. It's called "The Awakening." I really like the way it turned out, and it was inspired by some of my favorite things like Shadow of the Colossus and Samurai Jack, to name a couple. Hope there's no risk of copyright infringement.
As for projects that I did at commonvision, I think my favorite piece so far that I did is the iNet for Arne Schmidt from Firaxis Games. It's the first project that I really got to do from scratch and I got to do some 3D animation in it. I'm happy with how it turned out.
cv: How did you get interested in game design?
YW: I just really love video games, and I also love making my own worlds and stories. I used to draw short stories and would always get inspired by movies, TV, and video games. I would dream up these epic scenes and cool characters and I would always wish that I could make them into video games so I could inspire players the way that video games inspired me.
cv: Is there a particular game designer or company that you like more than most?
YW: Naughty Dog. My first video game was Crash Bandicoot 2 and I would always sneak into my brother's room and turn on his PlayStation and play it. I think he would intentionally turn his TV volume way up so that when I turned on the game he would hear it from downstairs and know that I was in his room. He would get so mad. Good times.
cv: You have said that you would be a vegan if it weren't for cheese. Do you not like the vegan pizza option?
YW: I do not. Pizza is holy so when you put vegan cheese on pizza it's like shaving the beard off a rabbi. Yeah, he's still a rabbi, but ew, what happened?
cv: How much do you love cheese? Which is your favorite?
YW: It's like those cousins that are really awesome, funny, and have cool stuff when you go to their house, but you don't always get to see them, but when you do, it's delicious. But you don't really know them that well because there are so many different kinds.
cv: You like to garden, what do you like to grow? Do have a large garden?
YW: It varies from season to season, but I've always grown tomatoes. I like growing leafy greens like spinach and kale because they're easy, you save a lot of money by growing your own, and they're FRESH. My garden is a little bigger than the white tile spot in commonvision.