10 QUESTIONS with Dave Colacioppo


Dave Colacioppo is one of the leading Maya animators in the world of video games today. His work can be seen in almost every THQ trailer and several Television commercials.  Dave was the lead animator in Gamers who created the amazing opening title sequences among other CG shots for the movie.  Originally from Philadelphia, Dave tells us that the proper way to make a Phillie cheese-steak sandwich is with liquid cheese.  Even though we find that disgusting, we still decided to sit down with him for 10 questions.



1. Dave, tell us about the titles you created for the movie? What did you create them in and how long did it take?


The titles were created in a 3D software package called Maya.  The Gamers title animation was pretty render intensive.  It took a few days to render out just the animation with the Gamers title breaking into a bunch of little dice.  The falling dice animation took a long time to render also.  About two days or so.


2. What's the most challenging part of doing animation or Titles in a movie?


The most challenging part to me is coming up with an idea that I think would catch the viewers attention and then figuring out how I go about actually animating it.  Oh yeah, and waiting for a long render is challenging.


3. What animation, graphic or title are you most proud of in Gamers? And why?


I really like the way the falling dice animation turned out.  I had in mind from the beginning to have it look like something from “Casino,” with a dramatic look to it.  I think it really gave a good feel to the opener.


4. You appear also in the movie several time as an actor? What parts do you play and how did this happen?


            There were a few roles I undertook.  I played a co-worker of Gordon who’s really into sports discussions.  The other co-worker I was having the discussion with also turned out to be our Grip.  I was an extra in a few scenes throughout the movie.  Look closely and you’ll see me in a group of people at an Elf party and sitting in a restaurant.


5. Why did you work on this ultra-low budget indie film? Do you really think it has a shot?


The crew is basically all friends and co-workers.  We were itching to make a film of our own.  I thought it was a great idea and wanted to be a part of it.  The movie is really funny and I think it has a lot of potential to be successful.


6. Of all the projects you have ever worked on, what's your favorite?


I think “Gamers” is my favorite.  I had a lot of creative freedom and I got to experiment and learn new things at the same time.  And nothing beats working on a film crew with friends.


7. Were you a gamer as a kid?


Sadly, I wasn’t cool enough to play it.  No really, I heard of it but couldn’t actually understand how people played it.  There’s no board, what the…???


8. What was it like making a movie in basically six days?  In addition to the graphics and acting, what else did you do?


It was a lot of long hours of shooting and moving around.  It was a lot of fun.  I got to meet some really cool people.  Other than the graphics and some acting I got to help out on the set.  I read lines with the potential actors early on.  A little bit of everything, I guess.


9. Originally, the movie had a five minute animated talking dice.  Do you think that would have worked for this film?


I thought the original animated concept was really funny but might have been a bit much for the average viewer.  But you can’t beat an animated dice and DND miniatures musical. 


10. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, but not related to you or a religious figure who would it be and why?


An elephant.  I would like to have a dinner of peanuts with an elephant.  That would be a lot of fun.  ...What?