Thursday, October 04, 2007

Yay for rambling!

We had our first Q&A last night!

Let me first explain what the Q&A is...

Animation Mentor is divided into six terms. I'm, of course on my first term. Each term has a certain number of mentors assigned to it, and each of those mentors has their own class to herd, of about 15 people.

My mentor happens to be Doug Sheppeck, who has a really really impressive resume. Go look him up on IMDB. Anyway, once a week, the whole class meets up in a souped up chat room to pepper the mentor with questions via webcam.

We're supposed to meet on Tuesdays at 11 pm, but due to a misunderstanding, Doug didn't show up. Oops. It was still a really fun night and I got to know a little background of my classmates as we were waiting around for 1.5 hours to see if maybe he's still working in New Zealand and got the time zone wrong. (He didn't, and is in fact back at Pixar).

I've stumbled upon a number of "it's a small world" incidents allready with the program. One of my classmates is director of cinematics at Bungie. He did all of the layout for the cinematics on Halo 2, so he did the layout that I then animated!

Another guy in the entering class (not in my classrom) used to work at Cyberlore in Northampton before they went out of business. He found me somehow and he told me that he's moved on to Turbine, also in the area.

One guy just contacted me in a very sweet way. Apparently my training CDs that are sold through Anzovin Studio, were what inspired him to really pursue animation! Nice! What a sweetheart to tell me that.

Anyway, last night we actually had our Q&A. I don't want to say too much because I don't know how much ownership Animation Mentor has over the Q&A materials. But here are some gems:

They work on average about 50 hours a week at Pixar, some more, some less, with some leniency on those with kids.

Doug goes into zombie mode too sometimes on easy shots, and just does autopilot animation. Though of course he says it's not a good idea. This really made me grin.

I asked him about animation rate, adding that sometimes I'm stuck with upwards of 30-40 seconds a week, and that I see Pixar as this magical place where you have time to work on your shots. He gave me some great advice... If a shot really speaks to you, work really fast on all the other stuff and try to get permission to slow down on that one. And he implied that it's a good idea to move on if a studio is really bringing you down with the animation slog... Oh yeah, and they average about 4 seconds a week depending on many factors.

Oh, and get this... Doug knew Chris Perry (my mentor at Hampshire) back at Pixar! From one mentor and on to the next, eh? That's great!

That's all for now. Though there was much much more. Doug likes to ramble. I like this, yes I do.


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At Friday, October 5, 2007 at 7:00:00 AM EDT, Blogger Tabitha said...

Hey Crissy,

It's so nice to hear that you are liking the new program! I wish I could find something that enjoyable and be able to stick with it! :) I see that you are indeed very busy, so we will have to catch up maybe over some long break? like snowboarding this winter or something, if you are still interested in trying to fall down the mountain :P Well, Good luck!! and ttyl :) <33 *hugs*


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