...was awesome! There is not enough time to go into how great this expo was! Amazing panels by top people in the industry, an exhibit floor filled with awesome artists and book shops and information, and DID I MENTION PEOPLE FROM THE INDUSTRY!? Here's a quick overview of what I did!
Friday night I got a small tour of Cartoon Network Studios, and took this picture of the stairwell up. LIGHTSABERSSSSSSS. This made me giggle with glee.Friday the expo was already hopping. Here's a a shot I took of Tony Bancroft, Disney animator and Director of Mulan, working and talking about animating. That's a drawing of pumba he's working on, in china marker. He gave me a really great critique on my portfolio on Saturday, and some great tips about how to approach drawing animals.I did my rounds of the exhibit floor a billion times on friday, and was finally brave enough to take a snapshot of Gary Goldman, producer and animator on all Don Bluth Studio films. I wasn't brave enough to meet the man, or Don himself, yet.Friday was a pretty good day. Then Saturday happened. AND IT WAS CRAZY AWESOME. I thought it was busy on Friday, but the weekend was hoppin!
I got to meet and talk to Andreas Deja!!!!! And he looked at my portfolio and gave me his wisdom. Gotta push myself to get better! Push my drawings skills to the max!
Joe and I met up with Valerio Ventura, an amazingly talented artist who worked on many, many things including Class of 3000, Hercules, Mulan, and many others! He's super sweet and down to earth, with a wicked design sense to boot! BUY HIS BOOK!!!
I went to a panel about Ronald Searle, an amazing artist, to support Manny Hernandez, a BFA 1 here at CalArts who got onto the panel. He got to sit with world renowned animators/artists John Musker, James Baxter, and Matt Jones. Manny is the young one with the hat. Haha. Sitting next to John Musker, the lucky dog!
Seeing this great panel gave me the courage to finally go to talk to Gary and Don! And they both were happy to look at my portfolio, and feed me golden knowledge. Don was so eager to teach me something, it was refreshing and exciting. He told everyone this piece of information-" You know when you make a drawing you like, then three hours later you hate it? Ever wonder why that is? It's because when you made that good drawing, your brain expanded, your knowledge expanded, and you conquered something." Oh man.
Then I asked them for their picture, and I was content to have the two of them in it, but they pulled me into the shot! Once Gary was satisfied with teasing me with bunny ears, Don said "Now this is a serious photo, everyone act like we've known each other for years!" Some of the most sweet and down to earth people I met at the show! I really appreciated their advice and guidance, as well as warnings for what to do. AHHH!
After this, I stumbled out of the room to find Andreas Deja giving an animation demonstration! SO OF COURSE I listened in, and asked questions to my hearts content. It was great hearing his approach to animating, and when I asked him where he thinks new animators are lacking, he said "Performance!" I found this answer to be a running theme with all the top animators I asked.So now it was time to see a screening with Joe! And guess what it was.
Heck yes. HECK.YES. It was totally Brendan and the Secret of Kells. And my mind was blown. There were certainly some issues with the film, and some things didn't work together, as well as a very anticlimactic ending with a patched up resolution....but... it was freaking such a visual smorgasbord. There were scenes where I got the chills, from the designs elements and the unique character animation. Check out this clip, when scene in context with the whole film, made me freak out and break out in goosebumps.
Banjo the Woodpile Cat was screened right before it as well, and AHH such good animation! Old school done on cells awesomeness.
And on Sunday, I met Eric Goldberg! Here's a picture of him going over someone's portfolio. I didnt get the chance to ask him to look at mine, unfortunately, but I did ask him waaaay to many questions about his approach to animation, and what he felt about the industry now. He didnt seem to mind, and shared his story about Ken Harris when he was working for Richard Williams on Roger Rabbit, and even did his impression of him, too! You can hear the story also on The Animation Podcast, where you'll also get lots of wisdom from other artists too!
So much happened. More than ALLLL of this. I don't know if Glen Keane was there, but if so I wish I could have met him and picked his brain some.