The short film production is ongoing, this week I will final the last half. Since this is not really a blog about each and every step of my learning process (or so it turned out to be), I thought I'd share this milestone event with some pictures. On Friday morning, Nov 20, 2009, I drove down to Los Angeles to attend the first annual Creative Talent Network Animation Expo. It was my first animation related expo and I went simply to take pulse of events like this. I had no intention of making contacts with any studios since I didn't even have a demo reel to show, but it was great meeting some of the industry legends and recharge my batteries with their positive statements and technical hints.
Meeting with the legendary Don Bluth and Gary Goldman on the first day pretty much summed up the positive experience of the entire trip. They had a booth in the back promoting Don's tutorial DVDs. I applied at Don Bluth Studios back in the early 1980's when I was fresh out of junior college and Don had just opened his studio. Starry eyed with dreams of making it in the industry, I had hoped that they (or any animation studio for that matter) would give me a chance and hire me. Although the dream was not realized, meeting him for the first time had a positive impact mixed with a bit of nostalgia for days long gone. I told them a little bit about myself and that I was enrolled in animationmentor.com upon which they both said "You'll make it". I wonder if they know how much their words meant to me.
Most of the booths were of various artists (comics, cartoonists, illustrators, painters) as well as booths for Disney, Blue Sky, Renegade etc. The weekend was filled with seminars by different artists, animators, directors and independent animation film producers. The highlight was a short chat with animation legend Eric Goldberg.
At the expo were also booths for Disney, Blue Sky, Imaginism, renegade as well as Digicell FlipBook, Corel, and many artists from comics to traditional paintings. The energy was intense and I was pleasantly surprised by the increasing amount of artists applying for 2D animation jobs.
I also met school mate Margherita Premuroso from Italy. She is an accomplished character designer and a great student at animationmentor.com It also happened to be her birthday so celebrated at the Burbank Bar & Grill in downtown Burbank with her boyfriend Luca Da Rios owner of Playstos Entertainment, an apps development company.
Saturday and Sunday were filled by attending events, lectures by leading animators, producers, directors, and artists of all types related to the animation industry. My mentor Kevin Koch and school mate Harry Porudominsky bumped into me, it was nice seeing them again. Many animationmentor students were present, not a surprise, but I was surprised when animator Tony Bancroft (one of the directors on Mulan) gave good mention to animationmentor students that their work stands out from the rest because they focus on performance (acting). These are very encouraging words from a respected personality.
The high light of the trip was meeting the legendary Eric Goldberg. A friendly, unassuming and an engaging fellow. Schoolmate Miurika Valery took this short clip of myself and Mr. Goldberg chatting about his work on a Schweppes commercial where he animated Nagel-esque style characters.
The proverbial cherry on the cake was meeting my Class 4 mentor Nicole Herr. A beautiful, smart, and talented lady who has contributed tremendously to animation and to advancing my quest to become an animator. She left me with great words of wisdom about making it in the industry. I feel fortunate that I had her as my mentor and have her as a friend.