Hi All just got back from Cal Arts and what a great time. I just want to thank all the students for showing us such a good time.
For those who do not know what the producers show is at Cal Arts, it is where the faculty scores all the student films for the year and compiles the highest scored films into an hour and a half show. Then they invite all the studios in town to the show! It's an awesome event for not only the students who get to share their films with the industry but also for all of us in the industry who are able to share this great night with the students.
It's so nice to see a school still dedicated to teaching character animation. Most of the films are done in 2d pencil test form some colored most not, which is great it's all about the animation. Most students ask us about there only being 2d films, even though a few CG films were in the show. Wondering if that is still applicable in today's world. Now I understand PIXAR is a little different than some places, go figure, but we don't care if it's 2d or 3d we're just looking for great animation and great storytellers. The pencil or computer they are just tools they don't make the animation come to life or tell a story that still comes down to the talent of the student. We'll spend the time to train someone on the computer if they have great acting and storytelling abilities.
One moment that stood out form me last night was Glen Keane on stage telling a story about him showing some of the current CG work to Ollie Johnston one day. Glen was excited about all the detail work they have been able to do now using the computer, great cloth, hair, textures, and lighting, and Ollie looked back and said something like "Well yeah that's good but, what is she thinking?" This stood out to me and most of us there because when character animation gets boiled down to it's essence it's about what the character is thinking and how to communicate that clearly, and that has nothing to do with a computer, pencil, clay, or sand, etc. Animation exists outside of the tool used to create it.
I wish there was away for all of you to have seen and be inspired as much as I was last night. Unfortunately I don't think Cal Arts has any web venue for it's shorts or students. Some students have websites and one group of students http://www.nethatco.com
has some of there great films on their site. I suggest looking at them all but JG has some funny films. All the films are so well done. If any of you Cal-Arts kids are out there and have your films on the web maybe you can post links in the comments section for this post.
now I'm rambling, anyways thanks again to all the wonderful students and all their hardwork to put on such an enjoyable evening for all of us who were able to attend. I hope to see you all next year!
Dr. Stephen G.