Saturday, December 31, 2011

ReelFX Apprenticeship

So it looks like I'm Texas-bound and it feels a little something like this:

Everything is moving pretty darn fast and in just a couple of days I'll be driving down there with my brother.  Questions like "Hey, where am I going to live?" and "What is cooking?" have been popping up lately.  But I'm really grateful that the good people of ReelFX are willing to take me in for their Winter Apprenticeship.  If all works out I'll be starting on January 9th.  Exciting times.  It wouldn't suck to come to this every morning:

The apprenticeship is going to last for 6 months and I can't wait to meet all the folks there.  It's a huge opportunity for me to grow both personally and professionally.  Here's to growing up, weee!  Happy New Year!

Oh yeah, the current book list.

Recently Read:
The Filmmaker's Eye by Gustavo Mercado
A compilation of camera shots / techniques explained with examples and breakdowns of it being in use.  Also shows a case of breaking the technique / rule to great effect and explains that as well.  It's a short picture-driven book as it should be and was a nice quick read for anyone new / not-so-new to cinematography.  Also Juliette Binoche in Troi Couleurs: Bleu makes for a nice cover.  Definitely check out The Three Colors Trilogy if you haven't seen that yet!

Currently Reading:
The Vilppu Drawing Manual by Glenn Vilppu
Cool, Calm and Contentious by Merrill Markoe
Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll
Save The Cat! Strikes Back by Blake Snyder

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thanks Animation Mentor!

Today marks the end of the term and the last day of my 18 month trek through AM. I've learned so much during my time here that not only improved my skills, but drastically changed my life.

Example: My niece and I had a terrible relationship. She was scared to talk to me because I was put in a position of "teacher" at the request of her parents. All I knew to do was make sure she gets her work done and that she behaved. That sounds quite normal, but our dynamic was one-way. We would go on days without having an actual conversation, which isn't much of a relationship at all.

Cut to Class 4, I'm learning about pantomime and acting. I read Keith Johnstone's "Impro" and discovered high / low status. I also read Joe Navarro's "What everyBODY is Saying" and keyed in on body language. One day I drove my niece home from school and it was obvious that something was bothering her. When I asked her what was wrong I noticed she had half her body already turned away from me, head down hiding her eyeline, and feet pointed in the direction she wanted to go (away). And I noticed what I was doing, arms crossed, leaning in, towering over her. I took what I gathered from these books and decided to try something new. I bent down on one knee, looked up at her and calmly asked her what was wrong. She took on a whole different attitude and we chatted about it.

It has to be a fluke of some sort, but it only took one single day, one moment to change our dynamic that was pretty much crap for the two years prior. It was amazing, and my niece and I have a newfound relationship. One day during a chat she asked me "Where did you learn to talk to me?" - and it all stemmed from learning animation during my time at AM. I told her that, and she concludes that animation rocks.

There are so many moments like this that came about during my classes that just have changed me as a person. I'm really grateful to everyone at Animation Mentor, faculty and students alike. The classes might be over but the journey stretches on. And damn it's gonna be fun.


Finished Brain Storm - by Don Hahn. Awesome book! Definitely a keeper.

Finished The Perfect Bait - by Bobby Chiu. Very short, but also very good.

Currently reading: Cool, Calm & Contentious - by Merrill Markoe.  Thought I'd read some comedy over the break :)