Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reel Feedback = REAL feedback

This semester, one of the hot topics of conversation has been our lack of a curriculum with any sort of backbone. Solid critique isn't always easy to come by -- something we try and remedy at club meetings, but the fact stands that we simply aren't professionals. Sure there are things like the Pixar classes, but there is limited space available, so not everyone has access to opinions coming straight from that proverbial horses mouth.

Thank goodness for some fellows from Tippett Studio and Massive Black! This semester's Reel Feedback event is going to be hosted on March 29th from 7-10pm at Lanesplitters Pizza in Emeryville. You can see the full event info by clicking the picture, it's a link.

Things Frequently Whined About:

"But I don't have anything that's GOOD enough!"
Nonsense -- There's no set bar for showing work, and besides, if you truly feel that way, if don't show your work to anyone, you'll never make it better. There's no better time to start.

"But I don't have ENOUGH work to show them!"
Also nonsense -- Even if you showed up with just one piece that was three seconds long, this is still an an opportunity to make it that much better. It's also the perfect time to ask questions, i.e: "what other kind of work do you think I should have in a reel if I wanted to apply to x, y or z?

"But seriously, I don't have ANY finished work to show them!"
That's fine too! I'm sure they'd help you with your WIP. That being said, beyond anything else, even if you don't end up showing anything to anyone, you should still come to the event! It's an excellent networking opportunity.  There are animators there from the animation collaborative, online animation schools, other animation schools in the city and people who are entirely self-taught, so you can finally branch out to people outside of the academy. Plus, it's nice to support your friends.

"But it's so far away!"
Don't be so lazy, it's worth the trek, trust me. Also, because we're a club, just like we did with Fantasia, it's the perfect opportunity to actually meet before hand and all scoot over there together. It's a little sketch when you first get off the train, so it's nice to have safety in numbers anyways.

Long story short, stop whining -- you'll thank me later! I know it's a ways out, yet, but I hope to see you there. This is your chance for some quality critique on your work. Come, enjoy some pizza, some beer and some good company.

Monday, February 27, 2012

We Liked You, We Really Liked You!

Just thought I'd offer up a post, here, to say a big thank you to Hans Brekke for coming out and chatting with the club this past Friday. For anyone who wasn't there, Hans gave an incredible talk on how he made it into the industry and a little bit of insight into what it's like working at Tippett Studio. He also made sure everyone there didn't feel like the 15-second one-character dialogue shot they are working on is really that big of a hurdle anymore!

Hans also talked briefly on his own little business he's got going on -- Reel Feedback. They put on a fun little event last semester out in Emeryville where they provided pizza, beer and phenomenal critique to all that attended. Apparently they'll be throwing a similar event sometime this semester which I'll make sure to update you about when I've got more info.

Thanks again, Hans.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Future Has Arrived...

Find your online voice - Join today!

"Fantasia" Screening

Courtesy of Frank Frelier

So we're going to attend the 8pm showing of "Fantasia" on Saturday the 25th (today), at the Castro Theatre.

Let's meet in front of 180 New Montgomery at 7pm, and we can all MUNI over to Castro together. If it's easier for you, you can also just meet us at the theatre at 7:45pm.

Tickets are $10. Here's the address for the theatre:

Castro Theater
429 Castro street (between 17th and 8th st)
San Francisco, CA, 94114

Bring friends and we'll see you tonight for some classic Disney fun!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our First Guest Speaker - 2012

This is an important reminder that our first guest speaker of the spring semester is here to talk tomorrow!

Hans Brekke 

Friday, February 24 -- 7:00pm -- 79 NM Theater

Don't forget, and don't forget to bring your friends. It's going to be an amazing event.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Message From Andy Wood

This is for anyone interested in writing for Junior Giants, 2013:

This information will help you develop a pitch for JRG2013. I've linked two documents below. One is a description from the client of what they'd like to emphasize in the film. The other is the overall description of the Junior Giants Program, from the client. 

Please note that the most important thing to them is their "Bases of Characteristics", and story tends to come second. Here are some things to think about when constructing the pitch.
  • The piece should still use the same four existing characters from the previous JRG projects (Mikey, Luisa, Brad and Vince). 
  • The piece should have a run time of no longer than 6 minutes (AKA Don't think feature, think short). 
  • Remember, we aren't a full-fledged studio. We don't have an exhaustive amount of resources. Your story shouldn't be the next Avatar. 
  • Your pitch should be no longer than 5 minutes, and shouldn't be more than a page of synopsis. It's just an idea and rough layout at this point. 
  • The client is very visual; They like to see things. Sketches of major plot points / new characters before you come in would be a good idea... 
I'm also including the final video from 2010 (Not the greatest piece of work) and the animatic from 2012 (soon to be a work of art!).

All pitches are due this Monday, February 20 for review from Chris Armstrong and Shaun. Mark Droste, the Director of JRG2012 and myself are also available to give feedback. The Client Presentation will be on Wednesday, February 22, at 10:30 AM.

Remember, keep it short and simple. They don't want to see storyboards or animatics. They want a synopsis of your story idea and maybe a few sketches. They'll develop the script they like with the writer.

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing your ideas!

Andy Wood
AAU Animation Producer

On a Lighter Note:

That's right, one of our newest club members, Frank, brought to light that the original Fantasia movie is playing this week at the Castro Theater with nine chances to see it!

It's playing February 24, 25, 26 with showings at 2, 5, and 8 pm each day.

If anyone is interested in going with other club members, coordination may be a bit of an issue. Feel free to try and comment here to organize something, albeit that it's a little inconvenient.

However, that brings me smoothly into my next point. One thing that was brought up at club this week was, to put it in the most vain way possible, how popular we're getting. We actually have interest from entirely online students (That's right, Jonathan T. We're talking about you!) looking for ways to participate in the club from afar. Initially I thought that we might revive our other blog (Animation Critique) that our online members may be able to benefit from the club as well as the on campus students might, however, it was suggested that we simply create a Tea Time Facebook page! (You'd think we would have thought about it earlier!)

SO, though it's not up and running yet, keep an eye out over the next week or two for the Tea Time Facebook (I'll post it here.) This way, it gives our members a bigger voice (so there's more to take interest in other than what I feel compelled to put on the blog), I will also link it to the blog so you'll get updates on new information when it comes out (so you don't always have to go hunting for it), it will make it easy to contact all the other members if there is a cool event that everyone would want to try and go to, AND it will give our online members access to the wealth of collaborative knowledge in the minds of all of our on campus members.

Again, it's not up yet, but keep an eye out -- we'll be up soon.

Dolla' Dolla' Billz, Y'all

Every year, the Academy graciously provides Tea Time with a pretty decent budget (though the amount will remain unnamed) for us to use for...well..pretty much anything! This semester, those of you who have attended club will have noticed that finally gotten our feet wet, providing some Tea Time treats for those who show - and that's just the tip of the iceberg! If you can think of anything that you think is worthwhile and even minutely club related, but might cost some dollars, let us know and we'll see what we can do about putting something together so you don't have to shell out your own hard-earned cash.

That being said, there's a fairly small string attached, in order to get our budget, Tea Time members are required to put in a little effort into some community service. In the past, club members have attended one of San Francisco's "Clean Team"events. They are a great opportunity to give back. It's only a few hours on a Saturday morning, transportation there and back is provided, AND lunch is provided. You would have two opportunities to attend, March 10th, April 21st. Obviously it's a little far in advance, so I'll keep y'all posted on dates and more exact times for busses and such a little closer to.

Additionally, if you're not feeling the Clean Team thing, this March (date and exact time TBA), I (being Lana) will be hosting a large clothing drive not far from 180 and would love it if everyone was there to help out! Again, more details will come as I figure them out.

A final word on community service -- If you have a specific community you would be more apt to give back to, drop us a line and we'll see what we can do about helping out.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Great Success!

For anyone who had the misfortune of missing our first meeting of the spring semester, it was one of our best yet. We had a great turn out, with lots of new faces (and awesome names), and though we didn't really have a specific agenda to cover, we ended up with a big group critique that snowballed into discussing helpful hints and awesome upcoming events -- club affiliated and otherwise. Mandy and I also raked up enough courage to dip our toes in our budget and provided fresh, hot coffee (it was a little last minute and tea was hard to figure out) and some cookies for everyone to enjoy.

Anyways, here's a little overview of what you missed or potentially forgotten.

First things first, if you weren't aware, the Academy somehow managed to pull itself together and done something truly amazing for it's students: Provided every registered student with the entire Adobe Creative Suite version 5.5 Master Collection.  Mind blowing, we know.

To obtain yours, simply log in to your online profile (online.academyart.edu/login.html), go to your Profile, and click the Software Tab to obtain your key for Mac or  PC.

Club patron Amelia also brought to light something exceedingly useful, especially if you've never really had a chance to use the Suite. As academy students, we have full-access to the wealth of knowledge that is provided by the Digital Tutors. All you have to do is go to my.academyart.edu, and under coursework support, find the library tab. On the library page, click the drop-down menu under "Learn about our online resources"and find Digital Tutors.

Finally, the Townhall meeting is on February 23, at 10:30am in room 714.  Questions? Comments? Concerns? Here's the place to get your answers. Regardless, please come and support your peers in trying to make our department comfortable and fair to it's students.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next week.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Starting things off right.

I can only assume that everyone is happily enjoying their first week back at school. Hopefully you have all of your classes well enough in order to come to the first club meet of the Spring '12 semester!

Where? Room 714 of 180 New Montgomery Street

When? Why, Tea Time, of course! -- Fridays @ 3:30 - 5:00pm.

We've got a couple pretty cool club updates and things for those who attend, so definitely try and save the date!

Additionally: Happy Superbowl Sunday! I hope everyone has a blast cheering on their favorite team. Although I've never been a big fan of Bill Maher, here's a little something to think between yelling,  dancing to Madonna, and shoving piles of delicious treats into your face. Animation by Fraser Davidson -- I'd suggest full screen.