Saturday, May 21, 2011

Much Needed Update

Hi all! It's been an extremely busy couple months, and I haven't kept up on posting like I was for a good stretch there. But I'm back, and summer is here, and it's going to be a busy one no matter where I happen to be.

My last update was during the hectic last couple weeks of school, while I was making a ton of changes to my demo reel and portfolio and applying to multiple internships. I haven't heard back from anyone yet, but I haven't given up hope on all of them yet (Although I'm also not hoping too hard - there's always next summer).

So! Updates on what's been happening. At the end of March, I was lucky enough to be invited to Disney Inspire Days at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, CA. It was my first time out to the West Coast, and even though it all happened much too quickly, it was well worth the trip. Thank you to the Talent Development Team at Disney, especially Dawn, for the invitation.

When I got to Burbank, I met up with Chris Houghton, a recent grad of CCS, who now works at Nickelodeon Animation. Awesome!! Thank you Chris for showing me around and making me feel like getting a job out in California after graduation isn't so far-fetched after all. You can all check out Chris's awesome blog here.

After Nickelodeon and a day of wandering around Burbank, I took a cab early the next morning down to Disney. Walking on the lot for the first time was (yes, I'm gonna say it) a dream come true! Here's a few pictures to prove I was there.

Everyone at Disney was fantastic - the Talent Development Crew were all so nice and the critiques I got were extremely helpful. Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, directors of Tangled, gave an awesome talk, as well as Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton, directors of Prep & Landing. We took a tour of the whole studio, during which I met a lot of the artists and got to see how they work. The highlight of the day for me was the presentation by Glen Keane on inspiration and how to transfer it into your work. Glen has been one of my biggest influences and inspiration, and it was amazing to hear him talk about how he created characters like Ariel, Beast, Tarzan, and Rapunzel. If you're ever reading this, Glen, thank you again.

Overall, the day was a giant confirmation that I really want to do this whole animation thing.

After those eventful few days, I had to return to the real world and finish up finals. After many stressful days and only one (!) all nighter, here's my final for Animation III - it's a rough concept of an idea I'm thinking about for my Junior film, based on an old Romanian fairy tale called The Golden Stag.

And here is my one of my finals for Intro to CG. It was fun to play with an already established character. (Luxo, Jr. is copyright Disney/Pixar)

Now that school has ended (3.8 for the semester!!), I'm back down in Florida picking up some shifts at Disney World while I'm waiting to hear back from all the applications. In the meantime, I'll leave some new sketches - first, a sketch outside Disney waiting for the day to begin. (Sorry for the horrible image quality - I'm stuck without a scanner for a few weeks.)

At Disney, Dawn called me out on being afraid of hands, and told me not to be. So I've been tackling that full speed ahead.

A sketch of my character Geneva -

And a fan sketch of Mickey for good measure. They've started this new comic series called Wizards of Mickey, which is basically Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Disney characters all rolled up into the best thing to ever exist. Check out the comic, as well as a bunch of other new comics, done by Kaboom! Studios, here. Very cool stuff.

And that's it for now! Sorry this is so long. Thanks to those of you who checked it out! More updates when and if I hear any exciting news in the next couple weeks.