First I must say a big thank you to two very kind, amazing, generous people! Anyhoo, I attended the Story and Animation workshop with the wonderfully friendly Matthew Luhn and Andrew Gordon.I can’t go into deep details or show the work we did of course but if you have been to their two lecture days, the workshop allows you to put what they’ve taught into practice along with great feedback and guidance on story from them, “the Brains Trust”. This is a one day version of coming up with a movie through your choice of either story, character design and walk cycle animation. I have been totheir masterclass last year as detailed with great embarrassment here through my terrible old blog formatso I was quite rusty!
Although I’m pretty quiet, I did speak up when needed and working with enthusiastic people was a pleasure and communicating between our mini departments of story, character design and animation. It was fun as everyone was treated like equals and my team’s director Ray kept things running incredibly smoothly. Perhaps I was lucky but people on my team were positive and I got a taste of being a story artist in a team too! Sweet teamwork! I ended up doing a bit of character design, a few doodles on the environments and coming up with a few storyboards as I listened in on the debates and problem solving from the story team.
The movie ideas that groups came up with were mostly interesting and few of which were delivered in a very entertaining way. My team’s movie pitch was pretty good for just a day’s work but nowhere close to the several months to years of hard work and complex simplicity that is required to create Pixar movies. Our movie pitch was direct and stayed on focus thanks to our director and story team with many amusing references to existing movies.
Who would I recommend this workshop to? To aspiring story artists and animators wanting a one day introductory experience to the Pixar process. To be honest, it’s nothing new to me in terms of knowledge and experience (as the content itself was covered in the lecture days of the masterclass and technically I have worked on three short student films in a team environment last year, one of which was actually completed to the very end – well just a little film you’ve heard me talk about called Position: Vacant).
If you are completely new to doing storyboards, pitching and animating walk cycles in a team environment, then this is definitely for you. Personally what was different and new for me, was how we were developing story and drawings as a team from the very beginning without being worried about the end result and I had the opportunity to do more storyboards. Had fun pitching, discussing, drawing, starting from scratch and not being precious with anything.
Although it was just a day, Matthew impressed me as an incredibly encouraging, brilliant and giving both as a teacher and person and had me thinking if I should consider helping out with picture books and story boarding in the distant future. I did not join in with the walk cycle animation portion with Andrew (but his lecture was wonderful) as I am still on the fence in taking the plunge into 2D animation. Don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity to see how far I can go with storyboards or 2D animation but who knows! I’m currently focused and enjoy character design the most but I am keen to expand in the not so distant future.
The way back home was full of twists and turns as an adventure in itself. Still, I met some interesting characters (snippets as seen above in my silly Characters for the week section #46 to 50).
But that’s another story.