Thursday, September 27, 2012

Class Two. Let's do this.

I've decided that this post-a-picture-of-my-face-during-week-one thing is going to be a tradition, so brace yourself for four more of these in the coming year.
But for reals, I am so stoked for Class Two! Maybe also a little scared, can you tell from my crazy eyes? I had my first Q&A yesterday and Marlon seems like he is a great mentor. Plus, I know most of my classmates through our AM facebook group already, which is pretty neat.

Towards the end of the hour he did bring up the fact that while AM is so often happy faces and rainbows and sunshine, the truth of the matter is that not all of us are going to get to the level of skill needed to work on feature films. He said most of his students have their sights set on Pixar/DreamWorks/Disney but by the end of AM, many of them are simply not ready for the big studios.

Basically, if we want to the top students in our class, the ones who get picked up straight from school, we have to get our butts in gear starting right now. Our reels need to be top of the line and we need to be getting As consistently on our assignments.

Of course, that's the way any school works. And all of us knew this in the back of our minds, I think. Though, it seems that at AM it's easy to forget sometimes. The staff is so encouraging and caring and energetic, and the work in the student showcases is always so incredible that it seems like if you can just find your way into this school, you too can be magically transformed into an incredible animator!

Like anything though, there's no magic transformation, no special pill, no silver bullet. It's practice and hard work and long nights and frustration tears when Maya crashes, and with a bit of luck and good timing, all of it will pay off in the end. And maybe it won't be your dream studio. But really, would you rather be doing anything else?

So thank you to Marlon for taking off the sugarcoat for us. As the youngest of three children (and the youngest of a generation of eleven on my mother's side), I can from experience say that kid gloves only hurt you in the long run.

Maybe this is discouraging to some people, but I'm choosing not to take Marlon's advice that way. Sure, a dream job at one of the big studios is something I've longed for since I was sixteen. But this industry is getting more competitive by the year and there is a lot of talent out there. I've been thinking about it a lot lately and working in a film studio, a small studio, going abroad, working in games, TV, commercials, or freelancing all have distinct pros and cons and I don't want to set my sights on any one of them just yet. As long as I get to animate, I'm in.

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