Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CTN-X 2011

What do you do when you finish grad school in animation?  Why you go to CTN in Burbank of course!

Finishing school last Thursday and then immediately driving down to Burbank afterwards was a great feeling.  The realization that I am done with school and can now go to where the industry is was awesome and perfect timing.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with CTN, check out their website.  You can also check out last years blog post about it too for what it's like and how last year was.  This year though was pretty spectacualr and I thought I'd discuss the highlights.

I was lucky enough to get 2 interviews last Friday at CTN.  I had them with Pepper Films and Duncan Studios.  Both of the interviews went really well, I thought, and I hope to hear back from them soon.  I've been a little down and out about my work this semester so it was great to hear that studios like my work and that I have a lot of potential.

One of my favorite panels happened Friday night.  I got a front row seat to hear Andreas Deja speak about animation, which was kind of like watching his blog come to life.

After Andreas was done speaking though, he had a surprise guest for everyone, which was none other than the legendary Disney composer, Richard Sherman.  He told some great stories about the old days at the Disney Studios and Walt.  What was really special though was watching him play piano and listening to him sing some classic Disney songs.  He played everything from Mary Poppins to Jungle Book.  It was truly a special moment that I will never forget.

(sorry this picture is a little out of focus)

Saturday was my day to go around and check out all of the artists and demonstrations going on throughout the day.  There seemed to be a lot more artists this year than last year, which was pretty cool.  Some highlights for me was watching one of my favorite instructors, Nicolas Villarreal, draw.  His work is very inspiring and unique.

A very inspiring speaker that I got the pleasure to sit in on was Ryan Woodward.  If you don't know Ryan, he created the short film Thought of You and has worked in the animation industry doing special effects.  I felt like I could really relate to him and would like to create something like his film when I get a chance some day.  Be sure to watch Thought of You.  It's beautiful.

The highlight for me on Saturday was getting to see Tony Bancroft talk about his animation on Pumba in The Lion King.  He brought along a bunch of other scenes that we could flip through too.  It was fascinating to hold drawings from a feature film and see how they were working.

Watching Tony draw and speak about animation was cool, but what was even better was having dinner with him later that evening with some friends of mine.  Tony's a really nice guy and it was a pleasure meeting and talking to him.

After dinner with Tony, we walked back over to the convention and caught a great panel with the directors of The Lion King.  They talked about what it was like working on the film and shared some fun stories.  When it was over, we all walked over to the other side of the convention for drinks and to rub elbows with all of the talent.  Drinking and socializing in the same room filled with animation superstars is a pretty surreal and unique experience.

On Sunday, I woke up early to catch Alex Woo speak about gesture drawing.  He works at Pixar and teaches at the Pixar University.  His demonstration was very informative.  I am eager to apply some of the things he talked about in my own drawings.

Of course, I always have to catch J. Scott Campbell drawing too.  He's one of my favorites!

Sunday ended and concluded the event, but it's not over yet!  Disney closed out the show by inviting 400 people to come to the Disney lot and watch some of their new shows that will be airing within the next month.  We got to see the new Pixie Hollow movie with Tinkerbell and friends, the Phineas and Ferb Christmas Special, the new Disney short Lorenzo, and the new Prep & Landing short.

They were all really great.  It was a great way to close the event and walking through the Disney ground and seeing the place where all of the magic happens, even if only from the outside, was pretty awesome.

There was so much going on and each day was packed with things to do.  I could list even more details about the event and all of the great people that were there and things that happen, but I hope you got some kind of insite to my fun filled weekend at CTN.  

Oh yeah, and this is some of the great art I brought home for inspiration and neat things I got!

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