Catching Up: Visiting Artists Post

What is this madness. Winter break is almost here!! When did this happen?

I love CalArts and I love this giant dysfunctional family. Here's a picture of a group of Character and Experimental Animation girls and a Tom.

I've met so many people and experienced so many things that some people will never manage to do during their whole life. The visiting artists and opportunities that CalArts has produced has been amazing.

Visiting Artists:

Tina Price, the head of the first ever animation expo, CTN Expo, was our first visitor. The first 25 people to show up got free 3 day passes to this amazing event which happened 2 weeks ago. What an amazing experience that was, a room full of our idols were there for us to talk to, get criticism on our portfolios, and look at their work. There are already dates for next year and I'm so there.

Mark Andrews from Pixar came next, and he storyboarded for over 3 hours. He was very funny and sarcastic, and whenever he thought that we were getting bored he created his own theme music and sound effects for the scenes that he was working on.

James Gurney came next, the creator of Dinotopia. It's great hearing from all these artists and seeing all of the different areas that they specialize in and seeing their techniques. In order to figure out how lighting would hit certain buildings or objects, or figuring out how some made up object would work, he would create models. He makes tons of models to figure out what they would look like in a real environment so that his paintings would look realistic.

Up next was Shane Acker and Joe Ksander. Shane Acker is the creator and director of 9, and Joe was the Animation Supervisor. They gave us probably the most realistic talk that we'll ever get out of our four years here. They were thrown countless obstacles but they made it work. I will never feel hopeless if I come across some issue, because I know that if Shane and Joe could make it work, then I sure as hell can. Those guys did an amazing job with 9.

Then we had Lindsey Pollard, John Holmquist and Greg Colton from Family Guy. It was cool to see how they directed certain episodes, how the humor would be changed, and obstacles that they had to deal with. For instance, hundreds of people in wheel chairs coming together to form a giant man.

Gil Kenan who directed Monster House and City of Ember came next. He showed us the process of creating a scene in Monster House, and he also showed us his film that he made when he was a student.

Randy Haycock came but I was at CTN so I didn't attend. And the last visiting artist that we had was Pete Sohn from Pixar, creator/director of Partly Cloudy, the short that showed before UP. I had forgotten that he was the voice of Emile from Ratatouille also. I remembered once he started telling stories about how he got the part and so on. He was a really funny and genuine guy, he talked a lot about love for animation.

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