This time, no artwork from me. This is all about people who have recently come in and influenced my life. This past week was a whirlwind of interviews and meeting old connections, and new ones. It was all kicked off with the showing of Don Hahn's, Waking Sleeping Beauty; followed by what was one of the most inspirational talks from the director himself.
Don's talk was a great insight into the animation industry, and explaining the importance of having a group of incredibly talented people who are unified in the goal of achieving what may be the best film they could produce. It's refreshing to see guy's like him take a step back and review what is currently happening at the Disney empire and the rest of the other studios. Many points were mentioned that seemed obvious at their mention, yet when it's thought about, they are easily overlooked like they are in movies today. Movies from decades earlier than our time, they were a major event. There was no fooling the audience or making them question if they liked a character or not, it was purely great storytelling that kept people going to the box-office for months. Risk-taking needs to continue into this generation in order to bring audience's into these dark rooms to watch good movies, leaving their bills and worries at home to be taken to where they have never been before. That is our responsibility as artists today. Who knew that the crazy idea of putting rats in a kitchen would make a good story, or putting an old man in a balloon-house to South America? Ideas like these are "against the movie law", yet have become some of the best ideas.
During the talk, the point was also made that animation is a collaborative sport. You have to take off your ego at the door, hang it up on the coat rack, and then take it when you leave home. In a team effort, you have to have everyone work together, failing fast and failing often to get to that good idea. Not creating movies that are necessarily "edgy", but clever and proper representation of our time. Don repeatedly mentioned a quote that Walt Stanchfield said often: "Impression without expression leads to depression." This is a perfect example that studios today should be learning from the affects that movies of yesterday still have in our hearts. It was also interesting to hear Don speak on the topic of the relevance of music and the visual arts; that it's a dying art and needs to be explored further. On a personal side note, emotion will always outlast technology. (Sorry, 3D just doesn't do it folks!)
So encouragement to my fellow peers seeking a job: don't worry. If you do get the job, that's great! If not, then that doesn't mean to crawl under a rock in submission to failure, but creating that "movie" you want to tell. Like Emily Dickinson's collection of unseen poems, still remain a true artist and continue to fashion that one masterpiece. So thank-you Mr. Hahn for all your encouraging and insightful words!
There are also two announcements that I'd like to make to help out some fellow folks at the Disney studios:
Pres Romanillos is an incredible animator who was supervisor on Shan-Yu of Disney's Mulan. Pres has recently suffered a relapse of leukemia and is in the hospital awaiting his second bone marrow transplant. To help him out his friends are putting together an art auction for his benefit.
Please help him - more information here: