Grad and Siggraph!

There are no words I can find that can sum up the experience I had at them. I don’t think there is a word invented yet to encompass it all. It was a whirlwind trip and there was so many awesome moments that it totally blew my mind. I am still recovering from it! It was so amazing I probably won’t remember to jot the majority of it down, but I will give it a go!

Flew into Oakland and met up with the animator friends I was staying with. We stayed in SF and met up with friends for drinks the night before grad. Nice to start it off with just relaxing with friends. Then grad us upon us the next day. Oh my how awesome it was! We were all fancied up and brimming with excitement! Met a lot of people I was in class with and names I saw about the campus. Everyone was great to talk to and we had lots of fun during rehearsal. Then it was show time. The AM staff did an amazing job with everything and it really had a fantastic vibe to the whole thing. Never been to a grad like that before! Lots of laughs and inspirational speeches. Glen MacIntosh did a fantastic job as the guest speaker. Totally got me inspired to dive into my work more! The student choice awards were great. Most of my closest friends took home an award which made me super happy. I even won one myself! My friend Alexiss and I won Biggest Personality for Live Q&A for our classes! It was great to win something selected by my peers. I of course became a laughing mess and set off a lot of people. I am known for my laugh now. Suprisingly I was able to be somewhat coherent at the mic for my acceptance speech. It was awesome to have people cheering for me being myself!

 

Alexiss and me with our awards presented by Lucy Napier!

Alexiss and me with our awards presented by Lucy Napier!

We got to see the student showcase before they released it at Siggraph! So much awesome work in it! A couple of my friends got their work into it. I am so proud of them and the other students who were selected. A ton of work was put into their pieces and it’s fantastic to see them being rewarded in a way for their efforts. We then collected our diplomas and headed off to the grad party.

 

Me and Carlos with my diploma!

Me and Carlos with my diploma!

Lots of people to talk to! I literally walked 15 feet in the four hours I was there! Everyone kept coming up and talking, which was awesome. Got to meet some new people and just have a good time. I didn’t get to have anything to eat tho since the tables weren’t in the distance I covered lol. I gladly talked to people instead but it made people laugh. The lot of us then travelled to Boudin’s for supper. Big group of us and they were nice enough to stay open later for us to continue our good times. A few of us went to a bar to end the night. The place was packed and we had lots of fun. We even started doing the macarena to see if we could get the whole place doing it lol. Good times!

Then it was off to LA and Siggraph! Drove down with some friends and did a little sight seeing along the way. The three days of Siggraph were a blur! Sensory overload. Saw a ton of booths, caught some talks, met a load of people and walked miles. Immense fun. There was the AM party one night on the top floor of a business complex. Totally wicked! So many awesome people to talk to! Great night and good times! The AM staff did another fantastic job of planning awesome events that week. Their tribute to Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson was amazing. It was inspiring to hear people talk about them and their work. It got emotional at the end when we were watching a video of their work with clips of them talking. It’s amazing when you realize how much they affected animation as an art form and an industry. Truly amazing people.

Then to end the trip a dozen of us went to Disneyland! It was my first time there and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to go with! We had fun with shuttles getting there and then the magic happened. I revered to being a kid again and was in awe for the majority of the time. We rode pretty much everything we could fit in: the carousel, teacups, Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Space Mountain twice, Big Thunder, haunted house and splash mountain. Totally wicked! I am becoming a coaster junky. I LOVED Space Mountain. I want to ride it for a day I swear. I laughed and cheered so hard the whole time. The fireworks and fantasmic were amazing. A friend of mine laughs cause he looked over at me and I was staring in awe with my mouth open. It was blowing my kiddy mind! It was the perfect way to end an amazing trip!

The gang at Disneyland with Walt!

The gang at Disneyland with Walt!

I am so glad I was able to go. The times were amazing and I really got to bond with some friends. I am honoured to know them and call them friends. I can’t wait to work with them one day and watch their careers prosper! Thanks so much Shawn, Carlos and Bobby for starting AM! Thanks to the staff for continuing to make it awesome! I LOVE ANIMATORS AND ANIMATION!!

*faints*

~Spilly

Advertisements

I am back…again!

Heya!

Wow! It’s been awhile since I blogged! I keep letting it slip, but from here on out I will be more diligent in posting. I promise!! A lot has happened since I last posted! Summer happened! I can’t believe how fast the last couple months went by. It seems like yesterday I was handing in my last assignment then woosh! September! Lemme summarize what happened: AM bbq, Graduation, Siggraph and work.

It’s been crazy! One trip after another and absolute fun on all of them. It was great to throw myself back into hanging with animators. They are a fantastic group of people and I don’t feel out of place with them. We have this understanding of each other and it really feels like a family. I’ll do posts about grad and siggraph in a bit to show off some pictures. For now I’ll talk about the bbq!

It was super cool! A friend of mine was awesome enough to let me stay with him again so I could finance the trips. We’ve become great friends and his girlfriend is hella rad and they are very welcoming to me. Great people. I’ll stop gushing and get onwards! AM had a job fair for alumni and current class 6 students before the open house the day before the bbq. It was so fantastic that they did that for us. Gave us a chance to mix with recruiters and possibly get hired. What we didn’t know was they showed them our work (those who were attending) so that the recruiters were prepared if they wanted to potentially interview someone. Luckily I didn’t know about that cause I was nervous enough as it was. It was my first time meeting recruiters and I was rather jittery lol. There was a lot of students/alumni that I knew there so it helped take the edge off. I talked to almost all of the companies there in the couple hours we were given. I knew the whole visa thing would be an issue for most smaller companies there so I wasn’t expecting much. I was suprised when one company was really responsive to me and the recruiter remembered my work! I was floored! He offered a reel review, which was awesome, and we had a good laugh together. I walked away feeling better about myself and my work. That’s a huge thing for me!

The open house was chaos! So many people kept coming up to me and saying hi. I knew more people this time going into it so it was great to see them in person. Laughed with the Stickam crew and the Utah crew a lot and had a fantastic time. Met a bunch of new people and some were new to the program. They found out I was a peer buddy and alumni tutor so they asked a TON of questions. I talked pretty much non stop from the beginning of the open house till we lights went down in the theater. We went to the opening of Wall-E together. The movie was amazing! The crowd was amazing! A completely amazing night! My ride back to my friend’s place was cool cause his friends (who were about to start the program) asked me another load of questions. We had a great conversation and I noticed it seemed to take longer to get there lol. Didn’t bother me cause I love chatting. My throat was so raspy the next morning! But I pulled it together for the bbq!

The bbq was fantastic! It was full of great people and great times! It was overcast and somewhat windy, but it was a great temp for me. I am used to cooler climate compared to SF Bay area so I was finally cooled off. Other people would say it was cold lol. I got to meet new and familiar faces and really just have a good time. It was nice to be recognized as well and just talk shop. And talk we did. I talked the whole day and laughed till my sides hurt. So many awesome people and so little time. Walked away with some great friends that I was sad to say goodbye to lol.

The AM Gang!

The AM Gang!

The rest of the time I was there I was shown the sights by my friend and his girlfriend. There was a cool exhibit by a Blue Sky story artist at a museum. It had the storyboards he worked on for Horton. Rather cool to see them in person. I am fascinated by artists and how they work. We also went to the boardwalk at Santa Cruz. I rode my first coaster there! His girlfriend and I rode the wooden coaster. It was interesting. The bouncing and feeling like you were riding a toothpick took a bit to get used to. After the first couple turns I let go and enjoyed myself. She might turn me into a coaster junky like herself yet!

The coaster I rode on the Boardwalk!

The coaster I rode on the Boardwalk!

I came back super excited and super tired! I was all fired up to get working on new shots and planning my changes to my short film. I had to work a bunch of overtime at work to cover my trip to grad/siggraph and make monies so it basically ate most of my free time up. But the trip to come was fantastic! I will write about it in another post!

Good to be back in action! Stay tuned and keep rocking!

~Spilly