The first panel was on sequential art and storytelling and thank goodness, they had a big pad of paper for us to illustrate different things. I also passed around some page from Twenty Seven to show that one didn't necessarily have to start out a good artist in order to tell a decent story. I paid some attention to Mighty S's page showing how even an 8 year old can tell a fairly decent story.
I shared the panel with Howard Tayler with whom I had shared some panels the previous day. He does Schlock Mercenary. I've been going through the archives and it's well written and also interesting to watch his drawing improve over the course of the strip. He said yesterday to me, after I had mentioned how long I had been drawing and the advice I give people who wish they could draw. (My advice: draw every day! Every. Single. Day.) He said that too is what he tells people but with his strip, he had to learn how to draw in front of an everyday audicence that is now 20K plus! Talk about nervewracking! But doing that, it's impossible to get worse!
Had breakfast with purplerebecca which was delightful. She is the first LJ person on my friends list that I didn't know before and have now met. Kind of cool.
The next panel I was on was The Future of Animation. This was the one I did by myself and I had to take care that I didn't "Aspie Out" too much. I started with a brief history of animation...(and by that I mean, North AMERICAN animation since hey, that's what I know.) because I am a firm believer of knowing one's history to help accurately predict the future.
I went through the cycles in the industry...how after Snow White came out all these other studios jumped on "Let's make a feature" bandwagon and crashed and burned. Years later when Lion King came out all these other studios jumped on the 2D feature bandwagon...and for a variety of reasons crashed and burned.
I talked how Disney mucky mucks got arrogant and greedy and started "dilluting the soup" and the consequences of THAT.
When I finally got caught up to "So Where is this Going?" I threw out the huge caveat that what followed was MY opinion and even *I* took it with a huge grain of salt.
I talked how much technically EASIER it was to do animation. I brought them up around my little 12 inch ibook and showed them Tea for Two which never fails to impress. I talked how I finished the thing in my basement on a G3 (now laughably obsolete) scanned it all in, painted the backgrounds and colored the characters in Photoshop and assemebed it all in Premiere. Even 10 years previous I would have had to gone a traditional route which would have made it waay too cost prohibitive.
The best, most innovative stuff is going to be coming out of the proverbial basement. I mentioned the guy who did Kaze...locked himself in a cabin in Alaska for 6 months, had 2 computers and did over 40 minutes of BEAUTIFUL animation...mostly to prove a point, one didn't need a 100 million budget (and 20 executives) to do good work.
I then talked about the distritubution problem... printing stuff to film is SPENDY, making deals with distributers is tough and risky. I did mention the success of The Animation Show and I hope that more animators go that route. (darn it, that was MY idea...but hey, I never followed through with it, so there you go.)
We talked about why "the digital revolution" for movie theater's isn't really happening...(NO incentive for the theater owner to swap out all their perfectly fine projectors to crazy, crazy spendy digital ones.)
I made a few predictions that I feel fairly confident about.
1. Some studio is going to put a lot of tme and money and marketing into a 3D film...and it is going to tank spectacularly.
2. Somebody is going to get a traditional film made and it is going to do very, very well.
3. Some studios who don't "get it," are going to think, "Oh, audiences don't like 3D anymore and like 2D stuff."
Because, ladies and gentlemen, they fail to realize that animation is NOT a genre. It is a medium and it always, ALWAYS comes down to story, story, story.
All in all I think it went well and I had a few people come up after to ask me more questions. I realized that I didn't really talk about game animation but I'm not an expert there. I think that games is going to continue to be an enormous industry and highly skilled, talented artists will always be in demand. It'll be interesting to see where game engines are in 5 to 10 years and what that is going to mean for production but I hope that a 2D game gets made that does well.
On to "Surviving in the Art World." I shared the panel with pixiepilot. I had met her the previous day. Dressed up as some character from some piece of anime that I'm SURE I don't know, she had black aviator pants and priest's collar on for some bit o' cosplay. Yeah, she was kind of hard to miss. Cosplay, not my bag but boy, the people that DO it sure take it seriously. Anyway, I had met her the previous day and we bonded a bit sniggering at my wisecracks during "Intro to Anime." We later had dinner where the conversation ranged from politics to being over 30 and single in the LDS world.
Interesting girl...she is a "Con Artist," which she cheerfully admits is a joke she likes more than she should. She travels around from convention to convention and sells her artwork. That's a life that I think would exhaust me after a while but she had a lot of interesting things to say. We both stressed connections, protecting yourself and getting OUT there.
The few things I wanted to have people remember:
1. Get OUT there. As artists, we can get depressed and hide in the basement (everyone chuckled at the truth of that,) but you have to get OUTSIDE.
2. Surround yourself with other artistic people. It keeps your creative juices going and can keep you impassioned and inspired. Added bonuses: They can make CONNECTIONS. I never thought my life drawing group would lead to a job lead, but it did.
3. Love what you do and you will find a way to make it work.
4. The only person responsible for your business is yourself. Make sure you stand up for yourself.
Anything more than that and I think people would glaze over but considering where I was a year ago and where I am now, it's good advice.
I was really tired by this point and opted to head home rather than sticking around for the few remaining panels and I wasn't really up for the party/dinner/costuming thing at the end. I probably could have met a few more people and plugged myself a little more but I was TIRED.
All in all it was a lot of fun. I wished a few more people had come to my panels, I wished that I had got the Red Sparrow cards ready so I could more easily pimp my site but it all went fairly well.
And now with this done and with Twenty Seven done, now I am able to start other projects. Because you know, only ONE pet project is never enough.