This Animator Decides It's Time for a New Adventure.
After three fun-filled years in Orlando, it's time to do something new - something more substantial. When we first came to Orlando, this time, it was not for working with Disney but rather this time I followed my wife on her career move.
I took a job at FullSail University in East Winter Park, Florida, to teach the fundamentals with 2D animation. It was one of three different animation jobs I had been offered that day.
I love to teach the fundamentals. I am really good at it and enjoy seeing the light come on for the students. For most courses, doing the fundamentals in 2D animation is the quickest and best way for students to learn the basics. It is TRUTH time. No hardware or software or other gizmos for the students to learn- just paper and pencil and a little elbow grease. Now there's the TRUTH in spades.
Excuse me while I wax poetic about the TRUTH for a few moments. There is no way to get around the TRUTH - it's either there on the paper or not... I used to tell the students, "If the electricity goes out - we can still animate!" 2D animation depends on beng able to "flip" the drawings while you animate. There is a basic simplicity to the process - the TRUTH. And, the thing about the TRUTH is that it is always true. No fillers, no additives, no preservatives - just the TRUTH - without an expiration date.
My saying to students is," You have to know the rules to break the rules". I once mentioned this saying to primo animator Michael Dudok DeWitt over dinner at a little Italian place in Cologne (we were both doing short teaching gigs at the Internationale Filmschule, IFS). Michael asked me if he could use that saying in his teaching and of course I consented. There, more TRUTH!
This September, I celebrated my 38th year in the industry, I look back without regret except for the premiere of ANIMAGIC in Belfast. I should have been there for the students and the premiere of the film we worked so hard on... Unfortunately, my new job at the Disney Institute would not allow me to participate...other than that no regrets.
Fast forward back to the present...
Here I am three years later, leaving Fullsail and looking for the next adventure - and more TRUTH.
I finished MIMI AND GACK and it is on the film festival circuit, hey, SUNDANCE - I am here! I finished my live-action screenplay, O.A.R.B., a dark comedy about my Vietnam War non-experiences. Later this week, I will explode it and put it back together and send it off to a film festival. I finished three plus minutes of animation on a project for a client - and am awaiting word on the post-production. I am developing JOEY AND THE STAR as a Christmas special for TV - the perfect incubator studio project!
I have developed one year and four year, artistically based animation programs, that layer CG on top.
Currently, I have about 8 possibilities for new jobs, plus projects. Some are here in the States and some overseas.
So, the adventure continues... I know animation will be involved and teaching will be involved... and TRUTH will prevail.