We are just finishing our second week of production on MIMI AND GACK. This year there is a whole new crew with a set of veterans from last year’s production of PETE’S ODYSSEY.
Yesterday was an important milestone for the project. I finished the key drawings for the short. Quite frankly, I had to – the student animators here were again hot on my heels. This year’s film has expanded to two venues. The animation, layout and backgrounds are being produced at Bloomfield College.
While the clean-up, scanning and digital ink/ paint proceed at Cicely Tyson High School.
I can’t say enough about the enthusiasm, dedication and expertise of the participants. We run the Studio from 9:00 am.until 6:00 pm. Monday through Friday. We try to make the atmosphere and pipeline as real as possible.
The animation artists do a series of tests and their roles are determined. The concept helps them learn the necessary skills to develop into a professional in the industry. The goal is to make them “career ready”.
The first day we began withdrawing the characters - MIMI AND GACK.. We distributed the model sheets, movement sheets and other materials. The student drew the character to learn their construction and proportions. As they became more familiar with MIMI AND GACK., they moved to posing them for emotions. Later in the process, the creativity began to flow with MIMI AND GACK assuming the personas of several Hollywood stars and heroes. Batman and Spiderman were favorites.
The next day we jumped right into the film. Scenes were handed out to everyone and the fun began. Assistant animation/ inbetween skills were demonstrated and they were off in a cloud of dust.
The rest of the week was spent working on the drawings and improving their skills.
The following Monday, Craig Bartlett, a friend of CAT Chair Lynne Oddo’s came by and thrilled the students. Craig reviewed the students personal work and spent hours with them – talking about the industry with a focus on independent projects and TV shows.
Later that afternoon, Craig presented his work in the school theater to a very enthusiastic crowd. The work he showed was from his HEY ARNOLD TV series and his current project DINOSAUR TRAIN for PBS.
The students enjoyed the “behind the scenes” look into a world of animation few had considered. Craig enjoyed opportunity to present his work. Later that night at dinner, he related more stories of art and animation. It was a wonderful evening!
More about my experience here in the next installment...