So sorry for the lack of legit updates, I've been having trouble with Blogger.
But SO much has been going on, I'll try to cover most of it.
First of all, James Gurney visited a couple weeks ago. He is the writer and artist of Dinotopia and the book "Imaginative Realism" (which I bought and he signed my copy!). For anyone not familiar with his work, he is an AMAZING painter and sculptor and anything else you can think of! His lecture was fantastic and very informative, not to mention he is overall a really swell guy. He stayed pretty late after the lecture to take extra questions and sign books. I've been reading his book and reviewing my noted from his lecture and they always really inspire me. You should all check out his blog --> gurneyjourney.blogspot.com
Next, on Friday we had our most recent guest lecturers, Shane Acker (Director of "9") and Joe Ksander (Animation Director of "9"). Wow. This one was a duzy (is that how you spell that?). And it was such for a number of resasons.
Obviously, I liked "9" well enough, but more than liking the film itself I have been really excited about having something new a different in animated film. So, I already had high appreciation for Acker before hand (which, unfortunately, I think might have shown a bit too much when I spoke to him afterwards). Though, the lecture these two gave about the making of the "9" feature film, blew my mind and showed the audience (especially those who said they had major problems with the film) that none of us had any idea how laboring this film was. Seriously, it seems like these guys and their crew had to go through the fire and the flames to get this thing out.
Now, I REALLY don't feel comfortable sharing everything that Acker and Ksander said, for various reasons, but I will say that this movie is amazingly well crafted for the budget it was on(and that now I know why I love the art style of this film so much). The entire lecture was about solving problems and doing it effectively. I think it inspired a lot of us and I have even more respect now for Acker and his crew and the film itself. I was also very happy to hear a group of guys behind us say "OMG. We HAVE to see this movie" after Acker and Ksander showed the step by step process behind the Seamstress and the Seamstress clip that is all over the internet. Actually, I have heard rumors that a large group of animators went to see the film afterwards. Awesome.
Not to make the entire lecture sound so doom and gloom though, the speakers definitly seemed to be enjoying giving the lecture and there were some incredibly humurous moments ("Then we put our money on making that table as sexy as possible"). For those who know what I'm talking about, I feel like I want a copy of that 5 animation test to cheer me up while I work on my own film.
If it's still out in your area. Go see 9.