:D All I can do. I can not explain how ecstatic I am for us and what a great time we had on the trip this year. The Big Grin team did fantastic and everyone soaked up all the new knowledge being thrown at us this year! I was so impressed with everyone, my expectations were blown away. The trip was great; we met up with some old friends, I personally got to meet some friends from Animation Mentor, even spoke with some friends I met at Gobelins! And we all made some new friends that we hope to work with in the future!! By far the best Siggraph I have been to in the last 4 years!
Sunday: Day 1
We arrived Sunday Aug. 10th and we all just hung out and went swimming! It was a very needed break from are hectic schedules. I actually felt bad for not being productive while I was letting the sun bake me lol.
Monday: Day 2
Monday was the kick start to an amazing week. Quick highlights:
1. Failed Productions: A very well put together panel of great artists with loads of info. Not only was this first talk great hearing about struggles and budget constraints but it was the proving grounds for what was expected from the team. I wanted to set an example for everyone and we discussed quite a bit on peoples questions and how to reframe questions so they are "good" questions. From then on for the rest of the week I was taken back on how well everyone did!!!
2. Ed Catmull: WHO? Are you kidding me! This was by far worth every penny I paid to go this year. Ed's topic was "Managing the Creative Environment". Everyone in the audience received a nice taste of what its like at Pixar.
The brain trust has all responsibility over creative process, only way to be involved in the brain trust is to be 1. A film maker 2. Have to 100% honest- there success relies on the success of others. 3. Brain trust does not have final say on film- they have no authority over director. Ed always questioned a lot of start up companies and he would watch successful companies fall and would always be making sure Pixar didn't follow. He would ask, "Why are they blind, not seeing what they need to do?" Some keys: When things are right it gives an excuse to overlook whats wrong. And the big key is knowing the people better than you.
3. "Art of Awesomeness-KFP" The panel led by director, John Stevenson, Raymond Zibach - Production Designer, Yong Duk Jhun - Head of Layout, & Markus Manninen - Visual Effects Supervisor. This wasn't as geeky as I was hoping for, it felt more like a DVD special feature that briskly touched on the things I REALLY wanted to know. The panel covered the production for the first two years going over story, layout and character designs. John Stevenson made a great comment about when co-directing you need to find someone who will complement the other.
I loved hearing and seeing the design evolution of the characters for the film, they had to find design solutions with shape languages. Then hearing all the research and seeing the history of Asian art that influenced KFP was brilliantly applied into the composition; it was fantastic. The use of color and exploring personalized character cameras gave me and the team a new outlook on what we are doing and will be applying it to are own work. More research on movies! lol.
4. Autodesk: Hustling over to the registration after KFP we didn't get anytime to snack. The user group meetings are quite interesting or have been over the last few years. This year I was bored to death in the beginning and would have spiked interest here or there. I know for me the lack of food was crippling me. The 3D stereoscopic was the only real highlight for me, seeing what they did with KFP was incredible and made the entire audience jump back! Also seeing a sneak peek of 5 mins worth of Monsters VS. Aliens was cool, I'm not so sure about it yet. After the show and tell was over it was a mad dash to the food and drink lines. It was seriously a mad house, whoever the event coordinator was they should be fired for the round tables! Once things settled down the event was a blast. And we all went home and fell asleep around 4:30-5am.