So I was notified Wed. of this week that I would not be allowed to continue working on my short film in 2D. Same goes for Bobby Pontillas, he took time off from AM and put even more time in for his 2D film. Either go 3D or don't graduate.

Funny because Bobby Beck and others through out the course of AM lectures talk about animation is animation no matter what the medium. And to be told that I haven't done that much work and it should be easy to do the film in 3D, doesn't set right with me! Just leaves a pit in my stomach.

I BUSTED MY ASS off to get what I have, and I hustled even harder to help my classmates out and do whatever I could for them. I didn't have all the time I wanted to put into my short film, but then again, who does have all the time in the world.

I wrote Bobby Beck the CEO, and was disappointed with what I read in return. I would have thought with him being an animator himself and being the CEO he would understand and unfortunately is out of his hands. It feels like the people who we are trying to communicate and work with have not created a hand drawn piece or made a short film before. This isn't easy and can't be changed with a click of a button.

WHY would I want to animate in 3D when all of my love, passion and motivation is for doing this in 2D on the film. Besides that, with my whole heart being poured into this, why wouldn't I make this the best piece of work I could? And if you know me, I don't half ass anything.

Mr. Beck also said I didn't have the draftsmanship for the standard needed; I could see that with my short film. Its also in a very rough stage. And I would like him to take a look at my portfolio and tell me I can't draw. But whatever, its cool everyone is a critic, that's why artists have to have thick skin.

If it sucks its sucks, ya know? :P Besides I wasn't going to have it 100% completely done in 12 weeks, clean up takes longer than animating lol. And I'm cool with that because I want to draw each frame by hand then paint it using watercolor.

What sucks to is: I remember Bobby Beck's exact words when Ryan Hobbiebrunken, Zac and I had a heart to heart with him while out at Siggraph in Boston. After speaking with Bobby and hearing everything we were so desperately needing to learn, that of which we weren't learning at school. We went back to school and caused a huge ruckus!!! Which of course wasn't the intention at all, we just went back to school and told the truth. And a handful of students dropped out after we talked to them. Hobbie actually left and he was super concerned this would hurt him in the long run. But I told him that he would be the first from are "group" to be working on a feature film, he would be working on a feature film before he even graduated the school!! And guess what!? He did exactly that, so AM was the best thing for him! And I was so happy for him. (law of attraction does wonders)

And the coolest part was, Shawn Kelly wrote to us, telling us his story! And what he was going through back in school and making a tough decision like that. It was totally cool to hear that from such an awesome person. For me I couldn't do what Hobbie did, it was different, I finished up because of one person, and they helped me get my business up and running. But guess what, not even a full week after graduating school I was starting AM up! I've only had great things to say about this school. So this sucks. No one knew we weren't allowed to do 2D.

Whats hard for me, is, I looked up to Bobby Beck. He was working at Pixar, and left it, to go off and pursue a dream, all those years of hard work, the long nights with his buddies and it finally paid off. Look at what AM has accomplished! And for me the connection is he never gave up, he stayed true to himself and his dream. I've been pursuing my dream the last few years. It comes down to examining ones own desires. I have made a choice, I am willing to risk certain parts of my life to live my dream, I've risked relationships, time and humiliation. What are you willing to risk?

I mean, I'm a kid, 23 yrs old getting gray hair already from working so much. Even though I'm not getting paid, I wake up every morning and LOVE what I do. How many people can say that? And I know it will pay off one day soon.

To me this all correlates with story telling. I believe my ambition has a life defining force with it. The measure of the value of a characters desire is in direct proportion to the risk he takes to achieve it. Greater the value = greater the risk.

And I've really risked a lot trying to make my short film the best it can be on top of everything else. This is why I admire people busting their butts that have to work so many jobs just to attend school, or people with newborns, they are doing it for their family. Even people who decide to quit work altogether and solely dedicate their time.

So 2D isn't allowed. Well it doesn't mention it in the Class 5 syllabus, it wasn't apart of the "rules" for making a short film. So why now? Everyone was under the impression that the AM staff checked out the work of the students, and everyone is having a hard time believing that they wouldn't have known about Bobby Pontillas work or mine. I mean this has only been going on 6 plus months, close to seven now.

I mean there are tons of students to watch, but still we were passed from class 5 and everyone seemed to know... except the staff I guess? lol

So for me, now, I have to graduate. Plane tickets and hotels are already reserved. I feel really bad for Bobby P. he is so far along on his work, its looking fantastic! I just want to get this sorted out and honestly I would like to just work on some animation tests (in 3D lol) so I can strengthen my reel.

Were being told this is for are best interest so it doesn't hurt are chances getting in the industry. I can see where they are coming from. They're just preserving the market for which they employ grads, that's all. And the market is all 3D!! Last thing I would want to see happen is me and Bobby get really hurt by this.

I've always wanted to work on a 2D though, maybe that's the Disney kid in me haha. Or even something like Triplets of Belleville. And didn't this years short film Academy go to a 2D film? :P It wasn't full blown Disney level animation. Very stylized. Same for Lavatory - Lovestory, that was a great short film. I think it all depends on the story trying to be told, and I will stick to 2D for my story.

I will just have to finish it on my own time. And I know it isn't going to be easy, I mean doing emotional animation scenes in 3D is freaking hard and you have more control over things. But that's part of the fun and challenge I find in my piece.

I still have enjoyed my journey in Animation Mentor, and have made friends for life and worked with some of the best talent the industry has to offer. I wouldn't change that for nothing. Just time to put this behind me and bust my butt on a awesome 3D test!

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
-Harriet Tubman


Stephen said...

Bloody Norah. That is thoroughly frustrating, particularly given how bizarrely arbitrary the decision was. It might be possible to understand if there were even a semblance of a rationale behind it. Did they explain their motive for this spontaneously invented rule? Sorry Toby. Also, hadn't realised you were only 23!

Ana said...

Hey Toby,
Yeah, I can totally understand your frustration. I know how much work you have put into this short movie, how many weekends without sleeping to study, all nights woke up until class brainstorming ideas with your classmates, helping each other so we all can improve our work. You never denied us help no matter how busy you were, actually you always did it with passion for us. I remember we talking how awesome class was last term, how much did our mentor helped us, how awesome our class meetings all nights online was and how much did we learn.
You know I am extremely upset and disappointed with all this that is happening. And I keep asking myself, if doing 2D is so not allowed, why didn't they let you know before, why nothing is said on the syllabus that they tell us all the time is where we should check if we have any questions about assignments and classes, no one on staff knew that? all students new you and Bobby were working 2D, and honestly these are two of the stories I like the most this term, and for sure it will loose some of the emotional you want to show if it is done in 3D.
I have already told you all I think about you, how much you dedicate your self to your art and your career, and also to your friends, I can proudly say you are my friend and you have been the person that have helped me the most on making me a better artist. I have no words to thank you all you have done for me this last months. Also would like you to know (although you already know it, haha), I will be always here to support you (no matter if it 2D or 3D) and to help you as much as I can. And I am sure you will go far in your life!
Ana Cunha

Jonathan Grimm said...

You couldn't be more right Toby.
Value of the task is definitely in direct proportion to its risk.

There's an old saying that goes:
"Anything worth doing is not done easily."

That's certainly true of your goals.

Ryan Hobbiebrunken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Hobbiebrunken said...

I can understand where they are coming from, with making sure students get jobs and succeed. But to come to you now after working so hard in class 5 in 2D and now currently in class 6 telling you it's gotta be done in 3D... yah I'd feel bitter as well. I know they are concerned for your future career, especially when they hook you up with recruiters at graduation, which is pretty awesome.

I'm sure 2d animators might have a hard time getting a job now-a-days, but you are paying to learn animation and to pigeon-hole you into one medium may not be fair, when we all know animation is animation, no matter what medium. The fact is you are paying for it out of your own pocket, so it should be your choice. This definitely has 2 sides of reasoning. They want you to succeed in the current 3D animation industry and mean well with their decisions... and you want to stay with your passion for 2D. Not a fun situation. Hope things work out for you Tob.

Hammy said...

I happen to come by your blog through Bobby's, and I must say this sort of situation is NOT uncommon... I'm really sorry it happened to you though.

Similar events happened to me numerous times too but I am more fortunate that I was able to get it my way due to a fantastic director who is very supportive of my idea and concept. And now I am loving every bits of my project. What I am glad to hear is at least you guys tried to fight for it, because true artists would not give up what they really want to do easily and will keep fighting for it. I would encourage the idea of making a 3D film but don't give up 2D still.

And I also found out that obstacles like these tend to help a lot, when you actually win it, you would appreciate the chance given and work even harder for it and the work comes out even better than you initially planned. Best of luck though, no matter what medium you are animating in.

Geordie said...

Toby, Reality check.
Ditch AM and do your film the way you WANT to. Don't spend all that time and money on something your heart isn't in. AM gave you what you needed--the planning. just keep going. It's their loss, really. At my studio there are several graduates from AM and students who quit during the short film --They're right next to each other on the floor. Sitting next to AM Mentors!!! no one cares about the graduation certificate. It's your reel. So quit whining, make me proude, and do it for you DAMMIT! I already feel your 3D version of this isn't going to be as strong as the 2D. Your heart isn't in it. Besides you're 23! you have YEARS AND YEARS to do a 3D short when your heart IS in it. Do the 2D! You don't need validation from anyone. You're good.

Stephen said...

Alternative reality check.
Stick with AM, finish the film in 3D, making it as good as you possibly can. You are a talented animator and more than capable of making a stunning animated short in 3D. It might not be what you had in mind for the project, but with the level of commitment and determination you have it would be a great piece of work. I don't mean this to be diminishing the significance of the dilemma, more to act as a devil's advocate. As others have said you are only 23 yet, and will have time to make a 2D short when the drive for making it is not as part of a graduation requirement, but is solely from your own impetus.

Kayla Barker said...

Don't lose hope! You are so talented! One day I'll be able to say that I know a famous animator!

DEI said...

Dude, I don't know what to say. I can't believe they took so long to notice what you were really doing and inform you that you couldn't follow that path (which is a sad rule itself).
However, in your lines, and despite the situation, I sense the same passion that you've always shown: the one that will make you succeed no matter what.

You've got all my support.


Phil Willis said...

As a fellow AM student, I'm sad to hear how things have turned out.

The good news is - you're talented, and have many strings to your bow.

And if you want to complete your film in 2D - I say go for it. AM has already given you tonnes of information - certainly enough for you to do what you want.

Don't get me wrong. I love Animation Mentor. But remember - you're paying them. Not the other way around.