Tumblr is For the Birds
Hey there Mike! This fall I'm enrolling into SVA in the Traditional Animation major. I know that you were an alumni of SVA a few years ago. I just wanna know a few things: -What do I expect in my first year? -What is the difference between SVA and CalArts? I heard that CalArts is more close to Disney (Walt practically established the school) but I'm not so sure. Your thoughts?

Cool! Congrats on getting into SVA!

First year is foundation year. You’ll get “Intro to Animation”, which will teach you the basic animation principles and lasts for two semesters, a Life Drawing class which also lasts for two semesters, a Storytelling/Storyboarding class, a History of Animation class (my favorite!) a Digital Compositing class (learning AfterEffects/Flash,etc) and a English literature class that’s sort of a waste of time and won’t count towards your final English credit that you need to graduate. Yeah, the last one’s kind of a bummer.

CalArts was partially founded by Walt Disney, on the basis that he wanted students of different majors (animation, music, dance, art) to work together and collaborate in an open environment to create and explore new art forms (which sadly didn’t truly turn out that way). My personal reflection is this: CalArts teaches you how to be a good animator, while SVA teaches you about how to be a good independent filmmaker. SVA has a completely different vibe than CalArts, since you’re smack-dab in the middle of NYC, which is a huge plus. You’re SURROUNDED by museums and parks and restaurants and all kinds of stuff to inspire and educate you. Neither school is gonna tailor you into an A-list Disney animator, it’ll only bring you so much. Your passion and creative drive will push you the rest of the way.

Good luck this Fall!

Have you ever had sexual thoughts about one of your own characters?
Anonymous

HAHA I didn’t expect that question!

Personally, I’ve never thought if them in that context (and I’m kinda glad I don’t). I’m not saying that they aren’t completely innocent like a Disney character usually is, but I don’t think any of my characters work in that sort of mindset.

Hey Mike, two part question; 1. What do you think of the whole Kingdom of the Sun fiasco? 2. What do you think of The Emperor's New Groove that came as a result of it?

Personally, I would’ve loved to see that movie finalized. It looked great! Shame what happened to it.

And while I like Emperor’s New Groove, it feels more like a Warner Bros. Cartoon than a Disney film, which can be both good and bad depending on how you look at it. I think it has it’s moments.

Do you think kids today find nonsense 'funny'?
Anonymous

I think nonsense was/is always funny. Look at Alice in Wonderland, which was written nearly 150 years ago, or Tex Avery cartoons from 75 years ago.

Is it hard to watch a character who had serious issues?
Anonymous

I don’t think so. I think it makes them more relatable in some ways. Depends on the character, situation and overall mood of the movie or show.

hey you work at shadowmachine right? How did you end up there and who would I talk to about getting a job there?

I worked there for over a year. It’s a really awesome studio. Had a wonderful time there!

If you wanna get a job there, check out their website and send them an email inquiring if they’re hiring. Right now, I don’t know what they have coming up in the pipeline, but it doesn’t hurt to ask! Have a resume and demo reel ready in case they need to see that too!

Is it hard to be a fan of your own creation?
Anonymous

I can’t speak for other people, but I can’t find many good points about my own work. Occasionally I feel some pride if I feel like I made a good drawing, but that seldom happens.

Do you think being passionate is crazy?
Anonymous

It depends! If you’re passionate about art or love, then it’s okay. But if you’re passionate to the point of stalking, creeping and openly bothering people, that’s a different story.

Drawing I probably won’t finish #864.

Drawing I probably won’t finish #864.

jpolgar1:

Around April of last year my friend, Jamie Vickers, encouraged Ben Li and I to apply to animate on Masaaki Yuasa’s “Space Dandy” episode.  Yuasa-san was apparently looking for international animators and posted about it on his Facebook wall.  We turned in our reels and promptly got the gig.

I decided to only take on four shots just to feel it out and to make sure I got it all in on time. 

The Carpaccio animation and shadow passes weren’t used in the final cut, but I decided to include them for this post to show what was turned in and approved.  The rest of the drawings I did came through though!  Very exciting to see the final animation all cleaned up, colored and cut together.

Yuasa-san was very open to us using Flash to animate our shots.  The production took the final keys (genga’s), printed them out, retraced onto paper and inbetweened those drawings.  It’s a pretty wild pipeline, but it totally worked.  I am grateful to have experienced working under one of my most favorite directors, Masaaki Yuasa-san.  

If granted the opportunity I would like to do more animations for Yuasa-san and other overseas productions in the future.  For now I will continue working on my personal project that I aim to get done before the end of the year. 

Space Dandy

Ep 3 Season 2

"Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Baby!"

Jeremy is amazing, as usual!