First sorry about not posting last week. These past 2 weeks have been busy & I just forgot.
Second here's the whole thing in a more refined state, although you'll probably notice some shots have not been touched in a long, long, LONG time. I will get to those this next week. I did however re-do the ending pretty much completely, swapping Bishop in for the little girl, because that model had a facial setup & the other didn't. There are still bits I want to change/add in the ending, but those will probably have to wait a tiny bit longer.
Now on to the main show... I woke up this morning to the following comment in my workspace from a fellow student:
" it became a very nice movie. flows well. why its not finished???"
I love AM.... it's one of the few schools where this is a totally acceptable thing to leave as a comment. It's not meant to be snipey or anything, it's just an honest question, and here was my reply:
"HA! Good question....
The short answer is "I learned something big & learning takes time & slows you down."
The long answer:
It's not finished for a number of reasons.... Mainly because about 2 weeks ago I started looking at the film as a whole & realized it wasn't up to the standard that I wanted. The acting wasn't strong enough, the emotions weren't reading, I didn't have enough breakdowns to adequately start moving to splined, etc... etc... Also, because there is so much physicality in this piece, so much running & jumping & such I had started to let that take over the performance.
I made a decision then that I could take one of 2 paths. I could push ahead with what I had, try to take everything to splined & get it all to some stage of "finished" regardless of how much the final film matched my original ideas and desires, and how much I felt like it didn't work OR I could step back & really re-do the parts that weren't working & make them work, even though this would cause me to have a more unfinished film at the end. I chose the second path.
I got a really interesting and enlightening comment from a recruiter this past Siggraph when she saw my reel (up in my Progress Reel section right now if you are interested). She said that it was all technically good. I obviously new about anticipation & follow-through & all that. BUT only one of the 4 shots (the first one) showed that I brought anything to the table idea-wise.
It was a comment that really made me sit back & think about my work so far, how much I was pushing myself & a lot of other things. I think I had gotten so caught up in the technical side of animation that I had forgot why I wanted to do animation in the first place, to create characters!! Not just to move things around prettily on the screen.... Even more importantly I realized my short film had been all about just moving things around prettily on the screen, and I had lost the character & the emotion which I really wanted to be at the core of this piece. SO..... that's the long answer.
There's also a lot of other things I could fall back on, like I rigged my own characters (bad decision), I choose a piece with just about all the complex full body shots I could think of (bad decision), I didn't & still don't have a full facial rig for the main character (see first bad decision) etc... etc... But mostly it's the learning thing.... :)
*end of answer*
There's been a lot of discussion on the AM site about graduation, what you need to graduate & taking an optional additional term. Basically most of the school isn't finished with their shorts. I think we all underestimated the time that it would take us to finish these and we're paying the price now. So AM has graciously given us all the option, this one time only, to re-take the 6th term with a new mentor & finish our films. I thought about it long & hard, but I don't think I am going to take it. Now, that may change if I get an email from my mentor saying I should, but that's my thinking right now. I feel like I do have a lot still to do on my short, BUT I also feel like the place where I really need the majority of mentor feedback is at the acting choice stage, and I'm getting that now. I feel like I could take this forward on my own, with a few additional critiques from AM (once we graduate you can get a crit for a fee service) and get something that I'm pretty happy with. I also feel like I need to move forward & start looking for work. I've been in school, freelancing or moving cities/countries for a long time now. It would be great to settle down into a day to day animation job again.