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The world started seeing moving pictures through animation and not as live movies as per the popular notion. Sets of sequential pictures have been seen all over the world in different cultures. All Buddhist stupas have the entire storyboard of Buddha’s life left for us in accurate detail. Good enough for you to make out his life and transform into a movie or an animation.
Human beings learn maximum when the essence is delivered in terms of a story. This is especially in case of conceptual learning. To tell a story we have to put together a crew. Now sometimes our story becomes too difficult to tell when the setting is a fantasy, or if the risk involved is too much (like acting with a lion – over come in Narnia). And most of the folklore which build our character are fantasies of one’s mind. So it became important that man was able to create such imagery and animation became important.
Since the animators have to deal with such complex decisions. Art decisions are the toughest decisions and no computer has reached the point where it can take artistic decisions yet. Hence animation and storytelling require people who are artists by heart and willing to experiment and toil till they find the right answer.
Typically an animator is a person who is full of patience and reads voraciously (bookworm for the less initiated) and love literature and languages. The animator would usually be good at drawing and/ or painting. Some of them are good at acting or love to perform on stage in form of dancing. A few of these even write stories or poems. In short they are dreamers and usually can be expected to learn disciplines which give wings to their dreams. They do not care about money and are more likely to lend money on hunch than an engineer since they are emotional. This empathy is what makes them achieve emotion of screen.
To make a good career in animation you must start working on your drawing and there are some good books like “Drawing from the right side of brain” (Betty Edwards) which claim that anyone can learn drawing within 5 days. There are other experts too who claim similarly that drawing is a skill that can be acquired.
Parallely you could be working on your drama or literary skills as well. Being able to develop communication skills like these would anyway serve you all your life so do not hesitate just because your education board doesn’t know how to rate these skills and they go missing from your marksheet. I must state here that there are much more subjects you need to learn in your life that are not there on your high school marksheet than those that are on it. It can easily be stated that a little less knowledge of mathematics would not be so detrimental as a small lack of confidence that the stage can give.
Now once you’re ready to learn, there are 2 kinds of paths that you can take. One is the path of self learning that the best take (people like Gandhi, Chaplin, Einstein, Disney, Ghalib, Steve Jobs, CV Raman, Kabir, etc fall in this category). This is no way a safe path and more people fail than succeed in this path. The other is the path for lesser mortals. There are more chances of a safe career but consequently lesser chances of astounding success. However, it ensures that you go through structured learning within a reasonable time frame. However, this method is not able to keep pace with rare/ exceptional people, but is the best for the rest. Anyway not to confuse you further, mostly this path would be apt for you. Now you must choose a curriculum or an institute. If you are very clear about what you want to do, choose a curriculum and enroll for it. If you want to create a solid base go for an institute you like. Nothing but your innermost talent and passion should lead you to the course and the institute you choose. Go speak to people over there and see if you like their philosophy and they change your perspective. Try their website for more details. Typically go for a school which offers all the information including faculty on their website if all other things are the same.
The leading institutes in this field in the world are CalArts, USFCA, Sheridan, Vanarts, Seneca, Gobelins, George Mieles, Animation Mentor, Gnomon, Ringling, Savannah, USCLA, etc. Closer home in India some of the best would include IIT-IDC, NID etc. Then there’re the Arena, MAAC franchises (always research which centres are the good ones). There’re even some new colleges that are coming up and it would take some time before a college stands out from others in terms of quality.
Typically you must try to learn both the art of 2D as well as 3D animation to start with. Later on in life you may opt for one of these once you’re surer on what works best for you. Also, there’d be many options in 3D like lighting, rendering, texturing, modeling, rigging, blend shapes, animating etc. Similarly in 2D, like background artist, key animator, in betweener, in and paint artist, key compositor. There are some common areas too, like storyboarding, character design, background design, art research, compositing. There are some periphery areas too like sound design, voice artist, actors, story writers, screenplay writers etc. In fact, similarly there are many techniques of animation that you can work in – like clay animation, paper animation, light animation, sand animation, paint animation, jib jab animation, puppetry animation, pixilation etc besides the usual ones like flash animation, 2d animation, and 3d animation. There’re even periphery and neo-animation areas like Visual Effects, Motion Graphics, Web Design, Graphic Design, Matchmoving, Motion Capture, Stereography, etc.
While you are learning the art of animation do also work alongside on other creative areas like film making, photography, clay modeling, drawing, theatre, etc. Get reviews by knowledgeable people and take feedback without responding emotionally to it. Keep on visiting art galleries and improving your art appreciation ability. This would develop your creative eye and judgment. All this is immensely useful in creative decision making. Do also attend all workshops in your college and also take up paid workshop if a good expert is visiting. These workshops would help build your perspective. Try to find a faculty you resonate with and if you feel confident about the faculty do take suggestion and mentoring from him/ her. Do remember that faculty can change and do not respond personally to it, try to adapt yourself to change in environment and take everything in the right spirit. Also learn life skills by working with people you don’t personally like, when they are in your teams, especially if their skill set is good. Do also take faculty help in identifying good books and make it a habit to read a minimum of one page per day. You can mail me for a list of books if you like at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally once you’re ready to step out of college, do build your portfolio to the desired level even if it delays your start. You can also go for an internship before going into the real market. This would help develop your skill to the next higher level. You can also form a group with some of your likeminded friends and work on a personal movie. A good movie can kick start your career like nothing. Also, if the movie wins a prestigious award you can expect to grow exponentially as the studios would not like to miss out of talent. For e.g. two of the students of gobelins school production “oktapodi” were hired for good sums and send to india to rhythm and hues to work on Hollywood films.
Events will include a four day convention with amazing international speakers, 3 major exhibitions, premieres from local new talent and established artists, a 48-hour film challenge, exciting activities for all ages and the prestigious Stoke Your Fires Awards.
For more information on how to submit to the Stoke Your Fires Film and Animation Awards download the guidelines and application form from
In order to promote the animation industry, approved by the Xiamen City Government, hosted by the Xiamen Municipal Government, organized by Organizing committee of 2010 Xiamen International animation festival, the 2010 Xiamen International animation festival will be held in the city of Xiamen from November 4th-7th, 2010. The events are including the Competition of Cyber Sousa Animation Work, Xiamen Animation Forum, films screening, and some other family-supporting activities such as Animation works and technology exhibition, Cosplay performance and E-sports competition.
While the Competition for Cyber Sousa Animation Work emphasizes the international Animation exchange, it insists on the specialization and international judging standard. Base itself upon domestic and scan widely on the global, it encourages the original works and searches the fresh power, which promotes the development of Chinese Animation Industry harmoniously.
Just a few days left to submit your film at http://www.cybersousa.org/en/index.asp
Deadline entries: 15 September, 2010
How to apply: The entry form for this competition is available at http://www.cybersousa.org/en/registerReady.asp
Please send your films in video-DVD format to Xiamen before 15 September, 2010 to the below address:
Organization Committee of Xiamen International animation festival
608 Floor, Administrative Building, Xiamen Software Park,33 Guanri Road,
Xiamen, 361008 ,China.
4th Annual GOTHAM SCREEN 2010 FILM FESTIVAL AND SCREENPLAY CONTEST (Oct 7-10), showcasing fresh cinematic voices and perspectives from filmmakers around the globe at the Tribeca Cinemas in New York City.
Gotham Screen showcases cutting-edge feature, short, and documentary films by first- or second-time directors, and complements its program with releases making their East Coast or US Debuts. The Festival provides a unique opportunity for filmmakers to have their work shown and critically judged in NYC while providing a venue where audiences and industry can discover new writing, directing, and acting talents.
Created by a group of New York-based producers, the Screenplay Contest aims to discover the “next great screenplay” and to give previously undiscovered writers a chance at getting their projects produced and their writing skills recognized. Gotham Screen seeks marketable scripts from new writers with original ideas to be considered for indie production (budgets under $15 million). The top prize is $2,500 cash for the winning screenplay, and excerpts from selected contest entries will be performed live by professional actors at a staged reading during the Festival.
MISSION AND OBJECTIVE
Gotham Screen provides filmmakers an opportunity to have their work shown and critically judged in New York; provides positive industry and audience exposure for works that would otherwise not easily get seen; and aims to discover new talent.
MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
HOW TO BE by Oliver Irving, a recent Gotham Screen selection, caught the attention of industry execs at the Festival and was subsequently picked up for domestic distribution by IFC, and signed with The Little Film Company as the film’s sales agent. Following the success of its 2009 edition, Gotham Screen 2010 has been expanded to showcase more short and feature films than ever before.
Alum Hal Jordan (THE ASSASSIN PROJECT) observed that the Festival’s program was “exceptional and in many cases represented bold decisions on the part of the programmers.” And Screenplay Contest winner Patrick Bates gushes, “Gotham was our big break into screenwriting. Knowing that we were optioned writers (one of our scripts got optioned following a win at the contest) opened several doors and generated a lot of buzz about us and our fledgling production company.”
For a chance to be part of this celebrated and growing event, submit your film or screenplay to the Gotham Screen 2010 Festival and Screenplay Contest today!
Arena Chandigarh added one more feather to it’s cap by becoming the Highest Contributor for Career Advice on the shiksha.com website. For this Shiksha has awarded them a Cup and the title of “Star Contributor”. It is already a Lead Avisor on the website.
The Chandigarh Centre has also won Awards for Academic Excellence for the 3rd time in a row. Similarly, the chandigarh centre also won awards for overall Growth, Billing and Collections for 2009.
Arena Chandigarh Sec 17 Centre Management and Academic Team was today praised for it’s Academics Achievements during 2008 for which it was adjudged as the Best in North India, spanning the states of J&K, Himachal, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttarpradesh and New Delhi. It was presented with an award during the Arena Strategic Meet at New Delhi today to honour it’s achievements in the field of Academic Excellence in 2008.
The Team that achieved this included Parminder Singh, Bikramjeet Singh, Hazrat Ali, Sushree Sunita Das, Aayush Chopra, and S. Vijay Kumar. This is in continuance of the recent Batch Toppers that emerged from this centre. Slowly but surely, Arena Chandigarh Centre has become a prime centre of academic excellence and various students have opted to cross the entire country to enroll at this centre.With students coming from as far as Bangalore, Jaipur, Dehradun, Nainital, Delhi besides towns and cities of Punjab (Rajpura, Bhatinda, Moga, Ludhiana, Mohali, Patiala, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Amritsar) Himachal (Shimla, Mandi, Solan, Kulu Manali, Nahan, Dharamshala, Dalhousie) and Haryana (Ambala, Jagadari, Yamuna Nagar, Narwana, Kaithal).