Thursday, April 10, 2008

At The Helm of The ARC

I’m not a big fan of blog posts about the blog, so I’ll try to keep this short (no promises).

So I've been getting some positive feedback about the more editorial kinda posts I've been making lately, as apposed to just linking to articles and films from other sites. I think they appeal to a smaller audience (those willing to read more) but that smaller audience seem to get more out of it.

The scary thing about this kind of blogging is that I have to expose more of myself when writing, right here on the biggest stage in the history of the human race, the wibbly wabbly web. Not that there are many people reading, but its still scary, even putting my own ego aside the reputation of our course is inevitably linked to the credibility of this blog. I guess I just wanted to take a moment to say, these are just my opinions, and I'm not the kind of teacher who thinks or pretends he already knows everything, if I'm going to express more opinions, I'm bound to stick my foot in my mouth more often. At the very least it should be entertaining :P

I love that the blog is evolving, in that sense blogging is just like animation, the more you do the more you learn, the more possibilities you discover and the more you can develop and apply your understanding of the medium. If we continue with that metaphor, its also important that you are willing to fail, because its when you fail that you learn the most, just like animation, or life. So I’m going to push ahead and try to keep this new aspect of the blog rolling.

I’ve been exploring some ideas for future ramblings and one thing I have noticed straight away is that it takes longer, so there may be a slight slowdown in posts. I’ll try to keep the shorter posts linking to films and such going between the longer ones, but if I’m going to make these posts good, they will require some time and thought.

I want to thank Frank (2nd year animation student at Southbank), for the constant challenges he has been throwing my way. To a large degree he has been responsible for my need to expand on many ideas and things we have covered in class. Franks constant insistence that I articulate myself clearly and justify things that I expect of the students has forced me to take my teaching up a notch. You gota love animation (and teaching), with 15 years of experience, I can be forced to improve by someone just starting in the field. Others should be looking to replicate Franks approach to the course in this regard, I love the idea of students and readers challenging my position, it’s a win win situation. You learn more than you otherwise would from me and I learn from you. Frank said in the comments of an earlier post, “I like to agitate his (Ian’s) beaker of animation passion chemicals, because the resultant reaction often brings surprising, enlightening and educational results.” I think he is being kind there, often it just results in repetitive clichés about working hard and such, but the underlying principle is sound. Getting me fired up results in more communication, and hopefully more learning. So bring it on people!

One exciting development is that it seems I have finally sold my TV show (no cash yet so its not quite time to hit me up for a loan;). Once its out there I will be able to talk about it more and I should be able to make some posts about the process I went though. Selling it has been at least as big an ordeal as making it so there is plenty I will be able to share that I think will give students an insight into the TV animation biz and doing things independently instead of through the usual channels. Stay tuned.

There are other potential improvement on the way too, can’t say much because its all possible as apposed to definite at this stage, but keep watching because I think we an a role here.

Next I have some questions, please consider leaving a comment.

The ideas I have for posts seem to fit into two main categories, basic how to do stuff and things that are more about your philosophy and approach to animation. I don’t think I could limit myself to just one kind, but it would be interesting to know if there is a general preference. Do you prefer post that are largely my opinion about people, the work and the life of an animator (like the Do You Need A Degree post) or do you prefer practical animation tips (like the Shape Of Action post)? Or are both good with you?

Dose anyone have an idea for a name I could give these longer posts? In the past I’ve tended to call them “rants”, but if I’m going to take this seriously maybe I need something a little less negative.

While we are at it, are the any things you want to suggest for topics? things we have looked at in class or touched on here that you would like to read more about.

Industry folk, there is no reason why you can’t also help to keep me on my toes. Any suggestions about topics I’ve neglected, or things you want me to clarify?

I’m loving the blog at the moment and am especially thankful to those who drop by and contribute regularly, we get over 50 different visitors a day at the moment but only a small had full comment. Thankyou soooo much :)

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