Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Screening of Waking Sleeping Beauty
I met Don Hahn, Peter Schneider, omg. (insert fan girl scream here)
First shock, the crowd isn't large at all, which is nice, less groupie/mob competition, more chance for a personal conversation. I suppose it have to do with the Monday, noon, the weirdness of the timing. But I can tell the school tried really hard to get this screening for us for free, from such popular guests I can only imagine. I am SO glad Eiser let me take my break to go to the screening, it's like once in a life time chance to see these famous people on my home turf!
The documentary is so honest, I was moved to tears, I can't remember when I cried at what point, but I might remember if i watch it again.
The story was a human story that shared everyone's ups and downs at Disney feature making from 1984-1994.
I was shocked to learn that Little Mermaid's theme song was once considered being "removed" due to it not selling at a test screening. O_o I'm glad Glen spoke strongly for it so it ended up in the film. The story between the 3 executives too were interesting. I think the man who had the most growth shown in the film has to be Jeffery, though unpopular to some degree from top to bottom, the top thought he wanted to take over too quickly, the bottom staff thought he was too intimidating, but no doubt under him there were the greatest classics of all times produced, Don mentioned while he was at Disney, he completed more film than Walt himself!
From this screening I come away with one message, "behind every successful, or even seemingly failed project, there's at least 1 passionate soul fully believing in it, pushing for it, retaining it's soul." That one passionate voice will gather, and move to the rest of the team to complete this seemingly impossible task despite all unfavorable conditions, and that's how ground breaking work comes.
Recollection of the Q and A.
"You can't say a film failed exactly, right? After all they do come out in VCR, DVD, they have a long life ahead of them to make back the money."
A:"Well when you put it up in theater and the other film is racking in hundreds of millions and yours barely made a few hundred thousands, yeah you consider it a failure. When Pocahontas was released the first week, it was doing so poor the director literally curled up in fetus position in his home wondering what he did wrong. After the screening though, as time goes on people forget the box office and really appreciate it's artistic quality."
(Just thought that box office fight in the theater is very interesting.)
Another lovely thing Don and Peter mentioned is that they are not looking for a particular style in the portfolio. One doesn't have to target at their production, they mention just being honest, and show lots of foundation, be able to tell stories, and show quick sketch (gesture drawings) is enough.
"One time I interviewed a guy who has a sketchbook of frogs, I asked 'so you like drawing frogs a lot huh?' he answered, 'no, but I heard you guys are doing a movie with frogs.'" -Don
"You can never catch up to the speed of the production anyway, when you got ready something, the production already moved on to the next." - Peter.
(still I think its better not to show adult material to pre-school productions... finding a balance and show that side of you that fits to the puzzle is key.)
"You can fool anyone with a beautiful drawing, but it doesn't show whether you can finish it quick enough, in a quick sketch you can't hide anything." - Peter S.
I had the opportunity to chat a little with Don later after he assured me that he's a normal person just like us.
I brought out one of the comment he made about NYC telling the students to "take advantage of what NYC has to offer" because people around here usually tells us to go to LA. "Yes, LA does have more jobs, but it's all industrial. Here you have galleries, museums, try to look at more things while you can."
And the lovely signature he did for a few of us the groupies:
They also encouraged diversity, "it's still early, you have your whole life to work, don't decide too early that whether you want to be a rigger, modeler, or animator... Diversity in skills is important."
I discussed with Liron before about this chance of seeing the two most important people in Disney feature, and promised her to bring some attention to them about her film, in the form of postcards.
Yeah, I took Liron Peer's post cards and handed it to Peter, realizing I was so *beeep* nervous I couldn't talk straight and explain about her like I could with my professors.... but he looked at it, kinda had a "oh ok/ oh well" face and put them in his coat pocket.
I am confident in the way I prepared the post cards, it included her most passionate online introduction as an animator, a hand written personal address directly to their names, link to her youtube account, and her stills of animation, which printed beautifully.
From now on I can only wish they would take interest in her and check her out, if these two guys end up not being interested in hiring her, I really really don't know what else we can do. Have herself fly to LA, walk into the studio with her portfolio?
It's all up to them and her now. I did what i could as a new friend.
My prof David is even saying I could be an agent and wished he had someone to believe in him like that. lol
Best of wishes Liron, I hope your dream comes true.