Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The visit of Richard Gorey

-he shaved, this is an old photo. lol

Hm, this professor/guest really gave everyone a good few slaps in the face before graduation and finishing our thesis. Nice job Mr. Gorey.

I'll first note he's probably the most prepared, flawless, and fast speaker I have seen so far out of all of the guests yet. The corporate environment experience, and his personal taste of performance and perfectionism combined and created this kind of presentation, impressive, thought provoking, and comforting at the same time to a group of frighten students facing their graduation.

Here's a brief recap of what he said last night. (for those who missed it)

He mentioned he wanted us to remember one thing if we forget everything else, so I will list it here:
"In life, we are not rewarded for hard work, we are rewarded for outstanding work."
- No one will walk into a theater, watch a crappy film, and come out saying "wow they must have worked really hard." They will come out saying 'What a crappy film that was!'"

One student raised her hand and told me "You can't judge art." After all, art is subjective, but I will answer this... "Oooooooh YEAH I CAAAAN!" - (note the bold.... he nearly shouted in the room. lol)

In fact you come here to art school to have your art judged by me.

Everyone of you judge art, you will look at this art and say it's good,
look at that and say it's crap.

"I'm a testimony of you can end up with a C, but still be successful anyway. My father was a good man, but when he's angry, you know it. After spending tens of thousands of dollars on this son who keeps saying he will do a knock-your-socks off animation, finally he asked to see my thesis. It's the moment I dreaded, but that moment had to come. ....After he saw my work he was sooo angry I couldn't draw at home, i had to go else where to complete it. To make matter worse, when I was drawing my thesis, a professor took a look at it, and said it loud enough to another professor saying ' if I see another dinosaur fight, I'm going to puke.' As if things could get any worse for my thesis, right? My father hated it, no one wants to see it, but I decided, I'm going to finish this for myself. I called it, my 'demo reel'

There was tons of people doing dinosaur fighting, so I thought I had to do something to make mine stand out. Here you can see it was a desperate attempt."

(Then he proceed to show us his "demo reel" it was clean, neat, well timed and filmed, and the ending was funny, combining his love for the dino and his favorite old film. And his love of old films combine with his humor got him a job when he went to informational interviews, because that hit really well with his boss.)

But here I am thinking to myself, I'm not a fan of the old films, I probably don't have the same leverage he had because of his shared common interest with the older generation of my time.... I grew up in a completely different environment. So I have to use other things, and do a lot of studies to keep up with the culture.)

"I know you are all scared thinking about the tens of thousands of dollars of loan hovering over your heads, but in time, loans will be paid off. It took me 10 years, but I did it. When I finished my booklet for writing the checks, I called in to the agency and asked for another booklet, they told me, 'that was the last payment, you finished paying off your loan.' I was so happy I treated everyone dinner, it was a 1000 bucks dinner but I enjoyed every bite of it."

Mr. Gorey continued,
"You have to stop thinking of yourselves as only animators, you have to think of yourselves as film makers."

(No problem, I am already doing that. ;) I call myself a director of my indie films.)

Then he proceed to draw a chart, something looking like this...

"This is the film industry, this is all the jobs that are in the film, and this is 'animation' under film, and then, this little area of jobs are for animators. You are doing much more than animating when you finish a film, you are the writer, storyboard artist, the designer, the sound effect artist... If you just stop thinking you are only animators, your reach in the field will be much wider."

"I'm anonymous, I'm not Brad Bird, not John Lasseter, but I'm that guy who has a beautiful house someone will drive up and take a picture of, and I want to be that guy."

"My friend who taught me to draw never went into this business making money off what she loves to do, she just didn't like to have her work judged by others, but she's a very successful wife and mother making her house, and her daughter's prom dress beautiful."

Fame and Success are not the same thing. You can be successful without being famous. My definition of success is waking up everyday, and love what you do.

(my reaction: Then I am pretty much in the road of success going by this definition. I love what I do, I do what I love.)

He goes on to mention " Teachers don't have that much of an influence in your life, in a few years, you will forget your teachers' names, you might go "I had a teacher once with his name... starting with H?"

The fact is... NOTHING can stop you if you are determined!

(Amen to that one.)

(This story is probably the one that made most impression on me:)

I had one student who told me before that the workshop rooms had no pencil sharpener, he complaint to the desk, they said there was a budget problem this and that, he complaint to Reeves, and Reeves said it wasn't his problem. He then had everyone signed petition and held signs and fought for it for 8 weeks.

But, couldn't you just take a hat, and have everyone put in two bucks, and go to get two pencil sharpener and problem solved within a few minutes instead of 8 weeks?

"A few years ago, one student told me the school didn't even had flash class, and he was afraid he couldn't find a job. Well, couldn't you take flash class on your own? It's raining flash classes around here! Are you going to let 500 bucks stop you from your dream?"

(May I add... if you take a flash class in a community college, it's 135 bucks.)

(This story tells me: Solve your own problem, don't let nothing stop you from your dreams. )

(If you decided not to rely someone else to provide everything for you, you will be able to use what is there, not what is lacking. You will become a problem solver, and sometimes, an ugly problem can have a simple solution.)

And his book, "The Great Rabbit Rip off" is another story of its own.

"Sometimes you will feel as you work, you will move further and further away from your dream. But your dream can come in many other forms. For me, I didn't make the "101 Dalmatians" film I wanted, but my dream came in the form of a book, not a movie."

(Lastly... he counted his own drawings for animation..... 3000 drawings. Documented, took pictures of the camera he had and the school camera....
(seriously you had time to do that?! my honest reaction: omg geeky to the core XD )

(Now I wonder how many drawings I actually have. lol~
I will count later when I am done with my stuff.)

Hey, is this two pages yet? (checks... crap, it's 4 pages, I have to shrink this for my report)


Squirrel said...

Great summary, that really was an amazing experience. I felt like he was the great wise wizard that gave us some wise and worldy advice before our trip into the great ANIMATION INDUSTRY.

He really was the best speaker we've had in class, scratch that.. he is the best speaker on animation I have ever heard. He had so much to say and all of it was relevant to us and our future.

Mayshing said...

i agree with you, Brian, the more I learn about this industry, the more I love it. :D

Lynn said...

really great bit right here =)

Ben said...

nice, it must've been really educational for sure.

Anonymous said...


Jackie Deegan said...

you should use that for your paper