Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friday's Studio Tours

I was particularly excited about what we where going to see today. After researching online Dreamworks and seeing their campus grounds I knew this company seemed to be the entire package. We would also be visiting Disney Studios. I was looking forward to this one as well. Given I probably wouldn't have chosen this career path if it wasn't for Disney. They where a big inspiration to me at a young age.
We grabbed a quick breakfast of a coffee and a bagel and headed to Dreamworks. Even their gate seemed impressive from first glance.
We make it through the gate and the first thing I see is a Starbucks!! They have their own starbucks.

We haven't even gone through the gate and you already see fountains, stoned walkways, and all kinds of plants. As soon as we begun our tour through the doors your greeted by a few Oscars in a glass case along with a giant or life size version of Po.

I love Kung Fu Panda. I was super excited. Our tour guide had told us they did quite a bit of motion capture for the fight scenes. Though it was still just used for reference. Everything was still animated. But just proves my point about Motion Capture. Die hard old fashion animators don't believe in it. But for scene's like that where in that movie, you can't expect an animator to be able to act that out. If anything, that little extra bit of research they did made for more believable fight scenes. I really thought I was watching kung fu.
We walked around through a few court yards and saw a room where the artists get down to the basics of lighting, drawing, and animation. They also learn from other areas in the pipeline as well. We would later see a chart of their entire pipeline. We continued through some cubes to what they call is their secret room. Apparently in the beginning some some the employees created a room just an open area on the other side if the wall. They cut a hole in the wall. They would have little parties in there that the owners didn't know about until one day. I can't remember if they got fired, but they did get in trouble. lol After that we made our way to have lunch with the animators and artists of Dreamworks. I thought how awesome is that to have lunch inside the walls of the studio as if I already worked there. I don't even know how many people get the privilege to do that, but I didn't care. I enjoyed every bit of it. I talked with our tour guide at lunch about internships and what they look for. Though he said a lot of their artists did animation mentor its not a requirement. Case in point, a Scad alumni who works there doing animation told me he didn't do animation mentor. Just a lot of long hours in the lab and a friend in the industry that gave him useful feedback. Granted, I felt the need to track these people down I've meet so far on facebook to keep that contact. Me and Ben have been chatting and he said he would look at my work and give me feedback on it. :)After lunch we went to the screening room just to see their process in doing lighting and animation on a shot. But that where speaking to us where Scad grads. One of whom I'm friends with now on facebook. I also friended the other grad that was sitting there but didn't speak. He's a lighter at Dreamworks now. Our conversation starter was how we have similar last names. Though I poked fun on how he's missing on f, and he said I had one too many. lol
I had also made a point of going to the gift shop before the end of our tour to get some souvenirs. You can't find anything Dreamworks animation studio online, so I got quite a few things. Along with some Shrek McDonalds toys they where handing out at lunch. After that it was time to head to Disney.
As we pulled up to Disney we had to get out as many pictures because after that they wont allow you to have a camera pass the door.

As soon as we got to the gate they where taking IDs for copies and signatures for if we decided to take anything we saw there and publicize it. But at any rate the studio seemed pretty quite to me. We saw a room where the animators brush up on their life drawing skills. They bring in live models on site. I thought that was pretty cool. I got to see John Lasseter's office. They had a lot of preproduction art work on the walls for the films they are working on right now. We made it down to a lower level where we could see the Disney time line. It basically went through all the films that Disney produced. This stretched down the hall. After receiving a few gifts our day had ended aside from grabbing dinner and getting ready for some more touristy things in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Amanda, hope all is well. Looks like you had an incredible trip to LA.

    Just so you know, you do not have to do AM to get to a studio. We created AM so that people could get to studio jobs they loved for cheaper, less time and with more out of it than most art schools. With that said, you can go any route to get to a studio. In the end it's always going to be about the time, effort and inspiration you put in. All the best and good luck fulfilling your dreams. I can tell you have a lot of passion and that will get you very far! Keep on rockin'!