Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pixar Masterclass in NY

The train ride from Boston had wi-fi, views of the water, & animals!

 Van Arts: Pixar Masterclass in New York! 
The class features working Pixar employees. Each giving a talk on their specialty, with it being Ricky Nierva first time to the event. Since he's crazy busy as the character design/production designer.

 Animation: Day 1 with Andrew Gordon

The first day had the most notes of all the days, the workbook provided was chalked with info!
He shared how animators do research: wonderful videos of the animators performing pieces of the movies to capture even minor action (I could see why photos and video were not permitted).  The Barbie, Ken, and paddle ball one made everyone giggle.  At various points he would call up audience members to visually help articulate his points.
"The Story room is like a war room." ~ quote from the workbook
Story: Day 2 with Matthew Luhn

 I found Story very fascinating and the day flew by!  Pixar has a process for writing, which was simple and effective (great for visual types too). There was a lot of ideas that could apply to picture books & comic books. I was grateful he commented on what life would be like for a woman in the Story dept  (he spoke his wife's thoughts, thank-you for that).

"Never be happy with house style, Always try to push it" ~quote from class"
Design: Day 3 with Ricky Nierva
A giant fluffy bunny picture, he opened his talk with a pict of a GIANT FLUFFY BUNNY. You can imagine how I felt.  He was an energetic speaker and gave us several of his tools/exercises he uses to create (starting with the doodle game!).  Shared his inspirational artists and favorite cartoons (I got to see What's Opera Doc on the big screen!!). And told us funny stories about Pixar and a fascinating meeting with Miyazaki at his studio.

 One of the exercises from the day was to create parrot characters from the Story Spline walk through in day 2.
My 4 favorite parrot sketches of the 24 I did.

Later we were introduced to the Shape Exercise (which I think is wonderful fun!)
We were to draw parrots inside the shapes provided in the workbook.
This one made me laugh! 

"The greatest sin is wasting your time" ~quote from class
They did not waste our time, there were a ton of pointers. I actually ran out of ink on the 3rd day.  I noticed several over arcing themes including Simplicity, Shape, Polish, Story is King, and be open to inspiration no mater where it might be.

There were some interesting and lovely restaurants near the hotel.
I would recommend Via Tribunali Pizzeria, with a Italian pizza maker,
The Katz Deli, and il Laboratorio del Gelato across from Katz.
I loved the cinnamon Gelato! tired I fell asleep on the train going home.
I loved the experience and would recommend the class to...
Lovers of Animation, People wanting to apply to a big studio house (see how the pipeline works), Illustrators looking for storytelling inspiration.

"No Rules, Just Tools'
~quote from class