I took a few days off from thesis and flew out to sunny Burbank California for Creative Talent Networks (CTN) animation expo. Lots of other Ringling students and alumni were in attendance in addition to many industry legends. While I was in the area, I made sure to stop by Imageworks to visit. I rented a car along with my friends Ben and Jon and we drove to Culver city. We cried and hit the metal gates for a while until someone let us in out of pity (just kidding). Chad gave ben and Jon a tour, and talked about the cool stuff that goes on in the studio, then we proceeded to distract him from work as much as possible. I noticed he had a giant trophy in his office (yard sale souvenir I think). I decided to tape my business card on the cup at the top, and take pictures of him handing me the "intern of the year award".
We tried and succeeded in making awkward trophy reception faces. After we left Imageworks, we had lunch on the main lot, before we headed back to Burbank for the expo which started the next morning. Lots of amazing artists were in attendance. for example......
Donnachada Daly......(go check out his blog >>).....he does amazing 3d illustrations that you don't need glasses for!
It was packed on saturday.....
Got to see some people I knew from school visits. Here is Steve Hickner talking to a rabid bunch of students. He is saying something like "IF YOU DON"T WATCH FILMS, HOW CAN YOU MAKE FILMS?!!?!!?!!"
(A group of Ringlingans with Roger Allers)
We also got to meet lots of the crew from Lion King, as there was a Lion King reunion panel on the last night. I got to meet some really talented and inspiring people like the directors (Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers), Supervising animators Andreas Deja, Ruben Aquino and Mark Henn in addition to art director Andy Gaskill and head of story, Brenda Chapman.
On the main expo floor, we got to watch Andreas Deja drawing characters like Scar, Jafar, Tigger, Mama Odie, Roger rabit and more.
I asked him if I could steal his mama Odie drawing. (I did)
Then we got a few Ringling people together to get a quick picture. He was really friendly and accommodating.
There were lots of demos going on The whole time. Here is Tony bankroft flipping through some of his drawings of Pumbaa from Lion King.
We also met Eric Goldberg (best known for his work on "Genie" in Aladdin, "Louis" the alligator in Princess and the Frog, and "Rabbit" in Winnie the Pooh.
The whole trip was just an incredible experience, and I gave out lots of business cards. I would definitely recommend CTN to any aspiring animator or illustrator who really wants to put a face to the name in this industry. I loved every second of it, and I will be anxiously awaiting next years expo!