Wednesday, February 18, 2009...12:40 pm

I survive my first animation workshop

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Things I learned at Animated Exeter:

  • When small boys create animation, they invariably make things explode.

Don’t know why – it’s a DNA thing. Much evidence for this at the Animarathon workshop, where I acted as camera operator and assistant animator for a series of boys aged around 8-10 who opted for the “inventions that fly” strand of the workshop. The other strand – “inventions that help around the home” – was less attractive to them, strangely. I think the girls went for that. Feminists – your efforts have largely failed. The boys moved war planes around on our lovingly detailed sky background and dropped bombs on cars. Flying cars maybe. It was difficult to tell. Lots of explosions though, which was good.

  • I really enjoy animation workshops

Another key learning. The 2.5 hours sped by and I was surprised, and disappointed, to find it was lunchtime. I’m definitely going to try to go back next year and try to lead a workshop or drop-in session for the week. Not least because you can actually get paid a decent rate. But also because it beats subbing features about hedge funds. I get to help out during a whole day’s Stop Motion Magic workshop on Saturday and I’m looking forward to it a lot. [UPDATE: I did – see here]

  • Kids don’t want to do it “properly”

An important point. I was all for telling them to make their planes and cars move “realistically” across the screen, instead of doing aerodynamically implausible manoeuvres. Remember – they’re eight years old. It doesn’t work. One 10-year-old was pretty good though – he did some cool flying with a nice-looking cut-out rocket that had real personality. I think it’s an age thing. Which gives me some hope that I might be able to do it properly in time…

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