MPC, Tandem, Studio AKA, Frame Store and Double-Negative (D-Neg to the townspeople), were the ones I managed to visit.
Personally, the highlights of the trip were Tandem and Studio AKA, but that's just because I dig animation and the style of work those guys create. Of course that isn't to say the other studios weren't awesome; They were - extremely.
I loved Studio AKA because it was very clear from the moment I stepped in the front door that they had such a love for the work they were creating. At first it felt more like of a gallery than a studio, with an enormous amount of framed concept artwork covering their walls. Unfortunately, I wasn't permitted to take a photograph of the work; But some of it may be available online if you dig deep enough.
|The studio has become famous for their Lloyds' TSB commercials., amongst other things.|
It also happens to be the studio where, albeit a separate division, the famous online short animation series "Simon's Cat" is created.
|"Simon's Cat" boasts over 1million subscribers on Youtube.|
The reason these two were my favourites, was not only because they were the animation studios of the visit. More than that, they seemed like the sort of company I could easily see myself working for. They clearly loved story-telling. You just have to watch Studio AKA's charming "The Big Win", or Tandem's hilarious "Crash Bang Wallow" to see this.
I could also see how important all areas of the creative process were to them, and how seriously they are about it. Their characters, environments, stories, music, visual effects, were all so beautifully designed that some of the stills alone were enough to make me burst into a full-on dorky, tooth smile.
So what did I learn from this?
Well, what became apparent to me was that I wanted to create something like the short films of Tandem and others.
Realistically, the odds are really against in me in being able to do this in the time I have.
Do I have years of animation skills and training? No.
Could I do this alone? And survive? probably not.
But that doesn't change the fact that I very much want to do it.
At the same time.
Do I have years of animation skills and training? No. But, do I have a fair amount of time to get as good as possible? Yes!
Could I do this alone? Probably not. But, are there probably many people who would love to help out? Probably so!
I'm constantly researching character design, and loving it. But at the same time, I'm also writing short stories, and studying film theory and layout and loving that.
So we'll see, I guess.
I'll leave you with my latest character, and why I designed him the way he is.