Animation Mentor Adventure

Chad Swanson’s Journey at becoming a Character Animator!

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    Sedona International Film Festival

    Posted by chad3d on March 2, 2009

    This is my 4th straight year attending the Film Festival in wonderful Sedona Arizona. Its always great to see the animated shorts that get selected and what ones actually win the awards!

    The Highlight of the Animation spot light for me had to be a short by Peggy Stern and John Canemaker, Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood.  It was simply wonderful listening to Chuck Jones, one of the animators from Warner Bros. He did many things from Tom & Jerry back in the 1960’s and my favorite growing up, Wiley-E Coyote and the Roadrunner. John Canemaker animated parts of the film as Chuck told his great stories. He was a wonderful man and I can only hope that my life ends up being as great as his was.  Chuck Jones is definitely going on my wall of Hero’s after this one.


    Among the other animated pieces was Bill Plymptons Idiots & Angels. It was the only feature length animated film. It was stylistic and well… unique. Its not My style of film nor was the animation but it was definitely inspiring knowing he did over 25,000 drawings in less than a year. It did not win any awards. He did already get a distributing deal for it though. So as a Independent film maker guess that is the best you can hope for.

    Daniel Finds his walking stick won the animated division for the directors choice. Interesting I thought, since the only thing appealing about it was the story and maybe some of the cinematography. The animation was definitely lacking.

    The winner of the best animation for audience choice award went to Sebatian’s Voodoo. A cool short I saw a few months ago and then watched again at the festival and still enjoyed it. The animation wasn’t top notch but you really get into the doll character and what he is feeling and thinking. That is enough to make this one a winner!

    Another animation I saw at the festival worth mentioning was from Ellenora Ventura. She did a stop motion that was pretty terrific. It really made me wanna try some stop motion animation of my own. I had the pleasure of talking with her for a bit after the chuck jones movie and from her great personality I hope she does well in the field.


    Taking courses at animation mentor now I really have more of a eye of what makes good animation. Its interesting to look at stuff and say ah they could have done that or this a little better. Now I just need to look at my own stuff and make it better! Guess only more experience will start to fix that for me.  The film festival Is great it reminds me how much i want to be a animator.  I almost pursued the roll of  modeling or rigging before I went to the film festival a few years back and met Dave Burgess and Jason Reisig. After that I knew what path I wanted to Pursue.  I hope to one day to be in there shoes!


    Well next year at this time I should be graduating  from Animation Mentor so I might not be able to attend the festival. Hopefully I will be able to and I will actually have something in it next year or one of these years! Well till later! I’m off to Discipline myself on becoming a better animator!

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