When I was younger I use to get up at 5am on Saturday mornings because they would show 'making of' documentaries. I'd record them on VHS and then re-watch them until the video would break. I'd watch the fresh faced animators of Pixar scoot around a crazy studio and dream that one day I'd work in a place like that.
As I got older I realised that it wasn't the studio I nessasarily wanted to work in (although that would be great), but it was the feeling those studios had that I was chasing. I wanted to be a part of something creative. I wanted to work on a movie that would make people happy and work with people who are excited to collaborate.
Skip ahead to 2019 as I make the long journey to take a tour of my potential new office. A new company in Brisbane asked if I would join them to help make a feature film. It was an overwhelming offer that I had to carefully consider. I was already working at a company I loved with friends that I was excited to see everyday. After a few pep talks from some good people I realised that it was a big step that I was ready to take. I am now waiting on paperwork before I can jump in with two feet but yesterday I got my first tour. Since I've always been stupidly curious as to how studios work and how these things move I thought I'd take you along for the ride. I'm not going to be able to give you any details but I'll be able to give you a break down on the animation tricks I pick up and the ins and outs of a movie studio.
The Tour -
The studio isn't exactly in the centre of the world. It's two trains and an hours walk for me each way, which will show you how much I want to work on a film. This sounds insane and may mean I have to move house to stay sane (or learn to drive!) but it means I can do a ton of drawing on the commute and finally read again.
When I arrived I didn't know what to expect. The outside of the building looked like a brick factory but inside it was magical. Every inch has been designed to make you want to create. Clean white desks, black walls and iconic movie posters on every wall. It felt like the room was alive. Lots of smiling faces looked up (and luckily a few of them were familiar). All the animators stood nervously in one room and timidly introduced themselves. There are about ten of us from all corners of the globe. Luckily animators are a friendly bunch so it was easy to meet some nice people.
We had an introduction with the CEO and instantly it felt like we were part of something. The air was electric. Sat in the studio theater and listening to the leaders of the company talk made me feel like I was sat in one of those 'making of' videos. So far I have definitely made the right decision.
I really don't know what is going to happen on this project from here but sat in that room today made it feel like we wanted to create something special and surely that's the best building block for any project.