In other news, Jon and I drove to Toronto the weekend of February 21st. I've been dealing with cabin fever for two months now and had to get out of town. What better than to visit Toronto during the winter, eh? :)
Due to the incoming snowstorm, Jon and I left at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, instead of the original plan of 4 a.m. There was NO traffic on the road. We made the drive in 4 hours 30 minutes instead of the usual 5 hours. By 7 a.m., we were checking into the hotel.
After brunch at Movenpik, we spent the mid-morning at the Royal Ontario Art Museum where Jon was giggling and running around looking at the pre-Raphelite exihibition. Apparently, that's one of his favorite art periods. Personally, I just wandered around in a sleep-deprived daze and daydreamed. Saw a nice geometric glass sculpture that I'm trying to duplicate in my 3-d animation program.
A quick snack later, and we were on our way to the TAIS workshop at the NFB Mediatheque. This time it was Lynn Smith who was showcasing her films.
Afterwards, we got to the real reason why I drove to Toronto. Ellen Besen, the creative director for the Kalamazoo Animation Festival International, had asked me to speak at KAFI this year on the topic of Forensic Animation (as well as run a paint-on-glass hands-on workshop). So, since she lives in Toronto, it was the perfect opportunity to meet up and discuss what I could bring to the table and see if it meshed with her vision of this year's KAFI. All I can say is 'wow!' Over dinner and a two-hour discussion, I'm even more jazzed to speak at KAFI than I was before. Going to be a good year for festivals! Of course, now I've got two months to boil down ten years of Forensic Animation experience into a one-hour lecture (w/a half-hour of Q&A afterwards). Well, Ellen left early, so Jon and I finished up dinner talking to Lynn and members from TAIS that we met at last year's summer screening. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and collapsed. Being up since 2:30a.m. and only getting an hour nap finally caught up with us.
On Sunday, we got up, checked out, had breakfast, and drove back to the NFB where we spent the next eight hours studying under Lynn as she taught us her particular style of cut-out and paint-on-glass animation. I spent more time soaking up the creative atmosphere and jotting down notes on animation ideas than I did working under the camera. Jon came up with this cute little transition film about a cat sleeping. We're still editing the film at the moment, but will post it up on the site when it's done.
Around 5 p.m., we wrapped up the workshop, helped TAIS load their equipment into the van, and then said our goodbyes to Madi, Tara, Lynn and the rest of TAIS. It was dinner at Montana's, then we hightailed it back to Michigan, arriving a little after midnight.
The TAIS workshop had the desired effect. I'm jazzed about talking at KAFI, charged up to work on the animated commercials for Replay, and am burning through the client work that is standing between me and my personal film projects. With all the cultural opportunities in Toronto, moving out there is getting more and more attractive every day. ;)