|Joseph Gilland and the author|
The weekend began around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning when I woke up, showered, threw my stuff in the car and drove to Toronto (arriving around 9:30 a.m.). After checking in to the Grange Hotel, taking a one hour nap, and changing some USD into CAD, I jumped on a streetcar and spent the morning enjoying breakfast at Movenpik, walking around the St. Lawrence Market and capturing images for an animation I'm working on. But, as the day approached 3 p.m., I got on the TTC and hiked up to the Labyrinth bookstore just in time to meet Joseph Gilland. I had only planned to spend a couple minutes there as I didn't want to monopolize Mr. Gilland's time or get in the way of other people's enjoyment. But, community has a way of changing your plans. As there wasn't a line when I first got there, I was able to spend some quality time with Joseph before everyone else started showing up (score one for Mr. "I'd rather be fifteen minutes early than five minutes late!"). As has been my experience with famous animators, Joseph was very energetic and easy to talk to. He answered my questions, showed an interest in the animation work I was doing, autographed my copy of his book (Elemental Magic: The Art of Special Effects Animation) and drew a picture on the cover page.
|Autographing books with a signature and a drawing|
It was during this time when I met fellow TAIS member, Graydon Liang. Graydon had taught a stop-motion SFX workshop that I had hoped to attend but couldn't make due to a prior engagement. Thirty minutes of shop-talk later and I regretted missing his workshop even more than before, but decided to redouble my efforts to make it to his next workshop!
|The workshop begins!|
|NFB's display station for projecting hand-drawn animation.|
Next, he discussed his book and why it was needed in the animation community. During the course of the workshop, Joe showed examples of hand-drawn special effects compared to computer generated special effects--put into the context of lines of force acting on the physical world and treating said effects as an actual character that moves along those lines of force, the difference between the two became dramatic.
|Demonstrating lines of force on water to create waves.|
Well, afterwards, a snow/ice storm in Michigan kept me in Toronto for another night. While I'm sorry to say that I didn't partake of the Toronto nightlife, I did spend an evening in my hotel room re-reading portions of Joe's book and further clarifying my notes.
The TAIS Summer screening, with its annual Anijam, is four months away in June. It can't come fast enough for me. I'm already looking forward to being a part of that community once more.