Thought I should begin shifting my focus from general CalArts' events to my film, since next month I can promise that my film will be the only thing I write about(it's crazy to think that in literally FIVE weeks I'll be animating scenes for the actual film!). So onto the film talk:
Today was a momentous occasion for my film. Presented it twice and now the next 7 days(when this animatic is due, and I present my storyboards again) will be quite interesting. My film is still getting a good response, it's fitting the time requirement, and everyone picks up on the character driven moments---however, there's still a lot to fix in terms of clarity, reaction shots, the characters' relationship to each other, etc. After presenting this film a handful of times now, tonight was exactly what I wanted: the teacher and my classmates literally ripped my boards apart and pointed out all of its flaws. However, even though this might sound like the worst experience ever, they critiqued my boards in the sense of making it so much better. Basically, I have some serious issues of establishing which character the audience should really attach themselves to emotionally(as my teacher essentially put it, "While I certainly don't hate either character, I'm not finding a reason to 'like' or identify with either of them.") and my cat character, Pilot, is getting too angry/aggressive too quickly and his actions are not reasonable for what his owner is doing, at the end of my film, Pilot's karma is not set-up correctly, right now(though I didn't intend to have this message at all), it's coming across as animal cruelty--(he's supposed to have a "get what you deserve" kind of moment, but because of certain elements missing from the final shot and the way Pilot is set-up in the scene, it's giving that unintended impression). However, while they pointed out these major issues they also suggested a couple really great ways to fix all of these problems. So back to the re-boarding phase!
This is the great thing about CalArts, no one is afraid to give an honest opinion---they all give feedback in a way to make your work so much better(I've literally grabbed a friend and asked them if I can pitch my film to them and I've received some great feedback this way. I've also been the one who's giving feedback as a friend pitches a film idea to me--so it's a great environment to be in, very inspiring!) Despite the "brutal" pitch, I'm completely jazzed to come back next week with my new and improved boards; though I do plan on keeping one thing in mind--it is my own film. I've heard this before and I've learned a new definition of it tonight but, even though it's great to receive very thorough feedback from someone(or a group) it's vital to remember that this is my own film, no one else is making this so I am picking and choosing what feedback I'll "keep" and which I'll pass-up because I am stuck with this film for the next several months so I want to make sure I still stay true to my initial goals and not compromise an aspect of my film just because I want to please the masses. In the end I certainly want to have a film that people can enjoy, however, I ultimately want to enjoy the film myself so hopefully, by keeping this advice in my head I'll be able to lean back in May and watch my film without cringing. Until then, time to finish off the pesky critical studies writing homework and get back to animating my kid scene and improving my boards once more!