This entry will be full of lists.
It's my first time going to CTN, and it showed. I didn't commit any unforgivable faux pas, but I didn't know how to prioritize my time, and didn't know when it was OK to talk to people (so often didn't talk at all). I didn't talk to a lot of professionals, but I did talk to quite a few other attendees, and everyone was really nice and open to conversation. It was great to discuss animation with people who understood art and story, and who fangirl as much as I do.
My top 5 favorite things about CTN:
1. I saw Glen Keane in person and said hello. Just hello, but it made my birthday.
2. All the talks I attended with the famous animators. My favorite was Andreas Deja's, but I also loved the Robin Williams tribute I went to. I love hearing behind the scenes stories about the process, more than hearing about the technicalities of the process itself.
3. Song of the Sea screening. If you liked Secret of Kells, you'll love Song of the Sea. It's not as artistically detailed, but the story is much stronger, almost on Hiyao Miyazaki's level. If you haven't seen Secret of Kells, GO. GO SEE IT.
4. The Disney portfolio review I went to not only helped me identify what I need to strengthen about my portfolio, but reminded me that the big companies aren't the only ones worth working for. My reviewer gave me the names of a few studios to apply for, and I'm really excited to do just that after fixing up my portfolio.
5. All of the art vendors. If you can't afford workshops, most of the pros have a table in the exhibitor's room and are willing to talk. I got so much inspiration just from walking through that room.
Five things I'll be doing differently next year:
1. Less workshops. I signed up for 8 this year, attended 7, and 2 of them were not at all helpful. I think only 2 started on time. Most of the people who do workshops are in the exhibitor's hall anyway, so I think I'll approach them there instead of waiting in line for a workshop.
2. Research all of the big guests. I knew some of them, but I think I'll get more out of the experience if I can recognize them all by face and know their body of work. This way I can ask more informed questions.
3. Bring sketches to give away to animators I admire. A "thank you" just isn't enough for these people who have influenced my life.
4. Keep watch for pre-registering for portfolio reviews online. I waited in line a total of 7 hours for that portfolio review. Worth it, but still a LOT of standing.
5. Take down time. I got sick this year from just going going going, and it's good to take time away to relax and digest what I've learned.
All in all, going to CTN was an informative experience. I don't think I had the full, immersive experience, but I look forward to that next year. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to go into animation, even if you don't think your abilities are up to par. It is a tad expensive, though (understatement). I'm going to start saving up now for next year. XD
Thanks for reading. Hope this was informative.