Post #32: Mikey - Retrospective

Allow me to preface this post by saying I had wrote my original thoughts on our last official meeting of BCS along with the others but mine disappeared without a trace. Not saying that my original post was a literary work of art or anything but the words written in the moment will not be the same as I write them now.

If I can sum up my experience at BCS, it would be scattered moments of learning, laughter, and love, followed by long periods of isolation and frustration. I am a professional CG animator and thus it was really my only role on most projects. Not that I have any problem with that given it is the most logical division of labor for maximum efficiency but CG animation was starting to become 90-100% of my life. If I was not at work animating, I was at home animating. If I wasn’t animating, I was watching films, TV shows, or playing video games that relate back to animating, storytelling, film making, etc. All the while separated by about 3 hours the people I can call my closest friends as they met up once every week to eat, catch up in each others lives, joke, snipe, and maybe even get a little work done. I can’t say I enjoyed my time on BCS mainly because the BCS experience was whenever everyone gets together and enjoy each others company.

As to the projects. Finding out early that a CG pipeline is doomed to fail since we were missing vital personnel for that pipeline, I was pleased to see other types of projects being tackled. Xing’s Egg Toast was a welcome break from all things CG and forced me to sit down and actually give traditional animation a try. I cheated. But I still came out of that project with my first piece of traditional animation. It gave everyone a nice little creative break by allowing us to focus on our singular task before tackling more group oriented ones. Similarly, Zori’s Detective Corgi allowed me to try a hand at writing. Although ultimately my part was borderline non-existent on that project, it still forced me to write something which is always the hardest part when trying to learn a new skill.

WAFA holds a special place in my heart because I love video games and I especially love learning about game development. Film making I have a much better handle on while game development is still pure magic to me outside of asset creation. To see everyone come up with a working demo makes them all witches and wizards and I am a little sad I missed out on how they did it.

Ye Xu was when I came out of my hiatus and rejoined as an animator. This was particularly tough as I was still very busy at work and had little bodily and creative energy left to animate. But I can not be more proud of Brian Park for making his music video a reality. He had been working on it for quite some time and like most of the projects thrown around our little family, completion doesn’t happen very often. But Brian did it. He had a little help from us but in the end, his persistence paid off and I hope he’s proud of what he’s accomplished. I know I am.

Lastly, we have Feathers and Teeth. A strangely fitting final boss for this little experiment we all got roped into. Not only were we facing our demons of a CG pipeline again, but we were tackling a new medium with our clients being a stage play. Real people with real stakes. Yet, it somehow felt like it was the smoothest project. At least that I was part of and my part is just CG animation so I can’t speak for everyone. Apologies to anyone if this was the one that aged you ten years. There are still problems with a CG pipeline at home and I have realized a lot of them I will need to address on a personal note if I were to ever create something by myself, but that is a problem for another day.

I have yet to see the fruits of our labor for Feathers and Teeth and I do not think I will be able to make any of the show times. But that’s okay because like I said earlier in this post, BCS was about enjoying each other’s company and giving us an excuse to meet up and eat food and catch up. We went from seeing each other for 40+ hours a week to occasionally poking each other on Facebook. But that’s life, people grow and aspire for new goals and experiences and they naturally drift apart. What I look back on the most during this year are the chances I get to make the trip down and visit and things pick up right where they left off. As I was writing my first draft of this post (yes I’m still bitter about that), I was writing it in the atmosphere I was most comfortable. In a rather dirty work area filled with items to help with the creative process, empty La Croix cans, and everyone yelling at each other. We’ll always find a reason to get together, but BCS was that reason for the past year and I’ll always be grateful for it.