Monday, February 23, 2009

Oranges, Pliers, and Pittsburgh

So I'm flyin' out to Pittsburgh tomorrow to give the animation students at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh a good talking to. And boy do they need it. Actually, ALL animation students need a good talking to, whether they're in Pittsburgh or not. Maybe I can scare them into a REAL profession. But hopefully not...

Pittsburgh's a pretty great town. I had never been there before, but got my first opportunity whilst in Canada of all places. Here's how:

I was at the Ottawa Animation Festival back in 2006. Operation: ZERO, the sooper huge KND TV movie had been accepted into the feature category and Operation: LICORICE made it into the Animation for Children slot (and later took the prize!). In the course of non-stop screenings and events, I found myself accosted, more than once, by gaggles of students demanding I submit a recipe to the animator's cookbook they were putting together.

A cookbook?

I've been asked for jobs, sketches, autographs and money, but NEVER for a recipe. Upon further questioning, and a few Jedi mind-tricks, I learned some more about this culinary query.

Turns out it was the dare-I-say brilliant idea of Art Institute of Pittsburgh animation professor Angela Love. She thought up the cookbook as an ice-breaker, a way for students to have an excuse to talk to big-shot animators they might be nervous about going up to and starting some dialogue. Not that most animators are even remotely intimidating... but ya gotta admit, it's a great idea to get people talking!

They called it Oranges and Pliers, figuring that animators and cooking had just about as much in common (although you'd be surprised how many animators absolutely LOVE to cook). Not me though... check out my entry:

I kept in touch with Angela afterwards and was quite honored when she later asked me to give the commencement speech for AIP's graduation (the picture up top is the beautiful Soldiers and Sailors Hall where I got to wear a cap and gown and blab on and on about my career, drinking habits, and throw a hearty 'go get 'em' to the students.)

And now Angela's asked me to come and give a talk to her current batch of students on the 'art' of pitching an animated show... so off I go!

Did mention they have sandwiches with french fries in 'em in Pittsburgh?


Colleen said...

You weren't really raised by ninjas? D: That must have been awful to learn!

Oh and I'm so totally doing that recipe. First, I need a toaster... And a dorm that allows toasters...

Brubaker said...

Wow, I'm actually transferring to Art Institute this fall.

Hope you'll appear there again. I would love to get yelled by you.