Friday, September 5, 2014


Hello! My name is James Sussan. I'm a senior TVR major. Looking forward to working with you all this semester.

I've always been fascinated by animation. It's a ludicrous amount of work to produce, with a high level of skill involved, but the result could be something absolutely glorious every time. Not only that, but the possibilities and creative boundaries of an animated project are nearly limitless. As evidenced time and time again by film studios such as Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks, a fully realized animated film can leave an impression that lasts a lifetime, whether a feature-length project or a quirky short.

In our first couple classes, we've started learning the basics of animating in After Effects. Essentially, I now know how to create a shape, and make it do certain pre-programmed actions using code. The idea that a person can start with something as simple as a few shapes and a few codes, and end up with something as heart-warming as "Toy Story", or "Up", is something that truly excites me for this class. Not that I am expecting to create a full, professional, animated film anytime soon. However I'm sure my experiences in this class will be a lot of fun and will help me appreciate the art of Motion Graphics and Animation to the fullest.

An animated movie I saw recently that really surprised me was "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs". I never saw this movie when it came out, because I honestly assumed it would be stupid and unfunny. The children's book it was based on never seemed like the type of thing to be translated into a successful film. A friend showed it to me a couple months ago though, and now its up there with some of the best animated movies I've ever seen. It's creative, hilarious, and yes, at times heartwarming. It's nothing at all like the children's book it's based on, which is a great thing because this allowed the movie to create original characters that helped push the raining food concept into a cohesive story.

Luckily for me, there's a few behind the scenes videos for "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" on YouTube. One of my favorite scenes from the movie is the Jell-O Palace Flint creates for Sam. I think this is pretty much everyone's dream:

I always liked watching these types of videos, where the animation gets broken down step by step. I'm sure they'll mean a lot more to me however by the time the semester is over.

These videos already make the amount of work put into animation look really scary. Despite that, I can't say I'm not eager to try my hand at it. Hopefully I can make something one day anywhere close to as cool as these movies. 

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