Friday, November 7, 2014

Bee and Puppycat: Change Is Okay


It started out like any other road trip of ours: with half a tank of gas and a GPS that was secretly trying to kill us. But that had never stopped us before and so we plunged across the border into the land of maple leaves and a mile-kilometer rate we couldn’t read on our speedometer. In all actuality, I was surprised that we even managed to make it to our destination but given our track record maybe I’m not. We’ve always had a way of getting lost for an hour only to take another wrong turn and end up where we need to be (plus or minus a few bouts of frantic “Turn left, turnleftturnleft, why didn’t you turn left!?” - “You didn’t tell me!”).

But on that particular June morning, we we on our way to Toronto for the “Toronto Animation Arts Festival International.” For anyone who’s even remotely interested in the industry, I could not recommend this convention more than anything. Because it helped introduce us to a lot of indie and professional filmmakers, but to a community that is very passionate about animation in general.

And the reason for this trip had been to sit in on a talk with special guest Natasha Allegri, creator of Cartoon Hangover’s short Bee and Puppycat. It’s a wonderfully whimsical story of triumph both in fictional and nonfictional settings. There’s a girl, an intergalactic puppycat, and a strangely relatable need to get through life doing odd jobs here and there. And taking a look between its original pilot episode and it’s newer version only attests to how much we can change as content-creators.

Both visually and content-wise, this show has a unique flow to it that we don't often see in many mainstream media. And to be curated on an internet-based channel such as Cartoon Hangover's, only attest to a brand of content creation that favors the individual. It's easy to put yourself out there, as both an animator and basic filmmaker yourself.

But a funny thing about this festival is not only did we get to see how down-to earth someone as well-known as Natasha could be but we also heard advice from a lot of indie animators who were just trying to get themselves out there. The best piece of advice, and one that has stuck with me even since we left, came from a man named Mike Geiger. Now Mike understood he wasn’t a household name and he freely admitted that his style of animation wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But that didn’t stop him.

He still kept creating. And that’s important to keep in mind in both this field of motion graphics but also in a general field of creative-study. Not everyone is going to love what we do. Not everyone is going to accept change. But there is a comforting things to be said out there. That no matter what, there is one person who will absolutely love your work. No matter what. That’s the funny thing about internet-based media.

Looking at a channel such as Cartoon Hangover’s, it’s can only be said that your work is good to someone. Maybe not immediately, maybe not to a whole lot of someones, but it is to someone. And for Mike Geiger, is advice was to just create. Because it’s a wonderful moment to look back and see where you came from.

To see the originalities of something such as Bee and Puppycat, and to see just how far it has come. Definitely go check it out, it's worth at least the experience.

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