woo! Eric made this awesome guide to 4th year and it looked like fun so i thought i’d give it a try too!
remember, this is only one work method. do what works best for you!
1. Start Early! nothing is worse than entering 4th year without having anything ready. work on it during the summer. have as much ready as possible before the year begins (boards, designs, concepts, models, etc.) At the very least, decide on the idea you want to do and stick to it.
2. Know your Specialized Skill. I can’t express how strongly i feel about this point. it takes real guts to focus on just one thing – animation, layout, designs, story – and sacrifice a fully rendered film… (unfortunately this was not me) but that one thing you focus on will shine and distinguish you and your film from the rest. Its easy for a 4th year film to get lost in the 3-4 hour screener, especially when all of them are presenting the same skill sets. you don’t need a CRAZY story to stand out, especially if story is not your strong point. this film is meant to get you a job. Employers want to see where they can fit you in a pipeline. so focus on what you want to do; animation, storyboarding, designs… know what you’re specializing in and create a film that best demonstrates those skills.
3. LEARN the skills you need! if you do decide you want a fully rendered film, then figure out what you need to get the job done. if youre film is going to be in flash, learn as much as you can about the program. if youre doing a cg film, learn as much as you can about modeling, rigging, rendering, dynamics as much as you can. if you cant figure out how to do effects such as fire, then you cant have fire in your film.
4. 9 – 5 Schedule. Get out of the habit of pulling all nighters and into the habit of a regular work schedule. getting proper sleep will keep you refreshed and ready for the next day. you’ll be doing the same hours in the workforce so why not start now?
5. Try to keep your goals to yourself…? wuuut? ok… i try not to express my goals because i don’t want to say something and end up not doing it. you know? i’d want to DO IT and let my work speak for itself. there was something about keeping my mouth shut that made me work harder. THEN I FOUND THIS! a TED talk about how telling someone about your goal gives the speaker premature satisfaction when in fact they have achieved nothing at all! of course… don’t be a jerk… share what you will to your best mates or if someones asks you.
6. Get Moving. you’re gonna be spending 8+ hours sitting on a chair that is slowing remember the form of your behind. youre body is going to be DYING to get up and do something! so listen to your body. you’ll find that taking a break to go out will not only release happy hormones in the brain, but will also leave you refreshed and ready for more work!
7. Have a Work Buddy. find someone whose just as dedicated and hard working as you are and stick with them! Their work ethic will encourage you to work harder and vice versa.
8. Fruit keeps energy flowing for some reason… at least for me. pack some in your fanny pack.
9. Give up Video Games for the year. you can play all you like when you’ve graduated.
10. Ask for Help. ya, you might be intimidated by the dude who’s way better than you and is ALREADY IN POST-PRODUCTION… but that means they know what they’re doing and would most likely be willing to help you out! if you need help trying to solve rigging problems, rendering problem, etc., don’t let your ego get in the way of asking the dudes for help. you’ll find out they they’re really nice guys and are less evil than you originally thought!
11. be respectful of your peers. they need to work. keep the volume and horseplay to a minimum.
12. omg, set up a video reference room! tell the tech guys to do it! recording yourself for reference improves your acting shots TEN FOLD!
13. Work at school. home is for sleep.
14. Pray everyday and have fun!
**Again, this is just one way to get through your last year. There is no exact formula to be successful – just work hard and you will find your own way!