Last night was a great opportunity for animators, writers and producers to get-together and network. There were around 60 people at the AIE Mountain Street campus event and it was great to see AIE Alumnus, Ravin Naidoo along with his producer, from Dr Egg Digital, Catherine Fargher. These events are a great way to make connections and also get some great advice and tips from leaders in the industry.

Not knowing much about animation,  I decided to become enlightened and attend. I was so pleased I did!  Not only was I thoroughly educated on the role of the writer in animation production, I came away with a new appreciation of how dedicated and determined you need to be to go from initial idea to final product when children’s animation is your passion. I also came to realise that you may start a journey thinking you are going one way, but along the way you may discover a different path!

Michael Drake and Stu Connolly from Sticky Pictures, were the presenters. Michael has been selected as one of ten candidates chosen by Screen Australia’s Enterprise People Program. This project is part of Screen Oz’s investment into developing creative talent and gives Mike the opportunity to work with the best in the industry. Stu Connelly is an experienced animation writer, editor and producer.

Initially Mike started a career in banking and then in 2008 switched his focus and studied for a Bachelor of Screen specializing in animation. He then realized that during his studies he was a better writer than an artist!! Both Mike and Stu, freely admitted that whilst they both can “draw” they are much better as writers. Their presentation was full of advice and excellent examples of how the writer’s role fits into the animation process. They were both very quick to acknowledge the role of artists in all aspects of production and reinforced how important it is to collaborate.

I particularly enjoyed their breakdown of the  animation “Dukes of Broxstonia” where the collaboration of writer and artist becomes critically apparent as there is no dialogue in this animation. The writer therefore has to ensure that  the story can be conveyed through the actions and emotions of the characters which then obviously has to be translated by the artist/animator. It obviously works!

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Thanks to Guy Jamieson from Magnificent Itch and the rest of the Sydney Animation Production Group for organising the event.