adventure and absurdity in making an animated short

Monday, January 05, 2009

10 things I've learned in making a short film: # 4

4) 5 minutes a day

I hit upon this idea when I was really down about getting the film done. I don't know, around year five. It occurred to me, and brightened my spirits, that no matter what I do, as long as it is about the film, I am working on the film and getting it that much closer to being done. So I called it 5 minutes a day and I decided I would devote at least 5 minutes everyday to the film. For even if I got one drawing done it was one less drawing I had to do. Even if I ended up throwing that drawing out at some point, for some reason, I would've had to make that drawing anyway to get to the right one. So I began to look at whatever I could accomplish as a teeny tiny victory. I no longer beat myself up over what I couldn't accomplish and instead was satisfied, content, in what I could accomplish.

The other thing about time is you begin to realize how much of it we waste. So the other thing to do is to use every bit of it that you can toward achieving your goal. So if you are waiting in line somewhere think about that scene that is giving you a problem. Put the music or dialogue you are using for the film on a CD and play it in the car, on your ipod. It may inspire some ideas. During lunch at work, jot down some notes, do some sketches, design a character, thumbnail out some animation, do the bills so you'll have time to animate later. You can find the time if you just start looking for it.


5) Chunks of Time

Now, if I had settled on finishing the film by spending just five minutes everyday on it, I would still be making it 100 years from now.


Blogger mnmears said...

Jim, this is interesting, informative stuff. Keep it up.

It reminds me of something Jeff Pidgeon did writing about the development of his Happy Beaver toy.

How things work, how they get made ... even if we're not directly involved in that type of work or processes ... it's still something than can offer some ideas or tips we can incorporate into our lives.


2:57 AM  
Anonymous Cassidy said...

These are all great tips, for animation or any other intense creative endeavor for that matter!

As soon as I read this tip, I stopped surfing the web and started working on this almost-done personal project that I've been procrastinating on finishing... and ya know what? Five minutes later, I feel much better (and am right back to surfing, but without the guilt! ;-)

10:48 PM  
Blogger JmC said...

mnmears - i too have always found it fascinating to learn how people work and are creative. like everything, all this stuff i just learned from others really. what they did and didn't do.

cassidy - right on. make sure you also read the next post - Chunks of TIme. It is amazing how just taking a little time to work on that thing will change your whole demeanor. but remember not to fool yourself too much, nothing worth while is all that easy.

9:41 AM  

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