adventure and absurdity in making an animated short

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

10 things I've learned in making a short film: # 5

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. Five minutes is a means to an end, and more psychological then completely practical. Enter the Chunks of Time method. For a few years on Christmas vacation or if I could take a week off or have a long weekend I would set a mini goal (goals again) of "I will complete x by the time I go back to work." This deadline of utilizing a gift of free time became a huge motivator. I looked at it like a challenge. "Can you accomplish that one big thing in 7 days? Watch me!" The important thing here is to pick one thing and focus! Once you finish that one thing, if you still have time, focus on the next thing or enjoy your vacation, you earned it. Singular focus is extremely important so as not to get overwhelmed and to be much more efficient. You'll find stopping and starting ( as invariably will happen if you are making your film on the side) not very efficient. Since you have to factor in time to go back and remember where you left off. By focusing on one task to its completion you'll find you are getting your project done before you even knew it.


6) It has to be a hobby you love

Here we come back to the Why Goal?


Anonymous Tom Poe said...

Jim- Great stuff. I am deep (four years and four/five minutes of completed animation) into a indie 2D short and have (pardon the pun) independently discovered a lot of what you say to be true. Plan your project, stick with it, devote time to it (lots!!), listen to others but always trust your own vision, and rely on yourself because your the only one you can make do the work. And don't get discouraged. There are days when you may feel that nobody cares but you. That's okay; you had better care the most! Lastly, dream big! Huge! Aim for the stars.
Tom Pope

1:07 PM  
Blogger Olivier Ladeuix said...

yes that's funny, I am much more productive when I work for my paycheck than when I work for my personal projects. A good reason is probably because at work I have deadlines, milestones, and goals set by a very well defined structure when at home my personal goals are much more foggy.

5:09 PM  
Blogger alain huynh said...

Hi Jim, Thanks for your time in posting up these good tips, i'm currently working on my final year student film and at the same time working full time. It's hard to work on something personal after animating all day at work. your blog has been very helpful to me and has hyped me up in finishing my film. I'll come back and let you know if i finish it in april. Wish me luck :) thanks

Alain Huynh

10:19 PM  
Blogger @b said...

hello...wonderful post ! i am just starting my 3d animated short film and each of the points mentioned here makes so much sense !

i will be looking back at these a lot in the coming days!

thanks a lot !

10:45 PM  
Blogger Monkeyfeather said...

These are all fantastic Jim. Thanks for sharing.

8:09 AM  
Blogger JmC said...

Tom - Keep going man! If I can keep it going for 10 years believe me anyone can learn to do this. Good luck, keep me posted!

Olivier - You hit the nail on the proverbial head. It is really structure that keeps you going and sane. allows you to feel your actually pushing that rock up that mountain.

Alain - glad i could give you a boost. i'll expect to hear from you in april!

@b - good luck! do it! it's a tough but in the end very rewarding to make things and not just consume them.

monkeyfeather - thanks for checking in again!

9:36 AM  

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