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Ik was in Rotterdam, hier is mijn report, maand drie

This, like two posts from before this one is also copy-pasted from my personal blog. Link bellow.


Last Friday was Playgrounds festival in Amsterdam. We were supposed to be there at 9.30 in the morning, but I can tell you, at 8.30 I was already wide awake on the train, admiring the rising sun on the horizon and watching the fields through the tiny window, while traveling at 160 kilometres per hour.

It all started about 45 minutes before. I just received text from Marina that she and her sister will be late to the train and they are boarding the next one. I never traveled by train in the Netherlands, so I was still going to wait for them. And that’s where the fun started. This train station is much bigger than the one in Ljubljana, for example, so 10 minutes prior to the next departure we were looking for each-other, without luck. They already got the tickets when I still didn’t know where and how to buy them. “Where are you, Dex?!” “I finally found that ‘service station’ thing, and am waiting to buy a ticket…” and when I heard a distant “Fuck…” in reply I knew that’s not good. I did notice a machines in front, but I normally prefer human interaction when buying stuff like that – at least when I’m doing it first time – I figured… The next moment I noticed there’s a spot, and approached the counter. “I’d like to have a ticket for Amsterdam. Will I still catch the train at 8.25?” “Yes, just go to the platform 7.” That’s pretty interesting thing to hear, when the watch says it’s 8.23. I jumped through the first door on the train, and 20 seconds later we were moving. This is gonna be a good fucking day.

Nine artists/studios presented themselves during the day, some of them pretty damn famous. BUF, Polynoid, Psyop and Pixar would probably be considered the bigger players in the fields of animation. All of them were interesting in their own way. I loved how Julia Pott has a good sense for talking and explaining, it felt as she was talking exactly how she felt. Polynoid guys have their VFX skills above the clouds (at least for me), yet they seemed just like any of us during the presentation. On their slideshow, amongst the big achievements was a “bad ass coffee machine”! Moniker showed their cool internet mouse tracking project. I took part, backthen, it’s interesting thing. BUF was a little more official, but I still admired the footage they have shown. Then FIELD, I didn’t really know what to think of that, but they do have nice programming skills I think, though it wasn’t really my taste. Psyop guy was interesting, he looked like the biggest badass to me, but he seems to have good sense for emotions and feel. One of the most jaw dropping things came next, when some guys who make animatronics displayed their projects. I didn’t know much about this, but animatronics are basically robotic visual effects. They showed us how they made the head in the Prometheus, the one that explodes in the lab. Rex Crowle is the game maker, they make one cool game for PS Vita (or something), with really nice twist to it but I don’t remember the title. In the end, there was a lady from Pixar. She showed us nicely how Pixar works, but she seemed to have a cold so she had some problems talking. It happens. Still, if I had to chose my favourite presentation there I think I’d pick Polynoid or Psyop; because even though they are really really good at what they do, they seemed down to earth.

On the Monday, Roberto (another Erasmus schoolmate) and me went to take a look around the location of filming our trailer. It was cool experience, we walked around school finding interesting places. I was really impressed, and glad, that he seemed very excited about the project. I like that kind of people in my team. On Tuesday they presented us next assignment, which will be making a(nother) promo film. This is gonna be an interesting project. Everything I saw, seems to be exactly the opposite to how they want to present themselves. More or less… but the purpose is good. Now I just wonder what can we, the animation students do about it. In the evening there was a group of my Erasmus schoolmates and I asked them, if they feel like participating at the filming of the trailer. Many of them were in and I was impressed. For the last week I couldn’t get many people, but now in a single evening I got entire team. So it turns out, if you have a plan, people are more likely to be interested in. Gotta keep that in mind.

Anyway, this Monday, we’re filming the trailer. If everything goes by plan (that basically means nobody finds out the last moment that they can’t participate), it should go well. I’m looking forward to it. I like to change my mediums I work with every now  and then. So switching to Video after several months of being limited to Animation.

Apart from school… It happens every once in a while that here, in Rotterdam I really feel down. That happens after extended period of raining, and lack of sun. Just a few moments ago I told my friend “Now I finally know how you girls feel during the PMS. I want to die and I want to kill everyone and I want to cry and I don’t know what to do with myself.” I’m not sure if that goes for all of you, but she said that kind of sums it up. So if it happens that during that time we also suddenly have a lot of work to do for school I start to doubt if I will actually pass this exchange. But sometimes everything falls in place, and I feel very excited about everything.

So far this exchange is basically giving me what I came here for. The production kind  of knowledge and  experience. And it was doing it good.


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