Filtered Nonsense
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Hurricane SVA : the Aftermath, & the new storm of Ideas & goals
Hello blogging world, as this is my first "official" post; I'd like to take the time to introduce myself. My name is Ryan Szeto, I am a Animation Artist & among other things. I'll be graduating from School of Visual Arts, tomorrow. I am also a Co-creator with Erick Mercer(There is a link to his site on the bottom right hand side) of a group of currently 5 members. In the near future, we will tell of what kind of projects we currently have planned and our goals.

What do I have to show from graduating SVA you say? The question to that is, my film "Switcheroo". It is 5minutes long, colored, fully animated, and with sound.

Behind the Scenes

We had a year or so, to come up with an idea, develop it into a story, create thumbnails, character designs, storyboards, an Animatic, backgrounds, key-drawings, inbetweeing...and eventually have a "film". But WAIT! that's not all. After that, we need to do sound and sync it to our drawings, have music if needed, and then there is the rendering and checking for mistakes and all that lovely goodness.

How was your experience?

It was a walk in the park and I ate cotton candy and rode the ferris wheel.

Interesting...and wha...

I was lying you idiot bafoon...the true low-down was that I started "Officially" on January 21, 2009. What? confused? you betcha, 1/21/09 is a special day. It was a Wednesday on which, my Advisor Celia Bullwinkel arranged a meeting with one of the Committee board member's to discuss on how to start a fresh leaf and to arrange it, that I can finish on time and have a good film on time for the Dusty Festival's.

What happened you say? well I went through many ideas and stories through my summer and the fall, I was throughly stubborn with one idea and the way I was going to do it. By the time I eventually finished my animatic, I reviewed it and showed it to my Advisor. She was not happy at all, and I bet she was refraining from being angry, obviously in my stubborn state I tried hugging to the story didn't work out.

I see...and "Officially" it was 1/21/09 that you started your Thesis?

Yep, not exactly proud that I did. I had to start from scratch and not be cemented into a narrow thinking. But I am really happy with my film "Switcheroo" that I'd like to think that, if it wasn't for the failure leading up to 1/21/09, I wouldn't had been able to create "Switcheroo"

What did you exactly do, to be able to finish a project within a little over 4 months time; when in actuality, takes a year long process?

First thing first, in the beginning I was too concentrated in making things look "pretty" even when things were not finalized, which hurt the project in a whole. So I had to dumb things down in a very simplistic design, which enabled me to not be married to my drawings, so that I can throw them in the garbage whenever I needed to. I needed to reduce the complexity of the story and have as little location shots if possible and have my film running time at 2minutes. As you know, my film isn't 2minutes long, but 5minutes. If you'd ask me that in the next question, I'd happily answer that.

I spent more time in the studios, and sat next to a very talented artist. Her name is Rebecca Sugar(Her site is in the bottom right hand corner) and if anything, I was greatly influenced by her advices and her drawings. Even her 'bad drawings' that she would throw out, were of a higher caliber then my good drawings. I'd always ask her if I could have her bad drawings and I would bring them home and post them on a huge wall, where I could stare at them and study and absorb as much as I can.
Since, many of my classmates were married to a place called the Cintiq room; I was able to go visit and check out what they were up to. It was like a hub of the center of a diverse market-place. I was also influenced and pumped up after viewing their work, some mentions are: Elyssa DiGiovanni, Emmanuel Jaquez, Jake Armstrong, Shelley Low, Suzanna Koolidge, Thomas Kim, etc...

However there were some classmates who I never saw their works or sparsely, but I received encouraging pep talks here and there. Thank you, Mikhail Shraga & Peyton Harrsion.

I am pretty sure I am missing a few people now...but you know who you are, and I am really grateful for you guys for just being in my life.

So what happened to the original 2minute estimate or goal that you had? and why 5minutes?

I hit rock bottom, it's as simple as that. I just wanted to finish a film and get it on screen and have it be one of those type of films, where no one ever remembers it and be not as horrible that people would remember how bad your film was and have it be compared to the greats.

But with time, my attitude changed greatly. I was spurred on from looking at my other classmates works, something in me I suppose...surfaced and I am really glad it did. As a fellow artist, I wanted to excel and go beyond my current limits and I was actually beginning to love Thesis(Besides the deadlines). Before I knew it, I was working way beyond a normal working day of 9:00AM - 6:00PM. I was working whenever I can, and to the point where I started seeing double afterimages in my drawings.
It sounds harsh, but I loved every moment of it(besides rushing for deadlines) and by the time I was compositing my stuff, I was thoroughly shocked to see my work as a whole. I never knew I could do it and I ended up creating a 5minute film.

Can I see your film? ^o^

Why...of course you can, that is the reason why your talking to me right? Without further ado...! "Switcheroo" (2009), please watch in HQ

How was the Dusty Screening and what did you learn?

I was blown away and it was such a treat. Everyone worked very hard on their films, and although there were some exceptions, it can't be helped because of life's problems and interruptions.

There were a few films that blew me away to I don't know where, one of them is "Juxtaposed" by Alex Wager. Now, I don't care what anyone thinks, but the design and the music and pacing blew me away. I can't describe the feeling... when his film came up I started trembling and my heart was wrenched, it was that great to me. I suppose my praise is bias, and that my heart is probably telling me that I want to create something similar to some extent.

This is the most obviously difference between my film and some other films. It's because my 4months of work, does not compare to people who've worked year long. Even though I worked as hard as I could possibly can, it can not compare to someone who's been working as hard as me and had 3 times the amount of time to work on it.

Obviously there are many other people who I want to mention, but I believe it deserves it's own post, so stay tuned for my next update on the many great films that was shown at the Dusty's!

As an end note, what are your goals & do you have any ideas and projects in the works?

  • To create a film with a fresh start and have it breath "Ryan Szeto" with minimal influences.
  • Remaster my past works, may it be Fine Arts, drafts, animation and hopefully learn from them and also apply my current knowledge to them.
  • Current a mind blowing reel
  • Get into Augenblick Studios, intern there, and get to work on Super Jail.
  • Receive recognition as an artist to look out for in the future
  • Collaborate with my classmates of 09, to create creative works of art
  • Get a job at Blizzard Entertainment
  • Become a successful Independent Animator
I have several projects I am trying to get to work on at the moment.
My childhood has been mostly about games, and drawing(here and there). As I mentioned in my goals, I want to work at Blizzard and among one of their titles is Diablo 2.
For this I am restricting myself to 30 second action sequences against bosses within the game. I was really impressed with some "Death Animations", which involved the death of some bosses. For the fans out there, I want to animate BloodRaven dying, and Nihlathak. I just get so excited imagining how I would animate a whirlwind of souls dispersing everywhere, after the death of Nihlathak.

2nd I want to really work on my Lip syncing + acting, because I've been avoiding that for a long time. So a short 10-15 second Lip sync, I will obtain the NPC voices from Diablo 2 and base off my animation from that.

There is a book called "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells, I highly recommend reading it, as I enjoyed it greatly but the main point is, I love it that much that I want to animate the scene of the guy time traveling into the future to witness humans have evolved into pathetic creatures but nevertheless beautiful and weak and test my skills as an animator to animate 100 of these creatures welcoming him.

The group I am with, are currently developing a project which we dubbed "Whois", it's in the storyboard stage. It involves live-action and animation, it's main purpose is to showcase our creative thought and how it is utlized onto the screen.

There might be some calaboration with several other Artists, involving a short comic; however it's still in the discussion stage and may never be green litted.

My next film is called "Stray" and is based off an poem I did a few years back. Originally it was suppose to be my Thesis, but my advisor thought it was not a great idea. I feel pretty strongly to project this into an animated film so I've already begun on how I will do it. Here is the poem.

Brushed away
Thrown like a creature
Like a 99 cent plush doll
I watch on
Abandoned and no where to go
A pup in the streets
Confused and sad
It is lost in its helpless state
It cuddles in an alley cold and lonely
With a broken leg and cuts everywhere
It yelps
And its world as a pup crumbles
Just a stupid mutt
Who would care for such a thing
No one there to care
No one but me
The screeches pierce me
Its last hopes of help
It needs a friend
He did find one

Thanks for reading this far, if you have. Please keep in touch for more updates in the future and progress reports on my projects.

posted by Ryan Szeto @ 10:04 PM  
  • At May 16, 2009 at 8:53 AM, Blogger nicole said…

    To create a film with a fresh start and have it breath "Ryan Szeto" with minimal influences (i hope you seems like its almost working already)

    by the way..your next film sounds like a sequel to switcheroo..the life of a doll behind the glass wall :p

  • At May 16, 2009 at 2:18 PM, Blogger Ryan Szeto said…

    To clarify one of my goals...
    "To create a film with a fresh start and have it breathe(adding a e) "Ryan Szeto" with minimal influences."

    For my film "Switcheroo" it was like a cluster of many influences being filtered through myself. No matter what everyone thinks, its not exactly "my" film, it has yet to reach the purest of elements that represent me. I am not trying to be a punk and be like "This isn't my style" because I will be a retard for saying that.

    I learned a lot from finishing this film and I want to take that knowledge onto my next film without being deterred from my original goal.

    I want to take it like a system I am instilling in me. Be influenced as much as I can on one project and then bring it and polish it for my next film. Then continue on being influenced and doing it again and again.

  • At May 16, 2009 at 2:40 PM, Blogger Ben said…

    fancy blog ryan, now that ur done with thesis, time to sail to the grandline. what are ur plans??

  • At May 16, 2009 at 3:07 PM, Blogger Ryan Szeto said…

    I swear I posted it nice and clear :(, well first I'll take it a little easy until the end of May. Do some concept designs and etc for my next film and then start interning next month.

  • At May 29, 2009 at 5:55 AM, Blogger e r i (CK) said…

    really good read!
    i dun think no one woulda guessed how late ya started
    it is a really solid piece!
    can't wait for you to churn out work with that
    SZETO stamp!


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About Me

Name: Ryan Szeto
Home: Jamaica, NY, United States
About Me: When I got my first pair of glasses, I wondered if I was broken and now fixed. Then I learned about what art was and thought, “Whatever I see through these glasses must be the art of the person who created these lenses.” With my animation, I want to give the same feelings that I get when I see clouds in a blue sky with my glasses and have people say “That’s art.”
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