Thursday, December 6, 2007

ILM and California Highlights

It's been a flurry of visits to art schools and movie studios over the last two weeks. I'm way behind on the blog!

We started off by giving the presentation at Rhythm & Hues, DreamWorks Animation, LA Public Library, Sony Pictures Animation and Imageworks in southern California.

Then in northern California we've had the privilege of visiting PDI DreamWorks and Academy of Art University. Today we went to Industrial Light and Magic in the Presidio region of San Francisco. We arrived early with an hour to kill, so we both did watercolor sketches of the Palace of Fine Arts, a remnant of the 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition.

Then we entered the ILM complex. We blithely passed beyond guards, gates, cameras, flashing red lights, magnetic barriers, and a gurgling fountain surmounted by a bronze Yoda. I felt a little like Luke entering the Death Star. We set up the laptop in a cavernous state-of-the-art theater, and soon artists started arriving for the talk.

It was an honor to meet so many ILM legends, like Erik Tiemens, Carlos Huante, Darin Hilton, and many more whose work I greatly admire. Thanks to our host Josh Kushins (below with our folding hand truck), and to everyone who attended. And for those of you blog readers who are art students, ILM is an amazing place to work, justly famous for its Oscar-winning legacy, its spirit of innovation, its vast talent pool of about 1200 professionals, and its spectacular location.

And I haven't even mentioned the bookstores: Storyopolis, Linden Tree, Booksmith, and Cody's, where I got to meet Austin Madison from Pixar.

The full report on all the other studios and schools will have to wait a while until we catch up. Tomorrow: San Jose State!

4 comments:

Victor said...

Hi Mr. Gurney!

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and sign my book at Linden Tree. I'm really looking forward to your demo at SJSU today (only 2 1/2 hours to go!).

Victor

Michael Lukyniuk said...

I love following your oddessy and all the background information you're giving us. Please do fill in more info about ILM as it intrigues me and, I suspect, a lot of other readers.

Andrew Bosley said...

Finally got my copy of Journey to Chandara! Amazing!!!! Thanks again for all this invaluable information! I wish I could be in CA right now for the SJSU demo. Would begging help bring you to Raleigh? I'll do it!

Andrew

Sasha Volynets said...

James,

Thanks again for your presentation at SJSU (I already thanked you once in person)! It was incredibly informative and inspiring! I also love the inscription in my book "fly high and enjoy the view" with a drawing of pterodactyl! I intend to do that, so thanks for the motivation :).