Thursday, March 24, 2011

Competitive Burnout?

When I was in high school, I fenced epée with this club in the basement of St. Paul's Church in Princeton, NJ.  We were volunteer-coached by this great guy, Reinaldo Gonzalez, and periodically a bunch of us would go to state fencing competitions.  I fenced because I was into the whole romance of the thing, I guess, and I fenced epée because the rules made a whole lot more sense to me (a hit, is a hit, is a hit; none of this parry-riposte shenanigans).

Anyway, I remember Coach Gonzalez used to get really exasperated with me because I'd be doing really well in a bout and somewhere along the line, when I had 3 points and the other person had 1 or none (matches go to 5 points), I'd just sort of mentally and physically check out of the match and the other gal would win.  Coach Gonzalez used to try and rally amy competitive spirit, but it was as if once I knew I could win, there was no sense in actually winning.  I wasn't in it for the win, I was in it for the process, I guess.

Unfortunately, this same attitude hits me creatively, too.

The really creative process in animation, for me, is the creation of the storyboard, and character and scene development.  Once I know what my characters and scenes are going to look like, it's brutal making all the other angles.  And animation itself.... sure, there are fun moments of problem solving, but for the most part, the really creative investigation was done with the storyboard.

So I've hit a wall with the animation.  My storyboard/script is 15 pages long.  I'm at the top of page 14 and it's like lead weights are being incrementally added to my drive.  In a lot of ways, this ending should be the most fun:  the mother character transforms herself emotionally, the girls are transformed physically, and everybody watches the girls literally sail away into the sunset on a giant floating nautilus-ship.  But the drag is on.

And I'm hardly done. I still have to go back and animate the mother's tail in every scene, set up all easing, fix the timing in a ton of scenes and... oh yeah.... AUDIO. Guh!

So how to motivate myself?  I can't think of any good carrots. The best carrot is just getting it done at this point.  Food and drink aren't great motivators for me at this point, either.

Video games? Maybe.  I'll take suggestions, though.

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