Last month, Cartoon Network invited a few talented undergraduates to Burbank, California to an Anmation Jam to create a 15 second animated short film. Our own Alex Stanchfield, Alexa Swanson, and Matt Hill were chosen to attend. Here, Alex shares photos and writes about his experience at the ANIJAM!
It has always been a dream of mine to see a big company like Cartoon Network from the inside. So, when I was invited to join Matt and Alexa over at the anijam, I was more than blown away.
The event was small since it had been planned quickly after the success of CN’s earlier game jam, but it made for a very close and personal working experience with CN’s staff. We mingled with creators like Ian JQ of OK K.O.! and Rebecca Sugar of Steven Universe, along with the teams behind these projects and the other students who attended the jam. I loved their studio space!
We were given 9 hours to create a 15 second animated short film based on a short prompt involving the main cast of OK K.O.! along with lot of freedom in the representation of the show and characters. The members of Cartoon Network are responsive and caring; they had our backs throughout the whole process, giving us encouraging talks hourly and plenty of helpful advice on the show and characters. We had a mentor from the OK K.O.! crew (@buttsIug) to help guide us along and keep things moving. Though the nature of such a jam is fast-paced and stressful, this support made it comfortable and easy to work through.
I think we were very lucky that this wasn’t the first time Matt, Alexa, and I had worked together as a team. Earlier this year the three of us lead the creative process on a short collaborated film titled Roommates, so by the time we got to Burbank we were all familiar with each other’s creative processes and worked efficiently. I’m glad we had the chance to work together once more in a professional environment, and am proud of the work we produced!
Overall, I’d say the experience was stellar! There was a lot of hinting at this being the first out of many future animation jams for CN, which gives me hope that more SVA students will get the chance to network and make a big impression on the animation world in the near future! I’d just like to thank the professors and colleagues who made this opportunity possible for the three of us, and to remind all of you that there are always going to be amazing opportunities like this to look forward to if you work hard and try to make something of yourself!