I am an SV for the second time this year and am so pumped for the coming week! Last year was a truly life-changing experience, and this year promises to be just as inspiring. I'm joined not only by Zachary Bickett and Kristen Freeman, fellow SVs from my school, but also by 15 other students and peers from the Indianapolis area.
We arrived in town on July 19, after departing from Indianapolis on a 6:00 AM EDT flight. This early arrival gave Kristen and I opportunities for pre-conference shifts and the others the chance to explore Orange County before the conference.
My shift on Friday was not terribly exciting, but like all SV jobs truly important for the functioning of the conference. We rose to the challenge and three other SVs and I prepared flyers for upcoming events. On Saturday, I had the opportunity to assist in the Art Gallery venue, assisting the coordinators with various duties, all the while getting to speak with the amazing artists who were on the site and eager to talk about their installations. Christina Vitolo, a fellow SV from New Jersey and I were blown away by the installation "The Exquisite Forest", a collaboration between Google and the Tate Modern museum in London. It is series of crowd sourced animation sequences where each second is contributed by different artists. As animation students, this was an inspiring idea and one we both intend to take home as an activity in our respective school clubs.
As a result of our being assigned to assisting in the Art Gallery we were excused from the orientation session, but as both of us are SV "veterans" the team leaders weren't too concerned. We were able to get back to the SV throng as the annual CGW talk got started. The slate of speakers was truly inspiring. Jenny Fulle, Guy Williams, Bobby Podesta, and John "DJ" Desjardins, all industry heavy-hitters, shared their personal stories and words of advice for aspiring members of the animation and digital effects industries. As if that panel wasn't enough, there were the door prizes! Lucky SVs, (but not me), took home amazing monitors, graphics cards, and various swag, all provided by the sponsors of the talk.
Following the talk, SVs gathered to take a group photo in the failing Anaheim twilight and were treated to pizza and drinks provided by the SV committee. It's truly hard to believe so much has happened, and the conference hasn't even officially begun! I have to dash, because I've found out about a party that has spontaneously arisen, and I can't miss that! I hope I see you on the exhibition floor, but if I don't I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.