Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stop worshipping animation companies.

Everybody has their own favorite company they want to work for. Each student is different. I see and hear it all the time through my teachings, from AM, to the AAU and in my workshops.

But there is one consistent problem.

As long as you worship your favorite company you won't question teachers who work for that company enough, if at all. You end up being a drone.

Fanboy-ism has always existed and that's fine. I'm guilty of this as well. But there comes a point where it's not helping you. For example. Last week in my class, a student showed me work from another class and I asked what the notes were for his shot. The student recited what he was told to change but when I asked why he had to make those changes, the student didn't know what the reasons were. And that's the problem I see over and over again. Students blindly following what teachers tell them, without asking why.

Is it fear of questioning the wisdom and authority of your teacher? Is it fear that by doing so you might ruin your chances of getting hired at your favorite company that teacher represents?

Teachers don't know everything. They can also be wrong.

Not everything you hear is holy scripture, especially when it comes to performance related advice, since a lot of it is based on a subjective preference. Technical notes you should really follow though. But either way, ask why if you don't understand the notes.

It's okay to question things. How else will you learn? If you don't understand the notes, then the teacher is just animating through you. And the next time you start a similar shot, you will either make the same mistake or ape the notes you were given without understanding the reasons and principles behind it.

As a student you are paying for classes and the teachers are there to help you. Don't just blindly accept every note. That's a waste of time and money.


pic credit


Unknown said...

That's some great advice Jean

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Thanks! I hope people take it to heart. It would be a shame to spend all that time and money to just be a robot in class.

Unknown said...

I went all the way through iAnimate and I never actually thought about this :). Great post JD!

Jean-Denis Haas said...


Dapoon said...

I applaud you for this post JD! It's so true that students are so blinded by 'fanboy-ism' that they think blindly following every instruction from their mentors without a question would propel them to great heights. I'd been a victim too! I was given assignments straight off of Disney movies and were told to replicate them. Haha!!

Jean-Denis Haas said...


ND said...

I tend to agree, but I would add that it's a careful balance. Asking a bunch of questions and trying to debate notes too much can also get you in trouble with a supervisor.

My go to solution is to be quiet and write stuff down and only ask question if I don't understand something, but I'm not always equally good at sticking to that.

Just saying, You don't want to get a reputation for being "stubborn" either.

ND said...

... I suppose there's a difference between when you're a student and when you're being paid to do a job, but we're all forever learning, right?

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Absolutely! I don't mean question as in debating. That's a very tricky line. But asking when you don't understand is very important and too many student just write down notes without understanding why.

Jean-Denis Haas said...


franky said...


AlexanderLee said...

I don't understand it, but I'll follow this advice exactly!

Just kidding, great post.