I am proud to introduce our first Guest Blogger Lamont Wayne aka Chaostoon!
Hello GoAnimate World!
Thank you GoAnimate for the honor of being
your first guest blogger!
Recently, two of my GoAnimate cartoons, "The Wolfman Trailer" and "Them Bones" were official selections in the 4th Annual African American Shortsfest, sponsored by Hollywood Shorts. They were shown at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 12th. Other than GoAnimate founder Alvin Hung's presentations at Comic-Con and Tedx, these are the first GoAnimate cartoons from a site user to be showcased in a major film festival.
The staff at GoAnimate wanted me to share a little about how I make my cartoons and a little about the festival and how everything happened.
I always start a cartoon on paper, not in the Studio. I draw storyboards, which are kind of like a little comic strip, and draw out the entire cartoon.
I don’t draw anything detailed because it’s just for me to use. I read over it and make changes and when I feel like everything is working, that’s when I go into the Studio, create the characters I need and I use the storyboards as a guide to create the cartoon. Whenever I make a music video, I’ll also write down the time when certain parts of the music happen. I use that to make sure everything lines up in the Studio.
I create my custom characters, like the Wolfman and the Dragon, with a computer program called Adobe Flash. I will draw ideas in a sketchbook first and then scan those drawings. I bring the drawings into Flash and use the drawing tools to
create the characters. I animate the characters doing different actions and then bring it all into GoAnimate and create the character in the Studio.
I think it all started with Twitter. I was sharing my work with teaching my nephews about animation and the Jamari and Brayln GoAnimate cartoons and they were noticed by several filmmakers and media groups, including Hollywood Shorts. Hollywood Shorts is a short film community and production group in Los Angeles, California. They host screenings, seminars and film festivals. They liked the project so much, they made me one of their “Filmmakers to Watch for 2010”.
I approached Hollywood Shorts and a lot of other festivals recently because I was curious if GoAnimate made cartoons qualified to be entries in film festivals. I thought they may not qualify because of all the pre-made elements. The message I got from everyone is that GoAnimate cartoons DO qualify, as long as they can be submitted via DVD. So, I thought I would send some of my work in and see what would happen. The festival with the closest deadline was the Hollywood Shorts’ African American Shortsfest, so I paid the $15 entry fee and submitted all my cartoons from the last year. About a month later, I got the email that two of my cartoons made the cut. I was the only animator chosen and the only filmmaker with two shorts chosen.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend, but Hollywood Shorts did tell me that the audience loved the cartoons! They were “ROFL” at Them Bones!
I think what this tells the GoAnimate community is that the film industry sees the Studio as just another tool for creating content. This is huge because as long as it’s quality content, your work can be considered to be included in film festivals. Also, do not underestimate what social media can do for your work. Show your work on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube because you never know who might see it.