There was a bit of concern about my flash abilities. I had only ever used flash in replacement of paper and not really expanded to its other tools. I mentioned this to Artie after having my first scene reviewed. This review expressed praise for my hard work, but I could be making it easier on myself if I learn a few new tricks. Artie had scheduled with me a tutorial session via Skype screenshare.
This tutorial went fairly smoothly. I had a notebook out and was taking notes as I watched my screen show his screen for me and the workflow of symbols, motion tweens and motion paths. Studio’s do allow learning on the job, but I’m not used to this level of caring about my learning curve. This is a huge plus to me, as someone that doesn’t have much time to find resources to learn flash in whatever free time I may have.
Aside from work, I discovered a really nice website that keeps all updates on the project I currently am working on. It has work from everyone involved and breakdowns of each episode! It's been nice to use as a reference to see what others do in comparison to what I'm doing or could do.
I began working on my project. I was handed a couple key storyboards and some audio clips and a bit of direction from videos that were already done in this manner. I was given an episode of Edward Lear’s Nonsense Stories, ARG’s current weekly webisode project.
There was a quiet time when spring break happened when I couldn’t communicate during this time due to being home in Montana without internet and a lack of phone service.
After April 1st, I had begun my involvement with ARG officially. Every Friday, there is a Skype conference. These conferences are basically a voiced update on what’s going on and what’s to come in the future. This particular time, I got to introduce myself to everyone else in the call. I had no internet, so I was able to have this chat through my phone. Artie and Woodrow take time after the call to talk to interns separately about concerns or updates on their current projects. I spent this time getting my first assignment. I was given the files, but due to having step throat, I was told to take the weekend off. Something I’m also not used to.
After signing up for the internship fair, I was given a massive packet with information on the Externship class and how to prepare for interviews in the Internship Fair. There was also an e-mail sent that had a list of the companies fit for the MAA student to interview and their websites. ARG was the only one that suited what I love to do, and that was 2D animation. He was the only company I signed up to interview, which probably wasn’t a smart move on my part.
During the interview, he spoke mostly about his company and his ambitions. He talks briefly of future projects. I didn’t even show my flat art portfolio, all he saw was a few animated shorts I’ve produced in a few classes.
*I must note here that what I’ve done in classes, even in 2D Animation, 2D Animation Studio and so on were very important here. If it weren’t for caring about what I created in those classes, this interview would have been extremely difficult. As a senior, I’d encourage students to, instead of just ‘make it through the class’ to really plan out what your animation pieces will be and make sure those animation principals are involved in every piece. Even if its difficult to come up with a story, atleast create animation tests showing off basic skills
The interview ended shortly after. I felt confident that I had the skills to work for ARG.
A follow up e-mail made it to my inbox a day later and started further communication with the company. The e-mails lead to a forum that’s branched off of the main website. Though you need an account to view any of it’s information. After joining and getting my account confirmed, the forum essencially becomes a “user guide” to the interns. It has small tutorials, job posts, introductions and so on. I spent some time reading through older topics and learning about the people I could possibly be working with. (Intern Forum from post before this)
It was an extremely eventful week, but I hardly remember it because sooo much happened. I just know all went well in the end!
Upon beginning the internship at ARG, you're informed by e-mail to register to the student internship forum. This forum has just about everything there is to get an intern going and keep up to date on what's going on.
Projects: From non commercial to commercial, this part features topics pretaining to possible jobs you can have or have been done by other people in the studio
Resources: This part is pretty self explanitory. It's like a small textbook of information on animating in Flash or just animating in general. I spent most of my time reading the motivational animation quotes.
Conferences: Every Friday about 5pm (GMT) There is a skype conference. I'll post more about this later...
General Discussion: Mostly just introductions from all interns.
Based in Colorado Springs, with a wide variety of sister studios around the nation, ARG has been around since 1994 and was founded by Artie Romero. The company specializes in commercial animation with frequent animated cartoon shorts. The business has a vast list of companies they’ve helped, and when I say vast, I mean over 600 clients.
The studio offers a wide range of services and uses a variety of software. As an intern, there isn’t much a limit of things you can do to tailor to your needs. ARG specializes in 2D animation and would like to expand their 3D branch, so there’s a win win for both sides of the spectrum. If animation isn’t your strength, there’s even jobs as character, background and storyboard design within the studio. http://artie.com/qt1.htm
After a short scroll, there is a nice directory where you can learn more about the company, some animation pointers, and a showcase of past work done by interns and employees.