Attended an AWESOME panel this evening hosted by the Bay Area Women in Film & Media. I’ve only been in this town for four months and I am blown away by the sheer amount of creative coolness swirling about this city. Panelists from ILM, Kabam, San Francisco State University and Pixar were on hand to discuss how they got into the industry and answered numerous questions from the audience.

The best part – even though half of us were not able to register online they let us pay at the door – which I hoped they would. The event was posted at school yesterday, and by then registration had ended. I figured – “What the heck? If they turn me away oh well, but I’m going down there to see if I can get in.” And I did. AND I got free parking. AND I met awesome people on the panel, board members, volunteers, as well as some folks from AAU majoring in 2D, 3D and design.

Good times all around. Here’s who came:

EMMA COATS, Storyboard Artist at Pixar

LAUREN FREEMAN, Art Producer at Kabam

MARTHA GORZYCKI, Associate Professor, Animation Coordinator at SFSU

GEORDIE MARTINEZ, Creature Technical Director/Creature Trainer at Industrial Light and Magic

LORIEN MCKENNA, Art & Story Dept Manager at Pixar

My favorite speaker of the night was Geordie as he came to animation through a circuitous route. He did poorly in high school, joined the Navy for six years, then went to college and got his BA, and worked while attending Animation Mentor. Out of all of the speakers, I can relate because animation was not in my mind when I was in high school, I had a completely different career path in mind. But after much diligent work he accomplished his goal. Very rewarding to hear a story like that.

And as always, some sketches from the event:


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