Animator Is Off My List

For my “Exploring Art” class, the assignment for our final was to create a 1:30 long stop-animation movie with our iPads. Originally, it was just a regular project and only had to be 30 seconds long, but we were not all eligible to take our iPads home, so this wasn’t possible. However, on Friday, all students, regardless of eligibility, were allowed to take their iPads home over the weekend.

I did not want my grandfather to know I had it because he would make a big deal over it. This meant I would have to work on my movie after he left for work at night. I started on Friday and intended to get the entire project done in that one night.

Too bad it wasn’t that easy.

Since I didn’t have much, I was just going to use the stuffed bunnies on my bed for the whole project. But the whole project was boring, tedious and repetitive. I ended up using almost everything in my room that was small. I started at 11:00, stopped at 1:23 and had only gotten the first 45 seconds done and over 520 shots. I was too tired and ready to fall asleep. Worse yet, for some reason, the shots’ order got screwed up and I had to delete at least three. I called it a night and decided I’d continue the next night (Saturday).

Well, last night, I continued. After my grandfather left for work, I got started on finishing the movie. Again, I started at 11:00, but this time, I didn’t finish until 2:00. I can’t describe how relieved I was to finally be reaching the end. 1,080 shots. Sheesh! But it was done and I could turn it in. I probably won’t get a stellar mark for it – there was no plot, so it was entirely random – but at least I would get something.

One things for sure: I will not go to college to work in animation when I leave high school. If a 1:30 project is this bad, a 10-minute project would kill me! On the bright side, however, I now have a much greater appreciation for animators everywhere, stop-motion or otherwise.

Being Good Sucks

No, really, it does.

Today, MSN has a story on its homepage about a high school freshman who was suspended for five days. Her crime? Creating an anti-bullying video.

More specifically, the girl, named Jessica Barba, created an anti-bullying video and a facebook page that tells the fictional story of a fictional 12-year-old girl named Hailey Bennett, who lost her mother at 3, was abused by her father, was left alone after her only friend moved away and was bullied everyday. It ends with her committing suicide. The project was a school assignment.

Apparently, the reason for her suspension is that the video and FB page caused a disruption at her school. I guess school officials don’t like acknowledging serious issues that relate to school. The school found out from a concerned parent who reported the page, but didn’t scroll down far enough to see where Jessica stated that it was fake. Jessica’s mother tried to show printouts with the disclaimer to school officials, but, in her words, “they didn’t really care too much about that.”

I’ve been going to school for 13 years now. I am not surprised by a story like this. To me, this is typical. The last words of the article, stated by a director of the NYCLU in that particular county, really sum it up:

As students prepare to participate as full citizens in society, schools should encourage independent thought and dialogue about political and current events, even controversial ones. No school should ever punish a student because they disagree with what she’s saying, which appears to be exactly what happened here.

If only schools did that. It’s a fact: schools do not like confronting issues and prefer to ignore them or cover them up. They don’t want their students to have free minds. They don’t even want them to be different! I’ve got more than enough experience to know that.