AcademicNearly 70% of America's kids read below grade level. I am Dr. Michael Colvard and I teamed up a producer from The Simpsons to build a game to help. AMA!
Aug 30th 2016 by Pupsquest • 11 Questions • 5033 Points
Floyd Norman is an animator, storyman, and troublemaker. But more importantly he is an official Disney Legend, honored by the company in 2007 with this title. Norman is the first Black artist at Disney, and has had a storied career working on Disney classics, as well as famed Saturday-morning cartoons, Pixar feature films, and more. At 81 years old, Norman is the focus of a new feature documentary out in theaters starting this Friday August 26th. "Floyd Norman: An Animated Life", reveals how Norman continues to impact animation and stir up "trouble" after the company forced him to retire at age 65. It's a tale of perseverance, and a love letter to the history of animation, as seen through the life of a one-of-a-kind man. Check out the trailer at www.FloydNormanMovie.com, and connect with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FloydNormanDocumentary.
Filmmaker Michael Fiore owns and operates Michael Fiore Films; a boutique production company that develops, finances, and creates high-concept filmed content for the best-of-the-best in the Film, TV, and Ad worlds. Fiore has worked as a writer/director and producer/editor for industry notables like Joel Silver (Prod. "The Matrix"), Jonathan Liebesman (Dir. "TNMT"), and Tom DiCillo (Dir. "Living in Oblivion") among others. Fiore has another movie coming out later this year, in December, titled "Keep Watching" from Sony Screen Gems. That film stars Bella Thorne and "Walking Dead" star Chandler Riggs.
Filmmaker Erik Sharkey is no stranger to the world of documentary. Sharkey's last feature documentary "Drew: The Man Behind the Poster" follows the creative endeavors of the legendary movie poster artist Drew Struzan. Prior to that documentary, Sharkey had directed a fun comedy titled "Sexina" starring the original Batman, Adam West. Sharkey is a born-and-bred New Yorker, with the accent to prove it!
Educator here, and I was just curious as to what kind of data you've been able to collect about how successful this approach has been for those students using your system? Have you seen a large jump in their lexile scores using this system vs the "traditional" method?
As someone in the classroom, I can tell you the gamification of course work makes learning a lot more fun for our students, so I'd like to say thanks for spicing up the classroom!
Wow, Atlantis: The Lost Empire* is one of my most favorite movies of all time!
Is anything about the movie that most people don't know about?
Thank you so much for the time you take to teach our children. We have been using our product in 40 schools. Our approach to phonics has been successful both in schools where the majority of the children come from non-English speaking homes, as well as, from more affluent backgrounds. Our data shows that children who enter the class in the lower 50 percentile of age-matched readers, are in the top 50 percentile after using Phoneme farms for 1 year. Additionally, children who are already in the upper 50 percentile, are in the top 25% after using phoneme farms for the year. Thank you again for your work.
It was a high concept film starting with the single image of the glowing Kida floating above the water
I was the first black artist to work at Disney simply because I applied for the job and was able to qualify. Nobody was being kept out. If you were talented and ready to work, that was what mattered. Not the color of your skin. Keep in mind, Walt Disney Productions had minorities working at the studio as far back as the thirties. I know. I met a number of those artists during my career.
Our data shows that children who enter the class in the lower 50 percentile of age-matched readers, are in the top 50 percentile after using Phoneme farms for 1 year. Additionally, children who are already in the upper 50 percentile, are in the top 25% after using phoneme farms for the year.
All of them?
This image obsessed me when I was like 9 years old. Good job.
Wow those are really good numbers! Out of curiosity, are these schools located? Nationwide? East coast? West coast?
Also are there plans to try and develop higher level material? I work with 9-12th grade and I know we have some low lexile students that could benefit from something like this.
What is the most difficult to animate? Human body? Animals? Weather event?
I find both human and animals difficult because we all know how they should move, making it easy to recognize when it's wrong.
Well, there's a wealth of stories out there. existing material and room for new ideas. Looking for stories is fairly easy. There's just so much stuff out there.
Considering animals and humans are so difficult to animate what would some advice (asides the 12 principles) be when animating such characters?
In another reply in the thread, Erik mentioned that you helped put the story together for the original Jungle Book. How often did you have a hand in the story as well as the animation?
Michael, are you the guy in the reverse cotton candy eating gif?
Really looking forward to the film guys!
I completely agree and that is our plan! Thanks for the tip.
Good morning, have you read the research behind 30 Million Words? How could/did this impact your game and do you see yourself folding this extremely important research into your methods?
Edit: Honestly it seems to me that we have an epidemic of parents not interacting and communicating enough with their children starting at birth, which is driving your statistics here about childhood reading levels.
Is there much difference between Maya and Max for animation?
Just different controls mostly. But I haven't used max in a long time so I'm sure there's more to it
Probably the stuff with Mowgli and Kaa. I guess because Vance Gerry and I came up with all the funny business. I also liked the scenes we did with Kaa and Sher Kahn. Really cool stuff.
Are you aware you accidentally a word in the post title? How does that reflect on literacy in general?
Hi! Happy Saturday. I've always assumed the voice actors record their part first then the animators sync the animation to the voice. Is that correct?
How was Walt Disney's management style? Was he a "boss" or a leader?
Was he approachable to even the lower level employees?
Thank you for catching that lol! A friend of mine is helping with this and he left that out. I need to get him on phoneme farms!!! thanks! :)
I would say, think of Walt Disney in much you'd think of Steve Jobs at Apple. Steve was the face of Apple. He was the visionary, the boss and the leader. Walt Disney was much the same. I would also add that unlike many bosses today, Walt was always approachable. And, I mean to anyone. It didn't matter how "high" or "low" you were. Disney treated everyone with respect. I think that's why the man was so admired by those who knew him. It would appear Walt Disney's toughest critics happen to be those who never even met him.
Serious question, even though it sounds silly:
If "nearly 70% of kids read below grade level", then wouldn't that suggest that "grade level" is incorrectly assessed? There is no objective level at which a fourth grader should be able to read, is there? Surely what defines a "fourth grade level" is simply a measure of relative ability against one's peers.
To me, this sounds a bit like saying "70% of people are above the median height."
But the storyboards come first so that the voice actors know the general direction and flow of the scene, right?
Did you do any research into the "Reading Recovery" program when building the game? My mother's a reading teacher and it's apparently a pretty effective way to get first graders back on track (although it requires special teacher training and one-on-one attention).
What did you do/use to practice animating, especially since the bio from your link stated that you had no formal training and you were able to meet someone who led you to this?
I was given copied key poses to inbetween on a homemade desk. This was the entry level 2d position that got my foot in the door. always watch motion. How people walk, run etc. Whether live or on film. Sketches help as well to capture poses
Well, they were two men from different generations so they were different in that way. However, they were the same in many other aspects. Both were highly confident and both knew exactly what they wanted. They were often called difficult but that's because they demanded perfection. In my book, there's nothing wrong with that.
Game animation needs no anticipation for attacks or running. This allows it to be more responsive
Well, there's been much talk about this subject. I'm just glad that Disney finally got around to having a black princess. It's much the way we felt about a Chinese Princess when I was working on the film, "Mulan." Yes, sometimes it takes a while before Hollywood catches up with the rest of society. The good news is, it eventually happens. I'm delighted that Disney decided to give us, Tiana. I'm just sorry it took so long to become a reality.
Have you ever worked with blender? If so, how does it fare with maya and how often do you use it?
I've never used it. I went straight from 2d to Maya
how do you feel about big-name movie actors doing voice work and taking voice actors' jobs?
It's a shame when studios only want the big name actors because it looks good on a poster. But they're in it to make money so I understand the business reason
How would you recommend getting into the gaming industry? I'm more of a coder, but I would love to learn animation.
Also what's your favorite animated movie? Why?
Check some of my answers below if you don't mind. I'm pretty lazy to write it all again! :-)
My child has a degree in Animation - loves 2D best and is proficient on Maya. Great artist blah, blah, blah. Why can't she get a job? Is there a secret? You said you had a friend on the inside. Is that what it will take for the newbies?
Knowing someone will always help, no matter what industry you're getting into. I was fortunate to meet someone. Nowadays you can meet professionals on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc to show your work. If it's good someone will take notice, connect with you and help you when you apply. But the bottom line is the work has to be good. You also need to be willing to learn. Being able to toss out pieces from your reel if suggested. 2d jobs are almost non-existent sadly, I'd focus on getting good in Maya
Holy cow, I always thought that The Prince of Egypt was beautifully animated. My sister and I love it. Amazing to think that I could say this to someone that had a hand in bringing the characters to life.
Thanks, that's very cool of you
Hm... What are the types of positions aspiring 2D/3D animators should be looking at if they're interested in getting into game art?
Game development has many disciplines. Concept art, modeling, rigging, animation, FX, level design, environments. It's important to pick one and get really good at it. General knowledge of each is only good for small studios. Everywhere else will want you to only do one.
If I had to do it all over today and just wanted to animate, I'd enroll in an online class. (AnimationMentor, iAnimate, Animschool etc) They're focused on animation alone, taught by professionals, you make great connections.
Is there rivalry between the character animators, the fx animators, the background animators, etc?
None whatsoever. We all depend on each other to make our own work look good
For nostalgic reasons, my first project, The Prince of Egypt.
Do you know of any free sites/video series for learning Maya? You know, something comprehensive and effective.
I believe Autodesk offers a free student edition
Hi, you've done a lot of work that I have admired when I was young, Shark tale and Spyro especially!
I am currently studying animation (game and film) and love using 3DSmax and have been tempted to move over to Maya as I have heard most successful companies use Maya over max. I have been assured that there are jobs for max workers, but am unconvinced. Would learning Maya be beneficial?
Also, what do you think about the current speculation over the animators working conditions for 'Sausage Party'?
I hope you can answer :)
Thanks. I'd say Maya is much more common when looking for work. Long working hours happens a lot unfortunately. It's not until artists speak up that it gets any attention
Whaaaat?! You animated The Emperor's New Groove? Did you meet David Spade and John Goodman?
I never did. You'd see them around the studio occasionally
What role does a Script Supervisor play in animated films? And is it during development or post production?
I don't have an educated answer for that one, sorry
What was your favorite project and why is it emperor's new groove?
Groove is still so funny!
do you think a character animator has to have CG animating skills in order to survive in the industry?
Absolutely. Sadly, There's just not enough 2d to make a living
You've had some amazing experiences from what I can tell! So far which ones have been your favorites and why? Are there any future projects you're excited about? :D
Also, I'm pretty good at doing voices, any idea where one can look for a job in that department?
I love Prince of Egypt and Emperors New Groove. Nothing coming up that I can discuss yet. I'm not sure about voice acting, sorry
Are there any particular trends in animation that you're liking/disliking at the moment?
What's your take on the increase in mocap and how that intersects with work that animators would traditionally do?
The short term contract work gets old. Studios hire 15 or more FX houses to do a film in just a couple months. I understand the need for mocap, especially for realistic humans. Gets stuff done so fast