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Author Topic: A New Beginning.
Don Bluth Productions
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I would like to say a few words about the spirit of competition in the animation industry. I believe that competition is a good thing as long as it remains friendly. But for decades, animators and story men alike have battled amongst themselves in a fierce contest to determine who is the most talented and who gets the highest salary. Picture if you will, the beautiful queen standing before her magic mirror to inquire if she were the fairest in the land. Now, recall her reaction upon being told that her status had slipped to number two and that the young princess, “Snow White” had bested her. The news was unacceptable to the jealous queen, and she set out to murder her contender – murder! Now, I ask you, is that nice?

It is understandable that every artist deserves to be credited for his/her accomplishments either by his/her peers or by the public. It is difficult to say just when and where the sparks of this intense rivalry were ignited; certainly it is no secret that Walt used competition to pull the best work from his animators. But that gave rise to contention, and contention leads to jealousy, jealousy to anger, and eventually grudge holding. Some of the old timers in our industry have carried these grudges for years. Many would not even speak to one another, face to face.

Although many of that generation have now passed on to the feathered choir, the legacy of jealousy and artistic contention, I fear, still remains with the new generation of artists. We have become a community of gossips. “There can be only one,” is a repugnant philosophy – one which we could well do without. Animation, after all, is a collaborative effort, and rather than downgrade our peers, I wonder if it wouldn’t be a better idea to encourage them, speak well of them and praise them for their creativity. Why not compete with yourself? Make your work better today than it was yesterday. That’s a more positive approach. When one finds him/her self consumed with jealousy and resentment, the spirit of creativity goes out the window. Enough said on that front. Now, you may be asking, why I brought all this up? Let me explain.

I think if there is to be a renaissance of classical animation it will come from the private sector. Three elements must be lined up for success:

1) The production money, which will be high-risk capital.
2) The production script, which will need more edge than the usual bill of fare.
3) The distribution and marketing campaign will need to be innovative.

We will not be able to count on any of the studios for numbers 1 & 2. CG is currently making money so which of the studios would tamper with that kind of success? Additionally, Disney has a franchise to protect; it has to produce the same old stuff to please moms and children all over the world. If they deviate from that formula they might lose both their customers and their stockholders. The theme parks are built on pleasing both. If Disney had a choice, I’m sure they would prefer the teen audience; that’s a higher priced ticket. But teens have outgrown the “formula.” This is the dilemma for traditional 2D animation.

There have been a few moments in Disney’s history when the studio considered throwing in the towel on its 2D animation department. One was after the exorbitant costs of producing Sleeping Beauty. The second was after the release of The Black Cauldron. The third was the sudden rise of CG animated films and their financial success.

So, here’s my point! You, my friends are the private sector. You could join hands and produce your own product, even if it were only a 15 minute spot for TV; it would be a start. Certainly, the current technology makes this possible. What we are facing is proving to the financial community that a classical 2D film has perpetuity, that it can make money, even on its first release. We have to prove this with more than mere words. This challenge is not for the faint of heart; it may take sacrifice. Maybe it will happen in your garage. Waiting for any corporation to make your dreams come true is a poor investment of your time.

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Richard
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I totally agree, Don. I find that solidifying your own ideas, whether it's animation, comics, et al, is extremely rewarding. On top, your work has always been an inspiration for me.

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rocktoonz
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Hello Don. Such an honor having you on this board. In the indie startup realm, I have been working with the animation co-Op Pink Slip animation. We have a new site and we hold our monthly meetings at the Animation Guild in Burbank. We have several projects in production; Sue Beilinberg’s “Oh Tabby”, George Zaleski’s “The Girl Who Would Not Laugh or Cry”, Larry Levine’s “Aw Prunes” and my project “Kustomonsters and Friends”.

My Kustomonsters show is heading for indie TV. These all no budget start-up projects in 2D (the Kustomonsters has some puppets),we will also feature webcomics. Our site is here Pink Slip Animation


Also another group has formed in a similar vein called Cartoon Funland. They have a web channel and are producing the short called “Monstroville”, among other things. They are at.
Cartoon Funland

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Charles
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A great topic Don. On two fronts. One, the behavior aspect of the animation community and the other, the resurgence of classical animation.

Rocktoonz, thanks for the links. We'll see about featuring them on AN's homepage.

Don, you are right on the money when it comes to the unpleasant and inconvenient truth about how animation artists can be towards each other. I contribute to the solution by teaching my students about it at both the Academy and at Cal State Northridge. I encourage them to work towards changing things by setting a positive example of success in the industry without putting down colleagues. I supplement my admonishments by telling them what to expect and how to handle it. Besides their skills, that's another reason why many of my students succeed. They learn to play off of the negatives and stay focused on creative productivity and considerate behavior in a social work environment.

As for classical animation, I think the medium will languish as old formulas are followed at places such as Disney. Although it was entertaining, I think if the studio really pushed the envelope with Princess and the Frog, classical animation would've gotten a bigger boost in the arm. Maybe the next movie, a Winnie the Pooh film I believe, will keep things going well enough to continue to traditionally animate although as I understand the production deadline is intense.

For me, the traditionally animated film that really made a difference is Secret of Kells. As soon as I was exposed to clips of it here and there a couple of years ago, I felt this was something special and unique and just what should be happening with classic animation. Pushing it, pushing the look, pushing new and different approaches, not just in its artistic statement but in the manner in which it was produced. A beautiful critically acclaimed film, nominated for an Oscar, economically and efficiently produced.

Another path I'd like to see develop is the idea of American anime. Why not? Nobody owns a patent on anime, and if it works for Japan it could certainly work for us.

And I agree, the vanguard is the private sector, independents, not just here in the US but in Europe, South America, all over the world where animation is thriving and continues to expand.

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Charles
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Something to inspire new beginnings in classical animation, thanks to Paul D posting in a dedicated thread.

http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=014539

Coming soon... The Illusionist.

http://www.afisha.ru/movie/trailer/192512/

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SNAKEBITE
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I know what motivates more then fear...its an ancient secret that was told to everyone and yet we all forgot...its called, love.

When you're loved, then competition is clearly oneself. And when people excel when they are loved they far exceed those that live in fear.

When you nurture people, they nurture back.

Love is infectious and it motivates people to do amazing stuff. Including the money people. Because if you're motivated by love it shows in your work, your due diligence and money people appreciate due diligence.

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Semaj
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A lot of animators and animation fans resent the fact that their medium is so undervalued in our society. But has it ever occurred to any that they might be as big a reason behind this as the many non-artists they tend to blame?

I've been to communities where whatever starts off as a legit conversation gets lost in a diatribe against different cartoon types and styles, the familiar "all old is good, all new is evil" stuff, ANY reason to invalidate different works, all under the general line of thinking, "Every cartoon must be made like THIS, or else it's wrong". Usually, this in-fighting applies to a critique of a Disney movie not being a Warner Bros short. It's even more unfortunate when this is all instigated by those whom have accomplished very little on their own, or have little research or credentials to back themselves up.

This is not unlike the current climate in Washington, where hardly anything gets done, because the common ground among Democrats and Republicans are often clouded by party loyalty, and favors for friends and families, while the nation as a whole continues to suffer.

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Charles
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That's very well put Semaj. Also, with what you described about how divisive people become over issues such as style or old vs new cartoons, how very true.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but in some cases it seems that some people believe their opinions are more entitled than others. A pox on them I say!

Let's commit ourselves to a New Beginning in many different ways. One of them being an end to the nonsense that divides the community.

New Beginnings!

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Charles
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New Beginnings!

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Charles
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Bumping this up cuz I love seeing Don Bluth's name on the forums.

This is a must read. Please check out what Don has to say.

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Skynet
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A new beginning... could also be stronger with new patterns of thought.

What if ego and emotion were taken out or minimized from the equation or seen in a completely different light? The most successful situations would be where every person involved has no position to prove or gain and they just love what they do no matter what is thrown at them. Peoples feelings can be hurt or violated easily and when this happens an undercurrent of undesirable energy starts to develop and usually makes people act in ways that are detrimental or devastating to everyone. It can make the cause and effect rebound back and forth eternally. I've been in and seen many promising situations disintegrate and get unbearable because of this.

I don't know why it's hard for artists to see other artists as something other than just competition. It's very animalistic, as if they actually need to protect a territory. The only threats are the ones we create in our own minds. If anything we should be inspired and work harder, strive to raise the bar and standards for ourselves. And collaborating with other artists should be a learning experience no matter who you are. You could actually learn something from someone who has no idea what they are doing.

What if people took themselves less seriously? It's been said many times, "The world's problems will be solved the day everybody stops taking themselves so seriously." What if people could ease away from misery, stop letting mistakes rule, stop reacting to everything in the same exact way as they always have, and break away from the mental patterns and programs that keep them from growing and expanding? After all, in the end isn't the result of our life about how much personal knowledge and wisdom we've let our minds absorb and contemplate.

I know that when I get upset, mad, frustrated, jealous or whatever at something, myself or someone, I am breaking my first rule. I am acting out the execution of a built-in program in my brain. I am letting the situation take over and immensely reduce my ability to think, create and act with precision and pure intentions. So what I usually do is instantly send an order back to make it stop because I don't need it and it only makes the situation worse than it may or may not be. I have found that this also releases many unnecessary mental and physical blocks, such as stress.

Even if I am working in a situation with a group or by myself that is supposedly out of control, the more control I have over myself, the more it helps the situation, even if it's for my own sanity. I'd rather stay in the mental eye of the hurricane, before going out of my mind. People can be running around me screaming but I wont join them. I may actually open a glass door for someone so they don't slam into it. But imagine a situation where everyone is always on the same level of control. The creativity and efficiency would be intense.

Something I tend to say frequently. "All we need to do is stay calm."

As far as the main point of this topic, I think this is something that will start happening a lot more. I could even see AN members getting more involved together at some point. Why not? I also see lots of potential for people meeting up at AN Night and starting projects together. AN Night is already based on this philosophy. And maybe it's only a matter of time before this way of thought takes hold for more people.

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skynet[at]animationnation.com
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SNAKEBITE
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Amen, Adrian. Beautifully said.

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Charles
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Indeed Skynet, that's some valuable wisdom that we all can learn from. The ego is a major factor in personal and professional relationships within animation and life in general. But in animation it's even more acute.

I read a book recently called "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. It's about recreating the earth by recreating ourselves first. The point the author was making throughout the book is that in order for us to create a new us, we first had to deal with egoic thinking. I learned from it in as much as it helped me to identify the egoic thinking within myself, and it also helped in identifying the same in others.

How many times over the years on the forums have we heard... "How dare you say that" or how many times have people come here to belittle others. All of that originates in egoic thinking. I still deal with the ego but I grew from reading the book. I tried to explain this to a few people on AN but they didn't get it. The ego was too great within them and they cut themselves off from the message.

Read what Semaj posted above. All of that stems from the ego.

How many times in our lives have we as individuals said I'm sorry to the people we've hurt or offended. How many times have you admitted you were wrong when you were wrong. It takes a lot of inner strength to rise above egoic thinking and many people just don't have the strength to do it. It's easier to hold on to egoic thoughts and to continue with familiar patterns than to change.

I've found that when it comes to the ego, sooner or later, we're all humbled. Egoic thinking will eventually drag you down and keep you down, and the rise up will only happen when the ego is neutralized.

When that occurs, there's your New Beginning.

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SNAKEBITE
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and thats word.

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Trondheimfan
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That's so weird to read there's such fierce competition in animation.
On the Illusionist I like to think we were pretty much all united. You can't be best buds with everyone of course, there will always be the personality factor, but so far I've felt very comfortable with the crews I've worked with, with little feeling of competition.
One guy who used to be at Disney Australia actually gave us weekly animation lessons to help us deal with the difficulty of the project and to maybe move from assistant to animator. If that's not teamwork, I don't know what is.

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Tekenen is schrijven en spreken tegelijk.

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SNAKEBITE
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I think general attitudes are shifting. I see it with almost everyone these last few years. People will living with so much fear for so long I think they are starting to shake it off. I believe the true nature of humans is to love and care for each other. Just look at tragedies like 9/11, no one was worried about their jobs and money, they just wanted to help. With the industry here in LA there is an attitude of fear and that there is only so much work to be had and everyone is trying to take it from you. But I feel the real soldiers get we're in control and we can take it all back if we keep our heads straight. It's not revolution, its evolution.

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Charles
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In my experience with Europeans especially through AN I've never had the feeling of ill will. Honestly, I can't say the same when it comes to colleagues in animation closer to home. Most are cool, but there's pockets that have been hostile to us or to each other going back quite a ways. When I hear of the accounts of others with a longer history in the biz I realize that it's nothing new.

Take for example how the president of the union recently called artists not in the union wannabes. If not for the comedy of that remark we would've been offended but it's common to have an attitude like that here. There's just a lot of insecurity that comes out as bravado as well. When people feel threatened they tend to attack on a personal level. That's happened to me plenty of times. Things are different here than they are in Europe. I think we can learn alot from our European friends but that would mean dealing with egoic thinking.

Don's encouragement to embrace a New Beginning is to join hands and to engage in a common creative endeavor. This is something that he's done himself. Case in point "Banjo the Woodpile Cat". Produced at a time when it was much more difficult to create animation than it is now. Don is a great example of what can be done through personal initiative and communal cooperation. He's walked the walk many times. He's an outstanding model for us all, not just through what he's accomplished in his career, but through his personality. If you ever met the man you'd know what I'm talking about.

And still there are people in this community that bad mouth him. And those who make those judgements against Don have nowhere near his legacy of accomplishments in animation and nowhere near his talent.

That's one of the reasons I've felt very strongly that the animation community should unite for just one day, on April 1 of each year, if for nothing else but to set an example of our own for the world to see, and still that message over the years has fallen on deaf ears. When times were bad and the industry was in trouble, there was some reception to it. Now that things have passed and there isn't as much contention as before, trying to pull this off would be difficult to do. And personal and collective egos play a big part in the resistance to the message.

I spend my time and energy getting a unified message out, although I admit I'm not the best person to do it. The organizations that should be embracing it are hostile to it. The union won't do it for whatever reason. Which is quite ironic since they're the ones who should be at the forefront of a movement to unite us. Other organizations won't do it cuz they have their own "animation day" that they don't even promote themselves.

None the less, let's not stop trying.

It's never too late for a New Beginning.

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SNAKEBITE
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Ya know, I have little faith. I'm a very positive progressive person and anyone that knows me knows that I keep moving. sometimes I slow down, but thats how it goes. but I always keep movin'.

But I have little faith. Unions don't work because the people are not united. Smaller groups, sure. Like the tribe I'm apart of. We're few but many. I say set the standards and let the people that get it be inspired by it.

personally, I know how this is all gonna work and I'm kinda tired of lowering the bar to try to unite everyone. thats a general statement, I got respect for a lot of people, I'm not talking about them...and I would hope they knew I wasn't.

But for the most part, sheep are sheep. You get what I'm doin? cool. if not, god speed to you. I'm a train, not a taxi. get on board or get out of the way. too many energy vampires tryin to lock jaw.

I look for warriors. And with all due respect to one of the men I respect the most, FTG, bro, FTG.


Save the world by saving yourself first. Thats the new super hero. Keep doin' you, don't let people slow you down.

The Union is controlled by a monopoly. Their members rather be anonymous then put their dicks on the table when they have issue and think a guy like me is too aggressive. It's done. Over. they're going the direction they were designed to go...and that is, whatever IATSE says....have you seen the Unions website??? jeebus. no art, no artists promotion...crappy design. this is the animation union! they don't care, its obvious in just the website design alone.

The sad thing is, and I said this when I first got here to AN 11 years ago, they create some of the most beautiful stories that are the blue print as to how to turn things around. EVERY FUKIN ANIMATED MOVIE IS ABOUT TURNING THE TIDES! silly dumb bitches...and thats a general dig for a reason.

but really, I'm not EVEN trying to take away anything from the hustlers that get this and quite frankly most of them are further then me in the path, but really, the reality is that most of you aren't real. Most of you in the industry are just part of the problem. And maybe its not a problem to you

and thats what I believe, most don't even get us. get AN...and I'm not afraid to say most because I know our message is for the few. 5 percent, eating apples. then the rest of the banana eaters will want some of what we got...then, we'll eat oranges...apple eaters will go, I want me some of that...etc etc, its the natural way of things.

Set the trends. I don't have faith in the majority. they think they have a choice in their system. they think they are protected. that, or they complain and do nothing about it
while slingin **** from the trees at the guys that do.

You don't have to like the cut of my jib to know that it cuts.

But the people who get us are stronger then the rest, not because the rest can't be strong, just they choose to be weak.

I got no hate for anyone. I'm just being real.

And the real is we have so many people already that get us. It's beautiful actually. It's really helped me become stronger. I like doing my thing, but interacting with people at the meetings and going to conventions really shows me how much love I do put out there, because I get a lot of it back and I appreciate it.

Thats my focus. I choose my illusion and that is love. I'm not lowering my bar because I'm surrounded by people who have so much higher standards.

I'm trying to help run AnimationNation.com. The Union and the idea that the people are gonna change the union just slows me down. I respect the message, but I can't care less, I have no invested interest as to the out come...if anything, it might all just slow me down.

just my two million cents worth.

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Charles
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I don't believe that attitudes will be changing with the current generation. I don't have much faith in that either, but I do have faith in the future. Maybe it's cuz I've been working with students trying to break into animation alot more than those that are already in it. There's purity in an environment like that as opposed to the system.

Don points out that we've become a community of gossips, that the old negative attitudes seem to be carried on by the new generation that's getting in.

When they get in, that's when the industry seems to change them. It's more about the reality of the system's than anything else. And I don't think the system is necessarily bad either. With movies like "How To Train Your Dragon" coming out, "Secret of Kells", many others, it's really a good time for animation creatively.

Still, Don sees what's happening and I know that it's not something from my imagination when I address the same issue. I remain hopeful that it won't go on forever. If we address it, if we talk about it, if we face up to it, at least we're dealing with it on some level and working towards a New Beginning.

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SNAKEBITE
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But we are. We are doing all those things. Lets focus on the fact that thats what we are doing and others are participating in the inspiration.

We are unified. Smaller factions then the Union, but complacency runs rampant.

Their attitudes are their demise.

Superior attitudes always win.

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Charles
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Wining, superiority, demise, that's all part of egoic thinking. If it applies to the victory of the non-ego, I'm all for it.

I see no reason for the demise of the union, that's not what I want. Always wanted to help make it stronger. I don't want to win over them, I want to win them over.

We are not the enemy. They don't get it because of the ego involved.

Good time for a New Beginning and a good year for change when it involves a changing of the guard in this year's election. Maybe they'll be a change in attitude as well. If there is great. I hope that happens. If not then it's still a good time.

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E. Allen
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I've been off creating and handling personal stuff and the like, but I've been reading what was written here, and have been greatly inspired.

My faith, like Bite's, in a unified coalition of sorts (regarding the Union and affected parties) is waning as well. Last year, I was giddy for such prospects--if you do a search for my earlier posts, June 2009, July, sometime around then, you could see that.

Nowadays, I'm kinda excited for the New Paradigm, the New Organization that me and Bite and Skynet talked about. And like Bite said, it will be better because guys who before publicly and/or privately stated that they would have nothing to do with us will desire what we are having . . .

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SNAKEBITE
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I don't think there is anything wrong with ego. If your ego is feared based then yeah, you're in bad spot. But to have an ego that fuels a superior attitude, one that wants to win and not be slowed down by people who are guilty of their own demise. I am not the enemy and usually ones demise comes from ones own hand. I don't have to take any part in fear based inferior attitudes making one lose. I step aside to win.

I don't think I have every hear Charles say he wants the demise of the Union, but their demise (if it happens) will be by their own hand. In its place will rise options I believe.

Winning them over is what I'm talking about. You convince people of your ideals by executing them yourself. Not waiting for them to get it.

But ego is good when you embrace it for the good. We need ego's to get through hard times. To believe in oneself is an ego based thought process. nothing wrong with that. To want to win is ok too. Better then losing. To have a superior attitude is productive, because in my world superior attitudes are compassionate as well as relentless.

We make the Union stronger by raising the bar over theirs. By showing them there are other ways to do it. The leaders do what works for them. IATSE runs the Union, not the president. Its a monopoly and I don't have any faith in changing the system by being apart of it. You change the system by developing a new one.

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Charles
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According to the author of "A New Earth", even the acknowledgement that ego is a a good thing is egoic thinking and will keep you from growth and a New Beginning. The ego wants to own things, it wants to lay claim to things, including thoughts and thought patterns. Individuals need to rise above the ownership of those thought patterns as a means of self identity or self definition in order to fully emerge as a new person and engage in personal rebirth and in New Beginnings.

I'm not talking about relinquishing your copyrights or ownership of intellectual property or getting credit for one's creative endeavors. What I'm talking about is going to an annual AN meeting on April 1 a few years ago and offering a free subscribed account to someone you respect only to get an egoic centric response such as "You're lucky I'm here" and not accepting my offer. Then using the April 1 platform to initiate your organization. If that isn't an addiction to ego I don't know what is, and that kind of attitude is very prevalent in the community. Many people have been on AN and in some cases continue to be here not in the spirit of contributing to the betterment of things for all, but with the attitude that they're doing us a favor by being here.

I fully own up to the mistakes I've made on AN and in life that have given some people the excuse to blame it all on me or others on the forums, but how can you communicate with individuals who don't see the log in their own eye as they try to take the spec out of someone else's eye.

Also, this isn't about the union per se. They have their own agenda. It's beyond the union. It's about unity. It's about each one of us as individuals. Collective strength through each of us individually. Read Don's original post. He's talking about going beyond the ego and immersing ourselves in creativity as a means to a New Beginning.

Besides folks, look at who started this topic. We have Don Bluth with us. Look who is with us, not at who is not.

Come to AN Night tomorrow evening and you'll see AN in action with all its inspiring positivity. Everyone is welcome. If you're looking to a New Beginning it's a great place to start.

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sykohyko
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love this thread.

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With all due respect to Mr Toll his ego is what motivated him to write the book and publish it. Ego was behind marketing it and ego is behind spreading his message.

So although I respect a lot of which he says in that book, I just don't swallow letting go of ego completely. I think that would be a mistake, especially when creating.

But I said my peace on the subject. I believe in Unity, I just don't believe in waiting for people to get it. I want to move forward and connect to the people who use their egos constructively and who have control over it.

I look at ego like I look at addiction, sometimes its not the drug thats the problem but the user him/herself. So I don't blame ego, its a natural part of us. I blame people who let their ego and ID rule them out of fear and hate.

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"Look who is with us, not at who is not. "

yes, absolutely. THis is how I look at it. Don't look at these other guys to get the message, look at who already does get the message.

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After thinking about it more, I gotta correct myself.

its not a matter of not "getting it", its a matter of totally getting it and choosing the opposite. Choice. I believe they are very specific in their choices.

I guess if winning them over means that one hasn't paused for them and continues to do ones thing, living by example ultimately proving a new method can be done...then I can dig it. But taking any time, or sec out of my day to engage them would be wasted time.

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Charles
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Eckhart Tolle authored the book, but as I said, I don't see it as a problem of the ego when one gets credit for the work they've created or when ownership of their intellectual property is claimed. You can look at "A New Earth" and call it a work of ego and you'd have a valid point. But look at it this way. Consider how many people have benefited from it. And why shouldn't he be acknowledged and rewarded for the good his work has done helping people overcome themselves. If you are your own worst enemy and the cause of it is one's own egoic thinking, if it helps individuals reach a better state of mental health and quality of life, peace of mind, etc. and helps to lead them to a New Beginning, then it's all good. And it's even better when the individual change leads to positive change in others.

Egoic thinking is more along the lines of... How dare he write that book. I don't have a problem with my ego. Or... how dare you give me that book to read. I'm offended by the very fact that you think I should do something about my ego.

Those are the kinds of attitudes that have plagued not just animation and ourselves individually, but society as a whole. And I admit that I'm a victim of my own ego centric thinking as well. It's not easy. It's not at all easy to look at yourself and ask what am I doing wrong. What am I doing to make the situation worse. What can I do to help make things better. Identifying egoic thinking within ourselves is essential for personal growth. It doesn't mean taking the blame for something you're not responsible for. It means accepting responsibility for what you are responsible for.

If you want a New Beginning that's one of the best things you can do to set yourself on that path.

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I guess I have a problem with the use of the term, "Egoic behavior". Like how you said I can be valid by calling his works ego based but I should look at the good. And I say I wasn't looking at the bad. If his ego made him do something good, then his life is based off egoic thinking. Just the constructive side of it.

The association with the word, ego, has always had a bad rep. Although in Tolle's case, his ego made him do good things. But he's also telling people not to have egoic based thinking.

Maybe the things that you think were based of egoic thinking, that you call mistakes are the things that benefited you the most. Maybe those things upset others but your ego made you be true
to your heart. You didn't hurt nobody but their fear based egos.

But thinking you can make things better comes from your ego too. Not that I think thats bad at all. thats my point. Ego is not bad, the person who uses it can be.

Maybe your ego is making you think you shouldn't have an ego. LEGO MY EGO! lol

but whatever, I just see a new beginning coming from a new spot.

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Charles
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Tell ya what. Read the book. I'll give it to you. Read it first and you'll have a better idea what I'm referring to.

To begin with, you're making the assumption that the author's motivation was ego based. I believe after reading the book that it was service based. As in wanting to serve humanity, and in helping others and in doing his part to encourage a New Beginning for us individually and collectively.

Also, as far as my own egoic behavior is concerned, I know that much of what I did in the past is not ego based yet taken that way. But I would be less than genuine if I admitted that the ego wasn't involved at some point. I'm only human like everyone else. I make mistakes. That doesn't mean that others who reacted to me/us through their own egoic behavior are absolved. I'm simply owning up to it on my part. It's the process of a New Beginning and I have no problem with that personally.

But others do have a problem. They can't own up to their own shortcomings and fallibilities and will continue to use me/us/AN as an excuse to validate their own egoic behavior. It's very difficult to do. It's very difficult for anyone to let go of the ego and stand in the light of pure selflessness. It's very difficult if not impossible for some people. The ego will not relinquish ownership of thoughts that put the blame entirely on us while maintaining the belief that they've been wronged or have done nothing wrong themselves. It means spiritual growth and spiritual growth always, it always involves giving up the self. If you want to grow spiritually, if you want your humanity to flourish, you must give up the self. There is no other way.

A New Beginning involves showing love. Loving others as much as you love yourself. You can hold on to the ego and not let yourself fully love, or you can let it go and embrace the totality of the human experience by showing love to others. Doesn't mean you compromise your principles. You just give up the attitudes and show love and respect for each other, as well as forgiveness.

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I have the book. Read half of it and got it. I'm not making an assumption, I'm making an observation based off what I read. Lots of philosophies share his sentiments.

I think the problem is the idea that ego is one sided. Love is ego, but good ego. Do people have problems in this industry with letting bad aspects of ego drive them?? yes, you know I agree and know first hand.

I just don't think Tolle has it figured out. I think its wrong to say ego is bad, period. It's a paradox. It takes an egotists to say they have no ego. lol

I say ego can be good. Useful. I mean TOlle is just a man like me. He doesn't have all the answers. Anything I read in that book that touched me I already read in other books. Not to take away from his message, love is good. But I disagree with him with this Egoic thinking thinking. I think he's missed it. I think his intent is right, we can't let our fear run us through our ego. We must run fear using our ego. Embrace our ego so we know who we are and tell ego to do good things if thats what you choose. Tolle misrepresents his message by telling people to let go of the thing that helped him find enlightenment and contain it, sell it and profit off it..yes, all while doing good, but a man truly with no ego would do it with no gain at all...and quite frankly you have to save yourself before you can save others...and that takes ego.
He made himself more powerful so he can spread his message. Thats ego. Does it make him bad? nope.

I want to master my ego, not deny it. But depending on who's reading that one might think that means I want to be all about me. I'm just saying my ego has positive contributions in its power. My ego is not ruled by fear and hate.

But I am just a man, like Tolle.

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Charles
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I'm not in complete agreement with him either, but the basic premise that one's ego lays onwership claim to thought is something that I find alot of validity in.

And when it comes to past experiences and even current ones, you can see how much egoic thinking plays a part in creating disunity in the animation community. Take for example in another thread where those not in the union were referred to as wannabes by the president of the union. Another great example of ego driven thought patterns that prevail in animation, and coming from the person who's supposed to be leading the community at its highest level. This is what Tolle is talking about as destructive behavior based upon the ego and there's plenty of examples of that kind of thing as you well know through our years with AN.

Consider all the people that've benefitted from AN, even the union and how it's benefitted from what we've done, and we'll never hear a thank you or a word of gratitude from them because they're slaves to the ego in its worst way.

For a New Beginning to happen, you have to give up the ego to at least some degree and too many people in animation won't do it. They can't because the ego and its thought ownership won't let them. They can't conquer egoic thinking within themselves. They need to cling to those beliefs and ownership and behavior, otherwise they lose their identity. They can't grow cuz they define themselves through egoic thought.

Let's revisit what Don originally posted to start the topic...

...........

Although many of that generation have now passed on to the feathered choir, the legacy of jealousy and artistic contention, I fear, still remains with the new generation of artists. We have become a community of gossips. “There can be only one,” is a repugnant philosophy – one which we could well do without. Animation, after all, is a collaborative effort, and rather than downgrade our peers, I wonder if it wouldn’t be a better idea to encourage them, speak well of them and praise them for their creativity. Why not compete with yourself? Make your work better today than it was yesterday. That’s a more positive approach. When one finds him/her self consumed with jealousy and resentment, the spirit of creativity goes out the window.

................

That says it all.

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Yes indeed it does.

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The "Ego" is obviously a very complex thing and subject. I don't think we know everything about what we call the ego. It takes some experience to even completely acknowledge it. When you are conscious looking out at the world it is very hard to experience reality without your ego actively directing you completely or in some degree. One way I try to see it is as you gain more personal power and more inner knowledge of the self, you naturally need less ego, or it decreases as a more complete self knowledge increases. Reaching a level of absolute zero ego is probably one of the highest levels a human could hope to achieve but that would mean there is also a simultaneous understanding of universal life that makes ego unnecessary. I think it could actually be unpredictable to just turn off your ego without developing in many other ways at the same time. I don't think self knowledge is that simple, but at the same time this is what needs to be observed. The first thing to do is observe yourself and watch your ego. Keep an eye on it, learn from it and become able to know exactly what it is, when it is, where it is, etc... just as with everything that happens in your mind with all thoughts and emotions.

Just watch yourself. How many times in one day does something upset you, whether it is something simple or complex? Can you catch them all? Do you ever get irritated, frustrated, or mad? I believe every time you see something as happening to you, that is your ego saying hello... so as an experiment, try seeing something you think is happening to you, as not something that is happening to you. How would you respond then?

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Charles
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At lunch with Adrian (Skynet) yesterday while getting ready for AN Night, while sharing our thoughts about this subject and other things in life, he made a wise observation. We're constantly learning. Each moment of every day is a learning experience. Every passing second. We're continuous learning and growing. We may think we know it all or that we'll have it together when we reach a certain point along life's path, but all we've learned really is that we're still learning.

The less the ego is involved, the more open we are to the lessons that come to us through the constant flow of moments. The good things as well as the disappointments. We learn from them all. And with each lesson, we renew ourselves. The incidence of a New Beginning is a never ending process. The opportunity for a New Beginning is ever present.

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I believe you need an ego to do all that.

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I think you need an open mind even more, and you need to step outside of yourself and take an honest look at who you are. Skynet made a really good point when he posted above...

"I believe every time you see something as happening to you, that is your ego saying hello... so as an experiment, try seeing something you think is happening to you, as not something that is happening to you."

We learn alot more about ourselves if we disassociate with who we are and see ourselves individually in a purely objective perspective. In order to do that one needs to step outside the ego. It's not an easy thing to do since the ego doesn't like to give anything up, including egoic thinking and thought ownership. Even self perception. Once you're able to develop the ability to step outside of who you are to really see who you are, that's when you learn the most about who you are.

People tend not to do this cuz what they see is oftentimes something they would rather not see. Seeing yourself for who you really are can be a real shock. Holding up the proverbial mirror and taking an honest look at oneself outside of the context of the ego is not something that most people would want to do. But when you do it, and you see the truth about yourself, you can begin to grow from there. Shedding the old skin and moving on to a New Beginning.

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I can't debate about ego because most people think that ego is one thing. Bad. I think ego is many things. If you have no ego then you're kinda empty.

Your expression of love is ego.

I'm not trying to debate what Skynet says, I agree, but in my understanding all of that takes ego. We have to first disassociate the word "ego" with bad things then maybe we can move forward.

Shedding skin and becoming who you really are is ego. Finding the strength to step outside your skin and look around is ego. Letting go of old paradigms is ego. Looking in the mirror for reals is ego.

I feel by focusing on ego as a bad thing then you are a slave to it. because you're making a conscious effort to change or get away from it. The irony to me is all that is ego.

Embrace the ego, know it is there and a natural part of you. Tell it that it works for you and if you are good your ego will assist you in doing good.

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But this topic is about New Beginnings. The ego, or more accurately the harnessing of the egoic thought, is being addressed as a means of helping to achieve that on at least an individual level. The point I'm making is that egoic thinking as far as thought ownership and false impressions of the self will hinder the achievement of that goal in the context that Don was describing above in his original post. In dealing with prevailing attitudes of jealousy and contention, and in obstructing collaborative efforts.

If one's ego keeps them from growing along those lines into a New Beginning, then it isn't a good thing, and the last thing we need in animation as far as the community fostering a healthier collective attitude is more ego. Jealousy and contention is directly attributable to egoic thinking. It's directly attributable to the elitism we see throughout the community which is a direct result of the insecurities that the ego tries to protect and own. If that's what the ego does then I don't see it as a good thing. If the ego can solve those problems and get us to a higher level of comaraderie and a New Beginning then sign me up.

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