Day 9

On day 9 of the tour, our group attended a movement workshop held by Lorin Eric Salm. He was traditionally trained as a mime and teaches a range of different areas these movement techniques. He teaches everyone from Actors to Animators. This session was manly focused on teaching us on how to put life into our characters. He covered a range of different topics such as Stylisation, Breathe, Character Centres, Character Posture and walks.

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These topics were all really interesting. I found it was a great way to approach this topic that I had never thought about in this way. As none of us are trained actors, it certainly gave us an insight into how we might develop our characters further. I thought the workshop was incredibly helpful, and I am very keen to try and apply this technique now to my next animation.

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I then went with a couple of the other girls to become part of a live studio audience. The three of us went to the filming of the show, “2 Broke Girls.” While we did not know what to expect and we did not prepare fully for it; it still was a lot of fun. I am glad that we went but I did not expect the filming to go for so long. Earlier in the tour, I went to Conan which was completed in a couple of hours. While in comparison this show, had many retaping’s and different sets to shoot on. In total we were at the studio for over 7 hours. The actual filming was very interesting as it was great to see the whole process from start to finish. I also enjoyed how willing our host was to answer questions about the process which was happening in front of us. It was a very educational experience, while also being a lot of fun.

Overall I really enjoyed this day, as while I was tired at the end of it, I also felt that I had done a lot. I enjoyed seeing how passionate these people were about making these shows. I also was incredibly lucky as I won a cupcake from the TV show.

Day 8 – Travel

On this day, we ended up doing a tour of the University of Southern California, exploring the science center and having dinner in Little Tokyo.

Our day started off with going to the University of Southern California. This was a great way to see a traditional American university. They showed us around the film department and  gave us a campus tour. I found it very interesting to see such a stereotypical depiction of a university, especially one that I have seen repeated in multiple different films and television shows.  It was great to wonder around and see all the different people who had invested back into this university.

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While I do not consider this university an actual possibility for me, it was still a great experience and one which I am very glad I had. The next place we decided to visit was the California Science Centre. This was a free museum, only a short walk away from where the university tour was held. I really enjoyed this activity as I found it was a lot of fun. One of the highlights was seeing the explorer shuttle up close. I had previously seen Atlantis land but I had never seen them this close before. While the science centre does not impact my future or anything like that, it was certainly a great way to have some fun.

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Our finale stop for the day was Little Tokyo. We had originally planned to arrive and go to the Japanese American National Museum. This plan did not work out as it was shut when we arrived. To counter this, our group decided to do some late night shopping. This was a lot of fun and we ended up having dinner in the local area.

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This day was great to learn more about the history of LA and its culture. I am still really enjoying the tour and I am looking forward to exploring even more.

Day 7 – Travel

On this day, I just wanted a rest day and a day to take things nice and slow.

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So while everyone decided that they wanted to visit the tar pits, I decided that I wanted to explore the local area I am staying in. The night before I had discovered that there was a local yarn store; so I decided to have a nice easy morning and then eventually walk down to the area. I also wanted to explore the Grove area and the farmers markets. This area provided a great chance for a leisurely walk and a great chance to experience Los Angeles culture.

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My first stop was the yarn store. As one of my hobbies is crochet, I had always wanted to visit a yarn store in Los Angeles just to see what it was like. I also wanted to engage with the local artists and talk about what was happening in their city. This yarn store provided a great opportunity for this conversation. I managed to get know quite a few locals and have some fantastic discussions including things like what to expect for Thanksgiving. The yarn store was also a great place to find out about local yarn and artists. I really enjoyed my time there and felt that I got a lot out of it. It was a very cozy and warm space, I also felt that this helped a lot in provoking these discussions.

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My next stop was a casual walk through the farmers market to see how busy it was on the weekend. I really enjoyed this walk and felt that it was a great chance to gain an understanding on what Americans do on the weekend. This was really interesting and provided a fantastic way to eat at some great places. After that I went back to the hotel and rested for the night.

 

Day 6 – Travel

On day six, our head of the tour had organized a surprise outing for us. We were told to meet at a specific time at Pershing square. A lot of us were confused and unsure about this development; after waiting we discovered that he had organized an Amazing Race around Los Angeles for our group. I thought this was a great way to explore Los Angeles and we ended up having a lot of fun. We got to explore many different areas such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Boulevard and Olvera Street.

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This was a great way to experience Los Angeles and I really enjoyed the Amazing Race idea. While it was very exhausting I enjoyed this unique way to experience Los Angeles. This also provided a nice way to visit some places I hadn’t thought to visit yet. I had heard about Olvera Street but until now had not had time to visit it. This day provided a great chance to go there and experience it, while doing this fun activity. I also enjoyed getting to work with my fellow students more, it was a great team building exercise and allowed us to get to know each other better. Probably the only bad bit about the day was the fact that we got stuck a couple of times which lead to our team being very slow. It also was a very long day, and after doing this all day long; not many of us felt like taking the challenge further than 8 hours. In the future, I would recommend making the race a bit shorter in case teams get lost. Overall it was a fun day that provided a great surprise and was a lot of fun.

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Day 5 – Travel

On day 5 of this tour, I attended a tour of the Gnomon Visual Effects School. This tour had been organized by one of the fellow students and I was invited to come along. I found this tour really interesting as it gave me a chance to see how they studied Visual Effects. As Visual Effects is my area of interest in Animation, this school was fascinating and it gave me a really great idea of how they studied this area here. Throughout the tour, I felt the students were a lot more healthy and happier then the other school I had previously visited. I thought this school was really lovely and it looked like a fantastic place to study. I also thought this tour was great because it also gave me a chance to view the Z Brush headquarters. The gallery which was adjacent to this place, was also amazing and provided a fantastic place for inspiration.

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In the second half of the day, we took the Warner Brothers tour. This tour provided a great insight into how Warner Brothers studio creates their shows. I really enjoyed how interactive the tour was especially when it came to the green screen and towards the end of the tour. I also really enjoyed learning more about each process such as screen writing and casting. I thought this increased my knowledge about this process and will assist in the future when it comes to working in this industry.

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I really enjoyed this day, as it was not only a lot of fun but it provided a great insight into the animation and film industry. I loved the Gnomon school and if I had the money and time; I would apply to study here. But at the moment, I would prefer to focus on improving my skills in my own time and then coming back in a few years or so.

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Day 4-Travel

On the fourth day of the tour, we had been booked into a Calarts tour. We arrived early in the morning, ready to explore this famous art school. The California Art Institute has a history of training Disney and Pixar Animators in 2D animation along with focusing on traditional drawing skills. This campus tour provided an interesting look into how the campus is run and the students are pushed to create the best work possible.

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While I enjoyed the tour, I found the campus and information session very full on. I also found the study structure very focused on your one area. I thought this was interesting as most artists including myself like to be apart of multiple different areas. So the program at CalArts where you are unable to mix mediums and choose many areas; would not suit my style at all. While I admire the high quality of work that is seen here, and the large amount of dedication; the students have towards their art. I can also see that there is not a really healthy balance between life and study here. I feel if I did choose to do more study; I would like to do it in a place where I feel supported. This I did not feel from CalArts.

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After my tour, I was fairly exhausted so I traveled home and went shopping for some basic supplies at the local Kmart. This was a great experience to get used to the culture of America. As while this is a very menial task, it also proved a very interesting challenge in trying to navigate to this place along with buying and transporting items from the store to the hostel. I enjoyed this challenge and felt that it provided a great way to learn a little more about the city I am living in.

Travel – Day 3

On day 3, myself along with two other students went to the Paramount VIP tour. This was a fantastic opportunity and provided a great way to view how tv shows and movies were created. During this tour, we discussed famous movies and tv shows produced by the company, while also being shown the history of the company. This was a very informative session with a large amount of the time being dedicated to focusing on how the many parts of Paramount Studios work together to create the product from start to finish. It was a great way to see a lot of the famous scenes recreated in their cityscape; and also a fantastic opportunity to see how long it takes to dress a scene.

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This was also a great opportunity to see how a lot of the signs and props were created. I really enjoyed this part; as our tour guide explained the full process and showed us a lot of examples from this area. He explained that tv shows and movies were allowed to show things which had at least 20% changed. I thought this was very interesting and I can imagine it has lead to some very funny logos.

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After finishing the tour later, I spent the rest of the evening with the group as we explored the Griffith Observatory. This was a great way to build relationships with the rest of the people on the study tour and all of us had a fantastic time attending a show and traveling together. We then went and had dinner after arriving home; with all of us collapsing soon after from this exhausting day.

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I really enjoyed this day, as I found it was a fantastic experience in team building and also learning more about the culture of Los Angeles. I had some fantastic interactions with locals today, ranging from discussions with my tour guide about what food as an Australian I should experience to great places to eat in Los Angeles from my Uber driver. These conversations provided a greater insight into what Los Angeles is really like. I am always interested in having these conversations as I think they provide an insight which is not often seen as Tourists. Overall so far, I am really enjoying my trip and I cannot wait to experience more of Los Angeles.