CTNx '13 - Volunteering (Part 1)

CTN, the Creative Talent Network Animation Expo, has finally come and gone. Unfortunately this year I wasn't able to do daily posts from the convention center as their wifi isn't working as usual and I had unfortunately used up my entire data plan already. For the next couple of days I will be posting my experience at the convention this year. It will be most likely a two or three part post so stay tuned!

I left for CTN on Wednesday evening in order to be there with adequate amount of time on Thursday as this year I am a volunteer and on Thursday night we have the volunteer orientation. Arriving Thursday morning I was put right to work where I helped exhibitors check in. It was a pretty hectic process as the badges had a very strange ordering system that made them very hard to sort through and find at times for people when they arrived. There were also many issues where we couldn't find the correct badge for the exhibitor so we had to make a badge on the spot. While hectic and most likely frustrating for the exhibitors to see us all in disarray, things went well enough and we got people what they needed. I didn't really expect being able to go, it would be nice if I was able to, but I grabbed a ticket for a screening of Turbo at the Dreamworks studio. I was too busy helping people check in to go. Not too entirely disappointed in missing the movie. I mainly wanted to go in order to see the Dreamworks studio as I had never been there yet.

Friday, day one of CTN. Unfortunately I did not have much to say here. I worked the entire day at the help desk where I answered questions, gave directions, and attempted to resolve the many many many issues and displeasures that cropped up. There was really one main panel that I had wanted to go to and was quite saddened that I didn't get to go and it was a behind the scenes of Frozen panel, "The Making of Frozen: The Filmmakers of Frozen Moderated by Darrin Butters". I was hoping to slip away for forty-five minutes to see the panel but quite literally at that time I had so many people come up to the desk with questions and issues that I could not get out. While being able to see some behind the scenes things of creating a shot in Frozen, what I really wanted to see and learn about was apparently the panel briefly showed/talked about how Disney created a whole new snow system, called Matterhorn, for the movie.

After working the entire day, starting since 8am, I finally left the desk to get some food and to quickly walk around the exhibit hall a bit before things close down for the day. This was probably the best part of being a volunteer. Since I helped check-in people the day before and was at the help desk all day there were people who knew me by face. I'm typically a somewhat shy person but this let me be able to easily strike up a conversation with them. I wasn't so much networking but really just making friends and that in itself felt very rewarding. I would like to thank Rudy Waldstein for driving me and others down to CTN and getting me connected, Aileen Acayan for being an amazing volunteer coordinator, Margarita Sweet, the exhibit floor manager, for putting up with me and all my questions as I had no idea what was going on amidst the chaos of the first day.