Whoo! Another year of CTN. Best part of this year is that I didn't volunteer and got to attend for real once again. Not only that, but I got a fancy VIP pass thanks to using my educational enhancement money from Disney.
CTN always seem to change every year and this year was no exception. I do quite like the changes this year and it did feel a bit less crowded everywhere. There were actual places for people to sit down and rest, and food trucks so we didn't have to eat McDonalds, Denny's, or Panda Express for 3 days. The main ballroom was split into two workshop rooms; the convention center was split into three, two theaters and the center talent-opolis stage. There is no exhibit floor inside and an outside tent this year. Instead it's just one big exhibit floor in a giant tent outside. I'm not quite sure how much the exhibitors all liked being out in the tent as it always kind of seemed that it was "prestigious to be inside" and there always was some issue with the tents. This year, it rained on Sunday and so the power went out along with the roof leaking.
I'm not sure how useful the VIP pass was, particularly for this year because of the new pass system. The pass system this year was that you go online prior to CTN and get add-ons were guarantee you a spot in the room. The pass system was really really nice and I hope that they keep it but, maybe just because my group of friends were really on top of checking when the passes were available, we all were able to get the passes for the talks we wanted and the day or two headstart for VIPs didn't seem necessary. Thus, the perk was mainly that being a VIP and a pass holder, you got to go in before everyone else and choose your seat. The main thing was that I, along with probably everyone, hated that once you get a pass you can't cancel it and get something different. This was extremely problematic as not only do people change minds, there were often things that were listed incompletely or incorrectly and so you potentially miss out on things.
I did get to go to some really cool panels this year. There was TV Game Changers with Craig McCracken (PowerPuff Girls), Lauren Faust (My Little Pony), Butch Hartman (Fairly Oddparents, Danny Phantom), Rebecca Sugar (Steven Universe), and Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls), moderated by the Bancroft brothers, that was a really great and super amusing talk about their path and the rise of TV animation. There was also a talk celebrating the 25th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast with Andreas Deja (Gaston animation lead), Brian McEntee (art director), James Baxter (Belle animation lead), Nik Ranien (Lumiere animation lead), Will Finn (Cogsworth animation lead), and Dave Pruiksma (Mrs. Potts animation lead) where they talked about working on the movie and showed some amazing pencil tests. I got to see how they made tiny clothes and costumes for the puppets at Laika with Thalia Lane (head of costume) and Trevor Dalmer (costume designer). I woke up early on Sunday to have breakfast while listening to Andreas Deja and Ted Thomas talk about Frank Thomas. Finally, to close off the expo, I went to 25 years of Laughter from the Pixar Story Room with Kelsey Mann, Bob Peterson, Jeff Pidgeon, and Ronnie del Carmen.
I got to see the new Wacom Cintiq Pro and I'm really excited. I'm planning on getting the 16 inch. I've been wanting a Cintiq since forever but more particularly recently. The issue was that the current models are 4 years or so old and I was expecting a newer version soon but don't know when and also the current Cintiqs only come in a 13 inch or 22 inch which I felt was either too small or too large. Now, perfect and I can't wait to get the new Citinq Pro in 16inch!
They're all great and I love them all but most notable is that I finally got a print from Brittney Lee and Kim Jung Gi!