A Passion for Animation

Hi, this is James. I was one of the Double Rainboom guys from Cloudsdale Congress. I was actually at your exploring inspiration panel and I heard the story of how you met Starborne (I hope I got the name right). Well after the con I was on my way home and “Great to be Different” came on Everfree Radio, and I instantly started crying. After hearing your story, that song was just so beautiful and touching to me. Before that song, the only times I cried were when I felt pain or loss but this was the first time I ever cried tears of joy.

Animation is my passion and I hope one day to go in to TV production and work on cartoons that will make kids smile. Now my entire family is all about sports so naturally they don’t like the idea that I want to go in to a artistic field and not one that’s more physical labor based. Throughout my entire life they have told me that I need to go into a different field and that I need to be realistic. So now I am in college getting a degree that is not what I want but my parents are happy with it and they think I will be able to get a job with it but the thing is… I don’t want a job in that degree’s field. I want to get a job in animation. So about a year ago I decided well if my school wont teach me and my parents wont support it I will teach myself, and I did just that.

After about 4-5 months I had a couple of small animations to my name and actually got one on EQD but I was far far away from any hope of getting a job in the industry. Then about 5 months ago I saw the 4th promo for Double Rainboom and I saw that they needed special effect animators. I thought “Wow if I can get on Double Rainboom, I could learn so much and actually talk to other animators and connect with people!” Well I only had 1 special effect to my name back then so I just thought I will at least apply for them, the worst they can do is say no and then I continue learning on my own. Well much to my surprise they said yes and I immediately started talking to people on the team. I went to meetings everyday when Zach only required us to go to meetings on Saturday. I looked over and examined every word document, picture, flash file, mp3, you name it, I could get my hands on to not only learn more about Double Rainboom but more about animation and everything that needs to go in to it.

Then 3 months ago my senior project started up and by that time I was much more confident in my animation skills and actually became one of, if not the best animator in my school with Zach’s help. For my degree all people normally do is make a website with a shopping cart option on it, like newegg.com, but I wanted to do an animation. So I assembled a team of 6 people, 3 people to work on the animation, 2 for website and advertising, 1 for a video game and we all created one mega senior project. This was the first time in the history of my school anyone had ever done a project this large, and it was also my colleges first animated short. Now I’m not particularly fond of the finished animation since we only got 1 minute of a 3 minute story done but all of the student and faculty loved it, we got a perfect score for the grade, my teacher even told me that he is nominating us for an award at the graduation ceremony, and one of the faculty wants to publish some images and information about the project in a book about the school.

I told you all of this because this part of your song really got me:

“Isn’t it great to be different?
Isn’t it wonderful to be exactly who you are?
When you learn to start accepting yourself
You’ll become a shining star.”

When I heard your song I not only remembered your story from Cloudsdale but I also remembered that it was only after I accepted who I was and stopped trying to please other people that my true talents started to develop. It reminded me of how far I have come in the past year, all of the great people I have met, and this great community that I am so proud to be a part of. It was less than a year ago that I started practising animation and I have already grown and completed so much more than I ever expected and your song helped remind me of that.

It is truly a beautiful song and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I have had songs, movies and books that gave me goose bumps and I thought they were beautiful but this was the first anything that made me cry at how beautiful and touching it was. I actually couldn’t sing with it the first time I heard it because I was choking up at it.

I urge you two to continue to share your beautiful story and to share this great song with more and more people, thank you. Thank you so much for this song.

Thank you, James, for letting me share your touching story with everyone~ Continue following your dreams, man! ^.^

— Forest


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