Sharing the filmmaking/animation advice

Every once in awhile someone emails me asking me for advice on animation and/or filmmaking- I figured I should start sharing my answers publicly as it could be useful for some peeps out there- Here's a recent answer I gave to someone-

Animation/Filmmaking advice for a 12 year old animator/filmmaker

In my experience the best way to learn anything is out of necessity- I've learned most everything I have through personal projects- with animation- like you I started with a bunch of experiments but then I started getting confused as to what to learn next- as there's SO MUCH to learn-

So then I starting making really short animated film things- like 1-3 minute long stuff- I made up stories for them- and what happened in the stories dictated to me what I had to learn next- for example if the beginning of the film had a character walking across a desert then I knew I had to learn how to make a desert, how to make a character and how to make them walk across a scene- that helps narrow things down because then you can google "how to" specific things-

So my advice is create personal projects for yourself that are fun and interesting to you AND will force you to learn new things-

It's a lot easier to learn when you "have to" because your project relies on it-

So I decided to get into making video games this past January- I read a few books on it- read a bunch of articles on it but still felt confused- so then I just started making games and along the way through making the games I've learned a ton- 

I look at every project as an experiment- and with every experiment I want to learn something new or get better at some aspect- AND it should be fun, interesting or mean something to you deeply- if its not in some way then something is wrong- yeah most projects turn into a grind at some point and you hate working on them BUT there should be something about the idea that you can't walk away from- 

So I say just keep making stuff and study the craft- I like reading physical books myself so I go to used bookstores and pick up cheap books on the subjects I'm interested in-  and study the films/animation that you love- and with film/animation try to find the roots of the inspiration and learn from that stuff-

For example a game I loved as a kid was Megaman on the NES- it influenced my early stuff- then later I learned that Megaman was influenced by a comic/cartoon called "Astro Boy" by a guy named Osamu Tezuka- so I looked into his stuff and LOVED IT and learned a ton from it-

Hope this was helpful and if you ever have any other questions feel free to email me any time-

Good luck and have fun!


  1. Good stuff M. How goes the video game production? Keen for an update!


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