Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Posted by Bobby Beck at 8:50 AM
Siggraph: Day 2
The Animation Mentor Café opened today! What is it? Well, it’s a fun “chill out” environment where people can hang out and enjoy themselves. Talk about animation and make connections. Originally we were going to serve coffee at the booth but the convention got a bit upset about it and Starbuck (inside the convention) were not too in to it either. Doh! This picture was taken right when we got the booth set up. It’s a fun idea and embodies the fun feeling of AM.
Today we did held our second graduation which went over super well. Graduating classes 3 and 4 were there in full effect. We had 65 students from 11 countries and their guests participate in this special graduation event. I don’t have any pictures on my camera because I was doing a lot of talking; hee, hee. We did shoot video and had pictures taken. When the graduation was done we had Spike come out and kick off the “beach ball toss” up, aka “throw your hats” ending.

It has been so amazing and rewarding to be here. Last year at Siggraph we were still relatively small and “unknown.” This year has been the opposite. People know who we are and know that we are “the real deal.” Hearing so many compliments about our school and how it has changed lives and helped fulfill dreams hits me in such an amazing way. I do know we made the right decision to do this and do it the way we felt it could always be done. The feeling here is so very real and positive. I’m proud of what we are doing and I’m excited about where we are taking things today and in the near future.
After the graduation we threw a big reception party for the graduates on top of the W hotel! It was such a fun party and I know everyone had a blast. The graduates are sincerely amazing people. All of them are so genuinely enthusiastic about their experience and what lives ahead for them. It’s exciting to hear that so many of them have already gotten excellent jobs lined up! WOW!!! We invited several industry professionals, mentors and recruiters from all the major studios and a lot of networking was going on and the recruiters all felt VERY positive about it. Now the party was not all work, actually it was mostly one crazy fun! We had drink tickets for people and everyone got a little crazy and… well, had a ton of fun!

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