Sunday, August 10, 2008
Posted by Bobby Beck at 12:45 PM
4th Graduation at Animation Mentor a HUGE Success!
This year we held the graduation outside at a new location in Berkeley. It was fantastic! The weather was great and the energy was SUPER high. The graduates were bubbling with enthusiasm and it kept the mood on the highest note!

There are so many details that go into an event like this and I have to thank Molly our super NINJA event coordinator for making this one of the most memorable graduations we've done at Animation Mentor yet! And leading the fantastic team of Animation Mentor staff! This was one of the coolest yet!

Chris Derochie and Luci Napier hang out backstage with one of the Mentor Choice awards! This year we had a host of mentors present awards and it was so great! It was super touching for them to see their students glowing eyes and enthusiasm. They all explained it was a tremendous experience for them too as it really made the impact of what they are doing as mentors so much more powerful to them! COOL!

Glen McIntosh was our special guest speaker and he did an excellent job inparting his words of wisdom to the 7th and 8th graduating classes of Animation Mentor! Thanks Glen!

We took all the mentors to lunch before the graduation which was great to chill out a bit and exchange stories about their experiences at Animation Mentor as well as some cool inside scoop on what's going on in the CG world!

Here's a snap of Shawn, Carlos and I at the graduation event! WOO HOO, it was so great, we all spoke from the heart and it made the experience one of the most memorable graduations for me yet.

At the end it was so much fun as the graduates put together a video of them all saying, "Thank you" to us in their own words and different languages. It was so touching. Shawn, Carlos and I thought we'd get through a graduation without shedding tears, but when this went on it really hit us again at how many lives this place changes and even though the 3 of us came up with the idea and got it rolling, we owe the success all the many people who make it so great; The Staff, them Mentors and the Students. Honestly, I'm in awe of what we are doing here and I'm proud to be a part of it!

It was awesome hanging out with the graduates and getting to meet everyone and hear their fanstic stories of the journey they've been on to get to this point. Meeting the spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends and families is so outstanding. I feel a close connection to each one of our graduates in so many ways. I told many of them that these events are equally as much for us as they are for them. It keeps up in check on what we're doing and where we're going!

After the graduation we had dinner with Robin Linn from Sony Imageworks. It was great! We were able to finalize some of the details of a fantastic addition to Animation Mentor with Sony IPAX which we will be announcing at Siggraph. I met Robin Linn in Siggraph about four years ago which was my introduction to the cool things they have been doing at Sony and in particular with IPAX. Robin has been a big instigator in fostering the relationship between Animation Mentor and Sony and we're excited to be growing that relationship to the next level! WOO HOO!!!!

See you guys at Siggraph soon! I'm off to the airport now. Expect daily updates with images. This time I'm bringing my battery recharger so I don't have an excuse. :)


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