Episode 29 – Nothing Personal


TOPIC: Balancing Professional and Personal Work
GUEST: Michael Cawood, Lead Animator at Armature Studio, Director of Devils Angels and Dating

Oh. Hey there!  How ya been?  Yeah, sorry we haven’t talked lately, I’ve been real busy.  You know how it is.  Busy with work and what not.  I haven’t been avoiding you.  I promise.  It isn’t personal.  Just work ya know.

What have I been up to?  Oh. Well.  Mike goes on a not so concise tear about narrative and character in first person shooters, Rick professes his love for all things Xbox, and Ryan does his best to alienate all up and coming animators.  Then to top that off we mourn the loss of all those animations we have worked on that have been cut over the years.

You know what.  I lied.  It is totally personal.

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Show Notes:
Devils Angels and Dating


  1. Hey guys. This is my first time commenting and I just wanted to say that I listen to you guys while animating. And uh…. Best wishes to all of you guys and Michael Cawood.

  2. Great episode guys! Well, the first half anyway since i’m only at the 30min mark. I agree with everything so far. I’m an Animation Mentor alumni and even I find it tiring to watch some of the reels anymore. The mentors tell you to look outside of animation but many students seem to be stuck in a feedback loop. Same is true with 11 Second Club. No matter what the emotional mood of the VO, 9 out of 10 shots will have some “snapper” little joke at the end.

    Sadly I also realized I haven’t done any work for myself in a long long time. I should get back to listening to hear your thoughts on this.

  3. Thanks guys. Glad you liked it.

    Matt, I’d be very interested to know the root of the problem. I’ve known a lot of students to quickly become self-professed “experts” on an industry in their first year of school and go around telling people what it’s *really* like, even though they’re usually full of shit. This is why first year psych students are the most annoying humans on Earth.

    I suspect this phenomenon has a lot to do with it; people convinced that “this is how it’s done” and reinforcing their beliefs with other, like-minded students, who of course outnumber the voices of reason. Like me! 😛

  4. Ha, yes, that has to be the biggest part of it. Especially with something as difficult as animation. When things start to finally click you get that feeling you mentioned of “I’m doing it! I’m doing it! This is how its done, baby!” I’m saying this from first hand knowledge. I’ve only been working professionally as an animator for about 18 months (at Irrational, thanks for the Bioshock Infinite nod.)
    Its a universal sign of inexperience so I wouldn’t fault any student for it. When we first get into animation as kids its fun, its play, but its honest. Then we go to school and we get bogged down in the technique. With experience you eventually learn to meld the two. Its a lifelong process, so I hear.
    As such a young animator I could just be pulling this out of my ass. I want it to be true though, I want to feel like I’m maturing as an artist.

  5. Yeah, I think you’re right; it’s totally normal to go through that phase of “now I know how this works” but I also think the sooner reality smacks that attitude out of us, the better 🙂

    I don’t remember if I mentioned it on the show but I know people who’ve been turned off (or on!) to this industry be listening to people who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

    BTW, I didn’t get to chime in during Mike’s record -setting megamonolgue but I think Bioshock Infinite looks f’n awesome!


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