Animex is a week-long festival where professionals from many different backgrounds, countries and companies in the films and games sector come to Teesside University to meet and talk to aspiring students and hobbyists.
Eric is a living legend in the animation world. He is most known for his spectacular work on the Genie in Aladdin (seriously, watch this YouTube clip. I forgot how insane the genie is, and hence how incredibly well animated he is). Eric started young, in his words, “no bit of paper, sketchbook or drawing pad was safe” when he was a kid. All of it was used to make animation. He even showed us stuff he did when he was 14, and most of it was better than a lot of work I’ve seen in this uni.
Actually, the man himself was quite the character, being short with a spherical body, and having a somewhat high-pitched but fantastic voice.
On Thursday night, he (along with many of the other Animex guests) came to the student bar for a chat with the dozens of excited animation, art and games students. My good friend Quentin Chaille and I waited for about an hour to actually get to his seat so we could talk to him. My first words were of course pronouncing my man-love for him.
I then followed with my one question. I knew that I could learn how to animate from the countless books and numerous websites, so my one question to him was – how does he focus on animating. He answered quite simply, that when he goes do his work, he switches everything else off. Zero distractions.
We also talked about some other things for a little while, and at the end he kindly signed my sketchbook and illustrated Sebastian the crab grabbing the genie’s hat 😀 Eric Goldberg is really very nice and one of the humblest men I’ve ever met.