For me, the point of this blog is not to be a commercial for Animation Mentor - it's a way that we can hopefully get some fun and free animation ideas and info out there to the animation community that has been so overwhelming supportive of us, and it's a way that I can more directly interact with you guys and establish more of a dialogue...
So, while I don't want this blog to turn into some kind of Animation Mentor infomercial, I did think that this question that Cuby posted was worth talking about:
Cuby: "[An in-person animation school] would be a great opportunity to socialise and get to know people who are living in my area. However, as I see it, with AM, although I'm sure you get to know new people, I probably wouldn't meet any of these people, especially as I'm living way down here in New Zealand."
Hi Cuby! I'll try to keep this short, but to be completely honest, the thing that has surprised me (by far!) the most about AM, is how social people have become through the school. We did try our best to recreate the experience you are looking for, but the results far surpass my expectations. We've had students who've never met before AM become best friends, we have couples that have formed, and even marriages now. It's totally shocking to me, but it's also awesome to see!
Interaction with your peers was very important to Bobby, Carlos, and I, because animation school is where the three of us met, and we learned so much from each other (way more than we ever learned in class, actually), and so we really push the interaction aspects of the school.
I think it works so well because of the difference between learning online vs. sitting in a classroom. In a real class, you sit in a room for 3 hours, and you might talk to the person sitting next to you a bit at the beginning of class. The rest of the time, you're probably listening to a lecture. Then you say goodbye to the people around you, leave, and go do your homework.
AM is exactly the opposite. Our students interact constantly, and by constantly, I mean that there are students on the site 24 hours per day from (currently) 56 different countries. (87 if you include the graduates on the AM alumni site). That means there is always someone to hang out with, someone to get feedback from, someone to ask questions, someone to use our chat tools with, or someone to just joke around with. Students are also heavily encouraged to constantly review other student's assignments and give them feedback.
Because of this, our students interact much more than you might interact with people in a typical classroom setting, and I believe that's why the students have become such an amazingly tight family, and such strong bonds have formed.
It totally blows me away!
Anyway - just wanted to answer your question. I hope that didn't sound too much like an AM advertisement, but it's an aspect of the school that we're extremely proud of, so I thought I'd throw my opinions out there...
Thanks so much for stopping by, thanks for the question, and thanks for reading!