That's how long it took me to do one scene in my film. Ten. Freaking. Months.
Scene 28 of "Adult Toy Story" will go down in infamy in my filmmaking career.
I don't even want to think about how many scenes I could've completed in that time if I hadn't been so AFRAID.
That's the lesson of this story. That's the key takeaway I want to give to all of you so that you don't make the same mistake in your creative lives.
Fear is the reason I spent 10 months struggling with one scene instead of completing three.
Whenever the going got tough with animating this scene (which was often), instead of tackling the uncertainty and the struggle, I ran from it. Often for weeks or months. The resulting accomplishment was lack of accomplishment. All I did was stretch out the production of the film and make it that much longer to completion.
It took so long that once the final pencil animation was completed, it almost felt like an anti-climax. I couldn't fully enjoy that the damn thing was done!
So the bad news is that I wasted months in completing this film.
The good news is that I learned a lot from this experience. I learned that I'm not an experienced veteran. I'm a semi-experienced amateur and as a result every aspect of this film is going to take TIME. I cannot be expected to draw as fast or as well as Bill Plympton. I don't spend 8 hours a day at this, I spend 8 hours a day sitting in a cubicle staring at a computer. I'm trying to improve my skills and create a body of work during nights and weekends. I'm not arguing that I should lower my expectations but instead I should align my expectations with my current reality.
I also learned that I had some missteps during the production of this scene that I will avoid when doing future scenes. I rushed into this scene without a clear idea of the character's action. I rushed the drawing and neglected to execute the basic principles of solid drawing. As a result, when I started the next scene, I spent more time just thinking about it and more time planning before actually doing any drawing.
After all of that suffering and sweating, I'm pleased with the results:
42% of the film is now complete. I'll throw a party when I hit 50%!