This might seem too early, but in a mere two months, many of you will be stumbling onto a redeye bus to Canada. Start trying to find your passports NOW. Get that stuff together. I think at this point the sophomores and juniors will have a little more warning. I tend to mention the festival in class, oh, every once in a while.
Here's the info I sent out last year, I think most is still valid, though the bus is probably more expensive because of gas prices. I think a few of you will have things to add this time around...
I know you're probably all out in lounge chairs, drinking margaritas out of hollowed-out pineapples and such, but I must remind you about some important animation stuff.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival is coming up! That thing I'm always talking about! Hooray! It's the biggest animation festival in North America. Five days of watching great cartoons, meeting animators and students from all over the world, and eating Canadian breakfasts. You should all go. I am serious - do not miss out on this. You will regret it forever and ever. You can skip my class. Heck, I won't even be there. Also, Hank mentioned something about helping students pay for their passes. Pretty cool.
I only have emails for the folks in my Spring '05 classes on me right now, so please forward this on to other animators.
GET YOUR PASSPORT NOW! If you are at home, make sure you bring your passport back to school with you. I remember being able to get into Canada with a driver's license. Those days are gone. You will need either your passport OR a driver's license AND your birth certificate. A passport would be ideal. You're going to be driving up to the border, late at night, with a carload of arty-looking kids. Bring your passports. Do not attempt to bring anything questionable over the border.
If, by some strange coincedence, you happen to see another carload of friends in line in front of you, do not start honking and waving. They will pull you aside and search both cars. They will search very slowly. It will take forever. Trust me.
How to get there:
You can carpool with friends. The drive up to Ottawa is about seven and a half hours, according to Mapquest. If you go with four or five friends in a car, it's the cheapest way to get there. Bring books on tape. If you have a car and empty seats, email me. I will try to organize a carpool.
You can also fly to Ottawa. Last I checked, tickets were about 300 bucks or so.
If you are a masochist, you can take the bus. Greyhound takes 12 hours and costs $39 each way, if you buy your tickets a week in advance. You can take a bus that leaves New York at midnight and gets to Ottawa at eleven the next day.
Where to stay:
The center of the festival is at the National Arts Center, or NAC. It's at 53 Elgin Street. Here is a map: http://tinyurl.com/dyf96 . Try to stay as close as possible to this place. All other events are located within walking distance to this.
You have two options without sleeping in your car. You can spend about 20 bucks a night and stay at a hostel. They're very cheap but kind of noisy and not too much privacy. You can also spend 75-125 for a single and 125-175 for a double and split it with three or four people. I would reccomend this. You're only spending ten or twenty bucks more a night - and you get towels!
Look on www.orbitz.com or www.hotels.com or something like that. You can search by proximity to the festival.
Here are two hostels:
http://www.ottawahostel.com/ - a hostel. 20 bucks a night. five minute walk to the festival center.
http://www.hihostels.ca/hostels/Ontario/OntarioEast/OttawaInternationalHostel/Hostels/ - another hostel. 22 Canadian bucks a night, located in an old jail. Very close to the festival. Many animation students will be there.
How to get tickets:
http://www.awn.com/ottawa/ is the official site. Get an "Animapass" at the student rate. $175 Canadian dollars to get into every screening. You can get tickets individually, but this can be a hassle. I reccomend the pass.
EMAIL ME if you have any questions.