Two years ago, I was invited to participate at Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn (THU), a then newcomer to the world of vfx, film, animation, and video games conferences. At the time, I had just recently quit my full-time jobs at Pixar Animation Studios and DreamWorks Animation, and had veered into creating this little labor of love I call Sutro Studios.
I had no idea what kind of adventure Sutro was taking me towards, but I knew that whatever it brought me it would be one of the most priceless learning experiences of my life. Failure or success, those experiences to me are always worth it.
I have always promised myself to share what I learn in life, personal or career, with anyone who is willing to listen. Other industry people, students, anyone out there who might be going through similar obstacles or thought processes in their own lives, and who might be inspired to connect the dots if they see that I went through certain situations as well.
So when Andre, the creator and founder of Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn, called me to invite me to attend the festival as a speaker, I gladly said yes. Not only would I be able to come to Portugal and share my experience with other attendees, I would be able to meet, network, and learn from some of the most important and inspiring artists in the world today.
Honestly, it seemed unfeasible at the time, this concept of throwing something so extraordinary in a country like Portugal, which was never a place that really cared much about art, about film, about the magic of creating images that inspire and touch and move people of all ages. But there was also something exciting about being part of the unknown, of giving my very best to participate and help organize something so amazing as an event like THU in the country I grew up in.
And so I went. And I'll never forget that week for as long as I live.
I ended up giving three talks. One about life, one about cinematography, and one to answer questions with other artists. They were all really well received, but most importantly, the friendships, connections, relationships, and art that I saw that week was transforming. In the deepest possible way. The kind of inner warmth that certain experiences in life create, where you feel truly connected with everyone around you, and everything conversation, every piece of art you see, every single one of those things radiates genuine inspiration. That's what THU was for me that first year.
I was invited to become part of the advisory board for the festival, and we immediately started thinking of the second year. Looking back now, I have to say we somehow surpassed all expectations. It was a little bigger, it was a little better organized, it was even crazier, unforgettable, and life affirming. With people like Syd Mead, Scott Ross, Louie Tucci, Jeremy Mann, Loic Zimmerman, Karla Ortiz, and many others, it's a paradise island for everything art.
And this year, in the spirit of keep up with tradition, we are going all out to completely blow every other festival experience out of the water. Scott Ross, founder of Digital Domain, famously says "THU is like Burning Man meets TED", and I couldn't agree more.
We knew from our previous years that it would be hard to grow the festival number of attendees while keeping the uniqueness and familiarity of the experience. So Andre had a genius idea. Let's bring the experience to anyone in the world, to their homes, wherever they are.
And so THU TV was born. We studied really hard what other conferences and festivals do: livestreams, content, anything. And we created much more. We built an experience like no other. With an affordable entry price, you gain exclusive 24/7 access throughout the 5 non-stop days of the festival.
Not only can you access every workshop, every talk, every session, you will also be able to be part of the art battles, you will also have your own exclusive content created just for you, personalized interviews with your favorite artists, recruitment sessions with some of the top companies in the world, portfolio reviews with industry leaders, and much much more. You will be part of the event, and experience the whole thing throughout, without having to fly out to Portugal for the festival. We are coming to you.
I believe we are providing a very unique value worth so much more to anyone who is an artist, a beginner or experienced one. We know that everyone will learn something new from the experience. Improve your techniques. Make new friends. Grow as an artist.
I couldn't be more excited to be part of the THU TV experience this year at Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn. And me, alongside Louie Tucci as the official host, Scott Ross as the ambassador, and the whole incredible team Andre has put together in Portugal to make this happen, we welcome you with open arms to join us for THU TV.
So please, check out the link below for ticket info. I hope you will join us at THU 2015.