Time to update - now with good and bad news!
The good is that I was accepted for a fund! I'm very excited - it covers some props/material costs, as well as free training of some very cool equipment, as well as the use thereof. I'll still be working full time a regular job (which I've been at for about a week and a half now - I have energy to animate when I'm done which is all that matters!) and will be filming at home, but the extra training and equipment will be invaluable! Aside from learning more about things like Final Cut and how to use their recording programs, I'll have access to very nice recording booths, and new editing suites, and can do all my wire removals on TVPaint at home or in After Effects there! Really excited about it. I have to commit to finishing the new piece in 1 year, which is a little terrifying, but also a good kick in the butt to get in gear!
The bad is that a file error must've occurred while saving my storyboards I've been working on. It looked like it worked properly, but opening the file the next day everything was gone.... a bit of a setback to say the least. I'd exported some of the images, but will have to re-do a number of them as well. Back to saving everything in triplicate! On the upside I'm sure it'll be better the second time through.
I've also started using Celtx for storyboarding once the images are drawn, and really advice checking it out if you're at that stage! (Not the program that crashed btw!) It's very organized, and is keeping my notes, images, and free to boot. Having loaded some images into there is the reason I didn't lose everything when the file was lost. www.celtx.com
Still getting used to this bed-before-1am and getting-up-before-7 deal, but work is going well and allowing me the time and energy I need to animate, so all is good in the end!
20 hours ago