We will be screening work from the spring semester in seminar this week!

The screening will be followed by pizza and refreshments –


April 24 – PES (class in SCA 112)


PES is frequently cited as one of the most unique video artists of his

generation. His signature style of animation with objects blends a pop

art sensibility with touches of surrealism. His first short Roof Sex won

the “Best First Film” award at the Annecy Animation Festival in 2002

and went on to receive 25 million+ hits online. His short, Western

Spaghetti, was named #2 Viral Video of the Year by TIME Magazine

and won at Sundance in 2009. His most recent film, Fresh Guacamole,

premiered in front of Academy Award-winner The Artist and was

nominated for the 2013 Oscar.




PES has been featured in a wide variety of publications and venues,

from The New York Times to the front pages of YouTube in 22

countries, from underground film festivals to major art institutions such

as the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. His work has been screened and

awarded in film festivals worldwide and his films have received a

hundred million views online. He has also directed dozens of

commercials for major brands including Playstation, Scrabble, and


PES is currently developing a feature film based on the Garbage Pail

Kids franchise with Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company.

“PES puts a new spin on the familiar in a way that we haven’t seen

since Warhol worked in soup cans.” – David Levy, Directing Animation


Fresh Guacamole (2012)

The Deep (2010)

Western Spaghetti (2008)

Game Over (2006)

KaBoom! (2004)

Roof Sex (2002)


April 10 – MASHUP SCREENING in SCA 112

What is a MASHUP Screening?
Its a chance to show what you’re working on – a film in progress, Thesis in progress, an animatic, or animation tests.
You can also show character designs, backgrounds illustrations, 3d models, anything you’d like to share.
If you have a completed piece, it’s helpful to see it big (not on a computer) so you can decide on further tweaks –
What will make this fun is if we get a wide variety of clip and projects – see what your fellow DADA classmates are up to.
You can simply show something or you can ask your classmates and fellow animators for specific feedback. We’re hoping to get participating from some of the undergrads as well – there are interesting projects in progress across the school and it would be wonderful to see some of this work. If you’re producing something for Rhythms+Visions you can show that as well. If also ok to try and recruit help on a project you screen.

1 – sign up on the sign up sheet which is located on the door to the third floor cubicles ASAP
2 – Put your clip(s) or folder of images here: \\hal\CTAN 522-Animation Seminar 2012 Spring\Mash-up Screening by 3pm on Wed
3 – contribute your feedback and energy in the screening! the person showing will benefit from your input
4 – it will be in SCA 112 at 6:30pm

Please email me or Miguel Jiron if you have questions – it’s only a few days away, so please consider showing something.

April 3 – JERRY BECK

Jerry Beck is an animation historian and cartoon producer. His twelve books on the subject include The Animated Movie Guide, Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide and The 50 Greatest Cartoons.
Screen shot 2013-03-31 at 8.03.37 PM61dcN4k92fL
In 1989, Beck partnered with producer Carl Macek to form STREAMLINE PICTURES. Streamline was the first company devoted to importing Japanese animation and distributing anime to North American theatres, television and home video. Among Streamline’s many titles were AKIRA, FIST OF THE NORTH STAR, VAMPIRE HUNTER D, NADIA, WICKED CITY, ROBOTECH, and ROBOT CARNIVAL.
Beck also co-produced the English language version of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (Fox Video) and compiled SPEED RACER THE MOVIE for Family Home Entertainment.

He is a former studio exec with Nickelodeon Movies and Disney, and is an animation consultant to Warner Home Video and Shout Factory. Beck has programmed animation retrospectives for the Annecy and Ottawa Animation Festivals, The Museum of Modern Art and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has taught animation history at NYU, SVA, the AFI and at UCLA. He is the host/producer of the annual Worst Cartoons Ever screening at the San Diego Comic Con.
Screen shot 2013-03-31 at 7.52.49 PMScreen shot 2013-03-31 at 8.08.56 PM
Beck started his career in film distribution, working at MGM/UA, Orion Classics, Cannon Films and Expanded Entertainment (Tournee of Animation), before starting his own company, Streamline Pictures in 1989, the first U.S. company to import anime features such as Otomo’s Akira and Miyazaki’s Castle In The Sky.
Beck was instrumental in launching Animation Magazine, and is has written for Kidscreen, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, and was co-founder of the website Cartoon Brew.  He has also created, written and produced animated films for various studios.
For 9 years, Jerry and Amid Amidi ran the blog Cartoon Brew. He now has a new blog, CARTOON RESEARCH 

He currently teaches Animation History at Woodbury University in Burbank, CA and is penning a coffee table art book on Spongebob Squarepants for Nickelodeon.


Alex McDowell is one of the most innovative and influential production designers working in narrative media. With the impact of his ideas extending far beyond his background in cinema, he advocates an immersive design process that acknowledges the key role of world building in storytelling.
In his 30+ years as a narrative designer, McDowell has worked with directors Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, David Fincher, Zack Snyder and Steven Spielberg, amongst many others.
cars2eFrom 1999-2001 Alex McDowell worked with Steven Spielberg to design and develop a world for the film Minority Report, prior to a completed script. The process that evolved changed the nature of film design from analogue to digital, and profoundly affected the nature of production, with a radical shift towards a non-linear workflow. Since this film, McDowell’s work has built on the dynamic  relationship between creativity and emergent technologies.

UD_03731McDowell is associate professor in Interactive Media, Production and Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) at the School of Cinematic Arts, USC, where he is director of the World Building Media Lab and the 5D Institute.
1019595As visiting artist at MIT’s Media Lab from 2006-2011 he designed the robot opera Death and the Powers for composer Tod Machover. He is a Getty Research Institute scholar, and a member of the AMPAS SciTech Council. In 2006, he was awarded Royal Designer for Industry by the UK’s Royal Society of Arts.
Alex McDowell is co-founder and creative director at 5D | Organization, a cellular and interdisciplinary transmedia design practice. “When you design in a pre-visualization space or an immersive design space, you are no longer working in a linear film production process. It’s no longer pre-production, production and post-production. Those are really anachronistic terms now. We’re working in a non-linear workflow where we’re equally working on post-production as we’re working on production and shooting. At the same time, when we build a set now, when I design a set, I build it in 3D space. I’m sculpting space with software and you’re immersed in 3D space. It allows for an immersive collaboration.”
new mandalaMcDowell recommends that universities rethink the way film or set design is taught. “I don’t think you can teach film design as it is traditionally taught without fundamentally understanding how animation works, how gaming works, how environmental design works. ”
Check out the upcoming 5D event this April at USC: