February 6 – GENNDY TARTAKOVSKY

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Award winning animation visionary Genndy Tartakovsky made his feature film directorial debut this Fall with Sony Pictures Animation’s monster box office smash Hotel Transylvania.  He also directed and animated a spin-off short film, Goodnight Mr. Foot, which debuted in select U.S. theaters in October 2012.
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A 20-year veteran of the art, Tartakovsky has received an impressive 13 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and been awarded three Emmys for work on the series Star Wars: Clone Wars and Samurai Jack, both for Cartoon Network.  Named one of Variety’s “50 to Watch” as a future leader in the entertainment industry, Tartakovsky has been called “one of the industry’s rising stars” by People magazine and has been tapped as one of the most creative people in entertainment when he was named to Entertainment Weekly’s “It List.”  He is also the recipient of the prestigious Winsor McCay Award in recognition for outstanding career contributions to the art of animation.
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Tartakovsky’s creative leadership helped shape the direction and the rise to national prominence of the Cartoon Network, where he developed four hit animated series between 1994 and 2010:  Dexter’s Laboratory; Samurai Jack; Star Wars: Clone Wars; and Sym-Biotic Titan.  He created the critically acclaimed Samurai Jack as a follow-up project to the massive success of Dexter’s Laboratory, his first professional cartoon creation, on which he served as creator/writer/director.  Samurai Jack originated from his desire to create the best action-adventure cartoon ever—and the result was an animated action television show that is cinematic in scope and that incorporates action, humor and intricate artistry.  A two-time juried Primetime Emmy Award winner for layout and production design, Samurai Jack is a perennial critic and audience favorite.
Tartakovsky was hand-selected by George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd. in 2003 to create Star Wars: Clone Wars, a one-of-a-kind 20-episode “microseries” that continued the saga where the live-action feature film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones left off.  His cartoon creation—the first-ever animated property involving the leading Star Wars characters—covered the beginning of the Clone Wars, an epic civil war that pitted the old Republic against a vast separatist movement led by the forces of evil.
Tartakovsky is also the creator/director for the series Sym-Bionic Titan, which debuted on the Cartoon Network in September 2010.  Sym-Biotic Titan is the third animated series that Tartakovsky has created in partnership with Cartoon Network, after Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack.
Additionally, Tartakovsky served as a producer and director on Cartoon Network’s Emmy Award-winning series The Powerpuff Girls and as an animation director for The Powerpuff Girls: The Movie.  He is also co-creator of the Network’s Dial M for Monkey and Justice Friends.
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In addition to his success in television production, Tartakovsky has also been acclaimed internationally at film festivals – winning top honors at Ottawa, Annecy and Cartoons on the Bay.  He started Orphanage Animation Studios in 2005, where he has directed numerous well-known commercial spots and was instrumental in conceptualizing and storyboarding the final action sequence on Paramount Pictures’ summer 2010 blockbuster film Iron Man 2.
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Tartakovsky was born and raised in Moscow, Russia (“I’m still fluent in Russian, but it gets a little worse every year!” Tartakovsky admits jokingly).  His family first moved to Italy before coming to the United States, first in Columbus, OH when he was seven years old then Chicago, IL two years later.  After high school, Tartakovsky studied film at Chicago’s Columbia College before moving to Los Angeles to study animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).  At CalArts he wrote, directed, produced and animated two student films.  One of his student films, which was selected for the CalArts Producers Show, was the basis for Dexter’s Laboratory.
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January 30 – SCREENING OF FALL WORK

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This week we will be screening work from 6 classes:

CTAN 101 – Intro to the Art of Animation (Undergrads) – Sheila Sofian

CTAN 450a – Animation Theory and Techniques – Trixy Sweetvittles

CTAN 495 – Visual Music – Mike Patterson  

CTAN 544 – Intro to the Art of Animation (MFAs) – Lisa Mann 

CTAN 555 – Animation Production and Design – Mike Patterson / Candace Reckinger

CTAN 579 – Expanded Animation – Kathy Smith

For this seminar session, no posts are required, but you’re welcome to post notes or comments on your fellow classmates’ work.

Following the screening, we’ll have pizza and refreshments on the 3rd floor!

 

January 23 – THE DREAMWORKS COMPANY OVERVIEW and PRODUCTION PIPELINE – Tiffany Feeny and Grazia Como

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This will be be an overview of  how Dreamworks Animation makes their movies. Tiffany and Grazia will discuss the skills and experiences necessary to work in the CG animation field from the Dreamworks perspective.

To better understand the big picture, they will explain the  production workflow at Dreamworks Animation and show clips from upcoming films to illustrate the current directions of the studio.

From an employment perspective, they will explain how to present yourself in your resumes and demo reels to grab the attention of employers. We’ll see examples of successful demo reels to better understand what’s expected.

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TIFFANY FEENY – Outreach Supervisor
As Outreach Supervisor, Tiffany Feeney is part of DreamWorks Animation’s Outreach team which concentrates on university relations, college level scouting and recruiting as well as industry and community related initiatives.  Outreach supports all projects being produced at our Studios.

Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, Tiffany worked with “I Spy Recruiting” in New York City providing recruitment services to leading studios including: Charlex, Psyop, and 1st Ave Machine. She also was the Assistant Director of Admission at Pratt Institute recruiting undergraduate candidates and overseeing the traditional and digital animation admissions selection committee.

Tiffany earned a Masters of Professional Studies in Design Management and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation, both from Pratt Institute in New York.

GRAZIA COMO – Outreach Supervisor
As Outreach Supervisor, Grazia Como is part of DreamWorks Animation’s Outreach team which concentrates on university relations, college level recruiting as well as industry and community related initiatives. Outreach supports all projects being produced at our studios.

Prior to her current role, Grazia has worked in various aspects of training development, and HR at Dreamworks Animation. Her role has been key to developing and delivering several large scale training initiatives to the entire studio, including live instruction and online classes. She has been at the studio for nine years, beginning her career as a Render Assistant on DWA’s first computer animated feature film, Antz in 1997.

In addition to her experience at DWA, Grazia worked in visual fx and commercials as a production manager at Stan Winston Studios as well as working in production technical support and training development at Digital Domain.

Grazia attended Cogswell Poly Technical College in Sunnyvale, CA with a focus in Computer Animation.

Croods_MasterStillThis will be a good opportunity to learn more about the different aspects of the studio and how artists work together on their productions!

January 16 – RICHARD LEMARCHAND

 
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Richard Lemarchand is a game designer, a writer, a public speaker, a consultant and an educator. He is a Visiting Associate Professor in the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he teaches game design to graduates and undergraduates, and has begun work on the development of a series of experimental research games.
His specialties: Character Action game design; video game production; vision-keeping; mechanics, layout and story origination; communication facilitation; tools pipeline development; concentric development.
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Between 2004 and 2012, Richard was a Lead Game Designer at Naughty Dog in Santa Monica, California. He led the design of all three games in the Uncharted series including Uncharted 3:Drake’s Deception, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, winner of ten AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards, five Game Developers Choice Awards, four BAFTAs and over 200 Game of the Year awards.
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Richard also worked on Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing for Naughty Dog, and helped to create the successful game series Gex, Pandemonium and Soul Reaver at Crystal Dynamics in the San Francisco Bay Area. He got his game industry start at MicroProse in the UK, where he co-founded the company’s console game division. Richard has made storytelling action games the focus of his career, and he is interested in the way that narrative, aesthetics and gameplay work together to hold a player’s attention and facilitate the expression of their agency.
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A passionate advocate of indie and experimental games, Richard has been involved with the IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games for several years, and was the co-chair of the IndieCade Conference in 2010 and 2012.
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He regularly speaks in public on the subjects of game design, development, production, philosophy and culture, and organizes the annual GDC Microtalks, a session which celebrates games and play with short talks by diverse speakers. He is also a faculty member of the GDC Experimental Gameplay Sessions.

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Richard grew up in a small town in rural England, dreaming of ancient civilizations and outer space. He has a degree in Physics and Philosophy from Oxford University.