Animator, Historian, Professor of Animation, USC: Tom Sito
Tom Sito is an animator, historian and Professor of Animation at the University of Southern California. His 32 movies include Beauty and the Beast (1991), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin ( 1992), The Lion King (1994) Osmosis Jones (2001) and Shrek (2001). TV Shows – He Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), SheRa Princess of Power (1995). Awarded a Cine Golden Eagle (1988), the June Foray Award (2011) for a lifetime of service to the animation community. President Emeritus of The Animation Guild Local 839 Hollywood (1991-2001). Vice President of the International Animators Society (ASIFA/Hollywood). Member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences, SIGGRAPH, Hollywood Heritage and The National Cartoonists Society. His books include: Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson (U Press of Kentucky,2006) Recommended by the London Review of Books, Recommended 2006 by the Firestone School of Economics, Princeton University. Jews in American Popular Culture, a three volume anthology edited by Paul Buhle, (Praeger/Greenwood Press, 2006) Timing for Animation, Updated Second Edition (Focal Press, London 2009). Moving Innovation: A History of Computer Animation MIT Press (2013).
VFX Feature Film Case Study – Pacific Rim
Industrial Light & Magic: John Knoll
John Knoll, Oscar-winning vfx veteran and Chief Creative Officer at Industrial Light & Magic, will receive the Lifetime Achievement-Hall of Fame Award for his creative and technical innovations in the field. “John Knoll is a true visionary and guiding light in the field of visual effects, technology and popular entertainment,” says Publisher Jean Thoren. “We are thrilled to honor John’s visionary leadership and multi-faceted talents at our event this year. His contributions and achievements have truly changed the entertainment landscape for the better throughout the past few decades. It’s been an honor to cover his career highlights in our magazine and an even bigger honor to have his participation at the Summit in November.” “I am thrilled to accept this award from Animation Magazine,” stated John Knoll. “I’ve been fortunate in my career to work with some of the most creative filmmakers in the industry, as well as many of the most talented and innovative artists in the field here at ILM, and I share this award with all of them. I am truly humbled to receive this honor.” Acclaimed for co-creating Photoshop with his brother Thomas, Knoll has been a driving force of innovation at ILM for years. In 1996 Knoll founded their Rebel (Mac) Unit; a creative incubator for fine artists and software developers to define working methodologies and advance the state of the art. This lead to the development of a variety of breakthrough techniques including some of the earliest examples of digital compositing for The Abyss, and many cutting-edge digital camera projection techniques used on such films as Mission: Impossible, Star Trek: First Contact and Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace. He was also a key contributor of the development of ILM’s pioneering on set performance capture technology, Imocap, which saw its first use on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. More recently, he was visual effects supervisor at ILM for the Oscar-winning films Hugo, Rango, Avatar and this year’s science fiction epic Pacific Rim. In 2012, Knoll was elected to the Academy’s Board of Governors representing the visual effects branch and is a four-time Academy Award nominee. In 2007 he won both the Oscar and the BAFTA for Best Visual Effects for his work on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
Industrial Light & Magic: Hal Hickel
Hal T. Hickel is a visual effects animator for Industrial Light & Magic. At the age of 12, Hickel wrote a letter to Lucasfilm outlining his ideas for a sequel to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and received a polite rejection letter from producer Gary Kurtz. The letter now hangs on the wall of Hickel’s office at ILM. Twenty years later, Hickel found himself working on Star Wars after all, as a lead animator on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. A native from Bailey, Colorado, he joined the Film Graphics Program at CalArts in 1982. Worked at An-FX from 1982 until 1988 and then joined Will Vinton Studios working in stop motion and motion control. Hickel began his animation career at Pixar in 1994, where he worked on Toy Story, the THX promos, as well as some of Pixar’s short films. Hearing that a new Star Wars trilogy was in pre-production, Hickel applied for a transfer to ILM on the chance that he may get to work on the prequels. He was first assigned as an animator on The Lost World: Jurassic Park, but was eventually assigned to work on The Phantom Menace and later its sequel Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, where he was responsible for the unique movement of the Droideka destroyer droids. His other credits include: A.I., Space Cowboys, Dreamcatcher and Van Helsing. In 2007, Hickel won the BAFTA and the Academy Award for Visual Effects along with John Knoll, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall, for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Recently, he was animation supervisor on Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim.
The Business of Show Business
Foothill Entertainment: Greg Payne
A graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford Law School, Gregory Payne spent 10 years in corporate law on Wall Street with a large New York and Washington based law firms. Leaving the East Coast in 1986, Payne took a position with then-small animation producer DIC Entertainment where he rose to Executive Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs. He oversaw all Legal, Administration, Music and Operations matters for the studio. During his tenure there, DIC grew to be the one of the largest independent animation studios in the world with a library of more than 3,000 half hour programs. Payne spearheaded the legal aspects of all production, distribution, corporate and financing transactions for the Company including the sale to the ABC Television Network in 1993. Leaving DIC in 1999 to set up his own private legal practice, he specialized in Entertainment and Corporate Law with clients such as Cookie Jar Entertainment; Technicolor Digital Productions; A Squared Entertainment; Super 78, Inc.; Cartoon Network; phuuz entertainment; The Gotham Group; Nippon TV; Kadokawa Pictures; Production I.G.; Aniplex; Dimensional Branding Group, among others. In addition to his legal/business affairs practice, in 2000, along with his wife, Jo Kavanagh-Payne, he also established Foothill Entertainment, Inc., which acts as executive producers and specializes in the distribution and co-production of children’s and family entertainment programming. His experience spans from negotiating production and talent agreements to labor relations, corporate mergers and acquisitions and real estate matters.
FremantleMedia: Sander Schwartz
Sander Schwartz is President of Kids & Family Entertainment for FremantleMedia (“FM”). Prior to joining FM, he was President, International Production for Sony Pictures Television International “SPTI”), overseeing all of Sony’s television production efforts outside of the United States, including development, production and sales of drama and comedy series, telenovelas, game shows, light entertainment and reality formats. Based in London, Schwartz was also responsible for growing the production auspices of SPTI in new markets worldwide. Before joining SPTI, Sander was President of Warner Bros. Animation and responsible for the production of theatrical, television and made-for-video animated programming. As a producer, Sander has received multiple Emmy Award nominations from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and was awarded a Daytime Emmy for his role in producing The Batman series for Kids WB. He has also received numerous other awards, including the Humanitas, Peabody and the Prism Awards. Additionally, Sander has served as President. Sony Pictures Family Entertainment and EVP/General Manager of Columbia TriStar Children’s Programming.
Licensing & Royalties Consulting Services: Andrew Koski
Andrew Koski is a partner specializing in royalty and participation inspections for licensing, royalties, profit participation and contract compliance for film, television, music, consumer products and multimedia. He is a contributing author to an authoritative licensing guide, and instructs classes and speaks on emerging issues related to royalties and production accounting. His professional background includes considerable in-house and consulting experience with entertainment studios and networks. Andrew served as an Audit Director for an international television producer, where he was responsible for all first-run and cable accounts receivable billing, worldwide production bank reconciliations, operational inspections of productions, and all guild-related PH&W contribution issues. He was also an Audit Manager for a major television network where he supervised cost compliance inspections and led the response to the AMPTP’s survey quantifying the overall revenues and expenses for all programs. In addition, Andrew’s special projects included the analysis of foreign tax incentives, distribution acquisitions, development costs and production overhead. Before joining the entertainment and accounting industries, Andrew had a successful career in shipping, during which he received the U.S. Coast Guard designation Master Oceans Unlimited Tonnage and an endorsement as a First Class Pilot.
The Gotham Group: Peter McHugh
Peter McHugh joined The Gotham Group in 2000, when the company was part of Michael Ovitz’s Artists Management Group, after serving in the Creative Artists Agency training program. McHugh represents such celebrated writers, directors and artists as Thor Freudenthal director of Hotel for Dogs, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters; Adam Pava writer of the upcoming animated feature Boxtrolls for Universal and THE LEGO MOVIE for Warner Bros.; Eric Fogel creator of the animated Celebrity Deathmatch and Glenn Martin DDS; Colin Brady director of Toy Story 2; Stephan Franck director of the upcoming animated Smurfs for Sony; Ron Freidman & Steve Bencich writers of Disney’s Oscar-nominated Brother Bear, Chicken Little, and Open Season; Donovan Cook creator of Two Stupid Dogs and director of Peter Pan’s Return to Neverland; Eric Towner & John Harvatine IV Executive Producers of Robot Chicken for Cartoon Network; Bernie Derriman Supervising Director of Bob’s Burgers for Fox; Vince Marcello creator / writer of the hit Teen Beach Movie for Disney Channel and director of the American Girl movies; Alex Zamm director of The Little Rascals for Universal; Greg Weisman Executive Producer of the upcoming animated Star Wars series for Lucasfilm/Disney; Doug TenNapel creator of Earthworm Jim and Executive Producer of the animates series Veggie Tales for DreamWorks Feature Animation. McHugh was Co-Executive Producer on the Emmy-nominated and Annie-winning animated series Creature Comforts for Aardman and CBS. He is currently producing Ghostopolis at Disney with Hugh Jackman attached to star and the animated feature Cardboard for Fox Feature Animation with Chris Wedge directing. A cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College and former Assistant Director of Admissions for the school, McHugh is a founding member of the Junior Hollywood Radio & Television Society, and was featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen Issue. He also serves on the board of the entertainment non-profit CAPE.
Survival of the Fittest: How L.A.’s Indie Animation Studios Continue to Thrive
Heavy Iron: Mark Vulcano
Mark’s experience now spans 20 years, covering the areas of writing, directing, and character animation for film and creative game development. Mark’s first exposure to the game industry came in 1995 where he was invited to bring his 3D experience to Sierra On-Line where he played a key role in pioneering the studios transition from 2D to 3D, paving the way for the successful completion of Sierra’s first 3D version of their King’s Quest series Mask of Eternity. Mark’s experience in animated film includes Director of Animation and Show Director for Big Idea Productions, creators of the wildly-successful family series VeggieTales, and Senior Character Animator at Sony Pictures where he worked on the productions of Monster House, Beowulf and I Am Legend. At Heavy Iron Studios, Mark continues to make an impact, contributing to the studios successful video game releases of Disney*Pixar’s WALL-E and UP, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob’s Truth or Square, UFC Personal Trainer, Harley Pasternak’s Hollywood Workout, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse, and most recent, Disney’s Infinity.
Titmouse: Chris Prynoski
Prynoski has had a long and distinguished career in animation. He began on shows such as Beavis and Butthead, The Head and Daria for MTV in the early 90s, then expanded into features, directing the hallucination sequence in Beavis and Butthead Do America. MTV Downtown earned him an Emmy nomination for his role as Creative Producer. In 2004, Prynoski founded an animation studio of his own, Titmouse, Inc, where he has continued his string of hits with projects like Metalocalypse, G.I. Joe, Freaknik: The Musical, China, IL, Black Dynamite, Superjail!, The Venture Bros., and Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja. Most recently, he created Motorcity, which currently airs on Disney XD.
Titmouse: Shannon Barrett Prynoski
Shannon Barrett Prynoski was born in the Bronx and grew up on the mean streets of New York, where she attended the School of Visual Arts. She earned her living retouching celebrity photos until she just couldn’t airbrush another patch of cellulite. She moved with husband, Chris Prynoski, to Los Angeles in 2000 and shortly thereafter helped him create Titmouse, Inc, their successful animation studio in the heart of Hollywood. Since then, she has headed all Titmouse productions as Supervising Producer, including the BET series The Black Panther, Cartoon Network’s Superjail!, The Venture Bros., and Metalocalypse, Disney XD’s Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja and Motorcity, as well as numerous commercials, promos and television pilots. She is an accomplished painter and proud mother to both her son and a large collection of female action figures.
JibJab: Evan Spiridellis
Evan Spiridellis co-founded JibJab with his brother Gregg in 1999, with a few desktop computers, a dial-up Internet connection, and the dream of building a big new media brand. Five years later, they achieved “overnight success” when their 2004 election parodies were seen 80 million times around the world, leading Peter Jennings to name the brothers People of the Year. Since then, the brothers have built JibJab into a leading online entertainment brand, with 18 million registered members sending personalized greeting cards and videos. After becoming a dad, Evan co-founded StoryBots with Gregg, creating a collection of high-quality apps that make learning fun for kids and help parents keep their sanity. As Head Art Guy, Evan leads a team of talented artists, animators, and designers on the company’s mission to make “billions of people happy.”
Preparing Your Indie for U.S. Distribution
Animation Consultant and Lecturer: Max Howard (Moderator)
Max Howard created and ran studios for Disney in London, Paris, Orlando and Los Angeles, working on some of Disney’s most memorable films including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. As President of Warner Bros Feature Animation he oversaw such hit movies as The Iron Giant and Space Jam. At DreamWorks, he was co-executive producer for Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron. Max is a sought after consultant and lecturer for the animation industry, working with companies and organizations from all around the world. Max is currently producing a series of animated feature films for Exodus Film Group. The company’s first production, Igor was released in 2008, the second film, The Hero of Color City is currently in production. Max is also serving as an executive producer on a slate of upcoming independent animated feature films including Saving Santa, due for release later this year, A Matter of Tim, Thingdom, Go Dodo, The 8th Dwarf, Gecko and 100% Wolf. Throughout his animation career, Max has worked with UNICEF to bring health and social messages to developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and South America through the use of animation, underscoring the important role this medium can bring to overcome ethnic and social prejudices. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In addition, Max was recently honored with a Doctor of Arts degree from Teesside University in the United Kingdom in recognition for his services to the animation industry.
Marathon Media: Vincent Chalvon-Demersay
Vincent Chalvon-Demersay has been a Producer and Chairman of Marathon Media since 1998. He graduated from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and received a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Paris. From 1990 –1998, he was CEO of SABAN International Paris where he executive produced and/or created 20 series in Europe, including Princess Sissi, Oliver Twist and Jim Knopf. At Marathon Media, he has produced and created the acclaimed animated series Team Galaxy, Totally Spies, and Redakai.
Fantastic Films International: Fred deWysocki
Since starting Fantastic Films International in 2004, Fred deWysocki has earned executive producer credit on such movies as Delhi Safari, Agent Crush, Spirit of the Forest, and Thru The Moebius Strip. DeWysocki has relationships with production companies in many countries including: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Australia, Pakistan, Bulgaria and India. He specializes in developing and improving brands, business plans, financing, scripts, visual effects, animation, scoring and editing, as well as attaching top name talent and producing English adaptations and voiceovers. Prior to FFI, deWysocki was a leading international sales professional for more than 20 years.
R&R Communications: Raul Garcia
Born in Madrid, Raul Garcia is one of the most international Spanish animators. His latest works include as director on The Fall of the House of Usher and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, co-director on The Missing Lynx (Goya Award for Best Animated Feature Film, 2008), producer on The Lady and the Reaper (Oscar nominee for Best Animated Short Film 2010) and animator on a number of classic Disney Studios as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and Fantasia 2000. His career in the art of animation began at age 19 in Spain and since then has worked on many international projects– in France on Asterix and Caesar’s Surprise, in Korea The Great Adventure of Alvin and the Chipmunks, in Ireland with Don Bluth on In The Land and England with Steven Spielberg in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and American Tale: Fievel Goes West. Raúl has also worked as sequence director for Paramount Studios in films like The Rugrats in Paris, The Wild Thornberries and Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, nominated for an Academy Award for best animated film. He also developed the film Sian-Kan. The first bilingual animated feature in English and Spanish that included the voices of Placido Domingo and Salma Hayek, among others. Always interested in creating industry in his country, he joined Kandor Graphics in 2002 as creative director where he co-produced with Melusine productions and R&R Communications Inc. the award-winning film The Tell-Tale Heart. This task culminated with the creation of Kandor Moon and a joint venture with Antonio Banderas as producer of Academy Award-nominated short film The Lady and the Reaper. Raul now heads his own production company R&R Communications Inc. in Glendale, California.
Summertime Entertainment: Roland Carroll
Roland Carroll is the President of Summertime Entertainment, a multi-media company specializing in family-friendly entertainment for film, television, digital, mobile, and other trans-media platforms. Previously, Roland has served as Executive Producer on numerous feature films including Lancelot: Guardian Of Time, and The Convent (which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival), Wesley Strick’s (Arachnophobia, Face-Off, Cape Fear), Love Is The Drug and Dark Honeymoon starring Roy Scheider and Daryl Hannah. Roland also served as co-founder and President of Paragon Arts International where he facilitated the funding and production of the feature film Witchboard, a popular cult film amongst horror fans. Roland also spent time at GCO Pictures where he co-executive produced Season of Fear (released domestically through MGM/UA) as well as oversaw financing, production and the negotiation of distribution deals for the company. Roland attended the Business School of Loyola University in Chicago as well as the renowned School of Cinema/Television at the University of Southern California.
Selling to the Small Screen: Creating CG and VFX in Commercials
Writer: Thomas J. McLean (Moderator)
Thomas J. McLean is a freelance writer and editor who has written extensively about animation, visual effects, cinematography and sound for such publications as Deadline.com’s AwardsLine, Variety, Animation Magazine, Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter. His expertise has been featured as a panelist and moderator at such events as Comic-Con International: San Diego, Book Expo America, Screenwriting Expo and New York Comic-Con. He has been a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Book Industry Awards and the Comic-Con International Film Festival. He is the author of Mutant Cinema: The X-Men Trilogy From Comics to Screen (2008), available from the Sequart Research and Literacy Organization. He blogs occasional thoughts on comics and movies at Bags and Boards (bagsandboards.blogspot.com). A native of Canada, McLean has a degree in journalism from the University of Arizona and has worked as a reporter and editor in various capacities for the Arizona Daily Sun, Idaho Statesman and Daily Breeze newspapers. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter and a mammoth collection of old comic books.
The Mill: Robert Sethi
An internationally renowned visual effects artist and creative director originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Robert Sethi migrated into the world of visual effects from a dedicated background in animation, fine art and graphic design. Having studied these disciplines at Malmö University in Malmo, Sweden, Robert acquired a strong passion for the art of motion graphics. Robert began his visual effects career working as a cg artist at VA Productions in Sweden, creating visual effects and visuals for commercials, music videos and channel promos. Since then, he has worked on numerous features, episodic work and countless commercial projects, giving him wide perspective on different production pipelines and workflows. After being sought by The Mill, Robert enjoyed a productive first year at the Los Angeles studio running the 3D department, supervising high profile projects and content creation as a creative director. Since joining The Mill in 2009, the 3D team has grown rapidly to become one of the leading visual effects studios in Los Angeles, gaining a reputation for being among the most creative visual effects teams, implementing an innovative and fresh approach with work and in building sustainable relationships. Within the past five years, Robert has specialized in leading the 3D team at The Mill as a creative director and visual effects supervisor on various projects like AMF Caterpillar, Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Surprise Eclipse, Wrigley’s 5 Gum: React, Toyota Avalon: Electricity and Formula, Chevy Volt: Silent Statement, and Chevy Sonic: Milk Run. Robert has won a clutch of the industries most notable awards such as a Clio, Visual Effects Society, Hollywood Post Alliance, Cannes Lion, and Association of Independent Commercial Producer Awards. Additionally, Robert is regularly invited to present his work and techniques at international events and speaking engagements that encourage innovation in the visual effects and post-production communities. Robert is an avid surfer, and is fluent in three languages. Robert resides in Santa Monica, CA with his wife and two children, Aston and Emma.
Mackevision: Ludovico Marenzi
Ludovico Marenzi has been leading Mackevision’s U.S. West Coast operations for four years as Managing Director. Ludovico has a twenty year background in client services, sales and marketing and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in commercial art. His experience began in high-end commercial automotive printing, which led to heading up a digital asset management system for commercial printers and their clients. The creative processes, technologies and experience make him a perfect match for future automotive 3D CGI applications. Mackevision Medien Design GmbH was founded in 1994 with its roots in the production of conventional advertising films. Today, the company employs more than 300 experts globally and is regarded as one of the world’s market leaders in the area of 3D visualization, animation, visual effects, and post-production for agencies, film production and industrial OEM clients.
HOAX Films: Alexis Nelson
Alexis Nelson is Co-Founder and Executive Producer of award-winning visual effects and animation studio HOAX Films. HOAX’s credits range from videos for Britney Spears and Katy Perry to marketing campaigns for Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. In its latest project, HOAX Films produced visual effects for Zombeavers, a comedy/horror film slated for release in 2014. HOAX is one of the West Coast’s most dynamic boutique providers of visual effects and animation. Not yet 30, Nelson has been recognized industry-wide as an emerging and innovative leader. She began her career at Motion Theory, where she was involved in projects for Buick, Heineken, Tanqueray and John Hancock. She served as Visual Effects Producer for Deadliest Warrior, Spike TV’s most popular series, supervising a team of 30 artists. She also managed graphics, animation and visual effects departments for the Discovery series Bad Universe. At Warner Bros., who led CG production on short films for the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). She is producing environmental films for SustainUS, a civil society group of United States delegates who are participating in the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Meeting of the 19th Conference of Parties. She holds a degree in Design Media Arts from UCLA and is a member of Women in Film.
The Artist’s Way: How Technology Delivers the Creative Solution
Visual Effects Supervisor: Scott Metzger
Scott Metzger is a visual effects supervisor from Los Angeles. He has worked on some of the most innovative movies, commercials and music videos of recent times. As a pioneer of laser photogrammetry and environment capture techniques, Scott brings an unparalleled knowledge of recreating photo real environments. A frequent presenter for Autodesk, NVidia, The Foundry and others Scott is recognized as a leader in his field.
Cantina Creative: Stephen Lawes
Stephen Lawes is an animation and visual effects veteran who has worked on a wide array of high profile commercial and feature film projects. Before opening Cantina Creative, Lawes spent 2 years as Creative Director for Pixel Liberation Front where he supervised a team of artists on Academy Award-wining and top grossing films. The work on these films encompassed HUD design and animation as well as seamless visual effects shots and set extension composites. Prior to PLF, Lawes worked in variety of senior creative roles on such notable films as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Superman Returns, ‘The Departed, Speed Racer, and Shutter Island. Lawes started as commercial director at Duck Soup Productions in Santa Monica, where he utilized his animation skills for commercial clients like Hasbro, Disney, and Coca-Cola after which he joined The Picture Mill and segued into designing main titles for both feature films and televisions shows, including The Sixth Sense, Chicken Run, Judging Amy and Bones.
Disney Television Animation: Jason Bierut
Born in San Diego, Jason Bierut started drawing at a very early age and knew he wanted to be an animator at 13. He graduated high school in Colorado Springs and graduated college in San Francisco. He received a bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Art University from 1995-1999, majoring in illustration with a minor in animation. For 14 years, he has worked in the animation industry in the Los Angeles Area, mostly as a character animator, in studios such as Warner Brothers, Renegade Animation, Cartoon Network, Bento Box, Starz/Film Roman, and Disney. For the past year and a half, he has been working as a technical director for Disney Television Animation. He works on most of the 2-D animated shows in postproduction using Toonboom’s Harmony, After Effects, Maya, and Fusion. The majority of his work day is on the crew of Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Jason also teaches Harmony at Studio Arts during the week to artists who seek a new skill set for 2-D animation.
Director, Animator, Artist: Ryan Cooper
A graduate of the USC School of Cinema and Television, Ryan is a diverse artist and director with a distinct vision and a talent for storytelling. He wrote and directed the acclaimed live-action short film, Harry and Greta, which won best actress and best short film at the LA Indies Awards and screened in film festivals and venues all over the world. His continuing work on various projects, including editing and producing the feature film The Gauntlet, starring Bai Ling, as well as editing the web show The Flog, starring internet celebrity Felicia Day, gives him a unique and technical understanding of delivering story-driven entertainment. Ryan’s projects have garnered more than half a million views on YouTube and have screened at many internationally renowned venues such as Comic-con, The Palm Springs Film Festival, The Newport Beach Film Festival, The Museum of Tolerance, The Corning Museum of Glass, The Computer History Museum, and The Staples Center. Along with various other projects, he is currently working as an animator and artist for PCB Productions on their upcoming animated and live action web series Mr. Bonko, a skit-variety show featuring zany sock puppets. Ryan has several of his own projects in development, including feature films, web shows, and animated cartoons.
I’d Like to Thank … Oscar Contenders Panel
DreamWorks Animation: Kristine Belson
Kristine Belson most recently produced the comedy adventure feature film The Croods, which was released on March 22, 2013. Prior to The Croods, Belson served as Executive Producer of the Academy Award®-nominated How to Train Your Dragon. Belson came to DreamWorks Animation with more than 15 years’ experience developing and producing both live-action and animated films. She spent eight years as Executive Vice President of Production at the Jim Henson Company. During her tenure, she developed a slate of more than 40 live-action and animated films. In addition, she served as an Executive Producer on Muppets from Space, producer on Good Boy! and Co-Producer on Five Children and It and The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz. Prior to joining The Jim Henson Company, Belson held the post of Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures, overseeing such films as Big Daddy and Spice World. Before her stint at Columbia, she served as Senior Vice President for Turner Pictures, and also spent two years as Director of Production at 20th Century Fox.
Reel FX: Aron Warner
Academy Award-winning producer Aron Warner (Shrek) began his career in animation at Pacific Data Images/DreamWorks in 1997. He joined PDI as a producer on Antz, served as Head of PDI/DreamWorks for two years, then went on to produce the animated blockbusters Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third (which he also co-wrote), and executive produce the final installment in the series, Shrek Forever After. A graduate of UCLA Film School, Warner began his career as a production coordinator at Empire Pictures. He moved on to a position at Film Finances, where he supervised production on more than 50 films. Warner’s career as a producer began with horror hit Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, then supervising producer on Red Rock West. His work at 20th Century Fox began as line producer on Ghost in the Machine, then producer of the cult classic Tank Girl. Warner was previously V.P. of Production at 20th Century Fox, where he supervised production on such films as True Lies, Independence Day, The Crucible, Alien Resurrection and Titanic. As President of Animation at Reel FX, Warner oversaw production on the soon-to-be-released Free Birds, while also shepherding the studio’s upcoming films Book of Life and Beasts of Burden. Warner also recently produced Cirque Du Soleil 3-D. In addition to his executive role at Reel FX, Warner is in partnership with director Andrew Adamson, having formed the company Strange Weather Films. Together with Jeff Fierson, Warner and Adamson are co-developing a slate of live-action feature films and television shows.
Blue Sky Studios: Chris Wedge
Chris Wedge is an Oscar winning film director, producer, and co-founder of Blue Sky Studios. Beginning his career as a stop-motion animator, Wedge later joined MAGI/SynthaVision, where he was one of the principal animators for the groundbreaking Disney movie Tron (1982). He directed the character animation sequences for the Warner Bros./Geffen Films production Joe’s Apartment (1996), and served as creative supervisor on numerous feature films and commercials. Wedge wrote and directed Blue Sky’s first film, the touching short, Bunny (1998), which won an Academy Award for best animated short film. It was the first film to use radiosity, Blue Sky’s own advanced ambient lighting technology. In addition to the Academy Award, Bunny has won more than 25 international awards for animation excellence. Wedge went on to direct Blue Sky’s first two computer-generated animated feature films, Ice Age (2002), nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature film, Robots (2005) and Epic (2013). He was executive producer of Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), which has grossed more than $638 million worldwide, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (2008), the first Dr. Seuss CG animated feature film; Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which grossed over $887 million worldwide; and the global hits Rio (2011) and Ice Age: Continental Drift. Wedge is a 1981 graduate of the SUNY Purchase film department. He received his Master of Arts degree in computer graphics and art education from the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and at Ohio State University.
GKIDS: Jamie Kezlarian Bolio
Since 2009, Jamie Kezlarian Bolio has worked with NYC-based distribution company GKIDS, on the Oscar-nominated independent feature film campaigns for The Secret of Kells (Cartoon Saloon), A Cat in Paris (Folimage) and Chico & Rita (Estudio Mariscal/Magic Light Pictures). She is currently promoting their animated feature film line-up: Ernest and Celestine (Les Armateurs/La Parti Productions) and A Letter to Momo (Production I.G.). Jamie is the LA-based producer for The Curse of St. Trinians, an animated project currently in development for Uli Meyer Animation Ltd., UK. Domestically and abroad, she has worked as an artist in 2D (traditional), 3D (CG), 2D/3D, 2D/live action, and 3D/live action. She also represents the Oscar-nominated Irish studio, Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells , Song of the Sea ) in the U.S. for Business Development, PR & Marketing.
VFX Keynote Address
Visual Effects Supervisor, Sony Pictures Imageworks: Jay Redd
Jay Redd is a visual effects supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks most recently completing work on Columbia Pictures’ Men in Black 3. Before joining Men in Black 3, Redd supervised visual effects on three Looney Tunes CG shorts, Rabid Rider, Fur of Flying and Coyote Falls. Redd spent more than a decade at Sony Pictures Imageworks, during which time he served as the visual effects supervisor on the Academy Award® nominated animated feature, Monster House and Walt Disney Pictures’ The Haunted Mansion. Previously, Redd was digital effects supervisor on Stuart Little 2 and honored with the VES Award (Visual Effects Society) for Best Character Animation in an Animated Film. Redd is also credited with helping to create the title character for the first Stuart Little film. Stuart became the first fully CG lead character in a live-action film and as a result of this effort, Stuart Little received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Visual Effects. He started at Sony Pictures Imageworks in August 1996 to work on the Robert Zemeckis film Contact. An amateur astronomer, Redd was the perfect candidate to create the film’s opening shot, a 4710 frame, 3 minute and 19 second journey from the earth to the end of the known universe. This opening sequence was the first digital animation shot to be nominated for an Annie Award. Prior to his arrival at Imageworks, Redd spent four years at Rhythm & Hues where he worked as a CG supervisor on numerous commercials, theme park rides and feature films such as the Waterworld and Academy Award®-winning Babe. Redd has traveled in the US and around the world to speak and lecture at several conferences for the London Effects and Animation Festival, FMX, Australian Effects and Animation Festival and many others. He has also written extensive materials and books for these courses. He attended the University of Utah where he studied photography and photographic and digital lighting techniques.
Animation Feature Film Case Study – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Gladstone Film: Frank Gladstone (Moderator)
After managing his own Emmy award-winning animation studio and also holding management positions for Disney, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks, among others, is now the CEO of Gladstone Film, consulting on animation, filmmaking skills and story structure for feature film and game studios, worldwide. He also writes and teaches about animation, film history, production techniques and cinematic fundamentals across North America, Europe, and Asia. Frank is the Artist-in-Residence for the ACME Network, has served on the board of directors of the Visual Effects Society, and is now president of ASIFA Hollywood. Currently, he is directing The Hero of Color City for Exodus Film Group
Sony Pictures Animation: Cody Cameron
Cody Cameron is the director with Kris Pearn of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Cameron most recently directed Open Season 3, the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment-released sequel to Sony Pictures Animation’s 2006 hit Open Season. He also directed the animated short film The ChubbChubbs™ Save Xmas, based on the Oscar® winning short film The ChubbChubbs. He joined the staff of Sony Pictures Animation in 2004 as story artist on Surf’s Up, Sony Pictures Animation’s second theatrical feature. Cameron started his career at DreamWorks Animation, drawing story boards and writing dialogue for the first three Shrek movies, Madagascar, and Aardman’s Chicken Run. He also enjoys doing voice acting during his spare time, best recognized as the voice of the Three Little Pigs and Pinocchio in the Shrek series and as Mr. Weenie in the Open Season films.
Sony Pictures Animation: Pam Marsden
Pam Marsden is the vice president of production for Sony Pictures Animation, where she is responsible for planning, budgeting and supervising all projects on the Sony Pictures Animation slate, working with individual show producers, their creative teams and Imageworks. Prior to her current position, Marsden produced Sony Pictures Animation’s feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a mouth-watering 3D comedy inspired by the popular children’s book of the same name by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett. Before joining Sony Pictures Animation in 2005, Marsden produced Dinosaur for Walt Disney Feature Animation and the home entertainment feature Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas for Walt Disney Pictures’ DisneyToon Studios. She has worked as a production stage manager in Chicago and Off Broadway and also served as the managing director for the International Theatre Festival of Chicago. Marsden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her educational background includes a degree in theater arts from Kalamazoo College and post-graduate study at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Sony Pictures Imageworks: Chris Juen
Chris Juen is a digital producer at Sony Pictures Imageworks. His latest project is Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Previously, Juen served as digital producer on Arthur Christmas, an all-CG animated feature produced by Aardman Animation for Sony Pictures Animation. Juen’s additional Imageworks credits include co-producer of the animated hit Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, visual effects producer on Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf, digital producer on Sony Pictures Animation’s Surf’s Up, and visual effects producer on The Polar Express and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Juen was a digital production manager on Imageworks’ first Oscar® winning animated short The ChubbChubbs!™ and the Academy Award® nominated films Hollow Man and Spider-Man™. He also served in this capacity on Stuart Little 2, winner of the VES Award (Visual Effects Society) for Best Character Animation, and The Astronaut’s Wife. In 1998, he received his first credit on a feature film as lead technical assistant on Godzilla for director Roland Emmerich. Juen joined Imageworks in 1997 as a technical assistant on Contact. Prior to joining Imageworks, he served in the United States Navy.
Sony Pictures Animation: Justin Thompson
Emmy Award winner Justin K. Thompson most recently served as the production designer on Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs—the taste-full 3D comedy inspired by the perennially popular children’s book of the same name by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett. He is currently serving in the same capacity on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. With twenty years of experience in the animation industry, Thompson has been fortunate to work on some of the most groundbreaking television programs. Over the past few years, he has made the transition to visual development and art direction on digitally animated feature films. Prior to joining Sony Pictures Animation, Thompson worked at The Orphanage Animation Studios, The Jim Henson Company and Lucasfilm Animation Company. His credits include How to Eat Fried Worms (Art Director), The Power of the Dark Crystal (Visual Development Artist) and Viking (Art Director). Thompson spent five years at The Cartoon Network, receiving various credits on such television programs such as Dexter’s Laboratory (key background designer), The Powerpuff Girls (story artist/storyboard artist) and Samurai Jack (key background designer). He also served as a Visual Development Artist/Background Supervisor on The Cartoon Network’s critically acclaimed hit, The Clone Wars, and in September, 2005, he was awarded an Emmy for outstanding design work in recognition of his contribution to that series. Thompson was also part of the creative team that brought The Powerpuff Girls to the big screen, serving as both visual development artist and key background designer on the feature. Thompson also served as a visual development artist on a number of projects at The Walt Disney Television Animation Company, DreamWorks SKG Television and Film Roman.
Sony Pictures Animation: Dave Bleich
Dave Bleich is an Art Director at Sony Pictures Animation where he most recently worked on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Bleich joined Sony Pictures Animation in 2000, where he served as Matte Painter on over a dozen films including Spiderman, Cast Away, Seabiscuit, Polar Express, Beowulf, and Speed Racer. He has also served as the Backgrounds Supervisor on films such as Monster’s House, Sony Pictures Animation’s Surf’s Up, and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. Prior to joining Sony Pictures Animation, Bleich worked as Matte Painter on such films as The Fifth Element, Red Corner, Titanic, O’brother Where Art Thou, and Hollow Man. Dave graduated with a MFA in Computer Graphics from Syracuse University & BFA in Illustration from School of Visual Arts. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
View From the Top: Women in VFX and Animation
Journalist: Ellen Wolff (Moderator)
Ellen Wolff began her career in the VFX industry as a writer for CG innovator Robert Abel, and she has written for Oscar-winning supervisor Richard Edlund and for PBS Home Video. She has covered the evolution of digital imagery as a writer for clients like Cinesite, Technicolor, and the seminal computer animation studio PDI. She has been a longtime columnist for Animation Magazine, and her articles have appeared as well in Variety, Millimeter, Film & Video and VFXWorld/AWN. She received her Master’s degree from New York University, and currently resides in Santa Barbara, California.
The Creative-Cartel: Jenny Fulle
With over 30 years experience in the visual effects and animation industry, Jenny Fulle is a leader when it comes to producing and providing high quality visual effects and production management to filmmakers and studios. In 2009 Fulle founded The Creative-Cartel, Inc., a Los Angeles based Production Company specializing in the assembly of teams tailored specifically for the visual effects and animation needs of individual productions. Under her guidance, the company most recently oversaw the VFX on DreamWorks’ The Fifth Estate, and is currently overseeing the VFX on DreamWorks’ The Need For Speed which will be released in 2014, and Sony’s Chappie which will be released in 2015. Since the formation of The Creative-Cartel, Fulle has worked on films such as Ted, Ghost Rider: The Spirit Of Vengeance, After Earth, and Priest. Before forming The Creative-Cartel, Fulle worked as Executive Vice President of Production/Executive Producer for Sony Pictures Imageworks where she managed digital production on Sony Pictures Animation’s, Academy Award® nominated film Surf’s Up, Academy Award® nominated The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Academy Award® winning Spider-Man 2, Academy Award® and BAFTA nominated Spider-Man, Imageworks’ first animated short film and Oscar® winner for Best Animated Short Film in 2002, The Chubb-Chubbs, as well as many other projects. Fulle began her career in visual effects at age 18 as a janitor for George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic.
Producer: Bonne Radford
Bonne Radford’s career in the entertainment industry spans more than 25 years, with an emphasis on animation. She was a key member in the original start‐up teams at DreamWorks and Amblin Entertainment, where she produced animated feature films as the Head of Feature Animation at DreamWorks, and Vice President of Animation at Amblin for Steven Spielberg. Radford’s prior producing credits include Curious George (2006); The Road to El Dorado (2000) and Balto (1995). She has also contributed to many beloved successful films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Goonies and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.
Carolyn Bates is an Annie award-winning animation producer and production consultant. She is currently an executive producer at Buttercup Pictures, an independent production studio as well as a senior production executive for Alloy Digital’s Shut Up! Cartoons, one of the most successful channels of the YouTube funded programming initiative, and now in its second season. The channel features more than 20 original series from established and rising creators and counts more than 1MM subscribers. Carolyn has produced and overseen a variety of animated projects: 2D, CG, Flash, Stop-Mo, VFX, Interactive, and Themed Entertainment projects for top name clients. Carolyn spent 5 years with The Walt Disney Company, where she produced three feature-length direct to videos, overseeing domestic & overseas production in the U.S., Japan, Australia, Canada, and the Philippines. Her 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure (Annie nominated for Best Home Entertainment Production – 2003; won for DVD Exclusive Award 2003.) She produced 2004′s Tarzan II, nominated for an Annie Award in 2005, and Brother Bear 2, 2006. Prior to Disney, Carolyn produced the Siggraph Electronic Theater CG short, The Snowman and animation for games such as Sega’s Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Hasbro Interactive’s Mr. Potato Head Saves Veggie Valley, and the award-winning Animation Celebration Woody Woodpecker animation for Universal Studios’ theme park in Osaka, Japan and numerous animated commercials. She is a native Angeleno, is an active member of ASIFA-Hollywood International Animated Film Society and the PGA: Producer’s Guild of America New Media Council.
Visual Effects Supervisor: Sheena Duggal
Sheena Duggal is an acclaimed visual effects supervisor, director and artist whose work has shaped numerous studio tent-pole and Academy Award nominated productions. She is known for her design skills, creative direction and visual effects supervision on blockbuster films such as Contact, Spider-Man 3 and The Hunger Games. Most recently, Sheena worked with Marvel Studios as VFX Supervisor for Iron Man 3’s China unit; “one shot” project Agent Carter, (for which she also designed the title sequence) and Thor 2, where she acted as an additional onset VFX supervisor. Already an accomplished compositor, (she began in 1985 working on early generation paint software), Duggal was a pioneer Flame artist working on the world’s first Flame feature production in 1992. Soon after, she was hired by Industrial Light & Magic as a supervising lead Flame artist on a number of high profile projects (Mission Impossible, Congo and Indian In The Cupboard). In 1996, at the invitation of Ken Ralston, Duggal left ILM to join Sony Pictures Imageworks as Creative Director of High-Speed Compositing. Sheena soon began to take on additional responsibilities of Visual Effects Supervisor. She was production side VFX supervisor for multiple directors during this time including, Jane Anderson (The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio), Peter Segal (50 First Dates and Anger Management), and Ridley Scott (Body Of Lies and Matchstick Men). Duggal was among last year’s inductees to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. She holds a BA (hons) in graphic design specializing in animation and lens media and is a published photographer currently working on behalf of the UK water charity, “Pump Aid.”
Post-Millennial Animation Boom
Hub Network: Ted Biaselli
Ted Biaselli is Vice President, Programming for the Hub Network, a destination for kids and their families. Biaselli, who reports to the Hub Network’s President and CEO Margaret Loesch, has spent over a decade in kids’ entertainment. His experience, which varies from programming, production, and writing to character designing, digital media and voice acting, gives Biaselli unique insight into the creative landscape of kids’ television. The Hub Network is a multi-platform joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro, Inc. On October 10, 2010 it re-branded from the former Discovery Kids Network and presently reaches nearly 73 million U.S. cable and satellite households. Biaselli is responsible for guiding projects in all stages from development to air and through current production. As the executive in charge of some of the Hub Network’s most successful programs, such as the two Daytime Emmy® Award-nominated series, R.L. Stine’s the Haunting Hour: The Series, and The Aquabats! Super Show!, as well as the two Daytime Emmy® Award-winning series, Family Game Night and Transformers: Prime, Biaselli has used his passion and knowledge of the industry to help fuel some of the highest-rated programs on the network, including Littlest Pet Shop. Prior to joining the Hub Network, Biaselli worked in animation development at Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney, and Disney XD. A native of Philadelphia, Biaselli received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) and the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
Disney Television Animation: Mike Moon
Mike Moon is Vice President, Creative, Disney Television Animation working on original series development as well as current animated series for both Disney Channel and Disney XD. A highly regarded animator and producer, Moon has worked in animation for over 20 years, receiving two Emmy Awards. He was recognized for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation for his work as Producer/Art Director on Cartoon Network’s Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and for his work as Director/Art Director on Mickey’s Mouseworks for Walt Disney Television Animation. Among his other credits are Art Director on The Powerpuff Girls Movie and Director/Art Director on Disney’s House of Mouse. He began his career at Klasky Csupo as a Layout Artist on The Simpsons. His other credits include Clone High and Dexter’s Laboratory. A Cal Arts alumni, Moon has also worked for Warner Bros. Animation, Hanna-Barbera, Nickelodeon and Fox Animation. Adding to his already impressive resume, Moon has also illustrated a children’s book for Hyperion entitled How To Potty Train Your Monster. Moon is based in the Burbank, California, headquarters of Disney Television Animation.
Cartoon Network: Conrad Montgomery
Conrad Montgomery is director of comedy animation for Cartoon Network. In this role, Montgomery is responsible for supervising the pop culture phenomenon Adventure Time, the Emmy® Award-winning Regular Show and Cartoon Network’s latest hit original animated series, Uncle Grandpa, all of which are produced at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, CA. Montgomery also supervises hit original comedies including The Collective’s Annoying Orange and Warner Bros. Animation’s MAD. Montgomery reports directly to Curtis Lelash, vice president of comedy animation for Cartoon Network. Prior to joining Cartoon Network, Montgomery was a development and production executive at Disney Television Animation where he worked on Fish Hooks, Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil and Motor City. Earlier in his career, he was a creative executive at Lions Gate Films where he worked on such films as Confidence and Monster’s Ball. Montgomery graduated from California State University, Northridge with a bachelor of arts degree in Cinema and Television Arts. Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com) is consistently the #1 U.S. television network among boys 6-11. Currently seen in 99 million U.S. homes and 194 countries around the world, Cartoon Network is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for kids and families. In addition to Emmy-winning original programming and industry-leading digital apps and online games, Cartoon Network embraces key social issues affecting families with solution-oriented initiatives such as Stop Bullying: Speak Up and the Move It Movement. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Nickelodeon: Jenna Boyd
Jenna Boyd is the Senior Vice President of Animation Development, Nickelodeon Group. Ms. Boyd oversees the pipeline of all new animated series and the comedy shorts program, focusing on bringing in creator-driven original comedies, fresh animation styles and developing new contemporary classics. Prior to that, she was Vice President, Live Action Development where she oversaw a slate of scripted and unscripted programming for Nickelodeon, Teenick and family originals for Nick at Nite. Ms. Boyd began her career with Nickelodeon over fifteen years ago in Orlando, Florida where she held her first position as a production intern for Nickelodeon’s Kenan & Kel. Shortly after, she moved to New York for a job with TV Land’s programming department and transitioned to Nickelodeon production where she developed and produced both live-action and animation properties for the network. In 2004, Ms. Boyd moved to Los Angeles as Director, Development where she oversaw production of the critically-acclaimed animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Ms. Boyd received her degree in Telecommunications from Ohio University. Originally from Medford Lakes, New Jersey, she now resides in southern California with her husband and her toddler twins.
New Animation Patrons
Shut Up! Cartoons: Lenora Hume
Lenora is an award-winning Film and TV executive with an in-depth understanding of the creative and business challenges facing the global entertainment industry. After a successful early career in cinematography in her native Canada with Nelvana Ltd, Lenora began producing animation. Ewoks and Droids for Lucasfilm, and Care Bears are amongst her producing credits, which also include Babar and Beetlejuice, for which she won Gemini and Emmy Awards. In 1990, Disney recognized Lenora’s passion and talent for animation and invited her to join their fledgling Television Animation division in California. With a career spanning 16 years, she quickly rose within the organization becoming Senior Vice President of Worldwide Production for both Walt Disney Television Animation and DisneyToon Studios. In 2006, HiT Entertainment (UK) approached Lenora to join them, as Executive Vice President of Production & Programming where she was tasked with preparing the production side of the private equity owned company for a sale. While at HiT, Lenora refreshed some of the most successful pre-school properties in the world, including: Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina and Fireman Sam. Additionally, during her tenure, her team developed a robust slate of new properties including Mike the Knight, HiT’s first new property to move into production since Bob the Builder. Having completed her assignment at HiT, Lenora has re-settled in California and launched an independent production and consulting company in the media sector. She is currently working with Alloy Digital, where she leads content in her role as executive in charge of production for Shut Up! Cartoons, one of the most successful channels of the YouTube funded programming initiative, and now in its second season. The channel features more than 20 original series from established and rising creators and counts more than 1MM subscribers. She is also working with TeamTO, one of the leading animation studios in Paris, France.
The Dan Clark Company: Dan Clark
Dan Clark is a writer/producer/director. The Dan Clark Company has spearheaded an eclectic mix of TV projects including: the sci-fi fantasy series Brats of the Lost Nebula for Warner Bros., the Emmy nominated preschool adventure The Save-Ums!, the live-action Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation for FOX KIDS and the puppet stunt comedy Team Smithereen for Disney XD. The Dan Clark Company is currently in production on Dan’s new pilot, Grid Smashers for Amazon Studios. The show is sci-fi action adventure merging puppetry and CGI in new and cool ways! Dan wrote and directed the first digital feature to premiere in Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Clark’s been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, an Emmy, and has received a George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award. Dan likes brief walks on the beach and extra long lunches.
DreamWorks Animation: Peter Gal
As head of television development for DreamWorks Animation, Peter oversees the creative development of all original television projects for the studio and currently manages the production process for Turbo F.A.S.T – the first original kids series for Netflix. Prior to DreamWorks Animation, he spent three years as Vice President, Production at 20th Century Fox Feature Animation, where he served as Production Executive on Rio! and also developed the Angry Birds Rio Edition game. Peter also enjoyed five years at Nickelodeon, where he most recently held the position of Vice President of Animation Development. In this role he developed original animated series for Nickelodeon, including Mr. Meaty, El Tigre, Wayside, Mighty B!, Making Fiends and Penguins of Madagascar. Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Peter served as a development executive at both Walt Disney Television Animation and Disney Channel. He was formerly a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and Deputy Public Defender with the firm of Dewey Ballantine. Peter holds a BA from Tufts University and a JD from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law.
VFX: The Importance of Previs
Variety: David Cohen (Moderator)
David S. Cohen is a reporter, editor and technology columnist for the “entertainment bible,” Variety. He is known for his coverage of screenwriting and writers; visual effects; post-production; 3D; and the digital revolution. His show business experience includes directing Off-Off-Broadway theater, writing and directing documentaries, and writing for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is the author of three books: Screen Plays: How 25 Scripts Made It To a Theater Near You – For Better or Worse; The Ballad of Rango: The Art & Making of an Outlaw Film and Pacific Rim: Man, Machines, & Monsters.
Halon: Clint Reagan
As one of HALON’s first employees, Clint Reagan has done sequence and shot design for some of Hollywood’s biggest films including Ghost Rider, Transformers (pre Bay), X-Men: The Last Stand, Disturbia, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. With 10+ years of experience, Clint supervised previs for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, as well as the blockbuster adaptation of The Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross. Reagan’s other films included McG’s This Means War, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra with Steven Sommers, and Knight and Day and The Wolverine for James Mangold. Clint wrapped on three tent pole films due out in 2014! Clint recently joined the crew of a high anticipated film due to release in 2015!
The Third Floor: Chris Edwards
After 5 years as a Layout Artist and Character Animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Chris joined a team of digital artists at Lucasfilm tasked with previsualizing Star Wars: Episode III from the “third floor” of George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch mansion. In October 2004, Edwards spearheaded the creation of THE THIRD FLOOR, Inc. in Los Angeles, which has become the world’s largest international previs company. As CEO and Creative Director, Edwards has helped design many feature films, commercials, and video game cinematics. Theatrical credits include Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, War Horse, Iron Man 2, Thor & The Avengers. Cinematic credits include Resident Evil 5, Lost Planet 2, Starcraft II & Diablo III. Chris Edwards has established a branch of THE THIRD FLOOR in London and Montreal and he is one of the founders of the Previsualization Society, an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the artform of previs. In 2011 Edwards co-founded HYDRA Entertainment to develop original content and produce strong, story-driven franchises.
Graphic Film Company: Anthony Hoit
Anthony Hoit is the Systems Development lead at the Graphic Film Company, an LA-based full service post-production visual effects house and self-producing computer generated film production studio founded in partnership with Simon West Productions (Con Air, Lara Croft :Tomb Raider, The General’s Daughter, When a Stranger Calls). Hoit is responsible for artist supervision at GFC and for the company’s motion and facial capture technology. The studio has been using iPi Soft’s markerless motion capture solution, iPi Motion Capture, for the past two years to previs feature film projects. GFC is heading into its next feature production, Night of the Living Dead – Origins, where iPi Motion Capture will continue to be an integral part of the previs pipeline.
We Are the World: International Co-Financing Case Studies
Animation Writer/Producer: Craig Miller (Moderator)
Craig Miller started his career in Hollywood as a publicity and licensing executive, working on such films as Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Crystal, Altered States, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Splash, The Wicker Man, and Excalibur, working directly with George Lucas, Jim Henson, and other creative powerhouses. During this time his credits included such things as being Producer for Lucasfilm on projects such as episodes of Sesame Street guest starring R2-D2 and C-3PO (during which he’s inordinately pleased he got to be one of R2′s operators). More recently, he’s been writing, developing, and producing television. He has over 200 TV credits in all areas, from Showtime’s horror anthology series The Hunger to the Emmy-winning PBS series Curious George. Other animation credits include The Real Ghostbusters, GI Joe, Beast Wars, Godzilla, Flash Gordon, and The Smurfs. He’s much sought after for his skills developing series, both live-action and animation. Recent projects include the developing and writing the pilot for the live-action science fiction TV series Resistance; Playtime Buddies, an animated pre-school series being produced in Italy; Trash Pack, an animated comedy-adventure based on an Australian toy line; Power Buggz, an animated series based on an American toy line; Fortune Teller, an hour-long live-action series developed from a collectible card game; and the pilot for Felix the Robot Adventurer, an animated series for Latin America. Flute Master, an animated series he helped develop and wrote for Chinese television, is being introduced in the US as Skateboy in the form of five 90-minute movies. Miller has been a guest speaker at events such as the Cartoons on the Bay/The International Conference on Television Animation in Italy, the Annecy Animation Festival in France, and Scotland’s Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival as well as KidScreen Summit, NATPE, and even the San Diego Comic Con.
DQ Entertainment: Tapaas Chakravarti
Tapaas Chakravarti, Chairman and CEO of India’s hugely successful animation studio DQ Entertainment, is responsible for the overall development, management and implementation of the studio’s various projects. He has over 25 years of experience across various industries both national and multi-national and is a vital part of numerous national and international charitable organizations, which include extensive work for orphans, children with AIDS, and education for the deprived. He has been nominated for the Ernst & Young, Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 India Awards and awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award from 2004 to 2005 by the Hyderabad Management Association. Among his many animation production credits are The Pinky and Perky Show, Twisted Whiskers, Little Nick, The Little Prince, The Jungle Book, The Hive, Casper’s Scare.
Oasis Animation: Jacques Bilodeau
President, founder and CEO, Jacques Bilodeau heads the overall operations of OASIS ANIMATION and acts as producer and executive producer on animated series such as Pérusse Cité (Ben’s City), Martha Speaks, Lucky Fred, Arthur XIII & XIV, Caillou, Mouss & Boubidi, Walter & Tandoori, Walter’s Christmas, Stand-Up.tv and 6Teen. Mr. Bilodeau has worked in the television industry since the beginning of the 80s. He was the founder of PMT Video, a video postproduction, special effects and 3D animation facility. He worked as Vice-President at Groupe TVA for the Techner Group. He was the founder and CEO of Toon Boom Technologies Inc., the world leader in 2D animation software providing technology to studios such as Walt Disney Animation and Warner Bros, DreamWorks, Nelvana… Jacques Bilodeau is a member of the Quebec TV and Film Producer Association (APFTQ) and also a founding member of the National Institute of Sound and Images (INIS). He is president and CEO of QUIET MOTION, a TV production company. In 2012, Mr. Bilodeau received the “Gémeaux” for the best animated television series for Pérusse Cité I, series broadcast on Radio-Canada, ARTV and CBC for the English version (Ben’s City).
Anima Vitae: Petteri Pasanen
Petteri Pasanen is award-winning animation producer, backed with 25 years of experience in entertainment industry, armed with excellent international networks in animation business. He is CEO of Anima Vitae (Finland) and COB of Anima Point (Malaysia).
Wonderworld Studios: Youngki Lee
Youngki Lee has been active in 3D CGI animation and VFX as a producer for over 15 years. He has also produced 6 animated features for the international market and over 50 VFX works for major Hollywood movies. He is focusing on developing new properties for animation and live action with heavy VFX and putting co-production deals together with various international partners. Some of his many visual effects producer credits include: Prometheus: Alien 5 (20th Century Fox), Gangsters Squad (Warner Brothers), Fairly Oddparents 2, (Nickelodeon), Scooby Doo! Curse of Lake Monster (Warner Premiere) and Robin Hood (Universal Pictures). As an animation producer, his projects include The Reef, Garfield Gets Real (Fox), Garfield Fun Fest (Fox), The Reef 2, Jungle Shuffle (in Production), SkyRiders TV series (in development) and MegaRacers (in development).
The New Frontier: Creating Your Own IP
Six Point Harness: Brendan Burch
Brendan Burch, Executive Producer and CEO of Six Point Harness, founded the Los Angeles-based studio in his apartment, and before long he found himself producing TV projects for Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV. Years later, Brendan initiated an original content development program that quickly revealed what would become known as Dick Figures. Funded with profits earned on TV and commercial work, Dick Figures has now achieved over 380 million views on Mondo Media’s You Tube channel. Following his education at the world-renowned animation school CalArts and a few brief stints at LA-based animation studios, Brendan set his focus on creating his own creative studio. With talented friends committed, Six Point Harness was officially born in 2003, tackling work-for-hire projects for major brands and animation studios. Through the years, Brendan has maintained a loyal crew of creative talent who have helped him weather the ups and downs of studio independence. All the while, he has pushed relentlessly to take the studio into new realms, producing major projects including the recent Tom Hanks’ series Electric City, MTV’s Good Vibes and The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie for Comedy Central. In 2013, he joined forces with neighboring independent studio Titmouse in developing and launching the web channel Rug Burn featuring an original slate of animated series projects.
GURU Studio: Frank Falcone
Frank Falcone has been involved in bringing film and television projects to life as an animator, director and executive producer for nearly 20 years. Frank received his art and animation training at both the University of Toronto and the Sheridan College Computer Animation program, where he currently chairs the Program Advisory Committee. The company boasts a history of international commercial and television series work, including its own Emmy® and Annie Award nominated hit preschool series Justin Time (52 x 11), now going into its third season and appearing on NBC Kids/Sprout, Disney Junior and Netflix. Guru is also known for its high-quality design and animation services on series such as the award winning Nickelodeon preschool hit The Backyardigans, new tween girl series Ever After High from the creators of Monster High, and the Spinmaster/Nick Jr. CG action preschool series – Paw Patrol. Guru has an ambitious originals slate including cartoon series Nonebrain, Nemesis with Teletoon, and Wish Come True in development with TVO and Amazon.
Blur Studio: Tim Miller
Tim Miller is an award-winning director, talented digital artist and passionate storyteller with notable accomplishments in 3D animation and visual effects production. From National Super Bowl spots, to original short films and action-packed game cinematics, he has directed a wide variety of film, television, large format and commercial campaigns spanning audiences big and small. Recent notable projects include the opening title sequence for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo feature film and national campaign for Halo 4. He is currently in development with several feature films and is an active member of the Visual Effects Society and the Academy of Motion Pictures.
OddBot: Fred Schaefer
Fred Schaefer has over twenty years experience developing and producing animation. He is an executive producer at OddBot, Inc., an LA-based studio that has produced animation for Disney Jr., PBS Sprout, American Greetings, and Club Penguin. Prior to joining OddBot, he served as supervising producer of The Secret Saturdays, a Cartoon Network Original Series, and the Emmy Award-winning NBC/Discovery Kids series Tutenstein, among others. His first animation gig was at Walt Disney Television Animation, where he developed syndicated series, specials, theatrical and direct-to-video movies.