Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cal Arts Presents!

Seems there was a do in North Hollywood for a number of Valencians.

On Thursday night, CalArts presented its annual Character Animation Producers' Show, which showcased some of the best of the best from this year's students. Twenty-three cool, inventive and oftentimes funny shorts played to a packed audience at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood.

Pixar director, Oscar winner, and alum Pete Docter (Up) gave out the awards this year ...

I went to a number of these presentations, back in the merry nineties. I was always impressed with the level of creativity, talent and all-around joie de vivre the shorts displayed. Animation studios were hauling the films' creators away to full-time employment shortly after the theater lights went up, many of them long before graduation.

As to the number of animators/creators who get spirited away now, I've no idea.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Id love to know, since I dream of going to that very school for that very study, for that very hope of being employed by a great studio.

Anonymous said...

The nice thing about these young talents is that they'll work for peanuts, giving studios added incentive to ease the older and more costly artists out the door.

Floyd Norman said...

"You want money? You should be grateful to work here. We give you free nachos!"

I'm afraid it's a buyer's market.

Anonymous said...

Cal Arts CG department is crap. No one goes to major studios from Cal Arts anymore unless it's visual development/concept/story.

Animation wise, Animation Mentor and the other major schools (SCAD, Ringling) are eating their lunch. (but they arent all that great either)

Anonymous said...

Not sure who the hater is, but CalArts is still the animation school for learning animation from the pros. If you want to learn how to use a computer or do it in less than 12 months in order to get a rotoscoping job, then CalArts may not be for you, there are plenty of other schools for that.

Anonymous said...

CalArts is an above average college that brings in industry talent at best, and nothing more than a trade school at worst.

Time and again I am shocked at how little foundation courses the artists that graduate CalArts leave with. By contrast all SCAD students graduate with a minor in art history because of the rigorous curriculum.

CalArts grads have an abysmal grasp of art history. "So what, they don't need art history" you say. "They go right into making cartoons at a studio"

And we wonder why the product never really gets past a certain level in quality...

Anonymous said...

" I am shocked at how little foundation courses the artists that graduate CalArts leave with"

I couldn't agree more. They do have a difficult time keeping good (much less GREAT) teachers. The school accepts far too many students, and the facilities are very out of date. The students are great, and about the same percentage find success after leaving the school as they always have.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure who "Anonymous Monday, May 16, 2011 3:53:00 PM" is, but they clearly dont work in the industry.

Anonymous said...

"CalArts grads have an abysmal grasp of art history. "So what, they don't need art history" you say. "They go right into making cartoons at a studio"

And we wonder why the product never really gets past a certain level in quality..."



I'm a CalArts grad, and I'm somewhat in agreement with this, at least as it pertains to Animation.

The Art School students have a terrific sense of art history, but that points out the dichotomous nature of the school: an all encompassing arts education, but also very walled-off at times between each discipline.

But as far as the quality of animation never really getting past a certain level being due to a recent graduate not knowing art history? I'd say it has more to do with the studio status-quo, and the executives and production supes not wanting to slip from their high perches by exploring any risky originality.

The executives would rather advertise a known name like a new Flintstones (however different in sensibility the new "take" on the franchise will be),
than take a fantastically original CalArts thesis short film and let it blossom into greatness. And they could blossom nicely.

Anonymous said...

CalArts is tops for the west coast and Ringling is tops for the East coast. If you didn't get past the CalArts portfolio review you can always resubmit.

Anonymous said...

"But as far as the quality of animation never really getting past a certain level being due to a recent graduate not knowing art history? I'd say it has more to do with the studio status-quo, and the executives and production supes not wanting to slip from their high perches by exploring any risky originality"

No. Come on, you should have a solid foundation in art history if you go to an art school. Thats just the axiom of a good education. The only way a Cal Arts grad will know about a fine artist is if there was a famous Disney artist who mentions them. A good education in art cannot be attained when its only through the prism of the history of Disney.

If you graduate an art school you should have studied the Jansen and Arnason texts. Period. There are thousands of years of inspiring work and ideas and philosophies that Cal Arts grads do not study and if they did, then they would be released into our industry with much more fertile minds. The work we see in the industry would be more inspired. How can you graduate from an art school without survey classes? Without knowing Laoco├Ân? Or Brancusi? Are German expressionism?
Without learning art history, its just a trade school.

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