Digital Art & Animation Students Connect with Filmmakers
The students in the Digital Art & Animation program have had a busy month. On February 9, a group of students attended the Entertainment Design Speaker Series at San Jose State University to hear master animator James Baxter speak. Baxter is a former Disney and DreamWorks lead animator, supervising the animation of characters such as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” Rafiki in “The Lion King,” and Quasimodo in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” among many others. Baxter discussed his time in the industry, how to develop and refine a workflow, and then animated a scene live for the audience. He took questions as he worked, and two of our DA&A students asked terrific questions.
Then, on February 20, students had the opportunity to see the five Oscar-nominated animated shorts at a screening at San Francisco State, with several of the filmmakers in attendance. Finally, on March 9, students returned to San Jose State for a lecture by Disney story artist and director Steve Anderson. Anderson worked on story for “Tarzan” and “The Emperor’s New Groove,” and directed “Winnie the Pooh” and “Meet the Robinsons.” He talked about story development, character design, and the challenges in directing an animated feature. All the students in attendance at these events called them inspiring and informational, and learned a lot from these animation professionals.
The Digital Art & Animation department is grateful to Raquel Cohelo at San Jose State, ASIFA-San Francisco, and Ron Diamond’s Acme Filmworks for including us in these events.