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1+3+5=The Making of 9

[hdplay id=15 ]

Title: 1+3+5=The Making of 9
Sponsored by The Creative Talent Network
CTNX09: Filmed Nov 2009; Posted June 2010
Length 45 min
You don’t want to miss this rare opportunity to meet up with the front end creative team  from the ground breaking Focus Features film “9″ .

This informal discussion with the creative team takes us from the independent pioneering start of a filmmaker  to the acclaimed  feature film release  headed for academy nominations. How did they make “9″?

Moderator Aaron Simpson

Aaron is the Founder of Cold Hard Flash (, a popular news and entertainment site focusing on the rapidly expanding universe of Flash animation. Animation Magazine called the site “one of the 13 platforms reshaping our world.”

Simpson is an Emmy-nominated Producer of “Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island,” a Flash-animated series that aired on Kids’WB! in 2005. In addition, at Warner Bros., he produced over a dozen development shorts while producing the “Johnny Test” pilot for the 2005-2006 season. Prior to Warner Bros., Simpson was Senior Producer of Original Content at Sony, where he helped architect a forward-thinking entertainment portal, Screenblast. Also, in 2006 and 2007, Simpson held the title of Vice President, Animation & Development at JibJab Media.

Simpson recently produced the development pilot for Comedy Central’s animated series Gay Robot. As a sought-after animation consultant, his client list has included Nickelodeon, Animax Entertainment, Mondo Media, Six Point Harness and Sony Pictures TV Animation.

In 2005, Aaron was a judge at KOCCA’s Star Project Awards in Seoul, and he has presented at SXSW, Digital Hollywood, Flashforward and FITC Hollywood. In September 2006, he was featured in the Flash Tenth Anniversary online video presentation at, and more recently Simpson was nominated to chairman of the board for the upcoming 2010 Platform International Animation Festival, which is now the biggest animation event in the United States.

sacker_thumbPanelist Shane Acker

Shane Acker is an award-winning director, animator and designer. “9” is a feature length production based his student Academy Award winning short and was produced by Tim Burton and Timor Bekmambetov.

The 11-minute short “9” premiered at Sundance in 2005 and has garnered numerous awards including the “Best in Show” at the 2005 SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006.

Shane has a multidisciplinary background, studying architecture for several years before becoming a filmmaker. He is a graduate of UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture where he received both a Masters Degree in Architecture and a MFA in Animation. Adept at Maya, Form-Z, Photoshop, AfterEffects, Premiere, Flash, and more, Shane works in 2D and 3D with élan.
Shane is currently an artist in residence at the Gnomon Workshop and a visiting professor in the School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University.  To learn more about Shane’s work, you can visit his website at

jbell_thumbPanelist Jeff Bell

Jeff most recently served as Visual FX Supervisor for the Focus Feature’s theatrical film Nine, due for release in Fall 2009.

He acted as Lighting Supervisor, Lead Lighter, and worked with Attitude Studios and the Technology team at Starz to engineer an asset transfer pipeline to enable animation and lighting data transfers into either companies pipeline.

From 2003 to 2007 Jeff was VP of Technology for Starz Animation and IDT Entertainment, in charge of guiding 30 Technical Directors and Software Engineers in building in house visual systems and production pipelines.

Jeff also served as CG Supervisor for 20th Century Fox’s theatrical film Everyone’s Hero, released in 2006.
cvacher_thumbPanelist Christophe Vacher

Christophe Vacher is a French artist who has provided backgrounds, visual development and art direction for Walt Disney Feature Animation and the animation industry since 1989. He worked in different animation studios before joining Disney’s Paris-based animation unit for three years, where he painted backgrounds for such animated films as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Runaway Brain” and served as head of background for the 1995 feature, “A Goofy Movie”.
Relocating to California in 1996, he continued his association with Disney, where his credits have included painting backgrounds and concept artwork for “Dinosaur”, “Hercules,” “Tarzan”, the Stravinsky Firebird finale for “Fantasia 2000″ and “Treasure Planet”.
He also worked on Dreamworks’ “Shark Tale” doing concept Artwork and paintings.

He shares his time between personal artwork for galleries, covers for books, cds and video games, and movie studios work. In 2004, he got into Art Direction, first on a CG animated short movie for Studio Arts in Los Angeles, then for the animated segment of Disney’s live action movie “Enchanted”, and eventually the CG feature film “9″, produced by Tim Burton and directed by Shane Acker.

At CTN Expo, he will be part of the panel from “9” to discuss his role on the movie along with the Director, the Producer, the Production Designer and the Director of Animation.

To see more of his work, go visit his website:

fwarter_thumbPanelist Fred Warter
Fred Warter was born in southern California with a paintbrush in his hand. One of his earliest grade school teachers first recognized his artistic abilities and would give him extra credit for any illustration that would accompany his academic assignments.  But it was his passion for illustrator Frank Frazetta and Mad magazine which truly solidified his illustrative direction.

After high school he studied illustration at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena California, graduating with honors in 1983. After graduating he landed a job as a character animator for Don Bluth Studios.

Mentored by the animation legend John Pomeroy, Warter animated on the landmark animated video games Space Ace and Dragons Lair II.  In 1985 he worked as a background painter for various television studios including Marvel, Hanna Barbera, and Disney Television animation. In 1991 he art directed the Emmy®-nominated television series Darkwing Duck.

Warter also continued his illustration career and in 1992 completed a massive illustration project for the video and illustrated children’s book Annie Oakley for Rabbit Ears Productions. The project achieved several awards including the Cine Golden Eagle Award, and The National Educational Film & Video Festival Silver Apple.

In 1995 he worked as production designer on the classic A GOOFY MOVIE for which he was nominated for a best production design Annie.  The next few years were spent working as a visual development artist for Pixar, Disney Feature animation, DreamWorks and Warner Bros. on such timeless films as A BUG’S LIFE, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO, SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON, THE IRON GIANT and HOME ON THE RANGE.

In 1998 he accepted the assignment to art direct Disney’s THE LION KING II and went on to art direct LADY AND THE TRAMP II, PIGLETS BIG MOVIE and THE FOX AND THE HOUND II.  In 2007 Warter took on the challenge of production designer on visionary Shane Ackers’ feature, 9.

In 2008, Warter returned to Disney to art direct the John Lasseter executive produced global hit, TINKER BELL.  He is currently art directing TINKER BELL AND THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE, the third film in the Disney fairies franchise.

Warter lives away from the hectic hustle and bustle of Los Angeles in the beautiful San Luis Obispo area north of Santa Barbara, California, with his wife and two children, five horses and three dogs.

RStPierre_thumbPanelist Robert St. Pierre

Robert St. Pierre is a Production Designer, Visual Development, and Layout Artist with 19 years experience in the animation industry.

Originally born and raised in New England, Robert attended Paier College of Art, a private art school located in Hamden, Connecticut. He then transferred to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he earned a BFA in Illustration in 1990. Following graduation he continued to advance his studies in Architectural Rendering, Production Design and Directing for Live Action Film at UCLA, in West Los Angeles.

Prior to his graduation, Robert was approached by recruiters from the Walt Disney Studios, seeking participants for a storyboard-training program. After successfully completing this program he sought out opportunities in the Background Layout and Environment Design areas of production within the studio. This in turn lead to a position in 1993, that involved working on a feature property through Disney’s Paris studio in France. Since then Robert has continued to work as a Layout Artist for Warner Brothers Feature Animation, Disney Direct to Home Videos and Walt Disney’s Feature Animation. He has also freelanced for numerous other studios.

Robert has advanced his career through accepting additional challenges and responsibilities as a Layout Supervisor and Production Designer. Projects have encompassed work ranging from direct to home video, to feature length films. This work has included international projects based in Germany, France and Australia. And the most recent international task involved the making of the movie “9“ in Luxembourg.

In addition to his numerous television credits, Robert’s direct to home video and feature format screen credits include “A Goofy Movie“, “Another Goofy Movie“, “Space Jam“, “Lady and the Tramp 2“, “Mulan 2“, “9” and “The Princess and the Frog“. Robert has also worked on numerous projects as a visual development and conceptual design artist. These undertakings range from animated and live action film, to parade float and interior design work. He has also taught part time and conducted lecture series in Layout in Animation and Professional Portfolio Presentations.

Currently, Robert is working for Warner Brothers and Walt Disney Studios.

Panelist Jinko Gotoh

Jinko Gotoh is an independent consultant and producer for the animated feature industry. For over 25 years she has worked in a wide range of media, with particular emphasis on the evolution of CGI and animation, where her strengths include nurturing the creative process, and fostering cost-effective methods of production.

Her latest screen credits are as co-executive producer for The Illusionist, directed by Academy Award-winning director Sylvain Chomet; and as co-producer for 9, directed by Shane Acker.
On the Academy Award-winning Finding Nemo, directed by Andrew Stanton, she oversaw scheduling and budgeting in her capacity as the associate producer.
She also worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation as director of digital production, overseeing the move into CGI animation and its extensive application on such features as Eric Leighton’s and Ralph Zondag’s Dinosaur, and Fantasia 2000.
Earlier, Ms. Gotoh was the CGI producer on Joe Pytka’s Space Jam, which blended live-action, visual effects, and virtual environments with traditional and CGI animation.
She began her career in advertising at Dentsu Inc., producing commercials and large-format films that helped pioneer the usage of CGI, as well as the practice of using music video directors to do network commercials.
Born in Japan, Ms. Gotoh was raised in California and attended Columbia University, where she earned a BS in Applied Math, as well as an MFA in Film.

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