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Birds of A Feather ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Educators Forum

Description: What are the core skills in animation today? Over the past decade schools across the world have opened up animation education programs at rapid speed, offering curricula ranging from the most art driven experimental approaches to strict industry driven models. Join us for a round table discussion at the CTN expo (date, place) for a discussion on what really NEEDS to be taught in Animation education. PLUS: For professionals who are considering teaching, a short discussion of how to job hunt in academia, with time to network, will follow the main discussion. Students are welcome as well.

Moderator Dori Littell-Herrick is the Chair of the Department of Animation in the School of Media, Culture & Design, Woodbury University since 2005. She comes to teaching after 28 years in the animation industry as an artist, production manager and creative executive.  As an animation artist, her credits include Ferngully the Last Rainforest (Kroyer Films), National Lampoon Christmas Vacation title animation (Kroyer Films), The Little Mermaid (Disney Studios) and various commercials including iconic characters such as Trix Rabbit, Keebler Elves, Tony the Tiger, Dig’m the Frog, Raid Bugs and Snap, Crackle and Pop.  As a production manager, Dori worked on Eight Crazy Nights (Sony), Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (Marina Motion), Osmosis Jones (WB), Quest for Camelot (WB), Aladdin Video Game (Metrolight Studios), Beavis and Butthead (Metrolight Studios), Ren and Stimpy (Metrolight Studios).  As a producer in development at Warner Bros Feature Animation, Dori managed the creative development of feature films and short projects.

Moderator  Aubry Mintz has worked as a character animator at Industrial Light and Magic (The Mummy) and Square USA  (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) and as an award winning freelance animation director for television and the Internet working on projects for clients such as Smirnoff, McDonalds and General Mills. Of special note, he was awarded a Gold medal in the short film category at the Houston World Festival for co-directing the short live action film “The Shadow and the Clown” and a Gold Medal for best interactive animation at the CMA (Canadian Marketing Association) awards, and 2 silvers and a merit award from the Advertising & Design club of Canada for his directing on the “Lucky Charms” interactive website.

Passionate about teaching, animating and telling stories, Aubry is an Associate Professor at California State University Long Beach and continues to produce, direct and animate short films for festival release. Currently, Aubry’s animated PSA’s about responsible drinking “Sloppy Joe” can be seen on rotation on the popular Canadian music station Muchmusic.

Panelist Will Weston is a full time professor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He teaches in and supervises the Entertainment Art track. The track, a specialty within Art Center’s Illustration department, prepares students to enter the animation, game and movie fields. Will also teaches at USC in the Graduate School of Animation, and at the Animation Union in Burbank CA, where he conducts seminars for industry workers and the public in drawing, composition and digital painting. Will has a BFA from the California College of the Arts, and an MFA in studio painting from the Claremont Graduate University. He works with both traditional and digital media.

Will is an experienced artist with a lengthy professional background. In animation, he worked for Disney Studios, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. Animation, and Sony Feature Animation.  Before entering animation field, Will was a successful advertising and editorial illustrator. He worked nationally through agents in New York, Los Angeles & Chicago.

Panelist Maureen Furniss teaches history in the character animation and experimental animation programs at California Institute of the Arts. She is the founding editor of Animation Journal and the author of Art in Motion: Animation Aesthetics and The Animation Bible, a book related to experimental animation production. She holds a doctorate in Critical Studies from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.
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Panelist Marilyn Friedman As Head of Outreach for DreamWorks Animation, Marilyn Friedman spearheads the company’s school outreach initiatives, assessing university academic programs as they pertain to the studio’s varied production needs. She is also a liaison on behalf of DreamWorks Animation with industry and community related events, festivals and other projects.
Prior to her current role, Marilyn led DreamWorks Animation’s world-class team of recruiters in staffing all animation studio production and technology groups.  Her efforts were key in building up the studio’s production capability with PDI/DreamWorks first computer animated feature film, Antz.  She was responsible for the continued staffing of Academy Awardâ-winning Shrek as well as the sequel, Shrek 2. The first and second computer-generated films to be produced at DreamWorks Feature Animation, Shark Tale and Over the Hedge, also came under her watch.

Marilyn joined PDI (Pacific Data Images) seventeen years ago, as one of two production managers for the pioneering computer graphics production facility. She then moved into a recruiting role with the studio in 1996 when PDI entered into a co-production deal with DreamWorks Animation.

Marilyn kicked off her career in the graphics industry with the creative services agency Peterson and Dodge in San Francisco. She later moved to San Francisco’s Frazier Design, a high-end graphics design studio, where she held the role of studio and project manager for six years.

Marilyn is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.  She is involved with many educational initiatives and advisory boards worldwide.

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