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Directing Animation vs Live Action

Title: Director for Animation vs Live Action
Sponsored by The Creative Talent Network
CTNX09: Filmed Nov 2009; Posted August 2010
Length 45 min
[hdplay id=20 ]

Bill Kroyer is an award-winning director of animation and computer graphics commercials, short films, movie titles and theatrical films. Trained in classic hand-drawn animation at the Disney Studio, Bill was one of the first animators to make the leap to computer animation as Computer Image Choreographer on Disney’s ground-breaking 1982 feature, “Tron.” Founding his own company, Kroyer Films, Inc., Bill and his wife Susan pioneered the technique of combining hand-drawn animation with computer animation. Bill was Director of such projects as his Academy Award® nominated short film “Technological Threat” and the theatrical animated feature film “FernGully: The Last Rainforest”. Bill is currently Senior Animation Director at Rhythm & Hues Studios in Los Angeles, where he supervised animation “Garfield”, “Scooby Doo”, “Cats & Dogs” and “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.” He has directed animation in commercials for Cox Communications, Novell, AT&T, Cheetos, Hankook, and the Coca Cola Polar Bears. Bill’s animation has won awards at festivals all over the world. He serves on the Executive Board of the Animation Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Join Bill at CTN-X 09 where his will be joined by other experts in from 2D, 3D and VFX as he hosts some engaging round table discussion on the subject of animations.
CTN Member Bill Kroyer

Rob Minkoff Animation director Rob Minkoff was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. In his youth his interest in drawing and animation was magnified while watching his 8mm film collection, which included Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (1959). Slowing the films down, he studied the action one frame at a time. He furthered his personal education on the subject after discovering the book The Art of Walt Disney at a friend’s house.

While his head wasn’t swimming in animation, Minkoff worked in theater, performing for numerous groups including the Palo Alto Children’s Theater, Theater Works and his high school dramatic group. Following graduation, the decision to attend CalArts in Valencia and pursue his dream of becoming an animator was coming into fruition.

In 1982, he served an internship at Disney and had a chance to train with one of the studio’s legendary “nine old men,” Eric Larson. A year later, Minkoff was hired by Disney and began to work on his first assignment, The Black Cauldron (1985), followed by The Great Mouse Detective (1986). The next few years he worked on various aspect of Disney’s feature films such as developing and writing for a variety of animated features, including a song for Oliver & Company (1988), character designs for The Little Mermaid (1989), and an early treatment for Beauty And The Beast (1991).

He made his directing debut on a couple of animated shorts starring Roger Rabbit, such as Tummy Trouble (1989) followed by Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990). He landed the chance to direct a feature film in the early 90′s with Disney’s The Lion King (1994).

Following the success of The Lion King (1994), Minkoff left Disney to work with Columbia where he released the popular Stuart Little (1999) films (1999 and 2002), based on a mouse who lives as an equal family member with a group of kindly humans. The films mix live action and computer animation.

Simon Wells The great-grandson of celebrated author H.G. Wells, who penned such classics as The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau and The War of the Worlds, Simon hails from Cambridge, England, where his parents taught at the prestigious university. Wells attended Leicester Polytechnic where he studied audio-visual design.

Following school, he worked for British animator Richard Williams, and worked on a number of different animated commercials. After a few years, the studio closed down and Wells turned to creating storyboards for such feature-length films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and the two sequels to Back to the Future.

In the ’90s, Wells turned to directing and made his debut with the sequel to An American Tail. Although not as popular as the first film, the sequel did well enough to garner some notice, and future work. The rest of the ’90s saw Wells work on other animated features such as Balto (1995) and The Prince of Egypt (1998).

For the start of this millennium, Wells decided to tackle his first live-action film, and chose none other than his own great-grandfather’s The Time Machine (2002).

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