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What Is Animation Today


Title: What is Animation Today
Sponsored by The Creative Talent Network
Length 45min
Filmed in November 2010

Description: With animation being seen in just about everything we watch on TV and Screen the question arises more often than not within the community and in it’s award categories about  “What is animation?” When you’ve got Sponge Bob SquarePants to Avatar to Princess and the Frog to Warcraft not to mention motion graphics is some of the hottest commercials today it brings up the question “What is animation and what is an animator?” Join AMPAS executive board member Bill Kroyer  with members from the classical, 3D, VFX and independent film community as they discuss the principles that define what animation is.

Moderator 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.

Renaud Armanet Indy Animator and Animation Director Tigobo (coming soon)

Jason Spencer-Galsworthy Stop Motion/3D Animator Dreamworks
Jason Spencer-Galsworthy is a former-stop motion animator from Aardman Animations in England where he worked on films such as Chicken Run and Curse Of The Were-Rabbit. He moved to the U.S. seven years ago to cut his teeth in CG character animation at Dreamworks where he quickly became a supervisor, working on films including Flushed Away, Madagascar 2 and most recently Megamind. In 2009 he co-headed animation on the holiday special Merry Madagascar. Jason is slated to move onto Madagascar 3 and is currently working part time as a Distinguished Scholar at San Jose State University where he is teaching the final year of Character Animation for the BFA course.


Ken Duncan is one of the pre-eminent character animators working today. His astute observations of human nature, combined with his extensive knowledge of art and history, imbue his characters with subtle, believable personalities.

After attending Sheridan College, Ken Duncan got his start on television commercials and feature films in France, England and Spain. Given his desire to focus on character performance, Ken soon joined Walt Disney Feature Animation where the eight films that he worked on as Animator and Supervising Animator produced some of his most indelible character work, such as “Jane” from Tarzan, “Meg” from Hercules, “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast, and “Jafar” from Aladdin. After Disney, Ken was the Supervising Animator of “Angie” on DreamWorks Animation’s Shark Tale.

Over the course of his career, Ken has been nominated for three ASIFA-Hollywood Annie Awards for Best Individual Achievement in Character Animation for Hercules, Tarzan, and Shark Tale. The Visual Effects Society also nominated his work on Shark Tale for “Outstanding Performance” and on 9 for “Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture.”

Ken’s commitment to creating memorable characters continues to propel him forward, bringing his love of animation and his knowledge of strong character performances to his innovative production house Duncan Studio.

Duncan Studio, working in both traditional and CGI mediums, provides storyboarding, character design, visual development, and animation services for feature films, commercials, and internet projects. The studio’s client list includes: DreamWorks Animation SKG, The Walt Disney Company, Blue Sky Studios, Focus Features, Alpine Studios, DigiMax, and Walden Media.
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Emile Ghorayeb | Animation Director is a well recognized character animator who has contributed on a great number of high profile films such as Academy Award® nominated Shrek 2, Madagascar, Academy Award® nominated Shrek The Third, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, as well as key shots in the highly acclaimed and Academy Award® nominated Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He also directed cinematic animation on VES Award winning Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and recently Halo: Reach. He has managed and participated in the development of production teams in multiple animation and visual effects studios. Emile has been working in the industry since 1997 with nominations as Siggraph Maya Master 2008 and 3dsMax Master 2008.

Panelist Mike Disa: Help me welcome animation Director and Writer Mike Disa to CTNX 2010. After working for over ten years as an animator/story artist at studios like Disney Feature Animation, Warner Feature, Marvel, Amblin, and Hanna Barbara, Mike struck out to become an independent Director/Writer.

After co-creating the series pilot Creepwood for Warner’s On-line, directing commercials, and developing a feature project for Warner’s Feature, Mike directed and storyboarded the Lilo and Stitch short for Disney called The Origin of Stitch.

The short was well enough received that Mike moved to Disney Toons Studios to develop a series of direct-to-video films based on the classic Snow White film. Mike left the project after a creative disagreement about Dopey speaking and soon after the project was cancelled.

Mike spent a year working on Rob Zombie’s El SuperBeasto before moving on to direct Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs Evil, the CG feature film follow-up to the 2006 hit Hoodwinked for Kanbar Ent/The Weinstein Company.

Since that film wrapped in March of 2009, Mike has directed the feature length animated adaptation of EA’s Dante’s Inferno and is presently directing another R-rated feature length project that will be announced at this year’s Comic Con.

Mike Disa on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1918538/

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