SPARK ANIMATION '10
SPARK ANIMATION '10
Celebrating Innovation & Inspiration
September 8 – 12, 2010
It's that time of the year again! Come and join us as we celebrate our third annual festival of animation, SPARK Animation '10!
This year, we summoned our inner Ninja to overcome challenges, get creative, and assemble a schedule that is sure to inspire! Opening September 8 and running through to September 12, our "limited edition" schedule contains an evening series of screenings plus a full day of presentations and panels designed to celebrate the incredible achievements and talents behind recent groundbreaking films. Our featured speakers come from DreamWorks Animation, Aardman, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Blue Sky Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and more! Our celebrated film festival kicks off this year with the Vancouver premiere of Waking Sleeping Beauty and the Canadian premiere of Walt & El Grupo with an introduction by director Ted Thomas.
Join us at our Opening Mixer on the eve of September 8 as we kick off the start of another fantastic event!
We're looking forward to seeing you there!
Wednesday · September 8, 7:00 PM
Walt & El Grupo chronicles the amazing ten-week trip that Walt Disney and his hand-picked group of artists and filmmaking talent (later known as "El Grupo") took to South America in 1941 at the behest of the U.S. Government as part of the Good Neighbour Policy. Within just three short years after the phenomenal success of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the Walt Disney Studios experienced a chain of financial challenges that ultimately led to the infamous animators strike. Also during this time, the Roosevelt administration had growing concerns about Nazi and Fascist influence in Latin America, and the rest of the world was slipping further into war. In stark contrast to these trying times, Disney and his colorful group of artists found themselves on a lively trip full of hope and discovery as they explored various South American cities, spending the majority of their time in the countries of Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The group was saddled with an unusual assignment — while gathering story material, immersing themselves in the culture, befriending local artists, meeting political leaders and attending countless functions, their journey was also a de facto diplomatic mission, and as a result, the studio produced the classic films Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. Shot on film in five countries, Walt & El Grupo is a tale that still resonates on both sides of the equator. The film time travels in Walt Disney's footsteps through the use of personal letters and stunning artwork from the trip, remembrances by descendants and survivors, and extraordinary never-before-seen footage. Walt & El Grupo brings together an intertwined story of art and politics, the poignancy of a bygone age, and a legendary artist during one of his most trying times.
Wednesday · September 8, 9:30 PM
Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairytale. It is a story of clashing egos, out of control budgets, escalating tensions... and one of the most extraordinary creative periods in animation history. Director Don Hahn and producer Peter Schneider, key players at Walt Disney Studios Feature Animation department during the mid-1980s, offer a behind-the-magic glimpse of the turbulent times the Animation Studio was going through and the staggering output of hits that followed over the next ten years. Artists polarized between the hungry young innovators and the old guard who refused to relinquish control, mounting tensions due to a string of box office flops, and warring studio heads create the backdrop for this fascinating story told with a unique and candid perspective from those that were there. Through interviews, internal memos, home movies, and a cast of characters featuring Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Roy Disney, alongside an amazing array of talented artists that includes Don Bluth, John Lasseter, and Tim Burton, Waking Sleeping Beauty shines a light on Disney Animation's darkest hours, greatest joys and its improbable renaissance.
Thursday · September 9, 7:30 PM
Featuring the work of three acclaimed UK studios, Studio AKA, Passion Pictures and Astley Baker Davies, this program will illustrate some of the amazing, inspiring and truly incredible work which comes out of the UK animation industry. Included in the program are award-winning ads, videos, and short films which push boundaries and challenge viewer.
Thursday · September 9, 9:30 PM
Chicken Run was Aardman's first feature animation. Made with production partners DreamWorks Animation, it represented a huge learning curve for the company and involved a big expansion as Aardman created its feature animation studio north of Bristol.
The story centers on a repressed flock of chickens, led by plucky Ginger, who serially fails to escape from their prison camp farm. When cock-sure rooster Rocky arrives, he eggs the hens on to fly the coop, but proves to be yellow. Mrs Tweedy and her doltish husband take delivery of a humungous pie machine... chicken pie that is, and the pressure is on!
Friday · September 10, 9:45 PM
From the studio that brought you Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda comes How to Train Your Dragon. Based on the book by Cressida Cowell and set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, this action-comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn't exactly fit in with his tribe's longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup's world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges he and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.
Saturday · September 11, 7:30 PM
Come experience the latest advancements in computer graphics and the world's best animation and visual effects in this year's Electronic Theater showcased at the SIGGRAPH 2010 Computer Animation Festival. SPARK is proud to present this special program of "the best of the best," with a diverse selection of animation from individual artists, animated commercials, cinematics and excerpts from visual effects feature films. This year's treats include Teddy Newton's Day & Night from Pixar Animation Studios and the 2010 Oscar® recipient for Best Animated Shorts Logorama by Autour de Minuit Productions.
Saturday · September 11, 9:45 PM
The goodness continues with more of the best animated and visual effects shorts showcased at SIGGRAPH 2010.
Sunday · September 12, 3:00 PM
In Nanny McPhee Returns, Oscar®-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson returns to the role of the magical nanny who appears when she's needed the most and wanted the least in the next chapter of the hilarious and heartwarming fable that has enchanted children around the world. In the latest installment, Nanny McPhee appears at the door of a harried young mother, Mrs. Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war. But once she's arrived, Nanny McPhee discovers that Mrs. Green's children are fighting a war of their own against two spoiled city cousins who have just moved in and refuse to leave. Relying on everything from a flying motorcycle and a statue that comes to life to a tree — climbing piglet and a baby elephant who turns up in the oddest places, Nanny McPhee uses her magic to teach her mischievous charges five new lessons.
Sunday · September 12, 5:00 PM
More SIGGRAPH 2010 gems, this assortment of animated shorts showcase more of this year's best in CG animation and visual effects.
Sunday · September 12, 7:15 PM
Metropia takes place in a not-so-distant future. The world is running out of oil and the undergrounds have been connected into a gigantic subway network beneath Europe.
Whenever Roger from Stockholm enters this system he hears a stranger's voice in his head. He looks to the mysterious Nina to help him escape the disturbing web of the Metro, but the farther they travel, the deeper he's involved in a dark conspiracy.
Metropia is directed by Tarik Saleh, an award-winning director, producer, animator and graphic designer. Art director Martin Hultman stands behind the unique look of Metropia. The story is based on an idea by Fredrik Edin, Martin Hultman and Tarik Saleh.
The development of Metropia started in 2003. Before then, Atmo produced and created a number of short animated films for Swedish Television. The hyper realistic style (described as if "Kafka would have painted the last supper with a machine gun") was developed by Martin Hultman and Tarik Saleh and layed the ground to the imagery in Metropia.
PG: Coarse language, nudity, violence
Sunday · September 12, 9:00 PM
Dr. Atsuko Chiba is a genius scientist by day, and a kick-ass dream warrior named PAPRIKA by night. In this psychedelic sci-fi adventure, it will take the skills of both women to save the world...
In the near future, a revolutionary new psychotherapy treatment called PT has been invented. Through a device called the DC Mini it is able to act as a dream detective to enter into people's dreams and explore their unconscious thoughts. Before the government can pass a bill authorizing the use of such advanced psychiatric technology, one of the prototypes is stolen, sending the research facility into an uproar. In the wrong hands, the potential misuse of the devise could be devastating, allowing the user to completely annihilate a dreamer's personality while they are asleep. Renowned scientist, Dr. Atsuko Chiba, enters the dream world under her exotic alter-ego, code name PAPRIKA, in an attempt to discover who is behind the plot to undermine the new invention.
In Japanese, with English subtitles.
PANELS & PRESENTATIONS
Join Kathy Altieri, Production Designer, Simon Otto, Head of Character Animation, and Craig Ring, Visual Effects Supervisor, as they talk about developing the look of DreamWorks Animation's hit film How to Train Your Dragon and the influence of live-action filmmaking on the techniques used to create the film's cutting-edge visual style and animation.
Saturday · September 11, 9:00 AM
Carlos will discuss the transformation of the character of Buzz Lightyear into his spanish mode. He'll show examples, references and explain his collaborative planning/brainstorming process with the Toy Story 3 Director and Supervisors. He will also demonstrate the animation process at Pixar by showing examples of his Toy Story 3 Spanish Buzz shots.
Saturday · September 11, 10:45 AM
When Day, a sunny fellow, encounters Night, a stranger of distinctly darker moods, sparks fly! Day and Night are frightened and suspicious of each other at first, and quickly get off on the wrong foot. But as they discover each other's unique qualities — and come to realize that each of them offers a different window onto the same world — the friendship helps both to gain a new perspective.
The screening of Day & Night will be followed by a presentation of its director, Teddy Newton, who will discuss his inspiration for the film, what it took to get a green-light from the studio, and the challenges posed by such a technically ambitious project.
Four Vancouver animation entrepreneurs participate in a panel discussion on how they built and maintained their studios. Big Bad Boo Studios, Blatant, Digital Alchemy Entertainment and Sequence all have their own individual approaches to surviving and thriving in a tough economy. Each studio also has a distinctive style of animation. Join us as we cheer on the smaller studios in our community.
Saturday · September 11, 2:15 PM
Animating and simulating hair has always been one of the toughest challenges in computer animation, and in the case of Tangled, the film-makers had the added difficulty of making 70 feet of wavy hair seem believable, organic, and controllable. Join Hidetaka Yosumi as he examines the innovative approach and advances of Walt Disney Animation Studios' production team as they tackled one of their "hairiest" assignments — making Rapunzel and Flynn's hair appealing and responsive to the needs of the animators.
Saturday · September 11, 4:00 PM
Pushing the boundaries of animation in their latest film, Tangled brought a wide range of new challenges to the Walt Disney Animation Studios' production team. Animator John Wong will explore and discuss the team's approach to using subtlety and expression in character animation to advance the art of CG animation. He will illustrate the techniques used on Tangled to help raise the bar for character performance and believability.
A seasoned business executive, Aly is co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios. After graduating with a BA in International Relations from the University of British Columbia, Aly spent several years working in the United Nations community spearheading international initiatives in the area of democratic transition and economic development with an NGO called Parliamentarians for Global Action. During this period, he spent time in Namibia, Bangladesh, Tanzania, India and at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where he spearheaded initiatives in Haiti, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Rwanda, and Zambia. He then completed his Juris Doctor (J.D.) at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, specializing in corporate and international law. After becoming a member of the California Bar, Aly worked as a management consultant with Bain & Company, an international strategic consulting firm.
In 1998, Aly started his own company Intra Technologies, a venture backed semi-conductor company. He ran Intra as CEO until 2003 when he sold it to a strategic partner. During his tenure at Intra, Aly raised over $15 million in debt and equity financing, acquired two companies in Europe and managed growth that exceeded 100% CAGR on an annual basis from the company's inception. In 2002, Aly was named top 40 under 40 in the State of Washington and then again in 2009 in Vancouver. Aly was born in Ndola, Zambia and grew up in Vancouver.
Carlos Baena joined Pixar Animation Studios as an animator in June 2002. Nominated for an Annie award for his work on the Golden Globe®-winning feature Cars, Baena has also worked on Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and WALL•E, all recipients of the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature. He most recently completed working on DisneyPixar's feature film Toy Story 3, released on June 18, 2010.
Before starting his career at Pixar, Baena worked at Industrial Light & Magic as an animator on the feature films Jurassic Park 3, Star Wars: Episode 2 and Men In Black 2. Baena is also Co-Founder of AnimationMentor, an Online Animation School based in Emeryville, California. In his free time, Baena enjoys working on video/live-action projects, as well as photography and music.
Baena was born in the Canary Islands and currently resides in San Francisco, California.
Chris began in the industry as the writer, director, and producer of 2 animated short films, which have received official selection in over 16 international film festivals throughout North America and Europe, winning multiple awards, international distribution, and television broadcast. He then worked at various studios in the Visual Effects and Animation industry on a variety of projects including MGM's Stargate SG-1 before starting Digital Alchemy Entertainment Inc.
Chris has lead many projects including work for the Sci-Fi Channel, various animated work for television broadcast for ABC, Treehouse and Spike TV, Music Videos for such artists as Bif Naked, and was the director of the animated TV series Zixx Level Three for YTV. Chris was also the writer, director and producer of multiple commercial advertisements.
Craig Ring recently wrapped his role as the Visual Effects Supervisor on DreamWorks Animation's March 26, 2010 film release How to Train Your Dragon. Previously, he served in the same capacity on Over the Hedge and the mini-movie Hammy's Boomerang Adventure. Ring worked as the Digital Supervisor on Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas before moving to DreamWorks Animation's Glendale campus. While based at PDI/DreamWorks in Northern California, Craig worked as a CG Supervisor on the traditionally animated The Road to El Dorado.
Ring's credits include Lead Lighting Supervisor for DreamWorks' first computer-animated release Antz. During his time at PDI/DreamWorks, Ring worked on such live-action features as Batman and Robin, The Peacemaker, The Arrival and Batman Forever.
Before joining PDI/DreamWorks, Ring was a Technical Director at Industrial Light & Magic, where he worked on the Oscar®-winning feature Forrest Gump. He began his career working in product design, software design and digital hardware design at Hewlett-Packard. Ring has a dual BS degree from Stanford University in Product Design and Electrical Engineering.
David Fine works alongside his partner, Alison Snowden. Together they create award-winning animated TV shows, short films and ads including the prime time adult series, Bob and Margaret, and recently, the Teletoon/Nickelodeon kids series Ricky Sprocket, Showbiz Boy which airs in over 150 countries. They have received three Academy Award nominations and an Oscar® for their short film Bob's Birthday, about a depressed middle-aged dentist. This short spawned the TV series Bob and Margaret, which ran to 52 half hours and garnered numerous awards and press accolades in Canada, the US and the UK. Alison provided the voice of Margaret.
Originally, from Toronto, David attended Britain's National Film and Television School where he met fellow student Alison Snowden, who is from Nottingham. After living in London for nineteen years, the pair moved to lovely Vancouver in 2004.
Originally from Osaka, Japan, Hidetaka Yosumi has worked as a Character TD at Walt Disney Animation Studios for the past five years. His educational background includes studies at Kobe University and Nara Institute for Science and Technology, where he received a Masters in Computer Science. Influenced at age 18 by Terminator 2, Hidetaka realized that he wanted to pursue a career combining computers and film. Launching his career as a 3D Tools Engineer at Dream Pictures Studios in Tokyo, he went on to work in a similar capacity at other studios in Japan and London. Moving to the United States in 2005, he went to work for Disney and has received credits on the animated short Glago's Guest (as General TD), the 2008 feature Bolt (as Character TD), the hit ABC-TV holiday special Prep & Landing (Lead Character TD), and the upcoming feature, Tangled (as Hair TD).
Ian Kirby is the Founder and President of Sequence, a Vancouver-based design and animation company. He also recently teamed up with partner Chris van Dyck and launched Faction, a small visual effects company with a focus in Feature Film Visual Effects. His background in 2D animation, design, compositing and colour grading, combined with an extensive knowledge of delivery formats and production, enables him to undertake and manage a broad spectrum of projects.
Ian was the co-creator of Broken Saints, a unique web-based animated graphic novel, which he animated and sound designed. This project was seen by millions around the globe, won an award at the Sundance Film Festival, and was eventually released through Fox Searchlight.
Recent projects include producing, directing and editing motion comics for Warner Bros.' I Am Legend, Batman: Black and White, Jonah Hex and Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series. Most recently, Ian directed and produced Prince of Persia Motion Comics.
Jesse Davidge has a background in producing topnotch 3D animation and FX for feature films, video games, and broadcast (God of War, & I, Robot). Jesse brings BLATANT's digital projects to an outstanding calibre. When he isn't pushing the bar here, he hones his skills as a comic artist.
Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, John Wong developed a love for drawing at an early age, and was encouraged by friends and family to pursue studying the arts. The film, Jurassic Park, added to his interest in computer graphics, and he went on to study animation at Vancouver Film School. He began his industry career at Vancouver's Bardel Animation as an FX assistant, before moving to Toronto in 2000 to work at various studios as an animator, story artist, character designer, and general artist. Wong came to the U.S. in 2005 to work at Sony Pictures Imageworks as an animator. His list of credits include Monster House, Open Season, Surf's Up, Beowulf, and I am Legend. During his three year tenure at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Wong has animated on two features (Bolt, Tangled), the hit ABC-TV animated holiday special Prep & Landing, and the upcoming short, Tick Tock Tale.
With skills as a digital artist and producer, Grow has experience in computer animation, visual effects and interactive media. Grow acquired his Bachelor's Degree from Purdue University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Technology, with an emphasis on Spatial Animation. Since arriving in Los Angeles, he has worked with various studios and production companies on a variety of web, film and video projects, including 3D and visual effects for high-profile movies such as Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man 2, Marmaduke, The A-Team, Knight and Day, and The Social Network. Joshua Grow has been a keynote speaker for animation events, university competitions and has worked with the SIGGRAPH Conference for over 8 years. Joshua is the 2011 SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival Director in Vancouver.
Kathy Altieri recently wrapped her duties as production designer on DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon, based on the children's book by Cressida Cowell. Prior to How to Train Your Dragon, Altieri was Production Designer on Over the Hedge and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. When arriving at DreamWorks Animation in 1994, Altieri worked as an Art Director on The Prince of Egypt. She was the first artist hired when DreamWorks was formed.
Before joining DreamWorks, Altieri worked at Disney Feature Animation as a background supervisor on Aladdin, the featurette The Prince and the Pauper, and the Roger Rabbit short Tummy Trouble. She was also a background painter for such animated successes as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and another Roger Rabbit short, Roller Coaster Rabbit. It was this opportunity at Disney, working directly with Jeffrey Katzenberg that made her talent and work ethic known.
Kathy attended the University of California at Los Angeles as an Art Major and also studied Illustration at Pasadena's Art Center for three years. She frequently teaches and speaks at conferences, festivals and at various schools about art, animation and hard work.
A former instructor in public speaking, Keith Blackmore has been a passionate teacher of animation film studies at Vancouver Film School since 1995. Utilizing films from his extensive personal collection, Keith's classes are famously entertaining and educational. He has also taught Animation History at ECUAD and VanArts, and has been a guest lecturer at festivals and studios around Vancouver. In addition to teaching, he also works as a documentary film-maker where he is currently working on a documentary about conscience objectors interned in Canada during WWII.
An animator who works with various media, Larry started his career in stop-motion and Claymation with the Will Vinton Studios, working on stop-motion projects such as the California Raisins, Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, The Globeheads for the Los Angeles Museum of Science & Industry, and numerous commercial projects before moving into CGI.
While at PDI/Dreamworks, Larry worked as Sequence Lead Animator on several hit films including Antz, Batman & Robin, A Simple Wish, as well was part of the animation effects team for Mission Impossible II, Forces of Nature and The Peacemaker. At Warner Brothers, Larry served as Lead Animator for the Stop-Motion Division on Tim Burton's feature, Mars Attacks.
From 2003 through 2008, Larry was Department Head of Animation & Visual Effects at Vancouver Film School, and currently holds the role of Vice President of Faculty & Business Development for the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts).
Larry serves as Animation Committee chair since 2008. As Chair of SPARK Animation, he has been instrumental in producing the annual Conferences and Festival series.
Simon Otto has been a key artist at DreamWorks Animation for nearly 13 years. As Head of Character Animation, he developed and designed the animation style for DreamWorks Animation's critically acclaimed box-office hit How to Train Your Dragon.
He previously worked as an animator on Bee Movie and as a supervising animator on the DreamWorks Animation/Aardman Features computer-animated comedy, Flushed Away. He was a character designer on the 2006 animated comedy Over the Hedge, and served as an animator on the studio's Academy Award®-nominated, Shark Tale. Prior to that, he worked as a supervising animator on the title character of Sinbad, as well as his crewmates Jin and Li, on the studio's animated adventure tale, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. Additionally, he worked as an animator on the lead character in the Academy Award®-nominated adventure, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and also supervised the animation of the eagle in that film. Otto began his career at DreamWorks in 1997, as an animator on the epic The Prince of Egypt, as well as the comedy adventure, The Road to El Dorado.
Prior to joining DreamWorks, Otto studied animation at the renowned Les Gobelins in Paris, France, and received additional training during an internship with Walt Disney Feature Animation in Paris. He began his career in the arts industry as a snow sculpture artist and news cartoonist. Otto is a native of Switzerland.
Award-winning director Theodore Thomas was born and raised in Los Angeles, the son of renowned animator, Frank Thomas. He excelled at music at a young age, a passion that has continued throughout his life. At university he majored in cultural anthropology and Asian studies. World travels with a camera and extended stays in India and Japan led to filmmaking and projects with Disney, the National Geographic Society, and American PBS, among others. Thomas' projects for television have garnered a National Emmy, a Writers Guild of America Award and two WGA Award nominations.
Working with his long-time partner and collaborator, Kuniko Okubo, Thomas' feature work is characterized by insight, pathos and humour. His children's fantasy Where the Toys Come From won the San Francisco International Film Festival's Golden Gate Award. Frank And Ollie, the story of Thomas' animator father and his best friend, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, won the People's Choice Award at Worldfest Houston, and was an audience favourite at festivals around the world. Ambitious in scope and technique, Walt & El Grupo provides an unprecedented look at Walt Disney's little known 1941 trip to Latin American countries on the eve of US entry into World War II.
Teddy Newton came to Pixar in July of 2000 to work on Pixar's sixth feature film, The Incredibles and has since contributed his considerable character design skills to many of DisneyPixar's award-winning feature and short films, including Ratatouille, Your Friend the Rat, and Presto. He was also instrumental in the creation of the "End Titles" of The Incredibles and Ratatouille and is frequently cast as a voice in DisneyPixar films, including the role of Chatter Telephone in the feature film Toy Story 3.
For his DisneyPixar directorial debut, Newton teamed with producer Kevin Reher on Day & Night, a new short film released with Toy Story 3 on June 18, 2010.
Prior to joining Pixar, Newton worked in the story department and character design on Iron Giant at Warner Bros. He also served as writer/producer for the independent feature film The Trouble with Lou.
Newton is inspired by the drawings of Al Hirschfeld and early Warner Bros animation. He grew up in Dana Point, California, and attended California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts).
Taking the plunge into animation from a graphic design career, Teresa often splits her time between coasts and continents. She was an animator on LAIKA's first feature, Coraline, as well as Aardman's Chicken Run, and Curse of the Wererabbit.
An internationally recognized, two-time primetime Emmy Award-winner, Teresa has worked in television, advertising, features and short films for a wide range of clients from Land Rover to Elizabeth Arden, and CBS to Sesame Street. She is a commercials director and designer credited with helming over 25 commercial spots.
A member of the Association du Film d'Animation (ASIFA), and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, her work has been displayed in the Smithsonian and she has made contributions to four books on animation. She holds a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology where she studied Graphic Design, Painting, and Animation.
Teresa is registered with the Television Academy Foundation's Visiting Professionals Program, and currently teaches stop-motion studies at the Art Institute of Portland.
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