26th August 2008

SPARK Animation ’08 Events Announced

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The ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter has announced the calendar of events for the upcoming SPARK Animation Festival taking place this September 10 – 14 at the Vancity and Empire Theatres. With featured speakers from Dreamworks and Pixar, along with animation pioneer Ed Hooks, movie screenings and more, SPARK promises to be an exciting event to attend. Please see the Vancouver SIGGRAPH event page for further information and to purchase tickets.

Schedule of Events:

Day 1 – September 10 at the Empire Theatre
A Night With Dreamworks

6:30 pm Mixer
7:30 pm The Pursuit of Awesomeness
w. directors John Stevenson & Mark Osborne
9:00 pm Intermission
9:30 pm Screening of “Kung Fu Panda”

Day 2 – September 11 at the Vancity Theatre
A Night With Blue Sky Studios

6:30 pm Mixer
7:30 pm Creating a New Kind of Classic
w. directors Jimmy Hayward & Steve Martino
9:00 pm Intermission
9:30 pm Screening of “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!”

Day 3 – September 12 at the Vancity Theatre

8:30 am Registration
9:00 am “The Making of Kung Fu Panda”
w. Alex Parkinson & Markus Manninen
12:00 pm Mixer
1:00 pm “Animation in Games”
w. Brett Pascal (Propaganda), Wayne Gilbert (EA Blackbox), TBA (Relic)
2:45 pm “Directing Animated Features”
w. Jimmy Hayward, John Stevenson, Mark Osborne & Steve Martino
4:30 pm “The Best of the Web”
w. Andrew Doucette, Andrew Duncan, George Samilski, Johnny Darrell & Ken Priebe
6:30 pm Mixer
7:30 pm Screening of “The Pixar Story”
9:30 pm Screening of “The Best of SIGGRAPH ’08”
0:00 am Screening of “Allegro non Troppo”

Day 4 – September 13 at the Vancity Theatre

10:00 am Registration
10:30 am “Wall-E for a Year”
w. Paul Topolos (Pixar)
12:00 pm Mixer
1:00 pm “Moving Forward in Animation by Looking at the Past” w. Ed Hooks
2:45 pm Paul Harrod (Bent Image Lab)
4:30 pm “Surviving as an Independent Animator”
6:00 pm Mixer
7:00 pm Screening of “Worst Cartoons Ever!”
w. Jerry Beck
8:30 pm Reception
0:00 am Screening of “The Pixar Story”

Day 5 – September 14 at the Vancity Theatre

12:00 pm Registration
1:00 pm “Women in Animation”
2:45 pm “Building an Animation Studio”
4:30 pm Screening of “The Best of SIGGRAPH ’08”
6:30 pm Mixer
7:30 pm Screening of “Marv Newland Retrospective”
9:30 pm Screening of “Idiots & Angels”

Speakers’ Bios

Alex Parkinson
(Kung Fu Panda, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets…)

Ed Hooks

Ed Hooks pioneered acting training specifically designed for animators instead of stage actors. His books, Acting for Animators and Acting in Animation: A Look at 12 Films are standard texts at animation schools all over the world, and he is in demand as a guest lecturer.

Ed, a theatre professional for three decades, has taught for most major animation studios including Disney Feature Animation, DreamWorks/PDI, Animal Logic, Tippett Studio, Scanline Studios, BioWare, Valve Software, OddWorld Inhabitants, Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Rockstar and Midway Games. He has taught at Ringling School of Art and Design (Florida), Ohio State University, Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), Vancouver Film School (Canada), Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (Germany) and HFF (also Germany). He is on the Board of Advisors of the FMX Animation Festival in Stuttgart. In addition, he has conducted workshops for Swansea University’s Swansea Animation Days in South Wales, Animex (Teesside England), The National Film School (England), Victorian School of Film and Television and Griffith University (both in Australia) and Nanyang Polytechnic Institute (Singapore). He has twice been a featured speaker at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and the FMX Festival in Stuttgart Germany. This past year, he taught classes in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

In addition to his extensive work with animators, Ed Hooks has taught professional level acting classes for stage actors in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, where he resides now with his wife, Cally. Ed’s personal acting credits include many stage plays, television commercials and more than one hundred television shows, most often in guest-star and co-star billing. He is also the author of The Audition Book (Winning Strategies for Breaking into Theatre, Film and TV), Acting Strategies for the Cyber Age, The Ultimate Scene and Monologue Sourcebook and The Actor’s Field Guide – Acting Notes on the Run.

Jericca Cleland-Hura
(Escape from Planet Earth, Space Chimps, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 2…)

Jericca Cleland is a writer/director/cinematographer working out of her home studio in Vancouver. Raised as a filmmaker in the story-centric environment of Pixar Animation Studios, she pursues the creation of independent films of high caliber and narrative depth. An experienced cinematographer in computer animation, Jericca designed the filming and staging of feature films such as Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Space Chimps, and the in progress Escape from Planet Earth. She also writes and directs in live-action and teaches various aspects of both live-action and animated filmmaking.

Jerry Beck

Jerry Beck is an animation historian, cartoon producer and co-writer of the popular animation blog Cartoon Brew. His twelve books on the subject include The Hanna Barbera Treasury, Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide and The 50 Greatest Cartoons. He is a former studio exec with Nickelodeon and Disney, and is currently a consulting producer for Warner Bros. Animation.

Jimmy Hayward
(Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!, Robots, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story…)

Jimmy has been a feature animator and filmmaker for more than a decade. Most recently, he directed the whimsical film Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! for 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. At Blue Sky, Jimmy also worked as a sequence director and story consultant on hits such as Ice Age: The Meldown (2006) and Robots (2005). Prior to joining Blue Sky, he was a feature animator at Pixar on Finding Nemo (2003), Monsters Inc. (2001), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story (1995). His early beginnings were in Vancouver making short animated and live-action films and commercials, and working on Mainframe Entertainment’s now well-known animated television series Reboot.

Joanna Priestley
(Dew Line, Andaluz, Kali Yuga, Surface Dive…)

John Stevenson
(Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Father of the Pride, Shrek 2, Shrek…)

A veteran of DreamWorks/PDI who got his start in the entertainment industry via Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show, Stevenson worked for many years in the art department on many films at DreamWorks before helming a number of episodes of their animated primetime show Father of the Pride. He just recently completed work as Director of Kung Fu Panda for Dreamworks.

Mark Osborne
(Kung Fu Panda, SpongeBob SquarePants, More…)

Mark Osborne is an Academy Award nominated director and Guggenheim Fellow (2004). His more well-known work to date, More, a stop-motion short film, has screened in over 150 film festivals worldwide and was the first IMAX animation film to ever be nominated for an Academy Award (1999). Osborne has also directed a majority of the live-action material for the popular animated TV series Spongebob Squarepants as well as all of the live action sequences for the feature film released in November of 2005. Most recently, he co-directed Kung Fu Panda (2008) for DreamWorks.

Markus Manninen
(Kung Fu Panda, Over the Hedge, Underworld…)

In 2003 Markus Manninen joined DreamWorks as Visual Effects Supervisor on the 2008 release Kung Fu Panda. Before joining DreamWorks, Markus was Head of 3D Commercials at Europe’s largest visual effects facility Framestore CFC, where he worked on award-winning commercials as CG Supervisor and Animation Director. A M.Sc. graduate of Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, he discovered Computer Graphics at University of Massachusetts, USA. Markus joined Framestore CFC from award-winning animation studio Filmtecknarna in Sweden.

Marv Newland
(Hooray for Sandbox Land, Black Hula, Bambi Meets Godzilla…)

Marv Newland began a career making animated motion pictures in Los Angeles with the creation of the short Bambi Meets Godzilla (1969). He designed and animated television commercials until late 1970 and moved to Toronto, Canada, where he designed, directed and animated television commercials, IDs for Sesame Street and Educational Television. In late 1972, Newland moved to Vancouver. He spent two years freelancing for local animated film production companies and animation companies in Chicago and Los Angeles. In 1973 Newland created storyboards for the animated television series Barbapapa at Toonder Studios in Holland.

In 1975 Newland founded the animated film production company International Rocketship Limited in Vancouver. At Rocketship he produced and directed numerous animated short films including: Sing Beast Sing (1980), Hooray for Sandbox Land (1985), Pink Komkommer (1991), and Fuv (1999). The company also produced short animated films for other directors such as Danny Antonucci and J. Falconer. Newland also designed and directed the National Film Board of Canada vignette, Bill Miner (1978).

Rocketship also produced TV commercials, IDs for MTV, YTV, and Nickelodeon, and two films – Gary Larson’s Tales from the Far Side (1994) and a sequel in 1996. The first of these productions won the Grand Prix at the Annecy International Animation Festival in 1995. Outside of Rocketship, Newland has freelanced for other animation companies, including directing episodes of the 3D stop motion series The PJs for Will Vinton Studios in Portland, Oregon.

As a freelance designer, Newland created character designs for the animated television series Being Ian (2003-2004) at Studio B Productions in Vancouver. In 2005 he directed Tête à Tête à Tête, an animated short film for the NFB. Currently Newland is animating his own short film, Scratchy, at International Rocketship.

Paul Harrod
(Director, Bent Image Lab – Portland)

Paul has developed a sophisticated visual language over the past two decades working as a designer, art director and director of animated and live action projetcs, with a special emphasis on stop motion. His career as a designer came to full blossom as the Senior Art Director of Vinton Studios in Portland, and ultimately as the production designer and director of five episodes of the Fox TV series, “The PJs” for which he was nominated for an Annie award in 2000. He went on to direct the first episode of UPN’s “Gary and Mike” series and the pilot for WB’s “Slacker Cats”. Since then he has contributed his skills as both Director and Art Director at Bent Image Lab on numerous commercials including several Kellogs Twistables spots, Office Max, Cartoon Network, and Kelloggs Tiger Power. His recent commercials for Tractor Supply Company have received awards and attention for their innovative design and dry, understated humour. “Koi Pond” was voted one of the 50 best spots of 2006 by Adweek. When not redefining the space/time continuum, Paul lives in Portland with his wife, the internationally acclaimed filmmaker Joanna Priestley.

Paul Topolos
(Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Titan A.E. …)

Paul Topolos is a matte painter and concept design artist with many successes on his resume. Currently, he is at Pixar Animation Studios, USA, where he has worked on every film since Finding Nemo. Prior to working at Pixar he worked at LucasArts Entertainment and Lucasfilm, and on Star Wars: Episode I & Star Wars: Episode II.

Steve Martino
(Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!, Robots…)

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