In this neck of the woods, there are two times of the year where there's something resembling a gathering of the clans: the Ottawa International Animation Festival and Sheridan's annual Industry Day, where the graduating students screen their films for studios looking to hire. Lots of friends can be counted on to show up for the screening and this year I had the pleasure of seeing former students who are now working and who came to recruit for their companies.
Several people from the industry told me that they felt this was a very strong year. My own thought is that there were some excellent films and the overall batting average was pretty high. I'm sure that many of these films will show up in festivals and eventually on YouTube and other video sites.
I've got to acknowledge Tony Tarantini as the faculty member who has organized this event for the last two years. Tony has to invite people from all over North America, create printed material to explain procedures and list films, arrange award presentations for the students and make sure that there's enough food and drink to keep everybody happy. Industry Day takes as much preparation as a wedding and Tony makes it look easy.
Finally, congratulations and best wishes to the graduating class of 2008. I hope that the industry provides opportunities for them to grow as artists and to realize their ambitions. If that happens, we can look forward to some wonderful animated films.
Below are some photos of the event.
In the four pictures above, some of the students from the B.A. program display their work for the industry.
Above, the students in the post-graduate cgi program host the industry in their lab space.
Above, Marilyn Friedman of DreamWorks is interviewed for a local newscast.
Above, Director Larry Jacobs is under the rabbit ears and Steve Schnier, whose independent live action film Pubic Lice is nearing completion, stands next to him.
Above at left, Tom Knott of Laika speaks to Evan Spiridellis of JibJab.
Above at left, animator Stephen Barnes listens to cgi program coordinator Mark Simon
Above at left, animator Charlie Bonifacio speaks to retiring instructor Vivien Ludlow. Vivien will return part-time in the fall to help mentor 4th year students during the making of their films.
Above, a display of the set and characters from the stop motion film Crema Suprema by Elenora Ventura. Sheridan will be starting a regular stop motion class starting in September, taught by Chris Walsh, who missed industry day due to the arrival of this little fellow:
Finally, Brock Gallagher, a third year student, has cut together a highlight reel of the films from his year. These films are group projects, made by teams of about a dozen students. Next year, they'll all be making individual films and I'm looking forward to seeing them.