Week nine: “Wonderland Unbound” final projects–instructions

Week nine: Screening and crits of  Wonderland Unbound projection mapping project

“Wonderland Unbound” final projects are due in class next Wed. night 3/12/14. We will have a new class folder for final projects. The files should be Quicktime, Photojpeg codec. with 90% compression. Please use the same resolution as the template composite that was provided. For students who are providing sound effects and/or music soundtracks please render different versions:

  • 1 with no sound
  • 1 with sound efx only
  • 1 with sound efx and music
Name your files with the “title_no_sound.mov”  and “title_with_fx.mov” and  “title_with_fx_and_music.mov”

Sound is a bonus but not required.

That said, sound effects can add so much more impact to your visuals and of the overall experience! Please consider taking the time to add some well-placed sound effects, such as meowing Cheshire cats, opening and shutting windows and doors, screaming Alice as she falls down the rabbit hole, ticking clocks, rivers of water, etc…

If your piece is visual music, than of course, you will need to have that particular music for it to work right. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me or contact Thomas Williams: biomorphica@gmail.com

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Week eight: Screen Novelties

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Chris Finnegan, Mark Caballero, and Seamus Walsh comprise the animation collective known as Screen Novelties. Their whimsical approach to filmmaking combines classic cartoon dynamics with puppetry and stop-motion. Their work has earned them kudos from film legend, Ray Harryhausen.

Screen Novelties’ award winning short films include “Mysterious Mose”, “The Tortoise & the Hare”, and “Monster Safari”, which is currently being developed as a feature film. The trio was instrumental in launching “Robot Chicken” and “Moral Orel” for Adult Swim and has directed segments for Cartoon Network’s “Chowder”, “Flapjack”, and “Adventure Time.” They’ve done bits for Seth McFarlane on “Family Guy” and for the 2013 Oscars.  They have also contributed to Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob Squarepants”, including a revamp of the title sequence and a popular ½ hour Christmas special.

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Week seven: Bob Kurtz

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Bob Kurtz, Peabody Award winning animation director, writer, designer and founder of Kurtz & Friends Animation has created/produced animated theatrical titles for most major studios including the Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, MGM, Sony Entertainment, Columbia Tri-Star Picture Group and Warner Brothers.

Some of the titles include The Pink Panther, Honeymoon in Vegas, Are We Done Yet?, Four Rooms, Honey I Blew Up the Kid, George of the Jungle, and City Slickers I and II.

Kurtz & Friends also created animated sequences for Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Carlin On Campus and the prime-time Animation Emmy Award winning special, Roman City.  His award winning Edith Ann’s Christmas Special aired on network prime-time.

Bob Kurtz was a recipient of the AFI Grant as well as the Endowment for Humanities Grant.  He is a former Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and Governor of the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences.  Bob was also a recipient of the ASIFA Annie Lifetime Achievement Award and given the honor of Artist of the Year in Japan.

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Week six: “The Croods” Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco

DreamWorks’ The Croods Directors/writers Kirk DeMicco (USC alum) and Chris Sanders will visit us to describe the story and visual development of the Oscar-nominated animated film. The USC Trojan marching band will also be on hand to perform their song “Tusk” live! This song was recorded and included on the original movie soundtrack.

In SCA 108 (Animation students given priority seating if you arrive by 6:30)

Followed by a reception in Lucas Lobby!

Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is currently serving as executive producer on How to Train Your Dragon 2 the sequel to the wildly successful original film which he directed. Before joining DreamWorks in 2006, Sanders had a successful career at Walt Disney Studios, where he wrote, storyboarded and directed Lilo & Stitch. He worked as a story artist on Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King and was head of story on Mulan.

Kirk Demicco

Director Kirk DeMicco received his bachelors degree from USC. Besides directing and writing The Croods, his other animation credits include Space Chimps, Sherlock Homeboy, Hong Kong Phooey and projects for Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes, and collaborating with John Cleese of Monty Python fame.

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Week five: 7StarSun

This week 7StarSun returns to hear and review our pitches for the Wonderland Unbound project.

Please place your concepts into the Ctan 522 class folder located on fileshare before class.

The gallery below features a selection from 7StarSun’s project ‘Tesseract’ as well as a collection of stills from the Lewis Carroll collection.

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Week four: James Atkinson

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In a career spanning 17 years, James Atkinson has created visual effects for over 30 feature films, including The Sum of All Fears, Superman Returns, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, and Black Sky.James joined Digital Domain as a digital artist in 2008, where his first commercial with VFX Supervisor Jay Barton, Bacardi “Sundance”, won the V.E.S. Award for ‘Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial’.

Since then, he’s served as Visual Effects Supervisor on 22 commercials including United Airlines “Departures” and “Network” with director Carl Rinsch, Infiniti “Winter”, “Competitive”, and “Snowball”, UFC “Evolution”, Pam “Haunted”, NBA2K13 “Enter the New Dynasty”, and Omega “Planet Ocean”. James has also created unique and innovative imagery as a digital artist and CG Supervisor for commercials such as Halo 4 “Neuron”, Lincoln MKS “Cleaner, Faster, Smarter”, and Mazda 3 “Red & White”.  His recent commercial, Liberty “Answer”, is nominated for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial and Outstanding Created Environment in a commercial for the 2013 Visual Effects Society Awards.

James graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Computer Science before earning his M.F.A. in Cinema-Television at USC, where he received the Edward Small Memorial Award for Excellence in Directing.

His first industry job was an internship at Rhythm & Hues Studios, which led to a 10-year position including FX, lighting, and sequence supervisory roles. Before joining Digital Domain, he also served as an FX supervisor and digital artist at Framestore CFC London.

James is currently a member of the Visual Effects Society.


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Week 3: Pablo Valbuena

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Pablo Valbuena develops artistic projects and research focused on space, time and perception. Born in Spain and currently based in the south of France.

Some key elements of this exploration are the overlap of the physical and the virtual, the generation of mental spaces by the observer, the dissolution of the boundaries between real and perceived, the links between space and time, the primacy of subjective experience as a tool to communicate and the use of light as prime matter.

These ideas are mostly developed site-specific, formulated as a direct response to the perceptual qualities, physical conditions and surrounding influences of a certain location or space.

This body of work has been presented in public and private institutions, biennials and galleries in the form of exhibitions, site-specific commissions and large-scale public interventions throughout Europe, Asia and America.

Upcoming exhibition at Young Projects

A contemporary art space that specializes in moving image artworks, video art, and a wide array of digital art practices.


Pacific Design Center #B230
8687 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069


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