April 27th – Last Seminar Notes

  1. All missing blog posts must be added by Friday May 6th. You need at least 12 posts to pass the class.
  2. Class evaluations! Please do the evaluation for Seminar and all of your classes!
  3. Our end-of-semester Pizza Party is Tuesday, May 3rd, 6-8pm, SCB 3rd floor balcony. All Hench-DADA students, staff and faculty are invited.
  4. Zootopia poster give away!
  5. Sheila Sofian’s Documentary Animation class final project, One Night in Taipei.

March 25th, 5pm, SCB 104 The Art of the Pitch: Mark Osborne

Mark Osborne, director of The Little Prince

Mark Osborne, director of The Little Prince

Mark Osborne, the director of The Little Prince and Kung Fu Panda 1 will be dropping by for a casual conversation with Hench-DADA students!

He is bringing along his famous “magic suitcase,” full of incredible, hand-made optical delights, which traveled the world, charming investors and winning over composer Hans Zimmer as well as a stellar cast including Jeff Bridges and Rachel McAdams.

During the 5 1/2 years it took to make the film, the suitcase was the perfect object for pitching the project. Handmade by “Coraline” modeler Joe Schmidt, it includes gears, switches, a giant book of illustrations, the constellations, and more.

“I had people in tears at the end of the pitch,” Osborne said. “It became this very emotional way to communicate to people.”

Mark will share his personal vision of this classic and beloved book, “The Little Prince” and discuss how he made the choice to combine CG and stop motion to tell the story.

JAN 13: Fall Class Projects Screening


Welcome Back and Screening of Fall Class Projects:

-CTAN 579: Expanded Animation- Eric Hanson, 1st Year MFA Projects

-CTAN 525: Gesture Movement- Christine Panushka

-CTAN 544: Intro to the Art of Animation- Lisa Mann, 1st Year MFA Projects

  • Scratch

  • Pixilation

  • Food

  • Final Projects

JAN 20: BC [Heavy] Biermann


BC [ heavy ] Biermann is an educational technologist, academic, and digital artist. With a PhD in Humanities [ Intermedia Analysis ] from the Universiteit van Amsterdam, BC derives his alias from his love for philosophical discussion. With an interdisciplinary background that comprises technology, philosophy, and the arts, he has worked as both a university professor and a tech developer. Since 2005, BC has internationally presented his academic work, which explores the intersection of emerging technologies and semiotics. BC [Heavy] is part of The Heavy Projects group:

Links provided by BC as of 1/26/16:
AR creation tools for non-programmers:
AR creation that requires some programming:
Here is another that provides a robust overview of all the diff types of platforms as well:



JAN 27: Jamie Caliri

 Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at  Jan. 12, 9.28.13 PM

Jamie Caliri is a director whose recent animated films have garnered an Emmy and three Annie awards, among others. In 2015, Jamie directed the stop motion sequences of the soon-to-be-released The Little Prince. His short works include the sweeping end titles for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, the theatrically released spots for KCRW Los Angeles, and animated spots for United Airlines.Lemony Snicket Title Sequence

Jumping between animation to live action, Jamie took on music videos in the late ’90s including Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy” and Morphine’s “Early to Bed”, which earned a Grammy nomination for best music video.

After 21 years of professionally directing commercials, music videos, and title sequences, Jamie is now concentrating his efforts on shooting broadcast and feature animation projects with Dragonframe software, for which he is creative director.

little prince 1littleprince-rosetunnelSHINS_04united 1lemony21

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at  Jan. 12, 10.12.05 PM

FEB 3: The 17th Animation Show of Shows with Ron Diamond

Please note we will be in SCA 108 tonight and we will start at 7:00pm


ASOS Trailer on Vimeo


FEB 10: Valerie LaPointe-Pixar Artist

Valerie LaPointe received her MFA from USC’s Animation division in 2007. Her student film Lolly’s Box was in competition for the 2006 Student Academy Awards and Annecy 2006.
She participated in the first Story internship at Pixar in 2006 and after a short semester back at USC, started working full time as a Story Artist at Pixar Animation Studios in 2007.  Her professional work includes:  Presto, Brave, Mater’s Tall Tales, Toy Story Toons, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and she is currently working on Toy Story 4. 
Outside of Pixar, she is developing her own short films and recently had a drawing book published, 100 Years of Fashion and Fun.  She also enjoys traveling and teaching story to students at various universities across the world.
Valerie will present on her personal journey as an artist and filmmaker that led to working at Pixar. She will explain the work a Story Artist does in developing character and plot, along with the actual story-boarding process at Pixar, with examples from Inside Out.
Twitter: vallapointe
Valerie boarded this Inside Out scene “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” (later deleted): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmJqgn7yX60

FEB 17: Jason Carpenter


Jason Carpenter is a director and animator based in LA, with an MFA from CalArts. Known for his expressive and emotionally captivating style and storytelling, he most recently designed and supervised the animated sequences for the feature documentary He Named Me Malala.  Jason’s animated short, The Renter, received numerous top awards and accolades from festivals worldwide. Commercially, Jason has overseen animation and design for TV commercials, television shows, and interactive experiences.

Watch The Renter on Vimeo.

HE NAMED ME MALALA is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) shows us how Malala, her father Zia and her family are committed to fighting for education for all girls worldwide. The film gives us an inside glimpse into this extraordinary young girl’s life – from her close relationship with her father who inspired her love for education, to her impassioned speeches at the UN, to her everyday life with her parents and brothers.





FEB. 24: Andreas Deja


Please note: We will be in SCI 108 tonight and Tom Sito will be your host.

Andreas’ new book, The Nine Old Men, will be for sale tonight and he will sign copies after the presentation.  If you would like to purchase a copy before this date, please go to Amazon: Purchase The Nine Old Men

This Seminar will be open to all SCA.

Andreas Deja first applied for a job as a Disney animator at the age of 10. Born in Poland and raised in Germany, he remembers writing to the studio immediately after seeing The Jungle Book. “I’d never seen a Disney feature before,” he recalls. “It was one of those key experiences because I just couldn’t believe what I’d seen. All those drawings moving, thinking and acting so real.”

The Studio wrote back to Deja explaining that there were no openings but they were always on the look-out for new talent. This offered him the encouragement he needed and the motivation to work hard towards that goal. At the age of 20, after completing his studies, he applied again and this time he was accepted.

Working with Eric Larson, one of Disney’s legendary “nine old men,” Deja completed several tests and went on to do early character design, costume research and animation for The Black Cauldron. His next assignment was on The Great Mouse Detective, for which he animated the mouse queen and her robotic twin. Deja helped design many of the characters for Oliver & Company and did some animation before spending a year in London as a lead animator on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, under the direction of Richard Williams.

On The Little Mermaid, Deja oversaw the animation of Triton, a powerful figure that required expert skills in draftsmanship and acting ability. For Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated musical Beauty and the Beast, he served as the supervising animator for the first of his many Disney villains, the very pompous and narrow-minded Gaston.

Deja continued to explore his darker side by designing and animating the evil vizier, Jafar for Disney’s animated-musical hit, Aladdin (1992). He went on to supervise the animation of the power-hungry villain, Scar, in The Lion King, which has become not only The Walt Disney Studios’ most successful film, but quickly earned a place as one of the industry’s biggest films of all time.

For his next assignment, Deja relocated to Disney’s Paris animation facility for a stint overseeing the animation of Mickey Mouse in Runaway Brain, the Studio’s first new Mickey short since 1953 and an Oscar nominee in 1996 for Best Animated Short. Following that, he returned to Burbank, where he took on the challenging assignment of bringing life and personality to the title hero in Disney’s 35th full-length animated feature, Hercules. He went on to design and supervise the animation for the charming and unpredictable little Hawaiian girl, Lilo, in Lilo & Stitch, which has been hailed as one of the Studio’s most entertaining and imaginative features.

Deja contributed animation for several characters in Disney’s live-action/animated musical Enchanted, and served as one of the supervising animators on Goofy’s big-screen return in the short film, How to Hook Up Your Home Theatre. He was a supervising animator on Disney’s hand-drawn animated feature, The Princess and the Frog, released in 2009.

Deja supervised the animation of Tigger for a new Winnie the Pooh feature, which was released theatricaly in 2011.

In 2007, he was honored with the Winsor McKay Award from ASIFA (the International Animated Film Association).

At present time Andreas Deja is working on his own independent animated short films. He also contributes regularly animation related material on his blog “Deja View”.


Amazon says about Deja’s new book:

“Learn from the men who changed animation forever. Walt Disney’s team of core animators, who he affectionately call his “Nine Old Men,” were known for creating Disney’s most famous works, as well as refining the 12 basic principles of animation. Follow master animator and Disney legend Andreas Deja as he takes you through the minds and works of these notable animators. An apprentice to the Nine Old Men himself, Deja gives special attention to each animator and provides a thoughtful analysis on their techniques that include figure drawing, acting, story structure, and execution. The in-depth analysis of each animator’s work will allow you to refine your approach to character animation. Rare sequential drawings from the Disney archives also give you unprecedented access and insight into the most creative minds that changed the course of animation.”

MARCH 2: Chad Sellers, Animation Supervisor of Disney’s “Zootopia”


(Pictured) Chad Sellers. Photo by Alex Kang. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Please note we will be in SCA 108 tonight and we will start seating at 6:30pm. Presentation begins at 7:00pm, BUT PLEASE COME EARLY FOR BEST SEATS!

USC Zootopia Flyer1

CHAD SELLERS (Animation Supervisor) oversees the animation and performances of specific characters in individual sequences. He assists the animators to deliver the directors’ vision while keeping the characters’ performances consistent.

Sellers, who joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in October of 2009, kicked off his Disney career as an animator on 2010’s “Tangled.” His credits as animator also include Oscar® winners “Frozen” and “Feast,” as well as Disney’s arcade-game-hopping adventure “Wreck-It Ralph,” the 2012 short “Tangled Ever After” and the ABC holiday hits “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice” and “Prep & Landing Stocking Stuffer: Operation: Secret Santa.”

Prior to joining Disney, Sellers was an animator at Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he worked on “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” He also worked as an animator on “Pirates of the Caribbean” while at ILM.

Sellers credits classic Disney musicals with inspiring him to pursue a career as a character animator. He attended Miami International University of Art & Design, majoring in computer animation.

Sellers and wife Marisela are expecting a little brother for daughter Callie Rose. They live in Burbank with a cat named Luna.