Night at the Opera on April 26th!

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Astonishing Animation: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli (May 1–Jun 1)

An event from the the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA)!

Astonishing Animation: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli
May 1–Jun 1

We are proud to present this retrospective of some of the greatest and most influential films of all time from the legendary Japanese animation team at Studio Ghibli. Praised for their originality, stunning animation, and ambitious storytelling, the films are a beloved part of Japanese culture and have received worldwide acclaim from both audiences and critics. Don’t miss this chance to see these beautiful films on the big screen, almost all presented in 35mm film prints.

Please note: Most films will be presented in their original form with English subtitles, but the first film shown on each Sunday will be shown in an English-language version to make the work more accessible to younger viewers.

For the event schedule, please click here.

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Spring Show Submissions are Due Saturday! (April 12)

If you have not done so, please submit your Spring Show Submissions no later than this Saturday/April 12th by 11:00pm!!!

Here is the rubric for submissions for the upcoming Spring Show 2014!

Spring Show submissions are accepted from January 31st, at 12am until Saturday April 12th, at 11pm. Absolutely no late revisions or late entries: THEY WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED! …This means YOU.

Your submissions must be the final version, by the given due date.  Incomplete submissions will be automatically disqualified.  This is non-negotiable.

Categories/Codes to Choose From:

  • Feature Lighting
  • Dynamics and Particles
  • VFX Matte Painting
  • VFX 3D Texture
  • VFX Compositing
  • VFX Short Subject
  • Background Painting & Layout Design
  • Maquette Sculpture
  • Stop Motion Puppet
  • Storyboards
  • 2D Animation Test
  • 2D Animation Dialogue Test
  • 2D Animation Short Film Pencil Test 
  • 2D Animation Short Film Full Color 
  • Stop Motion Short
  • Animatics
  • 3D Mod. Hard Surface and 3D Mod. Environments
  • 3D Mod. Organic
  • 3D Character Animation Realistic
  • 3D Character Animation Test
  • 3D Character Animation Dialogue Test
  • 3D Short Film  (including Motion Graphic Shorts)
  • MEL Scripting and Rigging

For full instructions, click here.

Good luck!

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Fall 2014 Demo Reel Deadline: May 2, 2014

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DON’T FORGET: MUS Collaboration Event this Week!

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Learning from the Masters: An Afternoon with Brittney Lee

By Sarah Barrie Fenton

The Walt Disney Family Museum (WDFM) plays host to all sorts of wonderful animation industry events, lectures, and special exhibits. Just recently they held an intimate workshop of about 15 people to spend an afternoon with the amazing visual development artist, Brittney Lee. Tina Hsu, Bianca Wong and myself were there from the Academy of Art, and we were all very excited for the opportunity to spend time with one of our shared inspirational artists.

Brittney started off the workshop introducing herself and describing some of the projects she’s worked on at Disney such as Tangled, Wreck It Ralph and Frozen. She works mostly digitally but confesses that her true passion is working with paper, which is also a favorite medium of the great Mary Blair whose exhibit is currently at the WDFM. Britney had prepared packets for each of us, including templates, matte frames and all the supplies we would need to create our own unique piece of paper sculpture. She walked us through her process starting us off on the right foot, and then let us get as creative as we wanted. Brittney and her husband David (who is a TD at Disney and well trained in her paper-craft method) walked around helping where needed, and graciously answered all sorts of questions, artistic, personal and professional.

“Paper Craft with Brittney Lee” photo credit: Sarah Barrie Fenton

At the end, we each took home a special piece of paper art in the long standing tradition of Mary Blair and so many talented others, the knowledge of how to continue to create our own paper-craft, and the memories of spending some quality time with Brittney. Tina sums up our afternoon perfectly “Working with Brittney was such an inspiring experience and I wish we had more than two hours to go deeper. The event was so much fun and I definitely plan to do more with what I learned from her!”  Best day ever!

“Paper Craft with Brittney Lee” pictured: Tina Hsu and Brittney Lee, photo credit: Sarah Barrie Fenton

“Paper Craft with Brittney Lee” pictured: Sarah Barrie Fenton and Brittney Lee, photo credit: Sarah Barrie Fenton

To see more of Brittney Lee’s artwork, please visit her website at

Sarah Barrie Fenton is an instructor at the Academy of Art University, more of her artwork can be found at

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10 Second Reels Are Due Saturday/April 5th!!!

If you have not done so, please submit your 10 Second Reels no later than this Saturday/April 5th by 11:00pm!!!

Here is the rubric for 10 Second Reel submissions for the upcoming Spring Show 2014!

Spring Show includes an industry-participated job fair known as Career Day, currently attended by graduating students on an invitation-only basis. An invitation to Career Day is based on the quality of work submitted to the Industry Outreach reel, otherwise known as the 10-Second Reel: a compilation of graduating students’ work, each sample lasting only 10 seconds.



Entry Dates

10 Second Reel submission acceptances commence on January 24st.

All 10 Second Reel submissions are due by 11:00 pm Saturday, April 5th.

Your reel will be disqualified if any of the following occur with your submission:

 - You may only submit ONE TEN SECOND REEL to ONE CATEGORY, If you submit more than once, you will be disqualified.

 -  Submissions must be FINAL AND COMPLETE by the due date, if it is not: incomplete or late submissions will be automatically disqualified.

- If the reel is longer than 10 seconds, will be automatically disqualified.


For full instructions, please click here.

Good luck!

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Nick Jr. Animated Shorts Program

The submission period for Nick Jr. Animated Shorts Program is open now through April 28, 2014!

Please visit for guidelines and details on how to apply.  

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MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair

A new exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum!

The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to present MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair. On view from March 13 to September 7, 2014, this comprehensive exhibition explores the artistic process and development of one of Walt Disney’s most original, beloved, and influential designer and art directors, Mary Blair (1911–1978). Blair’s joyful creativity―her eye-appealing designs and exuberant color palette―endure in numerous media, including classic Disney animated films, such as Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan, and theme park attractions at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, most notably “it’s a small world.”
Guest curator John Canemaker—an Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Peabody Award-winning independent animator, animation historian, teacher and author—organized the exhibition to reflect the arc of Blair’s career before, during, and after her years at the Walt Disney Studios through artwork, artifacts, photographs, and videos.

MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair features some 200 works and explores all phases of Blair’s work by examining her artistic development in three major areas: “Learning the Rules”—her student days at Los Angeles’ legendary Chouinard School of Art, and her fine art regionalist watercolors exhibited in the 1930s. “Breaking the Rules”—her artistic breakthrough with boldly colored, stylized concept paintings for classic Disney animated features during the 1940s and 1950s, including Saludos Amigos (1942) and Peter Pan (1953); and “Creating New Worlds”—freelancing in the 1950s in New York where she became a popular illustrator for national advertisements, magazine articles, clothing designs, window displays, theatrical sets, and children’s books.

The exhibition includes Blair’s rarely exhibited student art, which was influenced by the illustrations of her mentor Pruett Carter, and her mid-to-late artworks from the 1930s as a member of the innovative California Water-Color Society which reveal an essential humanism and empathy for her subjects. The exhibition also showcases The Walt Disney Family Museum’s extensive collection of Blair’s conceptual artworks in gouache and watercolor—some of which have never displayed outside The Walt Disney Studios—that reveal the artist’s inexhaustible creativity in design, staging of imagery, visual appeal, and unique color sensibility. Also featured are original illustrations from several of Blair’s beloved Golden Books including I Can Fly (1951).

For more information, click here!

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Visual Development Guest Speaker: Craig Elliot @ March 28th, Friday!

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