Monday, February 22, 2010

Slaves to the Art - Bring a Friend!

If you attend the next Slaves to the Art meeting on Friday, Feb. 26th and bring a friend, you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a fabulous prize (courtesy of Career Services)!

The more friends you bring, the more times you are entered into the drawing. Your friend will also be entered into the drawing. Increase your chances by bringing several of your friends. (Friends must be in the Media Arts & Animation program.)
See you there!

What: Slaves to the Art - Media Arts & Animation Club
When: Friday, Feb. 26th
Time: 12pm-1pm
Where: Rm 211

Have you heard about MeetUp?

It is a great online resource to find groups, organizations, happy hours, etc. with people in your industry! MeetUp today!

Disney Internships

Disney Professional Internships: Apply Now!

We wanted to make you aware of some exciting news! The recruiting season has officially begun for Disney Professional Internships and you can start applying for internships in which you are interested today!

Disney Professional Internships are available at the Walt Disney World® Resort, Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney Imagineering. Each of these unique areas of our global company offers students the ability to apply classroom learnings while networking with Disney professionals, gaining valuable experience from a Fortune™ 100 Company and having fun!
Internships are offered in a wide range of areas, including but not limited to:

Disney's Animal Programs
Art and Graphics
Human Resources
Information Technology
Labor Operations
Operations/Guest Relations
Sales and Marketing

Visit for more information and to apply!

Disney Professional Recruiting:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dallas After Effects User Group

Interested in learning more about After Effects? The Dallas After Effects User Group is the place to be!

The group is open to all skill levels - beginners all the way up to advanced users. Meetings are held every 4th Thursday of the month.

There are many great reasons to get involved, but 2 of the best reasons are: IT'S FREE and there are GIVEAWAYS at every meeting!

A Bunch of Short Guys Meeting

What: A Bunch of Short Guys Meeting
Topic: Terminal Reality and the Making of Ghostbusters The Video Game
When: Saturday February 20th, 2010
Where: Collin County College room c104
Time: 10 AM till noon

Meet the artists that helped to create the video game, including AiDallas graduate, Thomas Gonzalez.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chris Belcher - Intern at Nickelodeon

Chris Belcher, MAA June 2009 graduate, talks about how he got his new job as a Production Assistant Intern on "Penguins of Madagascar" for Nickelodeon. He also talks about his future goals and offers advice to graduates and students about pursuing a career in Media Arts & Animation.

Your Name: Chris Belcher
Job Title: Production Assistant Intern on "Penguins of Madagascar"
Employer: Nickelodeon Animation Studio

What was the application and interview process like at Nickelodeon?
I applied for the internship online. A couple of days later, I received a call from Nickelodeon's Human Resources department. I did a brief interview with H.R. over the phone, then he told me he would send my resume and portfolio to one of the animation departments for review. The next day I received a call from Vladimir, the Sr. Production Coordinator on Penguins of Madagascar. We set up a date and time for my phone interview which he and two other crew members were part of. A couple of days after the interview, I received a call from Vladimir telling me that I had been selected to intern on the Penguins crew. I jumped at the chance to go to Burbank, CA to work at the studio. What makes the icing on the cake is that Nickelodeon's internship program hasrecently been awarded one of the top 10 internships in the country. Once in California, I started at Nickelodeon and have loved my experience.

What does a day-in-the-life look like at Nickelodeon?
Very busy. Nickelodeon gives it's employees and artists the best. There is breakfast provided, and a wide range of amenities, including: a basketball court, ping pong tables, foosball, and the studio offers other activities to relieve the stress from the job. They provide interns with a class every week, taught by artists in the studio. Interns are from all over the country and from many art schools, so networking is a must. As an intern, I do not have the work load that full time positions have, but I am expected to finish any work I receive in a timely matter. Nickelodeon is a television studio, and deadlines are extremely important, so every person on the crew is expected to give 110%.

What are your favorite job duties?
One of the most important jobs I have been given, so far, is I receive a stack of storyboards and have to rename them into correct scene # and sequence #. There can be hundreds of storyboard panels, and each one has to be organized and numbered correctly to be shipped overseas, or to go to the next department. We also have an organized system of jpegs for all of the props and character models that are in the series. We go through these, placing key words for each model, so if needed, they can be pulled up quickly. Mostly, the job is day to day. Something I did today is not necessarily what I will do tomorrow, so learning and accepting challenges is part of the job.

What are the most difficult aspects of your job?
One of the more difficult jobs is creating DVD animatic presentations, that are not only viewed by directing animators at Nickelodeon, but also viewed by Dreamworks Animation Chairman, Jeffery Katzenberg. Penguins of Madagascar is a partnership between Nickelodeon and Dreamworks. These animatic presentations are created for storyboards, layout and blocking animation, and for final animation. We have a certain DVD menu that is used, parameters that are used, and even a certain way that every DVD is labeled. We check each presentation very carefully and make multiple copies. This ensures that, when in meetings, there are no mistakes or costly time taking issues.

What are your future goals?
My future goal is to be an animator for a major studio. Being here at Nickelodeon is giving me the opportunity of networking with artists, animators, producers, and other important people in the animation industry. Being in Burbank also gives me the opportunity of networking with other studios such as Dreamworks, Disney Animation Studios,and Warner Bros. There are many other animation companies that reside here, and many other opportunities, other than animation, in the entertainment industry. With any luck, perhaps too I will have the opportunity of working, as an animator, in a major animation studio.

What is your advice to other new grads and students pursuing careers in Animation?
Work extremely hard, and never give up. For recent grads, apply everywhere and for every position that you are qualified for. For current students, listen to the faculty and ask them as many questions as you can. They have great experience, and they all know what they are talking about. Animation is about networking, and you want to start in school. Work as a member of a team, NOT an individual. There is not one studio where you do not work as part of a team. Learn everything you can about the animation pipeline. Concentrate on one area and specialize in it, but be a hybrid. Be able to do other jobs. You may want to be an animator, but so does everyone else in the studio. Jobs are scarce, so if you can get in as a storyboard artist, modeler, or texture artist, then you got your foot in the door. If and when a position does open up where you want to work, then you can apply and test for that position. If you want to be an artist in the industry, draw, draw, and draw more. These studios don't necessarily care how many software applications you know, though it does help. They want to see that you know how to design, and that you can do the job efficently. Never fall in love with your work. It can always be better. Every part of an animated production goes through numerous changes, so get used to it. It will receive notes and will be changed over and over again. When it works, it works great. Animation is tedious work, but the magic that it creates puts the biggest smile on your face, and you realize that all the hard work was worth it.

What Nickelodeon character can you most identify with and why?
Good question. There are many great characters that Nick has created over the years, but I will go with one from "Penguins", Maurice the Lemur. He is not in charge, but is loyal, hardworking, and believes in his cause. He is also short and rounded, like me. LOL.

Game Developers Conference - Discount Code

The Art Institutes International has negotiated with the Game Developers Conference to offer Expo Passes to our students for $100 each. These passes are normally $250 each. This allows access to the floor for all conference days. There are currently 50 passes available, if they run out there is a possibility of more, but there are no guarantees. You MUST have a valid student ID. This offer expires on 3/3/10.

Register online and enter the Promo Code: G10AIEXPO

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Game Developers Conference

The #1 way to get a job in the industry is through networking!

It's not too late to be put on the waiting list as a volunteer for the Game Developers Conference on March 9-13 in San Francisco. If you are accepted as a volunteer, you will receive a free 'all access' pass and reduced hotel costs.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

SIGGRAPH Student Volunteers Needed

Interested in attending SIGGRAPH, but don't have the money? Volunteer to work the event and have access to the entire conference for free! You may even qualify for travel assistance. APPLY NOW! Application deadline is February 15, 2010.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Slaves to the Art Meetings

Below is the schedule for the Winter quarter Slaves to the Art Meetings (all are Friday meetings):

Feb. 5th
Room 211
BYOL (bring your own lunch)
Topic: Forum etiquette and communicating with technology

Feb. 19th
Room 205
Meet & Greet
Director of Media Arts & Animation, Stephen Steinbach will speak
Food provided

Feb. 26th
Room 211
Topic: TBA (to be announced)

March 5th
Room 211
Topic: TBA

March 12th
Room 211
Topic: TBA

March 19th
Room 211
Topic: TBA

March 26th
Room 211
Topic: TBA

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