VanArts is proud to announce the addition of Ken Duncan to the Advisory Board for our Character Animation department.
Ken Duncan's career spans well over twenty years in animation production. After attending Sheridan College, he began working in England and Spain where he collaborated on television commercials and feature films starring the French comic favorite Asterix.
Given his desire to focus on character performance, Ken soon jumped to Walt Disney Feature Animation, where the eight films that he worked on as Animator & Supervising Animator produced some of his most indelible character work, such as "Jane" from Tarzan, "Meg" from Hercules, "Belle" from Beauty & the Beast, and "Jafar" from Aladdin.
After Disney, he worked as Supervising Animator of "Angie" on Dreamworks Animation's Shark Tale. He then established a California studio for Reel FX, where he served as Creative Director and Supervising Animator on several projects including TMNT (Ninja Turtles) and The Wild (as co-director for the opening sequence).
Over the course of his career, Ken has been nominated for three ASIFA-Hollywood Annie Awards in the category of "Best Individual Achievement in Character Animation" for Hercules, Tarzan, and Shark Tale. The Visual Effects Sociey also nominated Ken's work on Shark Tale for "Outstanding Performance" and on 9 for "Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature."
As has been the case throughout his career, Ken's commitment to creating memorable characters continues to propel him forward, this time bringing his love of animation and knowledge of strong character performances to his innovative production house Duncan Studio.
Ken Duncan studio website: www.duncanstudio.com
Ken Duncan at IMDB
(photo by Eric Dreger)
For the second year in a row, a select team of VanArts Digital Photography students and graduates volunteered as photographers for the Free the Children WE Day Event. Our program manager Christa LeCraw coordinated with Maureen Simpson, Special Events Coordinator for Free the Children, to select out the best photographers to spend the day capturing this huge, celebrity-packed free concert for kids at Rogers Arena. Eric Dreger, Yasmin Najib and Jarrett Gerke worked really hard, captured some amazing shots, and thoroughly impressed Maureen. Here is what she had to say about Yasmin's photos and VanArts' help:
"Amazing!! Thank you so much Yasmin for acting so quickly. I've got the photos and they are great, you did such a phenomenal job, you should be very proud of yourself. I would love to work with you again."
"Thank you so much for your help. It means a lot to me and this organization that you put so much time and effort into seeking out these amazing photographers."
We are all thrilled to have been a part of this incredibly worthy cause and look forward to next year's WE Day!
(photo by Jarrett Gerke)
VanArts was proud to be an exhibitor at the 2nd annual Creative Mix Ideation Conference at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver yesterday. The floor hosted a variety of creative artists, programs and schools representing the arts in our creative community, so we were glad to be a part of it. Digital Photography Program Manager Christa LeCraw, Studio Manager Jeff Bell, and Communications Director/Stop-Motion Animation Instructor Ken Priebe were on hand at the VanArts booth to network with attendees, share information on our programs, and keep everyone creative with some fun interactive activities.
Participants got to create their own photo-mosaics...
...and create their own "animation jam" in stop-motion (including a home-made puppet from the fun Mighty Ugly activity booth)
Check out creativemix.ca for more information on this inspiring event!
We held our last Open House for 2010 this past Saturday, November 6, and had a fantastic turn-out with nearly 90 people in attendance. A big thanks to our admissions staff and department heads for participating and giving their time & energy to share information on our programs, and to all who attended, thanks very much for coming down! Hope you enjoy and get good use out of your free VanArts umbrellas...(winter is nearly upon us, after all!) Thanks also to Sala Thai Restaurant once again for the great food!
We were pleased to receive a few comments from people who attended the Open House. We got a particularly encouraging comment from Jason Dowdeswell, head of Image Engine visual effects studio in Vancouver, who mentioned to the audience that the graduates they had hired from VanArts were the most qualified and job-ready compared to any other schools. (See full comments from Jason here) Thanks Jason!
Other attendees had this to say:
"Great open house! Very informative. The entire faculty of VanArts seems very nice and they show passion for what they do; sometimes you can just tell. I like the fact that VanArts focuses on the courses they have. This is my second time there, and I believe I am now narrowing down my choice for the course area I would like to pursue. I am not checking out any other schools."
"Thank you all very much for hosting the Open House! I got a good idea of what the VanArts programs are about, and was very impressed with the amount of dedication and instruction you give to your students. It was very informative and the staff made it a great experience!"
Our next Open House will be on Saturday, January 22nd, 2011, so contact us or register online today if you would like to attend, and we'll see you then!
Register online below (recommended), by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone at 604-682-2787 x104.
VanArts recently had a visit from Jason Dowdeswell, an industry professional with over 20 years experience in the visual effects industry. His career includes being a part of the recent growth behind such studios as Sony Imageworks and Industrial Light & Magic, in addition to serving as Head of Digital Studio for Rainmaker and CIS here in his home town of Vancouver.
Currently, Jason is Head of Image Engine Vancouver, and here is what he has to say about VanArts:
"Of all the local schools that we look to hire for our junior positions in visual effects, we always start with VanArts. The grads are consistently the most production-ready, with the right attitude and the broadest & best understanding of how production workflow occurs in a professional environment. There is a high success rate for continued employment for VanArts graduates."
Thank you Jason!
We are thrilled to announce that legendary photographer Joe McNally will be speaking exclusively to the VanArts Digital Photography students next week, before presenting to a sold-out crowd on November 16th for a Vancouver Photo Workshops event.
Internationally acclaimed and widely respected, Joe's prolific career has spanned 30 years and included such prestigious credits as cover stories for TIME Magazine, Fortune and Newsweek, and contracts with Sports Illustrated, LIFE and the coveted National Geographic...to name just a few. He's a generous and talented speaker who tours the world to give photography seminars, and is an accomplished author, having published four books to date including: The Moment It Clicks, The Hot Shoe Diaries and LIFE Guide to Digital Photography: Everything You Need to Shoot Like the Pros.
This is a rare and priceless opportunity for the photography students to spend some quality time learning from Joe's vast experience. We are so excited and honored to welcome Joe McNally to VanArts!
Check out Joe's blog (which is always entertaining and downright addictive) and his photography (which will knock your socks off!) at www.joemcnally.com.
Our Acting students final public performance project, PLUNGE - a play by Christopher Kyle, was the most successful production ever for the William Davis Centre for Actors' Study at VanArts. Sold-out audiences filled the Havana Theatre on all three nights: November 4, 5 and 6, creating a record in revenue and accolades for the program.
Director Bruce Dawson had this to say about the success of the production: "This was a very challenging play to put on, being 90 minutes non-stop with about eight scene changes, and I was very impressed by how these actors did. It was evocative, moving and they did an incredible job."
The poster for the play and these head shots of the actors were designed with the help of our Digital Photography student RaVin. (ravinart.com)
A big thanks to all who supported our students and participated in this very successful production!
Stay tuned for more news from the Acting Department and contact us today if you have any questions about studying with us.
VanArts' Animation Department is proud to announce the addition of Charlie Bonifacio to our Advisory Board.
Charlie Bonifacio's animation career spans over 34 years, beginning after graduation from Sheridan College's Animation program in 1976. His early career included character animation & design, layout, posing supervision, story development and directing at Nelvana Inc in Toronto, as an integral part of their holiday special series and features Rock & Rule and The Care Bears Movie.
His other credits include: Nelvana's The Thief of Always & Ruby Gloom, Sullivan-Bluth Studio's The Land Before Time, All Dogs go to Heaven & Rock-a-Doodle, Squeeze Animation's Wicked Wendolyn & The Christmas Pony, Walt Disney Animation Canada's Peter Pan: Return to Neverland, Tarzan 2, & The Legend of Mulan, Walt Disney Feature Animation's Hunchback of Notre Dame & Lilo and Stitch, and Starz Animation's 9 & Gnomeo and Juliet. Charlie continues to contribute and stay current with the Canadian animation industry.
Charlie Bonifacio at IMDB
Dan Schoening attended our 2D Animation program from 1999 to 2000, (back when the program's founder Lee Mishkin was our head instructor) and has since done very well in the animation, art and comics industry.
Dan shares with us, "During my time at VanArts, I was really able to hone and define the tools and techniques related to 2D character animation. In everything from life drawing to storyboarding, VanArts covered all the disciplines I needed to create a strong portfolio and obtain work in the animation industry.
Upon graduation, I went on to doing storyboards for local animation houses in Vancouver, including AKA Studios on Cartoon Network's Ed, Edd & Eddy. Afterwards, I moved to Victoria and began working at Inlight Entertainment, on many different IPs for such clients as Disney/Pixar, CBC, Fisher Price and Leap Frog. At that time, I also began to develop my Flash skills and explore the freelancing world.
I currently do full-time freelancing, which has been a great opportunity to push the craft into more challenging areas. My freelance clients now include DC Comics, IDW Comics, Ape Entertainment, Club Penguin, Upperdeck, Random House, Readers Digest and Capstone Publishing.
My experience at VanArts was not only positive, but memorable as one of the highlights of my career."
Visit Dan's Blog @ dapperdans.blogspot.com
(Ghostbusters: Haunted Holidays comic with art by Dan Schoening, courtesy IDW Comics)