Archive for January, 2010

Week #4:Yuri Norstein

Animation Seminar is very pleased to host the independent Russian animator, Yuri Norstein this week. Rather than focus entirely on his own work, Mr. Norstein will be giving a broader talk about animation, delving in to its history and craft. He will also describe his own inspirations and muses. This special presentation is open only to Hench-DADA students, faculty and staff.

Our translator will be Ruah Edelstein, a graduate of the CalArts animation program.

About Yuri Norstein:

Yuri Norstein is the highly esteemed Russian animator whose critical acclaim in the international animation community matches that of Walt Disney, John Lasseter, and Hayao Miyazaki. Known as “the Pushkin of animation”, Norstein’s films have won countless awards at prestigious film festivals around the world.  At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival, Norstein’s Tale of Tales was voted the “Greatest Animated Film of All Time” by an international jury.

Norstein’s films, Tale of Tales, Hedgehog in the Fog, and Heron and the Crane, demonstrate an unprecedented approach and expertise of animation, while acting as a window into the intimacies of Soviet Russian culture. Norstein eloquently depicts the human condition through the portrayal of Russian folklore, while transcending cultural and generational boundaries. His films are deeply rooted in Russian literature, history, and folklore, yet his messages are layered and complex, designed to elude the artistic censors of the times. His hand-made, cutout animation technique is also multi-layered. Norstein expertly animates his beautifully rendered characters and backgrounds on multiple planes of glass to create sophisticated and three-dimensional environments.


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Born on Long Island, New York, and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, David Silverman began drawing at age four, and he’s never found a good reason to stop. Winning several student film awards during his academic career helped him to focus on developing his abilities. Attending the UCLA Animation Workshop brought his talent to the attention of others in the animation community.

Much of David’s career has revolved around The Simpsons. After receiving his M.F.A from UCLA in 1983, he freelanced in illustration and animation. In 1987, he landed a job animating on The Tracey Ullman Show – whereThe Simpsons got their start, as short segments. Animating on all 48 shorts led to David directing many of the first episodes when The Simpsons became a series, including The Simpsons Christmas Special in December, 1989, and the premiere episode a month later. David became Supervising Animation Director as well as a producer on the show. To date, he has directed 22 episodes of The Simpsons, winning 4 Emmys along the way.

In the midst of his success with The Simpsons, David was wooed away first to DreamWorks (The Road to El Dorado – co-director), and then to Pixar (Monsters, Inc. – co-director), and Blue Sky (Ice Age, Robots – writing and storyboarding). He returned to the series at the end of 2003, and was chosen to direct the much-anticipated film, The Simpsons Movie, released in 2007. Presently, David has a number of projects in development, including directing a live-action feature.

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Week #2: Raúl Garcia

Raúl was born in Madrid starting his animation career at 19. He has been an animator at international feature films ranging from «Asterix and Caesar Surprise», «The Chipmunks great Adventure» and «Land before  time» until he worked on «Who Framed Roger Rabbit», opening the doors as animator in the Walt Disney Studios for 9 years.

He was a character animator on such modern classics as «Beauty and the Beast», «Aladdin», «Lion King» and  «Pocahontas». After «Fantasia 2000» Raúl moved as sequence director for Paramount on films like «The Rugrats in Paris» and «Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius» nominated for an Oscar for best animated feature .
In 2002 he joined Kandor Graphics as creative director, with the award winning short film «The Tell Tale Heart», and soon afterwards as co-writer and director with his partner Manuel Sicilia on the feature film «The Missing Lynx» (El Lince Perdido).

He is currently directing the Animated Feature “Extraordinary Tales”  based on Edgar Allan Poe stories.

Raul Garcia is member of the Academy of motion Pictures of Arts and Sciences of Hollywood , The American Cartoonist Society, and  was board member of Asifa Hollywood in 1992-95.
He has published two books in animation techniques and  teaches animation around the world.

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