On Wednesday March 23, NYU Tisch UGFTV Animation Area course Animation: From Pitching to Pipeline to Production, taught by Professor Bae, was visited by Disney Television Animation. Speakers Shane Prigmore, VP of Creative Affairs, Alonso Ramirez Ramos, Director, and Brooke Keesling, Director of Talent Development, shared a bit about their artistic backgrounds, the company, and what its like to have a career in animation.
After screening a sizzle reel of Disney animated series, which featured highlights & stills from shows like Duck Tales, Kim Possible, and Gravity Falls, the Disney presenters discussed the company-wide initiative to re-conceptualize Mickey and produce new content. While the company challenged themselves to find the right design, they ultimately celebrated an idea from animator and artist Paul Rudish, known for The Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack. The new Mickey Mouse is now the center of a series of Mickey Mouse shorts, as well as the face of Disney Television Animation.
Alonso Ramirez started as a storyboard artist on Gravity Falls and is now a director on Disney Television Animation's wildly popular Mickey shorts . He shared some of his storyboards, went through pitching a board singing live in class, and discussed the importance of creating visual gags. Shane, Alonso, and Brooke discussed the production and development of Gravity Falls, as well as what it was like to work under Alex Hirsch, the series creator.
While the Disney Television Animation group discussed internships and working in animation, they stressed more than anything the importance of storytelling in artists' work. Shane who worked as a creative consultant on a variety of feature animated films, stressed that every new story has a new look to it. Character design, backgrounds, and the aesthetic of a film all work together to tell a story.
After the presentation, students were able to ask questions directly to Shane, Alonso, & Brooke and learn more about their lives and work at Disney. It was truly inspiring to see the exciting projects Disney Television Animation are developing and to have had the opportunity to meet such talented professionals face to face.
For more information about animation at NYU Tisch UGFTV and the student run organization NYU Student Animation League, visit animation.tisch.nyu.edu/sal or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about screenings, presentations, workshops, and other events. It's almost registration time for next semester. If you like events like this, consider the three credit craft course Animation: From Pitching to Pipeline to Production!