Tag: 安阳夜网

CalArts graduates scramble for Hollywood studio jobs

first_imgVALENCIA – Graduation is show time in the CalArts animation program, with students vying for studios ready to hire them. So the online success of Alex Hirsch’s six-minute video “Off the Wall” couldn’t have come at a better moment for the fledgling animator. Who knew that drawing a few squiggly lines would grab so much attention? Hirsch’s creation is an animated doodle on a wall who tries to impress live-action humans. Wallby is the kind of stick-and-circle character a grade-schooler might draw when the teacher’s not looking, and Hirsch knows it. But instead of jaw-dropping art, humor and story drive Wallby’s animated adventures. Hirsch’s classmates co-star. The formula earned almost 600,000 hits on YouTube.com. “I just wanted to cram all my friends into something as a parting Hallmark card to my school,” said Hirsch, who graduated Friday from Valencia’s California Institute of the Arts. The video has been more than that for Hirsch, 21. Major studio executives saw it and were impressed, and it won Hirsch a lunch meeting with one executive who encouraged him to pitch ideas to the studio. “My portfolio probably isn’t good enough to make its way to him,” Hirsch said. “But the short’s funny, so that’s worth its weight in gold.” Hirsch is on the job interview circuit, as are fellow students. At a CalArts job fair a couple of weeks before graduation, students tried to catch the eye of representatives from The Walt Disney Co., Pixar Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Nickelodeon and other companies. And they did it with their portfolios alone, since they are barred from being in the same room with potential employers rifling through their work. After a few hours, students come back and look for their names on a list. If a company listed a student’s name, it means he or she won a short job interview in a “speed-dating” kind of format at the school. Over the years, students finding their names absent from the lists have been reduced to tears. Tuition at the school is $31,290 a year. More than a quarter of students pay it all, while the rest rely on various forms of financial aid, ranging from work-study to full scholarship, said Margaret Crane, a spokeswoman for the school. To its credit, CalArts has a long list of alumni who have graduated from its animation programs and done more than just find paying jobs in the industry. Tim Burton is virtually a cult figure; Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise co-directed “Beauty and the Beast”; Craig McCracken created “The Powerpuff Girls”; John Lasseter became an executive at Pixar after having directed both “Toy Story” movies and “A Bug’s Life.” When he was a student at CalArts before going on to direct episodes of “The Simpsons,” Jim Reardon made a 1986 Peanuts parody called “Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown.” Reardon works at Pixar. In Reardon’s gory CalArts classic, Charlie Brown shoots his way through the revenge fantasy audience members have probably always had for him. The short film shares space on YouTube.com with the more recent creations of Hirsch and other current and former students. Some graduates never find jobs in animation. But one said such failings can usually be blamed on not putting in the work. During the all-nighters they pull working on their projects and chugging energy drinks, students build strong bonds with each other. The year culminates with a boisterous marathon showing of all the students’ animation shorts. Students down alcohol and cheer each other on at the “open show.” Then comes the “producer’s show,” when only the best shorts are showcased and students dress up to hobnob with studio execs – another steppingstone to a potential job. “It’s like the open show is the bachelor’s party and the producer’s show is the wedding,” said student Dimitri Frazao, 25, who helped Hirsch with his video. [email protected] (661) 257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more