Speakers

aaron 3d

AARON PARRY – CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AT DELUXE 3D LLC

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

As Chief Creative Officer and Executive Vice President, Aaron Parry oversees the creative vision of the company, as well as worldwide production and technology development. While at Stereo D, Parry and his team have created the 3D industry’s most advanced 3D pipeline, resulting in an unmatched combination of speed and quality in delivery. Parry supervised the expansion of Stereo D’s work force from a creative and technical staff of 10 people to more than 1,000 employees.

Additionally, Parry oversees Deluxe Animation Studios (DAS), a business unit formed in 2015 to provide feature and television animation production services. DAS recently pioneered the process of creating hand-drawn animation in 3D, and employed this innovative and cutting-edge technique for the first time ever in the Paramount release, “Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water.”

During his tenure, Stereo D has created the 3D conversions for over thirty films, including Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” released by Disney; “Titanic in 3D” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” from Twentieth Century Fox; Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Pacific Rim”; and “Hercules,” from Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Marvel’s “The Avengers,”  “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3″ and “Thor”; “Jurassic Park 3D,” “Jurassic World,” and “Everest,” from Universal Pictures; “Star Trek Into Darkness” from Paramount Pictures; and “Godzilla,” from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, among many others.

Parry joined Stereo D in 2010 after serving as supervising 3D producer on “Jackass 3D” for Paramount Pictures. His prior feature credits also include serving as line producer on Paramount Pictures’ “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie” and as executive producer on the studio’s “Barnyard.” Prior to his work at Paramount, Parry was executive producer at Warner Bros. Feature Animation.

He has served as an adjudicator for film and animation festivals, as well as lectured around the world on animation and stereoscopic 3D. Parry holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Coe College and attended the Advanced Graduate Studies program at USC. He is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and International 3D Society.

LECTURE DATE/TIME: FRI OCT 21ST 8AM

 

ANDREA MILORO – SENIOR VP OF PRODUCTION AT 20TH CENTURY FOX ANIMATION

Andrea Miloro is Senior Vice President, Production at 20th Century Fox Animation where she oversees creative development and production of animated feature projects. Most recently, she’s worked on Blue Sky Studios’ Epic (2013) and The Peanuts Movie (2015).

Prior to joining Fox, Andrea Miloro served as Vice President, Head of Production at Sony Pictures Animation. She has also been a VFX and Animation Producer on a variety of projects for 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., TriStar Pictures, Digital Domain and Rhythm & Hues.

See also: Portfolio Review

LECTURE DATE/TIME: SAT OCT 22ND 12PM

 

 

AaaronARON GILMAN – ANIMATION SUPERVISOR AT DOUBLE NEGATIVE

Born in Montreal, Aaron began his career as a Creature Animator in 2000. Over the past 16 years he’s animated on films such as Hellboy, Matrix: Revolutions, and Constantine for Tippett Studio, as well as Avatar, The Hobbit 1 & 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and many others with Weta Digital. For the past 8 years he was a Animation Supervisor at Weta Digital and has completed numerous projects in that role such as The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, Iron Man 3, Alvin & The Chipmunks, The Avengers, Godzilla and Tintin.

In addition to his work at Weta Digital, Aaron taught at Animation Mentor for 3 years, and has given numerous lectures and presentations on character animation at universities and trade schools, and was also a panel presenter for The Avengers at SIGGRAPH 2012, and Iron Man 3 at FMX 2013. Aaron has just returned to Vancouver, Canada as the Animation Supervisor at Double Negative.

LECTURE DATE/TIME: “To New Zealand and Back Again – Adventures in Animation with Aaron Gilman” FRI OCT 21ST 12:30PM

ELBERT PEREZ – SENIOR UX PROTOTYPER FOR THE HTC VIVE

Elbert Perez specializes in creating innovative content for exciting new platforms. He is currently a co-founder and CTO of Doghead Simulations spearheading product development of rumii. He previously worked on the award winning HTC Vive as an employee of HTC creating numerous prototypes and working on Vive Home and Viveport. He has previously worked at Microsoft on multiple narrative innovations for products such as the Xbox One, Windows Phone, SmartGlass and various game properties. Elbert is also an independent game developer with over 20 published games on multiple platforms, including PC, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and Xbox 360. His games have been downloaded more than 3 million times.

 

See also: Portfolio Review

LECTURE DATE/TIME: SAT OCT 21ST 10:30am

 

 

SARA SHEsaraRMAN – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CASTING AT WALT DISNEY COMPANY

Sara has been casting cartoons for Disney Television Animation for the past decade and has worked in the world of animation for 15 years. Currently she oversees the casting on Disney Channel’s TANGLED, MILO MURPHY’S LAW, PHINEAS AND FERB, GRAVITY FALLS, and STAR VS THE FORCES OF EVIL. She is responsible for the VO cast on all animated Disney Channel pilots, roughly 5 per year. Her credits also include MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE, YIN, YANG, YO, FISH HOOKS, CLUB PENGUIN, WANDER OVER YONDER, and SUPER ROBOT MONKEY TEAM HYPERFORCE GO!

Additionally, Sara handles Talent Relations for all TV animation and Disney Junior series. Prior to joining Disney, Sara worked in development at Klasky Csupo known for RUGRATS and AS TOLD BY GINGER and at Gullane Entertainment known for THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE.

She started her career as Steven Bochco’s production assistant after attending the S.I. Newhouse School of  Communications at Syracuse University. Sara has recently become a mom and resides in the Los Angeles area.

 

 

billBILL BUCKLEY – ANIMATION DIRECTOR, FIRST CONTACT ENTERTAINMENT

Bill Buckley has been working as an animator and artist in the video game industry for over ten years and has worked on three of the top ten best-selling video game franchises in history.  His roles have included Senior Animator, Story Artist, Digital Cinematographer, Concept Artist and most recently, Animation Director with First Contact Entertainment.  He has provided story art and animation on popular titles for companies such as THQ, Disney Interactive, Limbic, SCEA, and most currently Activision (Neversoft and Infinity Ward). His resume includes major titles such as TONY HAWK PROVING GROUND, WWE SMACKDOWN vs. RAW, NBA 2007, Disney’s CLUB PENQUIN, eight GUITAR HERO titles, CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS, CALL OF DUTY: INFINITE WARFARE, and JOHN WICK THE IMPOSSIBLE TASK in VR.  His work has also been featured in commercials, comic books and theme park attractions. When Bill is not transforming his wild imagination into usable art assets, he enjoys mentoring and teaching game art to aspiring artists. He has lectured at universities and conventions, both domestic and abroad, and has published two graphic novels as well as contributed to numerous gaming textbooks.  Bill received a BA in Fine Art with an emphasis on Entertainment Arts and Animation Bill and is also a graduate of Animation Mentor. Bill lives in Southern California with his talented and gorgeous wife (who wrote this bio) and his adorable baby girls.

See also: Portfolio Review

LECTURE DATE/TIME: FRI OCT 21ST 3:30PM

 

markMARK ANTHONY AUSTIN – VISUAL EFFECTS / ANIMATION / CINEMATOGRAPHER

After earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree from West Surrey College of Art and Design in Surrey, England, Mark went on to make the filmed animated short, “Father” that would later be nominated for a BAFTA and eventually win numerous awards. Soon after, Mark started his career in earnest at the Wyatt Cattaneo Animation Studio in London overseeing the commercial campaigns of the company’s largest European brand names, including Tetley Tea Bags, Ribena and the Swiss Bank Corporation.
In 1993 Mark moved to LucasFilm’s Industrial Light and Magic to work on Steven Spielberg’s “Casper” and then given charge of the creature animation for the first “Star Wars” Special Edition. Mark soon moved on to Walt Disney Feature Animation as a supervising animator on such projects as “Dinosaur,” “Treasure Planet,” Disney World’s 3D attraction: “Mickey’s Philharmagic,” followed by “Chicken Little” and then “Bolt.”
June 2009 to June2014 – Head of Animation at The Third Floor Inc., the world’s leading and only international pre-visualization company.  During his 5 years there Mark has had the privilege of working closely with such directors as Steven Spielberg (“Warhorse”), Sam Raimi (“Oz the Great and Powerful”), Joss Whedon (“Avengers”), Peter Berg (“Battleship”), Rob Cohen (“Medieval”), Guy Ritchie (“Lobo”) and Marcus Nispel (“Conan”).
Mark was hired by MPC, Santa Monica to supervise the postvis on “Goosebumps”, starring Jack Black.  He went on to work with John Favreau on Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Jungle Book”. Mark took a summer job with Proof Inc. for “Star Trek Beyond” directed by Justin Lin.
Mark is currently working for BOSA studios on Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, designing attractions for a major theme park in Dubai, jumping between previs supervisor and animation director.

See also: Portfolio Review

LECTURE DATE/TIME:SAT OCT 2ND 3PM

DILIANA ALEXADER – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT FILM GATE

A long‐time Canadian TV and film director and producer, Diliana Alexander moved to Miami in 2012 and founded FilmGate Miami (http://www.filmgate.miami), an actor and filmmaker accelerator. Each February, FilmGate holds FilmGate Interactive, a Creative Conference, which explores the future of storytelling and entertainment . In the past, Diliana has worked with the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs and the Miami International Film Festival. Diliana has produced award‐winning shows for Slice TV, CBC, HGTV and TLC. In 2013, Diliana produced the feature film, TI LAUREN in Haiti. Currently she is directing her first feature film NARC, based on the Young Adult novel by Florida Book Award winner, Crissa Jean Chappell.

 

 

See also: Portfolio Review

LECTURE DATE/TIME:FRI OCT 21ST 5:30PM

 

tolmanDrew Tolman, Animation Associate Producer at 20th Century Fox

Animation Producer Drew Tolman has over 15 years of experience making family blockbusters in both development and production for Fox, Disney, Universal and Warner Bros.  She has helped build three animation studios and has managed nearly every department at one point or another.   Currently, she is the Animation Associate Producer for 20th Century Fox’s 2015 Christmas release “Alvin and the Chipmunks – Road Chip!” Ms. Tolman began her career as a Development Assistant at 20th Century Fox Animation and worked there for three years, where many family movies were developed including Titan AE (2000) and Ice Age (2002).  From there, she worked in production on Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005) for The Walt Disney Company, Curious George (2006) for Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment, Everyone’s Hero (2006) for Fox and Starz Media and Alvin and the Chipmunks II, the Squeakquel (2009) for Fox 2000 and Hop (2011) for Universal Studios.  She was also the Production Manager at Warner Bros. for a series of CG animated shorts distributed in Kenya as part of the U.S. Pepfar initiative (2008).  She supervised Post Production on several Disney shows including Phineas and Ferb, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Star Versus the Forces of Evil for Disney Television Animation.  A big believer in mentoring and creating opportunities for next-gen talent, she is on the Board of Directors for Miami International Animation Conference and Festival, held annually on Miami Beach, and she teaches and guest lectures at various colleges.  Ms. Tolman is an avid writer, a poet, awarded screenwriter and aspiring children’s book author.  Her screenwriting has placed in several contests and has been endorsed by the prestigious KIDS FIRST! Coalition for Quality Children’s Media.  She founded the family entertainment company, Beach Plum Media, to grow and produce her own ideas. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Ms. Tolman received her Master’s degree in Film Studies with a concentration in children’s films from the University of Miami, Coral Gables and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

See also: Board of Directors, Pitch to the Industry

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leah-hoyer

Leah Hoyer, Director of Narrative Design at Arena.net

Leah Hoyer is a former attorney who left that field to pursue her passion for cartoons. After completing her MFA coursework at UCLA’s Animation Workshop in 2001, Leah began working at Disney Television Animation, where she was the Director of Development for Disney Channel Animated Series. During her tenure at Disney, Leah worked on numerous series, including “Recess,” “Kim Possible” and “Phineas & Ferb.”  Ms. Hoyer is now Narrative Design Director at Microsoft Studios, where she oversees a team of story and transmedia professionals who develop and shepherd stories for video games, television series, books, and other properties.  She also looks for innovative ways to tell stories across platforms and using new technologies.

 

 

See also: Board of Directors, Pitch to the Industry, Game On

LECTURE DATE/TIME: SAT OCT 22ND 1PM

Christine Bchristinerownell, Game Design & Creative Consultant

Christine’s video game industry journey started at Blizzard Entertainment in 2003 as a QA Software Analyst. After only a year, she transitioned to Quest Designer on the legendary, multi-award winning World of Warcraft. She then held lead design roles at NetDevil and Perpetual Entertainment, followed by nearly four years as Senior Designer on The Sims, at Electronic Arts. The remainder of her tenure at EA included roles as Design Director and Creative Director for Playfish in London, whose output included The Sims Social, a social game which peaked at 60 million monthly average users. In 2013, Christine started her own business providing game design consultancy and game industry career coaching.

In addition to her consulting business, Christine is a mentor for UnCollege, an organization that promotes supported, self-directed learning. She is currently writing a book about her adventures in the game industry and building a 2D mobile game using the Unity game engine. She enjoys prototyping simple yet fun game ideas, many of which are inspired by her boisterous 3 year old son.

 

LECTURE DATE/TIME: SAT OCT 22ND 5PM

 

 

dean

Dean Lyon, Splinter Studios

Dean has 30+ years experience in collaborating with cutting edge directors, studios, production companies, post-production facilities and technology developers throughout the world.  He is passionate about the potential of technology to transform the art of visual story-telling. From big screen to multi-platform delivery, good story content is essential to the motion-picture industries.
Dean’s career has included roles as Producer, Director, Visual Effects Supervisor, Inventor, CEO and Entrepreneur, working in diverse areas as motion pictures, music videos, commercials, interactive TV, theme park attractions, VFX/CGI and stereoscopic 3D.  He has worked on over 100 international television commercials and 50 feature films including ‘Armageddon’, ‘Independence Day’, ‘Air Force One’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy where he received credit as a Visual Effects Supervisor.
In 2000, Dean journeyed to New Zealand and led the start-up of Oktobor – a world-class creative and talent-centric visual effects and animation company servicing ad agencies, film production companies and studios throughout the globe. He returned to the States in 2007 to work with da Vinci Systems, where among his many accomplishments, he was instrumental in developing a stereoscopic 3D grading system utilizing supercomputing processing that made the color finishing of ‘Avatar’ and dozens of other 3D feature films possible.
More recently he has launched an innovative Florida based start-up venture – Splinter Studios. Splinter Studios utilizes a next-generation approach to develop technology to drive out traditional costs in the business. Ongoing research in emerging technology is used to streamline workflow, production, stereoscopic 3D content, cloud services and products in an efficient and collaborative manner.  Dean is also an accomplished public speaker and has delivered seminars, chaired industry panels and guest lectured at various international film festivals around the world.
An active member in SMPTE and ACM/SIGGRAPH.  Lyon was elected to the Visual Effects Society (VES) in Hollywood in 2004 for recognition of his work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and dozens of other projects.

See also: Portfolio Review

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rickRick Daniels, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AT GHOSTPUNCH GAMES

Rick Daniels is the current Director of Operations and one of the founders of Ghostpunch Games, a relatively new game development studio located in Coral Springs, Florida. Rick’s career in the gaming industry began over 20 years ago animating for television and creating art assets for video games, long before outsourcing was commonplace. Prior to starting Ghostpunch, Rick had co-founded several successful startups including Shadows In Darkness and Darkside Game Studios with combined credits on well over 75 games including some of the industry’s most successful franchises like Call of Duty, Borderlands, Medal of Honor, Gears of War, XCOM, and Ratchet and Clank. And his current company has already secured contracts with 2K, Gearbox, Intel, You.i, Hidden Path Entertainment, Super Evil MegaCorp, and several others soon to be announced.
Rick’s expertise is starting up small independent game studios and then taking them to the next level through team building, brand expansion, and new client acquisition. His first start up was a pioneer in the area of art outsourcing for the video game industry in 1995, an untested practice at the time. Rick had enjoyed 15 years of success at both Shadows in Darkness, and Darkside Game Studios building relationships with top video game developers and publishers working on the most recognized franchises on the PC and console today.

See also: Portfolio Review

LECTURE DATE/TIME: SAT OCT 22ND 5PM

JoAjoannanna Almasude, MAA & GAD Chair at THE ART INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH ONLINE DIVISION

JoAnna Almasude is an internationally exhibited professional fine artist with over 30 years of experience. Her professional artwork has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States, Japan, Italy, England, Spain, Morocco and Oman. Her work includes figure drawing and illustration, painting (oil) and sculpture (bronze). She has also worked as a web designer and web animator for various schools and universities.

After 15 years as a professional artist and 4 years as a web designer and web animation artist, JoAnna joined the teaching faculty at the Art institute of Pittsburgh’s online division in 2002. As an educator and expert in drawing the human figure, JoAnna is especially interested in promoting the importance of traditional figure drawing for animators and game art designers.

JoAnna has served in various academic and administrative positions at several universities, including: Ohio University’s school of Fine Art, Francis Marion University, Capella University, Dhofar University in Salalah, Oman, as well as, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s online division. Currently, she is Professor and Department Director of the Game Art & Design and Media Arts & Animation at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s Online Division. JoAnna earner her B.F.A. and M.F.A. from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

A sample selection of JoAnna’s artwork may be viewed at joannaalmasude.com.

See also: Portfolio Review

LECTURE DATE/TIME:

mittnerMartin Mittner, Full Time Faculty @ MAGIC, Game Development Design

Martin Mittner specializes in systems design and new IP development. He is currently the newest addition to the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, and is helping to guide the development of Miami Dade College’s gaming program. Martin has eclectic experience working on mobile, console, and location based entertainment projects for companies like Electronic Arts, WMS Gaming, and Shiver Entertainment. Prior to working in games Martin was a successful web designer and developer.

 

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erwin1Erwin Santacruz, Motion Designer & Developer

Based out of sunny South Florida, Erwin brings a wealth of experience havingworked in broadcast, film, web, and interactive for well over a decade. His design & aesthetic sensibilities as a motion designer is supported by strong technical savvy. Able to balance creative thinking with logical design ideas, Erwin enjoys the opportunity to develop solutions to challenging problems.
In addition to working full-time for the one of the largest networks in the country, he is an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College’s Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (MAGIC). He also finds the time to manage a freelance career which includes working on campaigns for Nike, ExxonMobil, Adidas, & Coca Cola.
Most recently, Erwin has been exploring the depths of Side Effects’ procedural 3D application Houdini and has a website called houdinitricks.com dedicated to sharing tips and tricks on the application. When not designing or animating pixels, Erwin exercises the left hemisphere of his brain by applying his programming skills to develop applications for Web, desktop and mobile platforms as well as plugins & scripts for Cinema 4D and After Effects. If all else fails, he watches some Twilight Zone, I Love Lucy, or Three’s Company reruns.

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alexisAlexis Centeno, 2D/3D Artist

Alexis M. Centeno is a published 2D/3D artist with a BFA in Computer Animation and spends her days as a Lab Assistant & Tutor at Miami Dade College’s MAGIC.
In 2014, she won the MIA Animation Conference &Festival “Pitch to the Industry” Competition for her original series “Grandpa.” Grandpa is a desperate vampire who turns rain soaked, neon world upside down when he reawakens his short-tempered, fire-breathing granddaughter to save him an Alzheimer’s curse.
The winning concept is now a bi-weekly webcomic series on NAVER’s Webtoon: “Grandpa”
In the summer of 2015, Alexis started ZBrush UZR Group, a biweekly workshop supporting the growing community of 3D artists at MAGIC by performing living demos and giving Q&A sessions to help students troubleshoot their personal or portfolio projects.