Animation is in every single place, and it’s not at all times the place you may suppose. For proof of the artwork type’s versatility and progressive power, look no additional than the lineup of the Savannah Faculty of Artwork and Design’s sixth annual SCAD AnimationFest. Kicking off September 22 and working by means of September 24, SCADFILM’s signature occasion will return to an in-person format for the primary time for the reason that pandemic started and have screenings, panels and displays on all the things from “an in-depth take a look at the animation of Marvel’s Hit-Monkey” with Floyd County Productions to “real-time sport visualization” with Halon Leisure.
“Animation is one thing that we use not simply in storytelling however in communication. It’s utilized in retail. You might flip in your TV tonight, and I assure the commercials you see will characteristic animation,” mentioned Senior Government Director of SCADFILM Leigh Seaman.
However it’s not simply that animation spans many various mediums; it may additionally convey a wide range of messages and infrequently could delve extra simply into tough materials than reside motion may, Seaman mentioned. Whether or not it’s local weather change or illustration on movie, animation is tackling all of it — for teenagers and adults alike.
“There’s quite a lot of tough stuff occurring on the planet. The factor that at all times will get me is how [animation artists] have been capable of inform one thing in a manner that they could not have been capable of in conventional movie,” Seaman mentioned.
AnimationFest was launched in 2017 by SCAD President Paula Wallace. Its mission was to construct off the momentum of the already established SCAD Savannah Movie Competition, whereas recognizing that animation was quickly turning into one of many faculty’s hottest diploma applications.
Certainly, as of the autumn 2022 quarter at SCAD Atlanta, greater than 350 college students are enrolled within the animation program, which encompasses animation, movement media design, visible results and digital manufacturing. Animation is at the moment the second-highest enrolled program at SCAD Atlanta and the very best enrolled program for the college general.
The planning course of for every year’s lineup begins within the new yr, kicking into excessive gear in Could. Along with her background as a producer and showrunner in unscripted and documentary-style tv, Seaman mentioned that pulling collectively AnimationFest has given her a deeper appreciation of “simply how a lot goes into each body of animation.” “I’ve super respect for individuals and the period of time it takes to create this stunning artwork type,” she mentioned.
One of many many SCAD alumni collaborating on this yr’s occasion is Marisa “Ginger” Tontaveetong, who initially fell in love with manga comics when she was rising up in Thailand however then gravitated towards transferring animation. In search of alternatives to translate that rapid-paced, ever-shifting modality of storytelling, she moved to Atlanta from Thailand in 2011 to pursue an MFA in animation at SCAD — and has remained right here ever since.
Now, as govt director of Worldwide Animated Movie Affiliation (ASIFA) South, the Southeastern U.S. chapter of the worldwide animation community, Tontaveetong will kick off AnimationFest on Thursday morning with the very first panel centered on “Business Insights on Georgia Animation.”
She believes that Atlanta is an animation hub, not just for the extra commonplace movie studios which might be based mostly right here but in addition due to the growth of VFX and gaming studios as effectively. One such instance is the Atlanta-based Pulseworks LLC, which focuses on growing “immersive, interactive leisure,” in keeping with its web site.
Add to that the explosion of streaming choices over the past decade and the final couple of years’ surge in distant work, and these are growth instances for animators right here. Whereas many Atlanta animators are getting jobs in Los Angeles and New York, Tontaveetong mentioned she’s grateful that town’s animation scene has retained its distinctive identification as a collaborative, energized neighborhood.
“It’s not saturated but. There are such a lot of indie creatives, so there’s nonetheless that uncooked power,” she mentioned. “It’s nearly like a mini ecosystem in and of itself as a result of lots of people know one another.” This may lend effectively to forming strong partnerships. For instance, ASIFA-South has labored with organizations just like the Atlanta Movie Society and Ladies in Movie and Tv Atlanta (WIFTA).
“The rationale I selected to work with ASIFA is so I may work on one thing significant in my area, utilizing narrative to inform essential tales. I believe that’s additionally part of mentoring and educating the following technology to be stronger and thrive on this explicit house,” Tontaveetong mentioned.
Extra highlights from the three-day visible creativity and creations smorgasbord embrace a dialog with Superior Inc. — the artists behind Squidbillies — about their upcoming Daria spinoff, Jodi, in addition to the Ren & Stimpy reboot. There’s additionally an deal with from Kelci Parker, Hulu’s Vice President of Animation and 2022 Award of Excellence recipient, and the debut of the college’s new combined actuality (XR) stage for digital manufacturing.
A digital cross continues to be out there for many who can’t make it in individual. Additionally, seating is first-come, first-served foundation, and a few digital screenings have viewers caps in place, so the competition organizers suggest arriving early for the panels or displays you want to attend.
If you happen to’re new to animation and simply dipping your toes in for the primary time, AnimationFest could also be only the start. Control the horizon for October 28, which is Worldwide Animation Day and may provide extra screenings and alternatives to get to know this thriving aspect of Atlanta’s media neighborhood.
Alexis Hauk is a member of the American Theatre Critics Affiliation. She has written and edited for quite a few newspapers, alt-weeklies, commerce publications and nationwide magazines together with Time, The Atlantic, Psychological Floss, Uproxx and Washingtonian journal. An Atlanta native, Alexis has additionally lived in Boston, Washington, D.C., New York Metropolis and Los Angeles. By day, she works in well being communications. By night time, she enjoys protecting the humanities and being Batman.