SPARK ANIMATION 2017: CONFERENCE
October 28 - 29, 2017
Vancouver Convention Centre
999 Canada Place
TweetSPARK ANIMATION 2017: CONFERENCE Celebrating the Diverse World of Animation
October 28 - 29, 2017
Conference Passes Now on Sale!
This year’s 2-day SPARK ANIMATION 2017 CONFERENCE brings together the world’s most talented artists, directors and studio executives to Vancouver to examine the various forms of animation, share their priceless experiences and inspire the animation community.
The 2-day Conference will feature:
Discussions on animation in all its processes.
Panels and presentations from the world’s most creative animators and directors.
Cutting-edge exposure and insight about the global art and business of animation.
Saturday - October 28, 8:00 AM CONFERENCE PASS REGULAR CONFERENCE PASS 2017 Quantities are limited. Order early!
Saturday - October 28, 9:00 AM PRESENTATION THINKING LIKE A CHILD with Glen Keane
A 38-year veteran of Walt Disney Feature Animation, Glen Keane has created some of the most beloved Disney characters of all time, such as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, the Beast in Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan, and Rapunzel. In 2012, he departed Disney to begin Glen Keane Productions as a way to further his artistic explorations in animation, design and film.
In this Keynote session, you will learn how holding onto childlike creativity is the key to remaining relevant in the constantly evolving art form of animation. Mr. Keane will share his journey, demonstrating how he has embraced new tools, from digital technology to virtual reality. These tools have allowed him to wander freely through his imagination, and have kept him “thinking like a child.”
His presentation will include a screening of his latest film, Dear Basketball, a collaboration with two legends, basketball star, Kobe Bryant, and Oscar-winning composer, John Williams.
Saturday - October 28, 11:00 AM PRESENTATION THE CREATIVE PROCESS OF THE BREADWINNER with Nora Twomey
With a film that tackles difficult subject matter, Nora Twomey offers a look at the creative process of the team behind The Breadwinner. The film is a co-production between Canada, Ireland and Luxembourg, this presentation focuses on how the filmmakers planned the production to maximize the creative input from all the separate crews involved over a two-year process. Nora will also explore the two different graphic looks in the film, the reasoning behind them and their journey to the screen.
Every Director is different. Every project has unique needs. In order to survive, an artist must learn techniques to satisfy the director’s wishes. Join the creative principals of House of Cool, Ricardo Curtis and Kate Moo King-Curtis, as they share their experience in navigating the intricacies of director relationships.
Also, on the panel is Jorge R. Gutiérrez who will give the director’s perspective.
Saturday - October 28, 3:30 PM PRESENTATION TELLING YOUR OWN STORIES with Leo Matsuda
“Life is incredibly complex, there are lots of things going on in our environment and in our lives at all times, and in order to hold onto our experience, we need to make meaning out of it,” says Jonathan Adler, Assistant Professor of psychology. “The way we do that is by structuring our lives into stories.”
Yes, we all love listening to stories. Books, radio, television and movies are all storytelling mediums and the most original of all of these is personal storytelling. Join us as Walt Disney Animation Studio director, Leo Matsuda focuses on how our personal history can be our most powerful tool for creativity. Drawing on his own experiences for inspiration, Mr. Matsuda will show how his life events formed the basis of the WDAP short, Inner Workings and his entire work.
Saturday - October 28, 5:30 PM PRESENTATION INVISIBLE CREATURES: DISCOVERING PIXAR'S LOU with Dave Mullins & Dana Murray
Join director Dave Mullins and producer Dana Murray, an as they walk audiences through the process of creating Pixar’s newest short, LOU. From initial pitch through final film, Mullins and Murray will dive into the shorts-making process at Pixar, and provide a glimpse at how sometimes a story can be lost only to be found in a most unexpected place.
Sunday - October 29, 9:00 AM PRESENTATION THE PROCESS OF VISUAL DEVELOPMENT & CHARACTER DESIGN with Lorelay Bové & Neysa Bové
The devil’s in the details when it comes to creating unforgettable characters. Costume design is particularly important in the development of a film’s characters. Beginning with a careful study of the script and story, costume designers use colour, shape, fabric, and more to help turn words on a page into vibrant on-screen imagery that complements the vision of the filmmakers and writers. Meticulously crafting every aspect of the clothing in which the animated characters are cloaked, these creative artists play a critical role in the creation of a character.
Join us as Lorelay and Neysa Bové focus on character, costume and overall visual development moments and how their work inspires and informs the final film.
Sunday - October 29, 11:00 AM PRESENTATION TBA with TBA
Coming soon. Please, check again.
Sunday - October 29, 1:30 PM PRESENTATION TBA with Daniel Chong
Coming soon. Please, check again.
Sunday - October 29, 3:30 PM PRESENTATION PIXAR'S COCO: A CELEBRATION FOR THE LIVING & THE DEAD with Ana Ramirez
In this special look at Pixar’s latest feature, Coco, see exclusive clips from the film and learn how filmmakers crafted a stunningly beautiful film about family set against the backdrop of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebration. Through extensive research and years spent honing the story, this presentation will illustrate the challenges and successes inherent in taking audiences on a journey that straddles both the land of the living, and the dead.
Award-winning Google Spotlight Stories and The Book of Life Director Jorge R. Gutiérrez take us behind-the-scenes on his “super personal” new Virtual Reality short, Son of Jaguar. The themes of family and tradition permeate Son of Jaguar, as we see the once mighty masked luchador, Son of Jaguar, facing his legacy, his family and what it means to be a part of something bigger than himself.
Both heartfelt and funny, Son of Jaguar is also the perfect marriage of art and technology and will be screened in mobile VR. As Mr. Gutiérrez explained, VR is a powerful way to create “emotion and empathy by allowing the viewer to walk in someone else’s shoes. That’s what I wanted to do — make someone not of my culture walk in my shoes.”
Sketch Artist // Pixar Animation Studios
Ana Ramirez joined Pixar Animation Studios as an intern in 2013. After completing schooling at California Institute of Arts (CalArts), Ramirez returned to Pixar in 2015 as a full-time sketch artist. She is currently working on Disney•Pixar’s upcoming feature film, Coco, set to release on November 22nd. As a sketch artist Ramirez works with the art departments to help develop the visual look of a film’s characters, set dressings, graphics, shading and overall colour.
Prior to Pixar, Ramirez worked freelance for Google, DreamWorks TV and Jib Jab, as well as FOX. Raised in Guanajuato, México, Ramirez’ primary schooling took place in Mexico and a short period in the United States. After high school, she moved to France to attend ESMA Montpellier art school, and then returned to the States to study at CalArts where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film and Video.
Producer // Pixar Animation
(LOU, Inside Out, Brave)
Dana Murray joined Pixar Animation Studios in June 2001 as a desk production assistant on Finding Nemo. She soon served as the art and technology coordinator on several short films including Boundin’, One Man Band and Lifted. Murray continued on as a lighting coordinator for Cars, and held a variety of department manager positions on the Academy Award®-winning feature films Ratatouille, Up, and Brave. Murray moved on to be the production manager for the Academy Award®-winning film, Inside Out, and most recently produced her first short film, LOU, released earlier this summer in front of Cars 3.
Raised in Placerville, CA, Murray attended Sonoma State University. She currently resides in Oakland, CA with her husband, their two girls and dog, Gracie.
Writer, Producer, Art Department
(We Bare Bears, Inside Out, Toy Story of Terror!, Bolt)
Daniel Chong is the creator of Cartoon Network Studios latest animated series We Bare Bears. The show won a BAFTA award in 2016 for Best International Children’s Show. in 2014, Chong won an Annie Award for his storyboarding work on Pixar’s first television special, Toy Story of Terror! His additional credits include Pixar’s 2015 film Inside Out, Cars 2, and Disney Feature Animation’s Bolt. A native of Southern California, he has a BFA in Illustration from Cal State Long Beach, and has attended CalArts.
Director // Pixar Animation
(LOU, Up, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo)
Dave Mullins joined Pixar Animation Studios in September 2000. His first project was working as a pre-production animator on the Academy Award®-winning film, Finding Nemo. From there he went on to animate on a number of Pixar feature films including Monsters Inc., The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Mullins was an animator on the Golden Globe®-winner, Cars and the short film One Man Band and worked as directing animator on another Academy Award®-winner, Up. Mullins then was tasked as a supervising animator on Cars 2, and additionally contributed his animation skills to Brave, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur. Most recently, Mullins made his directorial debut on Pixar’s new short, Lou, which opened in front of Cars 3 earlier this summer.
A life-long lover of movies, cartoons and drawing, Mullins was determined to land a job as an artist. While studying painting in art school, he found a RISC 6000 computer in the computer lab storage closet and taught himself how to use it. After creating his first animation of a walking coat hanger he was hooked. He graduated Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Illustration and was able to secure his first job in the movies creating animated concession stand ads for theatres.
Prior to coming to Pixar, Mullins early resume includes such production companies as Pike Productions, The Post Group, Acclaim Entertainment, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Dream Quest Images, Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Mullins currently lives in Moraga, California with his wife, their two children and dog, Pickles.
Award-winning Artist, Legendary Animator // Glen Keane Productions
(The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Tangled)
A 38-year veteran of Walt Disney Feature Animation, Glen Keane is most noted for creating such legendary Disney characters as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, the Beast from Beauty & the Beast, and Tarzan. Glen also served as Supervising Animator and Executive Producer on Disney’s 2010 box office hit, Tangled.
In 1972, Keane applied to study at the California Institute of the Arts as a Fine Art major. By accident, his portfolio was submitted and accepted to the School of Film Graphics (Animation). Although unintended, He decided to continue to follow this path. At the age of 18, he discovered animation was a combination of all the arts. He immediately fell in love with the medium that would stay with him for the rest of his career.
He joined Disney in 1974, where he trained under Walt Disney’s legendary animators Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas and Eric Larson. Glen began his journey animating scenes on The Rescuers before being promoted to directing animator on The Fox and the Hound. Glen is the recipient of the 2008 Windsor McCay Award for Lifetime Achievement in Animation, the 2012 Tex Avery Award, and was a 2013 Disney Legend Award honoree for his contribution in Animation.
In the spring of 2012, Glen decided to leave Disney in pursuit of further artistic exploration and launched Glen Keane Productions to pursue his personal projects. He has since gone on to collaborate with Google, the Paris Ballet, Riot Games, and Green Egg Media. His most recent project is the animated film Dear Basketball, which he animated and directed in collaboration with legends Kobe Bryant and John Williams.
Jorge R. Gutiérrez
Director // Google Spotlight Stories
(Son of Jaguar, The Book of Life, El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera)
Jorge R. Gutiérrez is a painter, writer and director born in Mexico City and raised in Tijuana. Gutierrez, a CalArts grad, is the creator and director of films, cartoons, and paintings inspired by his deep love for Mexican pop and folk culture. He and his wife Sandra Equihua created the multiple Emmy award-winning animated television series, El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon, and co-wrote and directed The Book of Life for Reel FX and 20th Century Fox. Most recently he created and directed Son of Jaguar for Google Spotlight Stories and is attached to the upcoming Billion Brick Race Lego film from Warner Bros. Animation.
Kate Moo King-Curtis
Development Producer // House of Cool Studios
(Curious George, The Road to El Dorado, The Prince of Egypt, Anastasia
Amoeba (in development), Curious George, Osmosis Jones, The Prince of Egypt)
Kate Moo King-Curtis brings more than 20 years of experience at the highest levels of the animation industry to her role as a Development Producer at House of Cool.
Moo King-Curtis excelled creatively and professionally as a layout artist at Fox, DreamWorks SKG and Warner Bros. Notable projects included contributions to films such as Anastasia, The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Osmosis Jones and Curious George.
On her return to Canada, she taught at her alma mater Sheridan College and joined House of Cool’s team in 2004. Moo King-Curtis’ expertise and unique artistic perspective shape her approach to her production and management projects at House of Cool.
(Inner Workings, Zootopia, Big Hero 6, Wreck-it Ralph)
Director, Leo Matsuda, worked as a story artist on Walt Disney Animation most recent feature film, Zootopia, as well as 2014’s Oscar-winning film Big Hero 6. Matsuda was nominated for an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production for his work on 2012’s Oscar-nominated Wreck-It Ralph.
Prior to joining Walt Disney Animation, Matsuda worked in the character layout department on The Simpson’s Movie at 20th Century Fox. He was a junior story artist for Rio at Blue Sky Studios, and was a story intern at Pixar Animation Studios.
Leo recently directed the short film Inner Workings that debuted in front of Walt Disney’s Animated Feature Film, Moana and now is developing his own ideas and focusing solely on directing.
Visual Development Artist // Walt Disney Animation
(Frozen Fever, Big Hero 6, Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled)
Lorelay Bové was born in Spain and raised in the Principality of Andorra between France and Spain. She moved with her family to Los Angeles when she was 14 years old and is fulfilling a childhood dream of being an artist at the Walt Disney Animation Studios. Bové graduated from CalArts in 2007, completing an internship at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville. Lorelay then started in the visual development department in August 2007 as a trainee. She has worked on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ musical comedy The Princess and the Frog doing visual development, colour characters and costumes, props, backgrounds and end-credit sequence art and designs. Lorelay has also worked on Tangled, as well as the Tangled Ever After short, on the short The Ballad of Nessie, Winnie the Pooh, Prep & Landing, on Wreck-It Ralph doing visual development as Lead Designer in Sugar Rush, on Big Hero 6, and the Frozen short, as a visual development artist.
Her inspiration includes her father who is an artist in his own right, as well as her tight knit family, Disney classic films, old Hollywood movies, her native Spain and her travels. Bové has also illustrated the Toy Story picture book, The Princess & the Frog Little Golden book, the Wreck-It Ralph Little golden book, the Monsters University Fearbook picturebook, and Disney Animation Studios Artist showcase series “No Slurping, No Burping.”
Neysa Bové is a visual development costume artist born and raised in Andorra, Spain.
Bové studied Fashion Design at FIDM (The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) and later took courses at CalArts’ animation department. After a Costume Design internship at Walt Disney World, Neysa began her career working at Disney Consumer Products. She has since designed Barbie dolls for Mattel, and now puts her costume talents to work at Disney Feature Animation. Her very first film contribution doing visual development/costume design was on Disneyés Moana. Since then she’s helped out on Wreck-It Ralph 2 and now is working on Gigantic.
Co-founder, Creative Director // Cartoon Saloon
(The Breadwinner, Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells)
As a Creative Director at Cartoon Saloon, Nora oversees the development of the company's slate of productions such as Puffin Rock, the pre-school series narrated by Chris O’Dowd and acquired by Netflix. Nora directed the multi-award winning short films From Darkness and Cúilín Dualach [Backwards Boy].
Nora was Co-Director of Cartoon Saloon's Oscar nominated animated feature The Secret of Kells and Head of Story on their Oscar nominated Song of the Sea.
Nora has just finished directing The Breadwinner, a feature adaptation of Deborah Ellis' best-selling children's novel. The screenplay is written by Anita Doron and Angelina Jolie is among the film's executive producers. The animated film will be premiering at Toronto International Film Festival September 2017.
Production Designer // Google Spotlight Stories
(Lego Billion Brick Race, Ghostbusters, The Book of Life, Tomb Raider, Afro Samurai)
Being drawn to film and storytelling through images, Paul attended Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver Colorado where he received his BFA in Illustration and animation with honours. This led him to work in the entertainment industry in 2002. He started his professional career working on independent documentaries and illustrating for magazines. He then moved to San Francisco, CA. where he spent several years working on a variety of entertainment projects in games and film both as an artist and Art Director. He has done work for Sony, Fox, DreamWorks, Warner Bros. and Reel FX, Namco Bandai, Crystal Dynamics, Activision. Titles including: Ghostbusters (in production), Scooby Doo (in production), Kong the Beginning (in production), The Book of Life, Megamind to name a few. Some game titles include Tomb Raider, Afro Samurai, X-men 3, Iron Man and Sly Cooper among others. Sullivan has also been Nominated and won awards at the Annies, Spectrum and Expose. His work has also been featured in numerous publications including Spectrum, Expose, ImagineFX and has done book covers for Harper Collins and Penguin Random House. Tapping into both his game and film background. He jumped into the VR space as the Production Designer on The Son of Jaguar by writer/ Director Jorge Gutiérrez in collaboration with Google and Reel FX animation studios.
President // House of Cool Studios
(Book of Life, Horton Hears a Who, The Incredibles, The Iron Giant)
Ricardo Curtis is one of the animation industry´s most successful professionals, and has played a pivotal role in the production of over 20 successful feature films.
Jamaican born and Toronto native, Curtis relocated to Los Angeles after graduating from Sheridan College’s Classical Animation Program. Working with Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, Fox, Miramax and Warner Bros., he contributed to a number of projects as a story artist (The Incredibles, Monsters Inc.), Head of Story (Book of Life, Horton Hears a Who), Supervising Animator (Osmosis Jones) and was an animator and designer on The Iron Giant.
Curtis returned to Canada in 2004 to launch House of Cool with Wesley Lui. As Co-Founder and Head of Story, he is the creative lead on studio projects.
Most recently, Ricardo directed Ice Age: The Great Eggscapade for Fox/Blue Sky Studios. Curtis has written and is slated to direct an original House of Cool property currently titled Amoeba (in development), and director of the upcoming Clive Barker film, Night of the Zoombies.