Up, Up, and Away!: CCA's Animation Program Sends Students off to Prestigious Internships and Jobs
Posted on Monday, August 9, 2010 by Samantha Braman
Andrew Guiyangco (Animation 2011) and Yesenia Ayala (Animation 2010)
CCA's Animation Program, launched in 2007, has already gained a stellar reputation for sending its students off excellently prepared for professional life. The chair of the department is Andrew Lyndon, whose job as a digital imaging and video instructor at Pixar Animation Studios has helped create invaluable connections with that company. A few students have secured internships and other positions at the world-renowned studio, including Daniel Gonzales, who recently scored himself a job at Pixar after spending two summers there! Our students have also received internships at DreamWorks, Tippett Studio, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
Here, two Animation students discuss their experiences at CCA and in their internships.
Meet current Animation student Andrew Guiyangco (2011), who is currently engaged in a summer internship with the manga/anime company TOKYOPOP:
I've always liked animation. I grew up watching anime and Looney Tunes. They really helped me forget how tough my childhood was. I've always thought that animation is the ultimate storytelling tool. It's a blank canvas for the creation of a whole world.
I'm receiving a CCA scholarship award called the Creative Achievement Award, which was based on my portfolio. I suppose you could say that now I am giving back through my work—helping others escape their troubles.
On interning with TOKYOPOP:
TOKYOPOP is a company that licenses manga and anime (Japanese comics and animations) to be read in English. Lately they've begun dabbling in media arts, which is really interesting. Right now I am doing preproduction work, like commercials, editing, media marketing, and research, for a reality show. I can't tell you exactly what I'm working on because I am bound to secrecy! But I can say that I actually directed a commercial by myself, which was very exciting and scary at the same time. I'm also spearheading many creative media projects, going to marketing events, and meeting people in the industry, and now I'm actually animating something for the company that is BIG (although again I cannot tell you exactly what it is, sorry!).
Though no one referred me to this opportunity, I did get immense support from CCA faculty, staff, and other classmates. I am working in San Francisco, but TOKYOPOP is also based in Tokyo, Hamburg, and London. Yup, TOKYOPOP is global! I go to many of the conventions in Southern California, including E3, Anime Expo, and Comic-Con, to represent the company in the giant "nerd industry."
Working at TOKYOPOP has shown me how a company works, and all the steps and procedures it takes just to approve one drawing. I am awestruck at how many emails, phone calls, and Google searches it takes just to find and get, for instance, music that I can use. Or how laborious it is to find an approved logo.
But beyond all that—and I swear this is not the capitalist in me talking!—it's been so great to work at what is truly a genuine company. I enjoy working here and getting to know my coworkers.
About getting an arts education at CCA:
My CCA courses have given me a good grasp of media arts and animation. Even though running an entire commercial by yourself—which is being judged by a huge number of random people—and doing an animation without much guidance and lots of critique from your boss is not really a class you can take at CCA (or anywhere!), I still came here with a great foundation and actual confidence to say "Yes! I can do that." I have solid ideas and the confidence to execute any project.
CCA's Animation Program is unique. I learned not only animation, but also storytelling, cutting, editing, acting, staging, sound engineering, and the necessary computer applications. When I arrived at TOKYOPOP I felt like I was ready to plunge into Live Action and/or Illustration (those are animation computer programs) without too many problems. At CCA my main focus is animation, but at work I'm very much peppered with a variety of projects that may or may not be animated projects. I am essentially an artist whose expertise revolves around a time-based medium.
At work I mainly edit live-action footage, but I've never had any trouble switching gears. It's the same thing with illustration, I think, because your coursework forces you to think about the principles of storytelling and the skeletal basis of art making instead of being pressured to learn 10 animation computer programs in a semester.
You should totally watch TOKYOPOP's reality show, America's Greatest Otaku, when it comes out later this year (at a popular website which again I cannot disclose, hehe). In the show, Stu Levy, the company's CEO, is traveling in a bus with six other people for 62 days trying to find America's biggest anime/manga enthusiast. We hope to bring a positive light to the growing subculture here in the United States.
Meet new Animation graduate Yesenia Ayala (Animation 2010), who is interning with the San Francisco–based advertising firm Goodby, Silverstein & Partners:
I arrived at animation through my combined interest in storytelling, fine art, and the movies. I started off as a Painting/Drawing major, then realized that painting alone couldn't create the narratives I was imagining. I took a Media Arts course as an elective. I learned to edit and enjoyed making short films, but it seemed too separate from fine art. When the Animation Program launched in 2007 I jumped on board. It was the perfect balance of fine art and storytelling.
I am very fortunate to have been able to study under CCA's brilliant and talented faculty, including Andrew Lyndon, Andrew Gordon, Bret Parker, Mark Andrews, and Michal Makarewicz. I learned so much about animation and film from them. I love how the program is small enough to enable the students to develop personal relationships with their professors.
CCA has changed my whole life by giving me the resources and mentors I needed to prepare myself for a career in the professional world. The experience has helped me grow, figure out how to learn from my mistakes, and become the person that I am today. It has given me a positive perspective and created pathways to all kinds of opportunities.
Interning with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners:
My internship at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners is a perfect opportunity for a postgraduate. It's fun and I am happy to learn and be part of the team. I recently worked on a commercial set for our client Hewlett Packard, and I now have the opportunity to shadow and follow the editors and motion graphic artists in creating a polished commercial. Additionally, I've been archiving footage for the senior and assistant editors to help sell pitches to various clients.
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