California’s Laguna College of Art & Design Launches Animation Exchange Program

Laguna College of Art + Design’s (LCAD) Animation program recently instituted a program reaching out to Warren High School in Downey, California, enabling talented students from both institutions to collaborate on real-world experiences in the animation industry.

Laguna Beach, CA — May 02, 2012 –Following a recruitment presentation in February to eager Warren High students by LCAD Animation Program Chair David Kuhn and Professor David Pruiksma, approximately 50 of those students visited the LCAD campus to view the Chris Sander’s Original Art show, exhibiting exclusively in the LCAD gallery. The high-schoolers were thrilled with the show, impressed with the campus, and as a result of connection and discussion between David Kuhn, the chairperson of LCAD Animation and the student’s instructor Bill Austin, the college is now hosting 10 select students who have apprenticed by assisting college seniors to create films for their year-end projects and portfolios. Over the course of three weekly sessions, the high school students watch the films in progress, and then are given tasks to assist with which include animating, rough in-betweening or clean-up and coloring.

The program provides an opportunity for younger students interested in animation to earn practical experience working on high-quality, fully animated films. The teaching experience reciprocally allows the opportunity for LCAD seniors to hone their communication skills and develop teaching techniques. “The first meeting with the High School students was so successful that our seniors told us the helpers all exceeded expectations, and they can’t wait for further interaction,” remarked LCAD Professor David Pruiksma. “It’s great to see something like this take off, and we hope to continue this program next year with other high schools as well.”

The culmination of the program will result in the Laguna Animation Film Festival (LAFF) to be held at South Coast Cinema in Laguna Beach on May 12, where the student films will debut for the public and industry professionals. Here, the high school students will be able to see the films they worked on and their names up in the credits up on the big screen. LCADs Animation program is world-class in caliber and promotes the development of individual artistic skills while enhancing the creative imagination. Graduates have gone on to work for animation giants that include Disney, Pixar, Nickelodeon and Fox Television.