FrankTerry FrankTerry

Frank Terry, Former Director of CalArts Character Animation Program, RIP

Frank Terry, the beloved former director of the character animation program at CalArts, passed away on February 11 at the age of 75. The cause of death was pulmonary fibrosis.

After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute in 1964, Terry worked at Cine Centrum in the Netherlands on The Beatles TV series. He spent the bulk of his animation career working in advertising, beginning at Spungbuggy Works in the 1960s, where he eventually became a partner in addition to directing and designing spots. In the 1980s, he worked at FilmFair and Duck Soup Produckions, and in 1988 launched commercial studio terryx2 with his wife and producer Nelleke Terry.

Terry designed and directed this promo for the Grateful Dead album From the Mars Hotel at Spungbuggy Works in 1974:

Terry joined the CalArts faculty in the School of Film/Video in 1995, and served as the director of the character animation program from 1996 through 2007. “Frank brought a new level of ideas to the program—from curriculum to the jurying process for the annual producers’ showcase, to his encouragement for student participation in film festivals,” said assistant dean Leo Hobaica Jr.. “He elevated the discourse in the classroom, always striking a balance between industry requests and art for art’s sake. The films became technically better and more interesting than they’d been before, and suddenly there were kids who believed that they could become auteurs.”

This is Terry’s sequence from Marv Newland’s 1984 short Anijam: