PromaxBDA: The Conference 2010
July 10th, 2010

Living Arts College’s annual trip to the PromaxBDA conference concluded on June 25, 2010. This year’s trip was one of the best! PromaxBDA, the association for promotional and design professionals, just wrapped on its 55th annual conference in Los Angeles June 24 with an incredible turnout, drastically higher than previous years. In attendance from LAC were School President Roger Klietz, Vice-President and Campus Director Debra Hooper, Assistant Campus Director Matthew Kelly, Interactive Media Arts Program Coordinator Vincent Gardner, and several LAC students and alumni along with four LAC students who were chosen to serve as PromaxBDA Interns for this year’s conference.

“The interns are rockin’ it!” said Jonathan Block-Verk, President and CEO, PromaxBDA.

The conference was kicked off by a speech by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, along with an introduction by ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. Top design and marketing awards went to Fox Broadcasting Co., bpg Advertising, CTV Creative Agency, Syfy, Showtime, and FX. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Hugh Hefner, who was present for an exciting interview by Larry King.

The conference also introduced the Creative Educator’s Forum, a professional development event for creative educators. The forum’s board is made up of a small, select group of nationwide creative education leaders. Living Arts College’s own Vice-President and Campus Director, Debra Hooper was among this elite group.

This year’s conference had some real treats in store for creative professionals and students. Sessions were held by industry leaders such as David Carson, Jakob Trollback, Brett Ashy, Gordon Ho, Stefan Sagmeister, Seth Berkowitz, Patrick Burgoyne, Michael Walsh, Lee Hunt, Graeme Newell, Timmy Fisher, Garson Yu, Mark Kudsi and Will Travis – to name just a few!

When asked what their favorite part of the conference was, staff and students had a difficult time deciding. One thing common with everyone’s excitement about the event was all the national and international industry professionals and celebrities that attendees had the privilege to meet.

“Ryan Stout and Norm MacDonald were hilarious at the awards events – and a perfect way to wrap up en exciting day of meeting professionals and networking” said TJ Piper, LAC student.

“I met Larry King!” said LAC student, Shannon Chapman.

“I’ve met many big names in the creative arts in my career, but meeting David Carson and Stefan Sagmesiter all within a 30 minute window had to be the highlight for me!” said LAC Assistant Campus Director, Matthew Kelly. “This year PromaxBDA has done a perfect job of giving all the folks at the conference on both the business and creative side of things exactly what they wanted!”




Design Authority, David Barringer speaks at LAC
May 15th, 2010

Design Authority, David Barringer speaks at LACDavid Barringer’s presentation on “APPRECIATING DESIGN FROM START TO FINISH” was a great event for all students and visitors of the College. Mr. Barringer has worked within and around the mainstream book & magazine publishing world for nearly two decades.

Mr. Barringer has amassed a great deal of experience, industry contacts and know-how about book design, printing, publishing, sales, and marketing by following his career in this manner. He has full control over his final product, the book, and its dissemination. He does it all, the writing, the editing, the cover design, the typesetting, and everything else involved in publishing a book.

“David was very interesting,” reported Lena Corter, Interactive Media Arts Instructor, “his insight was helpful for students looking for a unique perspective on design and creative careers.”

 

 

 

 

Design Authority, David Barringer speaks at LAC

Design Authority, David Barringer speaks at LAC

Design Authority, David Barringer speaks at LAC

Design Authority, David Barringer speaks at LAC


Students got a special treat when David decided to visit many of the classrooms for intense one-on-one art directing sessions with the students on their current projects.

“So many new ideas I have now…about where I can take my project and new directions I’d like to try” – Nathan Wellman, Interactive Media Arts Student.

Design Authority, David Barringer speaks at LAC

Design Authority, David Barringer speaks at LAC

Along with a series of studio visits, famed author and design expert David Barringer spoke to students the evening of May 4, 2010 and May 5, 2010 in the Stars Theatre at Living Arts College. David Barringer’s visit was one of many this quarter at Living Arts College – stay tuned for more!




Jazz Guitarist Inspires Student Audio Engineers
April 18th, 2010

Jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer brought his musical knowledge and expertise to the Living Arts College (LAC) recording studio this March for Jason Richmond’s project studio class. Accompanying Scott were bassist Matt Brandau and drummer Dan Hall, of the Chapel Hill rock group, Old Ceremony. Scott Sawyer is an internationally recognized guitarist with a host of recording and performing credits. He has shared the stage and recorded with many notable artists, including Nneena Freelon, Charlie Byrd, Oteil Burbridge, Jon Metzger, David Murray, Scott Ainslee, Ghezzi, Bob Cranshaw, Gongzilla, Willie Pickens, Ed Thigpen, Bill Anshell, and Lois Deloatch. His latest album “Go There,” featured bassist Oteil Burbridge (The Allman Brothers), Charlotte bassist Ron Brendle, Kofi Burbridge (Derek Trucks Band), and Kenny Soule (DAG).

Jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer

Jazz Guitarist Scott Sawyer

LAC Students’ Trey Thomas, Terrence Long, Kevin Spence, and David Pruitt were amongst those that participated with the set up and tracking of the trio. The trio was set up in a circle in the B2R studios just using baffles to separate them. Tracking utilized the Toft console in the B control room, as well as the newly added API and Great River preamps. The group began the recording by playing several free improvisations then moved on to re-workings of several pop tunes, including John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” and Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.” Scott and LAC students experimented with a song by Matt Brandau and a groove based on Tom Waits’ “Sins of My Father.” The day ended with a jazz standard by the great jazz bassist Charles Mingus, titled “Nostalgia in Times Square.”

Jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer


Jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer

Students were both honored and inspired by Scott’s visit as it was not just a recording lesson, but a music one too. He spoke of his experience in the music industry and recording processes between breaks. The session gave students the opportunity to work hands-on with notable and highly talented musicians. The ability to learn the art of recording while working with the “best of the best” provides students with the experience they need to be successful in the recording business.




Scott Myers speaks to LAC students
April 14th, 2010

Students at Living Arts College were treated to an evening with Hollywood screenwriter Scott Myers. Mr. Myers is credited with having three of his scripts produced into major motion pictures. These include K-9 starring Jim Belushi, Alaska starring Thora Birch, and Trojan Wars starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Mr. Myers has written over twenty other screenplays for major Hollywood studios and has developed numerous network television shows in his twenty-five year career in the industry.
Scott Myers speaks to LAC students

Scott Myers speaks to LAC students

Mr. Myers spoke with LAC digital filmmaking students about the purpose of every character in a script and how important this was to the overall process of writing. He used the film The Wizard of Oz to analyze each character’s role in the overall structure of the story. After his two-hour presentation, Mr. Myers fielded questions from students on a wide range of topics, from writing to selling scripts. All the students were extremely delighted with the experience and thanked David Acuff for organizing the event.

Mr. Myers currently resides in Chapel Hill where he is Executive Producer with Distillery Pictures. In his spare time, he teaches a scriptwriting course at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as a UCLA Extension course where he received the Writer’s Program’s Outstanding Instructor of the Year award in 2005. David Acuff, Digital Filmmaking Instructor at Living Arts College met Scott Myers while working with him on a project at Trail Blazer Studios in Raleigh, NC.




Terrance Mann at Living Arts College
February 11th, 2010

Friday, January 1st we hosted a workshop for the theater students from Wakefield High School. Due to the snow, Wake County closed all after school activities. Professor Craig Brandwynne, with Paul Orsett, Wakefield’s theater director, had arranged for the students to use our facility for the workshop and we were more than happy to do so.

The workshop was directed by Broadway actor, singer and dancer Terrance Mann. Terrance Mann has originated roles in major Broadway productions such as Rum Tum Tugger in Cats and Javert in Les Mis, among others. Craig Brandwynne took Mr. Mann on a tour of the school. Terrance was very impressed and was amazed that a college like this can not only offer the programs and the technology for students, but the students can also earn a Bachelors degree, said Craig. Terrance is on Broadway now in the new musical “The Adams Family” with Nathan Lane. When he is back in North Carolina, we will invite him to speak at one of our functions.

Opportunities like this happen very often here at Living Arts College. Our professors are very well connected with their respective industries. Not only do they teach at the college, they also work in the industry

We would like to thank Mr. Brandwynne and Mr. Orsett for arranging this amazing event. Roughly 25 students were glued to Mr. Mann as he listened to each one sing, offering suggestions and constructive criticism. He is a remarkable mentor and we loved hosting this event.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Lights! Animation! Passion!
November 13th, 2009
Lights, Animation, Passion!
Lights, Animation, Passion!
Lights, Animation, Passion!
Lights, Animation, Passion!

Former executive of Disney and Pixar’s Animation Studios, Doug Nichols, made the stage at Living Arts College (LAC) presenting, “What Studios Want: Getting in and Staying Ahead.” Mr. Nichols has over 20 years of experience working in the animation film industry and has managed both Pixar Entertainment Studios and Disney staff.

Students welcomed Mr. Nichols with open arms as he provided insight into the working world of digital animation as a highly rewarding and competitive field. He expressed the importance of making a great impact, as a talented animator is not all it takes to succeed in the entertainment industry. If animation films such as “Finding Nemo”, “Up”, “Mulan” and “Fantasia 2000” ring a bell, then one could only imagine his passion. He is admired in the entertainment industry as a production professional that has contributed his knowledge and expertise on what studios look for in an artist.

“Your name, exceptional work and interaction with people will never go unrecognized” – Doug Nichols

Being talented alone is not all it takes to make a great impression with an employer. Teamwork, relationship building and maintaining a good name in the industry will do wonders in maintaining a career in a most highly competitive field. Mr. Nichols expressed the need for passion to strive and sustain a creative career in both animation and game design. When you have the passion working overtime doesn’t seem so bad, which calls for the saying, “time flies when you are having fun.” How’s that for a career?

“Find it, define it and execute!” – Doug Nichols

As the discussion moved forward, Mr. Nichols covered the key points of success and how to get the job you want. Plan your career by creating goals, know your skill set and define it. Once you are skilled take it to the next level and execute your design. Animation is a talent driven business and “the best get the best” jobs so let your work speak for itself. Your reputation will follow you, respect your colleagues and partners, present your work with open critique and never burn any bridges. Setting goals will help execute the final result and land you a dream job.

The presentation ended with a few final words of wisdom from the “guest of honor”.

“The future of animation is very bright. While it is hard to predict where the industry will be in five or more years, one thing is certain, it will grow and there will definitely be more jobs.” – Doug Nichols
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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Red Storm Art Director & Living Arts College Alumni Relentless Pursuit of Perfection
September 2nd, 2009

Do you ever wonder how the environments in many video games look so authentic?

Living Arts College alumni, Peter Sekula shared with students how his position as Art Director for Red Storm’s game “Bio Shock” created the very realistic environments. Pete found himself in the jungles of Costa Rica. He had to take in every detail and put a team together to design an environment for “Bio Shock”. Pete said, “As an animator, you always have to think, life is a mirror to an immersive experience. How are we going to get characters to imitate life and how are we going to animate them?”

“Companies are searching for animation talent that is awesome at their craft and their portfolio showcases their talent. A good portfolio must focus on believable movements”, reports Pete. As an Art Director at Red Storm Entertainment, Pete is responsible for hiring new talent. Musts for the “killer” portfolio!

  1. Full body human movement.
  2. Research the company. Be open-minded to new technologies.
  3. Have “game ready stuff” to show.
  4. Have a wire frame to show and how it was rigged and imported.
  5. Understand the entry-level game position and how team-building ramps up in the performance of a game.
  6. Learn the rules of production and expect to execute the rules.

It takes a team of people to develop a game at Red Storm Entertainment. The Art Director steers the ship (the game) from one phase to the next. It always takes one more layer to achieve where you really want to go with the game. “It takes a group of interactive minds to come up with one theme and run with it.” states Sekula. Visuals are very important to emersion in a story, so pictures have to draw in the gamer.

 

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




How a Designer Communicates
August 14th, 2009

Storyteller & Former Walt Disney Imagineer Defines Story Telling at Living Arts College

Kenneth Penkowski

The moral of the story, “We as designers must make ourselves accountable for results. Elevate the expectation of what design can do and in the end satisfy the requirements we are asked to fulfill.”

Kenneth Penkowski, partner and executive brand director for local advertising agency, Ulanguzi visited the College and told stories to the students.

In addition, he showed the Ulanguzi’s 2009 demo reel which displayed projects for highly respected clients and current ongoing projects.

Kenneth told the students three stories about his life in the design arena…the titles were quite catchy.

  1. “It All Started with a Mouse” – Kenneth told the story of how he became a Disney Imagineer and how he uses what he learned from that experience in his work daily.
  2. “For Rent” – Ulanguzi was referred to a development company to market their apartment complex. This wasn’t your ordinary apartment complex. These apartments were part of the wave for the “Go Green” revolution. He shared his challenges and accomplishments with the project.
  3. “Come Fly with Me” – A Las Vegas helicopter tour company came to Ulanguzi in need of a new marketing technique or strategy. They had no problem selling the helicopter tours, they just wanted an easier way for customers to purchase the tour tickets. He shared Ulanguzi’s unique answer to the marketing dilemma.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Weight of the Ribbon
July 17th, 2009

A Perfect Evening with Curtis Brown


How do you describe Curtis Brown? Passionate, Artist, Designer, Independent, Actor, Photographer, Theatrical, Dancer, Loves a Challenge, Driven, Unique Style, Rooted in Human Emotion….. He combined all of these elements in “Weight of the Ribbon.”

The disease somber, the mood inspiring, when photographer Curtis Brown captures a moment the images transcend time. Curtis and dancers from the Carolina Ballet translated his concept into visual form through “the lens” with distinct expression and movement using a ribbon suspended from the studio ceiling.

Each inspiring image has an emotional journey of a breast cancer victim in their battles against the disease. The images depicted moments from strength and triumph to moments of defeat and collapse. Colette George said, “The exhibit was emotional and awe-inspiring.”

The “Weight of the Ribbon” gallery event brought in volunteers from all over the Raleigh area. The pictures were on display and available for sale with half of all proceeds donated to “Susan G. Komen For the Cure”, which funds breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment programs.

Curtis is a graduate of the School of Communication Arts. He studied Advertising Design with a concentration in Photography. To view his work, visit his website at http://www.curtisbrownphotography.com.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




This Little Piggy Went to Marketing School
June 11th, 2009

Cyber Piggy

The excitement was high and there was a “buzz in the domes” when former professor, Greg Carter returned to campus. Students never forget a fantastic professor that leaves an impression on their life as well as their education.

Greg Carter, owner of Cyber Piggy, shared with students how you can use creativity to “bring home the bacon”. Greg was never satisfied with the status quo; he took his creativity to new heights when he developed Cyber Piggy. Greg believes that creativity is the most valuable problem solving tool we have and he’s discovered ways to take life’s unpredictable challenges and turn them into marketable and result driven opportunities.

Carter said having a job where you have the freedom to think outside the box is invigorating and helpful in conveying a message. He uses this belief to work with a social network of thinkers. “BestThinking.com” is social network that is topic driven and attracts common “thinkers” to discuss and brainstorm.

Check out BestThinking.com to see how Greg uses his animations to tackle major problems with a light hearted approach.

Students were encouraged to utilize the web for marketing their talents and to join social networks to create ways of meeting other “thinkers.” Using the web and animation to promote, tell a story or convey an idea is a successful way to live “high on the hog!”

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus