Mind Your Business: Star Wars by Students
DAVE School, based on the backlot at Universal Studios Orlando, is the brain child of Jeff and Anne Scheetz. Their one-year curriculum takes students from beginners to proficient CG animators and VFX artists. Their placement record and success at the convention is proof.
The school has grown from a trailer on the backlot to filling an entire sound stage and office complex at Universal Studios Orlando. They celebrated their 10-year anniversary at the same time they moved into their new facilities with a new Mocap system and cyc on their own large sound stage.
Anne adds, "When we first started we wanted the students to develop their own demo reel during the final quarter. But we learned that isn't what they will do in the industry, so now in the last quarter we have them focus on a job as part of a crew on a short film just like a real job. We bring in outside writers and directors and musicians and let the students concentrate on using their new CG and compositing skills."
Their first complete short was based on a toy created by New York toy studio Art Asylum titled PsychoPump. (www.DAVEschool.com/movies/psychopump/).
Full disclosure, I wrote, boarded and voice directed Specidemons. Jeff and I sat down with the toys and determined the good guys and bad guys, gave them personalities and I went off and wrote the script. Like many of the DAVE School shorts, this one combined live action with animation.