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Animated Travels

Blogs CTN-X: A Student's Perspective

By Dan Sarto | Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 2:00pm

CTNX is for the young and hungry, boasting a crowd of current students and the recently graduated, who are looking at an angle into their beloved, but notoriously tough, contemporary animation industry. There’s no doubt the event will keep on drawing in professionals, studios, and students, but it remains to be seen whether it can live up to high expectations. Seeing young talent engage with their idols, and feeling their way into a field they are clearly passionate about, is where CTN truly shines.

Blogs CTN-X Is Back in Its Third Year

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 3:57pm

Now in its third year, CTN Expo has gotten over some of its growing pains. Gone was the hectic chaos that was last year's event, replaced with the efficiency that so impressed in its inaugural year. Los Angeles has been in need of a quality animation gathering and this fills the bill nicely.

Blogs Workshops and Masterclasses Set for VIEW Conference

By Dan Sarto | Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 9:14pm

Weta Digital’s Wayne Stables, Digital Domain’s Eric Nash, Pixar's Sharon Calahan, ILM's Scott Farrar, ILM's Roger Guyett, DNeg's Gavin Graham and PDI Founder Glenn Entis are some of the speakers slated to present next week at VIEW, Italy's largest computer graphics conference.

Blogs Digital Domain's Erik Nash to Present Real Steel at VIEW Conference

By Dan Sarto | Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 3:32am

In a surprise addition to an already powerful roster of speakers lined up for the VIEW Conference, October 25 to 28, overall visual effects supervisor Erik Nash from Digital Domain has chosen to give the world’s first presentation of that studio’s work at VIEW Conference.

Blogs CTN is Bringin' it On to Pass it On - One Artist at a Time!

By Dan Sarto | Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:43pm

Coming November 18-20, 2011 to Burbank, California, CTN brings you a variety of business, creative, technical and inspirational presenters from various walks of life to reaffirm that CTN-X as that jewel in the crown, that "one of a kind" show where we get to rise out of the production trenches for 3 whole days to experience visual stimulation, fantastic connections and powerful inspiration.

Blogs World's First Tintin Presentation coming to VIEW Conference

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 10:25am

Wayne Stables, visual effects supervisor at Weta Digital for Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin has chosen to give the world’s first presentation of that studio’s work on the film at the VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy.

Blogs Paradigm Shifting at the VES Production Summit

By Dan Sarto | Friday, October 7, 2011 at 4:24pm

Last Saturday the VES hosted its third annual Production Summit, this time at the quaint Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Despite all about VES 2.0 and the Bill of Rights to help facilitate quality of life improvements for artists and VFX companies, the purpose was to address the paradigm shift going on and to discuss better biz practices.

Blogs Financing Sparks Fly At Europe’s Cartoon Forum

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 1:27pm

An upbeat Cartoon Forum, recently ended September 16th in Sopot, Poland- seems to have made a tremendous impact on the European animation business scene.Sixty-six new animation series from 19 European countries were presented to over 800 participants at this year’ three-day event. “The best Cartoon Forum in years” reverberates in post-Forum conversations with broadcasters, co-producers, distributors, investors and creators. It’s unanimous. Everyone loved Poland, and has had little time to go home and catch their collective breaths before heading to Cannes, France.

Blogs Final Thoughts on Ottawa 2011

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 1:07pm

The festival brings together everything uniquely interesting about the animation industry. Art, commerce, tattoos, the best and worst of kids cartoons, unintelligible films from Asia, alcohol, great student films and big studios walking hand in hand with little studios, agreeing they'll refrain from poaching talent except at the parties. The Ottawa festival brings together big and small, have and have not, legend and newbie together in a unique way - cozy, intimate, unpretentious, inviting.

Blogs Ottawa 2011 – Scenes From The Closing Ceremonies

By Dan Sarto | Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 5:37pm

Another OIAF Grand Prix gets awarded, another Phil Mulloy feature takes top prize, another grumbling voice can be heard complaining about the winners. Much like the start of Ontario’s moose hunting season, which I watched in awe Sunday on a TV at the back of a bar, as the Nelvana Grand Prix is announced, "second-guessing the judging" season once again begins in the province. Hopefully, you won’t see too many animators hanging upside down, suspended from a crane over the bloody bed of a pickup truck. But you never know.

Blogs Ottawa 2011 – I Feel So Old

By Dan Sarto | Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 4:04pm

The Animator’s Picnic is inspired event programming – stop all proceedings, go to a park, eat, drink, see and be seen. On this unseasonably beautiful Autumn day, as I gaze out on the crowd of young animators, I can’t help but think…I feel so old. Nothing like a large gathering of energetic young hipsters, free from the burdens of metabolic decline and hearing loss, to remind you just what a sorry-ass geez you are. The crowd gets younger, the walk to the Bytowne Cinema gets longer and no amount of Advil or Scotch can change that. Sometimes I wonder, if I start talking to a young female animation student, am I perceived as someone who has something useful to say, or just a perve? Can one be both?

Blogs Ottawa 2011 – And So It Begins…Again

By Dan Sarto | Friday, September 23, 2011 at 7:26am

I know it must be Ottawa Animation Festival time because it’s been roughly a year since my last verbal manhandling by an airport customs agent. Happy Anniversary! I seem to be a magnet for every disaffected flak vested agent looking to brush up on their 12-step time mismanagement drill.

Blogs At MIFA the Movement for Creator Driven Contents Begins to Spread Abroad

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 3:57pm

US networks like CN, Nick and Disney have been producing creator driven shows for years. With few exceptions, it is a fairly new approach abroad. At the Annecy International Animated Film Festival this year, it was apparent that this method is starting to catch on abroad and regional channels from US studios like CN and Disney have been leading the charge.

Blogs 3BOHEMIANS Bid Annecy and MIFA Adieu

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 11:30am

So what exactly have we learned at MIFA? Have we gained something meaningful? I have to admit I need more time to answer such a question, to see if an event of this kind brings along something worth the effort invested into just coming over. After all, if the animation business is about relationships / partnerships, then there needs to be a lot more work done after the event beside the initial quick flirting.

Blogs E3 2011 AWN Business and Education Round Up

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 4:49pm

Another great year of E3 in downtown at the Staples Convention Center. Lots of interesting announcements and events this year. The art exhibition “Into the Pixel” continues to chronicle the ascent of console game graphics from popular culture and street cred to the rare refined air of original paintings inspired by well-known games. It’s a national sentiment, even the National Endowment of the Arts and the Smithsonian have gotten into the act with shows centered around “the art of video games” (


By Dan Sarto | Monday, June 13, 2011 at 2:20pm

You may find a trade show to be a common gathering event that any industry has. But what I saw and experienced at MIFA is that this gathering is more than unique. How friendly and open minded everybody is, considering that most of the people are competitors one way or another. It’s actually pretty unbelievable.

Blogs iKids: Apps Explained!

By Dan Sarto | Friday, June 10, 2011 at 2:13pm

On Thursday, June 2, 2011, I attended Kidscreen’s day long “everything you wanted to know about apps but were afraid to ask” workshop. It was great! Not only did it cover the basics, the companies attending and panelists were top-notch and the focus was on making better apps for our kids audience. Held at the beautiful Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, the group was small and intimate and there was plenty of time to network.The attendees were an interesting mishmash as we all convened from our different backgrounds—kids programming, gaming, educators, researchers, etc.—to learn about this new, historically expanding space. How does it work? Who are the best companies in the field? What are the best games? What are the problems facing this new fantastically fast-growing field?

Blogs 3BOHEMIANS Go to Annecy

By Dan Sarto | Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 2:43pm

First time travelling to Annecy, a place that has such a positive canotation just through people talking about how it was like when they visited the Festival, that thinking about coming myself was tempting for quite some time already. Now I took the chance. We have arrived late on Tuesday, June 7th taking it slowly from sunny bohemian Prague to a slightly rainy, but still pretty warm, French town on a lake under the Alps. That’s one nice and picturesque idea to explore this week.

Blogs Arrived In Annecy – Kids Should Not Be Allowed on Planes

By Dan Sarto | Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 4:17am

25 hours after leaving my comfy LA bed, I’ve arrived in Annecy. The calm is in direct contrast to my second flight, from DC to Geneva. Sprawled within 5 feet of my seat were not 1 but 2 families, 6 kids total, 4 parents, 1 nanny and 1 set of grandparents. In an age of fundamental change in airline comfort, service and safety, where the indignities of modern travel begin when you undress to get through security, one thing seems perfectly clear – kids either should be confined in storage or not be allowed on planes at all.

Blogs Trickfilm Festival Stuttgart

By Dan Sarto | Friday, June 3, 2011 at 11:10am

This year the sun was shining down brightly on the Trickfilm Festival in Stuttgart in more than one way. Outside, the sky was a beautiful blue and in the screening rooms the films were as brilliant as the sun. While the competition programs were strong and the feature films in competition offered some interesting surprises, and the highlight of the festival for me this year was the large number of special presentation screenings.