Joining the Gnomon School of Visual Effects advisory board are visual effects supervisor Richard Kidd and Patricia Beckmann, manager of artistic and professional development for Disney Feature Animation. As board members, they will help guide development, curriculum and direction for the school.
"I am thrilled to join the advisory board of Gnomon," said Beckmann. "I began taking classes at the Television Center facility when it first opened 10 years ago, and I have been keeping up to date on my skill sets using Gnomon DVDs since this service started. The present advisory board is staffed with many people I admire, so to be able to join them is a genuine hoot."
Kidd added, "For many years I've been involved with education for the effects industry, working with colleges and universities to develop programs that train digital artists. From their inception, Gnomon has offered a very industry-driven program that gives their students the tools they need to be successful in effects, animation and games. I have worked with several Gnomon students and have found them to be talented, professional and driven. I'm very excited about the opportunity to directly work with the Gnomon staff to guide their program."
"Richard and Patricia have already been very generous in their support of Gnomon," says Gnomon director of industry relations Pam Hogarth. "We are so glad that they have consented to formalize their commitment to us and our program. Their knowledge of and dedication to education for our industries will be of invaluable benefit on our Board. How lucky we are to have them."
In addition to her current Disney position, Beckmann is also the Foundation Chair for SIGGRAPH 2007, and served as the Educators Chair of SIGGRAPH 2005. She is the author of multiple books on Maya software as it is used for animation and modeling.
Beckmann was awarded the Top 25 Women of the Web award for the year 2001 by the San Francisco Women of the Web (www.sfwow.org). She also received Honorable Mention from the Playboy Animation fest. MATILDA, the winning entry, was nicknamed The Russian Shitkicker by the Playboy team of judges. This short is featured in the October 2000 Playboy. This short led to a television pilot production for Oxygen Media, GERTRUDAH AND HER GRANDMOTHERS. She also received the Emerging Artist Award' Rico Gallery Fine Arts Competition, 1999. One of 50 artists presented at the famed Santa Monica Gallery.
Beckmann has worked at major film studios (Warner Digital, Disney), television animation studios (Film Roman) and created original content for Internet entertainment companies (Playboy, Children's Television Workshop, the Oxygen Network). She is presently creating a series of short subject films for the new media entertainment outlets.
Having pioneered the use of many of the technologies which are now used everyday in digital effects, such as motion capture, fully computer-generated people, cyberscaning, digital water & virtual sets, Kidd has tremendous experience providing solutions to previously unsolved problems in the digital entertainment industries. He supervises film and commercial projects, assisting both business and entertainment.
Under his banner Catalyst Media, Kidd has worked with some of today's top directors and producers, including Rupert Wainwright, Marcus Nispel, Martha Finnes and Tom Reeve. He has also lent his talents to many up-and-comers like Josh Rose, Paul Hunter and Grant Heslov. Richard has also consulted for many organizations to help build top production facilities, as well as instructional institutions.
Before forming Catalyst Media, Kidd spent seven years working in various capacities in the entertainment industry. He formed and oversaw the team that generated all of the ocean water in James Cameron's Academy Award-winning TITANIC. He was involved in the preproduction of 1999's visually stunning THE MATRIX. As the digital effects supervisor on Robert Zemeckis' CAST AWAY and WHAT LIES BENEATH, he managed a $12 million effects budget and supervised a team of 60 artists, engineers and software developers to produce some of the film industry's highest-quality digital effects.
Other films where Richard bridged the worlds of entertainment and technology to produce digital effects include THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE, THE EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING, CATWOMAN, SCOOBY-DOO 2, BULLET PROOF MONK, THE MUMMY, ARMAGEDDON, PRACTICAL MAGIC, CHILL FACTOR and DOUBLE JEOPARDY.
Kidd recently supervised the visual effects work on ASK THE DUST for director Robert Towne, Jamiroquai's new video FEELS SO GOOD by director Joseph Kahn and Kraft's Chase campaign for director Michael Fueter.
Gnomon School of Visual Effects (www.gnomon3d.com) specializes in training for careers in high-end computer graphics for the entertainment industries. Located in the heart of Hollywood, they offer a full curriculum for individuals wanting careers in 3D, professionals in need of specialized training and custom training for production studios. The Gnomon curriculum has been approved by the Alliance for Digital Production Trainers (ADEPT), whose members include training managers from studios including Rhythm & Hues Studios, Cinesite, DreamWorks and Sony Pictures Imageworks. Founded by Alex Alvarez in 1997, Gnomon is located at 1015 North Cahuenga Blvd., Suite 5430i, Hollywood, California, 90038.