9 director Shane Acker has joined The Gnomon School of Visual Effects as the staff's newest Resident Artist.
Press Release from Gnomon School of Visual Effects
9 director Shane Acker has joined The Gnomon School of Visual Effects as the staff's newest Resident Artist. With some time to do a special project in his schedule, he will now write and direct Gnomon’s next in-house short film as a collaboration between students and professionals.
Acker is widely known for his Academy Award nomination in 2006 (in the Best Animated Short Film category) for writing, directing and animating the 11-minute short film 9. 9 garnered Acker critical acclaim around the globe, screening at over a dozen film festivals and picking up several awards along the way. With Acker in the director’s chair again, 9 has now been made into a feature film and will premiere on September 9, 2009.
“I love the short film format,” says Acker. “Its such a liberating medium that allows filmmakers to take risks with story and techniques not possible in the Hollywood arena. I’m thrilled Alex has asked me to come on board to develop a short film here at the school. Gnomon is this amazing nexus, an artistic crossroads where industry professionals and students come together to study and cross-pollinate ideas. It’s the perfect environment to create innovative short films using the latest in technology and techniques. I always learn an incredible amount from the artists and students I work with, whether in a classroom or in a studio, so I look forward to this great opportunity at Gnomon.”
“Shane and I talked for many years about him coming to do a project at Gnomon,” Alex Alvarez, Founder and CEO of Gnomon, Inc. explains. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have someone of his caliber and talent join our staff. Our students are getting an opportunity of lifetime to work with someone who has the diverse background and expertise that Shane does. When 9 hits the theaters in September, the world will see just how brilliant Shane is and we couldn’t be more excited for him. His pitch for the Gnomon produced short is something with the potential to be quite powerful and we can’t wait to get started on it.”
Although many of the final details of the upcoming project are being fleshed out, Mr. Acker was able to give a sneak-peek at the theme and premise of the short film. “It’s about how these two demons bide their time above the lower planes of hell. Each character lacks a part of themselves, vital for communication, yet they must find a way to work together. When conflict arises their misunderstanding escalates, hurtling them towards a tragic climax.”
Prior to 9, Acker wrote, directed, and animated the 2-minute short THE HANGNAIL (1999) and the 1-minute THE ASTOUNDING TALENTS OF MR. GRENADE (2003); and worked as an animator on Peter Jackson’s Academy Award-winning THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, which starred Elijah Wood of 9. Acker lives in Los Angeles and is a UCLA alum, receiving dual Masters Degrees, for Architecture (in 2000) and Animation (in 2004).
To view an exclusive "9 Meets 2" clip, visit http://www.awntv.com/videos/9-clip.