This weekend in Burbank the Creative Talent Network is hosting its first CTN Animation Expo. The animation industry event will bring together students and professionals for three days of panels, workshops, screenings, parties and more. AWN had a chance to ask organizer Tina Price a few questions about the event so you'll know what to expect.
Rick DeMott: Tell us a bit about the event?
Tina Price: Our theme this year is "The Future is Creative Your Own Future." For professional animators, studio executives and art students, the most anticipated trade show in the animation epicenter of the world, Burbank is now only a few days away. For the first time world class professional talent in the animation industry will converge for three days during “Animation Week” in Burbank, CA. Get connected and more during an intense weekend full of educational programs, demonstrations, technology showcases, recruiting events, parties and after-hour networking. “If you don’t like what’s happening at the event now, just wait 30 minutes because something else really great will be happening.” Everyone will walk away from this event with more than they walked in with whether an idea, a job opportunity or a career mentor. CTN-X is three days of talent. We are proud to announce the following signature events:
• The most influential cartoonist of this century, Ronald Searle endorses CTN-X. "I am happy for my name to be used in association with the CTN-Xpo. I am very pleased to be honored like this and quite surprised that people still think of me!" ~ Ronald Searle (http://www.ctnanimationexpo.com/matt-jones/ )
• DreamWorks Animation talent goes to CTN-X with Production Designer Kathy Altieri, Animation Supervisor Dave Burgess, 3D animator Jason Ryan and many more.
• Over 300 years of top talent talk casually about their careers and share industry secrets. Peter de Sève, Harald Siepermann, Kent Melton, Mike Mignola, Lou Romano along with live demonstrations from top industry talent maquette artists Kent Melton and Ruben Procopio and many more all weekend long.
• Find out the other secret from The Secret of the Kells with creators and moderator Charles Solomon.
• The City of Burbank declares "Animation Week" for the Creative Talent Network.
• Join us in this rare opportunity when leading characters designers from around the world get together for this round table entitled "The Line Kings." (http://www.ctnanimationexpo.com/the-line-kings/ )
• Over 50 presenters who have contributed to some of the highest grossing films in the history of animation, 60 exhibitors, studio portfolio reviews, after hours networking, screenings and an opportunity of a lifetime to meet and greet in an intimate privileged setting with this group. (http://www.ctnanimationexpo.com/schedule/the_crew/ )
• Special Screenings of The Secret of the Kells followed by round table discussions with the Producer and Director moderated by LA Film Critic Charles Solomon. Banjo the Woodpile Cat: 30 years later with Don Bluth and Gary Goldman moderated by Cartoon Brew Founder and Animation Historian Jerry Beck.
• Recession Buster Raffle. $1000 cash plus prizes. One winner a day.
• Pixar is in the house with Art Director Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi, Animator and founder of Spline Doctors Andrew Gordon, Character Designers Derek Monster, Scott Morse, Bill Presing and more.
RD: What inspired you to put on the event?
TP: The Creative Talent Network has been hosting smaller events for the past five years. They have grown in size to such a degree that I felt the talent deserved a better venue and decided to put it all under one roof.
RD: What do you hope to accomplish with the event?
TP: CTN is putting a wide range of "talent" center stage. We all know that this industry is completely talent driven and by putting them center stage, together under one roof, something is bound to happen.
RD: Will CTN-X become an annual event?
TP: Yes. The city of Burbank in honor of The Creative Talent Network and CTN-X is declaring "animation week" just for us. “We are proud to host the first-ever Animation Expo,” says Burbank’s Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes. “Our City is known around the world for its state-of-the-art studios and production facilities. This will be such a tremendous occasion for the most talented animators in the country and we look forward to their arrival in November.”
RD: What's your overall impression of the animation industry at the moment? Is it strong? On a decline? On a rebound?
TP: I feel we are in the midst of a huge transition not just within our industry, but nationally and internationally. I think the future will be driven by how the next generation of up and coming Walt Disneys decide to define themselves as artists. That combined with their passion and curiosity will drive the next phase of this business forward. Are they work for hire, are they freelance virtual workers or are they the independent entrepreneurs of tomorrow? All we can do is tell them what we went through, inspire them and then hang on. Personally I think this is one of the most exciting times to be in this business. Thanks for asking that!
CTN-X takes place at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center with ample discounted parking, conveniently located near the Burbank Airport and Amtrak Station. Prices start at $25 for exhibit floor only. For more information and to register, please visit: www.ctnanimationexpo.com  or call, (800) 604-2238.
Rick DeMott is the director of content for Animation World Network, VFXWorld and AWNtv. Additionally, he's the creator of the movie review site, Rick's Flicks Picks, which was recently named one of the 100 best movie blogs by The Daily Reviewer. He has written for TV series, such as Discovery Kids' Growing Up Creepie and Cartoon Network's Pet Alien, the animation history book Animation Art, and the humor, absurdist and surrealist website Unloosen. Previously, he held various production and management positions in the entertainment industry.