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Sprott Shaw College - Calgary

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Sprott Shaw College - Calgary

I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of the animation program at Sprott Shaw Community College in Calgary, Alberta. I know it's 45 weeks and a combination of studies in 2D and 3D and it used to be the Applied Multimedia Training Centre. But unlike a lot of other places, I can't really find any reviews or opinions about it.



I guess I should also mention that I didn't take the Animation program at the sprott-shaw college in Calgary. I started the diploma program called "Multimedia Design & Communication." It specialized on website creation and media related areas like typography, photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc. My main teacher was also Don Boone. He was probably better at teaching Animation than website creation.

The hardest part of the program I took (and which made me want to leave) was the presentations we had to make infront of the whole class every two weeks. For every major project there was a presentation of it presented in a mock-real life way. What I mean is that we were supposed to pretend that we were being interviewed by a potential client. This was the most difficult part for me, because we were expected to ware professional bussiness 'atire' and give forth a highly sculpted (as per se, Dons direction) and formal presentation. I am not a sales man and I don't like deception or false appearances. So naturally when I was told that I had to basically "sell my soul to the devil" in order to even have people consider me and my work, I said "NO."

Hee hee... I am a rebell and an ultimate freelance mercenary who prides myself on honesty and truth above all else. If this is a crime to some, then I guess I don't belong in some schools/colleges.

Ideally (given the best scenario) I could get my own computer and teach myself Flash to a very high level. Then I could create my own Flash animations and sell them to whomever I choose. In this manner I could empower myself and gain a certain degree of self respect. I could be my own boss and thrive by merit of my own talent and natural faculties of creative inspiration.



P.S. ~ I hope what I have said doesn't offend anyone. I don't wish to put others down or place myself on a pedistal. I just have certain standards that I subornly defend. Maybe I'm foolish or maybe I'm just too defiant for my own good. I don't know.

I know we have some Sprott Shaw's here in Victoria, interesting to know there are some in Alberta too. The best advice I can give you is to research the school some more. Find some of the past grads and ask them what they thought of the program, and if they're working in the industry. On a personal note, most of these schools are just in it to take your money. I won't name names, but I know of a few that will accept anyone, regardless of talent or desire. If you are really interested in getting into the animation industry, try your hand with some more well known schools and get info on them too. All in all, school is what you take from it. If you work hard, you'll get lots out of it. Good luck in your search and keep me posted. Cheers!

Cereal And Pajamas New Anthology : August 2007

Thanks for the feedback. I just wish Alberta wasn't such a void of animation schools. I only know of devstudios in Edmonton (and they only teach 3D, and I'd like some exposure to 2D) and Sprott Shaw in Calgary. I can't yet afford to move to Vancouver or Toronto where all the big name schools are.


Hey there KBN,

I attended that very school in Calgary in early 2004. It is EXACTLY what Danimator has said. They will basically accept anyone and I felt like the whole college was just a big scam to get peoples money. I currently have a debt of over 10,000 dollars from attending that college and I wanted to quit the program shortly after begining, but since I had already taken 13% of the program I HAD to pay for 60% of my tuition. I felt very cheated and I don't recomend that school to anyone. The main teacher is not very nice and the school lacks inspiration. If you are of particularly strong will, and have 'nerves of steel' you could take that program and come away with it with some skills but I didn't like it. That sprott-shaw college is not a total fraud, but its not a place that I enjoyed very much. They are extremely business oriented and seem to cater to the oil companies of Calgary and Alberta. I can't prove this definitively but its my strong suspicion.



Hey KBN,

I'm a graduate of the Sprott-Shaw program. Well, more a graduate of the Applied-Multimedia program.

The school was originally Applied-Multimedia training centre. After about 8 years, Applied-Multimedia's parent company went bankrupt and they closed the school. After being closed for about a month, Sprott-Shaw purchased the school and re-opened it, allowing students to finish their courses for free under the new management with the same teachers.

It was an excellent program while I was there, as long as you had the will to work. The 2D program was being taught by Don Boone, an amazing animator with over 10 years of experience in Vancouver as a Director/Animator/Storyboard artist. He really made the course for everyone that went. The 3D half of the course was mainly tutorials for the first part, followed by several months of working on your own demo reel.

However, Don Boone recently left the school. Our 3D instructor Nick Witczak is still there. But without Don teaching, I don't feel that I could recommend the course based on my knowledge of how it is now being run.

I would recommend visiting the school and asking to meet with both instructors. But be prepared to move to Vancouver or Ontario for your education though.

~Nathan Zufelt
Character Animator

Don Boone Is Back!

Hi to All -

Wow. So much discussion about Sprott-Shaw. I hope that my perspective will be of benefit, since apart from Zoober who actually took the course, I'm the only one who really knows what's going on at Sprott-Shaw.

Zoober, thanks for coming to my defense.

Tanner, thank you for clarifying that you did not take the animation course. Also your statements would carry much more credibility if you knew the last name of your instructor. There were 2 Dons at Sprott-Shaw at the same time - Don Nich taught the Multimedia Design & Communication course and I taught the Classical (2D) component of the Digital Animation course, so I understand how there may have been some confusion. Tanner, you were Don Nich's student, not mine. I did not teach the MMDC course.

And Don N was a champ. We, along with the entire staff, taught and worked at Applied Multimedia for 6 weeks FOR FREE while we waited for a paycheck that never came. And every one of us were there for ONE REASON ONLY: we did not want to leave the students in a lurch. We stayed at AMTC until the landlord came and shut the doors on us for lack of rent. If you want more info on AMTC on how that happened, you'll have to call Rick Buckingham in New Brunswick at Mosaic Technologies. The point I'm trying to make is that my observation of Don Nich is that he is the consumate professional, and always taught from that perspective. Tanner, I would not begin to assume anything about your personal experience or opinion of Don, but he was completely committed to the course that he taught, and to the students whom he instructed, including you. Don and I, as well as all the staff that carried over to Sprott-Shaw, share this dedication to our students.

Okay, nuff said about that. I'm back from a working holiday (6 months storyboarding for Studio B's Being Ian) and I'm at Sprott-Shaw doing what I love to do - well my 2nd love anyway (nothing compares to actually animating) - teaching and training in animation. We are a small school, but I teach from extensive experience, and I teach proven studio techniques.

KBN, give me a call sometime, I'd be happy to discuss the course with you. If you love animation, and you love to draw, then you'll love the course.

And if anyone would like to discuss this issue with me personally, my home phone number is 403-242-6676. I'm usually home afternoons and evenings.

Thanks for hearing me out.