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Industry Giants 2009: Building a Community

Creating today's entertainment media demands community, collaboration and teamwork. Community is vital to artists struggling in the current economic landscape. The Industry Giants 2009: Building a Community, Visual Effects, Animation and Game Forum features 2D artist/animator Michel Gagne, veteran of Warner Bros., Disney and Pixar, Jay Hawkins, Epic Games' Senior Concept Artist for Gears of War and many other creative professionals.

The eighth annual event takes place Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6, 2009 at the Spring Creek Campus (SCC) of Collin County Community College, 2800 Spring Creek Parkway in Plano, Texas. It's open to the public, students and industry professionals.

Hosted annually by the filmmaking/visual effects, animation, game development non-profit, A Bunch of Short Guys, and Collin's Applied Graphic Design Technology department, Industry Giants 2009 features Masterclasses and a one-day forum and panel discussion. The event features a distinctive lineup of speakers working in all areas of animation and visual effects for film, television and games. Schedules for the Masterclasses, forum and ticket information are available online at

Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Advance combination tickets for both the June 5 Masterclasses AND the June 6 forum are $40 for students and $80 for the public and professionals. Advance tickets to the June 6 forum-only are $15 for students and $20 for the public and professionals. Combination tickets purchased at the door are $50 for students and $90 for the public and professionals. Forum tickets purchased at the door are $20 for students and $25 for the public and professionals. Questions? Please call 972-516-5089 or by email:

Masterclasses will be held on campus in rooms C-103, C-104 and the SCC Conference Center from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 2009. With the purchase of a combination ticket, those attending the Masterclasses will be able to choose their own schedule. Masterclasses will be offered throughout the day. Morning sessions will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and include "Creating The IK Walk Cycle" by veteran Pixar, Blue Sky and Henson Studios Animator/Animation Director, David Tart. Id Software Character Artist, Brett Briley, will conduct a session on Zbrush digital sculpting techniques in video games.

The afternoon sessions take place from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will include a second session on Zbrush by Janimation Senior Creative Director Greg Punchatz featuring real-time creation of a digital character with audience participation. Jeff Alcantara, Reel FX Lighting and Compositing Supervisor, will conduct a session on compositing for OPEN SEASON 2 in NUKE. In addition, "Artists' Alley" will run all day, featuring Michel Gagne, Jay Hawkins, Jason Manley and others. Artist's books and book signing will be available.

The Industry Giants Forum takes place in the John Anthony Theatre from 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, 2008. The lineup includes presentations by Will Nicholson, CG Supervisor at Cafe FX who will discuss his work on recent films and tips on succeeding in the industry. Artist Michel Gagne, veteran of Warner Bros., Disney, Pixar and other studios will feature his recent game, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and other work. Jay Hawkins, Senior Concept Artist with Epic Games, will present on his work for Gears of War. Digital Domain Technical Developer Tadao Mihashi will feature his lighting and rendering work on THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. Jason Manley, President of and Founding Director of will discuss online communities in the entertainment industry. Winners of the A Bunch of Short Guys 2009 Student Animation Contest will be announced. A full panel discussion will conclude the event.

A Bunch of Short Guys (ABOSG) is a non-profit organization that fosters education and career development for students and professionals in the animation, visual effects and game industries. The group hosts free monthly meetings on the third or fourth Saturday of the month. In addition, ABOSG presents Industry Insights, an ongoing series featuring industry artists, as well as various training workshops and the Industry Giants events. Meeting information, a members' online forum, event information and more can be found at

The Applied Graphic Design Technology department at Collin College is a graphic design and new media discipline within the Fine Arts division. Academic degree and certificate programs include: graphic design, 3D animation, digital video, web-interactive media and game art and animation. The fulltime faculty is joined by over eighteen associate faculty who bring current industry expertise into the classroom. For information contact AGDT Professor, Tom Ottinger,, 972-516-5089 or visit

For additional information on Industry Giants 2009: Building a Community, to schedule interviews, request photos or B-roll please contact Tom Ottinger, Event Coordinator for A Bunch of Short Guys/Industry Giants and professor with Collin's Applied Graphic Design Technology department, 972-516-5089 or by email at

Friday, June 5, 2009 - 11:00am to Saturday, June 6, 2009 - 7:00pm
Submission Deadline 
Friday, June 5, 2009 - 12:00pm