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Phil Tippett, Julie Pott and Priit Pärn Being Honored at Frame-By-Frame Animators Conference

May 4th conference at Chicago’s DePaul University, for animators / by animators, will feature special guests, speakers, masterclasses and demos. 

The Frame-By-Frame Animators Conference, for animators / by animators, is a day-long conference being held May 4th at DePaul University in Chicago. Animators specializing in a variety of disciplines, including TV, film, experimental, games, motion graphics, stop motion, hand-drawn, and 3D are gathering from across the country -- guest artists will participate in conversation, screenings, panels, workshops, and demos with an audience of animators and animation students. FxF is hosted by the DePaul Animation Program and the School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artist Series. Last year's inaugural FxF feaured guests of honor PES, Joanna Priestley, David OReilly, Duarte Elvas, and Raymie Muzquiz.

FxF is open to the public. Due to limited seating, RSVP tickets are recommended. All unclaimed seats for all events will be available for free the day of FxF, but demand is expected to be strong.  An overflow room with live video feed will be available for the guest of honor events.

This year FxF will feature the following guests of honor:

  • Phil Tippett is a legend in the visual effects and stop-motion fields. He first made his name as head of animation and creature design for George Lucas' Star Wars films before launching Tippett Studio in 1984. From the chess scene and cantina band creatures of Star Wars, to the stop-motion in Robocop, to the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, Tippett has remained an innovator and a trailblazer. Tippett is currently directing a multi-dimensional ride film for China, Monkey King: Havoc in Heaven. Tippett has two Oscars, one BAFTA, two Emmys and widespread acclaim for his role in the advent of modern digital effects. Tippett will be interviewed by stop-motion animator Devin Bell.
  • Julia Pott is the creator of Cartoon Network’s critically acclaimed animated series, Summer Camp Island. Pott is a British animator and illustrator who graduated from Kingston University with first class honors, and in 2011, she graduated from the Royal College of Art with a master’s degree in animation. Potts’ films have played at festivals worldwide. Named as one of the 25 new faces of independent films by Filmmaker Magazine in 2012, Pott was also honored as one of the 37 indie film breakouts of that year by Indiewire. In 2015, she joined the Cartoon Network family as a writer for the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning pop culture phenomenon, Adventure Time. Pott will be interviewed by animator Meghann Artes.
  • Priit Pärn is a legendary Estonian animator, a recipient of the ASIFA Life Achievement Award, six lifetime achievement awards from international festivals, and has had over 50 solo exhibitions in various European countries over the past 35 years. From 1976 to 1994 he worked as an art director and animated film director at the Joonisfilm animated film department of Tallinnfilm Studios and from 1994 at Eesti Joonisfilm Studio. Pärn has made 13 animated films of duration up to 45 minutes as well as a host of short films, commercials, etc., for which he received more than 80 prizes in international top festivals. Pärn has illustrated more than 40 books for children and for grown-ups. In 2006 Pärn established animation studies in Estonian Academy of Arts, where he is currently working as animation professor. Pärn will be interviewed by Jacob Ciocci, co-chair of the DePaul Animation MFA program.

FxF will welcome the following special guests:

  • Joyce N. Ho is an art director and motion designer based in Brooklyn, NY. Ho began her career at Australian studio Breeder, where she worked on opening title sequences for the festival Analogue/Digital, contributing to the openings for the 2013 and 2014 editions. She has worked on the opening titles to TV series True Detective (2014) and The Expanse (2015) as well as creative festival Likeminds in 2017. She has been a finalist for Young Guns 15, the SXSW Film Award in 2014 and 2016, and has been a winner of the One Screen Award, Create Design Award, and the Australian Production Design Guild Award. In 2018, the title sequence she directed for Semi-Permanent Sydney2018 was chosen as one of Art of the Title’s Top 10 Title Sequences of the year. Ho will be interviewed by DePaul Animation professor Chris Kalis.
  • Katie Torn is a New York based artist who integrates 3D computer graphics and video to model virtually simulated scenes out of the detritus of internet and consumer culture. Collecting discarded products and elements available online, Torn’s digital assemblages carry traces of past consumer eras and web browsing histories. Torn was a 2013 Fellow at the Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, and a resident of LMCC Process Space on Governors Island in 2016. Torn has exhibited her work at national and international locations including The Naughton Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland; The MCA, Denver, Colorado; Young Projects, Los Angeles, CA; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel; Art in General, New York; Postmasters, New York; MOMA PS1, New York; Roots & Cultures Contemporary Art Center, Chica-go; MOCA, Los Angeles; and Bitforms Gallery, New York. Torn will be interviewed by Amy Lockhart, co-chair of the DePaul Animation MFA program.

In addition to interviews with featured guests, the following masterclasses will be offered:

  • Character Animation Masterclass - Brian Ferguson was a character animator for 23 years at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He was a supervising animator on Hercules, Mulan, Emperor's New Groove, Treasure Planet, and Princess and the Frog, and an animator on The Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Chicken Little, and Bolt.
  • Game Art Masterclass - Heinz Schuller started working in the games industry in 1993, and has served at companies including Viacom New Media, FASA Interactive, Microsoft Game Studios, and Day 1 Studios. He is credited with Art Direction on popular PC & Console games including Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance, F.E.A.R. 3, and Avatar Laser Wars II. Heinz also served as publishing art director at Microsoft on games like Mechassault, Mechassault 2, and Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. He recently completed art direction for the Steam Early Access title Savage Lands and is working on the new upcoming title.

Other Features:

  • Running demo of the Volo Motion Control Crane and Dragonframe stop-motion animation system
  • Running demo of the 20 Camera Natural Point OptiTrack motion capture system


10:30-11:30 - Katie Torn in conversation with Amy Lockhart

10:30-11:30 - Character Animation Masterclass with Brian Ferguson

12:00-1:30 - Cartoon Network's Julia Pott in conversation with Meghann Artes

2:30-3:30 - Motion graphics designer Joyce N. Ho in conversation with Chris Kalis

2:30-3:30 - Game Art Masterclass with Heinz Schuller

4:00-5:30 - Pritt Pärn in conversation with Jacob Ciocci

6:00-7:30 - Phil Tippett in conversation with Devin Bell

For tickets and more information on Frame-By-Frame 2019 please go to the event website.

Source: DePaul University