Diversity, Talent eXpo’s Focus
TThe CTN animation eXpo returns to Burbank Nov. 20-22 with another fresh experience.
he CTN animation eXpo returns to Burbank, Calif., Nov. 20-22, for its seventh edition with plenty of updated features sure to please the animation talent the event is geared toward.
We caught up with Tina Price, founder of the Creative Talent Network and host of the CTN animation eXpo, to get the scoop on this year’s event, which again will be held at the Burbank Marriott and Convention Center. What different events?
CTN is a grass-roots startup whose focus is about the talent. Created by industry artists for industry artists, we put the talent center stage year after year and do not deviate from our mission. What are the newest, most exciting additions or changes to this year’s event?
We are committed to bringing a fresh new CTN experience every year. Our theme this year is “One of a Kind!” New this year, CTN is hosting an open house on Thursday, Nov. 19, starting at 7 p.m. and open to the public. There will be costumed drawing, music and screenings all designed to give people a sneak peek at our new layout and a chance to meet up early. They can pick up their badges, too, and avoid the lines. We’re also excited about the new pavilion that will be the main entrance to the event and the new CTN Lounge this year. We’ve also added more shuttles that now bring people to the event from seven different hotels. We will also be streaming live from two locations at the event. You can watch live at tv.creativetalentnetwork. com. What special guests do you have lined up?
Every year CTN brings together the best talent from around the world. We’ll be announcing our schedule soon, but I can tell you that it includes talent from France, England, Korea, New York, Argentina and more. What are some of the highlights of this year’s programming?
Whether the live demonstrations, interview panels, screenings or intimate conversations, the highlight will be the sheer diversity of the talent coming this year. It is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as this group will never be assembled under one roof ever again. We are also celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland in conjunction with the eXpo, with a group exhibition at CTN’s Center Stage Gallery and a contest to design The Jabberwocky sponsored by Copic Markers. Any exciting exhibitors?
Along with our amazing returning exhibitors, we’d like to welcome artists from Italy, Portugal, Korea and the Netherlands along with new additions of ILM, DreamWorks and Pixar animation studios to the exhibit floor. We also have a lot of new talent exhibiting for the first time this year. What advice do you have for attendees to best navigate the panels and events?
Everything is first come, first served so plan your days. It’s only 2½ days, so have a plan and work your plan. If it is something that is important to you, get there early. And download the CTNX app to stay informed and connected. How many people do you expect will attend this year? Is it up from last year?
CTN isn’t about quantity as much as quality, and I can say the show this year is going to be up in quality from last year and will be a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity. [
Industry movers and shakers prepare to assemble at the fourth annual World
Animation and VFX Summit, set for Nov. 2-4 in Marina del Rey, Calif.
Few things are more valuable in today’s business environment than the ability to interact directly with the people who have the experience and resources to make things happen.
And that’s why the World Animation and VFX Summit — now in its fourth year and scheduled for Nov. 2-4 at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, Calif. — has grown into one of the must-attend events for animation and visual-effects professionals from around the globe.
The summit offers two full days of in-depth programming, including panels, discussions and keynote addresses featuring the people whose current projects are determining the future of the industry. It also offers plenty of networking opportunities with professionals in all aspects of the industry from all over the globe who are experts in everything from new industry standards, global co-productions and the groundbreaking technologies defining the rapidly changing world of animation and visual effects.
Some of this year’s distinguished panelists include: Greg Agostinelli, VP and managing director of Epica USA Roger Allers, director of The Prophet Ricardo Arnaiz, writer, producer and director at Animex Delna Bhesania, CEO and co-founder of Bardel Michael Carrington, Studios Sarita Christensen, owner and CEO of Copenhagen Bombay Productions Rick Clodfelter, content strategist Frederick Faubert, founder, president and CEO of Hiburnum Peter Gal, head of TV development at DreamWorks Animation Michael Hirsch, chairman of The Entertainment and Media Finance Group Eric Homan, VP of development at Frederator Ken Katsumoto, executive VP at Lionsgate Joel Kuwahara, co-founder and principal at Bento Box Cort Lane, VP animation development and partnerships at Marvel Television Wang Lei, senior VP of Uyoung Media Group and CEO of Mr. Cartoon Olivier Lelardoux, VP animation at Cyber Group Curtis Lelash, VP comedy and animation at Cartoon Network A. K. Madhavan, founder and CEO of Assemblage Entertainment Ale McHaddo, founder and partner of 44 Toons Chuck Peterson, producer of Gibran’s The Prophet Companies set to participate as sponsors include: Atomic Cartoons, CelAction, DreamWorks Animation Television, Blue Sky Studios, Natural Talent, Sony Pictures Animation, Ilion Animation Studios and Wizart Animation. More sponsors will be announced shortly.
Animation projects set to be highlighted with filmmaker appearances include Blue Sky Studios’ The Peanuts Movie and Aardman Animations’ Shaun the Sheep Movie.
The first night of the summit is capped by a star-studded gala event that will honor the achievements of the best and brightest innovators in animation and visual effects. This year’s award recipients and honorees, additional keynote speakers and panelists will be announced soon.
The third day of the summit will feature master classes, with Jose San Román of Ilion Animation Studios in Spain the first to be announced. Román’s class will speak to animation being a new asset class in the financial community and to issues that most investors and studio executives are unaware of.
The class will benefit from Román’s experience speaking to a wide global financial community and turning Ilion into a successful worldwide animation studio that produced the 2009 feature Planet 51. Currently partnered with Paramount, Ilion has evolved into a multiproduction studio, aiming to produce various feature films concurrently to meet the growing global demand for topquality digital content.
Michael Hirsch, chairman of The Entertainment and Media Finance Group, also will teach a master class, titled World Domination Through Animation.
Keep an eye on the summit site at www. animationmagazine.net/summit for details on programming and on attending the summit.
A limited number of tickets are available at $150 off to current members of WIA, VES, ASIFA, Animation Guild, WGF and the WGA. Due to the limited capacity of the venue, this three-day event usually sells out quickly, so it’s highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance. [
Sometimes we may not need the robust interaction with Shotgun, or the security of a Marvel movie or the next Star Wars. Sometimes we need it simple, straightforward, and convenient. Sometimes, we are working with a director who doesn’t have the luxury of a team of people who can set up an FTP, download and attach files, and retrieve session keys. Sometimes, we just need to be able to send a link to the director and he just opens the review session and everything is up and running. This is where Frankie fits in. Frankie is the online, pared-down version of Cinesync. And it’s meant for those small boutiques that don’t have, need or want the infrastructure to support a Cinesync pipeline.
Frankie opens up through the web browser. There is nothing to install. No session keys to generate and send around. You share a bit link with your clients and they open things in their browser. All the media for your session is uploaded to the Frankie cloud, where it is appropriately transcoded. The media then syncs in the session between you and the client. Like Cinesync, drawings can be made, a conversation of notes is recorded. And the whole session is stored within your Frankie cloud so you can refer back to it at any time.
If I were to get really nitpicky, I’d say that I’d love to be able to simply drag media into the Frankie window and add it to the current session instead of opening a dialog box. But that’s super nitpicky.
Like Cinesync, Frankie isn’t the cheapest expense for your productions. Fifty dollars a month gets you in with one project at a time, some cloud storage and a few simultaneous users. One hundred dollars per month gets you more users, more storage, more concurrent projects and the ability to save out session notes into a PDF file. And $250 per month gets you 10 users, 10 projects, 50 GB of storage, PDF output and then lots of fancy stuff like zooming, downloading original files, guest uploading and other such things. Again, you have to simply balance out the cost of how much it would cost you if you didn’t have it, and then build it into your budget.
Akira Toriyama’s martial-arts comedy-adventure Dragon Ball ranks among the most popular franchises in anime history. It began as a manga in the boys’ magazine Shonen Jump in 1984. Two years later, the first TV adaptation appeared, followed by Dragon Ball Z (1989) and Dragon Ball GT (1996), totaling more than 500 episodes; a fourth series, Dragon Ball Super, debuted in Japan in July. The 15th and latest feature, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection “F,” has been the top-seller on Amazon’s anime list since its release was announced.
Dragon Ball has sold an astonishing 30 million discs, 45 million games and 240 million books (about half as many as the Harry Potter series). Yet there was no new content for 17 years, a surprising gap for the Japanese animation industry.
In 2013, Toriyama delighted fans when he tied his new manga Jaco the Galactic Patrolman into the Dragon Ball continuity. The feature Dragon Ball Z: The Battle of the Gods, which also debuted in 2013, sold more than 1 million tickets in six days in Japan — which has about one-tenth as many screens as the United States. Resurrection “F” scored a hit earlier this year, passing Hayao Miyzaki’s The Wind Rises to reach ninth place on the list of top-grossing theatrical anime releases in America.
In Resurrection, Toriyama (who wrote the script) and director Tadayoshi Yamamuro reunite the beloved hero Son Goku and his friends with Freeza, the villain fans love to hate.
For readers over age 40, a little background information may in order. Goku is a Saiyan warrior from the planet Vegeta (which Freeza destroyed) who possesses super-human strength. He applies that strength to his furiously intense martial-arts training. Goku didn’t even let dying in season six slow him down: He trained in the Next World during much of season seven — before being brought back to life with the magic Dragon Balls.
Over time, Toriyama expanded the cast to include another Saiyan, Vegeta; Goku’s wife, Chichi, and his sons, Gohan and Goten; mar- tial-arts teacher and dirty old man Master Roshi; and an assortment of humans, aliens and human-alien mixes who form the mighty Z Fighters. Goku and the Fighters destroyed Freeza, an extremely powerful and nasty alien, in season four.
Sorbet (Jeremy Schwartz), a former lieutenant of Freeza’s, uses the Dragon Balls to resurrect the soul of the long-dead tyrant. As his body was hacked to bits, Sorbet needs the new regeneration technology to restore Freeza (Chris Ayres) physically. The reborn Freeza is eager to avenge his demise — and the time he spent in a hilariously ironic hell — on Earth and its inhabitants. Only Goku stands in his way.
But Goku (Sean Schemmel) and Vegeta (Christopher R. Sabat) are in a remote dimension, training with Beerus (Jason Douglas), the feline God of Destruction, and his servant Whis (Ian Sinclair), characters Toriyama introduced in Battle of the Gods. Beerus may be a formidable destructive force, but he has a notorious sweet tooth. Bulma (Monica Rial) uses an elaborate strawberry dessert to summon him and the Super Saiyans before Freeza can destroy the planet.
The Z Fighters and Jaco can dispose of the alien soldiers Freeza brought. But only Goku can take out Freeza himself, although Vegeta insists on trying. In the ensuing duel, Goku ramps up to a staggering level of power, becoming a Super Saiyan God with a turquoise mandala (a feat that drew loud cheers from the audience at the film’s premiere at Anime Expo in July).
In the best superhero tradition, Goku reduces Freeza to so much annoying dust at the last possible moment, saving his family, friends and the Earth. It’s a typically titanic battle involving blasts of power that blow enemies through solid rock.
Yamamuro wisely limits the CG to Freeza’s space ship, the alien army, the gargantuan explosions and some complex camera moves the limited budget of the TV series wouldn’t permit. But the main characters are unapologetically hand drawn and two-dimensional, as they should be.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection “F” gives fans exactly what they want. The filmmakers scrupulously preserve the characters and relationships that won the fans’ enduring loyalty. Resurrection “F” may not be a great animated feature, but it’s a lot of fun, and the more you like the original series, the more fun it is. [
This YA novel adaptation from sophomore Studio Ghibli director Hiromasa Yonebayashi ( The Secret World of Arrietty) is a gentler sort of animated tale. Based on the story by Joan G. Robinson, the film follows 12-year-old Anna as she moves from her foster home in the city to a sleepy seaside town in Hokkaido. Feeling like an outsider, Anna never expects to meet a friend like the beautiful, mysterious Marnie — someone who accepts her completely. But the girls’ friendship is soon threatened by unanswered questions.
Released in North America by GKIDS, the English dub version of this “Ghibli Gothic” features Hailee Steinfeld, Kiernan Shipka, Geena comedian Robin Williams as Genie, this 2D take on the age-old Arab folktale remains an enchanting classic two decades later, and gets the Diamond shine-up just after Disney has announced plans for a live-action prequel and remake.
Aladdin’s characters were brought to life by Williams as Genie (animation supervised by Eric Goldberg), Scott Weinger and singer Brad Kane as Iron Mike voicing his caricature counterpart, Rachel Ramras as his longsuffering adopted daughter Yung Hee, Norm Macdonald as a sarcastic Pigeon who was once a man and Jim Rash as the flamboyant ghost of the Marquess of Queensberry, the show follows Mike and the team as they answer pleas for help with full hearts and strong right hooks. The 10 episode first season sees the gang taking on Cormac McCarthy’s chupacabra problem, gambling with Russian mobsters, facing lycanthropy in the family and accidentally killing Buzz Aldrin. [Release date: Oct. 20] +Remembering the Future +Casting Tomorrowland +A Great Big Beautiful Scoring
Session +The World of Tomorrow
Science Hour + The Origins of Plus Ultra
animated short +Brad Bird Production Diaries +Blast from the Past commercial +Deleted Scenes [Oct. 13]