Monthly Archives: October 2011

Distinguished Filmmakers Series: Bill Duke [UPDATE 2]

Actor, director, producer and writer Bill Duke

Film Department instructors Dan Perri and David Kellogg will host actor, director, producer and writer Bill Duke on Tuesday, Nov. 1 as part of the Distinguished Filmmakers Series.

Duke became a familiar face to moviegoers in the hit comedy Car Wash and followed up that performance with unforgettable roles in films such as American Gigolo, Commando and Predator.

Duke transitioned into directing, helming such films as A Rage in Harlem, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit and Hoodlum, as well as dozens of episodes for T.V. shows including Miami Vice, New York Undercover and Strong Medicine.

Duke continues to act and direct–his latest film, the documentary Dark Girls, premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival–while also serving as a mentor for young African Americans aspiring to work in the performing arts.

Distinguished Filmmakers Series: Bill Duke
Tuesday, November 1, 2:00 p.m.
L.A. Times Media Center

See a trailer for Duke’s Dark Girls documentary after the break.

UPDATE 2: This event has been moved up a week, from November 8 to November 1.

UPDATE: This event was originally scheduled for October 4.

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More on Art Center’s Reality Augmented course (video)

Art Center instructor Ryan D'Orazi demonstrates his Enlitenar AR app during the class' final presentation.

Last month we told you about an augmented reality (AR) course that took place this past summer at Art Center called Reality Augmented. The course was co-taught by Graphic Design instructor Guillaume Wolf and science fiction author Bruce Sterling; hosted by the Graphic Design Department; and sponsored by Amsterdam-based Layar, whose AR platform claims more than one million active users.

Layar documented the class and recently posted a short three-minute video that does an excellent job of capturing the energy and ambition of this experimental course. ”Our class here  at Art Center is a ‘doing’ class,” says Sterling in the video. “People were working with LAYAR to really do apps. I wanted them to be able to leave the class saying that they can augment reality.”

Sterling goes on to say, “Augmented reality is in the artistic phase where a lot of the most effective players are designers. The best AR efforts are coming out of smaller groups of three, four or 12 people.”

Watch the entire video after the break.

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Tonight: Art Center Explores Brave New WORLDS

Astronomer Mike Brown's "How I Killed Pluto" (left); Detail of Semiconductor's "Black Rain" (right)

For the past decade, Art Center’s Williamson Gallery has produced a series of exhibitions superimposing art and science, domains traditionally thought of as existing on opposite ends of a spectrum. The latest project in this continuing series is WORLDS, a medley of objects, images, sounds and videos that explore celestial phenomena.

The exhibition kicks off tonight with a presentation by Caltech’s Mike Brown (8:00 p.m., Ahmanson Auditorium). A professor of planetary astronomy and the author of How I Killed Pluto And Why It Had It Coming, Brown will speak on “Worlds of Fire, Worlds of Water” as part of Pasadena’s Art and Science (AxS) Festival 2011: Fire and Water.

Following Brown’s presentation, stay for the WORLDS opening reception (9:00 p.m., Williamson Gallery), where you can enjoy a glass of wine, groove to the sounds of Opera Posse, and see incredible work on display by such artists as Jonathan Cecil, Rebeca Méndez and Semiconductor, as well as objects on loan from The Huntington Library’s Rare Book Collection, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and The UCLA Meteroite Collection.

This event is free; RSVP to

Chip Foose, Bruce Meyers and Jay Leno Among Special Guests To Appear at Car Classic ’11

Influential and innovative car designers and aficionados always show up at Art Center’s Car Classic, and this year’s lineup is no exception. Here’s a list of special guests scheduled to appear at Car Classic ’11 on October 23:

  • Bruce Canepa – Porsche racer and owner of Canepa Design
  • Peter Brock PROD ’56 — Founder of Brock Racing Enterprises and designer of the ’63 Corvette “split window” Sting Ray and the Cobra Daytona Coupe
  • Chip Foose TRAN ’90 — President and CEO, Foose Design and member of the Hot Rod Hall of Fame
  • Miguel Galluzzi TRAN ’86 – Designer of the Ducati Monster and Vice President of Design, Piaggo
  • Dave Kunz — Automotive reporter for KABC-TV Los Angeles
  • Jay Leno – Host of NBC’s The Tonight Show and Jay Leno’s Garage
  • Barry Meguiar – President/CEO, Meguiar’s, Inc. and host of Car Crazy, as seen on SPEED Channel and heard on syndicated radio
  • Bruce Meyer – Car collector and former chairman of Petersen Automotive Museum
  • Bruce Meyers – Father of the modern dune buggy
  • Chuck Pelly PROD ’58 – Founder, The Design Academy Inc. and BMW Designworks, USA
  • Freeman Thomas TRAN ’83 – Director of Strategic Design for Ford Motor Company

This year’s Car Classic will explore the continuing global influence that Southern California has on transportation design. Visit the event’s website for additional information and tickets.

See you next weekend!

In Case You Missed It

Ana Serrano's "Salon of Beauty" installation at Houston's Rice Gallery. Photo: Nash Baker.

There’s always something happening when it comes to Art Center alumni, students and faculty. Sometimes there’s almost too much happening!

If you have any Art Center-related news items you’d like to share with the community, send us an email at editorial at artcenter dot edu.

Keepin’ It “Real Steel” with Tim Flattery’s Robots

Tim Flattery's Midas robot in Dreamworks' "Real Steel."

With all the negative attention that concussions in boxing, football and hockey have been getting lately, the scenario presented in Dreamworks’ film Real Steel, out in theaters today, doesn’t seem too far-fetched: In the year 2020, eight-feet-tall, 2,000 lb. robots have replaced humans as the pugilists du jour.

The film tells the story of a washed-up-boxer-turned-small-time-promoter (X-Men’s Hugh Jackman) who teams up with his estranged son (Resurrecting the Champ’s Dakota Goyo) to build and train a World Robot Boxing championship contender.

Tim Flattery, the chair of Art Center’s Entertainment Design program whom we interviewed in the most recent issue of Dot, designed several of the robotic brawlers featured in the film–Spitfire, Albino, Axelrod, Twin Cities and Midas.

“These aren’t your typical robots,” said Flattery of the characters he designed while working in close collaboration with Tom Meyer, the film’s production designer, and three other concept artists, including fellow Art Center faculty member Daren Dochterman. “They’re all very stylized and ridiculous, yet somehow, in the world of the movie they make sense.”

Head past the break for the trailer and an exclusive slideshow of designs by Flattery.

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R.I.P. Steve Jobs; You Helped Us All Think Different

The unaired version of the very first “Think Different” television ad below is unique in that it’s not the version narrated by actor Richard Dreyfuss that we all saw in 1997.

Rather it’s narrated by Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple and the visionary pioneer behind the company’s now ubiquitious products, who passed away yesterday.

Art Center alumna Jessica Schulman Edelstein ADVT 91, then the lead art director on the Apple Computer account at Chiat Day, established the look and feel of the highly successful “Think Different” campaign, which featured historical figures–physicist Albert Einstein, civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr. and “Sesame Street” creator Jim Henson to name a few–who changed the world through their out-of-the-box thinking.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Jobs. Your vision touched as all and you left the world a better place.

Got an Idea? Need a Job? Get Moving!

Things are always in motion at Idealab's Pasadena offices

A little bird just told us that startup incubator Idealab is holding a job fair next Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at their Pasadena offices.

Idealab founder and Art Center trustee Bill Gross will offer some welcoming remarks and executives from a number of Idealab’s startup companies–UberMedia, Evolution Robotics, GO Interactive and more–will be on hand to pitch their companies to the fair’s attendees.

Here’s the message we were sent:

Idealab is hosting a job fair at their offices for 10 of their startups companies. They are looking for coders, roboticists, marketing managers and community managers to fill the areas of their Green Tech, Social Media, Big Data, and Enterprise companies.  If you are a super star you are pretty much guaranteed to find a job here.

For those that may be unfamiliar with Idealab, it was founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Bill Gross. Idealab provides a broad range of operational support to its companies, allowing the company management teams to focus on getting to market quickly and cost effectively and to take advantage of the serial start-up experience of the Idealab team. Bill Gross and Idealab have founded or advanced development of more than 75 companies including Overture Services, eSolar, UberMedia, CitySearch, Picasa and Internet Brands. Current operating companies are providing innovative technology solutions in industries such as software, search, robotics, Internet media and services and alternative energy fields.

So do yourself a favor this month and come explore a variety of tech opportunities and network with some of LA’s top startups at the offices of Idealab, the Pasadena-based technology incubator.  Bill Gross will be on site to give a special welcome, and executives from Idealab’s companies will pitch their businesses to attendees. Come have a good time and enjoy the Idealab hospitality. You can be sure that food, beer and wine will be served.

The event will max out at 200 attendees. Registration is required and if you are an outside tech recruiter you’re going to have to sit this one out.  REGISTER HERE.

The Deets
When: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
6:00pm – 9:30pm
Where: Idealab
130 W. Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91103
Participating Companies

Want to learn more about how Idealab works? Watch This Week in Venture Capital’s Mark Suster interview Bill Gross after the break.

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Drew Struzan: The Man Behind the Poster [UPDATE]

Struzan's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984)

Do you like movies? Did you grow up in the ’80s?

If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then you’re probably already intimately familiar with the work of Art Center alumnus Drew Struzan ILLU ’70.

In the ’80s, Struzan created iconic movie posters for films like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Back to the Future, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Big Trouble in Little China and The Thing.

More recently, he has leant his deft touch to posters for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Hellboy, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and AMC’s The Walking Dead.

At next week’s New York Comic Con, a portion of the nearly completed documentary Drew: The Man Behind the Poster, which features interviews with Struzan and the Hollywood talent with whom he’s worked, will be screened on Thursday, October 15 at 9 p.m. at the Jacob Javitz Center, Room 1A24.

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times‘ “Hero Complex” blog recently ran a story on Struzan’s forthcoming 250-page retrospective Drew Struzan: Oeuvre from Titan Books. (10/20/11)

Film trailer after the break.

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When Apple Talks iPhone, the World Listens

Recent Graphic Design graduate Megan Potter presents her iPad magazine "Abyss."

Whether they’re augmenting reality, designing interactive magazines and newspapers, or creating apps that blur the distinction between games and art, many of Art Center’s students and alumni will be paying close attention to Apple’s iPhone announcement this morning.

What changes are in store for the ubiquitous smartphone? Rumors swirling around the Internet suggest Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook will unveil everything from a larger screen size to voice control software to compatibility with the latest LTE networks.

Regardless of what surprises emerge from Cupertino during today’s event, one things for certain: people will notice.

What are you hoping to see from Apple today?

And for those of you who can’t wait for today’s announcement, there’s a video after the break to keep you busy until 10 a.m. rolls around.

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