Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Change|Maker Jon Jon Augustavo: His ‘Same Love’ video topped the charts, opened hearts

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Filmmaker, cinematographer and music video director Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA ’12 Film), recognized for his dynamic and evocative narrative style, is a three-time MTV Video Music Award-winner best known for his collaborations with rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on their Grammy Award-winning “Thrift Shop” and chart-topping hit, “Same Love.” The latter alone has generated more than 125 million views on YouTube.

In fact, of all the work he has done, Augustavo is proudest of “Same Love,” a marriage equality anthem whose groundbreaking rise on the pop charts was noted by The New York Times. “I originally thought I just needed to make a great story,” said Augustavo. “I didn’t think there were any social ramifications. But we put it out right before the vote for same-sex marriage in Washington,” a reference to his and the band’s support for Referendum 74 on their home state ballot in 2012. “And months afterward, the emails I received, the people I met who said that it was so important to them — I’ve never had that experience in my life. I could stop making anything right now and I’d be happy to at least have done that.”

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Grad Show Preview: Diving into the Summer 2014 talent pool

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Perhaps more than graduation itself, Graduation Show Preview marks the culmination of a student’s years of hard work at Art Center. Each term, on the Thursday before Saturday’s commencement ceremony, the College’s classroom studios, hallways and exhibition spaces come alive with 2D, 3D, digital and other work renowned for both its conceptual rigor and its professional finish. It’s like one giant gallery opening — the Summer 2014 edition brimming with more than 450 invited guests — showcasing some of today’s most innovative and most driven emerging artists and designers.

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Summer 2014: Countdown to commencement!

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
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Getting ready for Grad Show. Photo: Lucia Loiso

The computer labs are packed. The shops are humming at all hours. Visitors from sponsoring companies and organizations are streaming through campus to attend final presentations. And the Student Gallery is full of projects in and out of the coveted space. These telltale sights and sounds can only mean one thing at Art Center: Week 14 has arrived.

The state of the campus is a visual reminder of the frenetic energy generated by Art Center students sprinting toward finals. The end of the term is here; and for 111 students, this week marks their last. Saturday evening, after countless all-nighters, critiques, finals, internships and hopefully some fun, 100 undergraduate and 11 graduate students will be awarded their degrees. As we count down to commencement, we celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world and honor the great teachers who have guided the way. Here’s the lowdown for the week.

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Not sure what type of design to study? Sample them all in Andrew Hall’s Design 360

Monday, August 11th, 2014
Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

For the past four years, artist Andrew Hall has taught Design 360 at Art Center at Night (ACN), Art Center’s continuing studies program. Design 360 gives students a whirlwind tour of many of the major disciplines offered at the College, including: advertising, graphic design, filmmaking, illustration, product design and transportation design.

In the class, he asks his students to imagine a product that “protects something” which can be “something obvious like safety goggles” or something more abstract “like a camera, which protects memories.” Then, for the next 12 weeks, students give their product the full treatment—designing everything for it from a logo to a storyboard for a 30-second commercial—and then present it to the class, complete with drawings that show their process. “The presentation teaches the importance of really owning your concept.”

Hall finds the diversity of his students particularly inspiring—some take Design 360 when they’re at a point in their career where “they’re just treading water and need to make a big decision” while others treat the course as a philosophical journey. “Some of them come up with solutions far more cerebral and spiritual than a product you can hold in your hand.” (more…)

August 2014 Alumni Notes

Friday, August 8th, 2014
Jennifer Steinkamp's Murmurfication

Jennifer Steinkamp’s Murmuration

Summer 2014 has yielded a bounty of freshly produced works, events and ideas by Art Center alumni. And look for future editions of this dispatch to be equally flush, given July’s bumper crop of kickstarter campaigns. Read on to learn more…and get in on the fun(ding).

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Big in France…and beyond: Two-time Cannes Lions award winner Sebastian Leda conquers the Hispanic commercial market

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Still from "Robocop"

Still from “Robocop”

To be embraced by the notoriously finicky French is a badge of distinction for any artist. Just ask Jerry Lewis. Or Mickey Rourke. Or Charles Bukowski. Or for that matter, Sebastian Leda (00 Film), who won his second award at Cannes Lions this past May for a commercial entitled “Robocop.”

What separates Leda from the legions of directors and producers who have exited the festival with statuettes in hand is that Leda and his longtime creative collaborator, Francisco D’Amorim, are the only winners to have received prizes for spots targeted at the Hispanic market. Both “Robocop,” which took home this year’s Silver Lion award, and “Crying,” which garnered the Gold Lion at the 2010 festival, represent the kind of high production value commercials tailored to Latino audiences defining all the work produced by Dos Ex Maquina, the company Leda formed with D’Amorim shortly after graduating from Art Center.

Cannes Film Festival voters are far from alone in recognizing the value and vast reach built into Leda and D’Amorim’s business plan. The duo has been thriving both critically and commercially ever since they made the fortuitous (or prescient) decision to distinguish themselves from LA’s mob of young, hungry directors by catering to an under-served and rapidly growing viewership.

In the Q&A below, Leda gamely agreed share a few ingredients in the special sauce that’s given him a competitive advantage in the world’s most competitive (and lucrative) industry.

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June 2014 alumni news and notes

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

From The New York Times to Esquire, from Cannes to the Venice Biennale — Art Center alums have been busy making, making headlines and making their talents known within some of the world’s most prestigious events, platforms and publications. In addition to this primer on their accomplishments, we’re also inviting the Art Center alumni community to nominate candidates for this year’s Art Center Alumni Awards. Read on to learn more.

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Tequila Avión’s $10,000 video competition challenges Art Center students to induce thirst

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Image from video by finalist, Tatyana Kim

Image from video by finalist, Tatyana Kim

Tequila Avión, in collaboration with the Film Department at Art Center College of Design, has challenged students to create a commercial or viral video for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize. Through this partnership with one of the world’s premiere design schools, Tequila Avión encourages fans to tune in to the Tequila Avión YouTube Channel to vote for their favorite video. In mid-July, Tequila Avión will announce both the winning viral video and winning commercial, rewarding each with $10,000.

To kick-off the competition, Ken Austin, Founder and Chairman of Tequila Avión, visited Art Center College of Design to share the Avión story.  Film and Advertising students were challenged to create a commercial video or viral video inspired by the “World’s Best Tasting Tequila.” Entries were narrowed down to compete for the $10,000 grand prize in each category.

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Media Design Practices alum delivers TED talk on memes as the ‘street art of our social web’

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
An Xiao Mina examines "The Meaning of Memes" on the 2013 TEDGlobal stage.

An Xiao Mina examines “The Meaning of Memes” on the 2013 TEDGlobal stage.

Think you know your memes? If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve probably run across the likes of Grumpy Cat, Scumbag Steve or, one of our personal favorites, Art Student Owl.

Those viral images and videos that people modify and spread across the Internet are always good for a laugh, but at the TEDGlobal 2013 conference in Edinburgh, Media Design Practices alumna An Xiao Mina took the stage to deliver a talk entitled “The Meaning of Memes,” shedding light on how individuals across the globe are turning memes into “the street art of our social web.”

In her talk, Mina provided examples of how people in both democracies and censorship states have used memes to speak out on controversial issues, from the detainment of Ai Weiwei to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. “These memes are about more than humor,” Mina said on the TED blog. “They do what art and visual expression have always done—make us feel less alone.”

This story originally appeared in Art Center’s Spring 2014 Dot magazine, where you can read more about alumni and faculty achievements.

Warner Bros. President Greg Silverman, Directors Tarsem and Tom Kuntz offer insider tips at Dot Independent Film Festival

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

2014-DIFF-image-E_Williams

Film lovers and film makers from around the world will be celebrated and honored at DIFF LA, the Dot Independent Film Festival of Los Angeles, a student organized gathering on Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on the Art Center College of Design Hillside Campus at 1700 Lida Street in Pasadena. The event is free and open to the public. More than 200 U.S. and international student filmmakers vying for exposure in the celluloid landscape submitted work hoping to be selected to screen and maybe even stand out as an award winner in this 2nd annual festival.

Kicking off the event is Greg Silverman, president, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures and Art Center Trustee. Additional special guests making appearances during the day are film director and Art Center alumnus Tarsem (Immortals, Mirror Mirror, The Fall) and commercial director Tom Kuntz (Old Spice, Skittles, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like).

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