Tag Archives: Ross LaManna

An Interview with Ross LaManna: The value of film school for staying ahead of trends

Chair of undergraduate and graduate Film departments at ArtCenter.

Ross LaManna, Chair of undergraduate and graduate Film departments at ArtCenter.

Last summer, I taught a production workshop class at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena and was very impressed with their film program and the students. I knew the Film department Chair Ross LaManna, having hired him as a screenwriter several times over the years. But the teaching experience got me thinking about the role of film schools in today’s entertainment industry, and I hoped Ross could help explain it to me. Continue reading

Film Alumnus Directs Most Watched Commercial

Dove Real Beauty Sketches, directed by John X. Carey, sets new record

Viewed more than 114 million times and counting, it became the most watched Internet commercial of all time in less than a month online, the New York Daily News reports. This week it surpassed the previous record holder, the Evian Roller Babies, notes Mashable.

What makes the three-minute video, directed by Art Center College of Design film alumnus John X. Carey for Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, so compelling?

A woman walks behind a curtain, where a forensic artist draws her based on her description of herself. What she doesn’t know is that another person will come in later and describe her as well. When the two sketches are placed side by side, there’s an obvious difference between how these women perceive themselves and how others perceive them. And when the forensic artist asks, “Are you more beautiful than you think?” the video captures their emotional responses.

In the end, they’re all beautiful.

Continue reading

DreamWorlds Opens Tonight

Don’t miss tonight’s opening of DreamWorlds in the Williamson Gallery. The exhibit, a behind-the-scenes look at the artistry and imagination of animated filmmaking at DreamWorks Animation, opens tonight with a multimedia presentation, panel discussion and reception. The presentation and panel will be held at Ahmanson Auditorium at 7 pm, followed by a reception in the Williamson Gallery at 8 pm.

Drawing from popular DreamWorks Animation films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Monsters vs. Aliens, Bee Movie, Prince of Egypt and the soon-to-be-released How To Train Your Dragon (scheduled for theatrical release March 26), the more than 300 objects in the exhibition include original and digital designs and paintings, movie posters, character maquettes, miniature sets, an artist’s workstation re-creation and other creative stages of the complex filmmaking process.

Film Department Chair Ross LaManna will moderate tonight’s panel discussion, which will revolve around the connection between art, illustration, story and animation. Panelists include:

  • Gail Currey: PDI/DreamWorks Animation Studio Head
  • Kathy Altieri: Art Center Illustration alumna; DreamWorks Animation production designer for How to Train Your Dragon; first artist hired by DreamWorks
  • Kendal Cronkhite: Art Center Illustration alumna; DreamWorks Animation production designer whose credits include the Madagascar films
  • Sam Michlap: Former guest instructor at Art Center; DreamWorks Animation production designer and visual development artist; co-curator of DreamWorlds

DreamWorlds runs through May 9. The Williamson Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Friday evenings to 9 p.m.

(Image is from the Williamson Gallery’s Facebook page)

In Case You Missed It…

As you know, there’s always something going on when it comes to Art Center alumni, students and faculty.  Some of the latest:

  • Film Department Chair Ross LaManna talks to CNN about the rise of the graphic novel in Hollywood. CNN
  • Director for Advanced Mobility Research Geoff Wardle chats with The New York Times about the Tata Nano, which will be on display next week at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The New York Times
  • Alumnus Tommy Lee Edwards explains his conceptual work for the film The Book of Eli. Livingston Daily
  • Indy Racing League discusses the development of its next-generation racing car, developed with the help of Art Center students. Edmunds Inside Line
  • Painter and Illustration alumnus Paul Rickert’s latest exchibit, Industrial Visions, is currently on display at Rider University in Lawrence, NJ. CentralJersey.com
  • Filmmaker and alumnus Tarsem Singh Dhandwar’s fantasy-action-drama epic about ancient Greece, Dawn of War, might be filmed in 3D. Little About

(Pictured: Out of Furnaces, Paul Rickert)