Tag Archives: Zack Snyder

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

Looking to fire up your Fourth of July? Check out these blast-tacular movie explosions!

Wherever you decide to celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence—in a small town watching a patriotic parade or an urban center sampling designer cocktails on a hotel rooftop—we know you are really just passing time until dark, waiting for the fireworks start.

To whet your appetite in anticipation of the pyrotechnic exhibition of your choice, we offer up some dynamite detonation displays from the silver screen.

No 4th of July celebration should go by without a viewing of the spectacular demolition of Paris in Michael Bay’s (BFA 88 Film) Armageddon.

An oldie but goodie, it is always worth watching the final scene of David Lean’s classic, The Bridge on the River Kwai.

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


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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Film Alum Zack Snyder Screens “Man of Steel” for Art Center Movie Fans

Ten days prior to the official release date, a community of Art Center movie lovers attended a private screening, hosted by Warner Bros. and the College’s Film Departments, of the highly-anticipated summer blockbuster, Man of Steel.  Nearly 500 students, faculty, staff and special invited guests crowded in to ArcLight Cinemas in Pasadena on June 5 to see the emotional and action-packed story unfold and hear from the director, film alumnus Zack Snyder.

Man of Steel director and Art Center Film alum Zack Snyder answers audience questions with Film Department Chair Ross LaManna after an exclusive screening of the movie for the Art Center community on June 5. Photo by Seo Hiroyuki.

Man of Steel director and Art Center film alum Zack Snyder answers audience questions with Film Department Chair Ross LaManna after an exclusive screening of the movie for the Art Center community on June 5. Photo by Seo Hiroyuki.

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Art Center in the News, March 2013

In case you missed it, Dotted Line brings you a monthly roundup of media coverage.

From the success of the student-led Dot Independent Film Festival (DIFF | LA) and the rise of 3D printing, to reflections on the life of Mike Kelley and the connections between art and science, catch up on any news you may have missed with our March media roundup.

Mike Kelley in The Wall Street Journal

“In 1987, [Mike Kelley] began teaching at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, a sign among his peers that he had ‘arrived.’”–Kelly Crow writing in the Wall Street Journal. Photographs of Kelley by Grant Mudford in 1989, left, and by Tyler Hubby on December 7, 2011, right.

For the latest Art Center news, follow us on Twitter at @art_center.

Dot Film Fest Makes Impressive Debut

Zack Snyder Inspires and Credits Art Center for Lasting Friendships, Filmmaking Foundation

Faculty-Produced Movies are Hot Sellers at SXSW, Encourage Next Gen


Director Zack Snyder speaks at DIFF | LA

On March 16, 2013, the Dot Independent Film Festival (DIFF | LA) made a smashing box office debut at Art Center’s Hillside Campus. The daylong event featured award-winning student films from around the world, several prestigious entertainment industry speakers and many inspirational moments shared by the next gen filmmakers in attendance.

Man of Steel director and alumnus Zack Snyder FILM 89 kicked off the creative confab with entertaining comments about his days on campus. He called the experience “art boot camp” and said the attrition rate “was like Vietnam.”

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Zack Snyder Opens Dot Independent Film Festival at Art Center College of Design

Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, Tom Kuntz and Matthew Rolston speaking at March 16 event honoring student films from around the world

Zack Snyder at Art Center

Zack Snyder at Art Center. Photo by Chuck Spangler.

March 12, 2013, Pasadena, Calif.—Visionary director and Art Center College of Design alumnus Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, 300) is set to open DIFF | LA, the Dot Independent Film Festival, the premiere student-led film festival on the West Coast taking place Saturday, March 16, 2013 from 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. on the Art Center College of Design Hillside Campus at 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena, Calif., 91103.

In addition to screening official selections in the categories of Directing, Cinematography, Writing and Editing, the event will feature presentations by Snyder and the critically acclaimed directing team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks), Emmy-winning commercial director Tom Kuntz (Old Spice, Skittles), and legendary photographer and filmmaker Matthew Rolston (Kelly Rowland, Christina Aguilera).

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Art Center featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Top 25 Film Schools ranking

Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Film Schools

The Hollywood Reporter has included Art Center’s stellar film program in its new list of the top 25 film schools in the world.

The second annual list of outstanding film educational institutions was decided on by the editors at the entertainment trade publication and an unidentified list of industry insiders.

The Art Center entry mentions alumni Michael Bay, Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (Mirror, Mirror) and visionary director Zack Snyder who’s highly anticipated Superman reboot Man of Steel is set for a June release.  In the story, alumnus Snyder recalls how his mentor, Mike Ahnemann, influenced his career.

Visionary Director Zack Snyder stops by Art Center

Watch the Man of Steel trailer here.

Visionary director Zack Snyder stops by Art Center

Zack Snyder at Art Center. Photo by Chuck Spangler.

"Man of Steel" director, Zack Snyder.

Director and Art Center alumnus Zack Snyder FILM ’89 visited an overflowing Los Angeles Times Auditorium yesterday afternoon for a discussion and Q&A with Film instructor Dan Perri. Snyder, who came directly from an editing suite where he and a crew are preparing a trailer of his next film, the Superman reboot Man of Steel, for this weekend’s Comic-Con, shared with Art Center students his experiences both as a student and as a director of Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Watchmen, among others.

Here are a few highlights from the event:

Snyder on his initial “path:” When I first got to Art Center, I was pretty sure I’d make a short film and Steven Spielberg would see it and hire me to direct a feature film. That was the path I envisioned for myself. About half way through my Art Center career, I became super scared that I wasn’t going to get a job, so I put my head down and started making commercials.

On being loyal to his key collaborators: When I went in to commercials, a lot of the guys I worked with were my friends from Art Center. There’s a very pervasive culture in Hollywood of Okay, get rid of that guy and get another guy. Because maybe it’ll change, or if you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s a good thing to do. But I felt that the guys that I came up with were all super talented and I didn’t see any reason [to do that.]

On camaraderie at Art Center and beyond: When I was here in school, everyone banded together to make each other’s movies. That just seemed like the best way to do it. And that has certainly stayed with me into my career. In a more personal way, I just like having people that are close to me being involved in production. The partnership when you make a movie is so intense and Hollywood is full of people that you don’t know exactly what their agenda is. So the closer people can be to you, the more trust you have in them. Continue reading

Celebrating the Creative Spirit Through Scholarships

On Saturday, October 16, the College celebrated its 80th anniversary with a special event raising money for scholarships.

Art Center at 80: Celebrating the Creative Spirit commemo­rated Art Center’s distinguished 80-year history and celebrated the ingenuity and integrity of our many students, alumni and faculty.

The inaugural Creative Spirit Awards were awarded to four extraordinary alumni—industrial designer Yves Béhar, introduced by David De Rothschild; automotive designer Frank Stephenson, introduced by David Gooding; blockbuster filmmaker Zack Snyder, introduced by Graduate Broadcast Cinema Department Chair Robert Peterson; and contemporary artist Pae White, introduced by Jeffrey Deitch.

The funds raised from the event will be used to create named scholarships in recognition of the honored alumni, as well as support general scholarships for students in Art Center’s undergraduate, graduate and Public Programs. This support will enable our students to fully realize their potential, regardless of their financial means.

Enjoy the slideshow of images from the event below.