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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Great Schools of Animation: Sheridan College (Canada)


Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville, Ontario, was one of the very first schools in the world to offer animation as a degree. The four year course leading to a BA (Animation) provides thorough training and opportunities in all aspects of animation, 2D, 3D and stop motion; from initial life drawing to the animation projects in terms 7 and 8.  Admission is on the basis of academic qualifications and the submission of a portfolio. Precise details are here. There is an internship in the animation industry in the summer between years 3 and 4. Staff provide high quality teaching as they are all experienced professionals. The facilities are considered outstanding. Rooms are available at the Trafalgar Road Campus for $5,900 CDN. Sheridan serves close to 17,000 full-time students at its three campuses. Tuition fees for Animation are currently $23,258CDN for overseas students who are required to sit the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Currently students from 50 countries are registered in the university. The graduate employment rate for the university as a whole is 82%. When Dean DeBlois was short-listed for the 2011 Academy Award for co-directing How to Train Your Dragon he became the 8th Sheridan alumnus to be so nominated. John Minnis and Eric Armstrong were previous Oscar winners for their animated shorts Charade and The ChubbChubbs! It is no surprise that the likes of Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks come recruiting. The college details may be accessed here.

Once again I have selected a series of recent thesis films with a range of styles. Sheridan does not seem to have a house style as such with commendable variety in its films. It is justifiably proud of the commendation from animator Michael Hirsh in 1996, when he deemed it "the Harvard of animation schools”. To judge from the work below it can certainly claim its place in the meritocracy.


Stacy Chomiak has enjoyed success in the festivals with Tah-Dah a 2D film from 2009 in which bug and musician engage in a little disharmony before becoming orchestrated. Stacy obviously collaborated well with composer Corey Wallace in a cartoon of traditional manner that warms the heart.
Ellie Ventura varies the diet with a gentle comedy from a year earlier in 2008, Crema Suprema, in which two chefs duel over who is the king of the kitchen. I particularly enjoyed the two famous pieces of confectionery they created adding the delicate flourishes that great artists are prone to: a little tap here, a nudge there. An excellent film this one.

Abhilasha Dewan  is now working in Delhi for the Rajya Sabha TV channel since graduating from Sheridan last year. Her comic tale, Satori,  has a bus robber meeting his just deserts in celestial form. It has a nice mix of techniques and a surprise.



There is a compelling subtlety about Sheared from Nikolas Ilic that is most appealing. In my experience of farm life, sheep are more stupid than stubborn. My family had a hard time keeping them alive from what I seem to remember. They were forever falling from great heights in the mountains of my childhood. This particular sheep detests the idea of being sheared.

4 comments:

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