From drawings to the big screen

Student animators at Laguna College will have their original works showcased at South Coast Cinemas.

May 15, 2009|By Ashley Breeding

Laguna College of Art and Design’s chairman of Animation, David Kuhn, said the school’s highly appraised film program prides itself on creating visual storytellers, not just talented artists.

Thirteen of these brilliant storytellers will share their ideas and personal experiences at the college’s Animation Film Festival 2009, at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at South Coast Cinemas in Laguna Beach.

“We have a wide range of stories, including a very serious [biographical] project about a family caught in the siege of Leningrad, a comedy about a 450-year-old vampire who is forced to work in a discount department store, and a film about two salsa dancers remembering their youth,” Kuhn said.


While this is the first year the college will screen its animation projects, Kuhn said screenings are an imperative part of the process.

“Animation is meant to be appreciated by a theatrical audience,” he said. “A [creator] knows if the film is successful by listening to their reactions.”

The event will run about 90 minutes, and will showcase the work of both traditional [hand-drawn] and 3-D computer animation students, who will follow the screenings with the back-story of their clips.

Senior Krystina Haggerty will show a traditional 2-D animation about a little girl who is forced to give up her imaginary friend in order to fit in.

As an adult, she rediscovers this friend through her artwork.

“It’s a personal story based on both my experiences as a child and my experiences now, trying to find my place between childhood and adulthood,” Haggerty said. “I’ve loved animation and drawing since I was young, and it’s been my dream since I was 13 to become an animator and bring characters to life.”

Adolph Soliz, who said his inspiration derives mostly from Disney animation, music and dancing, created “Bailes De Amores,” a story about a young Mexican woman named Theresa, who is re-living her life with her love, Jorge.

“Their story is told through a passionate dance and deals with a tragic loss of true love,” Soliz said.

Haggerty describes animation as fun, but complicated and labor-intensive.

“There are 24 frames for every second of film. My film required 12 drawings a second and 3,000 drawings overall,” she said.

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