On Saturday, May 12, 2018 Villa’s junior and senior animation students gathered at Hertel Avenue’s North Park Theatre to screen the work they’ve created during their 3 and 4 years at the College. The day began with Buffalo’s first screening of The Velvet Underground Played at my High School.
The seven-minute film, which was animated by a team of Villa faculty, alum and students, was preceded by a presentation from Lee Terwilliger, the film’s lead animator, an instructor of animation at Villa and a 2014 graduate of the College’s animation program. During his presentation, Terwilliger discussed how he became involved in the film, its creation process and his role as the lead animator.
After Terwilliger’s presentation and the showing of The Velvet Underground Played at my High School, junior projects were screened. Junior projects showcase the emerging talents of the College’s third-year students studying in Villa’s BFA in Animation program. Students work together in small teams to create a short animated film that mimics a real-world production environment. Faculty direct the overall progress of the film, and the student teams are in charge of scheduling and delegating tasks to their team members. Students have the opportunity to improve their own specialist skills and to explore other areas of the production process. Production begins in the fall semester of the junior year and is completed by the end of the spring semester.
The following films were shown:
- Fallen, by James Adams, Jessica Brakefield, Shane Ellis, Emily Lawton and Jenna Zielkiewicz
- Party Animal, by Owen Brew, Kali Croisdale, Tien Nguyen, Olivia Venezia and Crystal Watts
- Time Slime, by Owen Doud, Trevor Hallett, Christina Nubelo, Dawvaun Quigley, Stacey Scott, Andrew Sendker and Monique Young
Next, Animoia, a special topic collaborative film was screened. This film was completed by seniors Teouria Aleir and Kadesha Williams, juniors Owen Doud, Emily Lawton, Tien Nguyen and Jenna Zielkiewicz, and sophomores Kristen Dolinar and Cameron Morelli-Knisley.
Similarly, senior thesis projects are a display of the implementation of the knowledge and skills developed during students’ 4 years in the BFA in Animation program. With the guidance of faculty, students create intensely-focused projects within a specialization of their choice. Students can choose to create concept art, story development, modeling, animation and more. Students may choose to highlight their range of skills by creating short animated films from initial concept to final completion.
The following works are senior demo reels and portfolio items:
- Stars of Stellamuse, a Pitch Bible by Yasmeen Cooks-Beeks
- Concept Art Portfolio of Leon Byrd III
- Claudia’s Creations, a Pitch Bible and Animatic by Maria Concetta Di Francesco
- Magic Havoc, a Pitch Bible by Sam Uzar
- Animation Demo Reel of Cameron Rucci
The final screenings of the day were the senior films:
- La Lucha de la Pasion y Lagrimas Salasas, by Ginette Melendez Sabater
- Chef Panda, by Kadesha Williams
- Lost and Found, Marissa Schultz
- Untitled Part I, by Christopher Harper
- Who Stole the Cookies, by Tiyame Gomillion
- UFC: Ultimate Fight of Chaos, by Carlos Williams
- Witch Hunt, by Ashley Yon-Hudson
- Annie and Dave, by Teouria Aleir
After all showings, awards were presented to students whose work was notable. This year’s award winners are:
- Best in Show: Fallen, by James Adams, Jessica Brakefield, Shane Ellis, Emily Lawton, Jenna Zielkiewicz
- Best Senior Film: Annie & Dave, by Teouria Aleir
- Best Junior Film: Fallen, by James Adams, Jessica Brakefield, Shane Ellis, Emily Lawton, Jenna Zielkiewicz
- Best Technical Direction: Time Slime, by Owen Doud, Trevor Hallett, Christina Nubelo, Dawvaun Quigley, Stacey Scott, Andrew Sendker, Monique Young
- Best Design: Chef Panda, by Kadesha Williams
- Best Story: Fallen, by James Adams, Jessica Brakefield, Shane Ellis, Emily Lawton, Jenna Zielkiewicz
- Best Animation: Annie & Dave, by Teouria Aleir