If you’re serious about your career in animation, the MIA Animation Festival conference could be an important stepping stone to the future. Festival arrangers are bringing a potpourri of possibilities to your doorstep October 20th and 21st, 2012.
The first festival was held on October, 2010 in the wonderfully comprehensive Miami International University of Art and Design at Biscayne Boulevard and 15th Street. A big success, this next one will blow it out of the park, off the page, out of the box. The organizers are serious animation movers, shakers, educators, bringing jobs and information our way.
However there are some deadlines to be aware of if you wish to take part. So put down that boogie board and get moving.
Miami International University of Art and Design will again be host for this two day affair. Billed as an industry conference, it is not off limits to those just interested to see what mind-expanding technology is now in the pipeline. It will not disappoint. The laundry list of what to expect is long and exciting:
Computer Animation, Gaming, Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, Film, Web Design and Visual Arts, world-renowned industry speakers offering master classes, software demos and multiple panels. “It has been designed to be a forum for active networking and practical information exchange with strong commitment and emphasis in education while developing and nourishing new talent.” quotes the brochure.
MIU has their own 200 student/8 instructor Computer Animation Department. http://www.artinstitutes.edu/miami
Steve Garcia, Senior Graphic Designer at Fox Sports / Sunsports will be guest speaker.
Several facets of the conference will bring the industry to you.
1) Pitch to the Industry: The top project submission pitch gets three scheduled interviews with buyers/agents in L.A. area. Categories: 13 and under targeting kids, 14 and up targeting adults. Submission ends August 31st
2) Job Fair: Major animation and gaming studios will be on hand to hire students on site. The mountain is coming to you, so get your ducks in line to make something happen. Walt Disney Television will be there, Cartoon Network, Univision...heard of ‘em?
Check out their Job Fair page while you’re at it.
3) Animation and Festival Theater: You must upload your masterpiece to the web site by September 15th to have a shot as participant in this years Animation and Festival Theater. Many different categories are accepted: character animation, scientific visualization, commercials, TV.
Yowza, check out the award which consists of interviews with major Animations Studios.
Software and hardware demos will be on hand to ramp up your creative juices. I don’t even do animation and I’m cranked up by all the energy on hand.
Superman Mauricio Ferrazza is founder and organizer of the festival, aided and abetted by Wonder Woman, Deborah Pierce, Festival Director. Ferrazza is one of those amazing people that have the impetus to shove the world forward, assisting students and our city to fully realize the potential in this exploding field of animation. There are careers to be built and an industry to nurture in our backyard; the MIA Animation Festival is just the synergistic glue to adhere all Miami’s steam into one powerful libation of creativity and commerce.
I recently met several factions of the upcoming conference. Until recently many local animators and educators were operating in a vacuum, singularly and without knowledge of similar buzzing within South Florida. MIA Animation Festival appears to be drawing the disparate pieces together, with hopes of bringing big guns permanently to Miami, and along with them jobs and new growth in a market that is clearly a major tour de force in our technologically based universe.
I met with Frank Hernandez, an instructor at FIU, who has organized the Game Development Guild to create a location for people who are inventing games. The free workshop group aids in developing portfolios, products and games for new people who have talent and ideas but need a leg up to the first rung of the ladder. Hernendez graciously and enthusiastically offers his time every Saturday at the Engineering Campus (rm 2330) at FIU. Hernandez says it is a “learn by doing” atmosphere. The members are deep into this stuff; Lazaro Herrara (GDG Corp Relations) is bringing his robots to the conference, GDG member Rene Alfonso has done 5 games in 6 months with Lazaro...they’ve made a game for the blind, games for children to learn practical info...there is no end to the positive force at work here. (FYI: there is a Robotics and Automation Lab at FIU) For more information visit:
GDG group is also instigating an on-line how-to magazine called Game Loop, it is free and jam-packed with all the info you will need to jump start that project lurking in your brain. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gamedevguild/game-loop-magazine
Miami International University of Art and Design and FIU aren’t the only educational animation venues available. Chair of Animation Andres Del Valle filled me in on the Digital Media Arts College in Boca. You can obtain a BA in Computer Animation, an MFA in Visual Effects and concentrate on game art. http://www.dmac.edu/about-dmac
I also spoke with Pieter Bockweg from the OMNI & Midtown Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRA) about their plans in this arena: “ OMNI CRA is committed to attracting new industry to the OMNI Area. We believe the film industry would be great benefit to the OMNI CRA Community, City of Miami and Miami Dade County.”
“In 2011 the OMNI CRA purchased an 86,000sf building (MEC) within the OMNI boundary and looking to develop the space into a state of the art Film Production Studio and any other film related issues.” http://www.miamicra.com
For a closer look, be sure to attend the animated exhibition pre-festival get together on Sunday, August 5th at 7:00PM at Haven, 1237 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Fl 33139 http://havenlounge.com/ This event is hosted by the The Miami Independent Thinkers group.
Early Bird Registration is on the countdown. After July 31st, full registration will go from $120 to $180. So if you don’t have the extra $60 to toss out the window, you need to go to the sites registration page ASAP.
Youtube Video on MIA conference
All photos by Irene Sperber