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COC Animation draws $5K ACME grant

Posted: April 8, 2009 7:42 p.m.
Updated: April 8, 2009 4:42 p.m.
The College of the Canyons Animation Department was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Medtronic Foundation to support the ACME Animation Network, a fee-based online learning community.

ACME links students with other college students, high school students and animation industry professionals from across the nation through videoconferencing sessions.

"The ACME project is critical to maintaining the high level of instruction and opportunities available to animation students at College of the Canyons," said Elana Edelstein, a grant writer at the college. "In the challenging and rapidly evolving field of animation, students need to understand and measure their work against that of their peers."

Students can upload animated movies and projects on ACME's site for feedback from peers and industry professionals from Disney, DreamWorks and Sony, among many others.

Because the program assists students in developing online portfolios approved by professionals as "studio-ready," many studios will hire graduates directly from the ACME experience, Edelstein added. The direct interaction between students and industry professionals also provides students with inside access to industry procedures and employment.

"The ACME program gives students a unique opportunity to connect with their peers through an animation social network," said Jeff Baker, chair of the college's animation department. "ACME Animation differs from most video Websites such as YouTube and MySpace because ACME is solely for animation students and professionals."

By critiquing the work of their peers and mentoring high school students, ACME student users accrue points that count towards the opportunity to show their work to professionals via teleconferencing sessions.

Employment projections for careers in animation remain favorable in California, often referred to as the entertainment capital of the world. The California Employment Development Department projects a 31.9 percent increase in statewide employment between 2006 and 2016.

"The college has a vested interest in stimulating student interest and encouraging more students to pursue careers in animation," Edelstein said.


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