By Alice Carter
Professors David Chai, Alice Carter and Courtney Granner, alumni David Yee and Gia Luc, and a group of enthusiastic animation/illustration students gathered Feb. 5 at UCLA’s Royce Hall for the 38th Annual Annie Awards. The Annie is Hollywood’s top award for animation.
For the second time in four years, a film directed by SJSU Professor David Chai and produced by SJSU Animation/Illustration students was in contention for Best Short Film. The other four nominees were by PIXAR, Warner Bros., Plymptoon Studios, and Jason Carpenter of Carpenter Bros. Animation.
Professor Chai and his students conceived, animated, and produced “Enrique Wrecks the World” on the campus with no budget. Although several students received internship credit for their participation, most worked for the experience. Fueled by the snacks that Professor Chai provided every day, the film was finished in just twelve weeks.
Although PIXAR won the category, neither the honor of the nomination, nor the opportunity to attend the Annie Awards ceremony was wasted on the SJSU students. Students were able to meet and talk with Matt Groening (creator of “The Simpsons”), David Silverman (producer of “The Simpsons”), Bonnie Arnold (director of “How to Train Your Dragon”), actor James Hong, and Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob).#
Professor Alice Carter heads SJSU’s Animation/Illustration program.