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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Student, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 214
1. Chinese TV Network Rips Off American Student Film

What do you do when one of China's largest TV broadcasters rips off your student film?

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2. Relax, inhale, and think of Horace Wells

Many students, when asked by a teacher or professor to volunteer in front of the class, shy away, avoid eye contact, and try to seem as plain and unremarkable as possible. The same is true in dental school – unless it comes to laughing gas.

As a fourth year dental student, I’ve had times where I’ve tried to avoid professors’ questions about anatomical variants of nerves, or the correct way to drill a cavity, or what type of tooth infection has symptoms of hot and cold sensitivity. There are other times where you cannot escape having to volunteer. These include being the first “patient” to receive an injection from one of your classmate’s unsteady and tentative hands. Or having an impression taken with too much alginate so that all of your teeth (along with your uvula and tonsils) are poured up in a stone model.

But volunteering in the nitrous oxide lab … that’s a different story. The lab day is about putting ourselves in our patients’ shoes, to be able to empathize with them when they need to be sedated. For me, the nitrous oxide lab might have been the most enjoyable 5 minutes of my entire dental education.

In today’s dental practice, nitrous oxide is a readily available, well-researched, incredibly safe method of reducing patient anxiety with little to no undesired side effects. But this was not always the case.

The Oxford Textbook of Anaesthesia for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery argues that “with increasingly refined diets [in the mid-nineteenth century] and the use of copious amounts of sugar, tooth decay, and so dentistry, were on the increase.” Prior to the modern day local anesthesia armamentarium, extractions and dental procedures were completed with no anesthesia. Patients self-medicated with alcohol or other drugs, but there was no predictable or controllable way to prevent patients from experiencing excruciating pain.

That is until Horace Wells, a dentist from Hartford, Connecticut started taking an interest in nitrous oxide as a method of numbing patients to pain.

Dr Horace Wells, by Laird W. Nevius. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Wells became convinced of the analgesic properties of nitrous oxide on December 11, 1844 after observing a public display in Hartford of a man inhaling the gas and subsequently hitting his shin on a bench. After the gas wore off, the man miraculously felt no pain. With inspiration from this demonstration and a strong belief in the analgesic (and possibly the amnestic) qualities of nitrous oxide, on December 12, Wells proceeded to inhale a bag of the nitrous oxide and have his associate John Riggs extract one of his own teeth. It was risky—and a huge success. With this realization that dental work could be pain free, Wells proceeded to test his new anesthesia method on over a dozen patients in the following weeks. He was proud of his achievement, but he chose not to patent his method because he felt pain relief should be “as free as the air.”

This discovery brought Wells to the Ether Dome at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Before an audience of Harvard Medical School faculty and students, Wells convinced a volunteer from the audience to have their tooth extracted after inhaling nitrous oxide. Wells’ success came to an abrupt halt when this volunteer screamed out in pain during the extraction. Looking back on this event, it is very likely that the volunteer did not inhale enough of the gas to achieve the appropriate anesthetic effect. But the reason didn’t matter—Wells was horrified by his volunteer’s reaction, his own apparent failure, and was laughed out of the Ether Dome as a fraud.

The following year, William Morton successfully demonstrated the use of ether as an anesthetic for dental and medical surgery. He patented the discovery of ether as a dental anesthetic and sold the rights to it. To this day, most credit the success of dental anesthesia to Morton, not Wells.

After giving up dentistry, Horace Wells worked unsuccessfully as a salesman and traveled to Paris to see a presentation on updated anesthesia techniques. But his ego had been broken. After returning the U.S, he developed a dangerous addiction to chloroform (perhaps another risky experiment for patient sedation, gone awry) that left him mentally unstable. In 1848, he assaulted a streetwalker under the influence. He was sent to prison and in the end, took his own life.

This is the sad story of a man whose discovery revolutionized dentists’ ability to effectively care for patients while keeping them calm and out of pain. As a student at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, it is a point of pride knowing that Dr. Wells made this discovery just a few miles from where I have learned about the incredible effects of nitrous oxide. My education has taught me to use it effectively for patients who are nervous about a procedure and to improve the safety of care for patients with high blood pressure. This is a day we can remember a brave man who risked his own livelihood in the name of patient care.

Featured image credit: Laughing gas, by Rumford Davy. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The post Relax, inhale, and think of Horace Wells appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. 7 Gorgeous Graduation Films from Gobelins

Earlier this month, the class of 2014 graduate films from French animation school Gobelins were published online.

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4. “Malaise” by Daniel Beaulieu

This was a final project created by Daniel Beaulieu in Vancouver Film School's 3D animation program.

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5. Update On Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival Plus One Last Chance to Submit

The selections for Cartoon Brew’s 5th annual Student Animation Festival will be announced next Wednesday, June 25. Also, since many students learned about the festival recently at Annecy, we are re-opening the submission period through this Sunday, June 22nd. If you’ve already submitted, please DO NOT send your film again. But, if you haven’t sent your film yet, learn how to submit HERE.

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6. Official Selections For Our 5th Student Animation Festival

For the fifth year in a row, we are delighted to present the selections for the Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival, the premier online showcase for animated short premieres by student filmmakers. We like to believe that each year is our strongest year, but this year's selections feel particularly vital, illustrating the remarkable breadth of work currently being produced by student filmmakers around the globe.

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7. ‘Mr. Piggy Dies in 25 Dimensions’ Selected As Cartoon Brew’s Student Fest Grand Prize Winner

Cartoon Brew's fifth annual Student Animation Festival will launch tomorrow, August 5th, with the grand-prize winning work "Mr. Piggy Dies in 25 Dimensions" by Josh Sehnert.

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8. Policing by the book

Entry to the UK police force is changing. With Policing degrees are now available at over 20 universities and colleges across the UK – and the introduction of the direct entry scheme in a number of forces – fewer police officers are taking the traditional route into the force.

We spoke to officers, students, and course leaders to get their opinions on the relationship between theory and practice. Does a Policing degree make you a better officer?

On a personal level, a degree can help some students put their own career and practical training into context. Richard Honess had a “positive experience” in completing his Bachelor’s degree in Policing. “I now have a greater understanding of why we do what we do and the context of where our powers and policies originate; and why senior officers make the decisions they do. I have been able to merge my love of the job with my interest in science and scepticism with the development of ‘Evidence Based Policing’.”

“I have been bitten by the academic bug and I about to commence a Masters by Research in Policing, the ultimate in career development with a view to becoming a research ‘pracademic’!”

Experienced officers can also learn a thing or two. Darren Townsend operated as a Constable with 22 years’ service before deciding to take his degree. “The course opened my eyes completely around how policing worldwide operates, decision making processes especially in the wake of political interference, miscarriages of justice, [and] theory behind certain techniques of crime control.”

“In addition to all the operational aspects it has provided me with some fascinating ahandbook fro cademic reading which has generated an even greater interest in my chosen career which I believe will lead me to a greater professional performance and be far more open to opposing ideas, embrace positive change, and understand the difference academia and research can make to my already wide expanse of operational policing knowledge.”

However, some question whether academic study is really the best way to achieve the necessary skills. One contributor, who asked to remain anonymous, challenged the application of degrees in the field. “I personally do not possess a degree of any sort. My qualifications both within the police and previously in electrical engineering are more vocational. I have yet to see the benefit of policing degrees within policing and will be interested to see if, over time, they do improve policing. At lower levels of policing (up to inspector) I cannot foresee their worth: it is about communication and common sense at the front line.”

Police line, by Ray Forster. CC-BY-SA-NoDerivs 2.0, via Flickr.

Paul Connor is series editor of the Blackstone’s Police Manuals and is a Police Training Consultant offering support for those sitting promotion exams. “Possession of a degree in any subject illustrates an ability to apply oneself and to learn but this does not equate an automatic right to pass every examination that follows in your life. This certainly applies to the OSPRE® Part I examination.”

“College of Policing research indicates that there is a correlation between the possession of a degree and success in OSPRE® Part I but a significant number of candidates without a degree pass the examination just as a significant number with a degree fail.”

The relationship between university research and its application in the field has also been put under scrutiny. Emma Williams is the Programme Director of the BSC Policing (In Service) degree at Canterbury Christ Church University. “Conversations about collaboration between universities and policing have never been so rife. Austerity and the need for resources to be used effectively have resulted in the College of Policing supporting the evidence based policing agenda and the commissioning of research by universities. Having spent eleven years in the Metropolitan Police as a senior researcher I am fully aware of some of the barriers that prevent research findings being fully implemented.”

“Officers can sense a loss of professional judgement when research further drives operational delivery and it can be seen as prescriptive and top down. Our degree programme fully encourages officers to use research and academic knowledge to assist them in their own decisions but to use it alongside their own experiential knowledge. Having knowledge of both the political and social context in which policing has developed and an understanding of theory and how it can assist them in their roles is in my opinion critical for this relationship to develop.”

The variance between theory and practice also raises questions about the structure of the degrees themselves. Susie Atherton previously worked on a police and PCSO training programme at De Montfort University. “It was very clear which were the ‘academic’ modules vs the ‘police training’. I do think there could have been better integration. We had to adapt and respond to their needs to make sure the academic modules did fit with their role, but this weakened their credibility as academic social science modules.”

“The new BA programmes promise employability through combining a three year policing studies degree with the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing. My worry is students who want to be police officers could leave after gaining the CKP, as undertaking this alongside 4 academic modules will be onerous and challenging. Students will perhaps question why they need to gain a full degree to get a job as a police officer, incurring 2 more years of fees, unless they wish to take advantage of direct entry. I am also aware of how valuable life experience, working in schools, military service and other roles are to the police service – transferable skills and knowledge about the world which cannot be gained doing a degree.”

“Fundamentally, if such programmes are to work, like any programme, they need proper investment, leadership and to respond to student feedback. Any weakness in these areas would jeopardise the continuation of programmes, but I do think policing programmes are vulnerable, simply because there are other options available”

The post Policing by the book appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. 10 ways to survive being a psychology student

How do you survive as a psychology student? It might be a daunting prospect, but we here at OUP are here to give you a helping hand through three years of cognitive overload. Here are our top tips:

1. Do some essential reading before you start your degree! Psychology is a very broad subject, so build some strong foundations with a wide reading base, especially if you’re new to the subject. Check out our Essential Book List to get you started (and recommendations welcome in the comments below).

2. Stay up-to-date with current affairs. Psychology is a continually evolving subject, with new ideas and perspectives emerging all the time. Read blogs, journals, and magazines; watch TED talks; listen to podcasts; and scan newspapers for psychology-themed stories.

3. Always keep your eyes and ears open. University is your chance to learn beyond the classroom. Pay attention to life – just watching your favourite TV programme can give you an insight into how a theoretical concept might actually work. Use everyday events and interactions to deepen your understanding of psychological ideas.

4. Learn from everyone around you. Psychology asks questions about how we as humans think – so go and think together with some other humans! Compare and contrast different ideas and approaches, and make the most of group learning or other opportunities, like taking part in other people’s surveys or experiments. Joining your university psychology society is a great way to learn from your peers and to balance work with play.

Photo by Reidaroo CC BY-SA 2.0  via Wikimedia Commons
Business Student. Photo by Reidaroo CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

5. Learn how to study independently. This is your chance to learn what you want, not what you have to. You will have much greater academic freedom than ever before. Wherever you choose to study, you will have to take on your own independent research, and if you see yourself building a career in psychology, then independent investigation is crucial.

6. Hone your note-taking / diagram-making skills. On your laptop, tablet, smartphone — or with paper and pens — you’ll be writing a lot of notes over the course of your degree. Referencing and formatting might not seem like the most exciting aspects of your degree, but good preparation and organisation will make them more bearable (and quicker!). Get to know how best you learn, remember and process information.

7. Get enough sleep. Sitting up late staring at textbooks and computer screens is easy, but it’s not the healthiest habit to get into. Studying well is less about the number of hours you put in, than how effectively you spend those hours. Keep up a balanced diet, stay hydrated, do regular exercise, and find someone to talk to if you’re feeling stressed.

8. Don’t be afraid to admit to your own weaknesses. Psychology is a demanding subject, and questions are more common than neat answers.

9. Try to enjoy your studies. There are many ideas to explore, from behaviour to dreams, memory to psychoanalysis. Keep looking at different topics that interest you to stay motivated. When it does get too much, don’t be afraid to step back and take a break.

10. Finally, remember what psychology is about. You can get lost in surveys and experiments, theories and concepts, but try to always keep in mind what drew you to psychology in the first place. In studying psychology you’re taking part in a great tradition of questioning how the human mind works and behaves – be proud of that.

Heading Image: Student. Photo by CollegeDegrees360, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr

The post 10 ways to survive being a psychology student appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. “Out on the Tiles” by Anna Pearson

Anna Pearson directed Out on the Tiles as a graduation film in 2010 at Edinburgh College of Art. The film evokes a surprising amount of pathos for its small-scale drama. Credit that to the finely observed personality animation. I could feel the character’s blurry and impaired thought process behind every action on screen.

(via Stop Motion Portugal)

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11. “Altneuland” by Sariel Keslasi

Altneuland (Old New Land) is a 2012 graduation film directed by Sariel Keslasi at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. In the film, Keslasi re-interprets Theodor Herzl’s 110-year-old utopian novel Altneuland through contemporary eyes. He writes:

By using a surrealist allegory, the film tries to deal with the collapse of Herzl’s dream and seeks to emphasize the sense of absurdity and instability of my personal experience as an individual in the Israeli society.

I met the thoughtful Keslasi a few months ago at the Anifilm festival in the Czech Republic, where his film was in competition. Altneuland also was in competition at Annecy last month. Keslasi’s strong art direction and his cinematic eye for staging and cutting has already landed him work in the Israeli animation scene, where he recently worked on Ari Folman’s feature The Congress.

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12. “Brain Divided” by Josiah Haworth, Joon Shik Song & Joon Soo Song

Welcome to the fourth annual Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival. Every Monday morning for the next eight weeks we’ll be debuting one of these remarkable student animated shorts selected from among hundreds of submissions.

We begin the festival today with our Grand Prize winner, Brain Divided, a film directed by Josiah Haworth, Joon Shik Song and Joon Soo Song at Ringling College of Art and Design. The film, which will receive a cash prize of $1,000(US), was selected for the top award by this year’s guest judge Evan Spiridellis of JibJab. Cartoon Brew would also like to thank JibJab for their sponsorship of this festival. Their strong support for student filmmakers makes this event possible.

Brain Divided succeeds on every level as an animated short. The filmmmakers’ command of both animation and technology is flawless. But the value of their film lies in how they apply their technical skills toward making an entertaining and funny film. They take advantage of every opportunity for visual humor and delight us with sharply timed gags. The personalities in the film are especially well defined: the two human characters strike just the right balance of comedy and believability, while the two sides of the brain have a satisfying evolution as characters within the span of the film.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmakers:


The dating game is one of the most nerve wracking experiences that anyone can go through. So we thought that this would be a great story to pursue. The original concept started off as two guys attempting to impress a beautiful Disney Princess-esque girl, but it lacked character, fun, and a more dynamic relationship between the two main characters. One day while surfing the web and brainstorming we were inspired after seeing an animation clip of the classic angel vs. devil on the shoulder complex. we instantly thought of Kronk in The Emperor’s New Groove. Watching the interactions of his shoulder angel and devil was always hilarious and we wanted to try and recreate that comedy in our own film. However, we knew that the this concept has been done a lot in the past so we wanted to put our own spin on it. This led us to come up with the idea that the “Angel” and “Demon” were actually the “Left” and “Right” side of the brain fighting for control. We thought it would be great to literally go inside the head and see the physical battle that ensues within the mind and its effect on our main character. This gave us everything we wanted, a fun and simple story, with a broad range of character animation that we could play with.


All animation and lighting was done in Autodesk Maya 2013 using the Renderman plugin using linear workflow. All four of our characters were rigged using The Setup Machine (TSM) with some modifications, thanks to Jeremy Cantor, that allowed us to get a bit more versatility. Post processing, compositing, and effects were done in NukeX and edited together using Adobe Premiere. Adobe Photoshop allowed us to tweak individual frames as well as test lighting ideas. All of the software and powerful HP workstations that we used were provided by Ringling, as was use of the school’s powerful render farm.


One of the biggest challenges was writing and creating good comedy while making the story flow and work seamlessly. Because our piece was strongly dialogue driven, we needed to write a script that was witty, charming and real. It was very difficult because we had no prior experience in screenplay at all. It was a lot of trial and error while simultaneously coming up with fun slapstick comedy, and juggling the variety of characters that we had. It really pushed our storytelling abilities and writing capabilities to another level. Also, our film was one of the longest to come out of Ringling and keeping it all organized and on time was a huge undertaking. We had approximately 90+ shots to animate and light, split up between the three of us. But to make the films visuals work better we had to learn how to use Nuke, and before the final semester of school we had never used it. Juggling thirty shots each while learning new software gave us our fair share of sleepless nights.


The most important things we learned from our film was how to streamline story and to trust in your team. Often times shots ran too long or were too complicated and we found that they read much better when they were simplified. This may mean taking out an unnecessary pose or changing the acting entirely. But making these changes helped create a well paced film that had all the entertainment and character we wanted. Even though we had never worked on a team at Ringling before, we entered this film with the confidence we could get it done and hopefully make it funny. Although creating the film was extremely difficult and stressful, through trust, constant communication, and with the help of a 24 hour Denny’s we learned how vital teamwork is to completing a film.


We drew a huge inspiration from actors such as Jim Carrey from The Mask and Eddie Murphy from Doctor Dolittle as well as animated characters like Pepe Le Pew and Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove. All of them had elements that we loved to watch and wished to emulate in our film. A lot of inspiration also came from the students around us and the incredible work they were doing on their films. It was a real driving force that motivated us to make our film the best it could be. Our faculty was equally inspiring and provided us with an enormous amount of feedback and great advice.


Josiah Haworth: My goal is to be doing character animation for a major studio or an up and coming studio. Of course Disney, ReelFX, and Bluesky are high on that list! Just give me a mouse, Maya, and a project and I’m good to go!

Joon Soo Song: I want to be animating. I’d love to work at Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, Blue Sky, Blizzard, Blur, Laika, ReelFX, Insomniac, and the list goes on. As long as I’m animating I’ll be happy.

Joon Shik Song: I want to be at Disney working my way towards directing or animation supervisor. If I’m lucky I’ll be hanging out with Mickey Mouse talking about our next feature film. It’ll be just like the good old days at Ringling, late nights and coffee breaks :)


Josiah Haworth: Personal website and Animation Reel

Joon Soo Song: Animation Reel

Joon Shik Song: Animation Reel

Brain Divided Facebook Page

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

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13. “Our Son” by Eric Ko

This morning we continue Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival with the online debut of Eric Ko’s Our Son (우리 아들) which is a graduation short produced at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Notably, Eric’s short marks the second time he’s been selected for our festival; his junior year film Troubleshooting was featured in last year’s festival. Our Son is an evolution of his distinctively spare geometric language while reaching new heights of filmmaking ambition and confidence.

Ko is fascinated with the idea of speed in this film, and he skillfully manipulates the cinematic space to create a fast-paced and exciting animation thrill ride. The driving percussion-oriented soundtrack lends to the sense of urgency. The film flirts with abstraction, but remains grounded in a narrative universe that is both resistant to (and demanding of) interpretation by the viewer.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker:


The transition from carefree irresponsibility to reality is often instantaneous. Based off of a few precious memories of growing up with a best friend in a place that offered very little and the relationship I have with my heritage, I wanted to work on a film that took me on an adventure during its creation, with hopes that it would take the viewer on one as well.


I used Flash and a tablet to animate. For the music and sound design I worked in Ableton Live.


I wanted to make a film that embodied impulsive, frantic adventures; with that said, having a storyboard seemed to be an ill limitation. At first I had plenty of boards drawn up and ideas down on paper, but after the first few seconds of animating I threw it all out. All I had left were the bigger ideas that I kept in the back of my head as I worked. At a certain point I was simply putting one image in front of the other without knowing what came next, which was fun for me. Once something stopped being fun, I stopped and changed it. I think realizing to make sure I had fun was the most important thing.


I looked up to independent animators such as Lei Lei and Misaki Uwabo. I did some really basic research on Korean culture; I think my vague understanding of my own heritage and the disjointed humor I get from it particularly inspired me. Also, retro side-scrolling spaceship games such as Gradius interests me a lot, where a lot of strange visual motifs went unquestioned because it’s an arcade game. While animating I listened to a lot of Louis CK interviews for laughs and really loved his attitude about creative freedom. Echo Park by Willamette was my favorite album to listen to.


Making more short films!


Personal website: Crybird.net
Vimeo page: Vimeo.com/EricKo

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

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14. “Lady with Long Hair” by Barbara Bakos

Lady with Long Hair by Barbara Bakos is our third debut in Cartoon Brew’s 2013 Student Animation Festival. The graduation film was produced at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary.

The film tells the story of an old woman who relives memories of her life contained within her hair. Bakos tackles the challenging concept using hand-drawn animation to create a sweet, memorable personality for her protagonist. The character is depicted as both frail with age and full of life and strength, which comes through especially when she bakes.

The film moves into expressionist territory with a visual analogy that ties together the flow of water with the woman’s long wavy hair. It builds to a particularly poignant ending that uses the hair to merge the character’s current reality with her memories.

Technically, the film is impeccable, with an eye for detail in every aspect of the art direction. Bakos applies color elegantly to distinguish between her characters’ present and past. She also unveils the story with cinematic language and uses the hair as a striking compositional element in numerous scenes.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker:


The idea of the film came from my family and from my own grandma. When I was a child, I spent most of the time with my grandparents because I never wanted to go to the kindergarten. So I had a lot of lovely memories and adventures with them. We would sit in the backyard playing with little fingerpuppets, painting, and baking cherry pies together, and I was always amazed at how much my grandparents loved each other. Since my grandpa passed away, my grandma lives alone. Her personality, her feelings, memories and her point of view inspired me to make this short film about her lifelong love, and about that state of mind where you just can’t let go of the most important person in your life.

I have also a strange obsession with the hair. A few years ago it became my obsession to draw skyhigh hair and create little worlds in them depending on the characters it belonged to. I always think that hair is one of the most characteristic things about a person. How she/he styles it, or what colour it is. So when I started to develop this short film, I felt that I had to connect these two things.


It’s a traditionally hand-drawn animated film. I chose this technique because of the tactile nature of the medium, and I thought this was the best way to create a connection with the audience. During the whole film we are focusing on one granny. She has to tell us her past and her memories through her facial expressions rather than dialogue. Also I was using traditionally painted backgrounds and props. I then put together the final picture in After Effects.


It was the first time that I had to inspire and lead a lot of people at the same time—animators, editor, music composer, actress, 3D artist. It was also very useful to learn how to convince them that your idea is good, unique and worth the hard work! But the biggest challenge was to present the idea to my family and my grandma. It was an amazing moment when I saw my grandma’s face while she was watching the film.


Storywise and also visually, I was inspired by a lot of short films. I was most impressed by The Man with Beautiful Eyes from Jonathan Hodgson and Charles Bukowski, Father and Daughter from Michael Dudok de Wit, Sunday from Patrick Doyon and La Maison en Petits Cubes from Kunio Katō. I love stories that are based on childhood, and not just childhood, but how we remember those times—how memories are working if for instance, you go back to the same place where you grew up or spent summers. What kind of thoughts appear in your mind when you sense a familiar smell or the light is exactly the same as on an autumn afternoon decades ago.


Right now, I am a freelancer art director and illustrator, which I really love. At the same time I would love to work in a big team where people can inspire each other. Also I am developing a new short at the moment so I really hope that five years from now it will be finished ☺


Personal website: BarbaraBakos.com

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

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15. “Sun of a Beach” by Natan Moura

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.

Clocking in at a brisk eighty seconds, Sun of a Beach by Natan Moura is the shortest film debut in Cartoon Brew’s 2013 Student Animation Festival. Moura made the film as a graduation project at Sheridan College in Oakville, Canada.

Every year, we receive numerous student film entries that are under two minutes long, but few of these micro-shorts exhibit the storytelling and filmmaking discipline that accompanies Moura’s film. Moura understands the value of not just every second, but every frame in his film, and uses it to his advantage. He uses his precious amount of screentime to put together a complete film with a character who has an arc and a story that has a beginning, middle and end. Moura communicates his ideas with a fun, bold visual style that seamlessly combines computer animation and hand drawn techniques.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker:


During the making of my film I came to think of it as a kind of tribute to my childhood. I moved from Brazil to Canada at a young age and being on a beach has always been a magical place for me. Over the years, playing with my two very young brothers has brought me back to my own childhood and shifted my focus to more playful and whimsical stories. Like most of my ideas, it came to me at three in the morning while doodling. The the final story eventually came together when I was able to spend time observing people on the beach while living in Los Angeles the following summer.


My film was a 2D and 3D hybrid done in Flash and Maya and composited in After Effects. I was interested in experimenting with a more graphic 3D aesthetic. I felt like a flatter environment made the story more playful by bringing the sun closer to the people on the beach. This was mostly achieved by using an almost orthographic perspective in Maya and eliminating 3D lighting all together. The lighting effects were done in After Effects where they wouldn’t ruin the flatness I was going for. I also animated the smaller characters in Flash to more easily control their design. The entire film came together as a single After Effects file with over 300 layers! How the program didn’t crash is beyond me.


The most important thing I learned is how to edit a story into only the essentials. It’s not something I believe needs to be done for every story but it’s a worthy exercise. Some of the best structured stories I’ve seen are commercials, simply because they have to hold your attention and have no time for anything but the basics. When I completed my first animatic at three minutes it was clear that my idea only needed a minute and that every second had to be justified. I think it’s important to not only ask yourself how long a story needs to work effectively, but also how much of someone’s time your idea is really worth.


In the earlier stages of story development I rewatched the film Before Sunrise and was reminded how effective a sustained shot can be in bringing the viewer into a story. Many people I talked to discouraged me from this limitation but I thought it would add a sense of realism to my film and also help maintain a flat aesthetic. I really believe that picking limitations is the most liberating thing you can do creatively and it couldn’t have helped me more in this case. I later decided to add a single cut to emphasize the tipping point of the story.


I enjoy animating first and foremost but this early in my career I still feel there is much exploring to be done. While filmmaking was originally what attracted me to animation I see a lot of potential in new alternate forms of storytelling. I’ve recently become interested in the interactive possibilities of stories primarily in games and apps. Working at JibJab over the past couple of months brought me closer to programmers for the first time which has inspired me to think of stories from a different perspective. Being able to experiment and problem solve is what keeps things exciting for me and I hope to always have that kind of flexibility. [EDITOR'S NOTE: When Moura's film was selected for inclusion in the festival, we were not aware that he had recently been hired by the festival's sponsor JibJab.]


Portfolio Website

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16. “Dumb Day” by Kevin Eskew

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by sponsor JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.

A nine-and-a-half-minute piece of experimental student animation is a daunting proposal on most days, but that’s not the case with Dumb Day by Kevin Eskew. The short, made at DePaul University’s fledgling animation program, is the most experimental film we’ve ever featured in Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival, and it also might just be one of the most enjoyable.

Dumb Day is difficult to describe. The film uses a man’s everyday activities as its launchpad, just as Robert Breer’s classic A Man and His Dog Out for Air used a familiar activity as its starting point, but Dumb Day deconstructs and reconstucts daily trifles into a comically cosmic journey.

Its humor is even more difficult to address, but there are laugh-out loud moments throughout. One of my personal favorites appears at the 2:20 mark when a mysterious bulbous object drops down onto the screen. A second bulbous form promptly drops down, each with its own custom creaking sound. Then, a nose with two ridiculously oversized nostrils springs out between the bulbous objects, which we now recognize as cheeks. The nose sniffs the flower on a vase and promptly deflates like a balloon losing its air. The simple act of sniffing a flower has never been presented in such a transcendent manner in animation.

Eskew’s drawing style is fresh and different. It falls somewhere between the chunky comic late-Philip Guston style and certain schools of contemporary indie comics. His sound design is as surprising as the visuals, and the music and sound effects enhance every moment of this unique animated piece.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Kevin Eskew:


The film came together around the drawings. Originally, it had a more ambitious storyline that was part sci-fi part HGTV, something about a man who ate furniture and reassembled it inside himself. But as I started figuring out the drawings, what really worked well was the almost plotless stuff of simple domestic routines, drawn into a fury. That opened it up for me, but I think the feeling of the original story is still there.


Mostly BIC #2 mechanical pencils. It’s all hand-drawn, pencil on paper, scanned, and edited & composited in After Effects.


Get the drawings in the computer sooner and into a rough timeline. I think I underestimated how much of any movie comes together in the process of editing. I didn’t use storyboards in any strict sense and instead let the details dictate the pacing—half straight-ahead, half pose-to-pose—which is kind of like building a house from the top down. Some my favorite images came up that way, unexpectedly, but it isn’t until you put these pieces together that you see the larger shape of the film emerge, as well as connections and ideas that you may have missed initially.


Some favorites are James Duesing, Jim Trainor, Atsushi Wada, Suzan Pitt and Sally Cruikshank. When I was first starting on the project, I had just bought a book of Pascal Doury’s comics that I was carrying around everywhere. Along the way, I listened to a couple Raymond Chandler audiobooks and a bunch of Joe Frank radio shows.


Hopefully hunched over a lightbox somewhere, smoking a cigar. Tough to say, but I’d like to find a way to keep making short animations, preferably in collaboration with some likeminded ne’er-do-wells.



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17. “Passer Passer” by Louis Morton

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by sponsor JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.

Slap on a pair of headphones before you watch Louis Morton’s Passer Passer, a graduation film produced at the Univeristy of Southern California. The film uses the atmospheric sounds of urban settings—recorded in both Los Angeles and Tokyo—to create a dense and exciting soundscape that evokes the organized cacophony of city life. From the smallest sounds, like the tinkle of a fork in a restaurant, to the brashest car alarms, everything is mixed into one well-simmered city stew.

Morton matches the audio with a fresh visual style that mixes the abstract and the cartoon. His loose, fleshy animation loops and vivid sense of color add the right quality of whimsy. There is a clear visual journey, from day to night, and we are whisked from scene to scene at the frantic pace of city life. The camera moves diagonally across the space in a way that further elicits the stress of city life. By the end of the film, we’re ready to go home and get a good night’s rest, before it starts all over again the next morning.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Louis Morton:


One initial spark came from a podcast, in which a musician explained how he categorized several escalators in his city by sound. It got me thinking about the huge array of sounds that I encounter every day in Los Angeles and if I could develop a way to categorize the most common sounds through animation. Oftentimes I’m about to fall asleep and a car alarm goes off, and I imagine a little guy spazzing out to the rhythm of the alarm, and it makes it less annoying. I wanted to take all these city sounds like the alarm, give them personalities and organize them into a system. My plan was to walk around recording audio for a few months and then listen and animate what I heard.


All audio was recorded on a handheld Zoom H2 that was usually in my pocket to avoid looking like a nosy creep. I did a rough sound edit in Adobe Audition before handing it off to the super-talented Katie Gately, who used Ableton Live for the sound design and mix. I animated everything in Flash on a Cintiq. Most of the cleanup and shading was done in Photoshop. Compositing was done in After Effects.


The animation was mostly driven by the audio, so it was difficult to know if a scene was working until I had watched it with sound. Katie and I developed an interesting work method. I would give her small sections of the audio, and she would alter it in such an interesting way that it would often give me new ideas for the animation. Especially in the second half of the film, the animation developed organically with her sound design work. It was definitely a collaborative process, which was very rewarding, but more challenging than a traditional approach would have been. Technique-wise, I wanted to experiment with how many frames it would take to make an action or character readable, and as a result I think I learned a lot about the craft of 2D animation.


Living in L.A. and (briefly) in Tokyo and soaking in the sounds of each city. In Tokyo: zoning out in a train station. In Los Angeles: merging with highway traffic and walking down Hollywood Boulevard at night. The blogs 99% Invisible (the escalator episode), Radiolab, and Adventures in Audio helped me form the initial ideas for the film. I was also influenced by the “city symphony” films of the 1920s and the work of Norman McLaren, especially Spook Sport. Also inspiring were: Jules Engels’s background designs for UPA, the Disney “Silly Symphonies,” the awesome work of my classmates and the support of the faculty at USC.


I hope to be in a position at a studio where I can be designing, animating or directing short-format work, commercials and ideally title sequences or educational type work. I love working in the super-short format, and I like using animation to explain things. And no matter what, I plan to continue making short films!


WEBSITE: LouisJMorton.com
BLOG: LouisJMorton.blogspot.com

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18. The Hunt is On in “Hound” by Olivia Blanc and Marion Delpech

Just who is being hunted in Hound, the Ecole des Métiers du Cinéma d’Animation graduate film from Olivia Blanc and Marion Delpech? While this singular question is central to the blissfully unencumbered storytelling of this short film, you are challenged to remember it as you become lost in the juxtaposition of monochromatic starkness and bursts of rich color.

Directed by Olivia Blanc and Marion Delpech
Sound design by Florian Calmer

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19. “Wolf Within” by Alex Horan

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by sponsor JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.

Alex Horan’s Wolf Within grabs the viewer with its opening line: “As a boy in Kansas I was afraid of three things: rattlesnakes, tornados, and my father.” The short doesn’t let up, hitting all the right emotional beats throughout its nine-and-a-half minute length and exhibiting maturity and ambition that are rare for a student filmmaker.

Horan’s film, the seventh film to debut in this year’s Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival, was produced at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Th film is a period piece and family history, based on the relationship between Horan’s father and grandfather, the latter whom Horan never met. Without giving away the story, Horan’s literary allusions to the Jack London novel The Call of the Wild give the viewer an entry point into the world of the film, while providing an engaging narrative framework.

Horan’s delivers the complete package: carefully considered cinematic compositions and camera movement, one the more lush monochromatic palettes you’ll see, evocative sound design, and understated but highly proficient animation that matches the tone of the story. It’s this attention to detai that gives resonance to the father-son relationship depicted in Wolf Within.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Alex Horan—


I tend to lean towards humor in most of my work because it lends itself so well to the medium and it’s something I feel I have a natural ability to produce. I was afraid of using comedy as a crutch, and thereby challenging myself as both storyteller and an animator. For my degree project I wanted to push myself to create a film that made the audience feel something deeper than laughter; a film where you could connect and empathize with the characters. I felt that in order to create a film that meant something to the audience I first had to make one that meant something to me. I looked at what was closest in my life and found my father standing at the forefront. When I was growing up, he recited parables of his youth that shaped his character which, in turn, shaped mine. By deciding to explore the relationship between my father and grandfather I provided myself with the source material necessary to create a compelling narrative. More importantly, I also ended up learning a lot more about myself and my own relationship with my father and a man I never knew.


Nothing fancy here: backgrounds in Photoshop, frame-by-frame animation in Flash, compositing in After Effects and edited using Premiere. I love Foley so I tried to do as much as possible, only downloading sound when completely necessary. My favorite was using a pad of Post-its for the moth’s wings, utterly satisfying. I had initially hoped to use my father for the narration but quickly learned he’s a doctor, not a voice actor. I lucked out with a really talented guy from California using a casting website, which was a great learning experience coaching somebody via telephone.


Over the course of the year I really struggled with the narrative structure of this film. Initially I had a rough animatic with a general outline, but nothing concrete. I wanted my father’s story to carry the same weight for the audience as it did for him, but finding a way to do this narratively proved to be difficult. How much narration was too much? When was there not enough? Should there be any at all? I felt there was a fine line between spoon-feeding the audience and leaving them totally clueless. Unfortunately, due to deadlines, I had to start animating immediately and hopefully iron out the kinks along the way. I met with my god sent teacher, Tammy Dudman, a couple times a week where we’d just workshop my story. During these meetings we explored the relationship between my father and grandfather which, in a way, became an inquisition of myself. Here, I finally realized I had to worry less about my audience and more about myself and the film I wanted to create. Regardless of how tight or loose a narrative structure is, ultimately it is the viewer who decides how to interpret the film.


Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike was a huge inspiration to me as well as The Road by Cormac McCarthy, both works obviously dealing with similar themes as my film. Also, The Book Of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi naturally played a huge role throughout the filmmaking process. Daniel Sousa’s film, Mikkel Sommer, whose loose style really influenced a lot of my process work leading up to my film. Additionally, “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash actually influenced me quite a bit because of its Americana feel and the lyrics of Shel Silverstein which parallel my father’s upbringing in a way.


I’m sitting on a few short ideas right now that need some nurturing which I will continue developing and producing over the next five years. Ultimately I’d love to produce my own original content for television or film, but until then I feel there is still so much I need to learn about the industry. I’d be more than happy being a worker bee somewhere just to learn the ropes where I can develop my skills further as both an artist and an animator.


WEBSITE: AlHoran.com
TUMBLR: Phantomlobster.tumblr.com

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20. “i” by Isabela Dos Santos

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by sponsor JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.

We’ve presented seven truly exceptional student films in Cartoon Brew’s annual Student Animation Festival so far, and today we present our eighth film premiere, i by Isabela Dos Santos, a student in the CalArts Experimental Animation program. It’s a bittersweet moment because Dos Santos’ film marks the final premiere of our 2013 Student Festival, but we can take pride in ending the festival with such a truly unique animated experience.

I uses hand-drawn animation and live-action dance to pose the eternal question, ‘Who am I?’ The film accomplishes the most difficult of the difficult by visualizing inner conflict. Encasing the live dancer is a delicate amorphous figure constructed of wispy lines. These representations of a fragmented psyche—one animated, the other human—converse with each other throughout the film as they try to reconcile themselves into a unified whole.

The choreography of these two figures forms the foundation of the film, and the details of their interaction represent the type of magic that can exist only on film. Dos Santos’ multidisciplinary approach to the film required a collaboration with dancer Yanina Orellana for the choreography and performance, and singer Kate Davis, each of whom contribute something special to the final piece.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Isabela Dos Santos—


In 2011, I was chosen for a scholarship program called YoungArts; I got in as an animator, but part of what they do is bring together 15-18 year-olds of all artistic disciplines for a week at a time to generate interdisciplinary performances. I also grew up dancing, but being with the other YoungArts kids really showed me there was so much more to art and humans than my back-stiffening work animating in windowless rooms. It made me all warm and fuzzy inside to be part of those performances. I began attending CalArts that fall and was frustrated trying to “just be an animator” after all those experiences. I don’t know, I just wanted more than was in front of me, and I had this image in my head of dancing with an imaginary monster. In terms of the story, I’ve always been an identity crisis kind of girl, and it goes with the whole, “identified as an animator but I wish I could be a real moving, dancing human” dilemma. I mean, there’s more to it than that, but you can watch and interpret the rest.


I worked with a dance student from CalArts, Yanina Orellana, for the choreography and original performance, and I had the song picked out beforehand (by Kate Davis, a friend from YoungArts). We worked on the dance before any animation, and I filmed it using a Canon T1i at CalArts’ dance theater. Then things got janky and I taped a peg bar to the edge of my laptop and traced key frames of her performance to paper. I used those as reference for timing and the general positioning, but everything was generated with pencil on paper. Paper cuts and graphite-smudged hands can be so rewarding. I ultimately composited the animation to the video using Adobe After Effects.


It was difficult knowing what to fix. Everyone had a different fantasy of what technique or technology I should incorporate, so it was tough to get feedback that was mindful to my sensibilities—I wanted to improve my skills and the emotions in my piece but I would get overwhelmed by the far-out possibilities people kept bringing up. And trying to describe the love/hate conflict about identity was always a hot mess. Just a lot of confusing conversations that semester. But animating to dance was a great tool—the choreography did all the dirty work for me as far as timing. I like that animation pulls something organic and instinctive out of you when you’re not looking, and this scenario encouraged that. And I learned that I can, after all, combine dance and animation this way. That was important to me, even if i didn’t come out perfect.


I watched just about every dance documentary available on Netflix while I animated. Couldn’t get enough of bloody ballerina toes (just kidding). Norman McLaren, of course, was very encouraging to watch in terms of the line quality of his simplistic yet expressive scratch-on-film, or the treatment of dance in Pas de deux. It felt good to stay in the realm of earlier animation pioneers. It reminded me to do what I needed to tell an honest story, not wow people with technology. I also wrote a lot of essays around that time connecting dance with animation, and it inspired me to see beyond both mediums, to really hold on to the humanity of movement, of expression through movement. I loved getting nerdy about all that—seeing animation as a dance—and reminding myself why it meant so much to me to merge the two mediums together. And I kept taking dance classes.


In five years I’ll probably still be skirting around the animation world, but not in the industry. Like I said, there’s so much more to art and life for me—animation is only part of what makes me happy. I is also fit for live performance, with a scrim projection of the animation like a hologram on stage, and I’ve been able to perform it this way a couple of times now, most recently in NYC for a music festival. It’s a lot of fun. So I have plenty of stage/animation work ahead of me, also working in arts advocacy/administration, writing, and making plenty of non-dance-related animation as well. But it’s all independent or collaborative fun, making art “as a participation in the world of ideas,” one might say. I’d like to continue appreciating it that way. It feels good that way.


BLOG: BelaDosSantos.blogspot.com
VIDEOS: Vimeo.com/BelaDosSantos

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21. Research Across Levels

Last week I was literally sitting on the dock of the bay when along came a kayaker. Hello I shout and she shouts back hello and pulls up to the dock where we proceeded to have a 30 minute conversation. It really is a small world. The kayaker is an English professor at an East coast university and we commiserated about the lack of true research expected of her students and/or the lack of knowledge about how to begin the whole research process. Typically she teaches upper level classes but lately the administration at her university has decided all teachers should have the opportunity to work with English 101 students. I was pleased to hear her say she and some of the other university professors know who can help steer the students at their university…the librarians.

My district and a neighboring district team up every year about this time to have a professional development day for all of the librarians in our area. One of the sessions we will have is called Preparing Secondary Students for Research at the College Level. We have invited four university level librarians and two professors to be a part of a panel discussion covering expectations, academic research, citation tools and ways to develop and boost students’ information literacy IQ’s. When we are in the company of post-secondary librarians we are reminded that our students really are your students.


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22. “Chicken or the Egg” by Christine Kim and Elaine Wu

It’s refreshing to see a student short where the filmmakers just get it. The Chicken or the Egg by Christine Kim and Elaine Wu is a solid piece of entertainment in every respect: storytelling, pacing, cutting, character animation, sound design, you name it. They produced the film at Ringling College of Art and Design.

(Thanks,Yoav Shtibelman, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook page)

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23. “Mirage” by Iker Maidagan and Dana Terrace

Mirage was among the most outstanding thesis films from the 2013 class of the School of Visual Arts. It’s about a young Inuit boy and his dog who go out into the bleak Arctic wilderness to fish, only to discover strange happenings lurking beneath the frozen waters.

The film was a joint effort between Iker Maidagan, who came up with the story and did the layouts, and Dana Terrace, who designed and animated the characters. Working as a team, they were able to focus on their artistic strengths and apply them to a single project. Everything, from story concept to animation to final compositing, and all the steps in-between, are flawlessly executed.

Knowing both Iker and Dana personally from my time attending SVA, I can say that they both have a very strong understanding of the process, not just as animators, but as filmmakers and storytellers. I don’t think I have ever seen a student film that feels as complete and polished as a studio-produced short, but this one certainly comes close, if not surpassing it.

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24. Cartoon Brew Reveals Lineup For Its 2013 Student Animation Festival

For the fourth year in a row, we are delighted to present the Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival, the premier online showcase for animated short premieres by student filmmakers.

Our 2013 festival offers one of the strongest and most dynamic slates of short films since we launched the festival. Chosen from a record-breaking 266 film submissions, the eight films in this year’s festival represent a remarkably high level of creative vision and filmmaking skill. The films selected were made by adventurous filmmakers who show a commitment to exploring the narrative and visual possibilities of the animation art form, and whose ideas and concepts are fully realized.

More quality student work was submitted than ever before. In fact, half of the films in this year’s festival are from schools that haven’t been in the festival during its first three years—Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, DePaul University, University of Southern California and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. On the other hand, Eric Ko is the first filmmaker who has been selected twice for the festival; his junior film Troubleshooting was a part of our festival last year.

Each of the eight filmmakers whose work is featured in this year’s festival will receive a cash award of $500 (US), thanks to the generosity of our festival sponsor JibJab. Further, Evan Spiridellis, the co-founder of JibJab, will select one additional film to receive the Grand Prize and an extra $500, for a cash prize totalling $1,000 US.

The festival will debut on Monday, July 8th, and a new film will be presented every week throughout July and August. And now, we proudly present the 2013 class of Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival:

Lady with Long Hair
Directed by Barbara Bakos
School: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (Hungary)
Synopsis: An old lady relives memories of her life contained within her hair.
Running time: 8 min 45 s

Sun of a Beach
Directed by Natan Moura
School: Sheridan College (Canada)
Synopsis: Shunned for shining a little too brightly, the poor sun feels alone in its search to connect and be wanted.
Running time: 1 min 20 s

Dumb Day
Directed by Kevin Eskew

School: DePaul University (USA)
Synopsis: Flower sniffing, carpet calisthenics, and other restless leisure-time activities. Domestic life can be tough. Finally, the day breaks.
Running time: 9 min 30 s

Brain Divided
Directed by Josiah Haworth, Joon Shik Song and Joon Soo Song
School: Ringling College of Art and Design (USA)
Synopsis: The story about an ordinary guy who meets a not so ordinary girl, but his brain cells can’t agree on how to go about winning her over, which leads to Conflict!
Running time: 5 min

Our Son (우리 아들)
Directed by Eric Ko
School: Rhode Island School of Design (USA)
Synposis: Celestial bodies and the fragility of happiness.
Running time: 4 min 30 s

Directed by Isabela Dos Santos
School: California Institute of the Arts (USA)
Synopsis: Hand-drawn animation and dance performance intersect and interact in this short piece that deals with a well-known question: Who am I?
Running time: 3 min 35s

Wolf Within
Directed by Alex Horan
School: Massachusetts College of Art and Design (USA)
Synopsis: A father prepares his son for a world without him.
Running time: 9 min 35 s

Passer Passer
Directed by Louis Morton
School: University of Southern California (USA)
Synopsis: An animated city symphony celebrates the hidden world of background noise. Field recordings from the streets of Los Angeles and Tokyo drive imagined characters and cycles that build to form a living musical creature.
Running time: 3 min 47 s

0 Comments on Cartoon Brew Reveals Lineup For Its 2013 Student Animation Festival as of 6/24/2013 1:21:00 PM
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25. Artist of the Day: Madeline Sharafian

Madeline Sharafian

Madeline Sharafian recently completed her second year studying animation at CalArts where she made the film Omelette:

Madeline Sharafian

Madeline Sharafian

In these drawings, Madeline sketches out simple, rough lines and varying values to frame her characters in an accomplished way.

Madeline Sharafian

Madeline Sharafian

See more of Madeline’s work on her blog and Tumblr.

Madeline Sharafian

Madeline Sharafian

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