College Animates Exchange Program

Warner High School students assist LCAD seniors on their animation films.

Laguna College of Art + Design’s animation program began hosting several students of Downey’s Warren High School, enabling both institutions to collaborate on real-world experiences in the animation industry.

After program chair David Kuhn and Professor David Pruiksma recruited in Downey, 50 students visited the campus to view Chris Sander’s Original Art show. As a result, 10 select students have apprenticed by assisting college seniors to create films for their year-end projects and portfolios. Over the course of three weekly sessions, the high school students watch the films in progress, and then are given tasks which include animating, rough in-betweening or clean-up and coloring.

The program provides an opportunity for younger students interested in animation to earn practical experience working on high-quality, fully animated films. The teaching experience reciprocally allows the opportunity for LCAD seniors to hone their communication skills and develop teaching techniques. “The first meeting with the High School students was so successful that our seniors told us the helpers all exceeded expectations, and they can’t wait for further interaction,” said Pruiksma. “It’s great to see something like this take off, and we hope to continue this program next year with other high schools as well.”

The culmination will result in the Laguna Animation Film Festival, to be held at South Coast Cinema in Laguna Beach on May 12, where the student films will debut for the public and industry professionals. Here, the high school students will be able to see the films they worked on and their names in the credits.


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