School of Film/Video
Program in Experimental Animation
Art principles and practices are at the heart of the Program in Experimental Animation—a course of study designed for innovative artists wishing to develop personal visions within the ever expanding parameters of animation. The program offers a framework in which students explore, develop, and refine intellectually demanding, aesthetically progressive concepts and professional practices in their personal cinematic art-making. Students benefit from study among peers who are all artistic equals, representing varied approaches. Graduates of this program find careers in personal art practices, industrial contexts such as advertising and television series, teaching, and a wide range of other creative positions. The BFA and MFA programs in Experimental Animation prepare students to be leading figures in the world of animation, and their works appear at major festivals and gallery events worldwide.
Mentoring is central to the CalArts experience. Students work closely with a mentor from the Experimental Animation faculty and other members of the Institute's accomplished faculty as they experiment with and extend their own unique artistic visions. Visiting artists provide critiques and perspectives on current animation practices, and recruitment professionals come to campus annually to review student portfolios to offer internships and employment at leading animation studios. BFA students are also encouraged to study abroad in one of the program's exchange opportunities.
Prior experience in animation is helpful to students entering the Program in Experimental Animation, but all students take courses providing a foundation in animation techniques and concepts. Courses are offered in 2-D drawing, under the camera methods such as paint on glass, working directly on film, stop-motion, 2-D and 3-D computer animation, stereoscopy, motion capture, installation, programming, pre-visualization skills, production design, and other topics. These courses blend practical knowledge with creative practice and critique, while animation history courses provide a detailed examination of animation art. Students are encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary studies and collaborations. Student works are shown at the end of the year in the juried Experimental Animation Showcase screening and other venues.