SVA has prepared aspiring artists for animation industry careers for more than 50 years. BFA Animation students learn the fundamentals of drawing, storytelling, character development, professional animation software, as well as the history of animation, all for the purpose of bringing their creations to life. The curriculum covers the entire spectrum of animation professions, from traditional animation to stop-motion to digital; and access to faculty- and alumni-operated studios provides numerous opportunities for hands-on learning, internships and employment.
In the thesis year, each student develops and produces a project under the individual mentorship of an industry professional. Students also study the business aspect of the field, learning how to protect their ideas, understand contracts, negotiate rights, approach producers and distributors, prepare for festivals and promote their work.
2016 – 2017 student population
371 matriculated students
Acting Department chair
Mary Lee Grisanti
Some notable faculty members
Howard Beckerman (animator, Mighty Mouse; author, Animation: The Whole Story), Bob Camp (storyboard artist, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ren and Stimpy), Doug Compton (animator, Doug, Pinky and the Brain, Saturday Night Live), Frank Gresham (director and storyboard artist, The Cramp Twins, Kablam!, The Venture Brothers), Mario Menjivar (animator, The Lion King, Tarzan, Treasure Planet), Stephen Destefano (graphic artist, Walt Disney Television Studios Production Company, The Ren & Stimpy Show, The Venture Bros., Sym-Bionic Titan, DC Nation's Farm League, Mickey Mouse television series)
Some notable alumni
Aaron Augenblick (owner, Augenblick Studios), Yvette Kaplan (director, Beavis and Butthead, Doug; head of story, Ice Age), Alex Kupershmidt (animator, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Princess and the Frog), Chris Prynoski (owner, Titmouse Studios), Tom Sito (animator, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid), Rebecca Sugar (creator, Steven Universe; storyboard artist, Adventure Time), Jeff Mendikow (storyboard artist, Green Arrow), Dana Terrace (director, Disney TV Ducktales, storyboard artist, Gravity Falls, Tangled), Phil Rynda (vice president of artist development, Nickelodeon!; character designer, Adventure Time, The Venture Brothers, Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa, Sanjay and Craig, Bravest Warriors)
For the past 25 years, with support from the film and animation industry, BFA Film and Video and BFA Animation have sponsored the Dusty Film & Animation Festival. This weeklong showcase includes screenings of thesis projects—from short films to computer-generated animations—and culminates in an awards ceremony, with distinguished presenters recognizing students and alumni for outstanding achievements.
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