SVA Alumni Celebrate Their Oscar Wins
March 2, 2018
by Rodrigo Perez
Running nearly four hours in length (three hours and fifty minutes to be exact!), you’re forgiven if you didn’t sit through all the 90th Academy Awards ceremony presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Yes, there were laughs, entertaining performances and even some somber moments of reflection, but you were there for the awards. Elated winners were honored with millions of people watching from home and many of them connected to the larger SVA community who worked on several of these Oscar-lauded pictures.
Guillermo del Toro’s romantic monster movie The Shape of Water was the night’s big winner taking home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Score and Best Production Design and the fantastical film had many SVA fingerprints on it. Contributors included CG Modeler Ryan Chong (BFA 2013 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), FX artist Aditi Khosla (BFA 2014 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), pipeline technical director Chris DeVito (BFA 2012 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects; and faculty, BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects, CE Computer Art) and lighting artist Da Suel Kim (BFA 2012 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) Additionally, James Jean (BFA 2001 Illustration) drew the movie’s lovely, now-iconic poster also featured in the New York Times.
Pixar’s Dia del Muertos movie Coco earned two awards including Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (“Remember Me”). Several SVA alumni participated in making the movie a success. Academy Award winner Michael Giacchino (BFA 1990 Film and Video) composed the movie’s score, animator Gini Cruz Santos (MFA 1996 Computer Art) performed duties as a supervising animator and MontaQue Ruffin (BFA 2013 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) was one of the technical directing animators. Other artists part of the process included set modeler Christina Faraj (BFA 2016 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), JD Gardner (BFA 2015 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), a former technical director at Pixar, and Dice Tsutsumi (BFA 1998 Illustration), who worked in the movie’s art department.
Seven-time Emmy winner Allison Janney added an Oscar statue to her growing awards cabinet winning Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her outstanding turn in the figure skating I, Tonya, The drama about the life of Olympian skater Tonya Harding was directed by SVA alum Craig Gillespie (BFA 1989 Media Arts).
Filmmaking is a multi-layered collaborative medium, so congrats to all the alumni that worked hard on these Academy Award-winning films.