Mike Nguyen Animation Masterclasses

Animation Director Mike Nguyen (www.rainplace.net) will be visiting Ireland this week to give a series of lectures and workshops.

Mike received his Bachelor of Fine Art in Character Animation at the California Institute of the Arts in 1988. Since then, he has worked primarily in the feature animation industry as a Character Animator in various studios, including Walt Disney, DreamWorks Animation and Warner Bros. Feature Animation where he was a supervising animator on the critically acclaimed “The Iron Giant”.

In 2000, he co-founded July Films, an independent theatrical animation production company. His directing debut is the theatrical animated feature entitled “My Little World”, currently in production. Mike has also been a Character Animation instructor at the California Institute of the Arts since 1994, and has also given animation workshops in Denmark, Ireland, Thailand and Korea.

Three events will take place at the IADT college in Dun Laoghaire that will be open to industry members and college students from IADT, Ballyfermot College of Further Education and Colaiste Dhulaigh.

Monday 24th Jan 1pm – 5 pm

Wednesday 26th Jan 6-8pm National Film School Lecture

Friday 28th Jan 10am – 1 pm, 2pm – 5pm

Several other events will take place at Barley Films. To register interest in the additional events please contact Barley Films directly by email:


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Chinese New Year Animation Seminar


Panel and discussion topics

Dublin Chinese New Year Festival

(tickets FREE – reserve your place at eventelephant.com/dcnyfanimationseminar)

Time: 9.30am to 2pm

Date: Friday 4th February, 2011

Venue: Civic Offices Conference Centre, Wood Quay

Seminar consists of discussion sessions, and Q & A


Paul Young, Cartoon Saloon

Gillian Higgins, Head of Production, Brown Bag Films

Jennie Stacey, Head of Development, Brown Bag Films

Jason Leigh, Crystal CG, China

Yao Guanghua, Shanghai Animation Film Studio, China

Jimmy Murakami, animation director

Kevin Lynch, Clerkin Lynch Solicitors

Cathy Holahan, Enterprise Ireland

Chaired by Damian Farrell of Caboom

9.30am Introduction

Damian Farrell: 10 things you need to know about China

9.40-10.25am Co-Productions

  • What is a co-production?
  • What are the sources of funding?

Panel presentation and discussion: Damian Farrell/Paul Young/Jennie Stacey

10.35-11.20am Out-sourcing

  • How do you pick a studio?
  • Further description of how the MDA in Singapore works and how it introduces companies to one another
  • The importance of having somebody on the ground in China, if problems arise, who understands the pipeline being used in Dublin – that is, the integration of software, files, etc.
  • What are the issues that need to be monitored in terms of over-runs
  • Where can you meet studios based in China? At what conventions?
  • What are the dangers to look out for?
  • What is the majority of out-source work to China? Is it CGI?
  • What is the split of animation in China – flash, CGI, gaming?

Panel: Damian/Gillian Higgins/Jason Leigh/Paul


11.40am-12.25pm Doing Business in China.

  • What is the culture of business in China?
  • How do you approach the marketplace in China?
  • How should you prepare for areas like I.P. protection?

Panel: Damian/Cathy Holahan/Kevin Lynch/Jimmy Murakami/Jason

12.35-1.30pm Animation in China

  • Visuals of the animation “spike” in the 1980s – the golden age of Chinese animation
  • What are the challenges now?
  • A description of what talent there is in China; that is, where their specialities lie
  • How does the education of talent work in China?
  • Where are the opportunities for international co-producers?
  • Does Singapore have a model in the MDA that China will try to emulate?
  • How would Kung Fu Panda have worked if it had been made by Chinese studios? Similarly, The Simpsons, what if that were left entirely to the Chinese to make?
  • How do you straddle the cultural divide between a western audience and a domestic Chinese one?
  • In other words, how do you mould Chinese material so that it is palatable to a western audience?
  • The restriction of western content on Chinese TV and the quotas enforced
  • Could an Irish animator with a western philosophy or idea sell to a Chinese broadcaster?

Panel: Damian/Yao Guanghua/Jimmy Murakami/Jason

LUNCH (1.30-2pm)

(provided by Dublin City Council, at Wood Quay Conference Centre)


Opening Film of the DCNYF Chinese Film Festival

Friday 4th February, IFI, from 6pm.

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Animation Nominees for IFTA have been announced


Anam an Amhráin
Sean O Cualain, Sónta/Cartoon Saloon

In the series Anam an Amhráin, award winning singer Iarla Ó’Lionáird heads to the four corners of Ireland to breathe new life into some our favourite songs from our childhood. Each song is retold by specially created animations visualising the story of each song.

The External World
David O’Reilly, Henning Kamm (DETAiLFILM)

A boy learns how to play piano.

Head Space
Barley Films

A boy distances himself from reality in an effort to cope with a cycle of abuse.

The Octonauts
Darragh O’Connell, Brown Bag Films

An intrepid band of explorers roam the oceans in search of adventure and fun. Reporting for duty are Captain Barnacles; Lieutenant Kwazii and Medic Peso. Using their fleet of aquatic vehicles they explore underwater worlds, rescue creatures and protect the Ocean – all in a day’s rather wet work.

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