Burbank High School’s animation program celebrated the culmination of the school year at the Best Animated Shorts (BASH) showcase at Nickelodeon Animation Studios. The studio hosted students and their families, handed out certificates and everyone enjoyed a catered meal prepared by the BHS Culinary Arts program.
Approximately 70 students enrolled in the Beginning and Advanced Animation classes taught by Jonelle Pickett this past school year. The best student animated shorts were shown at the BASH event. Some of the student work was guided by a Nickelodeon mentor.
“We began the mentorship program this year and 10 students were paired with 10 Nickelodeon mentors, from a variety of shows and job descriptions, who helped students improve their animation from storyboard through to final animated product,” commented Pickett.
“All the animation classes also had guest speakers from Nickelodeon who taught techniques in animation-related fields such as backgrounds, character and prop design and color theory,” she added.
The animation program at Burbank High School is supported through a partnership with Nickelodeon Animation Studios. Carson Smith, Nickelodeon Human Resources Manager, has developed the program with Pickett, after being connected by BUSD’s Visual Arts Coordinator Peggy Flynn.
Welcoming the students and families to BASH 2, Smith talked about one of the goals of the program is to let kids know a job in animation is a real job with a real paycheck. Of the 550 current employees at the Burbank campus, at least 300 are artists, he said.
Smith thanked Flynn and Pickett for their efforts to bring the animation program to Burbank students and lauded Pickett’s work, calling her the driving force behind the program.
One of the shorts shown was “Big Love” by Kendra Sazon, which also won first place in the L.A. County Student Media Festival held in May. Another of Sazon’s shorts, created with input from Nickelodeon mentor and background painter Jeffry Mazon, “Crane” was shown.
Several other shorts screened included “Clocked” by Evelyna Naziri, Sabrinna Bates’ “Toy Tank,” “Common Core” by Sebastian Schug, “Snow Day” by Elaine Morales and “Beaute Envoutante” by Gabriella Collins, Xochitl Torres, Jasmine Cooper and Emilia Escobedo.
“Kitty and Bunny” by Kitty Cimini, “The Nose” by Sergio Quintanar, Gor Gevorkyan and Andy Lee, “Caffeine Romance” by Anye Kaverdian, “Paradise” by Marina Common, Veronica Cranston, Gabriel Ellman and Alberto Carrisoza and the hilarious “Curry In A Hurry” by Jacob Sugars were also presented.
Each student or group of students introduced their animated short and talked about their creative process and future plans.
“What I love about animating is that you can take something illogical and make it seem real,” said senior Gabriel Ellman.