Animation Program Makes Killers' Video
Beginning in 2006, the band The Killers
, has released a Christmas music video each year and donated all the video's proceeds to charity. The charity they will assist this year is RED, a charity funded by musicians to fight AIDS in Africa. This year, The Killers
lead singer Brandon Flowers reached out to friend and BYU alumnus Jared Hess
for ideas and assistance. Hess suggested that The Killers
work with the Brigham Young University
film and animation programs to create the Christmas video this year.
The song and video, available for purchase on iTunes are titled "Christmas in L.A." Due to the sacrifices and generosity of all involved parties, including BYU, iTunes and actor Owen Wilson, all proceeds from the video will go to charity with no royalties, labor costs or fees removed.
The animation students at BYU were honored by the challenge. The time frame for creating the video was extremely short, only three weeks to plan, shoot and animate the five-minute video, which combines both live-action film and animation sequences. Kelly Loosli, head of the Center for Animation at BYU spear-headed the project, he received lots of help from other BYU faculty members including Mike Warner and Seth Holladay with visual effects, Cynthia Hogan with animation and Brent Adams and Tom Lefler as assistant producers.
First year animation students and pre-majors did most of the music video animation, as the more advanced students were already working on other projects. Students involved with the music video include Cassie Hiatt, Josh Poulsen, Nicholas Dixon, Jordan Hunter, John Jackson and Stephanie Tse.
All the live action filming was shot in LA in one day. To complete this daunting task, Loosli pulled together a film crew via BYU connections, and headed by BYU alumnus and cinematographer, Bengt Jonsson.
To learn more, click here.
Library of Congress turns to BYU students to get kids reading
After hours of gaming on the iPad, or Nexus or Galaxy Tab parents may be ready for something educational to go along with Angry Birds and Temple Run. Readers to the Rescue, a game built by a group of Brigham Young University students, is aimed at exciting children in third to fifth grade about reading.
Readers to the Rescue, just released, is available to play online for free on the Library of Congress’s reading promotion website, read.gov. The game runs on mobile devices as well as desktop computers. The game was a collaborative project of the Library of Congress, BYU, and the Ad Council.
To create the game, the Laycock Center brought together students from advertising, animation, film, graphic design, music and theater. In just two months, they came up with the format for the game, designed all of the characters and created 36 mini films.
Readers to the Rescue can be thought of as a visual mad-lib. The setting is a library, inhabited by various popular storybook characters, such as Pinocchio, Humpty-Dumpty and Sleeping Beauty. Users are asked to rescue the characters, and by doing so, place them in the blank spaces of a story, which results in one of 36 possible short animated films. At the end, readers are able to unlock a classic children’s book to read.
Among the 36 books that users can unlock are “The Arabian Knights,” “Dracula,” “Anne of Green Gables,” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “The Secret Garden” and “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” For younger readers, there are “Rapunzel,” “Pinocchio,” “The Three Bears” and “Snow White,” among others.