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Creating Digital Worlds in Game Engines

Animation Production Studio

This course is no longer accepting applications.


2: 7/8/2024 - 7/21/2024




Dive into crafting animated short films, covering the entire production process, in this animation production studio course. From concept to final film, gain expertise in every phase, with a strong emphasis on production planning. Receive hands-on experience in applying industry-standard techniques in creation, design, production, and editing. Work in production teams, mirroring a professional studio setup, fostering teamwork, communication, and essential project management skills for real-world animation production.

Who Should Take This Class

Students with advanced animation skills looking to create a portfolio piece or short film to enter into competitions and festivals.

Required Application Materials (please submit materials in a single document)

  • Personal statement 
  • Portfolio: link to a demo reel/website
  • Resume

Course Coordinator

Michael Bonitatis (Northridge) is the founder of Animation Libation Studios. He has collaborated with industry veterans from Disney, DreamWorks, Sony, and Nickelodeon and is a professor of 2D and CG animation production at East Los Angeles College, CSUN, and Cal State Fullerton. Michael holds an MFA in Animation and Visual Effects from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He is currently the festival director for the revival of “The World Animation Celebration” .

Guest Artists

Mark Far​​​​quhar​

​Mark Farquhar is a CG character animator and educator with more than 30 years of experience. His work ranges from development to production at DreamWorks, Disney, ImageWorks, Pixar, and Warner Bros. He has worked on projects including Open Season, Chicken Little, Shark Tale, Toy Story 2, Osmosis Jones, and Iron Giant.

Sherie Pollack

Sherie Pollack is a four-time Emmy® nominated animator, writer, and director whose credits include Disney’s Pepper Ann, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Amphibia, The Simpsons, Fairly Odd Parents, Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, Ferngully, Carsey Werner’s God The Devil and Bob, and the We Bare Bears series and movie.

Owen Klatte

Owen Klatte is a character animator and director in feature films, commercials, and television. His feature credits include The Nightmare Before Christmas, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Disney's Dinosaur, Charlotte's Web, and James and the Giant Peach. He is currently teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.​

Steve Hickner​

​Steve Hickner has worked for DreamWorks, Disney, Amblimation, Aardman, Hanna-Barbera and Filmation. His experience includes serving as producer on such films as: American Tail II: Fievel Goes West, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, and Balto. His director credits include Bee Movie and The Prince of Egypt. He has also contributed to feature films, TV, and international theme park and location-based entertainment projects. He recently collaborated with Steven Spielberg to write and direct the Universal Sphere film, The Power of I. He is the author of Animating Your Career and Animation Rules! A member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, he currently teaches animation at Ringling College of Art and Design.

Adam Dykstra

​Adam Dykstra is an animator, writer and director with a career spanning nearly four decades. He received an Emmy for his contributions as an animator on The Simpsons which he worked on for twelve seasons and was nominated for a VES Award for his work on Bolt. Dykstra animated on thirteen Disney features including Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. He is currently lead character layout artist, animator and assistant director on The Simpsons for Walt Disney Television.


Bruce Smith

​Bruce W. Smith, an award-winning animation artist, creator, and director, boasts over three decades of experience. He is renowned for creating and executive-producing the Disney Channel’s beloved series The Proud Family and co-directing the Academy Award-winning short film Hair Love. Smith’s impressive career at Walt Disney Animation Studios includes supervising animation on iconic films like The Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh, and Tarzan. His commitment to diversity extends to his co-founding of Jambalaya Studio, which aims to create inclusive projects across various mediums.


Ernesto Sanz Martinez

​​Ernesto Sanz Martinez is a 3D character rigger from Spain with a great passion for problem-solving. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in 3D Animation from Savannah College of Art and Design where he led a team of 3D artists to redesign Royal Rumble's on-air graphics. He was also a creature and digital double 3D rigger for SONY Pictures Imageworks Entertainment iCAD program.​​