The SVA Office of External Affairs recently hosted a presentation by distinguished alumnus, Tom Sito (BFA 1977 Animation), whose screen credits include the Disney classics The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Pocahontas. Sito also helped to set up the DreamWorks Animation unit, where he worked on many films including The Prince of Egypt and Shrek. In 1998, he made Animation Magazine‘s list of the 100 Most Important People in Animation.
At the SVA presentation, Sito spoke about the evolution of the field of animation, as chronicled in his book Moving Innovation, which traces the history of CG and maps simultaneous accomplishments in multiple locales—academia, the military-industrial complex, movie special effects, video games, experimental film, corporate research and commercial animation. The book features a memorable cast of characters—math nerds, avant-garde artists, cold warriors, hippies, video game enthusiasts, and studio executives—disparate types united by a common vision. Computer animation did not begin just with Pixar; Sito shows us how 50 years of work by this motley crew made movies like Toy Story and Avatar possible.
After the discussion, Sito introduced the many animation and computer graphics industry luminaries in attendance, including Bill Kroyer (Tron, 1982) and Academy Award nominee Bill Plympton (1969 Cartooning). Sito concluded the evening by signing copies of Moving Innovation and conversing with students and alumni.
For more information about Moving Innovation, click here.
Photo: Tom Sito by Luigi Novi.