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Alumni News

Tony Tarantini: Animation Ambassador

June 04, 2010

Tony Tarantini

Tony Tarantini (in blue), Professor in the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Animation) Program, with animation student volunteers during Industry Day. Tony has organized the department’s year-end grad show for the past four years. He explains why the show is such an important event.

What is Industry Day?

Industry Day is designed to showcase the talents of our graduating class to animation industry reps. Students gain employment and important industry contacts from this event. Screenings of students’ work take place in the SCAET auditorium with informal interviews occurring at individual computer stations in the computer animation area and the Learning Commons. Many out-of-town studio reps choose the option of returning the next day to conduct formal interviews with the students.

Who comes to Industry Day?

Representatives from 40 to 60 studios attend the event. Industry Day attracts many local companies including Nelvana/Corus Entertainment, Guru Studios, Starz Animation, House of Cool, Nerd Corps, Cookie Jar and Pipeline. There’s also a great national and international presence at the event, with the participation of Mercury, Studio B, EA, DreamWorks, Pixar, Blue Sky, Jib Jab, Fisher Price and Sony. If they had a choice, many more companies would participate in the "draft" of some of the best animation graduates in the world, but production schedules, financial considerations and other commitments sometimes keep the studios from attending.

How many students get a job after this event?

Over 60-70% of our graduates receive their first job offer as a result of Industry Day. The era of six-figure starting salaries and guaranteed jobs following graduation may be over, but many employment opportunities remain outside of the traditional animation industry, particularly in the fields of video game production and live action films. The medium is also being used peripherally in other industries like engineering, architecture and health, thereby opening up a multitude of emergent employment opportunities.

What do you enjoy most about Industry Day?

Having taught in the animation program for nearly 10 years, I can honestly say that there are no graduates more hard-working, talented and well-deserving of such an event. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share their talent with some of the most prestigious animation companies in the world. I love creating dynamic social and professional arenas where exciting things can happen and this event definitely fits the bill.

Tony Tarantini is a veteran of the animation industry. Among his contributions to animated TV series and features are: Beetlejuice, Care Bears, Babar, Pippi Longstocking, Rupert the Bear, Franklin the Turtle, American Tail, George Shrinks, Little Bear, Sam and Max and Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus.

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