Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bishop Brady animation crew wins in Toronto

The Toronto International Student Animation Festival announced on Monday that an animation crew of four students from Bishop Brady High School won First Prize for their 3D animated public service announcement (PSA), “New Hampshire Food Bank”.

This international competition, boasts judges from post-secondary animation programs and the animation industry itself, including professionals from Pixar, Blue Sky, Apple Canada, ToonBox, and other companies.  The festival is split into post-secondary, high school, and elementary school divisions and features categories such as 2D, 3D, stop-motion, and PSA. Winning entries in the 2012 post-secondary division came from the Czech Republic, England, Norway, Canada, the U.S., and Singapore. In the high school division, the team from New Hampshire was the only non-Canadian team to win.

Bishop Brady students Meaghan Tosi, Natalie Raper, Christine Brennan, and Emily Rauseo formed their animation crew in the fall of 2010 when Tosi, Raper and Brennan were high school sophomores and Rauseo was a freshman. Since that time, other students have joined the crew and participated in various projects.

The animation crew is affiliated with Bishop Brady FIRST Robotics Team 1517 and, for three years, competed in a 3D computer animation competition through the FIRST program, sponsored by the software company Autodesk. The students approached animation as a “varsity-level” commitment, broke projects up into “seasons”, and devoted approximately fifty to sixty hours of work to each thirty-second animation. Typically, the students produced two pieces per academic year. In 2012, another of the animation crew’s projects, a piece with a message about education, advanced to become a finalist in the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis.

The Toronto International Student Animation Festival is one of the events outside of FIRST in which the Concord-based animation crew competed. The winning entry in Toronto was the third project the animation crew produced. The thirty-second animation was created in conjunction with the NH Food Bank and is intended to raise awareness that the organization serves the hungry statewide. The animated food bank PSA was previously honored with the Best Public Service Announcement Award at the NH High School Short Film Festival, a program of the State of New Hampshire Film & Television Office.

Last month, three of the founding members of the Bishop Brady Robotics Team Animation Crew were graduated from high school. Two of those students plan to continue their work in animation. Tosi and Brennan have both won merit-based financial awards for their art and animation. In the fall of 2013, both will attend college in California, majoring in animation.

The winning project is currently featured on the awards page of the Toronto festival website at www.studentanimationfestival.com/past-shows/2012-2/psa-winners-high-school-2012.