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UCSC Celebrates Pixar: A Week of Lectures and Film Screenings in Santa Cruz, October 20-23

Friday, October 2, 2009
Scott Rappaport (831) 459-2496;

'UC Santa Cruz Celebrates Pixar' - a week of lectures and film screenings featuring guest film and digital media specialists from Pixar Animation Studios and UCSC 'will take place October 20-23, in downtown Santa Cruz and on the UCSC campus.

The celebration is in honor of a visit by Ed Catmull 'the Academy Award-winning president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios 'who will receive the 2009 UC Santa Cruz Foundation Medal at UCSC's Founders Day Dinner on October 23 at the Cocoanut Grove.

'UC Santa Cruz Celebrates Pixar ' will include a special screening of the documentary film The Pixar Story, at the Del Mar Theatre on Thursday, October 22, at 7 p.m. 'presented in collaboration with the City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Film Festival.

The Pixar Story is narrated by Stacy Keach and features Steve Jobs, John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, George Lucas, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Billy Crystal. The film traces the rise of Pixar to become one of the most innovative animation studios in filmmaking history.

The screening will be followed by an onstage discussion and Q & A with the documentary's award-winning director, Leslie Iwerks. Tickets are $5.

Catmull 'who received an Academy Award in 2008 for lifetime technological contributions to the film industry 'will deliver the keynote address at the annual UC Santa Cruz Foundation Forum on Friday, October 23 at 3 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall.

He will speak on the topic 'Creativity: What I Don't Know and What I Know.' This event is free to the public with a ticket required.

Additional lectures and screenings will take place earlier in the week at venues ranging from NextSpace in downtown Santa Cruz, to UCSC's Baskin Engineering Auditorium.

Caetlin Benson-Allott, UCSC professor of Film & Digital Media 'an expert on digital effects 'will screen the Pixar film Monsters, Inc., along with excerpts from Ratatouille, on Tuesday, October 20, at UCSC's Baskin Engineering Auditorium, at 6 p.m. She will also give a lecture on the topic 'Tales of Labor and Value: What Works in Pixar Films. ' The screening and lecture are free and open to the public.

Mark Henne will speak on the topic 'The Making of Toy Story' at NextSpace in downtown Santa Cruz on Wednesday, October 21 at 6 p.m. A UCSC alumnus, Henne has been an animation specialist at Pixar since 1994, and worked on such films as Toy Story; A Bug's Life; Monsters, Inc; The Incredibles; and Ratatouille. His most recent project was serving as 'Crowd and Simulation ' supervisor on Wall-E.

Henne graduated from UCSC in 1990 with an M.S. in computer science. Tickets
for his talk are $10 (free to students with ID).

Guest lecturers will also include Michael B. Johnson 'head of the Moving Pictures Group at Pixar 'who will speak on the topic 'Making Movies is Hard Fun: Building Tools for Telling Stories ' at UCSC's Oakes College, Room 105, on Thursday, October 22 at 4 p.m.

Johnson joined Pixar in 1993 and has written tools for all of Pixar's feature films and many shorts, including storyboarding, layout, animation, modeling, lighting, rendering, and editorial tools. His talk is free and open to the public.

For more information, including the full lineup of events, go to: UCSC Celebrates Pixar.