Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Academy is 12 years old today!

Happy Birthday to us!!!

On this date in 1998 The Animation Academy held it's very first class! It was in the back room of the Coral Cafe, a local restaurant in Burbank. I started the school with an investment of $15 which was used for buying postage stamps and envelopes. I had a mailing list of about 35 names, most of them students from classes I had taught previously at other schools. I used the list for sending out Christmas cards, and in December of 1997, I sent out flyers announcing the flagship class for a new school. I called it "The Animation Academy" because I couldn't think of any other name.

There was room for 20 students. I figured I'd get somewhere between 5 and 10 enrolled, but as it turned out, all 20 seats were booked and the Academy began with a capacity class.

Over the years we've had students into the thousands, and I figure along with those I've taught at other schools, the number of students I've personally instructed numbers around 3000.

Many lives have been changed by the program at the Academy, and our humble beginnings underscore just how significant the school's been not only in the careers of our students and friends, but in the direction that animation has taken as well. Academy students are at studios throughout the industry including Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and many more. We're closely associated with the program at Cal State Northridge, a major university, and we continue to attract artists from the industry and from outside the US as well. The Academy inspired industry reform through AnimationNation.com and continues to encourage artists to excel.

Thanks to everyone who's currently involved with the school and thanks to the many people who've been involved with us in the past.

Here's to our future, and to your future as well!

Keep Creating!

Charles Zembillas

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