Sunday, October 22, 2006

DreamWorks' Katzenberg at Cornell...and you're invited!

Our good friends at Cornell have invited us to attend a very special event at the Statler Auditorium next week: An interview q-and-a with Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation and co-founder of DreamWorks Studios.

Here's the press release that's going out tomorrow:

CEO of DreamWorks Animation to Visit Cornell University

Ithaca, NY – October 25, 2006 – Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation and co-founder of DreamWorks Studios will be at Cornell University on October 30. “A Conversation with Jeffrey Katzenberg: The Future of Computer Animation” is sponsored by the Faculty of Computing and Information Science (CIS) and the Program of Computer Graphics. The event takes place at The Statler Hall Auditorium on the Cornell campus at 2:00pm. The event is open to the wider Cornell community and affiliated educational partners. Seating may be limited, so early arrival is recommended.

DreamWorks Animation is a leader in the creation and production of computer animated films. Such films so far include Antz, Academy Award winning Shrek, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, Madagascar and Over The Hedge with an upcoming slate to include Flushed Away, Shrek the Third, Bee Movie and Kung Fu Panda. Katzenberg has been Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation since October 2004. Prior to co-founding DreamWorks Studios in Oct. 1994, he served as chairman of the board of Walt Disney Studios (1984 to 1994). As chairman, he was responsible for the worldwide production, marketing and distribution of all Disney filmed entertainment, including motion pictures, television, cable, syndication, home entertainment and interactive entertainment. Prior to joining Disney, Katzenberg was president of Paramount Studios.

“Jeffrey Katzenberg is very supportive of DreamWorks outreach program,” explains John Tarnoff, Sr. Production Executive and Head of Show Development. “He understands the value of establishing and maintaining relationships with universities across the country. Especially those schools that will provide future talent for the computer animation industry and DreamWorks,” he added.

Katzenberg’s visit isn’t the only connection DreamWorks Animation has to Cornell University. This past summer DreamWorks Animation launched a hands-on training program called the “DreamWorks Animation Effects Challenge”. Graduating students across the country were considered for the chance to spend six months working in a rigorous, hands-on effects training curriculum at the PDI/DreamWorks campus in Redwood City, California. The program is focused on developing effects animation problem-solving skills. All classes are taught by DreamWorks special effects developers and artists. Six slots were open for this program.

Against the backdrop of selecting top graphics graduates nationwide, DreamWorks Animation accepted CIS graduate, Yekaterina Isichenko, to participate in the "Effects Challenge". That Isichenko was chosen to participate in this program is a testament to Cornell's strong educational program in computer graphics.

“Yekaterina was considered for this program because of her interest and ability in both technology and image creation. Her educational background and demonstration of visual ability advanced her standing during our search,” said Marilyn Friedman, Head of Outreach and Special Projects.


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