Who doesn’t love movies? Almost everyone has memories of watching their favorite stars portray some of the most memorable characters in history on the silver screen. Others may have dreamed of one day making a career in movies, as many former and current stars have done. But what actually goes into making a motion picture? Is it all acting? Or are there other avenues to greatness in motion pictures?
The world’s earliest surviving motion-picture film, showing actual consecutive action, is called Roundhay Garden Scene. It’s a short film directed by French inventor Louis Le Prince. While it’s just 2.11 seconds long, it is technically a movie. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is the oldest surviving film in existence.
Thomas Edison was one of many inventors who developed a motion picture camera, but he played almost no role in the development of projector technology and other improvements to motion pictures. Although the first projector used by the Edison film company was called the Edison Vitascope, it was designed by C. Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. Beyond inventing his version of a motion picture camera, Edison actually had little to do with the film business. Edison’s camera was used to film the innovative Great Train Robbery, directed by Edwin S. Porter, in 1903.
Recognizing Motion Picture Greatness
Since 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has recognized the amazing talent that goes into making quality films. While we may first think of acting, there are many other disciplines that contribute to creating a successful motion picture. Over the years, AMPAS has added categories to its awards to recognize creative professionals in many different areas whose hard work and talent are indispensable to the making of modern movies.
The 91st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will honor the best films of 2018 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. The ceremony will be held on February 24, 2019. Academy of Art University is once again pleased that many alumni have contributed nominated films and will receive recognition at the Oscars for their work.
Among the movies up for award nominations, Academy of Art University is pleased that 113 Academy alumni have contributed to 12 of these films. These graduates are employed by such significant film-related companies as Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Studios, Industrial Light and Magic, Stereo D, The Third Floor, Digital Domain, Double Negative, Pixar Animations, and Marvel Studios.
Some of the creative roles these alumni hold, that have contributed materially to the success of these and other films, are:
- Line Producer
- Lighting & Compositing Artist
- Model/Texture Artist
- Director of Photography
- Film Editor
- Story Artist
- Rendering and Lighting Artist
- FX Animator
- Voiceover Specialist
- Assistant Editor
- Credits Designer
- Sets Artist
- Lighting Artist
- Associate Animation Supervisor
- Texture Artist
- Environmental Artist
- Senior Modeler
- Creature Puppet Technical Director
- Visualization Artist
These and numerous other roles perform the vital behind-the-scenes work that make modern-day pictures literally jump off the screen. Academy of Art University alumni invested their training and expertise in these jobs for the following films that have been nominated for Academy Awards in 2018:
- The Black Panther, from Marvel Studios, Disney Studios. It has been nominated for Best Picture, Costume Design, Music (Original Score), Production Design, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.
- Incredibles 2, from Disney-Pixar Studios. It has been nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.
- Ralph Breaks the Internet, from Walt Disney Animation Studios. It has been nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, from Crafty Apes VFX and Netflix, is nominated for Best Costume Design and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).
- First Man, from Universal Pictures is nominated for Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects.
- Bao, is an eight-minute short film from Pixar Animation Studios, and is nominated for Best Animated Short Film.
- One Small Step, an eight-minute short from TAIKO Studios, is nominated for Best Animated Short Film.
- A Quiet Place, from Platinum Dunes and Sunday Night Pictures, is nominated for Best Sound Editing.
- Avengers: Infinity War, from Marvel Studios, Disney Studios, is nominated for Best Visual Effects.
- Ready Player One, from Warner Brothers Entertainment, is nominated for Best Visual Effects.
- Christopher Robin, from Walt Disney Studios, is nominated for Best Visual Effects.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story, from Walt Disney Studios, is nominated for Best Visual Effects.
Creative Careers at Academy of Art University
Since the same year of the first Oscar Awards, Academy of Art University has been training artists and creatives for exciting professions in a host of different industries, including motion pictures. Academy instructors are working creatives who are currently engaged in artistic professions, and lend a wealth of experience to their students. Graduates leave with the knowledge and experience they need to work in numerous different creative ventures.
As an Academy student, you would attend classes at their downtown San Francisco campus, or enjoy classes online while you pursue a career. The Academy of Art University awards certificates and degrees in over 30 different disciplines, with many different specialties, including many that apply to the film industry.