2011 Summer Graduation
Over 130 Animation Mentor students from all over the world attended the Summer Graduation Ceremony at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Bobby Beck, CEO and cofounder, breakdanced his way onstage, joined by cofounders Shawn Kelly and Carlos Baena, with a special appearance by Spike.
Graduates were treated to an inspirational commencement speech by Dean DeBlois, co-director of How to Train Your Dragon and director of Lilo and Stitch. He encouraged the new graduates to get out and experience life, to resist the pressure to limit themselves creatively or professionally, and to distill their vision into its essence to truly be able to understand and refine it. Dean was introduced by Glen McIntosh, Animation Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic, who spoke of the impact and influence Dean has had in his life and career.
Student Choice and the coveted Mentor Choice awards were handed out to a select few talented graduates, celebrating and honoring their memorable and evocative animation and performances.
Graduates flew in from all parts of the United States, as well as from the far reaches of the globe, including such countries as Slovakia, South Africa, and Brazil. All had one thing in common – they were Animation Mentor graduates.