Subject: Mark Chavez

*Birth:*

January on the 28th 1960

*Occupation/Title*:
Assistant Professor,character modeler, 3D modeler, 3D Effects Artist

*Bio Summary:*
Reason why mark chose this career because he did not like the options that were presented to him as a digital artist working in the animation industry in Los Angeles. Switching into an academic career gave him the intellectual freedom to focus on artistic research rather than simply execute production work for various feature films that though were great to work on given the people and budgets allotted were not really all that satisfying given the work that he was doing. He chose working at Nanyang Technology University of Art (NTU) because NTU being a research university was quite attractive. Once he applied expressing an interest they aggressively recruited him, sending their representatives to his home to coax him to join with offers of research funding and an exciting and challenging new adventure setting up the first Art School in one of the largest engineering universities in Asia. To him It sounded fun and a fresh change from production work in Hollywood. Even though he was working at one of the best studios at that time, Rhythm and Hues in Playa Vista after having a career doing various projects in an emergent field the work there, on various features was production work and by nature repetitive and monotonous. He had lived in Asia (Japan) years ago and so going back wouldn’t be a very hard.

*Early Life/Family:*
His father and mother were born and raised in El Paso, Texas. And grandparents emigrated from Mexico to the United States in their youth. He is Mexican with ancestors being primarily from native Mexican descent. Both parents were university graduates. Moved to Yuma, Arizona from El Paso he was 8 years old. That’s where he grew up and calls his hometown. He has an older brother and sister. His life was not abnormal with ups and downs like any one else. his mother was diagnosed with a schizoid/bipolar disorder but, she was able to maintain her career teaching third grade with the aid of anti-psychotic drug therapies. His father, a world war two veteran had a tough guy mentality, supported his family through their academic and personal pursuits while having his own successful career as a civil engineer and later a small business owner/contractor.

*Education/Training:*
2003 *Masters of Fine Arts (MFA)* in Motion Picture Television, specialization in Animation University of California at Los Angeles

1980 *Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) *in Drawing Arizona State University

March 2005 — Present
*Assistant Professor, *Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media Relocated to Singapore to establish the first University-based Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Southeast Asia, specializing in Computer Animation instruction

*Digital Animation Courses*
ANI 230 / DT 2003 3D Modeling Workshop I
ANI 255 3D Modeling Workshop II
ANI 260 Introduction to Storyboarding
ANI 390 Animation Seminar I
DT 2015 Advanced 3D Production
*ADM Foundation Programme Courses*

FDN 101 Foundation Drawing
FDN 140 Design and Time

*Final Year Project*
ANI 410 & ANI 450 BFA Digital Animation Final Year Project (FYP)

*Graduate Students*
2 MSc (Digital Media Technology)

*Career Outline:*
Working Experience: Industry
*2002 — 2005* Entrepreneur CLONE3D LLC, Simulated personalities on the web, (USA)

*2002 — 2005* Freelance Digital Artist (modeller), Rhythm and Hues, (USA), worked on numerous Academy Award nominated films:

*1995 — 2002* DreamWorks Feature Animation Digital Artist (animator/lead modeller), DreamWorks Animation, United States of America , worked on numerous Academy Award nominated films e.g.

*1994 — 1995* Digital Art Lead/Supervisor, Acclaim Entertainment, (USA), Supervised digital art production and storyboard for Alien Trilogy, the first PlayStation I computer game to use Motion Capture

*1991— 1993* Digital Artist and Art Director, Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) Vision, (Japan), Various television broadcast projects

*1991* Animator, Kroyer Films, United States of America, Animator on Fern Gully

*1988— 1990* Character Animator, Interactive Designer, Phillips Interactive, United States of America, Compact Disc Interactive: early interactive media development

*1987 — 1988* Freelance Digital Artist / Animator, United States of America, various projects, (rock videos, commercials, trade show motion-graphics artist)

*1980 — 1986* LaserMedia Supervisor, art director and animator: Pioneered the technique of laser-animation, Projects: Motion billboards – the Sunset Strip Playboy building 1980; Broadway: Sandy Duncan’s Peter Pan; Rock Concerts: Neil Diamond’s ‘84 world tour, Earth, Wind and Fire’s world tour ‘83, and ‘84 and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Ozzy Bat” Concert Tour and other special venues. Supervised and art directed animation and digitization of graphics for the largest projected animation in the world 50 minutes projected on a huge stone wall of carvings of the Confederate Soldiers at Stone Mountain State Park, Georgia 1982-86 This work was documented at one time in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest ever projected imagery! Created and supervised work for the 1984 Summer Olympics projected billboard and entertainment imagery on the Federal Building in Westwood, California (including my own laser animated student short entitled Omeyotl which also premiered at an LA SIGGRAPH meeting in 1983 at Art Center in Pasadena); work for display at EPCOT Center, Walt Disney World, Florida, 1985.

*Comments On Style:*
I would say he doesn’t have a particular style he is talented in all types. I asked him what he thought his was and he said, “I am ever optimistic and am have a knack for emerging trends in popularly consumed new media.”

*Influences: *
Early on he was influenced by his mother’s paintings. She gave up the opportunity to attend The Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles to raise a family with his father. He was greatly influenced by the Mexican muralists such as David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera and though not a muralist Frida Kahlo. While being raised on Saturday morning cartoon television he was also influenced by the work of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, and Bill Melendez and his Peanuts cartoons done with Charles Schultz and of course the supreme animation entrepreneur Walt Disney. He met Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston when in school at UCLA though he did not interact much with them. More engaging was Chuck Jones. He was a really friendly and supportive guy to him. Also influenced by the artwork and writings of Franz Kline, and Robert Irwin.

Personality: Very down to earth guy that has a sense of humor with a little bit of sarcasm, which I personal enjoy. While getting to know him

*Anecdotes:*
*“I remember one time I had a terrible laughing fit while in a small meeting (with two other people) at DreamWorks when we were working on “The Prince of Egypt”. Later I read somewhere that laugh attacks are actually panic attacks. I must have been really stressed out. As I recall I had a new born baby at home and a second on the way.”*
*Miscellaneous:*
*What is your dream project?*
I’m currently working on a kind of *dream project* which is the creation of a set of original comical short movies intended for distribution on YouTube and accompanied with mobile games. I have completed the first with the help of a former student and current research assistant. The short is called “The Adventures of Barty and the Pirate” it’s on YouTube and in festivals now and the mobile game is called “Barty Run” it can be downloaded off Android Apps on Google Play and the iTunes Store. Both are though personally distributed are gathering a small, modest following. I plan to continue with this set of characters and work fleshing out the narrative world in mobile games and short movies; then extend the work into more characters and projects with each establishing an identity and brand of their own. So it’s comical short movies and games for the foreseeable future.

What would you say has been your favorite project to work on? And why?

I can’t really say what my favorite project to work on was. I did enjoy working in Japan at Tokyo Broadcasting System early in my career. I made life-long friends there. DreamWorks though competitive was fun in that everybody was really talented and ambitious. I’ve enjoyed teaching here in Singapore along with the research (the independent short films, games and other experimentation that I’ve been able to make).

What would be most stressful situation(s) you encountered while working on a project?

This would have been perhaps work done at LaserMedia for a 50 minute laser animated show at Stone Mountain. The project was poorly planned. The costs and time required to do the work were underbid. We ended up sleeping in 4 hours shifts every 22 hours at work in order to finish on time, I remember putting in many 110 hour weeks on a spiral schedule. Though the work was completed on time and shown to hundreds of thousands of people in the summer of 1985 in Georgia, the expenditure of effort was greatly unappreciated. Unfortunately the work environment there soured largely because of myopic and selfish decisions made in management. Oftentimes management can make or destroy a creative environment due to stupidity. What was notable about the events that transpired during that time was the notion of what it is to work as a production artist on high profile special events and how important the interpersonal relationships in the production is with colleagues, clients, producers and the employer. It was a tumultuous time though full of problems was also full of creative inspiration.

Advice he would give himself if he could go back in time was avoid working on professional jobs while attending school. Focus on developing an expressive portfolio of work and maybe get a PhD along with the MFA in the meantime. Independent creative research in the arts is always a good way of establishing and identity when young.

He wanted to be an artist growing up and still strives for it today.

*Filmography:*
*The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe * (character modeler: Rhythm & Hues - uncredited)
2004 *Flight of the Phoenix * (3D modeler: Rhythm & Hues)
2004 *Around the World in 80 Days * (modeler)
2004 *Garfield * (modeler: Rhythm & Hues)
2004 *Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed * (modeler: Rhythm & Hues)
2003 *Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat * (modeler)
2003 *Elf * (3D modeler: Rhythm and Hues)
2003 *The Rundown * (modeler: Rhythm & Hues)
2003 *Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas * (modeler)
2003 *X-Men 2 * (modeler)
2003 *Daredevil * (modeler)
2002 *Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron * (modeler)
2000 *The Road to El Dorado * (3D effects modeler: "Creation" sequence)
1998 *The Prince of Egypt * (modeler)

*Honors:* Awards for Research *2013* Bronze Bulb Award, Vegas Indie Film Fest! Best Animation Award, 13th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival Best Gaming Animation, AHOF Savannah International Animation Festival Royal Reel Award, Canada International Film Festival Best Animated Short, The California Film Awards

*2012*
Best Visual Effects in an Animated Film, Love Unlimited Film Festival
Award of Merit, The Accolade Competition
Best Animation: Third Prize Winner, 11th Urban Media makers Film Festival (UMFF)
Honorable Mention, Vegas Cine Fest
Best Animation Award, Marbella International Film Festival *2010*

*Contributors To This Listing:*
Jovanah Aguirre

Animators Hall of Fame