Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nancy Beiman - 2nd Year Storyboarding

Nancy Beiman fell in love with animation at the age of 16 and studied animation technique with Ray Seti of Sunflower films in New York City. She knew after this that the love affair would last. Through an unlikely series of coincidences Nancy wound up in the first class of the famous Character Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts. (After the second year, Nancy was the only female student in the class). Nancy was the recipient of a four-year Disney Fellowship Grant provided by the Disney family and received a BFA in Film and Character Animation but did not attend her own graduation ceremony. Through an equally unlikely coincidence, Nancy was hired a few months before her graduation to design, animate, and storyboard television commercials for Jack Zander’s famous New York studio, Zander’s Animation Parlour.

Since then, Nancy has produced, directed, designed, storyboarded, and animated on television commercials, specials, features, and new media in five different countries, written two published books, and produced two independent short films, Your Feet's Too Big and The Other Eden.

She has ‘performed’ as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, Snoopy, Winnie the Pooh and other famous characters for The Walt Disney Company, Warner Brothers Animation, and Bill Melendez Productions.

Nancy cofounded Caged Beagle Animation with business partner Dean Yeagle and then, through yet another unlikely coincidence, moved to Berlin, Germany where she was a designer, sequence director and animator at the Gerhard Hahn Filmproduktion studio. From there she moved to London where she was a supervising animator (Miss Kitty) for Stephen Spielberg’s Amblimation Animation Studio’s first feature film, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.

Nancy then directed and storyboarded for Warner Brothers Animation in New York. She was the first woman to direct Bugs Bunny, who was a pleasure to work with.

After relocating to Los Angeles Nancy directed, storyboarded and animated sequences for new media projects at Philips Sidewalk Studio including The Crayon Factory, a cautionary tale about big business, and Surf City, which used the music of the Beach Boys. After this, Nancy went to Paris as a supervising animator for The Walt Disney Company on A Goofy Movie (Roxanne and Bigfoot). She then returned to Los Angeles to design and animate the three Fates in Hercules, and Billy Bones in Treasure Planet.

Nancy was nominated for an Annie for individual achievement in storyboard for Little Angelita, a charming story (written by a child) produced at Walt Disney Television Animation Special Projects, and has won the Animation category award from the National Cartoonists Society for Your Feet's Too Big.

Nancy wrote articles and interviews for Jud Hurd’s CARTOONIST PROfiles magazine for fifteen years and also interviewed and corresponded with noted animators on her own initiative. This provided much material for her two books, which are: Prepare to Board! Creating Story and Characters for Animated Features and Shorts, (Focal Press, 2007) which has been adopted as a standard text by many animation schools and recently had its third Mandarin edition. Nancy’s second book, Animated Performance (AVA Press, 2010), is newly published and covers the subject of ‘acting’ for animators (Hint: It is not done with your physical body). Now its mama is waiting to hear that she wrote it funny!

Nancy began teaching animation at the college level in 2000 and discovered a new career that continues to fascinate her. In 2007 she received her MFA in Design with a major in Computer Graphics from the Rochester Institute of Technology where she finally attended her own graduation ceremony along with some very determined parents (“I want to see her graduate from SOMETHING!” my mother was heard to say.) Nancy taught Animation, Animation History, Gesture Drawing, Storyboard, Character Design, and Layout classes for four years at RIT and her students are currently working as animators and designers at The Walt Disney Company, Blue Sky Productions, and Rhythm and Hues studios among others.

In 2008 Nancy began teaching Storyboard classes at The Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville, Canada, where she works and resides today with her cat Gizmo, whom she shamelessly exploits in both her books.

Nancy has lectured on animation storyboard in Singapore and on animated performance at the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology in Yunlin, Taiwan.

Nancy continues to act as advisor to professional and student animators around the world. She herself doesn’t know where she will turn up next.

Nancy is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Creative Talent Network, and the National Cartoonists Society.

Nancy's Blog.